Warning: Spoiler Alert
If somebody approached Elizabeth Keen in August of 2013 and told her what her life would be like just two years later, she’d likely think that person was clinically insane. One month later Liz became a rookie agent for the FBI and her life was never the same. Just as she was reporting for duty the most elusive culprit on the FBI’s Most Wanted List Raymond “Red” Reddington, showed up at FBI Headquarters and surrendered his freedom. He promised FBI Assistant-Director Harold Cooper “The Blacklist,” containing the names and information on the planet’s worst criminals. People that Reddington told Cooper that the FBI and other Law-Enforcement Agencies didn’t even realize existed.
In exchange he wanted two things, total immunity from prosecution and he would only talk to Agent Elizabeth Keen, an agent so new that Cooper didn’t even know her name. She balked at first at Reddington’s request to work with her, but the pair who had seemingly nothing in common, started working as partners. As the first season progressed we realized there was a hidden connection between Red and Liz, that the agent wasn’t aware of. She would also soon find out that her whole existence was based on nothing but lies.
Throughout season one her world got rocked by revelations, that gentle school-teacher that she fell in love with and married was actually a mercenary, hired to get close to her. He even lied about his name, taking on the alias of Tom Keen and won her heart. We’d find out later that despite his lies and deceit, she captured his heart as well.
While Raymond refrained from lying to Agent Keen, he only gave her enough information to keep her informed. Liz realized that a connection existed between them stemming from her childhood. She asked Red if he was her real father and he told her no, but he also failed to reveal the secrets he had about her childhood. However, Lizzie did start unraveling some of the lies that made up her life.
Liz found out that Tom was working for an enemy of Raymond’s named Berlin and the final episode of the first campaign culminated in a knock-down, no-holds-barred battle between husband and wife, ending when Liz shot Tom in his abdomen. We ended season one believing Tom had died, but Liz wasn’t through torturing the man who married her under false pretenses, quite yet.
Early in the second season, we find out that Keen enlisted a surgical unit to save Tom’s life in secret. Saving him wasn’t because of her love for him, she realized the only way she could contact Berlin was through the man she knew as Tom Keen. Liz had a score to settle with Berlin, he killed her fellow agent Meera Malik and nearly killed Harold Cooper, putting him in the hospital for months.
While during the first year of the series, Liz learned unsavory things about her husband, the second season resulted in Keen learning things about Reddington, that shattered her trust. Among her revelations, she found out Reddington had suffocated her stepfather to death, rather than allow him to tell Liz about her childhood. Red tried telling her all his actions were meant to protect her, but it damaged their relationship almost beyond repair.
While Red continued to provide the FBI a new name from The Blacklist each week, we soon realized that Raymond had other pressing issues on his plate, The Cabal and The Fulcrum. The Cabal’s a shadow organization including some of the most powerful people on the planet, whom we find out pull the strings behind world events. Although not specifically stated, we can assume The Cabal’s behind every great tragedy of the 21st Century. Red has an uneasy truce with The Cabal, based on the fact they believe Red possesses The Fulcrum, a file jam-packed with all sorts of evidence including pictures and names involved in all the Cabal’s funny-business.
While Reddington’s getting all his ducks in a row, the new United States Attorney General Tom Connolly, has put his old buddy Harold Cooper in some compromising positions. Connolly coerced Cooper’s doctor into making Harold believe that he was dying from a cancerous tumor in his brain. Connolly allegedly pulled some strings to get Cooper into a special trial-program to combat the cancer, which seemed to be effective. Cooper now felt obligated to the man he considered his patron saint and bent some rules and looked the other way to help Connolly out.
The National Security Director of the United States, runs The Cabal and orders a hit put out on Reddington. Red gets seriously wounded by gunfire but he survives the surgery. Not long after he greets a crew of hand-selected investigative reporters from around the globe and reveals the contents of The Fulcrum to them all.
Rather than backing off when Red threatened to expose every member of The Cabal, Tom Connolly started tightening the screws on Cooper and Liz. He then says that Keen and Cooper are heading to Federal prison, Samar Navabi’s to be extradited to Iran, where she’ll stand trial for killing an official. Reddington will get tried for treason and executed, Ressler’s Oxy addiction will get him drummed out of the Bureau. He’s even got things planned for Aram and Charlene. Lizzie simply snapped, pulled out her service revolver and shot Connolly dead. Season Two ended with Red and Lizzie on the run, him telling her he never wanted her to be like him.
Keen’s memories of her childhood rushed back when she shot Connolly. Suddenly she could remember being a four-year-old named Masha Rostova, the daughter of a former Soviet Intelligence Agent Katerina Rostova. When she shot Connolly to death, she suddenly remembered shooting her father to death when she was a toddler, to stop him from beating her mother. Raymond was there that night and helped cover-up the murder and somehow erased the memories from Masha’s mind. That was the reason he didn’t want her stepfather to tell her the truth, Red believed that Lizzie would be better off not knowing about the tragedy.
The Blacklist returns to NBC on Thursday night October 1, and the show’s released a bit of a sneak preview on digital media entitled “Behind The Blacklist: Season Three.” With Task-Force Director Harold Cooper in Federal custody, Deputy Attorney General Reven Wright’s assigned Keen’s former partner Donald Ressler to head-up the search for the two fugitives. Ressler known as “The Boy-Scout,” by his colleagues now needs to choose between his loyalty for Liz and his oath to uphold the law.
We don’t find out a lot about Season Three in the 30-minute video, however we do get to see Liz changes her hair-color to a honey-blonde that leave the normally loquacious Reddington tongue-tied. We also find out that the talented up and coming actor Edi Gathegi, featured earlier this year in Humans and Proof, will join the cast in season three. Gathegi, whose played warm and friendly characters in his previous two shows, seems to be destined to be far less cuddly on this series, as he’ll portray Sullivan a representative of The Cabal.
The last we saw of Tom Keen, he was leaving the DC Metro area on his boat, hoping to start a new life. Somehow I wouldn’t be surprised if Tom and Liz cross paths once again in season three.