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.