Season Five Episode Seven

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Photo Courtesy Of Will Hart/NBC

WARNING: SPOILER ALERT

Who is Ian Garvey, and what’s his connection to Raymond Reddington?

We’ll dive into that question a bit later, and we’ll most likely find out the answer to that query on November 15. However we’ve got many avenues to explore concerning the episode of the NBC series “The Blacklist,” entitled “The Kilgannon Corporation (48).” This chapter harkened back to the feel that the show had during its first three seasons, dividing our attention between just two subplots, unlike the byzantine structure we’ve seen unfold in the last few episodes. The hour concluded with the Task-Force successfully completing their mission, while leaving us salivating to witness how the cliffhanger plays out.

The hour revolved around this writer’s favorite character Dembe Zuma, masterfully portrayed by actor Hisham Tawfiq. Even when relegated to the silent brooding “Muscle-Shake” persona, of the first three seasons, Tawfiq found a way to make Zuma a three-dimensional character. He did more with a raised eyebrow, or his face registering amusement, than many actors could convey in a soliloquy.

Dembe’s the series’ most mysterious character, we know bits and pieces of his past, we’ve met his daughter and granddaughter. We’re aware that Raymond rescued him decades earlier, breaking him free from the grip of the Boko Haram. Since the show-runners expanded Tawfiq’s role last season, we’ve learned that along with his physical strength, and strong sense of compassion, Zuma’s quite an educated man.

Raymond called him a natural golfer, we witnessed his skills in the kitchen a few weeks back, and he blew away Aram when he revealed that he took the electrical engineering course at Khan Academy, and he’s fluent in eight different languages. Mojtabai gushed that except for the fact Dembe’s forced to kill people as part of his job, Zuma’s his role model.

The evening begins with a very abrupt cold open. We’re at a beach on the Carolina coast, watching Mom, Dad, brother and sister setting up for a picnic, while Dad’s on the phone with friends, giving them directions. The daughter who appears to be about nine, explores the rocks and shells at the edge of the water, when she suddenly sees a man floating just feet from her. She looks up and into the ocean and there’s about 20 bodies coming towards the shore. Dad tells his daughter to stay with Mom, and he goes into the water attempting to save people.

After the credits we find ourselves in Lizzie and Tom’s apartment, with Tom begging his new bride not to answer the call from Raymond, and take the day off. While sorely tempted to indulge her new husband, she says that Raymond insisted they meet that afternoon. Tom’s phone then rings and the display registers unidentified number, Liz jokingly says that’s mysterious, and Tom flings the phone to the other side of the room.

The “Concierge Of Crime’s” still rebuilding his empire, but his days of wearing hand me downs are behind him, as he nattily attired when Elizabeth arrives for their meeting. Lizzie tells Raymond that she and Tom got married the previous afternoon, and after a moment of silence he says that though he and Tom have had their differences, he knows that Tom’s got her best interests at heart. He kisses he on the cheek and congratulates her.

She tells Raymond that she can’t remember the last time she felt that happy, until she looks down at the newspaper on the table. The headline reads that 29 people died off the Carolina coast, and Keen shakes her head at the concept of human trafficking. Reddington corrects her, explaining that these people weren’t prisoners, they paid for transportation. He says they got packed like sardines in a freighter that couldn’t withstand the weight, and sank off the coast before making port.

Red says that before Kate destroyed his empire, he ran an international human smuggling ring. However some unscrupulous gang filled the void, and hundreds of people have died in similar incidents over the last few months. Raymond says that he needs the Bureau’s help in finding out who took over the operation.

We get our introduction to the new operators, as a hot-headed young guy with a thick Irish brogue, speaks to a man he calls Captain Zhang. Zhang owned and operated the ship that sank, and the young guy’s angry because the 29 people that died hadn’t paid the balance for their transport. Zhang replies that he’d simply followed the man’s orders, and the hotheaded guy responds by shooting him dead. He turns to his father and apologizes that he had to see the killing. The father says his son compounded the problem by killing a valued employee.

Cooper questions Reddington’s motives and Raymond explains there are far easier ways to make a buck. He says that his reasons for setting up his human smuggling network, had been simply because the void needed to be filled. He wanted to ensure that clients weren’t exploited or subjected to the conditions they’re facing. Harold commends Red for his noble reasons, but says all the Bureau can only aid in shutting down the new operators.

Raymond does insist however that rather than sending in an agent to infiltrate the network, that Dembe goes in undercover, posing as a Nigerian seeking passage to Germany. After getting fitted with a radio-transmitting cap on his rear molar, Zuma and the Task-Force head to Thessaloniki, Greece, where the new operators have a base. They smuggle people north through Macedonia.

Dembe heads into a bookshop that serves as a cover for the smuggling ring. He’s brought into a back room where he encounters Cornelius Goga, the head of the local operation. He identifies himself as Malik Charef, from Oran, but the smuggler thinks he’s a cop. After Dembe wins a game of chicken with the smuggler, he’s told to return the next day with three thousand euros, and he’ll be in Germany in a few days. He says the Irishmen now demand the entire fee up front. Lizzie relays the information to Red, who identifies the Irishman as Arthur Kilgannon.

Back in the States, Tom meets up with Lena Mercer in Manassas, Virginia. Mercer got a call from a credit card fraud-protection team, saying they spotted unusual activity on her card at a convenience store in Manassas. While distracting the teenage clerk behind, the counter by stripping down to her bra and trying on a tee-shirt,

Tom sneaks into the backroom and checks out the surveillance camera footage. he finds the footage with Pete McGee on it and he’s able to zoom in on the name of the motel McGee’s crashing in, from his room key. They take off in search of the motel, with the mysterious Crespin following right behind.

Raymond and Dembe travel to Sofia, Bulgaria and pay a surprise visit to the home of Arthur Kilgannon. Reddington says that Kilgannon’s reputation precedes him, and the Irishman responds the same can be said for Red’s and mentions Reddington’s setbacks. Raymond mentions that they took over his smuggling network, and the old man says that Red needs to speak to his son, because he runs the operation.

Red says that his son’s over his head and that hundreds of people have died due to the shoddy operation. Arthur responds that the 29 deaths on the Chinese vessel, was an isolated incident, but Raymond tells him to do some digging. Reddington proposes a partnership, allowing him to handle the network and giving Kilgannon half the profits. The old man scoffs at the proposal, saying Reddington’s just trying to muscle his way in. Red responds that Kilgannon’s reputation’s one of a man that does everything top-notch, but now he sees that isn’t true.

After failing to negotiate with Kilgannon, the decision’s made to destroy the network in a bust. Zuma says because he’s already cleared for travel, he’s the obvious choice to infiltrate the network, but Reddington objects. Dembe says that he knows what it’s like to be seen as less than human. Raymond rescued him from that life, and now it’s his turn to rescue others from the same fate. Red grudgingly agrees, and says that the Task-Force will maintain contact with him, and if that fails Raymond will track him down and get him back.

Lena and Tom head to McGee’s room and force their way in. Pete swears that he didn’t kill Nik, that somebody tracked him down, after he hacked the Federal database. They ended up cutting off some of his fingers to give up who else he’d been working with, but he remained silent. He said he passed out from the pain, and when he woke he heard struggling and saw a guy strangling Nik, He used that opportunity to run away. Just then two beefy looking guys burst through the motel door, and knock Tom out.

Dembe meets with Goga and pays him the three thousand euros, he’s then brought into a facility with a few other people, including an Arabic couple and their young daughter. After having black hoods put over their heads the groups transported to a huge facility, and deposited into cages. The facility’s filled with cages each containing others searching for a new life. Dembe sees the fear in the little girl’s eyes and tries to comfort her, but her parents pull her away.

Arthur Corrigan angrily confronts his son Colin, after verifying what Reddington told him. He tells his son that he hoped by putting him in charge, Colin would rise to the occasion and mature. However he says he should’ve known better, that Colin always had a mean-streak, even as a child. He tells his son he’s no longer in charge, and Colin responds by choking the life out of his father.

Cornelius Goga announces that the trucks have arrived and the transport’s underway. People get divided into groups and loaded onto trucks, but the little girl’s been separated from her parents. Dembe tries to reason with Goga, but the smuggler socks him in the jaw, breaking the audio-link to the Task-Force. With their link down, Cooper refuses to allow the Task-Force to invade the facility. The Macedonia police arrive a short while later and engage in a shootout. Although they quickly subdue the smugglers, seven trucks escaped during the battle, including the one containing Dembe and the little girl.

Goga reveals to the authorities that he sent out a message to all the drivers to dump their vehicles in isolated areas. The vehicles are refrigerator trucks, which means they’re airtight, and the only time air circulates in the truck’s when the engine’s running. All the people imprisoned within those trucks have about two and a half hours of air remaining, so the race against the clock’s on.

Raymond heads back to Arthur Kilgannon’s home, where Kilgannon’s widow informs him her husband’s dead. Reddington demands to speak to their son, and when he connects with Colin he says that unless he gets the info on all the truck driver’s he’ll unfortunately be forced to shoot Colin’s mother. The young man laughs and says Reddington would be doing him a favor, and saving him the trouble of killing her himself. Raymond apologizes that Mrs. Kilgannon had to hear that, and she replies that if Red allows her to access her computer she’ll provide Colin’s exact location through the GPS unit in her son’s car.

The truck that contains Dembe and the little girl, pulls to a stop and the motor shuts off. The people in the back start to panic, so Dembe tries to reassure them that help’s on the way. However two guys pry loose a bar from the roof of the truck and try smashing through the walls to no avail. After the effort proves to be fruitless, Dembe grabs the bar and flings it away, telling the guy he’s using too much oxygen.

Tom wakes up to find that he along with Lena and Pete, are tied to chairs and facing an ominous looking bald man with horned rimmed glasses, that IMDB identifies as Ian Garvey. In yet another great choice of casting, Garvey’s portrayed by the fine character actor Johnny Coyne. He tells the trio that only one of them will live through this experience, the one that can connect him to Raymond Reddington.

McGee’s over come with fear to the point that he’s almost in tears. He tells their captor that he’s completely clueless, that Tom got him and Nik involved and he’s got no idea how to contact Reddington. The man responds that McGee just revealed he’s completely useless, and shoots him dead. Lena then begs the man to let her go, she promises she’ll never say a thing and she doesn’t even know where they are.

Tom also pleads with their abductor to let her go, and the man smiles and says that she can leave. Her hand restraints get cut off, and she starts to scurry towards the door, when the man plants two slugs into her back. He turns towards Tom and smiles once more and says “And then there was one.”

Raymond arrives at Colin’s hideout just as he and two associates are leaving, with Red taking two of them out before they realize he’s in the room. He then points the gun at Kilgannon and asks where he’s hidden the info on the truck drivers. Colin points top one of the dead men’s briefcase, and after getting the list he kills the punk.

With the air fading quickly, the gut that attempted to smash through the truck, says that if there were fewer people, the air supply would last longer. Somebody asks how that would be decided, and the guy says that they should start with the oldest. An elderly man asks if he wants to kill his wife, and the guy says that he would so more of them could live.

Dembe asks the malcontent if he could watch the life go out of the woman’s eyes as he choked her to death? The man responds that perhaps Dembe should be the first to die and takes a swing at Zuma, who flattens the dude with a blow to the jaw. He says that they’ll get through this together, and then tells the little girl to lay her head on his lap and sleep. When she awakens she’ll see her parents.

Raymond gets the location of the truck from the driver, and they get to the vehicle and release the prisoners. Dembe says the little girl’s pulse is weak and she can’t wait for an ambulance. He drives her to a hospital, where the doctors says she’ll be fine. When she’s released she’s overjoyed to see her parents waiting for her. After a tearful reunion, she runs over to give Dembe a big hug.

Ian Garvey’s patience runs out and he’s about to kill Tom, saying he should’ve realized that a little puissant like Tom had no connection to Reddington. Tom counters by saying that he works for Raymond and that he can arrange a meeting between the two of them. He says he’s got a wife and a baby, and has no intention of dying for Reddington.

The Fall Finale Airs Next Wednesday Night at 8:00pm on NBC.

Photo Courtesy Of AMC

Photo Courtesy Of AMC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Tonight’s The Walking Dead marks the last episode before next week’s mid-season finale. It goes so fast. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with myself until February. But, really, I’m getting ahead of myself, because there’s plenty that The Walking Dead can do to me in two episodes.

So, now we know for sure that Noah was the one who emerged from the woods by the church with Daryl. They’ve explained the situation, and the group is readying to depart to Atlanta to retrieve Carol and Beth. The group has decided to split again; some will remain at the church with Judith and Gabriel (who is actually more useless than a baby), and the rest will go to Grady Memorial to rescue Beth and Carol. Part of this involves reinforcing the church’s perimeter. Sasha busts apart pews like the pews themselves killed Bob. Tyreese and Daryl dismantle the pipe organ and warily assess Sasha’s tenuous grip on her emotions.

As they ready to leave, Rick confides to Michonne that he doesn’t feel good about leaving. Michonne offers to go in his place, but he refuses. He owes Carol. Michonne reminds him that they all owe her. Rick reaffirms that his responsibility to her. Daryl, Rick, Tyreese, Sasha, and Noah load into the box truck that Daryl drove back from Atlanta. As Carl nails down the slabs of broken pews to reinforce the door, Judith begins to cry. Crying babies are never a good sign. Gabriel doesn’t react well to either Judith’s wailing or Carl’s hammering, and begins to make his way toward the front of the church. He’s drawn to the bloodstains left on the floor from the Termites’ slaughter. He begins to pick at the marks, trying to scrub them away with his fingernails and spit. The zombie apocalypse has not been good to this man’s psyche. It’s only a matter of time before he cracks completely.

Once in Atlanta, the group scouts Grady Memorial, and Rick puts together a plan. He wants to ambush Grady—take out the guards, extract Carol and Beth, kill everyone who needs to be killed in the meantime, get out, and go home. Everyone seems on board, but Tyreese objects. If Rick’s plan doesn’t work, a lot of people might die. Why not try to take a few of her people hostage instead, and make an exchange? Noah has told them all that Dawn is barely hanging on by a thread, so they should exploit her shaky confidence to get what they want instead of starting off with violence. Rick considers the plan, but counters that it’s not as surefire as the ambush. Daryl speaks up, siding with Tyreese.

Daryl. Dude. I understand that you’re feeling a little insecure about your ability to kick everyone’s ass, since you think that it’s your fault that Beth got kidnapped. You’re troubled by how the carnage, horror, and loss of this world has changed Carol. But it’s not your fault that Beth is gone. You can’t control Carol or her decisions. You need to let the self-pity go. The lives of the two people you love the most hang in the balance.

Hey, Walking Dead Ass-Kicking Survivor’s Club. You need to listen to Rick. Y’all should have listened to Rick when he wanted to make sure that Terminus allowed no survivors, and everyone talked him out of it, and what happened? Bob got his leg eaten, they threatened to kill and eat all of you, and you had to kill them anyway. The cops in charge of Grady are bad news. I’m certain that Noah has told you all in detail how badly Beth got abused. They aren’t the kind of people that you deal with. They’re the kind of people that you eliminate. Assuming that you can make a deal with them assumes that you live

in a society that is capable of handling even the simplest economy. That society is long gone. There’s no place for trading and balancing what you have and what you want when the survivors of the human race are squatting in burned out buildings, migrating from one spot to another, and trying to avoid the extremely mobile herds of walking corpses that are not only lethal but actively trying to eat everyone on the planet. Letting the bad guys walk away always burns you, Rick Grimes. It burned you with The Governor. It burned you with the Termites. Hell, it even burned you with Shane, because you gave him the benefit of the doubt long after you should have.

But, because Rick still wants the world to be a place where he doesn’t have to kill a bunch of people, he agrees to Tyreese’s plan. Noah draws  one of the patrol’s attention near the hospital, and leads them to a back lot. Rick, Sasha, Tyreese, and Daryl surround the cops, disarm them, and divulge their plan. Rick is always interested in doing things the right way. He’s reassuring and honest with his hostages, believing that communicating that way is his best chance for a good outcome in his situation. Cop habit dies hard.

One of the Grady cop hostages notices Rick’s demeanor and guesses that he was a cop before the world ended. Before they can have much of a discussion, though, a car with a white cross in the back windshield drives up on the group, shooting into the crowd. The two captured officers dive into the car as the groups exchange fire.

Rick and company give chase, finding the car in abandoned in a parking lot that had clearly been napalmed (this lines up with the fire-spewing aircraft Shane and Lori saw at the series’ beginning). Walkers fused to the tarry surface. A FEMA trailer exploded with most of its contents strewn around the area. They see the two cuffed Grady cops escaping towards the back of the parking lot. The group continues in their pursuit, Daryl agrees to stay behind and sweep the area.

There are no bodies in the car (aside from the walker that’s wrapped around the driver’s front tire) and, after a tense moment, it’s discovered that there isn’t anything alive or dead in the FEMA trailer, either. However, the big bald douche who was driving the car was lurking around the corner. He seizes upon Daryl’s half-second of relief, Oklahoma-drilling him and knocking the rifle to the ground.

The two engage in a perfectly The Walking Dead fight scene—the bald douche has Daryl pinned to the ground between two street-pizza walkers, trying to choke Daryl to death. Before Daryl’s throat’s crushed, he reaches for the face of one of the snarling undead, squishes its eyeballs out, grips it like a bowling ball, and rips the head off of the walker’s rotting body so that he can beat his assailant in the skull with it. Before Daryl can finish knocking the man into submission with a snapping walker head, Rick reappears with his gun drawn.

Rick appears to think long and hard about wasting the guy who was trying to kill his friend, but Daryl convinces him that three hostages are better than two. Rick relents, and they cuff the third hostage and begin to walk back to where they’d planned on holding their hostages.

The three Grady cops (a razor-shaved-bald man who gives his name as Bob, his partner Officer Shepherd, and the driver of the backup car, Officer Licari) explain to the group (minus Rick, who has

gone to reexamine the sketches he made of the hospital) that they’re not the best hostages. It’s getting to be a real cluster back at Grady, and Dawn is completely out of her depth. Everyone is unhappy, but the three of them are especially disliked by Dawn. A rumor has floated that Licari might be trying for a power grab. Licari refutes those intentions, but states that he doesn’t want Dawn to be in power any more and would jump at opportunity to lead the group and address the problems (like murder, blackmail, and rape) that have happened. Officer Shepherd bargains with Rick to be released. They’ll take down Dawn and get Beth and Carol out, she promises.

Then Bob speaks up. He claims that, given Dawn’s situation, she can be reasoned with if she’s talked to in the right way. Shepherd and Licari object, but Bob insists—he wants nothing except a peaceful resolution, and he wants to talk to Rick to give him the scoop on Dawn so that everything will go smoothly. Daryl and Sasha seem suspicious, but Bob continues to exert that his interest is only in what’s best for everyone. They call Rick over to discuss the development.

Bob sure sings like a canary. He gives Rick a lot of information about the kind of person Dawn is and where her vulnerabilities lie. Bob sure is in awe that Rick is still such a good cop after all this time. Rick seems to take the compliment in stride. Hopefully, his instincts for when someone is blowing a bunch of smoke up his ass have remained intact, as well.

Within Grady, Beth is trying to keep an eye on Carol. Her injuries seem pretty severe. Dawn and another officer discuss the situation, who insists that they pull Carol’s plug to conserve resources. Beth explodes, accusing the officer caring more about charging his DVD player than about saving someone who needs help. Dawn, incensed by Beth’s insubordination, orders her off life support.

The officer leaves to inform Dr. Elliott of Dawn’s decision. Beth is still reeling with outrage. Dawn explains that, after Beth’s outburst, she had no choice but to side against her. But, she gives her the key to the medication lockup. Carol may pull through without life support if she’s medicated correctly. Beth is suspicious, but the situation is too dire to argue.

She goes to Dr. Elliott to ask about the medication. Elliott’s guarded in his response. He asks Beth if Dawn gave her the key for the lockup, or if she stole it, because Dawn’s intentions are dubious at best. Beth ignores his questioning, pressing for a kind of medication that could keep Carol stable and alive enough to heal. Five millilitre of epinephrine should help, he admits. Another ward creates a diversion (and a really weak one, too—a coughing fit? Really? These people are DUMB!) while Beth sneaks the epinephrine out of the cabinet. She administers the dose to Carol’s IV, and waits. She waits for Carol to wake up, and I’m waiting to find out exactly what Dawn was up to.

Back at the church, Gabriel is trying to scrub at the bloodstains in the floor. Carl interrupts him by laying some weapons in front of him. Gabriel needs to learn how to fight, Carl explains. It’s the way the world is now. He’s not happy about it, but there’s nothing they can do about it. In this world, he explains, eventually you will run into trouble that you can’t hide from, and so you have to learn how to fight. Gabriel feebly tries to pick up a machete. Carl attempts to correct his grip, and Gabriel is so overwhelmed by holding a weapon that he needs to go lie down for a while.

Michonne has kept an eye on Gabriel, and she doesn’t like what she sees. After he’s been shut away in his office for a few hours, she insists on checking on him. She’s concerned because he said he’s not feeling well. Gabriel knows it’s a lie, Michonne knows that he knows, but she also knows that no good will come from calling her out. He meekly suggests that he’s just very upset and needs to be by himself until he feels better.

Yeah. Fat freakin’ chance of that. He needs to be by himself a while so he can pull up the floorboards in his office and escape from the church. Exactly why he’s escaping isn’t clear, but the nail that he takes in the sole of his foot the minute he walks away from the church would suggest that he’s in for a rough road. Once in the woods, he’s accosted by a walker. He manages to fight off enough that he can impale its midsection on a tree stump. He raises a rock to bash its head in, but the silver cross the walker is wearing around its neck stops him. Apparently being a Christian means that Gabriel cannot perform your coup-de-grace. Sorry, random walker. You’re going to be stuck on the forest floor with your innards spilling everywhere now.

The rest of our band of characters, hereby named Team GREATM by Tara (stands for Glenn, Rosita, Abraham, Eugene, Tara, and Maggie), is still stranded by the fire truck. Eugene isn’t dead, but he’s unconscious and can’t be moved. The water tank in the truck is empty. They need to investigate a nearby creek for more water. As they’re discussing who should go, Rosita tries to convince Abraham to drink. He won’t, though—he’s staring off into the distance instead. Frustrated, Rosita snaps that he’s being childish, and Abraham punches the water bottle from her hands, rising towards her quickly and aggressively. Rosita looks uncertain of Abraham’s intentions, but Maggie draws a gun on him and dares him to take another step before things go any further. She’ll stay with Abraham, it’s decided, while Glenn, Tara, and Rosita go for water.

Really, those three don’t encounter much plot. They figure out how to catch some fish, and Rosita gives the group a bit of back story about how she met Abraham (in Dallas, she was fighting off walkers when Abraham and Eugene stepped in. Eugene said he’d save the world, Abraham said he needed her help. Rosita became impressed.) as well as some of the interesting things that Eugene taught her (like how to make a water filter with dirt and a t-shirt). They try to discuss whether or not they can forgive Eugene. The women seem ready to, but Glenn remains unconvinced.

Abraham continues to refuse water while Eugene is unconscious. Maggie isn’t impressed with his self-denial, but he isn’t moved. Until, that is, Eugene starts to choke and snarl. He’s not a walker, though. He’s just coming to with what is assuredly a very broken nose. Abraham’s demons are kept at bay for a while longer; he takes a drink of water.

Back in Atlanta, Rick has gone to negotiate the hostage situation. Sasha’s standing guard closest to Bob, who’s still looking pretty sad about being kidnapped. He gives the most forlorn, attention-seeking sigh I’ve heard on television in a while. Sasha would normally point a gun at him and tell him to shut his cake-hole, but since she’s reeling with Bob’s death and Tyreese has been on her to reconcile her emotions, she decides to give connecting with another human a chance.

Bob explains that he recognized one of the street-pizza walkers they saw earlier, and it was someone who was doing a job he was originally going to do. Because of the switch, Bob is alive and the other person is miserable, writhing undead. Bob sure wishes he could have been able to put that person to peace.

It’s just the story that Sasha needs to hear. She won’t take Bob into the parking lot, but she’ll take out the walker if she can see it from their vantage point. They walk to the window, and Bob confirms that he can see his former friend. He explains the location. Sasha moves to the window and draws the rifle scope to her eye, lining up her shot.

She doesn’t get to take the shot, though, because Bob is a Lying McLiarPants who made the whole thing up. He rushes her from behind, slamming her head into the window and knocking her out before running for the hills.

I’m not sure if next week’s episode will make me feel any better, or just give me bigger cliffhangers, but I think I’m fine with both.

The Story Continues Next Sunday at 10:00 pm on AMC.