Season Four Episode Seven

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Photo Courtesy Of NBC

Photo Courtesy Of NBC

Warning: Spoiler Alert:

 Isn’t this where we came in? After watching the creative team and writers for the NBC series “The Blacklist ,” build a pretty convincing argument over the last ten episodes that Elizabeth Keen’s the biological daughter of Constantin Rostov, we found out that once again we got lead down a dead-end road. That information divided into two-forks, the long-term question, just who’s Keen’s father? The other fork’s of a more pressing manner, how long will the casualty list run, after Rostov’s extraction team springs him from the hospital he’s a patient in?

With two episodes remaining until the conclusion of the Fall campaign, we realized that even though Alexander Kirk’s in Federal Custody, his story wasn’t near conclusion when he got taken into custody. Far too many questions remained unanswered in Lizzie’s mind and she thought Rostov could provide the answers, a situation she couldn’t leave untapped.

However before we explore that avenue, let’s return to the beginning of the episode. We join an elderly man with a mottled face, laboriously breathing, as he sits next to a woman in a lab-coat. The man’s coughing uncontrollably and asks the woman what’s wrong with him? She says he’s suffering a rare and serious side-effect of the medicine he’s taking. He says he thought they could help him and the woman apologizes, and says he knew the risks going in, however if there’s any solace, his results will help future patients. She then leaves the room and we watch the patient through a glass portal, beg for help and then collapse.

Alexander Kirk’s placed inside the glass vault inside the Post Office, as Cooper goes through the perfunctory reading of what Rostov’s charged with. He asks the Russian Oligarch, if he’s got any questions and Constantin remains silent. Liz’s going through an emotional roller-coaster, ecstatic over her family’s unification, yet full of regrets that her father sits in prison with an incurable disease, that grows worse each day.

Lizzie receives a call from Raymond, and in his usual round-a-bout manner, Reddington asks Keen if she’s even been spear fishing, before he introduces the subject he actually wants to discuss. He tells Liz that Rostov’s an imminent escape-risk and she asks how that could be, since the Bureau discovered and ended Constantin hacking their computer system and arrested their mole? He responds that Rostov will manipulate her feelings and enlist her help, which she quickly dismisses.

Reddington, sits down with Samar and Ressler, and tells them he’s got another member of the Blacklist, who goes by The Coroner. This man’s ability revolves around maintaining the identity of dead people, that he utilizes to give his clientele new lives. Raymond directs them to a woman who utilized The Coroner’s services and they use the woman to contact the Coroner.

Navabi makes contact with The Coroner in a rather upscale bar, while Ressler monitors the action a few tables away.  Just as Samar begins to start a conversation, we hear a very familiar voice speaking loudly and adopting an accent that would have fit perfectly in Dublin. Raymond and guest are sitting at the next table and Reddington suddenly gets up from his seat and joins Samar and The Coroner at their table.

Although the Blacklist member lacks interest in helping Reddington, The Coroner becomes far more cooperative after Raymond points out the man remaining at Red’s old table, hopes that he won’t help, as The Coroner killed the man’s brother. If he won’t aid Reddington, then the Concierge Of Crime will allow the brother to have his way with the Coroner. Raymond tells him he’s looking for a former client’s new identity, The Coroner divulges the woman he knows as Sonia Bloom’s now Dr. Adrian Shaw.

Lizzie has a heartfelt discussion with Cooper and decides to talk with Rostov while he sits in the vault. He asks her if she truly believes that he’s her father and she affirms that she does. Constantin then asks why she chose Reddington over him and Liz replies, the decision she made was for herself and her family. She didn’t want to be under either man’s control. Suddenly blood starts streaming from Rostov’s nostrils and he collapses on the floor, she has the vault opened and when she realizes that Rostov’s unconscious calls for 911.

When they get to the hospital, the doctor assesses them on Rostov’s condition and things look bleak. She informs them of his blood disorder and his history of blood transfusions and she fears that if she attempted another transfusion he could go into shock. She says that the patient’s chances of survival rest on the outside chance that a family member would donate stem-cells in the next 24-hours.

There hasn’t been a whole lot of levity during Season Four, perhaps because of its scarcity,  I treasure those moments. Raymond and Dembe are sitting in a pediatrician’s waiting room and Reddington decides to utilize his time solving the puzzle in current Hi-Lights magazine. The receptionist announces that the doctor’s ready to see them, but Red wants to find the last hidden item. In order to speed the process, Zuma points out the sailboat that’s eluded Reddington and the frustration in Raymond’s voice when Dembe points it out’s palpable.

The physician they meet is the partner of Dr. Adrian Shaw and he makes it clear to Shaw that Raymond knows everything about her past. She agrees to meet with Reddington in exchange for the release of her partner.

Lizzie’s going through an internal battle, whether she should try to save Rostov, or allow his condition to end his life. Tom’s adamantly against the idea of her helping him, Rostov endangered both his wife and his daughter and doesn’t believe that Rostov deserves Keen’s help or pity. We can see by the expression on Lizzie’s face that she’s less than satisfied at the end of their conversation.

Cooper realizes that Lizzie’s in distress and she tells him she’s torn between allowing Rostov to succumb to his illness, or if she should try to help save his life. She says that Tom would hate her for helping Constantin and Raymond predicted she’d help Rostov. Harold responds that from his perspective, she shouldn’t be as concerned with Reddington and Tom’s feelings, but to decide on what she feels is the right choice.

She walks over to Constantin’s room and he asks her if she had all the money in the world, what would she do with it. She says that she’d travel around the globe, twice. Rostov says choices like that will soon be open to her as he’s leaving all his money to her. Lizzie says he’s going to have a while to decide what to do with his assets, as she’s decided to help him. He puts his hand on top of hers in gratitude, but she quickly moves her hand from his.

Turns out that Dr. Adrian Shaw and her partner Dr. Taylor Rayburn, are conducting a trial on critically ill patients on a dilapidated ship, which Navabi and Ressler search when the ship pulls into port. The patients nearly go undetected by the agents, until Samar notices something amiss. We see the patients lying in hammocks, in varying degrees of health, some appear to be doing well while others lie there with blistered skin. The treatment’s based on the patient using their own healthy cells to cure their bad ones and while some have succeeded, others died painfully.

Due to a large-scale bus accident in the area, the hospital’s unable to get the information confirming that Liz and Rostov would be a compatible match for the procedure. There’s a set of 16 DNA signposts that must be an exact match and they must share the same blood-type. The procedure hits another snag, as it turns out that in order for them to get enough stem-cells from Keen, the hospital team would need to drill into her bones. Although the procedure’s low-risk, side-effects could develop later in life and Tom’s against the procedure, although he realizes Lizzie’s going through with it. Keen’s prepped for surgery, awaiting the confirmation call, the call’s received but we don’t hear the results.

Elizabeth goes to visit Rostov in his room and he says he thought she was in surgery and she confirms he was. He smiles and tells Masha she saved his life, she says she tried to but all did not go as planned. She reveals to Constantin that not only did they fail to produce a match, according to the DNA screening, Rostov’s not her father.

Red and Dembe meet with Shaw and Rayburn, and Rayburn’s quickly told he can go home once he meets Dr. Shaw. He brings the hematologist into a spanking new facility and she asks Reddington if he’s sick. Raymond gives her a rather sardonic smile and replies that she’s got no idea.

Lizzie walks back into Rostov’s room and sees that he’s back in his suit. She asks why and he responds since they can’t cure him he might as well leave. He then says he believes that Reddington faked the DNA results, Keen says she thought the same but she had the hospital rerun them and the results came out the same. The façade of civility that Rostov keeps so meticulously in place, crumbles at that point as he starts raving about Reddington and how he destroyed his family.

In the midst of a conversation with Dr. Ryan, Raymond steps away to take a call from Keen. She asks Reddington if he faked the tests and then tells him what’s going on. Raymond says now that Constantin realizes Lizzie’s not his daughter, she’s of no use to him. He tells Keen to inform Harold and get out of the hospital immediately. Unfortunately the extraction team already in place, Lizzie’s going to have a hard time escaping with her life.

Photo: John Paul Filo/CBS

Photo: John Paul Filo/CBS

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Harold Finch asked a very thought-provoking question as the latest episode of the CBS series “Person Of Interest” concluded,  a rhetorical question, that he didn’t expect an answer to. The creator of “The Machine,” asked his associate Root, “How much wrong, are we willing to do, in the name of right?” We’ll get to the reason for the question, a bit later, but we live in an era of shades of gray, it’s difficult to decide what’s right or wrong and how far we’re willing to attain our goals. Though, Finch, Reese and Company, are always looking out for people’s best interests, what are they’re limits of going too far?

The episode begins as Sameen Shaw’s in her cover identity of the wheel person for a gang of thieves, she’s watching her timer getting close to zero, and she’s seen no sign of the gang. Her phone rings, Finch’s on the line telling Shaw about the new number, when the sound of gunfire stops him in midsentence. Shaw tells him she needs to hang up, the gang’s involved in a shootout with the folks they’re robbing, a cruiser pulls up just as Shaw pulls away, but she loses the cops. The three guys get out of the car whooping and hollering, until Sameen beats the tar out of them, then throws their bounty and their car keys in the river. She reiterates that she told them when she first joined, you’re late and I walk, so she did.

Shaw heads over to Reese’s car and he’s scoping the new number, a wine-dealer named Tomas Koroa, an American citizen, who spends half the year in the States and the other half abroad. Shaw’s smitten at first sight and tells John to get back to the station and his cover identity.  She watches him for hours work a series of bars, making sales and she starts to think he’s legit. He heads to his car and it appears two men and a woman are about to jump him, but instead they all get in the car. Not a block away Koroa, drives the car through a jewelry store’s front window and perform a smash and grab, in less than ten seconds, Shaw’s impressed.

Harold and Root are conducting a separate operation, trying to limit the damage Samaritan can cause through the man the Artificial Intelligence system put into the state of New York’s Governor’s Mansion, Nick Dawson. Root’s new cover’s a French nanny, and it will help her get a bond with a man that Dawson’s allotted $12 million to, Jared Wilkins whose running a program called “OTPS,” which nobody can figure out, is.

Harold tells Shaw and Reese that the M/O from the robbery, points to Koroa’s crew being the “Hole In The Wall Gang,” a group Interpol’s been trying to catch for seven-years, when the gang’s robbed 50-high-profile targets on four continents, during that period. The woman’s got a history of drug problems, so the plan’s for Fusco to bust her and Sameen’s taking her place. Fusco pulls out a tiny plastic packet out of her purse and she’s behind bars, now Sameen’s got to impress Tomas and she does.

Root’s now in place with Wilkins as a nanny for his son, she syncs his phone and computer, and we find out “OTPS,” stands for One Tablet Per Student, a program Wilkins designed with the greatest intentions, giving every student in the state of New York a Tablet, advancing the learning process throughout the State. Unfortunately Samaritan’s funding it and Root and Finch believe they’ll use the Tablets, to spy in each house they’re placed in. Roots phone goes loco, and Harold says it’s Samaritan, so she throws her phone in the fish tank and runs out of apartment without saying goodbye.

Shaw gets hired by the gang and the job’s in twenty-minutes. They’re robbing a hotel safe, getting paid two million each for the job, Sameen’s assignment’s to dress to kill and get the hotel manager to show her the vault, so she can store her jewelry in it. The older manager’s all too happy to give her the tour, until she knocks him out with a right to the jaw. They open the vault, put a chain on the vault and pull it out of the building the second fireworks for veteran’s day explode, covering the noise. By dragging it on the street, the safe ended up with a hole in its back, giving Tomas a starting point to break in. He opens it with the help of a blow torch, then pulls a metal tray out of the safe, containing a warning label. He opens it, but there aren’t jewels, just ten vials of some amber liquid, each labeled. At that point, the other two gang members try to shoot Koroa, but Shaw gets him out of the room, but they couldn’t recover the tray. Finch realizes the customer told the other two guys to waste Tomas.

Turns out that the vials were filled with a deadly, level-four infectious virus called MarV, highly contagious like Ebola, but more deadly. It got smuggled into the States by a Doctor Juliana Petrova, a member of the CDC, as it’s banned to bring it into the States. The client apparently wants to release it on a mass scale in the United States. Tomas and Shaw find the other two robbers, dead in a field without the virus, but Finch’s tracked the vials to Knight And Morris, an almost impenetrable establishment to store valuables. But Harold says that without knowing the client’s name they’re stuck, but then Koroa recognizes a familiar face, that everyone thought died, former gang member Marko Jeutice. Turns out the former gang member felt abandoned when imprisoned, faked his death and plotted his revenge against his former mates.

A new wrinkle develops, as two Relevant operatives, one of whom Shaw trained have arrived on the scene with the instructions to eliminate all involved, then destroy the virus. Harold thinks, that should end his team’s involvement, but Sameen realizes Government Agencies tend to make last-minute changes, such as not destroying the virus, so they remain on the case.

Getting back to Jared Wilkins and “OTPS,” Root and Finch, come up with a plan, for Root to disable the camera feeds and Harold to sabotage the machines, so that they catch fire and get destroyed. Root, knocks out the cameras and Harold dressed as a janitor, sabotages the computers, Samaritan contacted a tech-guy offering him three grand to get the cameras up in ten minutes. Harold finishes, just before Root shot the techie and they got out.

Harold directs Shaw and Koroa to the vault, Tomas opens it and grabs the metal tray, but all the virus’ gone, they then see Marko standing outside holding all the vials. They’re about to inject Sameen and Koroa, but Shaw overpowers a couple of guys then shoots Marko. They grab the virus and start to leave, but they run into Rice the Relevant agent she trained. He’s ticked off at his superiors as he and his partner got told to bring the virus in rather than destroy it, so he let them take it, as he knew Sameen would destroy it.

In another part of town Jared Wilkins dreams have literally gone up in smoke, as he’ll never get another grant. Harold says he looked at the code of the Tablets and there’s only one questionable line of code Samaritan put in the machines, which is when he uttered the line you read up top. All that good gone to waste.

The Story Continues Next Tuesday at 10:00 pm on CBS.

Photo Courtesy Of ABC

Photo Courtesy Of ABC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

The scene opens in Arendelle. Three young girls (Ingrid, Helga, and Gerta) are flying a kite in the castle gardens. They lose control of the kite, and it gets wrecked in a tree. As they’re assessing the damage (with Gerta declaring the kite just fine, since the ribbon is still intact and beautiful), a man comes along and declares that he’s the owner of a kite. Creepy McGuy’s revealed to be a kidnapper, seizing Gerta and revealing his nefarious plan aloud. Ingrid rushes the man, and blasts some of her ice magic onto a tree branch above his head. He’s distracted by the magic and drops Gerta just before the ice cracks the branch and crushes the man.

Ingrid’s terrified, but Helga and Gerta are in awe. Ingrid insists that her magic, and her inability to control it, makes her a monster. Her sisters assure her that what she has is a gift, and that they’ll help her find a way to control it. In the meantime, it will be the girls’ secret.

Flash forward several years. The girls are now teenagers, and the youngest two are getting ready for a ball. Ingrid watches on, clearly not intending to go. Gerta will introduce a suitor to her family that night, and she wants Ingrid to meet him. Ingrid demurs, and Helga and Gerta depart.

At the ball, Gerta’s suitor’s revealed only as “The Duke”– a stranger on a diplomatic mission from the neighboring land of Wesselton. He looks like a shady fellow, but his fumbling compliments to the king over Gerta and Arendelle appear genuine. The party continues, the crowd dances, and Ingrid slips along the edge of the room. She sees her family interacting with the partygoers, laughing and talking and having a lovely time. She looks as if her heart is breaking. The forlorn loneliness is hard to hide, but so is the slight snowstorm that her distress generates.

After the ball, Helga and Gerta find Ingrid in their room, packing a trunk. She wants to leave, she explains. Her sisters should feel happy, and she’s too much of a magic-ball for that to happen. Again, the younger two attempt to reassure Ingrid that her powers can be kept a secret, as long as they all love each other. Ingrid’s unconvinced. Helga offers an alternative. She’s heard of a powerful sorcerer in a far-off land that might be able to control Ingrid’s powers once and for all.

And so, to Rumpelstiltskin in the Enchanted Forest they go. Rumpelstiltskin offers her a pair of gloves that can keep Ingrid’s powers at bay as long as she believes in them. And, as a backup, a very familiar-looking urn that would at least contain Ingrid should circumstances become dire. All he wants in return are the ribbons the girls wear from the kite that almost got them kidnapped all those years ago. He explains that their love for each other as sisters has imparted magic onto them. Gerta and Helga try to talk Ingrid out of the deal, but she can’t trust that her sisters’ love alone will keep her from harming anyone. The deal’s struck.

Upon returning to Arendelle, Ingrid dawns a glittering, regal gown instead of her usual peasant clothes. She’s in the garden, holding her gloves and urn, staring off into space and reveling in a chance to finally live a normal life, when her sister’s boyfriend The Duke appears. Within a few sentences, he reveals himself to be a total creeper and starts hitting on Ingrid. Gerta never needs to know, he explains. Ugh! What a skeeve!

Gerta enters just as Ingrid blasts Mr. Duke away with some magic. He tries to paint Ingrid as the aggressor, but Gerta doesn’t buy it. He escalates matters, though, like skeevey creepers always do. He tries to blackmail the two girls to keep the magic a secret. The kingdom will turn on Ingrid for being a freak, he promises, and they’ll be so weakened that Wesselton will be able to take over. Gerta continues to rebuff him, but eventually his taunts get the better of Ingrid. She tries to blast him with magic, but Gerta steps in the way.

The blast of magic proved fatal. Gerta froze solid and crumbled into ice cubes before Ingrid’s very eyes. Helga has apparently been alerted of the commotion and comes upon the scene. Helga’s horrified. Ingrid tries to explain, but Helga is too stunned to react in anything but abject horror. She traps Ingrid in the urn before she can do any more damage.

Helga then seeks out Grand Pabbie and the rock trolls for their memory magic. The Duke is threatening to use Gerta’s death as a way to turn Arendelle against Ingrid, so that his kingdom of Wesselton may take over. Helga asks for a potion that will wipe away everyone’s memories of her sisters, so that the kingdom can remain independent. Grand Pabbie grants her request, but warns that this magic will come with a price. Helga assures him that, in losing her two sisters, she’s already paid it. He is perhaps not so sure.

As usual, the events of the past parallel the scene in Storybrooke. Emma and Elsa are doing more research in the sheriff’s station to fight The Snow Queen and her impending curse. They come across a magic candle that, if they can master it, will allow them to restrain her. The two practice working the spell, but they aren’t as successful as they could be. They’re really two novices, still unsure how to control their powers. Elsa can’t help but marvel that Emma’s family doesn’t make her feel alienated or fearful because of her powers. Emma shrugs it off. Her family loves her. They’d never be afraid of her.

But would they? Emma has promised to babysit her little brother, and so she heads over to pick him up from the Mommy-and-Me group that Mary Margaret attends (run by Cinderella, attended by Princess Aurora, because why the heck wouldn’t it be?). And, because fairytale princesses are sometimes too honest and true to be tactful, Emma begins to get the impression that her childhood wasn’t as important to her parents as Neal’s. The differences between Emma’s infancy (shoved through a magic wardrobe, spends 18 years in foster care) and Neal’s (cared for obsessively by both parents when they’re not busy saving the world) come up. It’s so upsetting that she releases a little bit of leftover magic. Mary Margaret’s reaction doesn’t inspire a lot of acceptance.

But, The Snow Queen appears to play another round of rope-a-dope with the Storybrooke Magic Brain Trust. David calls Emma to tell her that she’s appeared in the clock tower with her cursed mirror. Emma, Elsa, Hook, and David rush the clock tower, and the two sorceresses manage to execute the candle spell, binding The Snow Queen in shackles.

They haul her in to the station for interrogation. Elsa isn’t the kind to stay cool and collected around a manipulative crazy person like her aunt, so Emma sends her away to work on finding a way to disable the cursed mirror. It leaves Emma and The Snow Queen all alone in the sheriff’s station, which is exactly what The Snow Queen wanted. She’s physically shackled, but she’s still able to cast a spell around the station, freezing it shut.

Emma tries to get The Snow Queen to confess the motivation behind her agenda, but she simply says that she wants to be a family with her and Elsa. Their magic binds them all together in a way that is stronger than blood, after all. Emma demands to know why The Snow Queen first tracked her as a child and then erased her memories, but The Snow Queen will only answer that some things are best forgotten. Eventually, The Snow Queen’s taunts become too much for Emma. She loses control of her magic and blows a hole in the side of the building.

And, naturally, this happens just as the rest of the crew has realized that The Snow Queen was just trying to get caught so that she could score some alone time with Emma. Mary Margaret, David, Hook, Elsa, and Rumpelstiltskin, panic at the destruction at the station, and Emma is so upset she can barely explain what has happened. They try to comfort her, but Emma flinches away, and throws another wave of magic that accidentally knocks a light pole onto her father. Everyone’s horrified, and Emma doesn’t miss a beat.

Her powers really do alienate her. She’s a danger. Usually, Emma is too savvy to be emotionally manipulated, but her relationship with her family is her most vulnerable spot, and The Snow Queen knows it. Mary Margaret realizes first that Emma feels ashamed of what she’s done, and tries to reassure her, but it’s too late. Emma runs to her car and drives away.

Elsewhere in Storybrooke, Regina’s again in her vaults, researching her magic and trying to find a cure for Marian. Robin Hood enters. The man just can’t get enough of telling Regina that he’s still in love with her, and that he can’t find a way to love Marian. Regina is getting pretty tired of having to pull herself away from the man he loves so he can save his wife’s life. And she damn well should. Robin, if you love Regina so damn much, quit walking around the woods mooning for her and do what she asks. Quit forcing her to push you away! Gaaahhhhhh!!!

Robin goes to throw darts at Granny’s (because when you’re romantically frustrated, throwing pointy objects at a circle feels good?) Will Scarlett pops in for a drink, but sees Robin and tries to back away. Robin spies him (well, actually, he throws a dart at his head), and the two sidle up to the bar for the kind of drink that two men share when they share not only animosity for one another, but also being in a very sad state of affairs. Full disclosure: Will Scarlett is also a character in Once Upon A Time in Wonderland, the spinoff series that I don’t watch. The two have a heart to heart about their former friendship that ended when Will betrayed the Merry Men for love. There could be allusions to plot points here that I don’t follow.

But Robin also tells Will how he met Marian (a story that Will has heard, he proclaims, three dozen and one times). Back in Robin Hood’s stealing-for-himself days, he poached Marian’s father’s horse. Robin was doing better as a thief than Marian’s family was doing trying to earn an honest living, and their livelihood depended on the horse Robin stole. Marian went to him and plead for his mercy. The following day, he returned the stolen horse, plus the two he already had.

And from that moment on, Robin Hood began to steal from the rich and give to the poor. It wasn’t an easy road, cleaning up his act, but being loved by Marian inspired him to become a better man. It wasn’t an easy life for Marian, either. Will, confides that he once asked her why she stuck around with the thief. She replied that she saw good in Robin even if he didn’t, and that it was their love that kept the good within him.

It’s a touching scene, and Robin appears wracked with emotion as he remembers his wife. Curious, then, that he runs back to Regina’s vault. Bless you, Regina, for not slapping him in the face and hauling him by the ear to the door. She tries to give him another earful of the reasons why he should leave her alone, but he interrupts her. He’s lived his life he says, by a certain code. Day in and day out, he’s stolen from the rich to give to the poor, he’s been truthful, honest, and brave. Seems kind of puzzling things to proclaim to a woman that you’re in love with when you’re married to someone else. Robin admits as much, and pulls Regina into a steamy embrace that she tries her very best to resist. But, even though Robin’s an emotionally stunted dummy, he’s got some dreamy green eyes and a girl can withstand so much.

And, with the Outlaw and Queen pawing at each other in the vault, and The Charmings trying to find a way to convince Emma that they don’t fear her, the town is settling in for the night. No one out on the streets, no one looking out their windows.

That “Closed” sign on Gold’s Pawnshop really means nothing.

He knows that it’s The Snow Queen paying him a visit before he even turns around. She’s ready to make a deal. She wants the ribbons back, and she’s willing to give The Dark One information. She knows, she says, what he’s up to with that hat he found. He wants to be free of the dagger’s control without losing his powers. He wants to be able to leave Storybrooke and rule a bigger, more impressive realm with Belle at his side. But he hasn’t been able to. And, it so happens, she had the Sorcerer’s Amazing Magic Stealing Dream Hat for a long time. She knows the piece of the puzzle that he’s missing. It’s a big deal, though, so she wants more than just the ribbons she gave him in the Enchanted Forest. She’s certain he’s plotting to take over the rest of the world. She just wants Storybrooke, so that she can live happily ever after with Emma and Elsa.

It’s a good enough deal for Rumpelstiltskin. He produces the ribbons, but he bids her to tell him her part of the bargain first. She leans in and whispers in his ear. He smiles an absolutely Rumpelstiltskin-up-to-no-good smile. He’ll need to do something to complete his work with the hat. And, apparently, it’s something he’ll do with great pleasure.

Just a guess, but he’s probably not going to be doing anything that will make Belle very happy if she finds out about it.

Hopefully we’ll find out next week. We’d better. It’s a double episode. In two hours, I’d better see some RumBelle, too.

The Story Continues Next Sunday at 8:00 pm on ABC.

Photo: Courtesy Of Showtime

Photo: Courtesy Of Showtime

Warning: Spoiler Alert

There are moments watching Television, that make us appreciate the medium, an hour of our lives in which we get sucked into the screen in front of us, when the acting, the writing and the production, leave the viewer drained after they exit the emotional rollercoaster they just got off. The Showtime Original Series “Homeland,” hit that sweet spot, in the episode entitled “Redux,” reminding long-time viewers, just how engrossing this series is, when all cylinders are firing. While doing little to advance the story-arc of the season, the acting performances, topped by Claire Danes as Islamabad’s CIA Station Chief Carrie Mathison, were award quality throughout the episode. We also witnessed perhaps, the most realistic descent into delirium, captured by any medium, as the episode progressed and concluded with a mind-bending scene.

We also witnessed the depths to which Dennis Boyd, husband of American Ambassador to Pakistan Martha Boyd, will sink to keep his tail out of the deep-fryer. The professor, perhaps the most unlikable traitor to this country since Benedict Arnold, as he attempts to settle up with the ISI, broke into her quarters, flushed her anti-psychotic medication down the toilet and replaced it with another drug, in the same color capsules. The act resulted in Carrie exhibiting her bi-polar behavior, but also caused her to violently hallucinate.

The episode opens with CIA Director Andrew Lockhart, arriving at the American Embassy in Islamabad by orders of the President, to secure the freedom of the Agency’s former Director Saul Berenson. Berenson’s being held by Taliban Chief  Haissam Haqqani, used as a human shield to protect the terrorist from United States drones. Haqqani’s not been home to visit his wife and children, in three-years and he’s using the opportunity to head to his home village for a much-needed reunion.

After speaking briefly with the Ambassador, he talks with John Redmond and Peter Quinn and asks where Carrie is, Quinn believes she’s in her quarters and goes inside looking for her, then calls her cellphone. She tells him she’s working on some leads with Fara and Max and Quinn tells her to get to the Embassy, as Lockhart’s on the warpath. As he leaves her quarters, we see Boyd hiding in the corner, his brow covered in sweat, thinking he’d get caught, he then replaces Carrie’s medication with the other drug.

Lockhart chews out the staff of the Islamabad bureau, calling them out on the unit’s dysfunction over the last few months, then tells them they’re the best chance to recover Berenson safely. Mathison walks in at that point and apologizes for being late, Lockhart confronts her and asks where she was in front of her staff and refuses to move the conversation to her office. She tells him she’d been working a lead on Haqqani, to rescue Saul. They’re interrupted and told that the Pakistani delegation had arrived and the pair head to the meeting.

Ambassador Boyd’s trying to maintain a diplomatic air to the proceedings, but Lockhart does his best to revert to “blunt talk” as soon as possible. He flat-out says that the Pakistani’s negotiate often with the Taliban and they’re to broker a deal with the Taliban to gain Saul’s release. The Foreign Minister refuses to address the Director, instead telling Boyd that the accusations are insulting. Lockhart then says here’s how it’s going down, Berenson’s returned in 36-hours, or the $2 billion aid package to Pakistan will immediately undergo review. At that the Pakistani delegations gets up, turns around and leave as a unit. Carrie however runs after them and catches Aasar Khan, the man who speaks to the Americans for the ISI.

We can see that Mathison’s starting to get jittery and Khan remarks about how fast she’s speaking, a sign her medication’s wearing off. She asks him about the surveillance footage at the airport the night Saul got abducted and he responds, that ISI saw no signs of Saul getting kidnapped. She then says she wants to look at the footage and he says he’ll take her to the airport right then they can look at the tapes together. Carrie says she needs a half-hour and will meet him at the airport. She heads back to her quarters looking ill, but she freshens up and pops another of the substitute pills.

Her and Quinn arrive at the security station and look at the tape presented to them, they see Saul at his gate, then moving to the food court, but those are the only images they have. Khan states that the cameras were out at the gate that Farad Ghazi, was at to catch a flight to South Africa. Mathison’s starting to really lose it at this point, speaking in fragments instead of sentences, she also accuses a security guard who’s leaving the office of smuggling out video footage in his briefcase and demands he opens it. He does and Peter’s embarrassed when it’s just paperwork.

The bureau’s gotten a video feed of an old green Mercedes driving to Haqqani’s village, being swarmed by villagers and realize that the member of the Taliban’s getting a hero’s welcome. They watch as all including Berenson, get out of the car and at that point Carrie walks in, totally manic. She starts screaming they need to get a rescue team there before nightfall and Peter tells her that’s not possible, a mission like that would take six-months to map out. She keeps ranting until Lockhart finally screams at her and tells her to take a break. She heads to her quarters, gets the spins and falls to her bed, then passes out.

She wakes up in a haze as Max calls her phone, telling her he’s located Aayan Ibrahim’s girlfriend Kiran, they hope she can tell them the drugs she held onto for Aayan, so they can identify the illness plaguing Haissam Haqqani, in an effort to locate him through a doctor or hospital. Carrie’s barely functioning at this point, tells Max to pick her up in 15-minutes. She then takes another substitute pill and takes two with her.

She’s full on hallucinating by the time she reaches the hospital that Kiran’s working at. The fluorescent lights are strobing on her and everything looks a bit unreal. She finds Kiran, identifies herself as the journalist helping Aayan then asks Kiran what the drugs were she held for her boyfriend, but the girl says she has no idea. Mathison then goes on a swearing jag as she tries to remember the name of the nurse who sold Ibrahim the drugs at the hospital, when she remembers, Kiran doesn’t know her, but Carrie says she’s lying.

A hospital security guard comes over to intervene, but Mathison sees Peter Quinn instead and asks him if he’s stalking her. The security guard says he doesn’t want to hurt her, when Carrie savagely attacks him, still believing its Peter. She then leaves the hospital and it’s as if she’s on another planet, as she barely negotiates walking, nearly getting hit by several cars. She then bumps into a giant man who yells at her in Arabic. She then looks about 50-yards down the street, seeing a car she’s sure is tailing her. She pulls out her pistol shatters the driver’s side of the windshield, then as the passenger gets out she shoots him dead. We hear sirens, a police vehicle pulls up and we realize Carrie imagined she had a gun and shot the men, she’s handcuffed by the officers and put in a holding cell. She’s terrified in there as bugs and dripping water seem monstrous to her.

A few minutes later, the two men she thought she shot come for her, put her in a straight-jacket then into their car, refusing to answer Mathison’s cries of where they’re taking her. Minutes later she arrives at a mansion, the men take off the jacket and leave her in a finely furnished room. She sees doors to the backyard, but quickly backs away when a Doberman jumps at the glass door from the outside. She tries another door, it’s unlocked and she attempts to explore the area when she hears footsteps. She hides in the corner and tries to attack the man, but she’s subdued by Nick Brody. Yes, you read that correctly, he former lover, the father of her daughter Frannie, the man hung until he died last season in Iran, NICK BRODY.

Now we realize it’s impossible, Carrie realizes it’s impossible, but there he stands with a full head of hair, wearing a tailored blue suit. Mathison says it’s not happening she watched him die and Brody says Carrie’s had a really tough night and she’s confused, he’s perfectly fine. He puts her hand on his face, saying see it’s really me and she says she wants to believe it and Nick tells it’s truly him. At that point she kisses him on the lips and on the neck, hugging him and crying, asking how this is possible. Brody sits them both down on a bay-window sill and she crawls into his lap and says Brody it’s so good to see you. At that point Aasar Khan, asks whose Brody, but Carrie doesn’t hear him, now deliriously happy, still believing Brody’s holding her.

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