Season Three Episode One

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Photo Courtesy Of NBC

Photo Courtesy Of NBC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Season Three of the NBC series “The Blacklist,” picks up seconds after the conclusion of season two as former FBI Agent Liz Keen and Raymond Reddington, attempt eluding capture by a manhunt that’s shut down all of Washington D.C. Lizzie’s former partner Donald Ressler heads the effort, coordinating law-enforcement agencies to catch the duo before they get out of the city. Ressler’s attempting to ignore his personal feelings for Keen and trying to focus on the fact she’s a fugitive from justice. He’s addressing the team assembled around him, emphasizing that they have to capture the pair before they leave the city, or they’ll be chasing ghosts.

Back at the Task Force headquarters Aram Mojtabai tells Agent Samar Navabi that he believes Keen’s innocent, then reveals he’s found the vehicle they’re trying to escape in. Navabi and Aram get a visual image of the silver van they’re in and they watch it go into a tunnel, but it doesn’t come out the other side. Rewinding the video-feed they realize that the van went onto a truck carrying new-cars in the tunnel and eluded capture.

Ressler heads back to the Task Force center and starts questioning the Task Force’s former director Harold Cooper about Liz shooting United States Attorney General Tom Connolly. Cooper tells the agent that Connolly worked for the Cabal and tried to make Harold believe he was dying, to put Cooper in a compromising position. He tells Ressler however, he ordered Liz not to shoot the Attorney General. She wouldn’t listen however as Connolly threatened to take down everybody on the Task Force, including Donald.

The pair get out of the van at a trucking facility, each wearing police uniforms and they jump into a Metro-Police cruiser. They then drive to a bar owned by a longtime associate of Red’s, but there’s a wildcard Reddington wasn’t expecting. The guy’s sister Tiffany’s now living with him, after her husband died in Denver about a month before. The guy tells Red that his sister’s trustworthy and Raymond gives her the benefit of the doubt. That turns out to be a rare mistake on Reddington’s part. They go into the bar’s kitchen step down into an underground bunker, hidden beneath a trap-door. Red tells Kean this is where they’ll wait until the Troll Farmer’s ready, she’s got no idea what he’s referring to.

Young woman’s in her kitchen fixing a meal when she hears a strange man’s voice on her baby monitor. She grabs a kitchen knife and runs in, seeing a strange man holding her infant. He asks her which toy Ellie would like to take on her trip and decides on a panda. The woman asks the man what he want’s and he replies he wants her father and he’ll text her instructions. She tries to attack him with the knife, but he easily pushes her to the ground. We’ve just met the “BIG BAD” for season three, a man who works for the Cabal named Mr. Solomon.

Down in the bunker Red and Lizzie watch a newscast on an old black and white TV, the newscaster says although the Government accuses Keen of being a Russian spy, several major newspapers claim that’s not the case. We then cut to a press-conference being held by the Director. Liz suddenly realizes that Red gave the Fulcrum to journalists and the Director’s attempting to put these reports to rest.

He tells his audience that in the 65-years that the CIA has had a Director of National Clandestine Services, the Director’s identity’s never been revealed during their tenure. However he received permission from the President to reveal himself and to challenge these irresponsible accusations, that not only smear his name but threaten National Defense. He then asks whose word will you believe, two fugitive criminals or him. Liz shuts off the set and says if she didn’t know better, she’d believe him.

The press conference didn’t sit well with the other members of the Cabal and Mr. Solomon pays the Director a visit. He reminds the Director he convinced the other member Red was bluffing about possessing the Fulcrum and he was very wrong. He says that puts our plans in jeopardy, the Director corrects him and says my plans. Solomon tells him they were his plans, but no longer as he’s lost the Cabal’s confidence. He then tells the Director he’s dancing on the edge of a razor-blade, as the Cabal control just how long he’ll remain breathing.

Red hears Tiffany and her brother arguing upstairs and Raymond grabs Tiffany’s cellphone and hits redial, reaching the FBI Tip-Hotline. Reddington tells Lizzie they’re leaving but the FBI have arrived, he grabs the brother and tells Tiffany to get rid of them or her brother dies. They head to the bunker as Ressler and a SWAT Team burst through the door.

Tiffany denies calling the FBI and the SWAT-Team announce the house’s clear, Donald heads into the kitchen but doesn’t notice anything amiss. They’re about to leave, when Ressler tells one of the officers to call back the number that left the tip and Tiffany’s phone rings from beneath the bar. Donald tells them to come up and when they don’t respond he throws a smoke-bomb down into the bunker. The agents climb down into the bunker only to realize Red and Lizzie escaped through a grate.

The pair reemerge on the street and open a valet parking box and grab the keys for a two-seater Porsche. Lizzie figures the owner lives alone or maybe with a girlfriend and his apartment’s likely empty. They can get his address off his registration in the glove compartment.

Turn’s out the young woman’s Isabella, Dembe’s daughter and Ellie’s his granddaughter. He asks her to describe the man and then asks what he wanted. Isabella tells her father that the man wanted him, Dembe swears to his daughter that he’ll get his granddaughter back to her safe and sound.

Red and Lizzie hideout in the Porsche owner’s apartment and Keen dyes her hair honey-blonde, causing the usually loquacious Reddington to start stammering. She suddenly remembers the picture of her mother on Red’s desk and that she’s blonde in the photograph and she looks like her mother. Red then tells her they’ll have to change their plans and go see the Troll Farmer now.

Raymond explains that the Troll Farmer’s a master manipulator of social-media and creates events to hide other situations. Red claims that among the Troll Farmer’s accomplishments, he invented an Ebola plague in Atlanta to raise the price for a drug manufacturer’s stock. They’re about to leave when the housekeeper enters, Raymond assures the woman they won’t hurt her. They’re just going to take her cellphone and lock her in the bathroom.

Back at Task Force headquarters, Navabi tells Ressler she scoured all of the footage of the shooting of Connolly at a hotel and Cooper’s not complicit. She says that she knows Ressler helped Liz escape from the Task Force center, which lead to Connolly’s shooting. She says she doesn’t know why he won’t admit it, but she’s wary of him.

The Troll Master’s a young Asian guy and none too happy to see Red and Liz at his door a week earlier than he expected. He tries sending them away, but Red convinces him to let them in. Once inside we see the large-scale hacking network, that the man whose real name’s Chang operates.

Keen starts walking around the facility and bumps into a double of herself as a brunette, wearing a police uniform. The woman’s posing s Keen to try to redirect law enforcement officials and suddenly recognizes Lizzie and acts like she’s meeting Lady GAGA. She asks if Red’s there as well and practically squeals when Liz tells her he is. Then she asks what’s it like being a fugitive?

Ressler tells Harold that Charlene’s been released and he’s getting released as well, pending future questioning. Cooper says he’s glad Donald doesn’t think he’s complicit in Lizzie’s crime, but Ressler corrects him and tells him they’re both complicit as he allowed Liz to escape. He says he’s going to catch her though, because his job isn’t going with his gut. His job’s to enforce the law.

Lizzie tells Reddington when she was a little girl she fantasized that her mother was a prima-ballerina and would one day come for her. She then asks Red what happened to her and Raymond says at one time he thought he knew, but as the years have passed, he realized he had no idea where she is or what happened to her. Chang comes in and tells them that in an hour they’ll either be free, or in prison on charges of treason.

Liz and Red each are transported in a separate van to double their chances of one of them escaping and clearing Keen’s name. Chang tells Red that their business relationship’s over and tells Raymond he’s a crazy old man. Reddington and Liz are each hidden in secret compartments in each vehicle and they head north, while the Troll Farmer’s network sends out pictures over social media having them in five different locations in the south. Ressler realizes it’s a set-up and redirects all officers to the north.

Reddington gets past the perimeter and it appears Lizzie has too, as a radio-dispatcher tells all officers to stand down, as the duo’s in custody. However seconds later Ressler shows up and the search resumes. Raymond calls Liz and tells her that he’s made it out but she won’t make it, so she has to hide. She tells the driver to take her to 2650 Wisconsin Avenue.

Dembe’s outside a restaurant he knocks out the doorman, then heads inside and takes out two goons. He sees Mr. Solomon eating a shellfish dish and Solomon motions for him to sit down. After he finishes his meal, he takes out his cellphone and calls Isabella, he tells her to go to her front door and open it. Ellie’s in her little travel seat, he tells Isabella to take a picture with her phone and to send it to him. When the picture arrives, he thanks Isabella and shows the picture to Dembe.

Dembe asks what’s keeping him from ripping Solomon apart with his bare hands and the Cabal operative, explains he’s infected Ellie with a deadly toxin and if he dies, she’ll die a painful death within three weeks. He then gives Dembe a small gas mask attached to a vial and tells him to breath deeply. After about three breaths, Dembe’s knocked out.

Samar and Donald drive around trying to figure out where Keen’s headed, when they seize on the fact she’s accused of being a Russian spy and they head to the Russian Embassy. They get there just in time to watch Lizzie scale the fence and then tells the soldier’s her name’s Masha Rostova and she’s a Russian agent. She asks for immunity as the screen fades to black.

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

Photo Courtesy Of Giovanni Rufino/FOX

Photo Courtesy Of Giovanni Rufino/FOX

Warning: Spoiler Alert

The first two seasons of the FOX series “The Following,” revolved around a cat and mouse game between FBI Agent Ryan Hardy and serial-killer/cult-leader Joe Carroll. However as we rejoin Hardy and company for season three, Carroll’s been behind bars for a year, with his execution scheduled for the following month. Hardy’s especially proud that he’s moved on, now involved with a beautiful dark-haired Emergency Room doctor named Gwen (portrayed by Zuleikha Robinson, who appeared in the final two seasons of LOST.) We join the couple along with Ryan’s niece Max at the wedding of FBI Agent Gina Mendez and all are blissfully happy, except for a mysterious looking waiter working the affair.

Fellow agent Mike Weston arrives late to the party, just arriving from the airport. He’s no longer involved in a romantic relationship with Max Hardy, after spending the last eleven months looking for Mark Gray, the only surviving member of Lily Gray’s murderous clan. Ryan introduces Weston to Gwen, who tells the agent her boyfriend talks about him constantly. There’s an awkward reunion between Mike and Max, as she introduces him to her new boyfriend, a member of an FBI SWAT team from New York.

Ryan and Gwen go out on the balcony to talk about her possibly moving in with him, when he dodges the question, by saying he’s got to get some cake. She smiles and looks out at the skyline, when she turns back towards the room, the waiter’s almost on top of her, then apologizes for startling her. He asks Gwen if that’s Ryan Hardy and she responds it is. He says he arrested Joe Carroll and now everyone calls him a hero, she excuses herself, says she’s got to get back inside.

Hardy’s giving the wedding toast, standing next to the two brides and talking about how amazing love is and the way it makes us feel. Many times when we aren’t even looking for it, it enters our lives, healing our wounds and turning our fortunes around. Gina starts getting teary-eyed, when we see the waiter reach into his jacket pocket, for what at first seemed like he was grabbing a pistol, instead it was a bottle filled with blood that he throws on Hardy and the formerly happy couple.

The waiter then breaks into tears and calls Ryan a murderer, says his daughter got killed in the raid on the Corbin compound last year. He said his daughter Sherry was so beautiful and didn’t deserve to die, then just really starts crying. Hardy tells the two FBI agents holding him to let him go, they ask if he’s sure and then the waiter leaves the room.

The next morning Ryan asks Gina how her bride’s holding up and she says as well as can be expected, after getting doused in blood on her wedding day. She then says they’re not taking a honeymoon until after Carroll’s execution. Hardy says she’s learning quickly she’s married to the FBI. Mike and Ryan quickly talk, Hardy mentions that Carroll’s getting executed in a month and Weston asks if Ryan’s gone to see him. Hardy says no, that he’s moving on with his life.

Weston’s not following that course, obsessed with catching Mark Gray, mainly for vengeance, as Lily slit Mike’s Dad’s throat and sent the tape of the execution to his cellphone. In one of the most shocking scenes from season two, Weston lost his Boy Scout morals forever, as he executed an unarmed Lily Gray. Hardy took the blame for the shooting, saying that Gray forced him into it.

Mike briefs the rest of the bureau’s agents on his basically fruitless search for Mark Gray, although he says that Gray’s running low on funds and will likely surface soon. Mendez reminds the agents that Carroll’s getting executed in a month, they should monitor the situation vigilantly, so they don’t get caught with a surprise attack.

We move to a hotel bar and see a couple sitting at a table when a woman with long jet-black hair, whose dressed to advertise walks in and sits at the bar. The man says to his companion her, and she walks over telling the woman they’re celebrating their second anniversary and would she have interest in celebrating with them? The woman says of course, but she charges more for couples.

Up in the room, the husband’s all over the hooker, while his wife just kinds of stands and watches, the woman tells the husband this need’s to be fun for her as well, then proceeds to take off the wife’s dress and they tie the wife’s hands with some silk scarves. The husband starts making out with the call-girl again when a knocking sound starts and she asks what it is? The wife says it sounds like it’s coming from the closet and when he opens it, he finds a hotel maid bound and gagged inside. He turns around and the Brunette stabs him to death, then walks over to the bed and takes the wife’s life as well. She then pulls off the wig, revealing her to have short blonde hair.

The door opens, it’s her teammate and lover Kyle, he asks if he arrived too late and the woman, named Daisy says there’s plenty for him to do.  The door opens again and this time it’s the waiter, he tells the couple that this is all wrong, if we don’t get it right he’ll kill us.

The FBI investigate the room in the next scene, the couple have wires attached to them to put them in certain positions, the husband has a knife in his hand. The couple was Natalie and Kenny Brooks, in from Greenwich, the bartender saw them leave with a hooker, but Hardy says, she had some help. On the shower stall, reads Ryan Hardy Lies written in blood, the maid’s body got discovered as well.

Kyle and Daisy are making out at the house they’re staying at when the waiter, whose real name’s Andrew enters and asks if “he” said anything. Daisy says no, he’s in one of those moods. Andrew says it’s time to pull their next job, but Kyle tries to get the older guy to wait a while. Andrew says he’ll handle this one himself.

Ryan gets the information on the waiter’s daughter, she was Sherry Miller, a 19-year-old young woman from Queens. Hardy heads to the house and rings the bell and Sherry’s mother answers, he says he apologizes for her daughter’s death. She responds that she loves her daughter, but she was always troubled and she doesn’t blame Hardy for her death. He asks to speak to her husband, but it’s not the waiter, Andrew merely said that Sherry was his daughter.

Andrew heads to a grief counseling meeting next and starts the waterworks with the group, crying over the loss of his beautiful Sherry. A young man approaches him after the meeting and says he just lost his sister two-weeks-ago and Andrew asks him to join him for coffee.

Gwen shows up at the bureau and Ryan reacts the way he always does with women, try to push them away in crisis situations and she calls him on it. He denies it, but she tells him they’ve got something special going  and she’s not going to let him screw it up.

Andrew’s picture matches up with a man identified as Adam Jacobs, Max, Mike and Ryan head to the home that he’s said to live at. They drive over and there’s all sorts of fencing and wiring around the place, but Weston gets them through. They get inside and the place is in shambles, with walls falling down, blocking their way, they find a staircase leading up from the basement and an entire walls covered with snapshots of Andrew in various stages of crying, from floor to ceiling. They head into the kitchen and find three more bodies posed, this time with Max Hardy Lies, written in blood on the wall.

Mike says these seems eerily familiar and Hardy says, it is familiar, they lived this moment. Andrew, Kyle and Daisy had posed the bodies to reenact the moment that Max killed Luke Gray, he says the one in the hotel room got staged to show when Ryan killed Luke’s stepsister. Mike then announces the obvious, that Mark Gray’s behind all of this, Hardy says and the next victim will resemble Lily.

If you haven’t gotten creeped out enough yet, the next scene will certainly satisfy you, as we get our first appearance of a now orange-haired Mark Gray, who’s gone completely loony-tunes. Both Luke and Mark were psychotic, behavior encouraged by their adopted mother Lily, but with Luke and Lily gone, Mark’s gone completely around the bend. He’s eating dinner with either a headless corpse, or a mannequin in a suit, with a vanity mirror as the head, so he’s still having dinner each night with his twin brother.

Mark’s adopted Luke’s more dominant personality, when he speaks in his brother’s voice, while crying and showing his weakness when speaking as himself. Sam Underwood, who portrayed both brothers last season’s doing some incredible acting in each scene, having arguments with himself as he takes on the roles of both he and Luke.

The next evening’s when they’re going to kill their Lily Gray doppelgänger and Andrew asks Mark if he’ll be joining him on this mission, but Mark says no, he’ll stay at home and the three of them can handle it. As soon as Andrew leaves the room, Luke tells his brother that they’re going and Mark has to get through it. Just as Kyle, Daisy and Andrew are about to leave, Mark comes downstairs wearing a fake beard and glasses and says let’s go have some fun.

A surveillance camera picks up Andrew coming out of the Lincoln Center subway station, dressed as a waiter, they quickly deduce that he’s headed to an event at the Arts Center five blocks away. Inside that soiree Mark finds the woman he wants to portray his mother in his next project. He picks out a woman and Andrew spills champagne on her dress, then directs her to the restroom on the lower floor. As she attempts to blot out the champagne, she sees Mark grinning standing right behind her.

Hardy captures Andrew, but he tells the FBI agent that Mark and the woman are gone. We see Mark driving in a car and we hear the woman’s muffled screaming from the trunk. He stops and then fights things out between Luke and himself, agreeing to kill the woman. He gets her from the trunk, we see Kyle and Daisy are there, also each holding a pistol. Mark starts to cry, then says I’m sorry mom and then kills the woman with one shot, he instantly cradles the corpse crying, please don’t leave me mom, I’ll be all alone.

Hardy’s questioning Andrew back at the bureau, when he asks Ryan the time, the agent asks if he has somewhere to go and Andrew says you do. Max, Mike and Ryan find the final reenactment, but instead of having the Hardy character killing Lily, it’s setup that Weston’s substitute, shot Lily. The message this time says, While You Lie, More Will Die. But only the three of them are aware of that fact, how could Mark know?

The final scene’s back at Mark’s house, as he and his Luke stand-in have dinner, Luke tells Mark how proud he is of him. Mark says and the next one’s going to be easy, but Luke corrects him, saying the next one’s going to be awesome, cause one of them dies.

Oh by the way, we have yet to meet this season’s “Big Bad” yet, Michael Ealy, whom you may remember as the Android in last season’s FOX series “Almost Human.”

The Story Continues Next Monday Night at 9:00 pm on FOX.