Reed Birney

All posts tagged Reed Birney

Photo Courtesy Of NBC

Photo Courtesy Of NBC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

If somebody approached Elizabeth Keen in August of 2013 and told her what her life would be like just two years later, she’d likely think that person was clinically insane. One month later Liz became a rookie agent for the FBI and her life was never the same. Just as she was reporting for duty the most elusive culprit on the FBI’s Most Wanted List Raymond “Red” Reddington, showed up at FBI Headquarters and surrendered his freedom. He promised FBI Assistant-Director Harold Cooper “The Blacklist,” containing the names and information on the planet’s worst criminals. People that Reddington told Cooper that the FBI and other Law-Enforcement Agencies didn’t even realize existed.

In exchange he wanted two things, total immunity from prosecution and he would only talk to Agent Elizabeth Keen, an agent so new that Cooper didn’t even know her name. She balked at first at Reddington’s request to work with her, but the pair who had seemingly nothing in common, started working as partners. As the first season progressed we realized there was a hidden connection between Red and Liz, that the agent wasn’t aware of. She would also soon find out that her whole existence was based on nothing but lies.

Throughout season one her world got rocked by revelations, that gentle school-teacher that she fell in love with and married was actually a mercenary, hired to get close to her. He even lied about his name, taking on the alias of Tom Keen and won her heart. We’d find out later that despite his lies and deceit, she captured his heart as well.

While Raymond refrained from lying to Agent Keen, he only gave her enough information to keep her informed. Liz realized that a connection existed between them stemming from her childhood. She asked Red if he was her real father and he told her no, but he also failed to reveal the secrets he had about her childhood. However, Lizzie did start unraveling some of the lies that made up her life.

Liz found out that Tom was working for an enemy of Raymond’s named Berlin and the final episode of the first campaign culminated in a knock-down, no-holds-barred battle between husband and wife, ending when Liz shot Tom in his abdomen. We ended season one believing Tom had died, but Liz wasn’t through torturing the man who married her under false pretenses, quite yet.

Early in the second season, we find out that Keen enlisted a surgical unit to save Tom’s life in secret. Saving him wasn’t because of her love for him, she realized the only way she could contact Berlin was through the man she knew as Tom Keen. Liz had a score to settle with Berlin, he killed her fellow agent Meera Malik and nearly killed Harold Cooper, putting him in the hospital for months.

While during the first year of the series, Liz learned unsavory things about her husband, the second season resulted in Keen learning things about Reddington, that shattered her trust. Among her revelations, she found out Reddington had suffocated her stepfather to death, rather than allow him to tell Liz about her childhood. Red tried telling her all his actions were meant to protect her, but it damaged their relationship almost beyond repair.

While Red continued to provide the FBI a new name from The Blacklist each week, we soon realized that Raymond had other pressing issues on his plate, The Cabal and The Fulcrum. The Cabal’s a shadow organization including some of the most powerful people on the planet, whom we find out pull the strings behind world events. Although not specifically stated, we can assume The Cabal’s behind every great tragedy of the 21st Century. Red has an uneasy truce with The Cabal, based on the fact they believe Red possesses The Fulcrum, a file jam-packed with all sorts of evidence including pictures and names involved in all the Cabal’s funny-business.

While Reddington’s getting all his ducks in a row, the new United States Attorney General Tom Connolly, has put his old buddy Harold Cooper in some compromising positions. Connolly coerced Cooper’s doctor into making Harold believe that he was dying from a cancerous tumor in his brain. Connolly allegedly pulled some strings to get Cooper into a special trial-program to combat the cancer, which seemed to be effective. Cooper now felt obligated to the man he considered his patron saint and bent some rules and looked the other way to help Connolly out.

The National Security Director of the United States, runs The Cabal and orders a hit put out on Reddington. Red gets seriously wounded by gunfire but he survives the surgery. Not long after he greets a crew of hand-selected investigative reporters from around the globe and reveals the contents of The Fulcrum to them all.

Rather than backing off when Red threatened to expose every member of The Cabal, Tom Connolly started tightening the screws on Cooper and Liz. He then says that Keen and Cooper are heading to Federal prison, Samar Navabi’s to be extradited to Iran, where she’ll stand trial for killing an official. Reddington will get tried for treason and executed, Ressler’s Oxy addiction will get him drummed out of the Bureau. He’s even got things planned for Aram and Charlene. Lizzie simply snapped, pulled out her service revolver and shot Connolly dead. Season Two ended with Red and Lizzie on the run, him telling her he never wanted her to be like him.

Keen’s memories of her childhood rushed back when she shot Connolly. Suddenly she could remember being a four-year-old named Masha Rostova, the daughter of a former Soviet Intelligence Agent Katerina Rostova. When she shot Connolly to death, she suddenly remembered shooting her father to death when she was a toddler, to stop him from beating her mother. Raymond was there that night and helped cover-up the murder and somehow erased the memories from Masha’s mind. That was the reason he didn’t want her stepfather to tell her the truth, Red believed that Lizzie would be better off not knowing about the tragedy.

The Blacklist returns to NBC on Thursday night October 1, and the show’s released a bit of a sneak preview on digital media entitled “Behind The Blacklist: Season Three.” With Task-Force Director Harold Cooper in Federal custody, Deputy Attorney General Reven Wright’s assigned Keen’s former partner Donald Ressler to head-up the search for the two fugitives. Ressler known as “The Boy-Scout,” by his colleagues now needs to choose between his loyalty for Liz and his oath to uphold the law.

We don’t find out a lot about Season Three in the 30-minute video, however we do get to see Liz changes her hair-color to a honey-blonde that leave the normally loquacious Reddington tongue-tied. We also find out that the talented up and coming actor Edi Gathegi, featured earlier this year in Humans and Proof, will join the cast in season three. Gathegi, whose played warm and friendly characters in his previous two shows, seems to be destined to be far less cuddly on this series, as he’ll portray Sullivan a representative of The Cabal.

The last we saw of Tom Keen, he was leaving the DC Metro area on his boat, hoping to start a new life. Somehow I wouldn’t be surprised if Tom and Liz cross paths once again in season three.

Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC

Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Revelations and a rather shocking ending, left fans of the NBC series “The Blacklist,” looking forward to the series’ return at the start of the new TV season. The episode concluding the second season of the show, radically shook up the dynamic that had been in place, as events and people forced others to make life-altering decisions. Whether things can go back to the way were, is unclear at this point. However, deep down this series has always lived in a state of flux, since Raymond Reddington turned himself into the FBI, stating that he’d only talk to a rookie agent named Elizabeth Keen.

This episode showed just how powerful the organization know as The Cabal, truly is in the Blacklist universe. Their reach seems to be limitless and can turn fiction into fact, by pressuring the right people. As this evening started, Liz Keen stood in the Cabal’s crosshairs, in retribution for saving Red’s life by threatening the Director, saying she’d give the Fulcrum to the New York Times, if he refused to call off the hit on Reddington.

We found out last week that Liz got infected with the designer virus that killed Senator Hawkins, as Red realized that the United States Attorney General Tom Connolly set her up. We join Keen seconds later in the Task Force headquarters, as Connolly and some agents from the Justice Department, come into the building to arrest Liz. Reddington tells Lizzie to run, but Keen’s determined to clear her name.

Connolly heads into Task Force Director Harold Cooper’s office and tells him that he’s arresting Keen for the murder of the Senator, an outspoken critic of Russia. He says that Keen’s mother was a KGB operative and that she and Reddington have subverted the Task Force, for Reddington’s own needs. Cooper tells the Attorney General he won’t help him and Connolly replies that all he needs are the results from Keen’s blood-test. Lizzie’s standing outside of Cooper’s office, hears Connolly and decides she best get out of there.

Connolly tells Harold he’s putting Deputy Attorney General Reven Wright in charge of the investigation and Cooper threatens to tell Reven everything about the Cabal. Connolly says that Harold would face perjury charges in the Harbor Master case, Charlene would get charged with leaking a Federal document and Harold’s participation in the clinical trial to fight his cancer ends. Cooper opens his bottle of pills and throws them on the floor and says he’d rather die than roll over. Connolly tells the two agents to escort Harold to his car, he’s relieved of duty until the investigation ends.

Keen tries to leave through the elevator, but as she reaches the ground level Connolly and his agents are waiting for her. The Attorney General says he and his men were just looking for her, they take her into custody. She’s interviewed by two men, that apparently are from the Justice Department and seem to have an extensive knowledge of her background.

They ask her where she was born, she responds she was raised in Nebraska, they inform her she was born in Moscow. They ask her what her birth-name is and she looks at them blankly, they tell her that it’s Masha Rostova and  that her mother was a KGB operative and her step-father had a criminal background. They then ask her how long she’s spied for Russia.

Wright’s listening to the interview and calls over Ressler. She says she doesn’t know Liz, but she’s suspicious that Harold got put on Administrative leave. She tells Ressler she wants him in charge of the Task Force during the investigation. She’s aware of his boy-scout reputation, in regards to upholding the law and says she trusts his instincts.

Harold and Red meet in a church, Raymond tells Cooper that he’s got a man inside the Task Force Headquarters and he’s getting the power cut, which gives them two minutes to get Lizzie out of the building before the cameras reset. He tells Harold that he’s going to need him to guide her through the quickest way out of the building.

The power goes out at the Headquarters, one of the agents leaves the office to find out what’s going on. A bald man walks in and Keen attacks him and the agent that’s still in the office, suddenly a phone rings and the bald guy says the call’s for her. It’s Cooper on the phone, giving her instructions on where the secret tunnels are. She’s two feet from the exit and Ressler finds her and tells her not to run. She tells him she’s being set-up and she asks him to look the other way, he does and she escapes.

Red gets her to a safe house, where Cooper joins them and Red asks Lizzie to think when she may have had her routine diverted in the last 24-hours. Harold says Union Station when she got knocked out by a man she believes was Russian spy Karakurt. Red tells her to go check out the station’s surveillance footage and says he needs to attend a meeting, concerning another aspect of their war.

Liz gets to check out the surveillance tapes and she discovers that it wasn’t Karakurt that attacked her, rather it was the scientist and designer drug maker Leo Andropov that knocked her out. He then infected her with the virus through a nasal spray.

She goes to the restaurant owned by the Russian criminal informant she had asked about her mother Katerina Rostova. The man says he doesn’t remember anything about Rostova, as he’s on retainer from Red, who instructed him not to talk with any Federal agents about Rostova. However, she says she wants information on where Leo Andropov’s staying at. He gives her the address of the safe house he’s hiding in. She asks him once more about her mother, this time he says he can’t tell her anything.

She heads back to the house Red’s at and she asks him why he got the restaurant owner to remain silent about her mother? He replies that he’s a sin-eater, a man who swallows other people’s sins, so they don’t have to. She asked him what kind of sin could she have committed when she was four-years-old. She then says every time he acts like he cares about her, he then blows it by protecting himself.

She heads to ex-husband Tom’s boat and asks him to go with her to Andropov’s safe-house, he says they should both just sail away to a new life. She says that if she doesn’t take care of this now, she’ll be looking over her shoulder for the rest of her life. He agrees to go with her.

They enter the apartment, with guns drawn and see a laptop on the coffee table, Liz notices the hard drive attached and she puts it in her pocket. Suddenly they hear a noise from another room, Andropov has climbed out the window via the fire escape and hits the street, then takes off in his car. Tom and Liz go on a high-speed chase, that ends with Andropov getting killed by gunmen from the Cabal.

Red’s gathered eleven of whom he labels the best investigative reporters on the planet and gives them each a copy of the Fulcrum. He tells then to study it, investigate it and report it, once they’ve verified its veracity. He says that any of them that publish stories will become targets of the Cabal. However in the end the truth will come out.

Back at Tom’s boat, she takes a look at the hard drive and quickly realizes she’s found a treasure trove of documents that implicate the Cabal and Tom Connolly. The files even include Cooper’s medical records, as his doctor works for the Cabal. She calls Cooper and tells him they need to meet, she has information about his doctor.

Harold heads to his doctor’s office and tells the patient meeting with him to get out, then he grabs the doctor around the neck and tells him to let him know what kind of monkey business he’s pulled on Cooper. The doctor’s ready to wet himself and tells Harold they threatened his family and there wasn’t any clinical trial. He then informs Cooper, that the tests were falsified and he doesn’t have cancer. Andropov was supplying pills to make Harold feel sick, then altered the compound to make him feel better again. He says to Harold that he’s in perfect health.

Harold goes to confront Connolly, who tells Cooper he’s got a lot of stones showing up. Cooper takes him into a room and Keen appears, then tells Connolly he best not call his security team until he hears what they have to say. Cooper then tells Tom, that the doctor taped all their conversations and the tapes prove that Connolly blackmailed the doctor.

Liz then tells him he’s going to make this go away, he’s to exonerate her, drop any charges against Harold and Charlene and tell the Director to leave Reddington alone. He laughs and says why would he do that and Cooper says he’ll give the tapes to the Bureau or a Federal judge. Connolly says that Harold’s got no idea how deep and wide the Cabal’s river of influence is.

He then says that Keen and Cooper are heading to Federal prison, Samar Navabi’s to be extradited to Iran, where she’ll stand trial for killing an official. Reddington will get tried for treason and executed, Ressler’s Oxy addiction will get him drummed out of the Bureau. He’s even got things planned for Aram and Charlene.

Lizzie pulls out her pistol and aims it at Connolly, he laughs again and says he’s just a cog in a very big machine. If she kills him, they’ll put someone else in power who’s equally influential, they just won’t know their identity. Harold tells Liz to put the gun down, that if she shoots Connolly, they’ll get her for sure. She looks disoriented and then fires off a couple of shots into Connolly’s chest, killing him immediately. She suddenly remembers herself at four pulling the trigger of a gun, then runs out of the building.

Lizzie’s on the street when she gets a call from Ressler, pleading with her to turn herself in. He says he’ll help her any way he can, but she shot the United States Attorney General. She hangs up on Donald and calls Reddington, she tells him she killed Connolly and he tells her he knows and he’ll soon be there to pick her up.

Red and Dembe embrace, as Dembe won’t be making the trip with them. When he leaves the pair sit down and she tells Red she remembers the night of the fire and remembers that she shot and killed her father. He was hurting her mother and her pistol fell to the floor. The little girl picked it up and then shot her father.

She tells Red he truly is her sin-eater, he says he failed though, as he never wanted her to be like him. They are then picked up by a white SUV and driven away. We watch Harold taken into custody, Tom Keen leave the States on his boat and Ressler putting up a new wanted poster. Elizabeth Keen’s now on the Bureau’s ten most wanted list.

Photo Courtesy Of NBC

Photo Courtesy Of NBC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Warning, getting the Cabal angry at you can be hazardous to your health. Unfortunately for FBI Agent Elizabeth Keen, she put a target on her back a few weeks ago, when she threatened the United States Director of National Security. She informed the Director that unless he called off the men on the verge of executing Raymond Reddington, she’d send a copy of the Fulcrum to the New York Times. The Director gave in to her demands, but informed the agent that she acquired some very powerful enemies with her actions.

This week’s episode of the NBC series “The Blacklist,” the Cabal struck back at Keen and ironically Reddington unwittingly led her right into the trap. The secret organization, containing some of the planet’s most powerful people, left a trail of breadcrumbs that they knew Red would discover and he took the bait. That resulted in Keen getting blamed for the death of a high-ranking Government Official.

We start the evening on a college campus, as an older man hands out leaflets calling to put an end to the NSA surveillance state. One student accidentally bumps into the man and his papers drop to the ground, he helps the man pick them up and tells him repealing the Patriot Act’s a pretty tough goal to shoot for. The man then tells the student about another proposal he has and the young man signs his petition.

As he walks away the man starts looking at his watch, while keeping an eye on the student. Seconds later the young man starts convulsing, then bleeding from his eyes. He falls to the ground and a white foam comes out of his mouth, as people try to help him.

Liz meets her ex-husband Tom at a diner and Tom says he wants to apologize, he says he should have done it long before. He then asks her to join him on his boat and leave everything behind. She tells him she doesn’t even really know who he is, as the man she was married to was just a persona he put on, like a suit. After eating breakfast she says she needs to meet with Reddington and takes off.

Raymond tells Keen that a Russian spy named Karakurt, recently came to Washington and he’s working for the Cabal. He will attack some Government security site in the next few days and the Cabal will blame it on Russia, heightening hostility between the two nations. He tells Liz that there’s a CIA Task-Force, that’s been tracking him for years and he suggests that she and Ressler, pay them a visit.

Red’s holding a Russian Consulate employee prisoner and the man’s getting tortured by an elderly associate of Raymond’s who’s hooked up to an oxygen tank. His methods prove effective and he gives Reddington an address that Karakurt’s staying at. Dembe and Red head to the apartment and Reddington says that the spy made bombs in the place.

A woman walks in looking for Karakurt, she’s a neighbor with a sick baby and she wanted to apologize for the child crying all night. Raymond gives her a card and tells her he’s private investigator looking for the man. He’s got a gambling problem and he left his wife out of shame. The woman said that she saw him in a white moving truck that morning and she thinks he maybe ready to move. Red asks her to call him if she sees the man again.

Keen and Ressler talk to two CIA agents from the Task-Force, the younger one warns them that his boss isn’t known for being cordial. The head of the Task-Force says that Karakurt’s not in the country, or he would know about it. He’s not receptive to any information they give him and he walks away after just a couple of minutes. The younger agent suggests that they talk to a former Soviet spy, who now owns a restaurant that’s frequented by Russian intelligence operatives. She asks the agent about Katerina Rustova and he says she’s just a myth, likely a composite of about five female Soviet spies from that era.

Aram and Navabi are trying to track the white moving truck filled with explosives and they realize the truck’s parked right outside the CIA facility. They call Ressler and he starts to warn Lizzie about the truck when it explodes. They’re a little battered and bruised, but other than that they’re okay. The same can’t be said about the 14 CIA Agents inside the building, they died instantly from the blast.

Television reports show Senator Hawking blaming Russia for the attack. Keen tells Red that Tom Connolly, the new Attorney General will likely drop by the building soon and she plans to tell Connolly, that they’re three steps behind. She’s unaware that he’s doing the Director’s bidding and working for the Cabal.

The neighbor calls Reddington and tells her the man with the truck’s back, he calls Liz and she and Ressler start to head to the apartment. However they’re orders are changed by Harold Cooper at the insistence, of Tom Connolly, as the Attorney General tells him the Director wants Karakurt free. He tells Cooper to send his agents to Union Station, when they get there a man in a hoodie blindsides Liz knocking her to the ground.

The agents get a copy of an audio tape, of a conversation between Karakurt and a Russian scientist, Dr. Leo Andropov, whose specialty is biological weapons. They raid his place and they find a test tube filled with a virus. Liz and Red visit a female biologist, who tells the pair it’s a designer virus, specifically designed for just one person. The virus will attack the victim’s central nervous system and they’ll die within minutes of contact.

Red calls Aram and asks him to find all the cases of people getting admitted to the city’s emergency rooms killed by an unidentifiable virus. Aram tells Red that could take hours, but then he gasps and says that they’ve sent a sample of the virus to the CDC. Red speaks to Navabi and tells her to talk with the victim’s mother.

Turns out that the young man had a very famous father, who never acknowledged him. The mother tells Navabi that years before she worked for a young up and coming Congressman and she had an affair with him. She subsequently got pregnant, but he paid her off to stay quiet and a monthly stipend to raise her son. Connor’s father’s Senator Hawking, who’ll be one of the featured speakers at a memorial for the slain CIA agents, that afternoon.

Karakurt dyes his hair dark and puts on glasses and he has credentials as a photographer at the memorial. Liz and Donald are scouting the area for the Senator, even checking cars. However Hawking got impatient with the traffic and walked the last few blocks to the memorial. Karakurt calls to Hawking and he’s just about to shake the Senator’s hand, which would infect him. However Keen nearly tackles the Senator to keep him from Karakurt and she and Ressler spirit him off to their car.

They inform Hawking of what Karakurt planned to do, but suddenly he starts having seizures and bleeding from his eyes, then dies right on the seat next to Keen. Could Karakurt infected Hawking in some other way, than by touching him?

The spy’s taken into custody by the FBI and Liz and Donald interrogate him, but he denies that he’s Karakurt. He says he’s a photojournalist for a European News Agency. Ressler says he can stick to his story, but his blood will show he was the carrier of the virus.

Reddington meets with the restaurant owner that the CIA agent told Liz about and the elderly gentleman’s genuinely pleased to meet him. He remembers Raymond as a US Counter-Intelligence Agent, saying he thought that Red was the KGB’s biggest enemy. Red laughs and thanks him for remembering, then he makes overtures to the man about working for Reddington.

The man says he was contacted the day before by an FBI Agent named Elizabeth Keen, about Katerina Rustova. He told Red he never met Rustova, but he remembers the legends about her quite well. He then says that a few months earlier, a couple of men from the Justice Department came around asking about Rustova, but kept asking about her daughter. Red’s face turns pale and he tells Dembe he needs a phone.

Ressler gets a call from the lab, saying Karakurt’s not infected, then Keen’s phone rings. It’s Red telling Lizzie she needs to get out of the building, that the Cabal set her up. Karakurt wasn’t the carrier, she was and that’s why Hawking died. He tells her your mother was a Russian spy, now they’re trying to implicate you as one. She hides behind a post as Tom Connolly and his men enter the building.

The Season Finale Airs on Thursday May 14, at 9:00 pm on NBC.

Photo Courtesy Of NBC

Photo Courtesy Of NBC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

 Yes, we have seen the Fulcrum and yes, if the names on the blackmail file gets released to the public, the planet will go into chaos. The man that leads the International Cabal, known to us only as the Director Of National Security for the United States, decided to call Raymond Reddington’s hand on whether he actually possessed the file. The Director got to see the list himself, via FBI Agent Elizabeth Keen as the NBC series “The Blacklist,” returned with a tense and intriguing chapter.

When we last saw Red, he was bleeding profusely from his chest, after the Cabal attempted to assassinate him in the final scene of the previous episode. The action picks up later that day, as we join an older man in a dark-room developing photographs, as he listens to a reel-to-reel tape of the conversation Liz had with her ex-husband Tom, about getting him his phony passports. The audio then changes, to the police radio call that came when Red got shot.

We’re back at the scene as Liz and Dembe, engage in a shootout with the sniper, while trying to get Red away to safety. There’s another man walking up the street towards them, Dembe spots the pistol in his hand and shoots him down. Liz and Dembe take turns exchanging fire with the sniper, as they all get into the car and flee the scene.

Liz calls Agent Donald Ressler at the Task Force Headquarters, informing them that Reddington’s gotten critically wounded. As she starts to give Harold Cooper her location, Dembe grabs her phone and throws it out the car window. He says no hospitals, then gives Liz another phone and tells her to dial *77. Mr. Kaplan picks up the line and asks Liz her location. She hangs up, then calls Keen back telling her to get Red to a warehouse on Massachusetts Avenue. By the time the three arrive, Mr. Kaplan’s got a full surgical team in place and has transformed the warehouse, into a mobile surgical unit.

When they get there, Keen calls Cooper and asks him to send backup. However there’s a leak within the Bureau, and two men from the Cabal arrive instead. Mr. Kaplan realizes their impostors by the handguns and shoots them both dead. However, they killed the surgeon and Kaplan tells Lizzie they’ve got to move Red within 15-minutes, a nurse cauterizes the wound and they move Red to the building that Tom’s hiding out in. Tom tells Lizzie he’s allowing this for her, not to help Reddington.

Liz is trying to locate Leonard Caul, for Raymond. Caul’s the man that Alan Fitch wanted Red to contact before he got blown up via a bomb vest. He knows how to operate the Fulcrum, if Liz doesn’t find him soon, the Director’s soldiers will eventually get to Red and finish him off.

Turns out that Caul’s a former CIA agent, from the Reagan Administration. He was involved in a program, shut down in the wake of the Iran-Contra scandal. Cooper contacts his former boss, Helen Jubal. At first she says she hasn’t seen him in decades, when Harold tells her that Tom Connolly’s involved in the investigation, she reveals where Caul’s hiding out.

Dembe pulls Liz aside and sends her to a small second-story flat, that Red’s got the Fulcrum’s interface and key hidden. He tells Keen, she must never let Reddington find out she was there. He tells her he’d normally go, but he can’t leave Raymond alone.

She gets the items, then sees a copy of her high-school graduation picture on the mantel. She sees a photo of herself as a little girl, being held by a man whose face’s faded beyond recognition, she takes a picture of it with her cell phone. She starts to leave the apartment, when she’s met by the guy in the darkroom, holding a gun. He suggest they go inside and talk.

She soon realizes, the man’s Leonard Caul, Red contacted him a few months before and Caul was badly roughed up by the Cabal. He tells her he went into hiding, until Red contacted him, by having Liz look for him. Reddington realized Caul would catch on quickly, his past was getting looked into.

She asks him what he knows about the Fulcrum and he asks her if the case she’s clutching is the interface? He suddenly realizes, she doesn’t know how it operates. He says to her, if she trusts Red, then she needs to trust him, as Red wants him to do this. She then gives him the key and finally the device he refers to as the Bubble Module, he says it’s about the size of a quarter, which is the device Liz found in the stuffed bunny, she had as a child. The interface comes alive and we see its projecting something on a wall, but we don’t see what it is.

Caul drives them to Red’s location as Liz clutches the interface tightly. As they approach the location, she sees the Director’s soldiers lined up outside ready to storm the place. She has Caul drive past, then calls Cooper, who sends backup he can trust to the location. She also calls Dembe and warns them of the attack. She wants Caul to take her back there, he tells her there’s nothing she can do. So she comes up with a backup plan.

The Director’s in the midst of a meeting with advisers for the President, when an assistant comes in and tells him Keen’s in the building to talk about the Fulcrum. He dismisses the advisers and tells them to apologize to the President for him. Keen comes into his office, he says she’s too late, she replies if she is, this will be all over the front page of the New York Times, the next morning.

She then shows him the file and we see page after page of articles, incriminating VIP’s across the globe, she tells him to call off him men. The Director makes the call just in time, as five soldiers are ready to shoot Reddington at point-blank range. One receives the call and they all just walk away.

She heads back to see Red and he tries to explain why he hired Tom to watch out for her. He says Tom was supposed to remain the friend of a friend, when he realized they’d gotten intimate, he terminated Keen. He then went to work for Berlin, so Tom could pretend he had a real life with a woman he loved.

Tom meets Liz on a bench, she says that the situation with Reddington will consume her. Tom tells her it would consume most people, but she’ll withstand it. She then says Red says that Tom has things he can tell her, she asks him to tell her all he knows about Reddington.

The Story Continues Next Thursday Night at 9:00 pm 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

In the end it all disappeared under the guise of National Security, blunt words from a very powerful man, ended  a Superior Court Judge and a Metro Homicide Detective’s quest to take on the United States Government’s Intelligence agencies, trying to prove FBI Agent Elizabeth Keen killed Harbor Master Eugene Ames. Actually, two powerful men made everything vanish, FBI Criminal Informant Raymond Reddington and the man who believes he’ll become the United States Attorney General, Tom Connolly. The NBC series “The Blacklist,” once again showed that perhaps this country’s greatest enemies, are Government Operatives, willing to make heinous crimes just go way, by eagerly waving the banner of National Security.

The show’s previous episode ended with Metro Homicide Detective Martin Wilcox, presenting Superior Court Judge Richard Renner, with a shell casing found on the boat she hid her ex-husband Tom Keen, trying to obtain the information to insure Red’s enemy Berlin’s demise. Ames wandered onto the wrong boat at the worst possible moment, paying with his life, strangled to death by Keen to protect Liz.

We start the episode off in Dresden, Germany as Keen’s infiltrated German racist gang “The Disenfranchised,” as the old man Tom’s impressed and two of his thugs, race after a dark-haired young man. The old man pushes the younger guy into a chain link fence and tells the man he wants his product and his money. He may live in the old man’s country, but he won’t allow immigrants to deal drugs in his territory.

Suddenly Keen runs at the guy and kicks the stuffing out of him, he tells the guy he’s got 30-seconds to give up his stash and cash, or the old man will kill him. The other guy responds he’ll die anyway, but Keen assures him if he gives them what they want he’ll live.

The man gives up his drugs, then Keen pats him down and takes his bankroll. The guy says I thought you said if I cooperated, you’d let me walk away, Keen says he told him he’d live, he never said walk away, then shatters the man’s leg.

Renner brings Liz into his chambers, shows her the bullet casing and tells her Samuel Aleko’s blood’s on it. She tells the judge she didn’t kill Eugene Ames and Renner says unless you tell me more, I’ll indict you for murder tomorrow morning. Liz refuses to talk and Renner says he’ll see her the next morning.

Red shows up at the Task Force headquarters and reveals to Samar and Aram that Keen’s still alive and tells them about Liz’s imprisoning her ex-husband to get information on Berlin. He then tells them that Tom’s new assignment’s working for “The Disenfranchised,” a gang he describes as racists masquerading as patriots to keep Germany pure. However their true agenda’s dealing drugs and according to Interpol, may have killed a dozen foreign-born competitors in the last year.

He tells them he’s heading to Germany to bring Keen home and to confess that Tom killed the Harbor Master. Ressler says he’s coming with him and Red says that’s not happening, but Tom promises to keep his mouth shut and stay out-of-the-way. Just then Liz arrives and Donald tells her what he and Red are doing, she asks to speak to Raymond privately.

He tells her he’s doing what ever he can to keep her safe, she cries if Red brings Tom back he’ll spend the rest of his life in prison and Raymond says one step at a time. Then she says Keen won’t come back, Red assures her he will.

The next scene takes us to Munich as Reddington’s visiting an old associate at a rehab-center. The man named Max tells Raymond he’s never worked with “The Disenfranchised,” but an old friend was a gun-runner for them. Unfortunately he’s unavailable to talk to as they killed him last year, but he says they’ve got a new guy on board that hooked them up with Austrian arms-dealer Franz Becher. He says if Red puts some money in Max’s canteen fund at the Rehab Center, he’ll get him information.

The next day Ressler and the BMI raid where Becher’s weapons are stored, the German organization impound the weapons, making Red a critical figure in the Austrian getting his shipment back from the BMI.

Reddington visits Klaus who’s covered in body piercing’s and getting a tattoo applied, Raymond tells Becher he heard about his snafu at the airport and Klaus tells the Tattoo Artist to give them privacy. Red then tells Klaus he can get the weapons back from the BMI, but he wants a 35% cut, he then tells Becher they’re now partners and he’ll go talk with “The Disenfranchised.

Back at Task Force headquarters, Liz calls her financial planner to close an account and have it transferred to another account. She says she realizes the amount of money she’s dealing with, then tells him to close the account and transfer the funds that afternoon.

Cooper walks into her office and chews her out, after he tells her he perjured himself to protect her. She apologizes for forcing him to do that, but she said with Meera dead and him near death, she did what she believed to be right. Cooper says he doesn’t recognize her or himself any longer, his nose starts to bleed, he passes out and has an intense seizure, as Liz calls for help.

Keen and the old man are waiting for Becher and the old man gets nervous, that the Austrian won’t show, seconds later a car pulls up and he says he’s going to get Elias. Tom approaches the car and his jaw drops when he sees Red and Ressler and Reddington says good evening in German.

Charlene Cooper meets Liz at the hospital, Dr. Harper tells Harold’s wife he’s still unconscious and had an intense seizure, it’s too early to tell how he’ll come out of the episode. Charlene then tells Liz that Harold’s got a brain-tumor, but he’s in a trial-program and appeared improving until, this incident. She then begs Keen to keep that between the two of them and Liz says of course.

Tom tells Red and Ressler to leave before Elias and the old man come out, but Ressler says he’s coming home with them, to confess killing Ames, are Liz will go to prison for the murders. Tom says tell her she’s on her own, when she put me down in that hole, that was it. I’m not going down for her, or for you.

The two men come out and Elias asks if there’s a problem, Red says yes, then introduces himself. He then tells them that Becher’s weapons got seized by BMI, but he can get them released in exchange for Keen. He says that Keen’s either an idiot or was setting them up and he wants to find out which is true. Elias says he can kill him out back and Red says that’s splendid, Keen shoots the man who approaches him then runs from the building. Dembe, Ressler and Red kill all the remaining members of “The Disenfranchised.” Donald says they have to go after Keen, but Red says they sent their message.

Cooper’s fine he had a bout of hypoglycemia, that caused him to black out and the trial-treatment seems like it’s slowed the tumor’s progression. He says the seizure may have been a side-effect of the meds, he says it’s too early to call but things are looking brighter for Harold.

Tom calls Ressler from a burner-phone and tells him to put Red on. Raymond asks if he can live with himself knowing Lizzie will spend her life in prison for a murder he committed. Tom shows his internal conflict, but once again tells Reddington he’s not returning to the States.

Renner is about to issue an indictment on Liz, when the Deputy Attorney General asks for a sidebar, saying this is coming from the Attorney General. She tells the Judge that the Attorney General’s representative will soon arrive and asks for him to recess until they arrive, but Renner refuses. He’s about to indict Liz, when a court officer tells the judge there’s a man in the hallway saying he killed the Harbor Master.

It’s Tom as Liz gasps when he enters the courtroom, he tells the judge he killed the Harbor Master and Renner asks his name, he replies he’s Tom Keen. Renner smirks and says he’s relieved to hear that as someone told him he died.

The judge brings Keen into his chambers and listens to his story. Renner says he’ll dismiss murder charges against Liz, but still will indict her on perjury and accessory after the fact. Tom says he’ll give Renner a full-blown confession, but only if Liz gets her name cleared, a man walks in and says you’re not testifying. It’s Cooper’s old friend Tom Connolly and Renner has his officers escort Tom from his chambers.

Connolly proceeds to rip Renner up, down and sideways, telling him he’s a Superior Court Judge and not authorized to hear matters of National Security, that they have a branch of justices for that reason. He says he should get him arrested and locked-up, but he tells him instead, Renner’s going to dismiss the case on grounds of National Security.

Renner addresses the court and says after reexamining the evidence, he’s decided for National Security purposes to throw the case out. Wilcox first insults Renner and then Liz, telling her that he’s got to go to his wife and daughter now and tell them they won’t receive justice. Connolly tells Wilcox that’s enough and he walks out of the court-room, Keen then asks Connolly what happens to Tom and he asks Tom who? He then tells her he’s never met him, or is he in Federal Custody.

Liz sold the apartment that Red bought for her and sent the money anonymously to Ames’ daughter for her college fund. Red comes into the college study room, where Liz watches the young lady talking with classmates. Raymond then tells her to watch out as this could end up as a long-term relationship, then with little pretense explains to Liz what he’s done for her all these years, but the satisfaction wears off. Suddenly you realize you’re doing this for yourself, not the person you’re attempting to help.

Liz looks at Red and smiles, then says you knew that if Tom came back here to testify, they’d throw the case out because of the task force. She says you saved someone you hate, so you could save me, Raymond and Lizzie’s relationship seems to have gotten better in the last few weeks.

The Story Continues Next Thursday 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.