Paul Reubens

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Photo Courtesy Of NBC

Photo Courtesy Of NBC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

The latest episode of the NBC series “The Blacklist,” served up more red herrings than a Norwegian fishing trawler  likely catches in a day’s excursion. What exactly is a “Red Herring“?  It’s a clue given to readers and viewers from the author of the piece that purposely leads the audience astray. The show-runners loaded this chapter up with them, some easily detected by the viewer while others weren’t quite as obvious. The device led to an episode that had as many twists and turns as the road to Haleakala on the island of Maui.

The first person we see is Mr. Kaplan meeting with Raymond Reddington in an airplane hangar with corpses and blood all over the floor. Red tells Kate she’s got 30 minutes to clean up and document the evidence, Mr. Kaplan starts taking pictures of an apparently dead Elizabeth Keen lying near a pool of blood.

Suddenly we’re in somebody’s living-room as an excited teenage girl runs in with a huge smile on her face and telling her dad they got her. She turns on the TV and she and her father watch a breaking news-report from a network anchor announcing they’ve received reports stating former FBI Agent Elizabeth Keen died earlier the victim of a gunman who  killed several people in an undisclosed area outside of New York City. We watch the report from a number of venues and we see Ressler’s reaction while he’s waiting for testimony to resume in a Presidential Committee hearing. We also see Samar, Aram’s and Harold Cooper’s reactions as they watch the report.

Kate turns to Red and she asks him if he’s sure this is what he wants? Red emphatically tells her to get the pictures to Sandquist at the Chronicle as he wants everybody to see these. Simple common sense tells us that Keen can’t be dead or the series ends with this episode. We then see a graphic that tells us we’re going back 12-hours to show us what lead up to this moment.

Tom Keen’s endeared himself to Asher Sutton, a trust-fund baby with a taste for the wild side and he informs Harold Cooper about their meeting. Sutton saw right through the con Keen put on at the underground gambling joint and that intrigued him. The two go out for some dinner and Sutton asks the guy he knows as Wainwright what’s his actual story. Keen’s utilizing a pretty convincing New York City accent and tells the rich-kid he used to make money cleaning toilets at Bronx University. He says he got raised by a single mom and he’s got a brother in prison then says he’s a townie, a nobody.

Sutton shakes his head and laughs and he says his great-grandfather was a hustler, a townie and just like Keen. He says the only interesting person in his family’s lineage was exactly like Tom then he invites him to his engagement party. Keen tries begging off saying he doesn’t want to impose and Asher insists on it saying he’ll be the only guy at the party he’ll look forward to talking to. Keen smiles and extends his hand and tells Sutton his real name’s Matt Buckley and  he’s pleased to meet him.

Tom tells Cooper that Sutton’s paying some debt to the Russian mob and Harold says he’s been withdrawing 20 grand amount from his bank account. Keen plans to use Asher to meet his Russian connections then he can eventually meet Karakurt the spy that Cooper wants him to find.

Red returns to his friend’s theater where he and Liz are hiding and tells Keen they need to move. Lizzie asks if the Cabal’s tracked them down and Raymond says it’s worse than that Wendigo’s after you. Keen’s got no knowledge of  who Wendigo is and Red tells her that he’s a nameless assassin and vigilante. Wendigo’s a lone wolf who dispenses “justice” to those he believes deserve it. Red says he’ll call her later and arrange for her to get picked up, she asks him where he’s going and he responds for help.

The AA support group that Donald Ressler attends is breaking up when Ressler feels a gun pressed to his back and a voice he knows all too well saying he needs Donald’s help. They walk to another part of the building and Reddington tells the agent he can turn around then tells Donald he’s impressed with his commitment to remaining sober. Raymond tells Ressler that he tried a stint with Alcoholics Anonymous, but he could accept that there was a more powerful being out there than him. Ressler smirks then takes out his cellphone and calls in an officer down report at the address they’re at. He tells Red that he’s got four minutes, Reddington replies he needs less than two.

Ressler’s back at the Task Force headquarters briefing Samar and Aram about Wendigo saying he’s allegedly responsible for some unsolved murders on the Bureau’s docket. Wendigo apparently executed a Guatemalan strong-man and some heinous character from South America. Navabi says the reason the cases aren’t solved is because both guys were monsters. Donald says as despicable as they were, both men became the subject of massive searches and no law-enforcement agency found them. However Wendigo found them and he’ll find Keen as well.

Reddington calls Lizzie to know that he’s got a car and two guys waiting for her downstairs. As she walks out of the building one of Raymond’s guys get picked off by a sniper, the other guy tries to take out the sniper but he never gets a shot off. Keen’s able to get to a car and hot wire it then pulls the rearview mirror from the windshield and holds it above her head so she can drive while lying down on the seat. She abandons the car ten blocks away and escapes.

Raymond calls Aram and asks what’s going on and the tech-expert says that two bodies were found at the scene and Lizzie escaped. Red then asks what Aram knows about Wendigo and he replies he’s really not supposed to talk about that with Reddington. Raymond says he’ll give him five seconds and by the time he gets to three Mojtabai’s sputtering that they found the master gunsmith that creates guns for Wendigo. His name’s Zachary O’Toole and he goes by Zed, Raymond disconnects and starts researching the gunsmith. Amar’s asking if Red’s going to count down to zero unaware Raymond’s hung-up.

One of the best aspects of this series remains the people they bring in as guest-stars and reoccurring characters and another great choice appeared on the screen in this episode. Veteran Screen and TV actress Christine Lahti portrayed the President’s Chairman of National Security Laurel Hitchin, longtime friend of Deputy Attorney General Reven Wright. We meet Hitchin as Wright and Ressler arrive for Donald to testify in front of a Presidential Commission on trying to capture Elizabeth Keen. Hitchin tells Donald not to be nervous the commission just wants to hear the truth.

The President’s adviser asks Donald if he’s attempting to interfere in the search for Keen and Ressler responds absolutely not. She then asks him if he’s sharing information with the CIA and Ressler admits he hasn’t. She says after 9/11 the Intelligence Agencies in the United States adopted a policy of working in cooperation with each other and asks why Ressler’s not adhering to that policy. Donald says because the CIA Director’s rumored to be the head of the Cabal that could be the actual source of the attacks blamed on Keen. She responds that’s just rumor and asks if the Director deserves the benefit of the doubt and Donald asks her in return what about Elizabeth Keen?

Hitchin asks Ressler if he believes Elizabeth Keen’s innocent and he responds his job’s to capture her not to determine guilt or innocence. She says he’s avoiding the question and he goes back to saying his only thoughts on the case involve apprehending the fugitive. She stops and smiles and asks him to give her his honest opinion, he knows Keen does he believe she’s innocent. Donald looks her in the eye and says he does that Liz Keen’s not a terrorist.

Liz realizes Navabi’s likely scouring the scene of the shooting for clues and as she walks to the park to meet Red she calls Samar and tells her she believes the sniper fired from the roof of a certain hotel. Navabi and a forensic guy find the bullet inscribed on the back of the casing Psalm 1:1, she tells Keen that Wendigo found her once and he’ll find her again. Lizzie hangs up and keeps walking to the park. The forensic guy asks Navabi what’s Psalm 1:1 and Samar quotes “Blessed is he that walks not in the council of the wicked.”

Red picks her up and Lizzie’s terrified, she tells Raymond the bullets were so close she heard them whizzing past her head. He tells her he’s got good news that Dembe contacted him, Lizzie asks if he called and Reddington explains they’ve got a protocol set-up and Dembe’s put it into motion. He says Dembe will meet them later that day, but we know that it’s actually Vargas that responded instead of Dembe.

They drive over to Zachary O’Toole’s place and burst down the door both brandishing weapons. Red asks where’s Wendigo and the guy asks who they are. Red asks again and this time Zed says he doesn’t know. Reddington laughs and says would you look at that a 416 Rigby Mauser and fully loaded, he then says that weapon can take out an African Bull Elephant and it came in handy on a trip to Africa. Liz asks him if he shot an elephant and Red exclaims God no, he shot a  poacher who tried shooting the elephant. Suddenly Zed provides them with an address that Wendigo stayed at before.

They head to the apartment and there’s a radio playing country music as Wendigo’s producing more of his unique bullets. Lizzie tries picking the lock and the assassin hears the sound above the music picks up his rifle and fires it through the front door then he climbs out the kitchen window and onto the fire-escape. Keen tells Raymond to take the stairs while she follows the suspect. He climbs up to the roof and starts running and he tries to use another door to escape but it’s locked.

He jumps down to a lower roof and Keen follows him, he then attempts to leap between two buildings and he’s got a tentative grip on the edge of the other rooftop. Red reaches down and braces him and tells the assassin to grab his arms. Suddenly the guy says I’m not the only one, there are lots of us and they’ll all be coming. Reddington asks him what he’s talking about and the killer says even if you kill me she still isn’t safe one of the others will get her. Raymond asks him whom he’s referring to and the vigilante just starts laughing and Red lets him fall to his death on the streets below.

Wendigo spoke the truth with his last words, Keen’s problems were far from being over as there’s a bounty of over 700 grand on her head. Aram tells Samar that he was just sent a link from the NYPD that shows a Dark-Net site DeadNotAlive.Org is a crowd-sourcing site that’s funded by haters. The more hated a figure is the more crowd-funding they get for the bounty. He says every nut-job’s going to be trying to collect that bounty and Navabi asks how they get the money. Aram says that the killer has to give the time, the place and the method of execution plus leave a signature marker, Wendigo used Psalm 1:1 as his.

Keen’s sitting on a bench in the park with a laptop looking at the site and she looks around her and imagines everyone she sees is a potential assassin. Red puts his hand on her shoulder startling Keen and he says it’s time to meet Dembe. They walk towards the street and Mr. Vargas gets out of the car they expected Dembe to emerge from. Reddington asks where’s Dembe and Vargas somberly shakes his head and Raymond asks what happened?

We join “Matt Buckley” at Asher Sutton’s engagement party as Sutton’s fiancé Gwen Hollander says to Keen that he must be Asher’s new BFF. She says she fell in love with her fiancée at first sight and she puts up with him collecting unusual personalities even at her engagement party as long as she’s assured of one thing. That he’ll never cause any harm to the man she loves and Matt gives her his word. She gulps down her last sip of wine and says get started then I need a refill. He laughs and says she’s got it.

When he arrives at the bar to get Gwen her refill he sees Asher’s dealing with some low-level enforcer sent by the Russians. Sutton says to the guy he’ll get the money Friday and the goon responds the money’s due right then. “Matt Buckley” asks if  everything’s alright and Sutton quickly says all’s good, the enforcer then says he said no problem. Keen smiles and says he heard him and it’s time for the goon to leave. He glares at Sutton as he walks away and says this not over. “Matt Buckley” says it looks like he made a friend and Sutton replies he wished he’d stayed out of the conversation.

Back at the park Mr. Vargas lies to Reddington saying he stayed with Dembe until the end and that if he attempted to bring back Dembe’s body they both have gotten killed. Camera strays from the three of them for a moment and we see a well dressed man appear to make eye contact with Reddington and leaves something among the flowers. Red grabs Vargas face between his hands and says we will avenge this good man’s death. Something seems off Red would be far more devastated if he truly believed Dembe died. Lizzie suddenly gasps and tells Red she’s seen the symbol from the website that’s got the bounty on her head.

They return to Zed’s the gunsmith’s place and Liz says he gave up Wendigo because he plans to kill her himself and she points to the doodle of the symbol on his desk blotter. He stammers and stutters and Reddington asks who created the website and he says he doesn’t know and Raymond shoots him in the thigh. He screams in pain and says all he knows is the creator goes by the name of Gavrilo Princip, Raymond politely thanks him and then shoots him dead.

The Task Force arrest Gavin Delgado, Princip’s actual name and confiscate his computers. He tells the agents they’ve got no right seizing his computers as their his intellectual property. It doesn’t stop the agents for locking up the laptops or Delgado.

Red gives Vargas the  keys to the car and tells him to call Edward to get the jet ready. Vargas makes a call and says this is Mr. Vargas. Mr. Reddington would like you to meet us at Garden Avenue Airfield. Matias Solomon’s actually on the other end of the phone and says he likes the name Edward, then tells his assistant to get the car ready.

CIA Director Kotsiopolus give his testimony to the commission and Hitchin’s asks him why he believes that the FBI hasn’t shared information with the Agency. The Director replies because the case involves Special Agent Elizabeth Keen. She asks him if he shares Donald’s belief that Keen’s innocent and he almost chortles as he says she’s a Russian Sleeper Agent. He says she admitted as much to Ressler when she scaled the wall of the Russian Embassy and asked for asylum.

She asks Kotsiopolus about the Cabal and he says it’s a discredited relic and mentions an article debunking it in the Washington Post. Hitchin says she doesn’t rely on columnists for information, the Director says the Fulcrum got published by Raymond Reddington getting it to the media. He says Reddington lacks any credibility and says the attacks in Washington emanated from Russia and the cold-war has re-escalated. He says in times of trouble people look for simplistic explanations and the idea of the Cabal suits that purpose. He says he’s flattered to be accused of heading up a shadow-government that controls world events but that isn’t true. The Cabal simply doesn’t exist.

Vargas, Keen and Reddington arrive at the hangar and as soon as they leave the car Red asks Vargas where’s Edward and then asks him what he did as gunmen start to surround them. Once again this just feels wrong, Raymond Reddington didn’t elude capture from every law-enforcement agency on the planet by being this dumb.

Matias Solomon walks out of the jet and asks what’s the story with you too anyway, that’s what everybody wants to know? Some think it’s a daddy/daughter thing while others believe it’s a May/September romance, I like to think of it as a bit of both.  Liz and Raymond are still holding their weapons though guys are encircling them with guns aimed at their heads. Mr. Solomon says that at best Red might kill one or two and Keen might do as well, but they’ll still both die. Raymond tells Keen to drop her gun and the second time he says it she does. Once again something seems wrong, Raymond Reddington’s going out with a whimper instead of a bang?

Navabi’s over her head trying to question Delgado so Aram goes into talk to him. He tells Delgado to take Lizzie’s name off the site and he refuses to saying the masses control the process. Aram threatens to knock out the site with a virus and Delgado laughs at him and says that people put millions into  the site because he’s thought of every bad case scenario. Aram says they realize he can’t run with the money and suddenly realizes Delgado needs the person to put the bounty on Keen’s head to remove her name from the site.

At the airfield Matias has one of his thugs bring over a metal table and  two other guys try putting Liz on it. She kicks one of them in the face but they finally pin her down. Raymond says to Matias to call the Director if he allows Liz to live he’ll give up all the incriminating documents on him that he possesses. Solomon’s eyes grow wide as he gets in Reddington’s face and says not to concern himself with the director any longer, he now belongs to him.

Back at the engagement party, Gwen and Asher are discussing his problems with the Russian’s when “Matt Buckley” comes over and wants to help with the situation. Sutton asks him if he know of underground boxing tournaments and Keen replies that’s like human dog-fighting and advises him to refrain from betting on that. Asher says he fought in one and was supposed to throw the fight but he won. Lots of bad people lost lots of money. Gwen then says Sutton paid them all back but when they found out about his family they demanded 20 grand a month. Asher says it will never stop but “Matt Buckley” says it ends now as I’ll stop them. Sutton says no, however Gwen tells him to shut-up and asks Keen his proposal.

Matias Solomon pulls out a long knife and says the reason people fear him so much as he keeps going more and more over the top in his crimes. He says he’s going to carve up Keen artistically, like a great chef would fillet a salmon. Lizzie screams and suddenly there’s the sound of machinery in the hangar. A dead man’s at the controls of a forklift which confuses everybody. Suddenly Dembe struts in carrying an automatic weapon in each hand and then either kills, wounds or scares away all the gunmen. Vargas sits on the floor with a bullet wound in his side and Red walks over to him and shoots him at point-blank range. Dembe’s shirt’s covered in blood and when he and Red embrace he sinks to the floor.

Next scene opens with Dembe on a stretcher with an oxygen mask on his face and paramedics are going to put him in an ambulance and Raymond gives them the address of a safe-house he secured to treat Dembe. He tells Dembe that they’re going to get him well and he kisses him on top  of his head. Red calls Aram and asks if Lizzie’s names off the website and Aram responds that until the person that set her up as the target thinks she’s dead her name will remain  on there. Hence the reason that Mr. Kaplan faked Lizzie’s death.

Raymond’s able to get the address and name of the person that put Keen’s name on the site, he’s Arioch Cain the father of the teenage girl we saw early in the show. Red and Liz arrive at his door and he looks at Lizzie and says your dead. She asks him why he put her name on the site and he’s totally clueless. Suddenly we hear his daughter Blair says she’s responsible that she wants Keen dead.

Blair’s mom died in the explosion that Karakurt created and pinned the blame on Liz last season. She promises the teenager that she had no involvement in the explosion or the death of Blair’s mom. She tells her that she lost her mother when she was a little girl and she still  dreams about the sound of her voice and the way she smelled. She looks Blair in the eyes and says that she’ll do what ever she can to bring her mother’s killer to justice. Blair removes Lizzie’s name from the site.

The Russian enforcer drives up and Sutton gives him an envelope filled with cash. When he takes off “Matt Buckley” steps up to the drivers window and tells the thug that’s the last payment his people will get from Sutton. From now on they deal with him. The guy responds they will come for you and Keen says he’s counting on it, dude draws his pistol and “Matt Buckley” grabs it  and kills the driver.

Reven Wright comes to get Ressler and Laurel Hitchin has also arrived. Donald says he hopes the President’s adviser’s stopped by with good news when we hear the Director raving about the lollipop that Laurel gave him. She says that from that point onward they’ll share information. Ressler says he disagrees with the way she’s resolved it and she smiles and says the President favors it.

Asher and Gwen go to meet with “Matt Buckley” and he says he took care of it. Sutton asks him if that’s blood on his  collar and Gwen asks  him for the keys to his trunk and he tells her please not to  look in there. She takes the keys out of his hand and opens the trunk and sees the enforcer’s corpse, “Matt Buckley” says he told them he’d handle it.

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

Photo Courtesy Of NBC

Photo Courtesy Of NBC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

The NBC series “The Blacklist,”  could never be described as a light and breezy show, but in at least one episode per season they ratchet up the “creepy factor.”  The latest episode entitled “The Djinn” certainly qualifies for that category for a myriad of reasons, displaying how low humanity can sink when provoked by bigotry, greed and vengeance. However we also witnessed just how much these characters care for one another and that in times of need who can be counted on and who can’t.

The action begins with a middle-aged man wearing hospital scrubs marking a man’s torso displaying where all the major organs are located. An attractive young woman with a British accent climbs down a staircase and informs the man she’s got good news, his funds have cleared and he can use the facility until 9:00 am the next morning when the clean-up crew arrives.

The man starts to express his gratitude, but the woman cuts him off saying no words are necessary and then expresses sorrow for the man’s loss. The man says that the guy on the table destroyed his son by selling him drugs and the woman responds he can make the man pay for his crimes and then asks if they should wake him up? The man nods and the woman pumps something into the man on the table intravenously and says goodbye to the man in scrubs. Seconds after she leaves the man on the table wakes up and we see he’s strapped to the table and the man in scrubs grinds a carving knife and fork over him as the victim screams.

Red’s meeting with Leonard Caul the man who helped Raymond obtain the Fulcrum and he’s identified the man holding Dembe prisoner. He says the guy’s named Solomon and was born and raised in Ethiopia and for a time used as an asset by the CIA. However Solomon committed such atrocities that the Agency disavowed him and broke off contact and he’s been MIA for decades. Reddington tells Caul he needs to locate Solomon and the former CIA agent expresses his sorrow over Raymond’s associate but says the chances are between slim and none of finding them. Red tells Caul that Dembe’s far more than an associate and stresses he needs to find him.

Caul walks out the door and we realize that he and Raymond met in Aram Mojtabai’s apartment as Aram’s standing in the hallway when the former spy leaves. Mojtabai enters his apartment uneasily and doesn’t feel any relief when he sees Reddington in his living room. Aram asks if Agent Keen’s in any trouble and Lizzie walks out of his bathroom drying her hair and saying how good that shower felt. Aram runs over to her and embraces her and says he’s so glad to see her and she looks great.

Raymond halts the reunion by telling Mojtabai they need his help tracking down a woman known as the Djinn. She specializes in wish-fulfillment, usually he client’s are looking for vengeance and it’s said that if the client’s got enough money she can make any wish come true. Aram tells Red that if he helps them he’s got to inform Ressler and Raymond tells him Donald should welcome this information as the Djinn would be a huge bust for the Bureau. Mojtabai  reveals that Ressler turned down an offer of assistance by Tom, surprising Liz who didn’t realize her ex-husband’s back in the States.

Aram heads to Task Force headquarters and tells Donald of his meeting with Lizzie and Red and Ressler sends out an APB looking for them in the area. He tells Mojtabai he’s proud of him for reporting the meeting and Aram tells him Reddington wanted Ressler to know.

He then meets with Ressler and fellow agent Samar Navabi and tells them about the Djinn. He says at least two of the Djinn’s clients took vengeance on the same corporation, leaving it barely standing. We  leave that conversation and go to the building the Djinn operates in and we see her client’s a Middle-Eastern woman. The Djinn’s people bring in a man trussed up like a turkey and the Middle-Eastern woman softly says you got him, but the Djinn corrects her and says you caught him. The Middle-Eastern woman removes the bag covering the prisoner’s head and we see an elderly bald man look at the woman and we see the recognition and shock in his eyes. The woman says somethings just aren’t forgivable.

We see Dembe and Mr. Vargas on the floor of the warehouse they’re imprisoned in and Dembe’s making a scraping sound. Vargas asks him if he’s trying to torture him like their host’s are and Dembe says he’s fashioning a weapon for an attack. Vargas looks at Dembe as if he was insane and asks if he intends to attack them with a spoon, when Red’s right-hand man shows that he’s honed the spoon’s handle into a sharp  blade.

Vargas says he counted four guards and at best Dembe will take out two of them before they kill him. Dembe says so be it, once Solomon realizes he can’t break Dembe he’ll go after his daughter and granddaughter. If he’s dead they’ll have no reason to harm them.

Samar and Donald have connected the Djinn with Azeri Financial, a corporation facing a hostile takeover, whose CEO Bahram Bakhash just got kidnapped at gunpoint. We see security video of the kidnapping and it’s the same bald man that the Djinn handed over to the Middle-Eastern woman.

Raymond and Keen are hiding in a Broadway theater owned by an old friend of his. He tells Lizzie that the woman that owns the theater convinced Red to bankroll a play she wanted to direct and star in back in 1991. Unfortunately the subject-matter was far too deep for a Broadway audience captivated by the musical Cats. Lizzie’s cellphone rings and the Djinn sets up a meet for the next morning at 9:00 am. Raymond and an associate will try to tail Lizzie and intercept the Djinn, but the process doesn’t work out as easily as Reddington hopes. Before they finish talking Red makes Lizzie promise that she won’t contact Tom as it will put her in great danger.

Tom’s back at the Chinese restaurant studying the file Harold Cooper gave him on the Russian spy Karakurt. Cooper told him that the spy’s allegedly had extensive plastic surgery since he set Lizzie up last season and Keen’s studying photographs with a magnifying glass.

The next morning Liz arrives at the park bench in Astoria that she’s supposed to meet the Djinn at, when she hears a phone strapped to the underside of the bench ring. Keen picks up the phone and the Djinn tells he to walk across the street and slip through a gap in the fence then follow the trail till she reaches a group of port-a-potties. Keen follow the instructions and steps into one of the portable toilets, when Reddington and his associate arrive seconds later they find the structure has no back wall and Lizzie’s now in a car on a way to meet with the woman.

Samar goes to Azeri Financial to interview Hannid Bakhash the old man’s son and in charge of the company while his father’s missing. Hannid tells Navabi his father’s a very religious man and well-loved in his community and he can’t imagine why anybody would want to harm them. He tells Navabi that they emigrated to the States after their mother got killed during the Iran/Iraq war. He and his sister were very young and he raised them single-handedly.

We head to the woman whose holding Bakhash as a prisoner’s home and we see her nailing the old man’s arms to a wooden cross. She says you may consider this barbaric father, but it’s no worse than what you did to me.

Liz meets with the Djinn in a very ornate tent and the Djinn’s aware of whom Lizzie is and says you’re our first client who’s a wanted fugitive and then asks Keen her wish. Liz tells the Djinn she got set-up and she wants vengeance on all who wronged her. The Djinn says that’s not her real wish and if she can’t reveal it then their meetings over.

Navabi interviews Bakhash’s daughter Nasim and she tells Samar that she knows nothing at all  about her father’s company. Navabi asks her if her father discussed a hostile takeover bid and Nasim says that her father never discusses business with her and she expects Samar to relate to how Arabic women get treated as second-class citizens in their culture. Navabi admits she’s aware but says she took control of her life long ago, Nasim tells her that Samar’s far braver than her and the meeting ends.

Vargas comes back from a torture session and the two guards say it’s Dembe’s turn but first they want him to pull up his pant’s leg and show them his weapon. Dembe turns to Vargas who says I had to give them something and Dembe grabs the far smaller man and whacks him in face twice before one of the guards pulls him off Vargas. However Vargas then removes a stone from the wall where the spoon’s actually hidden and stabs one of the guards with it while Dembe snaps the other guards neck. The two leave the building and steal a truck to escape.

Red and Liz have used the tracking device that Keen attached to the Djinn’s shoe and they’ve located where she lives. The home’s a middle-class dwelling far less expensive than what a woman of the Djinn’s financial means should be living in. When she comes to the door Raymond looks at her and says she’s not the Djinn.

The woman actually named Alice tells Liz and Red that she used to be a model and spokesperson at car show’s but she caught the Djinn’s fancy. Most of their clientele are men who like dealing with an attractive woman and soon Alice became the face of the company. Reddington says that if she gives them the name of the Djinn he can arrange for her to take over the operation.

Back in Nasim’s bedroom she’s telling her father how long she dreamed of this moment to repay him for what he did to her. He says he did it to save her life, but she says he did it because she disgusted him. She then tells the old man about her escapades as the Djinn and she says she saved enough money to buy her own company. That company New Castle Financial just got approval of Azeri Financial to buy out his company.

Reddington and Keen arrive at Nasim’s home but she’s not on the premises. They do however find the old man and remarkably he’s still alive. Lizzie tells Red to call 911 while she frees the old man from the wooden structure.

Vargas sits in the passenger seat of the truck as Dembe returns to the vehicle with a newspaper in his hands and starts flipping through it as soon as he sits down. Vargas asks what he’s doing and Dembe tells him he’s looking at the classifieds. Dembe zeroes in on an ad from somebody selling a tuba-valve and says that’s it now we can contact Reddington. Vargas smiles and says that’s what I’ve waited to hear and shoots Dembe in his side with a pistol, then grabs the paper and exits the truck. A crowd realizes Dembe’s wounded and starts crowding around the vehicle.

Liz is bandaging the old man’s wounds when Nasim enters the room, Raymond asks her to join them and the pistol in his hand convinces her to down. Reddington then reveals the heinous act her father committed. Nasim was born Nasir, Bakhash’s oldest son but he was gay. The old man was so repulsed he kidnapped his son and forced him to undergo a sex-change operation. She says because I liked men you made me a second-class citizen in our culture.

The 911 operator recognized Red’s voice and a software voice recognition confirmed it was him so along with  the ambulance, police and the FBI arrive trying to capture Liz and Raymond. However Red’s arranged for a helicopter to fly Keen and Reddington to freedom. He tells Nasim that there’s room for her in the chopper in exchange for the leather binder she keeps all the Djinn’s client-base in.

The three of them walk to the chopper with Reddington holding the binder. Raymond and Liz join Alice and the pilot in the craft. but Keen tells Nasim she’s not going with them. She cries out she kept her end of the bargain, but Lizzie says her deal was with Red. He looks at her smiles, shrugs his shoulders and says women then throws the binder on the ground as the chopper takes off.

Tom’s done some digging and found out that one of Karakurt’s associate’s a wealthy young man named Asher Sutton. He says Sutton’s a trust-fund baby with a taste for low-life criminal types, he says to Cooper if he can intrigue Sutton with a story the two will become fast friends and he hangs out late-nights at this underground gambling joint.

Keen hones his story and arrives looking sharp at the gambling joint and shares his story with the crowd. Sutton realizes Keen’s lying but that only intrigues him more and he invites Tom to go and have something to eat with him.

Red’s sitting in the theater with the woman who owns it laughing and sharing a bottle of bubbly when Leonard Caul arrives with a grim expression on his face. He takes Red to the warehouse where they had held Dembe but it’s abandoned, but they see Dembe’s blood on the concrete floor.

Our last scene’s Vargas on his cellphone. He calls Solomon and tells him now they’ve got a way to track down Reddington. The screen fades to black.

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

Photo Courtesy Of Christopher Saunders/NBC

Photo Courtesy Of Christopher Saunders/NBC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Sometimes the best defense’s a strong offense and Raymond Reddington’s decided that’s the tactic he and Liz Keen need to adopt on the latest episode of the NBC series “The Blacklist.” Although they started the third episode of season three on a ship bound for Spain, Red changed his mind and decided that he and Lizzie would take a trip to the Midwest. Although the pair eluded the FBI manhunt and would’ve been able to stop looking over their shoulders had they continued on to Europe, Raymond decided that the chances of exonerating Lizzie would be greater if they remained in the States.

The episode opens in a cornfield as we watch four men in yellow hazmat suits spraying the crops. Suddenly one of the men stops spraying and bends down and grabs an automatic weapon, then takes out his three co-workers. The gunmen then heads to a chain-link fence secured by a keypad and opens the gate to let three men in from a truck parked outside the gate. The leader of the three men ask the gunman how many employees are on the grounds and the gunmen says there’s nine factory workers and three security guards. As the men head towards the factory, we see a sign on the gate identifying the field as property of Verdiant Technologies.

In the hallway of Donald Ressler’s apartment building, Ressler’s trying to figure out why Tom Keen’s come to see him. Tom says that Lizzie’s not a spy or an agent trying to harm this country and he says he knows Donald believes that. Ressler ignores his statement and asks why he’s there and Keen says he wants to help and he can do a lot of things. He says to Donald that he knows the FBI agent doesn’t trust him and the feeling’s mutual, but they need to team up for Liz’s sake. Ressler tells Keen to get lost and if he shows up again Donald will break his arm.

Lizzie asks Red why the shipping container they were traveling in got taken off the ship and put on a cargo truck and Raymond says it’s time to stop playing defense and to go on offense instead. She thinks he’s being foolhardy but Red says that the Cabal’s already lost a lot of faith in the Director, as he gambled Reddington didn’t have the Fulcrum. When Red released the documents to some of the biggest investigative reporters on the planet, it put some members of the Cabal in immediate danger.

Raymond tells Lizzie they’re going to wreak so much havoc onto the Cabal that they’ll agree to clear Lizzie’s name and hand the Director over to him. She asks him how he plans to do that and he says we’re starting right now as we’re in Iowa, home of Verdiant Industries. Red explains to Lizzie that Verdiant Industries is the biggest manufacturer of genetically engineered seeds on the planet and their two main seed-lines are for corn and soy two staples of the planet’s food foundation. He also tells Keen that he’s looking for one of their executives named Susan Hanover, she’s the Cabal’s conduit to utilize Verdiant for money laundering.

Raymond looks at his watch and says something’s terribly wrong, Dembe was supposed to rendezvous with them there and provide transportation. The only reason Dembe wouldn’t be there is if he’s hurt or in danger. Red calls the finder of missing-persons Glen who ignores Raymond’s first call. Reddington hangs up and calls again and Glen tells him he can’t talk to him as the FBI came to his office. When Glen refused to talk the FBI took him back to headquarters and locked him up and he tells Raymond he told the feds everything about him. Glen then starts giggling and saying he’s not a snitch, but he says that he nearly gave Reddington a stroke.

Red ignores Glen’s baiting and gets right down to business telling him that Dembe’s missing. Glen suddenly gets serious and tells Raymond he’ll get to work on locating him right away and he’ll call Reddington as soon as anything pops up on his radar.

Back at the FBI Task Force, Aram discovers that Reddington and Keen were traveling in a shipping container on a vessel heading for Spain, when the ship complained of engine trouble and headed back to the States. Aram says only one shipping container got dropped off and he’s got the plate number of the truck that transported the container. He soon informs Navabi and Ressler that the container’s in Iowa and the two agents get on a plane to try to capture Lizzy and Red.

We visit the warehouse that Mr. Solomon’s torturing Dembe in and Red’s right hand man’s right eye’s swollen shut. Solomon bends down to the floor to stare in Dembe’s face and tells him he’s a fool, he says with all the agony he’s going through to keep Raymond safe Red’s not coming to rescue him. Suddenly another man stands in the doorway and nods at Solomon. The Cabal’s enforcer tells Dembe there’s a price for his silence, someone he knows quite well will get tortured if Dembe refuses to talk. He stays silent and we hear a man screaming in pain from the other room, Solomon smiles and says it’s on Dembe’s head.

When Samar and Donald land in Iowa they interview a Verdiant executive about all the employees shot to death. The man tells the agents that whoever shot all the employees also stole some highly guarded computer files. The files contain all the information on their genetically engineered corn seed. He tells the agents that some local small farmers have banded together and formed a vigilante group and he thinks they’re responsible. Ressler tells the executive that they discovered the group had a man inside the company Gabriel Costa. The executive says Costa couldn’t be involved as he was spraying the fields when the robbery and killings occurred. Ressler suggests he left the field with the other group members.

Red and Lizzie find the headquarters of the vigilante group and they find out their leader Eli Matchett took off in a huff about a week ago. He told them they’re a bunch of losers and not as serious about damaging Verdiant as he is and he said he was going solo.

Matchett and the other three men have recovered all the data they stole from Verdiant and they’re debating what to do with the information. One of the men wants to share it with the world, helping other small farmers and causing Verdiant’s stock prices to tank. One of the others says they should keep it among themselves so they can recoup the losses they suffered at the hands of Verdiant. Matchett grabs a rifle and says he’s got other plans and shoots his three cohorts dead. He then walks into another room in the facility where a chemist sits in front of a computer, he tells Matchett it’s just a matter of time for him to create the virus Matchett wants.

Red and Keen check out Costa’s apartment and realize he’s not there so they look around for any clues that he might have left behind. Lizzie notices that one of the air vents high upon one of the walls sounds funny, they open the great and they find a box that contains all of Costa’s information. Raymond sees Ressler and Navabi pull into the parking lot and the two exit the building barely a second before the agents enter.

As the agents search the apartment Ressler’s cellphone rings and Donald assumes it’s Aram on the other end. Lizzie tells him she’s not Mojtabai and Ressler starts his usual refrain about Liz turning herself in. She says that not going to happen and if Donald really cares about finding out the truth, he’ll back off and let her clear her name. He suddenly realizes that Keen and Reddington had just left the apartment and notices the grate from the air vent’s askew. Liz hangs up.

Reddington and Keen hole up somewhere and open the box from Costa’s apartment. Liz realizes they downloaded files about a new project Verdiant’s starting named Genesis. She’s also determined that they forwarded the files to the computer at the facility where Matchett and the chemist are creating the virus. Red realizes that the seeds they’ve hacked are the corn seeds and they could cause a planet-wide food shortage.

Matchett heads back into the room where the chemist’s working and asks him how he’s progressing. The chemist hands Matchett a vial that he says contains 400 samples of the virus that can get released into the wild. Matchett starts grinning maniacally and says it’s hard to believe he’s got the means for humanity’s destruction in his hands.

Glen’s walking the streets and tracks down Dembe’s car outside of the restaurant he got captured in and the car’s got a stack of parking tickets on the windshield. Glen realizes Dembe must have gone into the restaurant and walks in through the front door. Glen tells the waiter he wants to get an order to go and asks if a chicken dish’s gluten-free, the waiter replies he thinks so. Glen says maybe the waiter should check, or Glen will come in very angry the next day after spending the night on the toilet. The waiter heads into the kitchen and Glen swipes the restaurant’s surveillance equipment.

Red and Liz have found Matchett’s lab and she puts a thumb-drive into the computer to copy the information. Unfortunately for them Navabi’s gotten hold of a picture of the pair from Costa’s parking lot and they get the plate number of the vehicle they’re using. They quickly track down the vehicle  and they soon arrive in the lab’s parking lot in the middle of the download. Lizzie has to pull the thumb-drive with just 78% of the files downloaded, but they once again elude Ressler and Samar.

Tom’s sitting in a Chinese restaurant and the waitress asks him if he wants anything else. He tells her that he’s actually there because he had this arrangement with this girl he used to be with, that she’d call the payphone in the restaurant at 7:00 pm to contact him. He says it doesn’t look like she’s calling that night, but he gives the waitress his phone number and asks her to give it to the girl if she calls.

Aram contacts Ressler and Navabi and tells them he just realized that Matchett’s trying to destroy the corn crop by releasing a virus and if he succeeds the food shortage will endanger the planet. The two agents then realize that Matchett’s going to release the virus on a farm owned by Verdiant which includes a parcel of land that used to be his farm.

Liz and Red hide out in a diner as they contemplate their next move. There’s one other patron, a bald man sitting at the counter whose talking on the cellphone and keeps glancing over at them. Keen realizes the guy’s after them, she tells Reddington she’s going to sneak out the back and tells Raymond to wait a couple of minutes and then walk out the front door. Red waits then starts to head to the door when the guy pulls a pistol, Lizzie comes in through the front door and has her gun aimed between the guy’s shoulder blades. Raymond tells him to put down the gun and the guy looks like he’s about to lay it on the counter when he pivots and aims at Keen, but she shoots him first.

When the guy hits the ground his shield falls out of his pocket and they realize he’s a cop. Raymond says they need to leave and Keen says they’ve got to get him help. They grab his keys put him in his car and drop him off at the emergency-ward of the local hospital then take off.

Donald and Samar have a road-block set up just outside the field that Matchett’s going to release the virus. He gets into the line for the checkpoint then hangs a U-turn and heads the other way with Navabi and Ressler in pursuit. Ressler rams Matchett’s truck off the road and the farmer jumps out of the truck and starts running, the two agents split up and approach the farmer from opposite sides.

Ressler catches him and the two start wailing on each other. Finally the two just collapse and Matchett grabs the vial and he’s about to open it when Samar stands on his arm with her pistol aimed at his head. She asks if the boys are done playing and Ressler says he’s all yours.

We see a woman talking on her phone on her country estate watching her young son playing on the swing-set, when suddenly Red strolls up to her. She says you’re Raymond Reddington and he replies she’s Susan Hanover, chief of tech for Verdiant and corporate shill for the cabal. He shows her his pistol and says let’s not worry the boy and the two sit down at her outdoor table.

Raymond tells her that he knows she hired Matchett to spread the virus and she indignantly denies the accusation. Red then reveals he knows all about Project Genesis, Verdiant’s already developed a new strain of corn that won’t succumb to the virus. Verdiant will appear to be the planet’s savior and make a handsome profit once the crops start dying. Hanover says she knew she shouldn’t have trusted Matchett. Reddington tells her the FBI’s already aware of the situation and she’ll be in federal custody in hours.

She asks Red why he’s there and he says that he wants her to share a message with the Cabal, this is just the beginning and he’ll make the Cabal’s members lives a nightmare until they exonerate Keen and give him the Director.

Aram tells Navabi they’ve received information implicating Verdiant in the virus situation. He tells her the information got faxed over and he believes Agent Keen sent it. He also says that Keen shot a cop in self-defense but it looks like he’ll pull through.

Donald meets with Harold Cooper, who didn’t take the retirement deal offered by the bureau and he’s stuck in some office as a pencil-pusher. He gets Cooper up to date on everything that’s happened and tells him about the meeting with Tom. Cooper says he doesn’t trust Keen either but he could be a valuable asset. Ressler says his gut tells him to stay away from Tom and Harold tells him to follow his instincts.

Dembe’s passed out on the floor when Solomon rouses him and points to the limp figure with his back turned to Dembe lying a few feet away on the floor. Solomon says that’s the price of silence and leaves the room. The other man starts to moan and then sits up, it’s Mr. Vargas who takes off his Beatle-wig revealing a full head of hair underneath. He glares at Dembe and says we’re going to die in here.

Keen’s back in the Chinese restaurant and gets ready to leave when the waitress says if he gets tired of waiting and gives Keen her phone number. As he starts to get up from the table Cooper walks in and tells him to sit back down. Cooper says he doesn’t like or trust Tom, which likely means he’s the best person for this assignment and hands Keen the Bureau file on Karakurt.

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

Photo Courtesy Of NBC

Photo Courtesy Of NBC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Always remember when you watch the NBC series “The Blacklist,” that every criminal Raymond “Red” Reddington gives up to the FBI, get turned in to help Reddington in some way. Sometimes it takes a while for Red to reap his reward, however in the third episode of this young television season, Reddington reaped the benefits immediately. The former Intelligence Operator turned Genius Crime Lord, multi-tasked quite well in this episode, that also showed some of Raymond’s partners, showing their true colors.

The episode began in the motel Elizabeth Keen’s staying in, trying to keep her paranoia in check that her former husband Tom’s searching for her to kill her. She wakes up and see’s Tom’s glasses on her night stand, then looks up to see him standing at the foot of her bed, his pistol aimed at her head. Tom says that Red’s aware he’s there and he’ll be there shortly, but she can’t trust him. He says that as soon Red kills Berlin, he’ll eliminate Liz. She tells Tom she’d be more inclined to believe him if he wasn’t pointing a pistol at her, and he puts the weapon on the counter. Seconds later Reddington comes through the door and fires multiple shots at Tom, making sure this time he’s truly dead. He then walks over to Lizzie and says she should consider herself warned, which is when she wakes up from her nightmare clutching her service revolver.

We see a middle-aged prosperous looking man sitting at an outdoor café, when a younger man with a shaved head joins him at his table, and the first man’s mood changes radically. The bald guy tells the other man, his time’s up and the man replies he didn’t contact the police. The other guy responds that was smart otherwise they would have hurt his lovely family. The man asks if there’s another way and the bald guy responds, that’s the way they do things. The older man tips the table on his companion spilling everything on the other guy and makes a run for it.

He almost gets hit by an SUV and the driver comes out to find out what’s wrong with him. The man tells the driver he needs to save him, but the bald guy arrives, injects the older man with a sedative and then takes him to an ambulance. The man regains consciousness as he’s strapped to a gurney in a hospital hallway and he starts pleading with anyone and everyone. He’s wheeled into the operating room and the surgeon smiles at him and tells him he’s afraid his time’s up.

The next morning in the Bowery, the cops start to rouse the homeless from their slumber on the streets, when one cop sees a man lying face-down on the pavement in a pair of pants without a shirt and asks the guy what happened to his clothes. The uniform finally gets a clue and turns the man over, it’s the man who was the patient, lying there with a gaping hole in his chest and missing his heart.

Liz contacts Red and he identifies the man behind the surgery as Dr. James Covington, once a renowned heart and lung surgeon who got disbarred performing an illegal operation on a child. Prosecutors weighed pressing charges, but he fell off the grid. Raymond tells her that he now harvests organs for his clientele, people of means, many of them criminals. Others who’re too far down on a waiting list for a new organ, they pay a premium and Covington keeps them alive.

Meanwhile Red and one of his partners in the syndicate a middle-aged Greek man named Niko Demakis,  talk about Raymond’s desire to get the rights for a port that would earn the syndicate lots of money. Niko responds that they don’t have enough of a presence in the area to present themselves as credible candidates, but Red says they’ll just make a deeper investment. Niko tells Reddington that the local official’s not aligned with the syndicate, he’s fighting a war against Berlin and the other partners have concerns, but Red says he’ll handle things.

Later that day Niko meets with two other members of the syndicate, who also voice concerns over Red’s plans. Just then a slight man walks into the room and approaches the three men. They believe he’s stumbled into their meeting accidentally, but this man who looks like a yellow raisin in a Beatles wig, says No Niko, I’m exactly where I want to be. Turns out he says he’s a representative of Berlin named Mr. Vargas and he’s there to offer them a deal. However, before I continue, I need to reveal that the role of Mr. Vargas’ performed by Paul Reubens/AKA Pee Wee Herman.

Photo Courtesy Of NBC

Photo Courtesy Of NBC

Vargas tells the three men that Berlin would like them to join his operation and leave Reddington. None of the men from the syndicate seems comfortable in the situation, but they listen to what he has to say.

Back at headquarters, Keen and Don Ressler learn from their medical examiner, that the man’s heart wasn’t his to begin with; he had been the recipient in a heart transplant. He tells them he’s able to determine that from all the foreign tissue remaining in the victim’s chest cavity. The two agents go to see the man’s widow and they ask how there are no records for her husband ever receiving a heart transplant. The woman starts tearing up, saying they’ll kill her if she talks, but Liz tells her they can’t protect her unless she does.

Her husband’s heart was failing and too far down on the waiting list to use conventional channels, so he contacted Covington and got himself a new heart and a new lease on life. Unfortunately, business went down hill then he started swindling his own company, he faced criminal charges and they filed for bankruptcy. However the widow revealed that Covington doesn’t sell organs, he rents them at a fee of 500 grand a year, when money kept flowing no problem, but he couldn’t pay them this year and Covington ripped out the heart as an example to others thinking of avoiding payment.

The woman revealed that they sent all their payments to a charity, that was a front for Covington’s organization. They search the files and find a doctor that got paid a hefty sum from the charity and track him down. Turns out the doctor’s a medical examiner and he’s been the one harvesting organs for Covington. He tells the agents he’ll do what ever they ask if they’ll protect him. He tells them that he calls the facility when he gets a suitable organ and they send over a courier.

They setup a sting using a pig’s heart, which the medical examiner says would fool most people that it’s a human heart. The bald guy’s the courier, he looks at the heart calls the facility grabs  the case the organs enclosed in, jumps on his motorcycle and takes off. They start to prep their new patient, whose a crime lord known as BB. The guy on the bike spots Ressler and Keen and tries to escape, but gets slammed into by a truck and bites the dust. Although they lose the lead they find out about BB from the paperwork and Red happens to know him quite well.

Niko shows up at Red’s office with some pictures of the other two partners with Vargas on the street, he tells Raymond they accepted Vargas’ offer while he remained loyal to Reddington. He thanks Niko for the information and suggests they take a trip and confront the two men. Red, Niko and Dembe travel in Red’s SUV, while four of Red’s soldiers follow in another vehicle. Red and Niko approach the two men and ask why of the three of them, only Niko told him about the offer from Vargas. He then nods to the soldiers and both pairs of men grab one of the partners, while they beg Raymond not to do anything.

Niko and Vargas meet together, the plan was setup by Niko to rid Red of his allies and now he wants Vargas to eliminate Reddington. Vargas shouts that if Berlin wanted Red dead he would have killed him, but Niko says now the equations changed since he turned in two men who were loyal to Reddington. Vargas, snarls that he’ll get it done.

Red finds BB at a local bar and grill courting death with every bite. He approaches the gangster’s table and sees the pretty young girl whose his companion. Reddington brings up the operation and BB tells the sweet young thing to take a powder. Red tells him he wants to contact Covington and BB says he’s got a number for emergencies and he’s not about to give it to Red. All of a sudden the gangster starts grabbing at his chest and says he can’t breath. That’s due to the act that Red kept sending over free drinks to BB, that the gangster thought were from the house, but Raymond added a little something special to each cocktail, Viagra. Red shows BB the two paramedics that will help him as soon as he calls the doctor.

Aram’s able to track the call somewhat, but can only narrow down the signal to a five block radius and Liz and Don go out searching. They finally track down the right building and they burst in on Covington performing an operation, but it’s a lung-transplant on a 12-year-old boy. Children don’t get offered adult lungs on the normal waiting lists, but Covington’s saving this young boy’s life with this procedure. They allow the surgeon to conclude the surgery before arresting him and they boy will live.

Red shows up at Niko’s with Dembe and asks him what’s so important that they had to rush down. Niko tells him that he wanted to look Raymond in the eye when he tells him he’s out of the syndicate, then admits he accepted Vargas’ offer not the other two partners. Vargas then shows with two henchmen and all have guns pointed at Red. Raymond walks over to Vargas, says chrome’s so flashy in describing his pistol then takes the weapon from his hand. Vargas turns to Niko to inform him that actually he’s the one who got fooled and the other two partners come out in perfect health. Red then tells all they won the rights to run the port he was seeking, the local official that held things up, was due to get a heart transplant, but the operation got cancelled and the man died. The man who replaced him is totally aligned with the syndicate.

With that announcement Reddington shoots Niko in the heart killing him instantly. Mr. Vargas screams, how many times do I have to ask you to not shoot anyone until you clear me from the area. Red tells his soldiers to get Vargas a chair before he faints.

The Story Continues Next Monday at 10:00pm on NBC.