Daniel Stewart Sherman

All posts tagged Daniel Stewart Sherman

Photo by: Will Hart/NBC

Photo by: Will Hart/NBC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

With two episodes remaining in the Fall Season for the NBC series “The Blacklist,” the show’s close to wrapping up the Alexander Kirk/Constantin Rostov, story-arc. However, plenty of questions remain unanswered, concerning Elizabeth Keen and Raymond Reddington’s past and Lizzie’s relationship to Rostov, and the future of our characters and the Task-Force. Although the episode concluded with Agnes back with her parents and Constantin imprisoned in the glass cell in the Post Office, we’re really not more informed about our characters’ history, then we were before the former FBI Agent faked her death last spring.

This episode did remove some layers and showed us the dynamic will change once again, as new loyalties get formed and some established ones look tenuous presently. Whether next week’s episode provides more information for the characters and the fans remain to be seen. We’ll also find out if the show gives us a preview of the next upcoming adventure, or simply decides to let our cast catch its collective breath and enjoy the moment?

For the second straight week, the characters in the opening scene are all strangers to us. We’ve landed in a rather posh conference room in Minsk, Belarus, as the host tries to entice his four guests into a business proposition. The man’s named Rene LeBron and the four men are criminal bosses that had their assets seized by the United States government.

LeBron tells the four criminals that the President of the United States, isn’t God and his decisions aren’t final. He says that although the government perceives these men as drug-traffickers, violators of human rights and impediments to democracy, he’s got a different point of view. LeBron says he sees the men as businessmen, who got their money seized and he’s willing to help them out. The four men collectively are out $760 million, LeBron offers to give them $600 million in cash immediately, in return for the $160 million balance and market rate interest on the loan. Although the senior member of the guests voices objections to the deal, his companions are hot to make the deal.

LeBron gets into the elevator after completing the agreement, with two other men and a woman alongside him. Two floors later, three Asian women and one Asian man enter the car, looking like nondescript tourists. We find out they’re assassins shortly after the doors close, as they eliminate LeBron’s companions and hold him at gunpoint. The loan-shark tells the man that he’s got close to three-quarters of a billion dollars nearby and the man responds that he’s already taken possession of the cash.

The man makes a call from his cellphone and it turns out that Oscar and his crew are contractors for Raymond. He’s told to take his fee from the cash he recovered and to donate some cash to a Belarus charity. He also tells Oscar that he wants the plane.

Raymond meets with the Task-Force at the Post Office and tells the team of his capturing Rene LeBron and Baz and some of Reddington’s men will hand off LeBron to Ressler and Navabi. Liz’s far from happy, especially with Red and she lets it be known without a hint of subtlety. She’s angry with the fact that this case won’t help them recover Agnes and Raymond informs her that Rostov’s a client of LeBron’s. He’s willing to give up Constantin, in exchange for a promise that he won’t get prosecuted. Cooper says he’ll need to get clearance from Cynthia Panabaker. Harold dismisses his team but asks Keen to stay with him.

Cooper says to Keen he can only imagine the pain and the pressure she’s feeling, but he says he believes Reddington’s doing his best to recover Agnes. Lizzie starts breaking down and tell Harold that she got a hold of a DNA report and Rostov’s her father and Red wants to kill him. However she states that she’s enough of a professional to work with Reddington.

After a week of being M.I.A., we rejoin Mr. Kaplan and her captor the Hunter. He comes inside with his dog and he says to Kate we’ve got a problem. He says the guy who shot her will kill somebody else and dump the body where he shot Kate. When he realizes she’s not there, he’ll come sniffing around. Or somebody will report her missing and the cops will search for her and they’ll come looking for her. He says he could let her go, but she’d tell somebody about him. He says he doesn’t like company, so he’s not sure what to do with her.

Kate tells the Hunter she tried to commit suicide and he asks her where’s her gun? She says she dropped it but she’s not sure where. The Hunter says she left a trail and he’s a tracker, so he’ll go out looking for the gun.

Harold calls Panabaker and tells her about the situation. Although she’s not happy about granting LeBron immunity, she tells Cooper to pick up the loan-shark and bring him in.

What Harold fails to realize is his phone’s tapped by some of Kirk’s contractors and the man monitoring the call contacts Rostov’s number one, Olga and passes on the information. She calls Rostov and tells him that Reddington’s the one that captured LeBron and asks Constantin if she should take him out? Rostov tells her to go ahead and Olga says to him that the seeds of doubt he planted with Masha have taken root. Constantin says he should reach out to her but they should take adequate precautions. Olga calls him a fool and says she doesn’t trust Masha. Rostov smiles and says Olga doesn’t trust anybody, but he’s asking her to trust him on this.

Baz releases LeBron from his bonds and then puts a white-hood over his head as he prepares to pass the loan-shark over to Donald and Samar. As we watch the exchange take place, we see a sniper putting together his rifle and he takes out LeBron. Raymond looks at Dembe and says the loan-shark died right on schedule and now it’s time to send out the invitations.

Welcome To The Past: The next morning, Aram, Samar, Ressler and Cooper receive pizza deliveries from Nick’s Pizza. Inside the box is a formal invitation stating their cars will arrive at 7:30 am and their discretion’s appreciated. The four get greeted by Reddington’s newest employees, Sweater-Vest-Man, whose name’s Chester. He maybe Mr. Kaplan’s replacement as he has the four agents deposit their cellular devices and then puts them through an airport type body-scanner.

Once they’ve passed the inspection, they’re sent deeper into the building and Raymond greets them saying welcome to the past. The building they’re standing in can’t be penetrated by any digital signal and all the equipment in the facility’s analog. Cooper asks why they’re in a museum and Lizzie enters and says because they’ve been breached. Aram can’t believe it, saying their system’s unhackable. Raymond smiles and says exactly and that’s why Rostov hired the Thrushes.

The Thrushes were formed in 1982 by a man named Plemen Radkov. Radkov got arrested in 1986 and died in a Soviet gulag a few years later. That’s when the Thrushes went underground and they’ve taken on jobs based on degree of difficulty and the money offered. They’ve been involved in some high scale operations over the years and many lives were lost due to their activities. Cooper tells Navabi and Ressler to find out what they can about the other incidents and tells Aram to contact the NSA.

Who’s The Mole?: Navabi finds out first as she meets with another intelligence operative about the incident they were involved in, in Jaipur. The operative brings a book with pictures of all the Thrushes operative and says all 38 were engineers and perished in the incident. Samar going through the pictures realizes that the agent’s incorrect, one of the people’s not an engineer and is still alive. Although she’s identified as Kate Bond, she’s in reality Aram’s new girlfriend Elise.

Navabi tells Cooper and Donald and both men tell her they’ve got to keep this from Mojtabai, that he’ll be heartbroken and will blow their cover. Just then Aram walks into the Post Office looking desolate, he’s been working on the problem for the last 18-hours and he realized that Elise’s the mole. He’s hurt and angry, but he wants to get involved in her capture. They’ve got a date that evening at his apartment and he’s going to download a virus on her laptop.

Samar sets up Aram for the sting in a van that’s right below his apartment, she gives him a pen that’s also a wire and then hands Mojtabai a pistol. He asks if she wants her to shoot his girlfriend and she adamantly says she’s not his girlfriend. She also tells Aram that if he gets into trouble, to say the word banana and the cavalry will burst in.

Elise realizes something’s up with Aram but he keeps saying he’s fine and then he goes to the refrigerator and pulls out a bottle of wine he bought for her. As he pulls the cork out, he spills wine all over the front of his shirt and says he’s got to change. He goes into his bedroom and takes her laptop out of her bag and inserts the thumb drive into it, but she enters the room before he can put it back in the bag. She enters the room and she tries to seduce him as he’s shirtless, but he rebuffs her advances, saying they’ll have a fire on the stove.

Now Elise knows something’s wrong with Aram and demands to know what it is. Ressler’s ready to charge into the apartment, but Mojtabai says that he’s actually in love with somebody else. Elise says that it’s Samar but Aram denies it, just then her cellphone rings and Olga’s on the other end. She tells Aram she’s got to take this work call and walks into his bedroom.

Olga asks her operative if her laptop’s secure and Elise responds it is. Olga replies she best make sure of it as her life could depend on it. She gets off the phone and goes into her bag for her laptop, but sees it’s missing. She lifts up Aram’s shirt and sees it and the thumb-drive Mojtabai installed, he walks in with the pistol drawn, but she knocks it out of hand.

The two start fighting and Aram says banana, about six times before the SWAT-Team and Donald and Samar burst in. Elise is about to hit Aram with a piece of wood, when Ressler tells her to drop it. At gunpoint, Elise calls back Olga and tells her all’s well.

Mr. Kaplan And The Hunter: The Hunter goes to the area where he first found Kate and checks out some old camera’s he’s got set up monitoring the area. He opens the third camera and shakes his head. He heads back to the camera and tells Mr. Kaplan she lied to him. She denies it, but then he shows her the camera and says three went in but only two came out.

Perhaps seeing the pictures gave the Hunter sympathy for Kate, as the last time we see them, they’re sitting at a table and the Hunter’s feeding Mr. Kaplan with a spoon.

The Capture Of Constantin Rostov: Liz receives a phone-call from a shoe-repair shop that she’s never visited and the owner says she left her cell phone there. She realizes that Rostov’s attempting to contact her and she picks up the phone. When she brings it back, she sees just one number on the burner-phone and calls it. She immediately asks about Agnes and Constantin replies she’s in good health but wants her mother.

Lizzie tells Rostov that she got ahold of his records and she saw a DNA report confirming that Constantin’s her father. He asks if she, Agnes and he can meet, she says she’d agree to that and Rostov says he’ll call her back with arrangements. When she gets off the phone Raymond asks her why she believes the lies Constantin’s told her, she says when she went to the Summer Palace, she recognized things and had memories of her childhood. Reddington replies just because he was married to Lizzie’s mother, it doesn’t make Rostov her father.

Keen gets a call from Constantin and sets up the meeting at an abandoned station on the Bowery Line. Reddington tells Cooper that his men will handle capturing Rostov. However Liz calls back Constantin and tells him it’s a trap, Rostov asks if she’d still be willing to meet him and gives her a new location.

Reddington sets up his plan of attack, but it appears he and his crew are heading into a trap. When Liz arrives at the new location, Rostov and some of his soldiers meet her but Agnes’ isn’t there. Constantin says that she’ll join them soon, but first he needs to kill Reddington. Lizzie reacts horrified, that Rostov’s set a trap for Raymond, but in reality Reddington and his team are right downstairs. As Raymond’s soldiers arrive, Rostov summons the woman who traveled with Matos and she’s cradling Agnes in her arms.

Rostov grabs the infant and stands on the ledge of the roof, he says if he can’t have his granddaughter, he’ll take her with him. Raymond tells him that’s insane and Masha says please father give her back to me. Constantin puts down his pistol and gives Agnes to Liz. Rostov’s taken into custody.

For the first time this season we get a pleasant montage ending the episode as Harry Nilsson’s version of One plays in the background. Raymond goes to visit Tom and Liz and he asks to see Agnes and Lizzie invites him in. She says to Raymond now that Rostov’s been captured the three of them will find a new place, Reddington nods and says he realized that.

The final image of the evening’s Constantin Rostov locked away in the glass cage inside the Post Office, a broken and defeated man.

Photo Courtesy Of Fox

Photo Courtesy Of Fox

Warning: Spoiler Alert

The overriding feeling this viewer got watching the premiere episode of the new Fox series “Gotham,” was every second of the pilot meant something to this episode and to the legend that started unfolding before us. Everything intertwined, making for a world familiar, yet strange. Of Art-Deco buildings and cell-phones, where one woman describes a man as a “cold drink of milk,” reminiscent of dialog from a Raymond Chandler novel, while another women asks that same man if he’s ready to rock and roll. The series that’s a Prequel to the career of Batman starts out with a unique look and an interesting opening episode.

The show starts off panning the skyline of Gotham City, then lingers on one roof and we soon see a young teenage girl gracefully running to the edge of the roof, then squatting down next to some statue of a gnome. Suddenly she stands off and leaps seemingly into nothingness, but lands lightly on the roof of a canteen-truck, then slides down its canopy to the ground below. This young girl’s not introduced to us, but we realize she’s Selina Kyle, (Camren Bicondova) who’ll grow up to become Catwoman. She pulls a knife out of her sleeve and slashes a woman’s plastic grocery bag, then grabs a quart of milk as it lands on the pavement. A bit further down she lifts a man’s wallet, but too clumsily as the man realized he got robbed. He runs after her but she grabs the ladder of a fire-escape, shinnies up it and escapes. She crosses rooftops and touches down again a few blocks away, where her black and white kitten is waiting for its milk. They’re interrupted however as Selina hears voices and climbs above street level, peering from a rooftop.

Strolling through the alley’s one of Gotham City’s wealthiest and most prominent families, Thomas and Martha Wayne, along with their young son Bruce, cutting through the alley to catch a cab after the movies. All three are well dressed and in good moods, when a masked man holding a pistol steps in front of them, demanding first Thomas’ wallet then Martha’s pearl necklace. Although the Waynes do exactly as the gunman asks, he shoots both parents, then aims the gun at Bruce before turning and running away. Kyle watches from the rooftop as Bruce, realizes his parents are dead and then lets out a wail that fills the city streets.

Over at a nearby police station, a criminal’s being put in lockup, but screaming he wants his pills he overpowers a female officer grabs her pistol and points it at her head. Fifty cops aim at the prisoner, while Detective Harvey Bullock, lowers the newspaper he’s reading to assess the situation. A door swings open from the floor above and a young detective jogs out of the doorway and tells his fellow officers he’s got this issue under control. He walks to right in front of the prisoner then asks him to look at him rather than the officers with their weapons drawn.

He introduces himself to the prisoner, telling him his name’s Jim Gordon and asks the man his name, but the man just repeats he wants his pills. Gordon sees a bottle of aspirin on one of the desks and says he has pills for the prisoner which the man ingests, then says they’re not his pills, but Gordon takes the moment to knock down the gunmen and retrieve the weapon. Instead of being congratulated and thanked by his fellow officers he gets chewed out by his partner Bullock.

The two start squabbling until interrupted by an officer telling them they have to investigate a homicide, one that Bullock soon regrets being assigned to. When they arrive at the alley, the Waynes covered by sheets, while young Bruce sits silent and shaking on the stairs of a fire escape, with a blanket wrapped around his shoulders. They meet a uniformed officer who had arrived moments earlier and told the pair that the boy saw it all, but has yet to talk.

Gordon goes over to try to comfort the boy, telling him that he lost his father in a car accident at about his age and he understands what Bruce’s going through. This gets the boy to open up and talk with Gordon and tells the Detective what happened during the robbery, he describes the shooter as a big man wearing a mask, hat, gloves and shiny-shoes. Exactly at that moment Bullock realizes that the bodies are Thomas and Martha Wayne and asks the uniformed cop if he can make-believe they were never at the scene However the cop tells Bullock that they’re at the scene and his partner’s interviewed the only witness, so it’s their case.

The detectives stop at a diner and approached by two other officers that deal with high-profile crimes, Crispus Allen (Andrew Stewart-Jones) and Renee Montoya, (Victoria Cartagena) who asks Bullock and Gordon if they want them to take over the case. Bullock wanted no part of the case from the beginning, so the other pair might get their wish, but Montoya blows it but insulting Harvey. He tells them no deal and tells them to take off.

When they return to the station they’re called into the office of Captain Sarah Essen, (Zabryna Guevara) who reinforces how important the high-profile case’s to the department. Bullock asks for some time alone with the Captain and as soon as Gordon leaves the office he tells his commander he wants a new partner. Essen tells Bullock that Gordon’s a war hero and his father was an influential former District Attorney and Harvey’s no choice in the matter. The two go work the streets trying to find a lead but coming up empty. They meet with police ballistics expert Ed Nygma,  (Cory Michael Smith) an annoying man with a penchant for riddles. He reveals that the murder weapon’s not registered and the bullet extracted from Thomas Wayne’s chest, was a specialty bullet that’s quite pricey.

Bullock tells Gordon since all other leads came up dry, it’s time to check-in with Fish Mooney, (Jada Pinkett Smith) a female mob-boss who works directly for the man that runs the city’s criminal underground Carmine Falcone. They show up at her club while she’s out in back with some of her hoods, while she beats one of her associates bloody with a baseball bat as he stole from her. When she hears Bullock’s there to see her, she gives the bat to her toady Oswald Cobblepot, who some of the guys call Penguin. It’s his first time inflicting violence on someone and he’s having a grand time.

Gordon soon realizes what close associates Fish and Harvey are when they kiss each other on the lips. Bullock starts asking Fish if she’s heard any rumors and Gordon asks her if there’s screaming behind the club. She tells him what’s going on and Harvey tells Jim if he’s that concerned to go out back and see if anyone wants to press charges. When Gordon investigates, even the man being beaten says they’re just having fun. Gordon gets back inside the club just as Bullock’s ready to leave. He tells Gordon that she’ll put the word out and get back to them if she hears anything.

Jim goes to his fiancée Barbara Kean’s (Erin Richards)  apartment,  and it’s obvious she’s clearly been raised in a luxurious manner. They’re supposed to go to a society event, but she tells Gordon that she’ll let him off the hook and they can stay in and soon they start getting romantic. A while later while Barbara’s asleep Gordon’s cellphone rings, with Bullock telling him they have a suspect who got caught trying to fence a string of pearls like the one’s stolen from Martha Wayne.

They arrive at the home of the suspect Mario Pepper (Daniel Stewart Sherman) who owns a rap sheet as long as his arm. His daughter Ivy Pepper (Clare Foley) a little girl answers the door and Gordon asks to speak to her daddy and Ivy says they don’t want to talk to Daddy because he’s mean. Mario comes to the door and asks what the detectives want and Bullock asks where he was the night of the Waynes murders. He tells them he was with his wife and daughter and Bullock says than the guy shouldn’t mind them searching the house and he gets up and bolts. Carrying a pistol he takes some shots at Gordon but they’re far off target. Gordon could shoot him anytime he wants, but wants Pepper alive so they can question him.

Gordon catches up with Pepper, whose now slashing at the detective with a knife and gets him in the hand. Pepper overpowers Gordon standing over him ready to stab him to death when Harvey kills Pepper with a shot. As officer’s search Pepper’s apartment, they find the strand of pearls proving they got the Waynes killer.

The next day at the funeral, Bruce along with the family’s butler Alfred Pennyworth, (Sean Pertwee) walks over to Detective Gordon after the ceremony and thanks him for keeping his word and getting the man who killed his parents, then extends his hand to shake Gordon’s.

Later that afternoon Allen and Montoya pickup Oswald Cobblepot, who tells them that Pepper was setup by Mooney and the police, that he had seen Fish with the pearls and she was trying to figure out how to get the pearls in Pepper’s apartment. After that meeting, Montoya stops by Barbara Kean and it turns out the two have known each other for a long time. Montoya tells Kean that Gordon’s crooked that he and Bullock made Pepper the patsy, but Kean refuses to believe it.

When Gordon arrives that night she asks if he and Bullock setup Pepper and Jim’s truly shocked by the question. He finds out Montoya told his fiancée and confronts her, telling the officer he doesn’t play that way and if there’s been a cover up he’ll get to the bottom of it.

Jim heads to Mooney’s club to confront her with the information he has and she subdues the detective with three or her goons. They knock him out and bring him to a meat locker, where they hang him upside down from a hook just like a side of beef. When Harvey receives a call from a concerned Barbara he realizes that Mooney’s holding his partner prisoner and heads to the meat locker. He has one of her guys get her on the phone and Bullock tells Fish she has to let his partner go, otherwise he’ll have to after her, which he doesn’t want to do. She tells him all’s good and asks to speak to her man again, and tells him that Bullock threatened her and to hang him beside Gordon. Seconds later Harvey’s knocked out and when he comes to he’s hanging upside down.

Apparently Fish loves choreographed filmed executions and while one guy is taping the events this executioner comes out to kill the two detectives. Suddenly a garage door opens and a large car pulls in shooting all of Mooney’s men except for Butch Gilzean (Drew Powell). A man emerges from the car and Gilzean immediately recognizes that it’s Carmine Falcone (John Doman) who left Butch alive to deliver a message to Fish, if she wants to kill police she needs Falcone’s permission. He has his men cut them down then takes Jim aside for a private conversation.

Falcone resembles a Senator more than a mob boss (another role he plays, as he portrays Senator Ross Garrison on “Person Of Interest“)  and he tells Gordon that first, he’s a businessman that loves the city. He tells the detective that he knew Gordon’s father quite well, that they got along and were even friends, which Jim doesn’t believe. However Falcone tells Gordon that his father realized the way the system ran and they held great respect for each other, which is mainly why Bullock and Gordon are still alive.

The two leave the meat locker and Bullock drives them to a pier on a wharf. He tells his partner that he hasn’t been totally honest with him, they get out of the car and Harvey opens up the trunk revealing Oswald Cobblepot inside. Falcone knows that Cobblepot ratted out Mooney to Allen and Montoya and Falcone wants Gordon to put a bullet in Cobblepot’s head and dump his body off the pier, otherwise Gordon and his fiancée will also be killed. Jim marches the toady to the end of the pier, whispers to him never come back to Gotham and shoots the bullet wide left then pushes Cobblepot into the ocean. He resurfaces about a mile away, and murders a fisherman with his own knife for his sandwich.

Gordon arrives the next morning at the Wayne mansion and admits to Bruce that he was wrong and the mob and police killed an innocent man just to resolve the matter before his parents funeral. Jim pulls out his badge and lays it in front of the boy, asking for a second chance to find the killer, the decision’s Bruce’s. He gives Gordon back his badge and tells him to find the man who shot his parents.

The Story Continues Next Monday Night On Fox.