Season Three Episode Six

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Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC

Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

The porcupine’s a pretty tough meal for a predator to take down as long as the creature remains on all four feet. They’re covered in razor-sharp quills to keep them protected, likely causing many bigger animals to pass them by and look for an easier alternative for dinner. Wolves however realize that if they can knock the animal off its feet they can feast on the porcupine’s soft pink underbelly, filling their stomachs long before they get to the hide.

Raymond Reddington  emulates a wolf when going after his prey, realizing that ever person, organization and situation’s got that soft pink underbelly. No matter how big the odds appear against him, Red always manages to find that underbelly and defeat his adversary. That’s why he’ll eventually defeat the Cabal, exonerate former FBI Agent Elizabeth Keen and have Harold Cooper back as head of the FBI Task Force by season’s end on “The Blacklist.”

Despite the powerful people and their endless supply of personnel, weapons and assets and that their leader’s the Director of the CIA, Raymond Reddington’s not only survived all six battles he’s fought in this still young TV season, he’s come out victorious.  The Director Peter Kotsiopolus puts up a false bravado while conversing with others but  the flop sweats starting to become noticeable for viewers. The man whose spent his entire lifetime feeling supremely confident is starting to feel that hot breath on the back of his neck, taking him out of his comfort zone. Those that call the shots for the Cabal have made their displeasure known and Matias Solomon’s not a man you want out to get you.

This week’s number on the Blacklist is number 86, with a bullet (more about that later) Sir Crispin Crandall a reclusive billionaire who lives in the air. He spends his entire existence on board an A-380 aircraft that remains constantly in the air except when it needs to refuel. By remaining constantly in the air makes it impossible for any law agency to attempt to arrest him.

Crandall made much of his fortune founding a cryogenics corporation, cryogenically freezing patients to get thawed out in an age when medical advances will have discovered cures for the deadly diseases they suffer from. Although people have gotten cryogenically preserved for decades, the end results remain theoretical as nobody’s gotten revived at this date.

His latest projects not voluntary for the participants, for about the last six months Crandall’s people have kidnapped and frozen some of the greatest scientific minds of our society. It seems that they’re building a futuristic Noah’s Ark as they are kidnapping a man and a woman from every field of science. Crandall’s latest victim’s a Dr. Richard Kucera a brilliant mathematician that seems to suffer from the same condition that Dr. Stephen Hawking lives with. Crandall tells Kucera that he’ll soon belong to a magnificent existence where his brain will get freed from his body and he’ll find it easy walking and talking. He tells Kucera he admires his intellect and that’s why Crandall chose him to be one of his special few.

On board Reddington’s jet Lizzie finishes bandaging up Dembe’s torso wound and tries to get him to drink some tea with extra antioxidants. Dembe smiles and says don’t worry Elizabeth he will keep you safe. Raymond joins the two in the main compartment and asks Keen if she’s ever heard of an Andras Halmi and she asks if he’s a French economist? Red tells her he’s a Belgian Econometrician and he’s gotten abducted, problem’s that Halmi’s the guy Raymond says they need to help exonerate Lizzie. The reason that Halmi’s so important is that he’s Peter Kotsiopolus’ most trusted adviser.

Reddington knows all about the Ark except whose behind it and where it’s located, for that he needs the assistance of Frenemy and FBI Task Force Director Donald Ressler. Once again problem’s arise as Red makes it clear that the Director can’t find out that Halmi’s involved while the CIA Director’s taken up a semi-permanent residence in the building.

Kotsiopolus walks into Ressler’s office prompting Donald to hang up the phone. The Director says he’s gotten proof that Ressler’s been in contact several times with Keen and Reddington and Ressler admits to it and that Raymond still  supplies them with numbers from the Blacklist. Peter tries to turn it around that Ressler and his team’s advancing Reddington’s agenda instead of trying to capture the pair. Donald says that every case he’s given them has led to the downfall of somebody connected with the Cabal. The Director blows off Donald’s remark and says they’ve got a full briefing on the new case in 30-minutes.

Tom’s gotten in way over his head in the Asher Sutton situation and Harold Cooper lets him know loud and clear. Keen wants to meet Karakurt’s brother-in-law Charlie Volkens, Harold  informs him that’s going to happen and Tom’s not going to like the result. Cooper asks what if Tom put Asher Sutton’s life in danger and Keen responds if it clear’s Lizzie’s name he’s fine with it. (No wonder female fans love Ryan Eggold in this role. That attitude and ladies always go for the good-looking bad-boy.)

Aram discovers that the latest person kidnapped for the Ark’s Dr. Richard Kucera and he says the only  female mathematician of his caliber’s Dr. Anna Neehoff and she lives in Arlington. Ressler and Navabi try to get to her apartment before the kidnapper’s do and Samar leaves her a message telling her to lock all her doors on her cellphone. Neehoff listens to the message just as the three-man crew arrives and she hides under her sofa, she might have gotten out if her cellphone didn’t buzz. One of the guys drags her out and they put her into a van with Donald and Samar in pursuit. They rescue Neehoff, kill two of the kidnappers and Ressler captures the third.

Dembe, Reddington and Keen have landed in Montreal and then go to a building Raymond’s having renovated. His construction foreman tells him he can’t get any work done because he’s dealing with a pain-in-the-neck building inspector. Red offers the inspector named Max a substantial bribe to turn a blind-eye and Max basically tells him to shove it.

Our favorite disbarred former-attorney Marvin Gerard’s also in the building and he tells Reddington to forget about Max, if they can’t locate Andras Halmi they can’t carry out their plan. Red tells Gerard to dig up what ever he can use to put Max in a compromising position and he’ll carry on the search for Halmi.

Ressler brings the third-kidnapper to the Task Force headquarters and the perp demands a lawyer. Peter Kotsiopolus asks if that guy’s the kidnapper and Ressler tells him he is but he demanded to get an attorney before he utters a word. The Director smiles and says he’ll talk to him.

Gerard calls Raymond and tells him that Max’s a choirboy, even his ex-wife loves him. However he does have one weakness, the young woman he’s in love with an aspiring pastry-chef named Lisa. Unfortunately Lisa’s far from being Betty Crocker in the kitchen messing up all her creations. Raymond finds her at her latest job that doesn’t look promising and mentions Max and says he has some things to discuss with her. After showing her samples of wall colors and counter-tops she asks what’s this all about and Reddington says her restaurant. Lisa says she doesn’t have one and Raymond suggests they take a drive.

Tom shows up unwanted at Asher and Gwen’s place and although they tell him to leave Keen informs them that some dangerous people are coming and the two of them have to grab their passports and cash and beat feet immediately. Unfortunately they don’t heed his advice so Tom can only save Gwen telling her to hide and remain hidden despite anything she hears.

Peter Kotsiopolus enters the interrogation room and it doesn’t take long for us to realize what makes him such an effective CIA Director and leader of the Cabal. He tells the perp his birth name’s Michael Karpos and he’s done some missions for some of the Agency’s sub-contractors. He then says Karpos has an ex-wife and a grade-school aged daughter who attends St. Bartholomew’s Academy in New Jersey. He then asks Karpos if he’s studied the Bible, the Director tells him he considered the priesthood at one point. He then quotes a Psalm Exodus 20:5.6.

“For I The Lord Thy God Am A Jealous God, Visiting The Iniquities Of The Father Upon The Children.”

He walks out of the interrogation room moments later and tells Ressler that the man they’re hunting for is Sir Crispin Crandall and the kidnap victims have gotten deposited at a complex near the Boston/Manchester Regional Airport. Seconds later Aram informs them that Crandall lives in the air in his A-380, the only times he lands is for refueling. Samar and Donald along with a SWAT Team to raid the facility.

Matias Solomon summons the Director for a meeting and asks him to tell him about Andras Halmi, he’s the person the FBI have kept hidden from him. After chiding Peter that he knows everything, usually long before he finds out the Director says that Reddington’s reaching out to the billionaire to forge a deal. He says as soon as he determines where the meeting will take place he’ll contact Solomon.

Navabi, Ressler and the FBI SWAT-Team raid Crandall’s facility and find the building they’ve raided is a legitimate company. It’s Crandall Cryogenics and all the scores of cryogenic tubes contain paid patients, who utilized the service with the hopes of eventually getting revived and cured. They suddenly realize that Crandall’s got the Ark stored with him on the A-380 and they try to determine where their next fuel-stop will be.

Tom Keen wakes up battered and bruised in an alley with a dog collar around his neck attached to an iron-chain. He’s woken as a little man shakes the chain and Keen says he wants to speak to the Russian and that Asher Sutton’s not  involved in this. The man tells him that Sutton’s now deeply involved as he and Tom will fight to the death in the main bout later that day. He leaves and Keen pulls on the chain and find’s Sutton’s on the other end and still out cold.

Raymond brings Lisa over to the building and Lisa tells Max she can’t believe he’s building her own restaurant and starts talking about all the events she wants to have. She kisses and hugs him and then runs off to explore. Reddington tells him that he just needs the property for a 24-hour-window then it’s his free-and-clear. Max asks him who he is and Raymond responds he’s the man that’s making the woman he love’s dream’s come true.

Reddington’s set-up a meeting with Sir Crispin and the Task Force gets a report that Crandall’s plane will set-down for refueling near Halifax, Canada. Ressler, Navabi and company head to Halifax, however they’re relying on false information disseminated by Peter Kotsiopolus. He calls Solomon with the correct info that the plane’s landing in Pittsburgh and Matias is to terminate Reddington and Keen and retrieve Halmi’s corpse. Solomon asks why Reddington would want Halmi’s body if he’s dead and Peter says that if Matias kills Red and Liz all the loose ends will disappear.

The main bout’s taking place in an alley as Sutton and Keen still chained together are surrounded with all the extras from the original Road Warrior movie. The little man acts as ring-announcer telling the crowd that this is a no-hold-barred grudge match. All rules are thrown out the window in fact biting, scratching and gouging are encouraged. The last man breathing wins. Keen doesn’t want to fight and all he does is block Sutton’s blows. Asher says that if Tom doesn’t fight they’ll both die. Keen looks at the little man and says he doesn’t want to fight he came to see the Russian.

The ring-announcer asks the crowd what should happen and they explode into a cacophony of jeers and hissing. The little man gives Sutton a switch-blade and Keen says to Asher he doesn’t want to go this route. Sutton tries slashing Keen a few time, then Tom forces the preppie to the ground and says he’s sorry before he slits his throat.

Aram calls Ressler and Navabi and tells them the plane’s touching down in Pittsburgh and Donald quickly realizes that the Director purposely misled them. He says that Kotsiopolus has his own team to meet the plane and they’re going to kill Lizzie and Reddington. Samar heads to the cockpit to inform the pilot to change course.

Raymond and Elizabeth step on-board Crandall’s aircraft and Sir Crispin asks Reddington why his payment hasn’t been accepted for him to re-fuel. Red responds he’s changed his fee for this transaction, he wants Andras Halmi, Crandall says he’s not getting Halmi and Raymond says he will get the parts of him he requires.

He asks the billionaire if he’s a betting man and Crandall responds he detests casinos. Raymond laughs and tells him he agrees with his statement, but asks Sir Crispin if betting on situations interest him? He says that because of Crandall’s egomaniacal flawed vision that humanity’s chances of survival are far less than before he began as he’s robbed of us some of the planet’s greatest minds.

Crandall says the planet’s doomed and that society’s coming to an end shortly. He says that he and the others on his voyage will awaken to a wondrous planet of the future without any of modern humanity’s ills. Crandall says that death occurs in stages, that as long as the information of a person’s life’s retained that person remains alive.

Raymond says that the toxic-air will keep any of them from ever being revived. He tells Sir Crispin that the future’s a sucker’s bet. The only thing that has any certainty’s the here and now and that Crandall’s dramatically lowered humanities chances of surviving because of his plan. Red says cryogenics will be an abject failure.

Crandall says I’m willing to bet that’s not the case. Raymond smiles and says so you are a betting man Mr. Crandall, here’s your bet then he pulls out his pistol and fires a bullet into the old man’s heart. Crandall’s aide and a nurse run in as the aide says I heard a…. The nurse asks if he’s dead and Raymond replies oh pish-posh death comes in stages then he and Keen break into the cryogenics chamber then close the door behind them. Lizzie finds the tube containing Halmi’s corpse and Red opens it up and snaps off one of Halmi’s fingers and wraps it in a handkerchief.

They exit the plane after engaging in a shootout with Solomon’s men taking all of them out except for Matias. Solomon’s cellphone rings and the Director asks if he’s got Halmi and Solomon says well most of him he’s missing his thumbs. Kotsiopolus nearly passes out when he hears that.

The Director calls a bank in Montreal and he tells the manager he’s from the Justice Department and a Canadian judge’s ruled that the contents of a safety-deposit box at the bank belonging to Andras Halmi’s now property of the United States and to make certain that no third-party gets access to it.

That’s the reason Reddington needed use of the building in Montreal for 24-hours as its next door to the bank and Red’s lowered into the safety-deposit vault by a rope tied around his waist. He picks the lock, uses Halmi’s thumbs to open the container within and a huge grin breaks out on his face. The Director arrives to find the box empty except for Halmi’s thumbs.

Back on his jet Red calls the Director to gloat and Peter congratulates him for besting him. Raymond says the time’s come for him to exonerate Elizabeth Keen and the  Director tells him he’s not getting that. Reddington contradicts Kotsiopolus, saying the only question that remains is whether the Director will live to see that day.

Raymond says that he just took  away  Peter’s escape fund that he kept for when the Cabal turns on him. Red says without his golden-parachute he’s out-of-luck when his time runs out. He then says he’s going to make everything fall down on top of the Director. His own people will beg Raymond to kill Peter to stop the bleeding.

Ressler thinks that he can convince Laurel Hitchin that the Director’s got his own agenda with the footage they got of Solomon and company on Crandall’s plane. Whether things are just that simple remain to be determined.

Tom’s taken to meet Charlie Volkens and he says it takes a hard man to kill his buddy with a blade, then says he hears that Keen wanted to see him. Tom points to Karakurt and says he’s the one he wants and Karakurt asks him who he is. Keen replies he’s the guy that’s going to drag his tail back to DC for him to testify to what he did and clear his wife’s name.

He then tells the four men in front of him he’s about to kill three of them leaving just him and Karakurt, then does exactly what he said he’d do. Karakurt pleads for Tom not to kill him, Keen smiles and says not yet then knocks him cold and starts dragging Karakurt’s limp body in the dirt.

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

Photo Courtesy Of FOX

Photo Courtesy Of FOX

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Just when it looked like the chances of saving season three of the FOX series “The Following,” were between slim and none, the show shook up the dynamic radically, bringing back a fan favorite, in addition to introducing this campaign’s “True Big Bad.” The moves resulted in the good-guys finally winning a couple of rounds, as well as for a more taut and exciting episode, by far the finest of the season. Part of that involved addition by subtraction, finally getting rid of the psychopathic Mark Gray, at least for a while, but the breakthroughs the Bureau made on the case, added to the excitement.

As the previous episode concluded, FBI Agent Ryan Hardy, broke his vow to himself and went and visited serial killer Joe Carroll, whose awaiting execution in a Federal Prison, Carroll greeting him asking, what took him so long? The two longtime adversaries have a twisted relationship, knowing each other as well as they know themselves, both obsessed with finding out exactly what makes the other tick. Carroll can hit Hardy in spots that nobody else realizes exist, while Ryan used his knowledge of Carroll to stop he and his followers killing spree, three separate times.

Carroll show his powers of observation, stayed razor-sharp as he tells Hardy he looks well, he’s stayed on the wagon, back full-time with the FBI and it looks like Ryan’s in love. Hardy feels his buttons getting pushed and almost leaves, but Joe calms him down and asks what he wants, Ryan tells him they’re looking for Carroll’s mentor, Dr. Arthur Strauss. Turns out that although Carroll’s Strauss’ most famous protégé, he’s just one of many that Strauss trained to become highly skilled serial killers. We’ve already met Daisy, Kyle and Andrew this season, in this episode we meet another couple of his students.

Joe asks Hardy, what’s in it for him if he assists the FBI and Ryan asks him what he wants? Carroll says he’s resigned himself to his predicament, but he fears Ryan’s unprepared and Hardy asks him what he means? Joe says, don’t forget Ryan, when I die, you die and Hardy laughs the threat off. Carroll then says I miss “Us,” the banter, the laughter, the crying, if I help you, I want you to visit me every day until D-Day.

Hardy says that if Joe gives him some valuable information, he’ll return. Carroll then says that Strauss has contacted a former student that he trusts and that he and Daisy are hiding with them. Ryan has to find a connection Straus has in the nearby area. As Hardy leaves the facility, his body rebels against the emotion he’s suppressing and he vomits in a toilet on the first floor.

Hardy’s next stop’s at the hospital, to visit his niece Max, who got whacked from behind by Daisy with a wooden-plank in the previous episode, to rescue Strauss, she looks pale and weak when he enters. Soon after, Max’s boyfriend Tom, comes in to take her back to her apartment. Tom’s been monitoring Max’s movements, with Daisy’s laptop, that gets a feed from cameras she and Kyle set up in her apartment.

We get our first glimpse of the show’s new “Big Bad,” in the following scene, Michael Ealy whom you may remember as the android Dorian, in the former FOX series “Almost Human,” starring Karl Urban. Dorian’s benign manner and friendly personality, are nowhere to be found as his new character Theo, whom Strauss describes as “his best student.” Theo sporting long dreads, takes out Strauss’ trial lawyer with an acetylene torch.

Back at the Bureau Office, Ryan, Mike and Max had their suspensions revoked, but Bureau Chief Gina Valdez took the fall, serving an indefinite suspension, until she’s questioned by superiors, leaving Hardy in charge. He has his agents scour the area for missing person reports in the last 5-10 years and an analyst, says that six missing persons on the list, were last scene in Beacon, New York. Hardy and Weston take a trip to Beacon to check things out.

There are certain character actors on Television, that when you see their faces, you’ve got a preconceived notion, of what the character they’re portraying will act like. Michael Gaston, who played Beacon Sheriff Windsor, typically plays dicey upper-management characters, so I assumed that the Sheriff was a Strauss operative, when Mike and Ryan got to town, but he turned out to play things by the rules. However there were members of the community, that were far from what they seemed, as we found out.

Windsor and one of his officers, Hillary Banks meet with Hardy and Weston and the sheriff says they should’ve called and saved themselves a trip, Strauss and Daisy aren’t in his town. Ryan says they’re checking on missing persons reports and ask the pair if they recognize any of the six photos they brought with them. Banks says the picture of a young blonde woman, could be the Jane Doe, whose remains they found in the swamps a couple of weeks earlier. She volunteers to take the pair to the spot they recovered the body.

When they get to the area, Hillary mentions she returned home after discovering the Jane Doe, soaked to the bone, saying it rained hard that day. Hardy asks if the area’s prone to flooding and Banks says it is, which makes Ryan think that bodies could be buried in the higher ground and the rain dislodged the corpse, sending it down to the swamp. They find out Ryan’s theory’s correct as they find nine sets of remains, buried within the last 10-15 years.

Theo’s dreads are just a wig, we find out when he takes it off and gets into his car. He soon receives a text message, asking is it done? We then flashback 13-years according to the graphic, we see a nerdy looking guy talking on his cellphone and working on his computer. He says to the person on the other end, he hates that office and he should run it, then says he’s going to get some sleep. Suddenly he hears his stereo blaring from the living room, he leaves his bedroom to shut it off, then realizes he’s got a visitor, sitting on his sofa, wearing a clown-mask and a hood. The man in the mask tells the nerdy guy Patrick, not to be scared, they’ve chatted on-line for months.

Patrick realizes it’s a guy who uses the screen-name Karl-1988, whose in reality Theo. He tells Patrick, not to worry he’ll still get the glory, then as Patrick tries to run, he tackles him and ties his hand behind his back with a zip-tie. He then goes to fulfill Patrick’s plan, killing all four employees of the insurance office, Patrick referenced in his phone call, but he gets stabbed before he can kill all four employees.

He sneaks into a hospital and hides in a supply closet, when the door opens and a much younger Dr. Arthur Strauss, with a full head of dark hair walks in. Theo aims his pistol at Strauss, who tells him he’s there to help him, as he believes fate brought them together. He tells Theo he’s aware that he murdered the people at the insurance office, then says they share the same compulsion to kill. He tells Theo he’ll hide him, but the younger man says he has to finish first. He then comes back to the present, sends a yes response to the text, then gets told to drive to Beacon.

Hillary takes Ryan and Mike back to her Uncle Duncan’s café, he raised her as her parents died when she was a child. Suddenly a waitress named Margo, comes over to the table and says to Hillary the murderer’s Sheriff Windsor’s son Justin. Duncan says he doesn’t pay Margo to gossip, but Ryan and Mike ask Hillary to take the to where Justin lives.

Justin’s up to no-good, but it’s making crystal-meth at his shack in the middle of the woods. Windsor arrives and asks his son if he’s involved in the murders and the teen swears to his father he knows nothing about them. Windsor says his son’s got problems, but he knows when he’s lying and Justin’s telling the truth, then he arrests his son for the crystal-meth lab he owns and operates.

Daisy and Strauss are hiding out in a cabin, with Daisy certain that Strauss’ student abandoned them, but he soon arrives. It’s Duncan Banks’ who tells them there’s trouble as Hardy and the FBI are in town, it turns out that Banks’ murdered all the victims as well. Strauss tells him to calm down, there’s no way they can trace the victims to him, but Duncan says he killed before he met Strauss and that body’s buried with the rest.

Weston and Hardy get told that the first victim’s Hannah Banks, Duncan’s wife and the agents realize that he’s behind all the murders. They head into the café, with Hillary behind the counter, standing next to Duncan. Banks sees that both agents are about to reach for their service revolvers, he grabs Hillary around the neck and sticks a knife to her throat, saying if he can’t escape, he’ll slit his pretty niece’s neck. Hillary’s holding a cup of coffee and throws it in Duncan’s face, allowing her to get free and Ryan to knock Duncan out.

Windsor arrives, soon after Banks admits he killed Hillary’s parent, because her mother was a squealer, the officer punches her uncle in the gut, making him double-over in pain. Windsor tells Hardy and Weston, his father and Duncan’s used to hunt together and they used a cabin, which would make for a great hideout and says he’ll take them there.

Theo starts walking to the cabin and he once again flashes back 13-years earlier, as he and Strauss are back in Patrick’s apartment, for Theo to kill him and set him up as the murderer. He puts his hand over Patrick’s and has him pull the trigger of a pistol aimed at his chin, which sprays his brains on the curtain behind him. Strauss’ filled with glee tells Theo that he’s ambitious, but to avoid his moment in the spotlight, like a shark he should always stay under the water. Theo thanks him and tells him he’ll repay him one day, he returns to the present, knocks on the cabin door and Strauss says thanks for coming.

However Strauss doesn’t stay happy for long as Theo strangles him to death with a wire, nearly severing his head from his body. When Windsor, Mike and Ryan arrive they find Arthur’s corpse, but Theo and Daisy have escaped. We see Daisy by herself, hitching a ride. Theo heads home, where we find out he’s got a knockout wife and a beautiful boy and girl, oblivious to what he does.

Mike and Ryan tell Duncan that Strauss got murdered and show him a picture of the corpse and Duncan asks if Daisy did it, but she lacks the upper body strength to have done it. Banks says it must be Strauss’ best student, but that’s all the info he has on the guy.

Hardy arrives back to visit Carroll in the final scene and Joe remarks that Ryan kept his word. Hardy then asks Joe whose Strauss’ best student, then the scene fades to black.

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