Warning: Spoiler Alert
The NBC series “The Blacklist,” concluded it’s Fall Season with one of the best episodes in the history of the show, filled with intrigue, espionage, strange alliances and multiple deaths. It answered lots of questions fans had throughout the series, while leaving them pondering new ones that arose in this hour, chief among them, what’s The Fulcrum? (More on that later.) The series goes on hiatus, replaced by “Katherine Heigl Saves The World,” then returns on February 1, following the biggest annual television event in this country, as NBC hosts the Super Bowl. That should lead to a lot of exposure for one of the finest shows on Broadcast TV.
The first thing on our screens, was a graphic stating four months earlier, then we watch FBI Agent Liz Keen, shoot her make-believe husband Tom, actually a spy for Red’s adversary Berlin. Reddington wanted to finish him off, but Keen said she needed to do it and told Raymond to leave. We ended the first season believing Tom had died, but in the opening montage, we find out what really occurred. Liz saved Tom instead of killing him, with a little help from her friends, a doctor who patched Tom up, a man who owned a boat sitting in a harbor unused and a heavyset man with an earing who babysat him. Liz kept him imprisoned on the boat for four months, his ankles manacled to the floor.
Using his knowledge to help track Berlin and his adversaries, Keen utilized the information for her own agenda, including setting up the meeting with Berlin in the previous episode. Tom supplied the name of an arms dealer for the Russian and Lizzie forced him to arrange a meeting, that Red showed up at, along with Berlin’s daughter, that he thought Reddington had killed.
That meeting was the first new scene in this episode as Berlin, attempted to overcome the shock that his daughter was standing next to him. Red then asked his adversary to explain why he believed Reddington had killed his daughter, nearly a quarter century before. Berlin then told Raymond that it began in 1991, as the Soviet Union started to collapse. He was a member of the KGB and attending a meeting of the senior brass, to come up with a plan to stem the revolt. While discussing their options, the building got hit by a bomb, killing 12 officials as well as any hopes of keeping the Soviet Union intact. They believed the bombing, was the work of an American and they thought Reddington masterminded the plan. His daughter went to jail as a dissident, he got shipped to a labor camp as her arrest tarnished his reputation. Then she got released from the prison and disappeared, Berlin started receiving body-parts, thinking they were his daughter’s.
Red asked Zoe what happened to her and she explained she got contacted by a man promising to give her a new life in the States and most importantly, keep her father from finding her. Red asked the man’s name and she told him she never met him, they just spoke on the phone, but his people referred to him as “The Decembrist.” Red tells Berlin, he may contact him soon about “The Decembrist,” and they all part company. Red contacts Lizzie and asks her to obtain any information on the mystery man.
The Task-Force techie, Aram Mojtabai’s an amazing man in my eyes, as each episode he finds a major clue that helps the Task-Force solve their Crime Of The Week. Mojtabai, impressed again in this episode as he found reports that “The Decembrist’s,” DNA was found on the recovered edges of the bomb that killed the KGB officials, but at the time the DNA database of this era didn’t exist. Aram ran the DNA against the database and found out that he’s an official for the Russian Government. Liz calls Red to give him the name of “The Decembrist,” but puts him on hold when a call comes through from Tom’s babysitter, telling her to get to the harbor pronto. She tells Red, she needs to go, repeats the name twice and hangs up the phone. Reddington realizes something’s amiss.
Keen arrives at the boat and gets sick to her stomach, an elderly security guard for the harbor, who came checking on the boat earlier in the episode, but got intercepted by Liz, came back and discovered Tom, while the big guy went to have a smoke. He’s now tied up and the babysitter asks Liz what to do. The elderly man says this is FBI official business and he’ll keep his mouth shut, but Tom keeps insisting they need to kill him. Keen’s about to release the man, when Tom hoists himself up by some bars on the ceiling, wraps his legs around the old man’s neck and starts choking the life out of him. The big guy holds back Liz, until she grabs her weapon and shoots him in the foot. But the old man’s dead by the time she gets free.
Red meets with Berlin, who asks if “The Decembrist’s,” taken care of and Reddington replies not yet, then asks Berlin if he’d like to join him on a trip to Moscow? By the time they arrive, Berlin’s men ambushed the Russian official’s security team in an elevator and the pair meet the Russian as the elevator doors open. After some quick questions, Red realizes he’s not “The Decembrist,” and asks who is? He reveals he’s United States Government official and Raymond’s partner in the cartel, Alan Fitch. Berlin then shoots and kills the Russian and even Red, thinks that’s too much. He then tells Berlin, it’s hands-off on Fitch and Berlin responds, yeah right! Raymond calls Dembe and tells him to call the florist.
Legendary actor Alan Alda, has portrayed Fitch for the show’s two-seasons a very shady and mysterious character, who viewers realize is an official with the U.S. Government, but the series never revealed what his position was, until this episode. Turns out the man involved in a secret global cartel’s the Assistant Director of National Security, as we find out during a meeting he’s part of. He then sees a delivery boy holding a large potted white flower, apparently a signal to meet with Red.
The two allies meet and Red asks Fitch if he let Berlin believe, that Raymond kidnapped and murdered his daughter and the explanation sounds like Alan got really ticked off when Red left the Intelligence Community. He also said that they had yet to hammer out an agreement, so this didn’t count as betrayal. Red offers Alan protection, but Fitch feels pretty secure with his Government security. He should’ve accepted Red’s offer.
Fitch and an aide, exit a building talking business, when a motorcade approaches, two men step out of the lead car, identify themselves as Secret Service Agents and ask the two men to enter the vehicle. They keep speaking when the “agent” in the passenger seat shoots the aide. The driver then says to his contact on the other end of the phone line, they have the package in Russian. Berlin’s men kidnapped Fitch.
They find where they’re hiding Fitch surprisingly easily, and quickly kill all the guards, then they see the bad news, Fitch has an incredibly complicated bomb, strapped around his head and neck. The bomb squad arrives and they’re stumped by the device, they transport Alan to the Task-Force headquarters, as they have a case that can contain the blast of a bomb. Fitch’s put inside with three men from the bomb squad and as time ticks away without progress, it’s down to one man. Alan’s aware the squad member can’t disarm the bomb and tells him to leave the container, then asks Harold Cooper to get him Red.
He tells Reddington, that with him dying, Red’s in tough shape with the cartel. Fitch then says many in the group doesn’t believe he has it, then he asks Raymond if he’s got the Fulcrum, Red remains silent, but Alan says they’ll want proof. He then gives him the combination to his safe, 8-30-44, his wife’s birthday. He says the safe’s in St. Petersburg in the wall of….. the bomb detonates. Red picks up Zoe in his car and asks if her father’s contacted her and by the glare she aims at him, we realize the answer’s yes.
So, what’s the Fulcrum? Well, Wikipedia’s first two references are a Marvel Comic Book Series and the English language paper for the University of Ottawa, both doubtful that’s what the cartel’s searching for. However, digging a bit deeper the Mikoyan MiG-29, a jet manufactured by the Soviets in the early eighties is also known as the Fulcrum. It’s described as an “Air superiority fighter, multirole fighter,” could this plane be the item the cartel covets? Most likely not, but it’s sure to prove an intriguing question when the show returns.
Liz heads back to the boat where it’s just Tom and the old man’s corpse. Tom starts playing with her mind saying her only choice’s freeing him. That could’ve been the moment when she realized she couldn’t kill him, so she makes a deal that if Tom gets an address for Berlin, she’ll set him free. She tells Ressler about what’s going on and he mildly flips out, telling Keen how wrong this all is. Tom calls his old contact number on a payphone but the operator tells him his codes obsolete, he tells the woman to tell Berlin to call Tom Keen. Seconds later the Russian’s on the phone telling Tom he thought he died, Tom replies he needs to get brought in, but Berlin’s hesitant until Tom starts inferring threats. Tom gives Liz the number, she removes his ankle bracelet and Ressler threatens to track him down.
At that same moment Berlin’s elated as Zoe’s joined him for lunch and he’s beaming like a school boy. He sees his daughter’s uncomfortable with his security guards, he sends them outside. She says she needs to leave, but he pleads for her to stay a while longer. Dembe and Red walk in, Red gives Zoe a passport and money and wishes her a happy life, as the pain registers on his face due to his daughter’s betrayal. Red pulls out a fifth of vodka and the two men drain it. As soon as Berlin puts his glass down Raymond unloads a round of shots into his chest killing him instantly.
Red enters the Task-Force headquarters and says Elizabeth we have to speak, a name he hasn’t used since the pilot. We see the anger in his eyes as he asks why she lied about Tom being dead. She begins to make an excuse when he cuts her off and tells her if she told Red she’d need to admit, she still loved Tom. She breaks down and asks what’s wrong with her and Raymond responds nothing, then kisses her forehead.
The final scene we follow a cleaned up Tom into a bar, first we see Dembe, then Red sitting alone in a booth. Tom sits down and Red gives him an envelope and Tom explores the inside making sure he got what he wanted, then rises and starts to leave. Reddington says Tom’s never to see Liz again and Tom says gotcha. Raymond grabs his wrist and tells Tom to look at his face, then repeats himself. Tom says Lizzie held him prisoner for four-months and never talked about Tom and Red’s relationship. On that bombshell we now wait until February 1.