Lance Henriksen

All posts tagged Lance Henriksen

Photo Courtesy Of Will Hart/NBC

WARNING SPOILER ALERT

Long-time fans of the NBC series “The Blacklist,” realize that the show-runners are never afraid of “shaking the snow-globe,” to entertain the viewers. As expected, the show enters it’s Winter hiatus, with a radically altered dynamic, which is nothing new for long-time fans. We’ve witnessed an FBI profiler named Elizabeth Keen, discover her entire life was based on lies in the show’s first season. We then watched her on the lam, after killing the United States Attorney Tom Connelly, after he threatened her and her friends, during season three. Last year we witnessed a feud to the death between Raymond Reddington, and the woman he once called his better-half, Kate Kaplan.

Although season five started off on a lighter note, with Raymond reduced to living in a motor court and wearing borrowed clothes, we felt a sense of trepidation from the closing moments of the season premiere. The image that left fans of the show unsettled, revolved around Tom Keen lying on a floor bloodied, as Raymond and Dembe burst through a door with guns drawn. Unsure if the scene was a premonition, or a flash-forward, provided plenty of fodder for speculation and conversation.

The lighthearted feeling of the season’s first few episodes, dissipated a while back. Raymond’s fortunes have drastically improved from when he need Elizabeth to provide a ride for him to track down a guy wanted by a bounty hunter. His new ventures have replenished his coffers, and he’s back to wearing designer suits, flying on his private jet, and living once again in luxury.

However he’s been on a mission all year to recover a valise that’s vitally important to him. The suitcase contains a skeleton, a gift from beyond the grave courtesy of Mr. Kaplan, to further complicate his life. She left it in the care of Tom Keen, with instruction for him to reveal the contents to Elizabeth. That skeleton ended up massively complicating Tom’s life, costing him the life of Tom and Lizzie’s friend Nik Korpal, and two other people he got involved in trying to identify the bones. We left Tom last week with his life endangered, captured by the sinister Ian Garvey, who also possess the valise, and vowed to stop at nothing to contact Raymond.

Series creator Jon Bokenkamp, promised viewers an emotional episode as the show goes into its hiatus, and this hour lived up to that promise. It took fans into the final scene unsure of what they just witnessed, and then hit us collectively in the gut with a powerful one-two punch, that left this viewer reeling. If you’ve yet to watch the episode, this is your final warning to watch the episode before reading further.

I’ve watched every episode of “The Blacklist,” and recapped every episode since the start of season two, but I don’t remember any episode that contained a warning upfront cautioning viewer discretion. Perhaps because of the violence contained in this hour or because it aired in the 8:00 pm hour in the East, as this was one of the most violent chapters of the series.. It also featured lots of disturbing images throughout the hour.

Historically, the cold opens that kick off the episode feature ancillary characters, some of whom are never seen for the remainder of the episode. The episode entitled “Ian Garvey (No. 13)” broke from that formula, as we see Lizzie on her phone attempting to reach Tom. Although she’s attempting to keep things light, she’s clearly worried about his safety. Harold asks her what’s wrong and she tells him Tom’s missing.

The scene shifts to the place that Ian Garvey’s imprisoned Tom, we see the corpses of Pete McGee, and Lena Mercer. Keen crawls over to Mercer, whispers he’s sorry and closes her eyelids, as he fingers the dog-tags around her neck. Garvey enters the building and Tom says that she didn’t know anything, and either did McGee. Garvey responds that Pete had the bones and Lena was looking for him so they knew too much.

He then tells Tom that what ever he thinks are inside the valise, it’s better. He then bemoans the fact that McGee had accessed CODIS, and says that curiosity killed those two cats, but they provided him with a gift that keeps on giving. He says that Raymond’s power’s legendary, and with the valise he now controls that power.

He tells Tom that he’s going to arrange a meeting with Reddington, and in case he’s changed his mind he’s going to show what Keen’s in store for. He then has two of his goons put Lena’s body into a wood-chipper, her blood and guts spurt all over Tom’s face.

We return from the credits to see Crespin in the woods looking through binoculars. He’s on the phone with Raymond, as Reddington and Dembe head to his location in their car. He says that he sees five hostiles possibly more, and has yet to see Tom, but he says things don’t look good. Red says they’re 20 minutes out and will call for an update in ten minutes.

Seconds later Raymond’s phone rings again, and Tom’s on the other end. He says that he’s got the package and he’s fine, he givers Raymond an address of a motel and a room number. Raymond responds that he’s a half hour away. Garvey takes three of his goons with him to drive to the hotel, and tells the rest of them to keep an eye on Tom and the valise. He tells them if Keen gives them any trouble, to take him out. Tom says he held up his end of the bargain, now he should get set free. Garvey responds with a blow to Keen’s jaw, knocking he and the chair he’s tied to, to the floor. As Tom falls he sees the remains of Lena’s dog-tags and starts using it to cut his binds.

Samar informs Lizzie that she’s issued a BOLO alert (Be On The Look Out for.) She then asks Liz if Tom might be involved in something Lizzie’s unaware of? Keen responds that just might be the case, and she calls Raymond. Reddington says he just spoke with her twenty minutes before, and he’s checking on a lead about Nik’s death. She asks if Tom’s involved and he responds he’s not certain, but will call her back when he gets more information.

Tom asks his captors if he could sit-up, and one of the guys responds knock yourself out. Keen says he needs a hand as he’s tied to a chair. The guy helps get Tom and the chair upright, then sarcastically asks if he can do anything else? Tom says he could give Keen his gun, and the guy laughs and says that’s never going to happen. Tom then stands up and cracks the guy over the head with his chair and grabs his gun. Keen overcomes all his captors and grabs the valise and hightails it into the woods.

With Garvey’s men on his tail, it appears he’ll soon be captured once again, but suddenly Raymond’s car pulls up and Reddington opens the back door and shouts for Keen to get in, Tom hesitates for a bit, and he gets shot in the back, but it’s just a flesh wound. He gets into the car and Raymond says I told you to stay away from that damn suitcase.

Aram finds out that Tom’s car got towed from the parking lot of Pete’s motel. Lizzie and Donald head down to the place, and when the manager fails to cooperate they break down the door. They see the room’s trashed, and Lizzie’s certain that Tom’s hurt. She tries to call his cellphone from the room, and they hear it ring, she finds it under some debris in the room.

Dembe drives the car as far as it will take them, but it suffered major damage from the gunfire, and breaks down yards away from a farm-house. Dembe tells Raymond and Tom to sit tight as he’ll explore the house. While Zuma checks out the property, we see a flashback in black and white, as Keen’s former boss the Major gives him a new assignment.

The Major tells Tom that a very wealthy client wants to hire Tom for an open-ended project, keeping an eye on a young woman named Elizabeth Milhoan. Tom sees her dossier and says she’s cute, the Major tells her the client’s stressed that Tom not get romantically involved with her. He says that Tom’s role’s to be a friend of a friend, and nothing more.

Dembe returns to the car and informs the house is empty, Raymond says they’ll use it to clean up and to get first aid, and then they’ll leave. While Raymond stitches Tom up in the kitchen, Dembe heads into the garage and finds a car under a tarp. He tries starting the car but the engine fails to turn over, so he lifts the hood and starts tinkering.

Aram discovers the report on the incident caused by Lena and Tom at the convenience store, as it matches the area and the timeline of Tom’s disappearance. Ressler and Keen head to the store and speak with a State Trooper, who says they identified the woman as Lena Mercer, but don’t have an identity for her male companion. Told that the man had been in the back room checking out surveillance footage, they head back to view the footage. They somehow realize that Tom checked out the footage on McGee, and they realize they’re likely right as they see the key from Pete’s motel.

We view another of Tom’s flashback’s, this time a few months after the previous memory. The Major says that the client’s incensed that Keen’s gotten involved with the mark. Tom spits back at him that her name’s Elizabeth. The Major responds “I don’t care if she’s Queen Elizabeth and screwing her makes you King. You’ve got to break this off, or you’ll get killed.”

Aram gets a report about the crime scene containing the corpse of Pete McGee, who they’ve identified as the owner of the car at the convenience store. Liz and Donald head to the scene, but there’s no sign of Tom at the crime scene. Aram tells Liz that McGee was a suspect in the murder of Nik Kroll, as he called him two hours before Nik got murdered, and he’d been MIA ever since. Liz theorizes that Tom got involved to find Nik’s murderer.

While Raymond’s stitching up Tom, he says to Keen that Tom’s always perceived Red’s relationship with Elizabeth as a zero sum game. If something’s good for Raymond’s it’s automatically bad for Lizzie, and he believes the opposite as well. He asks Tom what if finding out the identity of the skeleton, won’t provide Lizzie with happiness and closure, but just the opposite. Tom responds it won’t because Raymond’s trying to keep Lizzie in the dark.

Garvey and his men find the farmhouse, Raymond tells Tom they stayed too long. The men enter the house and search the premises, but find nothing. Garvey tells them to search the property. Raymond and Tom are hiding above the ceiling in the kitchen, while Dembe’s hidden on the floorboards of the car. They might have gone undetected, but Tom’s blood drips through the ceiling’s air vent and hits one of the thugs in the face. He shoots up into the ceiling, but Reddington takes him out with a shotgun blast.

Hearing the gunfire, Dembe starts up the car and runs over the guy inspecting the garage. Raymond get hit in the forehead with the butt of a rifle, but he takes the man out with a shotgun blast. Injured, he drops the shotgun and pulls out his pistol, and he takes out another guy before running out of the house. Tom stays behind to make two improvised Molotov Cocktails, from some large bottles of whiskey and some cloth. He guns down another of Garvey’s men before he leaves the house.

The guy Zuma ran over grabs his shotgun and blows out the car’s back window. Zuma slams the vehicle into reverse and backs over the man, taking him out. Dembe and Reddington takeout another couple of men outside the house. Garvey’s gang’s now down to just Garvey and his red-bearded henchman. Tom lights the cloth on fire, and puts one in each of their two vehicles which soon start blazing. They drive off with Raymond in pain, and Tom grinning like a six year-old.

We rejoin the trio at a gas station. While Dembe fills the tank, Tom says that Raymond’s got to trust him by now. He says that the father-in-law hating the son-in-law’s a tired cliché and it’s time they put a stake in it. He .then says to Raymond, you go first, who do the bones belong to, and flashes a smile

Raymond sits silently for a moment, then he tells Keen that he was in the Andes mountains, when he heard that Tom and Lizzie were engaged. Raymond was acting as a negotiator between the Colombian government, and the FARC rebels. whom he’d previously done business with. When he resolved the situation peacefully, he headed back on his 2,300 mile trek to the States, intent on killing Tom.

He arrived on their wedding day and attended the service. He said once he saw the incandescent glow on Elizabeth’s face, he realized he couldn’t kill Tom. We see a flashback of their wedding day, once again in black and white. He said he’s a violent man, a terrible, violent man. However the way Elizabeth looked at Tom, the way she loves Tom, he’s powerless against that.

Tom smiles and says Raymond’s not going to reveal the identity of the bones, and then asks or are you. Raymond looks at Tom and says he’ll say this for him, he’s always had Elizabeth’s best interests at heart. When Tom betrayed him and joined forces with Berlin, and when he helped fake Lizzie’s death he’d been trying to keep Liz safe. Tom says he appreciates Red telling him that and then grabs his knapsack and says he’d better change.

While Tom heads to the station’s restroom to change, Raymond realizes Dembe’s unhappy with him. Raymond smiles and says what, I’m making peace, you always want me to make peace. Dembe looks at him disapprovingly, and says that Raymond’s lying to Tom and Elizabeth, and as long as he lies, there can’t be peace. For some reason Dembe’s words make Reddington check the suitcase, and they find it’s filled with guns. They check inside the station’s office and realize he took off.

Tom heads to Penn Station and he’s about to take train to Baltimore, when he opens up the envelope marked DNA results. He looks at it and does a double-take, then his face becomes ashen and grim. He walks over to a bank of payphones and calls Lizzie. He tells her he’s fine but he needs to talk to her alone., He tells her to head home and not tell anybody what she’s doing. Liz tells Tom he’s scaring her, he just repeats meet him at home and hangs up.

Unable to contact Lizzie, Raymond calls Aram to find out her location. Aram responds that he’s searching for her as well. She left Ressler at the crime scene without saying anything and she’s turned off her cellphone and her GPS. He says that he was able to track the last call she received, it came from a payphone at Penn Station.

Tom’s lifted another passenger’s suitcase and he dresses in the owner’s clothes. He finds a pair of glasses that look like the pair he wore in season one, but leaves them on the bathroom floor. As he walks out he hears he’s being paged to pick up a red courtesy phone. He picks up the phone to hear Raymond telling him he’s making a terrible mistake. Tom responds that he’s not backing down, that he now knows the truth and slams down the phone. This time Reddington’s face looks grim and ashen.

Lizzie arrives at their apartment and sees Tom sitting in a chair and she starts babbling about how worried she’s been. She comes around to his front, and sees he’s bleeding and knocked out. She pulls her weapon, but Garvey’s men overtake her from behind. Garvey smiles at her and says you must be the wife, what’s your name darling? She responds with a right to Garvey’s jaw, knocking him to the floor.

He orders his thugs to put her in a chair and calls her a spitfire. One of the goons emerges from Agnes’ room with the knapsack. Garvey then says to Tom, that he like to think he’s the kind of guy that could just tell Tom to walk away and Tom would adhere to his wishes. However he says that he know Tom’s never will stop so he’s got to stop him, he then tells Liz he’s sorry and stab’s Keen twice in the abdomen. Liz screams and somebody knocks her in the back of her head, opening a deep gash. She falls to the floor and tries to stay alert.

Garvey then attempts to revive Tom, and tells him he needs him to contact Reddington again. Tom says he won’t and Garvey says then how about another session with the blade and stabs him again, then he sticks the blade into a piece of their furniture. He says they got what they came for, and grabs the knapsack. He tells his goons to finish them off and clean up the bodies.

Speaking of clichés, the goons break the rule of Criminology 101, taking out their victims as quickly as possible. Instead one of the thugs says let’s have some fun, and they put one of Tom and Lizzie’s records on the turntable, Southern Cross from CSN. As the song plays the goon who put the record on starts dancing and decides to suffocate Lizzie with some plastic wrap. Tom comes to and grabs the knife and starts to valiantly fight off the thugs.

He buys them enough time for Dembe ands Raymond to make it to the apartment, they force open the door wielding their guns. They quickly take out the thugs, and then check on Tom and Lizzie. Dembe says Tom’s lost an awful lot of blood. Raymond tells Dembe to call Cooper and tell them they’re heading to the hospital. Zuma says they’ll never make it in time, Raymond says to make the call.

Samar gets on the radio and asks for policemen to close off all roads between the apartment and the hospital, as they’ve got an agent down and it’s a life or death situation. Dembe carries Tom to the car while Raymond assists Lizzie to the vehicle. Tom looks at Liz and tells her she’s beautiful. She’s floating in and out of consciousness and she asks Tom to promise he’ll tell Agnes all about her.

Tom replies he won’t have to and then begs Lizzie to stay with him. He says he’d die without her. Raymond asks Dembe how long until they reach the hospital and Dembe responds in less than two minutes. Tom hears that and says we’re almost there, please hang on. The two are rushed into the hospital but Raymond and Dembe stay in the car. Harold sees Raymond in the car when he enters the hospital.

Both are in critical condition, they insert a breathing tube down Lizzie’s throat, and prepare to drill into her skull. Tom flat-lines on the table, and the doctors attempt to bring him back with the paddles. The camera pans over to the members of the Task-Force, and we see the concern on their faces as the scene fades to black.

The next image we see, is Raymond sitting next to a comatose Lizzie, who still has the breathing tube down her throat. Raymond’s reading her some poetry, he reads aloud Invictus, composed by William Ernest Hensley.

Invictus,  William Ernest Hensley

Out of the night that covers me,
      Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
      For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
      I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
      My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
      Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
      Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
      How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
      I am the captain of my soul.”

When Raymond finishes the poem, we hear a beep from Elizabeth’s life support system and she opens her eyes, and taps Reddington on his head. His eyes become big as pancakes and he grabs her hand and kisses it, saying that Agnes will be so excited. Elizabeth motions for a pen and paper and she writes out her first question how long?

Raymond tells her she’s been unconscious for almost a year, actually ten months. She then writes out Tom? We see Harold looking at Tom’s corpse at the mortuary. Raymond says to her that Tom’s dead, and Lizzie starts sobbing uncontrollably.

The Series Returns from Winter Hiatus, on January 3, 2018, on NBC.

Photo Courtesy Of NBC

Photo Courtesy Of NBC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

A TV show such as the NBC series “The Blacklist,” likely wouldn’t have aired 20-years-ago, as the show revels in displaying corruption in the United States Government. The series has shown it’s viewers time and again, that there are villains and monsters within the Government, who are just as evil and deadly as the people on the Blacklist. We know that Alan Fitch, the former Assistant National Security Director was deeply involved in an international cartel, that if discovered, would see its members behind bars, or in the ground. The brief dealings we’ve had with Fitch’s boss the National Security Director, have made us wary of the character as well.

During the last few months, we’ve met a new Government official, whose flat-out told us he has no principles, which is how he attained his power. His name’s Tom Connolly, who at least in his own mind will become the next United States Attorney General and an old friend of Assistant FBI Director and Task Force Director Harold Cooper. Connolly’s proved he’s a dangerous man to cross, as Cooper found out first-hand in the series latest episode “The Longevity Initiative.” However, we’ll get back to Connolly a bit later.

Our opening graphic tells us we’re starting out in New York City, as we go into a laboratory and listen to a conversation between two men in their mid-thirties, in front of a wall-to-ceiling aquarium, filled with jellyfish.  One of them looks like a scientist, well-trimmed beard, glasses, wearing a tweed-jacket, the other sporting a sweater. The man in the sweater says to his colleague that this is the third one this month and the other man tells him he’s aware of that. The guy in the sweater says this isn’t what he was brought in for, he says I thought we were only supposed to find them.

The man in the sweater said he needs his colleague to be more careful, and the man in the jacket asks him if he’s now telling him how to do his job? The man in the sweater says someone’s going to get wind of this and we’ll end up in prison. His colleague says the man’s getting very well compensated for his risks and asks if he wants him to find a replacement and the man in the sweater says no.

A while later the man’s driving a delivery truck when a cop pulls him over and asks for license and registration, then asks to look in the back of the truck where he discovers three mutilated dead bodies. The driver shoots the cop, then steals the cruiser, leaving the truck and his victims behind as another cruiser arrives on the scene.

Charlene Cooper’s waking up the next morning, sees her husband Harold’s out of bed and his cane’s resting against his nightstand. She worriedly rushes to the living-room and Harold says for the first time in months he doesn’t need the cane. The trial project he’s on, has shrunk the tumor in his brain and he’s starting to feel like himself again.

Liz Keen’s still in her motel room, when her cellphone rings and it’s Tom saying he’s in trouble, Liz said the judge dismissed all charges and he says it’s not that. Red blew his cover in Dresden and now some dangerous people are looking for him and he can’t contact his handler. As soon as the words leave his mouth, the Major pulls up and tells him to get in, Tom tells Liz to have a good night, that evening and she hangs up.

After she’s arrived at the Task Force headquarters, Red and Dembe enter her office, Red clutching a gift bag. He pulls a bottle of wine out of the bag and gives it to her and she asks what’s this? Raymond says you don’t remember the vines, do you, the ones you and Sam used to pick grapes from? She smiles and says of course she does, they grew along the gate. Red tells her the bottle she’s holding, contains wine that she and Sam (her stepfather) made when she was a child, then wishes her a happy birthday. He says to share it with someone special, however the wine’s likely undrinkable at this point so he bought her another bottle of wine from 1981.

Reddington then gets down to business and asks Keen what she knows of the Longevity Initiative, and she replies she never heard of it. He tells her it’s a foundation run and started by Tech Billionaire Roger Hobbs, they’re trying to stop the aging process and allow humans to live forever in great shape. He then asks her if she heard of the shooting of the New York State policeman and she says there were three mutilated bodies found, but the suspect escaped. Red says they weren’t mutilated, they got experimented on, he believes that Hobbs’ started clinical trials and they were some of the patients. He then suggests she talks to Hobbs.

The foundation lacks a formal center so Hobbs meets Keen and Ressler at his house. Dressed casually and projecting self-confidence, he explains to the two agents that they’re attempting to solve the puzzle of death, they back projects that conventional investors won’t touch and the project means the world to him. Liz says that information’s come forth saying researchers linked to his project have begun clinical treatments on patients and he denies any involvement. He says he’s got a stadium full of attorneys, but he’s talking with them, because the project’s so important to him. Keen asks for a list of all his employees and he agrees to cooperate fully, but his facial expression shows some anguish as they leave.

Donald and Liz go to meet the Medical Examiner Dr. Jeffrey Maynard next and he tells them that all three victims had frontal lobe damage before they got abducted and experimented on. He realized it when he got the identity of the man on his table, William Eckoff who disappeared from a care facility three days earlier. Maynard says that cells were put into their brain, some human stem-cells, but other cells that weren’t human.

The scientist gets a call from the driver, who tells him he killed a cop and he’s fleeing the country and he suggests the other guy follows his lead. The scientist says he can’t do that then hangs up the phone, realizing his world’s falling down around him.

Harold gets a visit from his old pal the snake in the grass, Tom Connolly, who asks Cooper how he’s feeling. Harold responds partially thanks to him, he’s doing great, hasn’t felt this good since before he got attacked last year. Tom then reminds Cooper why you don’t let snakes grant you favors as the payback’s a bear, he brings up Roger Hobbs and says he hears Harold’s Task-Force’s investigating him. Cooper’s savvy enough to realize Connolly’s trying to get Harold to drop the investigation, but he denies that was his intention. He then tells Cooper to do what ever he believes is right, but we know he’s going to pull something.

Keen and Ressler visit the care facility that Eckoff got abducted from and find out from one of the patients, Eckoff was taken by a rep from Gold Crown Pharmaceuticals, named Lloyd Monroe. When they return to the Task-Force headquarters, Aram informs them that he’s bought a bus ticket in Buffalo to Canada and Keen tells him to get local police to stop the bust and arrest Monroe.

The Major tells Tom that he taking him to Hilltop Lanes, he’s to go to locker number B-15 and there are plane tickets waiting in there for him, he’s to take the first flight to London and meet a man named Mr. Pitts. Keen reaches into his bag and realizes his gun’s missing, he soon realizes Bill took it and he’s now about to kill him with it. He says to Tom the girl cost you your life, when they’re T-Boned by another car. Some men come out f the other vehicle and shoot out the Major’s car’s windows, then the old German man from Dresden grabs Keen and says Christoff old pal, we’ve been looking for you.

Monroe gives up his colleague almost as soon as he meets with Liz and Donald, the scientist’s Dr. Julian Powell, who used to work for one of Hobbs’ corporations, Sadobo Solutions. They raid his lab and find more victims and Dr. Maynard’s amazed at Powell’s work, as he’s tried to replicate the Immortal Jellyfish’s ability to regenerate when they get old or suffer mortal danger. That’s the cells he put into his victims brains.

Powell calls Hobbs, who tells him he’s discredited the Longevity Initiative and Hobbs with his experiments, but Hobbs will protect him if he gets to Hobbs’ home. Powell says this is bigger than you, bigger than all of us and hangs up.

The old German’s boss Elias, also survived the bullet barrage of Reddington, Ressler and Dembe in Dresden and they’ve got the Major and Keen bound on a couch. Elias slits the inner seam of Tom’s thigh with his knife but Keen says he won’t talk. Then one of the men bring Elias Tom’s wallet and there’s a picture of the ultra-sound of the baby he and Lizzie planned to adopt, with Lizzie’s name on it. Keen says he’ll talk if they promise not to touch Liz, then says she’s FBI. The old man tells Elias they don’t want trouble from the Bureau, so they agree to Keen’s terms, he tells them a client paid him to find out who in “The Disenfranchised,” murdered a woman named Sarah Hastings. Bill goes ballistic when Keen talks and vows to get even.

Hobbs calls on Red to eliminate Powell, but Reddington actually has other ideas. He wants to use Powell’s knowledge to try to recover a stolen memory of a young woman he cares about. The memory got literally erased from her mind as a child. Powell says in theory he could, but there’s a fundamental flaw in his work and tells Raymond he’ll show him.

Cooper gets a call from the doctor conducting the trial-program, Dr. Levin and Cooper says he’s feeling fantastic, Levin says that statement’s going to make his news even harder to share with Harold. They just finished a cost-evaluation meeting and it’s possible Harold could be pushed out of the program. Levin says he’ll do his best for Cooper as he cares deeply for he and Charlene. Harold hangs up the phone, realizing that Connolly’s applying pressure tactics to keep Hobbs out of trouble.

Powell takes Reddington to his fiancée’s home, she also suffers from a frontal lobe injury as he crashed a car after falling asleep at the wheel, six weeks after they got engaged. The house is exactly as it was when his fiancée suffered her injury, with the calendar reading April, 2005. He tells Red that he faked all his results so Hobbs kept bankrolling him, but he’s a failure. He takes a revolver out of a desk drawer and shoots himself in the chin.

Hobbs and Reddington are at Hobbs’ home listening to a news report on Powell’s death and Hobbs congratulates Red on doing a good job. Raymond replies it’s done nothing can come back to you, Hobbs’ thanks him for sparing him the rest of his days in a Federal Penitentiary.

Lizzie’s furious at Red for she assumes killing Powell, but Raymond tells her he killed himself. He then tells Keen not to rush to make Roger Hobbs an enemy. He says to Liz that a dark cloud’s approaching she’s not aware of and when it arrives, he’ll be a really good friend, exactly at the moment he needs to be.

Harold goes to see Connolly and Tom’s in a tux, getting ready to attend a fundraiser, he remarks that Hobbs came out fine. Cooper asks if Tom’s aware of the phone call he received saying he might get bounced from the medical trial and Connolly plays dumb, then says he won’t get kicked out, as Tom will make a call. Then he says that’s what friends do for friends.

Liz sits in her office alone the night of her birthday, when Ressler walks in with a box of takeout food from her favorite restaurant, she breaks out the wine she and Sam made and the pair are soon sloshed and very content. Raymond sits in the back of his car, looking at photographs of a young girl growing up, that resemble Liz strongly.

The Major’s outside, with his back against a chain-link fence, talking on his phone, he tells the party on the other end he doesn’t care about time or money, he wants Jacob Phelps, (Tom’s real name) found. Tom’s standing in front of a fire destroying all the phony passports and documents Bill gave him over the years. Liz then enters her motel room still tipsy, when Tom shuts the door and pins her against the wall. She asks what he’s doing and he says he didn’t know where else to go.

The Story Continues Next Thursday Night at 9:00 pm on NBC.

Photo Courtesy Of NBC

Photo Courtesy Of NBC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

The latest episode of the NBC series “The Blacklist,” turned into an intriguing combination, of recounting the story from the first episode of the series, along with some reveals that should make the next few weeks interesting, at the very least. We also found out two pieces of information, one of which will help viewers gain insight, the other an unexpected twist, involving the number four man on the FBI’s Most Wanted List, Raymond “Red” Reddington, causing viewers to once again question what Red’s true agenda is.

Although the episode was chock-full of scenes from previous episodes, the action starts with a flashback to long before the story started, as the graphic tells us we’re in 1994. We watch a young teenage boy who looks about fourteen, running out of a hotel after snatching a purse, a waiter in close pursuit. Suddenly, a limousine pulls up beside the teen and the door opens, the kid hears a man yell come on in, which he quickly does, leaving the waiter in the dust.

The teen, still breathing heavily, thanks his benefactor sitting in the seat beside him, he then says that the other guy stole his sister’s purse. The man responds, you stole the purse Jacob, just as you stole the credit cards and the Pontiac. We see the man’s got a dossier on the teen, whose name’s Jacob Faust and a product of the foster-care system. The man tells him he’s been watching him for a while and he’s ready to offer the teen a situation, then tells him the reason he doesn’t get along with others is because he’s special.

The teen laughs at that, saying Social Services, tell a different story and the man berates the institution. He then says he’s offering him a chance to escape the life he’s known, he can take a ride with the man and the man can help him become anything he wants to be. This is the first meeting between Bill McCready, also known as the Major and his latest protégée, Jacob Faust’s now become the man we know as Tom Keen. McCready’s, like the Henry Higgins of sociopathic criminals, he targets very intelligent delinquent teens and molds them into the perfect asset for any criminal organization.

Back in the present, Task Force and Deputy Director of the FBI Harold Cooper, summons FBI Agent Liz Keen into his office, she joins the Deputy Attorney General, already seated. Cooper tells her a Grand Jury’s investigating the murder of the Harbor Master and they’ve subpoenaed Cooper to testify, he asks his agent what she was doing on the docks when the Harbor Master confronted her? She says Meera was dead, you were in the hospital and I did what ever I could to stop Berlin, that’s all I’m saying.

The Deputy Attorney General says as far as she’s concerned, she doesn’t want Liz to say that much, she filed a motion to quash the subpoena. A very select few know about the Task Force and she wants it to remain that way, and she won’t allow it to come out in this trial. Cooper says Keen best hope the motion works, as he won’t perjure himself for her, Liz looks shocked but nods her head.

Metro Detective Martin Wilcox shows up to Superior Court, looking disheveled and unorganized, his boss meets him there and chastises him for being tardy. He then tells Wilcox that the case got moved to another courtroom. As they approach the courtroom, they realize something’s strange as the Court officers make them surrender any electronic devices and even pens and pencils.

We go into the courtroom of Judge Renner, who states this is the first time his courtroom ever got changed, or closed to the public and asks the Deputy Attorney General what’s up with all the cloak and dagger stuff. She replies that any testimony by Harold Cooper, could endanger National Security, as Cooper and Keen are both part of a secret Task Force. She says it’s the Government’s right to determine what is and what isn’t vital to the nation’s interest and Wilcox blurts out she’s attempting a cover-up.

The Judge agrees that the public or Wilcox shouldn’t have the power to decide what should get revealed, but in his courtroom, he’s got that power. He says he can hold the Deputy Attorney General and the two agents in contempt and incarcerate them, or Agent Keen can be in his chambers in five minutes.

Harold heads back to the Task Force headquarters and soon he and Donald Ressler are greeted by Reddington and Dembe. Cooper tells him what’s going on and Red says in order to save Keen he needs to locate the Major, but they’ve had a falling out. So he needs the FBI to kidnap Malaysian Deputy Minister Mahmoud, as Raymond has information on the man to force him to reveal the Major’s location. Mahmoud’s out doing his daily run, when Samara Navabi distracts him, then Ressler and some other agents, overcome the Deputy Minister and get him in a van.

Renner tells Keen, she has the right to counsel, however if she requests it or refuses to answer his question, the discussion ends and he’ll see her in court. She’s then sworn in and slowly at first, then in a deluge reveals to the Judge, exactly what’s gone on in her life. How she went from having a seemingly ideal life, to realizing the whole thing didn’t really exist. How she went from her first day on the Bureau, from a rookie analyst, to the catalyst in a Task Force, centered around Raymond Reddington, a man she thought she had no connection with. She then tells him her husband was in reality a spy, only with her due to her unknown connection to Reddington and she killed him over four months before the Harbor Master got killed.

We head to Dresden, Germany where Tom’s on his new assignment for the Major, trying to infiltrate a German criminal’s gang. So far we’ve got very little info on the man running this organization, other than he’s in his mid-sixties and bought Tom a beer in the previous episode. He’s talking with an associate, about acquiring guns, when Tom interjects he knows someone in Salzburg. The older man says until they know him better, Tom may want to mind his own business, Tom says suit yourself and walks out of the pub.

Wilcox goes to visit Samuel Aleko, in prison and the Samoan says he’s got nothing to say to the detective. Wilcox says Liz’s testifying that Samuel killed the Harbor Master and Aleko calls him a liar. The detective says Wilcox could get the death penalty and Samuel laughs, saying he’s already taken a bullet in this situation. Wilcox realizes that Liz shot Aleko, at some time on the boat and sends forensics to investigate.

Red meets with Deputy Minister Mahmoud and tells him he’s aware that he also got created by Bill McCready and got put into power by a cartel, looking to exert influence in Asia. He says he doesn’t want to hurt Mahmoud, or reveal his secrets, but he will unless he gives him the Major’s location.

Renner becomes more and more incredulous with each statement Liz makes as we watch a greatest hits compilation of the Blacklist members they’ve taken down through the Task Force. Keen could extract herself at any time by admitting that Tom killed the Harbor Master, but she refuses to, because despite every rational molecule in her body, she’s still in love with him.

Meanwhile Tom’s tracked down the arms-dealer that the old man chose to supply him with guns. The man’s driving in his car with Dancing In The Moonlight blasting, when a motorcycle pulls up next to him at a stop light and knocks on the driver’s window. It’s Keen and he shoots the man through the forehead killing him instantly.

Mahmoud summons the Major to a closed restaurant to meet him, saying it’s urgent, McCready arrives with a bodyguard and berates Mahmoud for contacting him while on assignment, saying he knows the rules. Dembe walks out with gun drawn and the Major’s bodyguard aims back at him, but puts his gun down seconds later when Red walks in, also brandishing a weapon. McCready asks what he wants and Raymond responds Tom Keen.

Judge Renner falls just short of calling Liz a liar, then tells her he’s going to question her boss, so if she wants to save herself, this is her last chance. We can see Liz’s shaken by the statement, but she says she’s got nothing to say and he dismisses her. Cooper comes in and Renner asks if Liz was at the dock on official business and Harold perjures himself, saying she was. Another selfless act from a man who believes he’s got weeks to live, Renner says he expects they’ll talk soon.

Tom’s talking to some guy at the pub, when the old man comes over and the other guy makes himself scarce. He asks Tom if his guy’s reliable and Keen responds, he thought the man had somebody? The gang leader says they did but now they don’t and Tom laughs and says then we’re friends now. The man ignores the remark and again asks if the guy from Salzburg’s reliable.

McCready tells Red he can’t give Keen up as he’d betray a client by doing that. Raymond tells him he did that to him, we find out that Keen was hired by Red to connect with Liz, but Berlin offered him twice as much and he switched allegiances. He tells the Major he owes him and if he doesn’t get the info he wants Bill dies.

Red’s much happier in the next scene, gaining an ally in Mahmoud and getting the info on Tom from McCready. Dembe’s perhaps the most loyal human being on the face of the earth and he never questions anything Reddington asks or tells him to do. However he says you have to tell her Raymond and Red asks tell her what? Dembe says you have to tell her about Tom, Raymond and you have to tell her the truth about everything. Red says he doesn’t think he could do that. Dembe responds maybe it’s time he stopped thinking about it and just did it. An incredibly powerful scene, Dembe’s a man of few words, but the ones he uses, he makes count.

Renner’s visited by Wilcox and his boss and the detective tells him that forensics just found this shell casing on the boat, it’s from Keen’s service revolver and it’s got Samuel’s DNA on it. He says that’s physical evidence that Agent Elizabeth Keen, murdered the Harbor Master.

The Story Continues Next Thursday Night at 9:00 pm on NBC.

Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC

Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Quite often we see series that take off strongly out of the gate, get renewed for a second season, then veer away from the elements that made people enjoy the show. The NBC series “The Blacklist,” has felt different in tone in many episodes this season, with FBI Agent Liz Keen and FBI asset and topping the Bureau’s Most Wanted List, Raymond Reddington, have rarely been on the same page. The rapport that grew between them last season, fell apart as a series of events have muddied the waters surrounding them.

The series went back to basics in it’s most recent episode “T. Earl King VI,” resulting in one of the most entertaining episodes of the season. Add in appearances by two familiar faces and the reveal of Task Force Director Harold Cooper’s medical-condition, lead to an exciting, well-paced, episode and perhaps the beginning of healing the relationship between Liz and Red.

We’re greeted with a graphic reading Two Years Ago, Somewhere On Jekyll Island. We see an elderly man in a tuxedo, in an electric wheel chair, an IV bag attached to his arm. We then realize there are three younger men in the room, all wearing formal evening-wear, one of them smiles and says good evening father, you’re looking sharp. The old man ignores him, then touches his throat activating an electronic voice box, he then says Mr. Valmont the tallies

The elderly man’s named Earl King, patriarch of one of the wealthiest families on the planet for generations, with him his two sons, Francis the oldest and his brother Tyler. Valmont’s apparently some sort of family accountant and reads the assets of both sons as the clock’s about to strike midnight. Tyler ends up with the larger ledger sheet, subjecting Francis to a game of Russian Roulette, he draws an empty chamber, then looks at his brother and sneers next time.

Back in New York City in 2015, we find ourselves in the company of the man we love to hate, Tom Keen as he meets with his handler Bill McCready. Keen tells the older man he wants to go back under and McCready says he doesn’t have a job that’s worthy of Tom’s skillset. He tells the man who tormented Liz Keen’s life, that he’s too classy to take the nickel and dime jobs he has, then he asks if he fell for Liz. Keen remains silent, but his silence is telling, McCready says if you really want to get back in the game, I’ve got something for you, if you speak German, Keen’s fluent.

Reddington and Dembe show up at Liz’s motel room and Red tells the FBI agent that a member of the Blacklist, they encountered last season, Madeline Pratt’s missing, it seems Raymond has a little thing for Miss Pratt. He then says she got kidnapped by the King family, who augment their already family treasure-chest with proceeds from auctions they hold. These auctions deal in human trafficking, stolen masterpieces, by artists like Van Gogh and uranium.

Liz informs the task force, as Ressler grumbles their busting one Blacklist member to rescue another. Aram tracks a South American kidnapper, who likely has Pratt to a place called the Palace. Keen calls Red and tells him of the location, he and Dembe beat the two agents to the Palace. They go in with guns at the ready, find the corpse of the kidnapper, and suddenly surrounded by about half a dozen gunmen, one holding Madeline.

Red asks how much they want for her and the guy holding her says here, take her and pushes her towards Dembe, who she knocks out with a Taser. She was in cahoots with King to capture Red, who’ll be the star attraction of their upcoming auction. Francis King’s the brother who engineered this scheme and he’s quite proud of himself.

Dembe contacts Keen and she and Ressler inform the Task Force, that Red got duped and now being held by the King family in preparation to sell him at the auction. Cooper asks Aram where the Kings could hold the auction and the tech-genius replies they’ve got hundreds of properties across the globe. Keen says let’s concentrate on possible guests and where they’re heading.

Aram gets success quickly with that search, a man named Alexey Koskov’s, known to have coveted the Van Gogh for a decade, although he’s on the no fly list, his attaché Josephine Sullivan’s in town. Cooper says to bring her in for questioning.

Samar and Liz intimidate Sullivan enough to reveal all the details she knows about the auction, she’s to register at a certain hotel and request a room with a view of the capital. That alerts the hotel’s staff that she’s part of the King entourage. Due to lack of a better plan, Liz take’s Sullivan’s place going undercover at the auction.

Liz leaves the meeting with Cooper and Navabi, when her cellphone rings and it’s Tom and she’s surprisingly sociable. He tells her he’s leaving town he’s got a new gig, she asks his new name and he says it doesn’t work like that. She tells him she’s going undercover, for a few hours and he advises her if she’s stuck for an answer to sneeze, that will distract the questioner. She thanks him and then basically says I don’t know why I’m talking to you and hangs up. Of course she knows why, she’s still in love with him.

Harold gets a visit from Tom Connolly, the senior FBI official, that got Harold into the experimental medical treatment program. He tells Cooper that an old friend of his will have all his assets seized and it would be nice if he had some warning so he could put aside some cash for his kids, then tells Harold to tip him off. Cooper’s appalled, but Connolly says he takes care of his old friends, then asks how the treatment program’s going.

Donald and Samar are in the lobby when Liz registers as Josephine Sullivan, she says she’d asked for a view of the capital and the desk clerk says that can be arranged. He tells her, that she’s in 1861 and she gets on the elevator, the attendant works for King, and asks for her purse, phone and jewelry. She’s then taken to a parking garage and she walks to spot 1861, a man comes out of the car and says good evening Miss Sullivan, she enters the car. He hands her a glass and says drink, she asks what’s in the glass and he repeats his instructions. She does and soon becomes unconscious.

Red’s gotten measured by a tailor for a tuxedo, now he’s getting a barber to shave him, when Earl wheels into the room, turns out that the pair are old running buddies, involved in a deal that turned bad in South America. Although Red took off and advised King to follow suit, Earl stayed and the beating he ended up getting from the local police put him in the wheel chair. King tells Reddington, this is strictly business and he believes the great Raymond Reddington will command a mighty price tag.

Liz wakes up in one of the mansion’s bedroom’s as Earl and a woman attendant enter the room, she’s holding a platter of jewelry and he tells “Miss Sullivan,” to pick anything she likes, to accentuate her beauty. He then kisses her hand and presses it to his face as he closes his eyes, creeping Liz out.

Tom starts getting ready for his new identity, he shave his head to a buzz-cut, then gets tattoos applied, including a quote in German at the base of his neck. He sees that the man he’s supposed to get close to is an elderly man with a thick head of white hair, he’s bristling with anticipation.

Cooper gets off the phone with Connolly’s friend, saying you didn’t hear this from me as he hangs up the phone. Aram walks in and says they’ve gotten the identity who greeted Keen at the car and got her to drink the liquid. Harold tells him to have Ressler and Navabi question him.

The auction’s about to get underway, people are milling around having cocktails, Keen spots a boy about 12-years-old as one of the auctioning lots. She goes over and says hello, when Francis intercepts her, the boy’s named Vincent Peretti, his dad’s a Serbian criminal turning into a witness for the state and young Vincent’s worth some big money to the right people.

Earl King tells his guests that they’ll have 30 minutes to look at all the lots, human and other commodities before the bidding begins and then strikes a triangle to signal the time’s begun. Tyler asks Liz if she’s representing Koskov and she says she is and then starts talking about the Van Gogh, saying legend has it in the right light you can see the grains of sand on the canvas.

Red interrupts their conversation and “Miss Sullivan’s” surprised to see Raymond Reddington among the goods getting dealt, she says they met once before and Red says she’s changed her hairstyle. Tyler asks if she plans to bid on Raymond and she says he’s likely more trouble than he’s worth, then says she’s got her sights set on the Van Gogh. However there’s one very interested prospective buyer, Cameroon War Lord Yubari, whom we met in the Lord Baltimore episode last year.

The reason that I enjoy Yubari, is that he’s portrayed by an incredible actor named Sahr Ngaujah, a man who came to my attention a few years-ago, in an NBC series called Last Resort. Ngaujah played the local strongman, who attempted to play hardball with the commander of a United  states nuclear submarine. He’s also been a hit on Broadway portraying Fela, winning accolades for the role.

Surprisingly, some Federal Agency messes up big-time as they ignore Cooper’s orders and allow the real Josephine Sullivan to contact her attorney. That means within the next few minutes, Keen’s cover will get blown and they’ll realize she’s an FBI agent. Cooper decides that the matter needs some more of his hands-on attention.

He tells Navabi and Ressler to leave him alone with the man from the car and when they leave, Cooper sits down across the table from the guy. He then says that the man really doesn’t grasp the situation he’s in, right now he’s just a material witness and there are certain rights he’s entitled to. Then Harold puts his hands on top of the other man’s hands and says, but you don’t know me.

He then tells the man that his doctor found a malignant tumor, in the left hemisphere of his brain and he’ll be dead in weeks. He says however one of the vows he made to himself when he came to grips with his situation, was to ensure that none of his agents died on the rest of his watch. He says since he truly has nothing to lose, he’ll do anything to avoid that situation, so think carefully before he answers his question. Where is his agent?

The bidding starts on Raymond, at two million, Yubari, Liz and a couple of other bidders get the sum quickly up to ten million. Then Red starts bidding on himself until it gets down to just him and Yubari, the man from Cameroon bids $18 million, but Red bids 20 million. Tyler disqualifies Red’s last bid and Yubari gets his prize.

Liz figures out her cover got blown and runs downstairs to avoid King’s men and to locate Reddington. She gets down just as a guard lets little Vincent Peretti, out of his sell to go to the winning bidder. Keen knocks out the guard, grabs the boy and they find Red but Liz can’t figure out the keypad code. He tells her she needs to take the boy and go now, reluctantly she heeds his advice.

Yubari’s cackling when he gets possession of Red, Raymond tells him that if Navabi just listens to reason, he’ll make him a king. His captor responds that a man in Johannesburg’s set a 40 million dollar bounty on Red’s head, Raymond replies they’re a long way from Johannesburg. Yubari says that Reddington’s not listening, there’s a 40 million dollar bounty on his head, he then shows Raymond the bag he’s prepared to transport Red’s head in to South Africa.

Liz and the boy run for a while, then she tells Vincent to run through those doors ahead and run until he reaches outside. She then heads back to where she left Red. Yubari’s got Raymond in handcuffs and has him get in his knees, as he’s about to shoot him in the head execution-style. He’s about to pull the trigger and Red says Lizzie, then he hears a gunshot and watches as Yubari falls dead to the ground. He’s shocked to find Keen there, then tells her the key for the handcuffs are in Yubari’s pocket.

Valmont reads the tallies, this time Francis wins the event and Tyler has to take the pistol and play Russian Roulette. Suddenly Red and Liz burst through the door, gun’s aimed and Red tells Tyler to put down his pistol or he’s dead, he obeys the command instantly. Raymond then says Earl should have died generations ago and shoots him in the heart, we hear the SWAT Team sirens getting closer, Red tells the other three to be careful in prison.

Harold meets with the Assistant Attorney General and tells her about his Task Force’s successful day. She smiles and says she’s glad something went right that day. She then tells Harold a man she was on the verge of seizing his assets and charging him with embezzlement and other crimes, somehow got wind of it and skipped the country. Cooper realizes it’s the man he called.

Red and Liz are in a car heading back to the Task Force and he tells her never to do anything like that again, ever. She says she risked her life to save him, because she cares about him and he has to deal with that. She then says when someone does something nice you’re supposed to say thank you. Red thanks her then once again says don’t do that again, ever.

Tom’s in Germany in a pub and bumps into a guy who looks like a wall with a face, Keen calls him a lousy pig and the guy swings at him. But Tom takes him and his buddy out and then keeps the hitting the first guy till two guys pull him off. He feels a hand on his back and turns around ready to fight, when he sees it’s his target. The man says he doesn’t want a fight he wants to buy Tom a beer.

The Story Continues Next Thursday Night at 9:00 pm on NBC.