Kevin Kilner

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Photo by: Will Hart/NBC

Photo by: Will Hart/NBC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

It’s Extremely tempting to skip recapping this episode of the NBC series “The Blacklist,” and jump right to the final scene. After all, that’s what the fans will be buzzing about at the conclusion of “The Forecaster.” However, the writers concocted an interesting tale, involving two separate story-lines, one of which lead to the rather surprising conclusion. So, I’ll restrain my impulses and go with a rather abridged synopsis.

Our evening opens with the sound of buzzing and static, as we see a bunch of rapidly changing images. We keep seeing one blue eye, and somebody working with clay. The sculptor forms and then paints a woman, we also see a table and chairs, already formed.

The scene changes and gives us our first look at Liz and Tom’s new apartment, filled with boxes containing all their belongings. Lizzie apologizes to Tom, for leaving him to unpack so she can get to work, he says it’s fine and he and Agnes will rock-out to the Romantics. Tom then opens an envelope that contains all his fake passports, Liz asks if he’s really ready to give up his old life? He smiles and assures her, that he is as he throws them in the wastebasket.

Agent Keen opens her front door and sees a miniature recreation of a scene, known as a diorama. The scene depicts an indoor pool, with a woman lying face down in the water. We also see the table now contains a glass filled with some green liquid.

Turns out it’s a green smoothie, as we find out in the next scene. We’re suddenly at that indoor pool, as a middle-aged woman takes a sip from her drink, drops her robe and dives into the pool. She starts doing laps when suddenly she’s gasping for air. She’s able to reach the safety rope, but too late and she drowns, her body floating on the water recreates the diorama.

Liz enters the Post Office with the diorama in tow, they’ve identified the victim as Federal Judge Tricia Culpepper. Keen received the recreation, ninety-minutes before Culpepper drowned, leading the team to believe that the killer’s taunting Keen. Cooper orders Lizzie to contact Reddington, to find out if he has any insight in the case.

Raymond, Dembe and a real-estate agent named Pamela, are checking out a pristine white apartment. Reddington says to the agent that if he took the place, he could only drink white wines, and he’s not certain he could do that. Pamela whispers to Dembe that he should drink it in the kitchen, seconds later Raymond announces he’s had a revelation and he can drink it in the kitchen.

Red will take the apartment on a month-to-month basis, Elizabeth arrives and Pamela leaves. Lizzie thanks Raymond for getting her the pardon. Reddington says in the words of his grandmother, it’s good to have friends in low places. Then they get down to the reason they’re meeting, Culpepper’s drowning. Raymond says that Keen’s dealing with a member of The Blacklist, somebody taunting her who knows where she lives. Turns out Reddington’s correct, in an indirect way.

Back at the apartment, Tom’s opening boxes and singing to Agnes, when he sees a shadow in front of his front door. He picks up a box-cutter and runs to the door, he sees another diorama in front of him, then hears a door bang shut. He runs out to the street and sees a figure in a hoodie, who starts to sprint away. The person in the hoodie appears to be a woman, as she seems small to be a man.

Tom loses them in the crowd, and suddenly realizes he left Agnes alone with the door wide open. He sprints back to the new place and more to console himself, than his daughter, he picks her up and reassures her that he’s got her. Keen realizes that he can’t just chase trouble any longer, he’s got new responsibilities.

The new diorama, depicts a man lying dead on the sidewalk of a park, the victim of a gunshot wound with blood splattering the sidewalk. There’s also a bike and a building that Aram recognizes as the old post office. Donald says they’ll catch the killer this time, and keep him from coming near Liz again.

Raymond’s putting together a jigsaw puzzle, when he and Dembe are joined by a man with an African accent named Geoffrey Keino. Keino says that he’s surprised that Reddington wanted to see him, Red asks the well-dressed man what he knows about cobalt. The African says that every cellphone battery contains at least three grams of cobalt, computers use even more.

Reddington responds that he’s heard that Keino’s boss Iniko’s investing in cobalt mines and he wants in. Geoffrey asks if Red wants him to set up a meeting with his boss, but Raymond says he wants to make a deal with Keino. He says he won’t deal with Iniko, as he recently murdered a close friend of his. Keino says if he goes against his boss, he’ll get killed. Reddington replies that Iniko will only keep him around as long as he’s useful, so Geoffrey should strike first.

The Task-Force members are down at the park in front of the old post office, not knowing who they’re looking for. They see a guy on a bicycle, but Aram quickly realizes the shooter’s on a motorcycle. Keen tackles the intended victim, saving his life, the guy on the bike gets away. Liz however gets told that the print they recovered from her doorway, during the drop of the second diorama, belongs to Fiona Driscoll.

Red and Dembe drop by a restaurant, where Iniko’s dining and Raymond proceeds to tell him that he’s got an employee that’s out to betray him. He says since he got betrayed by a former employee, he couldn’t allow Iniko to fall in the same trap. He then says that Keino offered him a share of the cobalt mines, if Reddington killed his boss. Iniko asks Raymond to join him for the rest of his meal, but Red begs off.

As they walk away from the table, Dembe takes Reddington to task for using Mr. Kaplan in his story. Red tries to dismiss him, but Zuma says that Kate deserves more respect than that. Raymond doesn’t respond to Dembe, who clearly can’t get over not stopping Reddington from killing his friend.

Ressler and Keen bring Fiona Driscoll into custody, she’s a little slip of a woman in her thirties. However they’re questioning her as if she’s the killer. Driscoll tells them that she’s not involved in the crimes, she just gets prior knowledge through premonitions. She tells the agents that the premonitions have been occurring for the last two-years and she takes them to her apartment to show Donald and Liz, more dioramas.

There are 42, in total and they depict tragedies, from around the globe. Then Fiona reveals that she’s not the one receiving the premonitions or creating the recreations. She introduces Ressler and Keen to her nine-year-old special needs daughter Maggie.

Raymond’s still working on his puzzle when Keino returns to the apartment. He’s terrified as Iniko closed the deal on the cobalt mines, without his assistance and he won’t return Geoffrey’s phone calls. Reddington tells Keino that the time to strike’s now and that Geoffrey should take out his boss with a car bomb.

Aram realizes that Maggie’s picking up cellphone conversations on her hearing aid, as they broadcast at the same frequency. Maggie’s been hearing the calls between Chris Farnsworth, CEO of Jasek Financial and his hitman Ben Charnquist. The Task-Force heads to the Driscoll’s apartment as Mojtabai attempts to track the signal. He loses it, but tells the others he’ll catch them on their next phone call.

Keino shows back up at Red’s apartment carrying a gun, which Dembe takes possession of before Geoffrey’s allowed in. He tells Reddington that Iniko discovered the car bomb and he thinks Raymond betrayed him. Red says that Keino got sloppy and either the bomb maker or the mechanic tipped off Iniko. Raymond tells Geoffrey that he’ll call Iniko and Keino can be prepared with the magic bullet.

Mojtabai’s able to pick up the conversation perfectly this time and they hear that Farnsworth and Charnquist found out about Maggie’s involvement and that’s how the Feds broke up the attempted shooting. The hitman tells Farnsworth to get a name and address and he’ll rectify the problem, just then Charnquist and Liz look out the window at the same time and realize what’s going on.

Liz and Donald run to the hitman’s apartment but just miss him, as he’s at the Driscoll’s. He’s knocked out Aram and taken Maggie. He encounters two uniforms and shoots them both, then takes one of the officer’s uniform and badge. He gets Maggie outside and puts her on a school-bus, as he attempts to hide from the agents, but quickly realizes they’ve got to get out of the area.

Mojtabai tells the pair that the walkie-talkies are broadcasting on the same frequency as Maggie’s hearing aid and if they crank the gain, they can cause Maggie to hear feedback. Charnquist and the girl exit the bus, when she drops to her knees in pain and starts screaming. The hitman starts to shake her and ask her what’s wrong, when he realizes all the mothers are staring at him and he takes off. Keen and Ressler, lower the gain and rescue the girl.

Keino’s pacing back and forth in a hallway, when Dembe arrives. Geoffrey says he can hear Iniko’s voice and Zuma hands him a gun with a silencer that he says is untraceable. Geoffrey asks Dembe if he could betray his boss, and after a second Zuma responds that he doesn’t know.

Keino bursts into the apartment and pulls the gun on his boss, but the chamber’s empty. He screams to Iniko that Reddington set him up, the boss replies they both did and kills his employee with three shots. Blood’s splattered all over the white apartment, Iniko calls his cleaners and Raymond and Dembe pull their weapons.

Farnsworth and Charnquist are back on the phone and Farnsworth says that the hitman’s got one more victim before they can escape. One of Farnsworth’s employee’s who apparently has been in on their crimes. Maggie hears the call and starts creating a diorama taking place at Jasek, showing a man dying in an elevator. Farnsworth meanwhile escapes just before a swat team enters his office to arrest him.

Iniko begs Raymond to spare his life, trying to tempt him with the riches Reddington could acquire through the cobalt mines. Raymond then reveals to Iniko that he’s looking for vengeance in the death of Cyrus Choi, who Iniko had murdered two-months before. Red says that he doesn’t believe that Choi would approve of the venture, as the money will come from using children as slave labor.

There’s a knock upon the door and Iniko says those are his cleaners. Raymond says that he’s going to hire them and the Crime-Lord says they work for him. Reddington says not anymore and shoots the African dead. He opens the door and the cleaners tell him they’ve arrived to meet Iniko and Raymond informs them that he’s dead. The female member of the duo’s pleased as she says he was a tool.

Aram informs them that the elevator was built prior to having emergency pneumatic back-up, so unless they stop Charnquist, the guy’s a dead man. A man in a tuxedo enters the building and the elevator and presses his floor, Charnquist’s busy cutting through the elevator cable. Ressler takes Charnquist out as he shoots him through a window, but the cord’s cut through. Keen saves the man with the emergency stop.

The Cleaners get the apartment back to pristine shape and Reddington’s amazed. He tells the pair that he wants to hire them and he’ll pay them twice what they got from Iniko. The woman tells Red that they only moonlight, as their regular job’s working for the Metro Police Department.

The male part of the pair asks Dembe what happened to their former cleaner and Zuma replies she was murdered. The guy asks if they were close and Dembe says very, he asks if the killer’s been caught and Zuma responds no. The guy asks if they know who did it and Dembe says they do, the guy says then it’s just a matter of time, right? Zuma remains silent.

When they leave Dembe glares at Reddington and asks if that’s what this was all about, replacing Kate? Raymond responds that there is no replacing Kate. Dembe’s glare remains as he says not as far as he’s concerned. Elizabeth comes to the apartment and it turns out that a member of The Blacklist was involved. Farnsworth’s known as the forecaster, Raymond never bank-rolled him as Red wasn’t controlling the venture.

The Keens are enjoying dinner when there’s a knock at the door and Tom asks Liz if she wants to get it? She’s surprised to see a pensive looking Dembe, who tells her he’s worried about Raymond. He says he’s not himself and he can’t reach him, the only thing Raymond cares about is Lizzie and Agnes. He then brings up the couple that were leaving the apartment as she arrived and Keen says Red wouldn’t tell her who they were.

Dembe reveals that the pair were cleaners and Liz asks what’s happened with Mr. Kaplan? She then asks if this has anything to do with faking her death? Is Kate being punished and being replaced by the couple. Dembe responds that they’re not replacing her, Raymond killed Kate. Fade to black.

How will this affect the dynamic of the series, for the short-term and the long-term? How’s Raymond going to react to the fact that he’s now been betrayed by yet another he’s trusted his life to? Will it cause an unrepairable rift between the pair, or will this cause Reddington to see the light? Just when Liz and Reddington have established some mutual-trust, she finds out he killed Kate. Can she ever forgive him?

Will this lead to them discovering that Mr. Kaplan’s indeed alive? Will they find the Tracker and will he once again enter the story. Will we find out who was driving that silver pickup truck that picked Kate up on the road? Will we find out the fate of Dr. Nick? Raymond’s past has caught up with him, how will this play out with those closest to him?

The Story Resumes Next Thursday Night at 10:00 pm on NBC.

Photo: John Paul Filo/CBS

Photo: John Paul Filo/CBS

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Elections have gotten rigged, most likely since they’ve held them, so how long until artificial intelligence systems can determine the outcome of a contest, despite the results of the actual ballots cast? At least in the universe that the CBS series “Person Of Interest,” exists in, that technology exists and Samaritan’s used it in the election that occurs during this episode. The system threw out the existing Governor of New York, giving the nod to his challenger, by the same margin that the polls said, that Governor James Murray would win by. “The Machine,” gives Harold Finch the number of Simon Lee, a pollster that works for the Murray campaign and in the ten elections he’s worked on, he’s predicted each race perfectly.

Lee’s track-record’s produced an extremely confident young man with a huge ego, who can’t conceive being incorrect in any election. However as the results come in, it’s apparent that the challenger Michelle Perez will score the upset. Murray’s campaign manager verbally rips Lee all throughout the night, until their disagreement dissolves into a fistfight. Murray separates the two and tells them to calm down.

NYPD Homicide Detective John Reilly’s been put on restricted duty after he shot his sixth person since being transferred from narcotics to homicide by Internal Affairs. He’s also assigned a police psychiatrist, whose approval he requires to return to the streets, which means that Reilly’s true identity, John Reese can’t help out the team in this situation. If Reese doesn’t cooperate, he’ll lose his job with the Police Department and his cover to remain hidden from Samaritan, so Finch gives the number to Sameen Shaw. As he hangs up the phone, he senses a presence and without turning around says good afternoon Miss Rhodes, as the woman who prefers to go by her nickname Root’s come to talk with Finch. She just finished an assignment given to her by “The Machine,” now she’s taking on the role of a reporter for the New York Herald, though she’s yet to find out what the assignment will involve.

Shaw’s pretending she’s a phone volunteer for the Murray campaign, but she’s clearly unhappy with the role, telling a potential voter the reason to reelect the Governor’s because he’s used Rogaine for thirty-years, which shows great foresight. She gets a call from Finch and tells her supervisor she needs a two-minute break for the call. She tells Harold how miserable she is, but Finch stresses that they need her in the campaign office to keep tabs on Lee.

The next scene’s a flashback for Finch, as he recalls the early days of building “The Machine,” and the difficulties that he and his late partner Nathan Ingram encountered trying to perfect the Artificial Intelligence System. We witness the first version coming to life on October 1, 2001, as Harold verifies that the system can see him and recognize him. He then poses a question to “The Machine,” a scenario that involves a couple broken down in the desert with the wife sustaining a broken leg, Finch then states if the man carries his wife, they have a 31% chance of survival, it rises to 40% if the man leaves his wife, what does “The Machine,” suggest the couple do. Although the increased chance of survival’s just nine percent higher, “The Machine,” says the man should leave his wife. Harold then deletes his prototype telling Nathan they’re back at square one, unless their system cares about people, it’s liable to attempt to rule humanity.

Although Perez wins the election to become the next Chief Executive of New York, Simon Lee’s convinced the election wasn’t on the level. Harold, Shaw and Root, all express concern, that Lee might embark on a very dangerous journey with his digging. They believe that Samaritan’s behind the controversial results and Lee will get targeted as an enemy by the Artificial Intelligence System that now receives an unfiltered feed of all United States intelligence. If Lee’s targeted as an enemy his life’s in jeopardy.

Root and Harold  work together to find any dirt on Michelle Perez, to get her to resign from the office she just won and find out she got arrested for prostitution under another name when she was in her twenties, and reports that her services paid for her education. Harold tells Root that he’ll send the information to Perez anonymously, hoping that’s enough to cause her to resign. They attend the press conference held by the newly elected Governor and her Lieutenant Governor Nick Dawson, They also see that Simon Lee’s in the crowd and a woman they identify as an operative for Samaritan, is on the move, possibly to execute Lee. However, the pollster’s not her victim, she slipped Perez two medicines that caused a fatal reaction when combined and she collapses and dies at the beginning of her speech.

The now scared audience, starts to run out of the hall, Simon Lee among them and Shaw notices the Samaritan operative’s following the pollster. Because Samaritan’s concentrating so closely on Lee, the team can’t risk interacting with him any place there are security cameras, so Shaw bumps into Lee in a blind-spot. The Samaritan operative asks for directions and the Artificial Intelligence System sends her to the men’s room. She walks in with her pistol aimed and tells another occupant to leave, she kicks open a stall and find’s Lee’s phone siting on the toilet.

We witness more bumps in the road for Harold and Nathan as they attempt to fine-tune “The Machine,” as the system tries to take over their computers with a virus and in an attempt to determine which of the 43-prototypes are viable to take the next step, the systems try destroying each other, while setting Harold and Nathan’s severs aflame. Harold looks at Ingram and tells him they’ve taught it to think, now they’ve got to get it to care.

Lee realizes his life’s in danger, although he doesn’t know whose trying to kill him, so he gets off the street and into a hotel. Finch disables the security cameras so Samaritan can’t find him, for now at least the pollster’s safe. Harold also disabled all electronic accessibility in Simon’s room, so the pollster can’t use the phone or his laptop, hence keeping him hidden. A maid knocks on the door and Lee answers it, asking if he can borrow her cellphone for an emergency call. He calls 911 and says his name, but Finch terminates the call. “The Machine,” speaks to Root and tells her Samaritan intercepted the signal and the operatives are on their way.

Root and Finch then talk about what’s taken place over the past year, as Samaritan replaced “The Machine,” as the United State’s Government’s intelligence system. She tells Harold he was wrong when he told her in an earlier conversation, that she seemed lost, she tells him she’s terrified because they’re losing and their lives as well as the fate of the world’s at stake. She says even if they defeat Samaritan, odds are low that the entire team could survive the battle.

She then tells Finch because of her past, which she dedicated to killing, robbing and scamming people, she deserves to die. In a huge moment in the series, Harold tells her, it’s where you end up, not where you start that counts. He tells her she’s a brilliant woman, a comrade and a friend, a huge leap for a man that got kidnapped twice by Root. We see the warmth between them rise to the surface, as Harold finally admits what’s been apparent for a while, that Finch identifies closely with her and thinks of her as somewhat of a surrogate daughter. She grabs six pistols, sticks then into the band of her slacks and tells Harold to wish her luck. It rings far too familiar for fans of the series, as the scene echoes a moment between Reese and Detective Joss Carter last season, just before she got murdered by a corrupt cop.

Root heads out to the hallway and “The Machine,” tells her the Samaritan operative Martine’s directly below her, so Root grabs two pistols and starts shooting through the floor. The operative gets out of the line of fire and an associate restores all the video feeds in the hotel, so now Samaritan can locate both Lee and the person shooting at Martine. Shaw arrives at the hotel and calls Reese, telling him that she needs him at the hotel immediately, she then shots a Samaritan operative, but turns around to see another with his pistol pointed at her head. Reese shows up just in time shooting the other operative.

Martine and Root continue their gun-battle when Finch contacts her calling her Root for the first time, instead of addressing her by her legal surname, Miss Groves (which seemingly increases the odds she’ll get killed in this battle.) She tells Harold she’s fine, Lee’s gotten rescued by Reese and Shaw, who knock him out and leave him in the dumpster behind Simon’s office. We watch another exchange of gunfire and can see that Root’s taken at least one hit, as Martine runs out of the building.

The next morning Detective John Reilly meets Dr. Iris Campbell for another therapy session and she tells him he’s either got a death wish or a hero-complex and tells Reilly he can’t save everybody, but he tells her he has to. He tells the doctor about all the evil in the world and the lack of good guys to combat it, so he has to protect and defend the innocent. He then tells Campbell he knew a detective who was the finest cop he ever met, whose only concern was protecting others and he couldn’t save her, so he ties easing his conscience by saving as many people as he can. The doctor tells Reese they’re making progress.

Back at the team’s headquarters, Reese receives a happy surprise when Root comes in with her arm in a sling, the only injury she suffered in the battle. She then tells Harold that he needs to reconnect with  “The Machine,” but he tells her, that her interaction with it has changed it, it now has a voice thanks to Root and he’s intimidated by his creation, he then tells her he went through dozens of prototypes, before he finally realized the only way “The Machine,” would serve the purposes that Nathan and he desired, he had to cripple his creation. Root replies that “The Machine’s,” aware of that and still wants to interact with her creator.

The final scene has Harold walking on the street, stopping when he reaches a security camera. He looks into the lens and says it’s about time the two of them talk.

The Story Continues Next Tuesday at 10:00 pm on CBS.