The Blacklist: The Director Moves Up The Timetable

Photo: Courtesy Of NBC
Photo: Courtesy Of NBC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

The planet is in imminent danger, a secret cabal that’s been behind some of the most mind-bending, clandestine operations over the last few years, has decided to take their game to the next level. An attack of cataclysmic proportions, is set to occur in the next couple of weeks. The members of the secret organization, include prominent leaders of the United States, among them the National Security Director and the newly confirmed United States Attorney General. This week’s episode of the NBC series “The Blacklist,” set the table for the upcoming conflict, showing that enemies are everywhere and that even the people aiming to stop the attack, have some serious trust issues among themselves.

The action begins late at night, as two Asian men, cut through a chain-link fence into a cemetery and start digging up a body, buried just hours earlier. Their efforts get interrupted by a police officer, who demands that the bald man drop his shovel. His partner surprises the cop and the first man overpowers the officer. When the man turns around, we see that the back of his head’s severely scarred. The man makes sure the cop won’t identify them, as he kills him with the shovel.

We head to a room in a facility, when another Asian man greets the bald man as Mr. Liao and asks him what’s inside the body bag, perched on a counter. Liao opens the bag, revealing the corpse of a young woman whom he identifies as 24-year-old Marjorie Lin, unmarried and studying for her PhD, when she died of a heart-attack. The other man asks Liao how much he wants and he’s told the body will cost him 37 thousand dollars, the man says he’ll take her and leaves the room. Liao strokes the woman’s forehead and tells her she’ll soon be beautiful.

FBI Agent Liz Keen’s with her ex-husband Tom in the building he’s hiding out in, she shows him the picture on her phone of the photograph of herself with a little girl, being hugged by a woman, whose face has faded away from time and sunlight. She tells Tom that she believes the woman in the picture’s her mother, Keen asks if Reddington’s her father, she says her father died in a fire when she was four. However, she says Reddington was there when the fire broke out and she thinks her mother may have been there too.

Reddington and Dembe visit his newest ally, former CIA Agent Leonard Caul, who wrote the code for the Fulcrum and showed Liz the file in the previous episode, which Liz then showed to the Director, stopping the hit that would have taken out Red seconds later. Caul tells Raymond that he’s about to produce hard copies of the file, Red asks how accurate the information still is after 25-years.

The former CIA operative, says most of the same players are still members of the cabal, then he says that the Director’s planning a huge attack in 2017. Reddington responds that the attack will take place within the next few weeks, now that the Director realizes they’ve got the Fulcrum.

Red then says that their best bet’s trying to extract information from Kenneth Jasper, the member of the board who promised Raymond his support in the vote, then double-crossed him. He says Jasper’s in hiding as Raymond promised to cut out his tongue, he suggests to Caul that they make it appear that Jasper died in an explosion on his yacht. Then Kenneth will have to appear in public to keep his assets solvent.

Red then meets with Lizzie and shows her the news story about the theft of Marjorie Lin’s corpse. He says that Liao’s also been involved in setting up two bombings in Southeast Asia in the last five-years for the cartel. When she tells the Task-Force about him, they soon discover that he’s been involved in the theft of seven other young Asian women’s bodies.

Task-Force Director Harold Cooper gets another visit from his old friend Tom Connolly, who tells him he’s getting sworn in as Attorney General the next day. He then tells Cooper that the media’s aware that Reddington got shot and it seems like he’s clueless about the situation. So to make it appear that Connolly was in the loop, he wants Harold to manufacture a false classified document and leak it to the press. Cooper’s rolled over for Connolly on lesser issues, but he blanches at this request.

Lizzie heads back to Red’s second story flat, that Dembe sent her to last week to get the interface and the key for the Fulcrum. Although Dembe told Keen she must never reveal to Reddington, he realized that she was the one that got the equipment for Leonard Caul to activate the blackmail file. She starts looking on the shelves for something specific and she quickly finds what she was searching for, the surveillance camera that Red monitors the apartment on. Once she locates it on the face of a table clock, she starts talking to Reddington, until he calls her on her cellphone and tells her that he’ll tell her about the picture of her as a child.

Raymond tells Lizzie that the picture’s of her and her mother, who was a KGB Agent named Katerina Rustova and he says that Liz’s father was also an Intelligence Agent. However he refuses to tell her the name of her father, or the circumstances of him dying in the fire. She asks Red if he fell in love with her mother and killed her father to get him out-of-the-way, he just stares at her with his face like stone.

Harold meets wife his wife Charlene in their car and he tells her that Tom Connolly’s leveraging his life, so that Harold will manufacture and leak the phony document. Charlene responds that classified documents get leaked all the time and if his remaining in the medical-trial depends on him doing it, she believes he must. He looks at her sadly and tells her you know that I can’t.

As Raymond predicted, Jasper takes to the airwaves to prove that he’s very much alive and Red’s men have located the television studio he’s interviewing from. They’ll follow him back to the place he’s staying and Red and Dembe will attempt to get him to reveal what the Director’s planning.

Liz trying to track down Mr. Liao gets a tip he did some work on the corpses at a clinic and goes to check out what she might find. She’s taken aback when she discovers two life-sized mannequins, made of paper of two very specific women. She soon becomes aware of the ancient Chinese tradition of providing ghost-brides for men who died before they got married.

One of the dolls is that of Marjorie Lin, but they realize that the other doll is of a woman that Liao intends to kidnap and kill, then send her body back to China. This woman was betrothed to a man named Quon Zhang back in China, but instead of marrying her intended, she fled the country and moved to the DC Metro area. Quon Zhang, humiliated committed suicide, her move dishonored her family and Mr. Liao got hired to kill her and send her back to China, to get buried alongside the man she was to marry.

Red and Dembe infiltrate where Jasper’s staying and they take him back to Red’s. Raymond tells Kenneth that he realizes that he’s the Director’s closest adviser and he’s aware that he’s in the loop on the Director’s upcoming attack. After trying to get by on bluster, Jasper says that Reddington hasn’t a clue about loyalty, as he’s only out for himself. Thinking it’s time to change tactics, he calls Samar Navabi and tells her she has the exact skill-set he’s looking for.

Raymond introduces Navabi to Jasper and tells him that she worked for Mossad for many years and she’s quite proficient in the art of extracting information, via torture. Samar injects Kenneth’s jaw with Novocaine and Red reveals that Navabi’s about to pull out his teeth one by one, until he tells them what they want to know. He then says that dental procedures leave him squeamish, so he’d return when Jasper’s ready to talk. Navabi then tells Jasper that she’s working for the Director and she’s going to break him out. She  cuts his leather bonds, then shoots Dembe when he sees them leaving.

Kenneth says he knew they must have a contact on the inside, but Navabi says she’s not on the inside any longer. She spent nine-months getting accepted by the Task-Force and this move blew her cover. She tells Jasper she’s taking him to see the Director and he starts to panic, telling Samar that she has to vouch for him that he didn’t give up any information to Red. She says she’s not going to say that, he was there before she arrived. She finds out what Jasper knows about the operation, then she takes him back to Raymond, Dembe who wore a bullet-proof vest stands there smiling.

Mr. Liao knocks out the young woman in her house, then evades the police by driving the woman’s car through her garage door. However Ressler takes him on head-on with a FBI SUV, stopping him just before he left the driveway. When he’s questioned at the Task-Force headquarters, he tells the agents that they believe that ghost-brides are just part of a foolish ancient ceremony. However without the ghost-brides, single men aren’t appeased and cause bad luck for their families.

Liao’s asked about him smuggling a weapon into the States in the next couple of weeks for the cabal, he smiles and says the Bureau’s bad luck’s already beginning. He says that he wasn’t hired to bring a weapon in to the country, he got hired to deposit a Russian operative in the States and the man’s already in the country.

Cooper goes to see Tom Connolly just before he’s to get sworn in as the nation’s new Attorney General and he tells Tom he’s out. He says he’s done with games that if Connolly wants to get him kicked out of the medical-trials so be-it, but he won’t leak any false document. Tom then smiles and tells Harold he just doesn’t get it. Connolly wasn’t manipulating Cooper, it’s the Director and they now own him, as Charlene signed off on leaking the phony document. He tells Harold that time will reveal why the Director wants Cooper involved.

The Director’s Chief Of Staff tells his boss that Security flagged a package, but he thinks that he should see it. Just then the Director’s phone rings and he picks it up. Red’s on the other end, saying Jasper couldn’t hold his tongue, so Raymond sent it to him. Just then the director opens the small box in his hand, containing Kenneth Jasper’s severed tongue.

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

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