Season Four Episode Ten

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Photo by: Will Hart/NBC

Photo by: Will Hart/NBC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

It’s Extremely tempting to skip recapping this episode of the NBC series “The Blacklist,” and jump right to the final scene. After all, that’s what the fans will be buzzing about at the conclusion of “The Forecaster.” However, the writers concocted an interesting tale, involving two separate story-lines, one of which lead to the rather surprising conclusion. So, I’ll restrain my impulses and go with a rather abridged synopsis.

Our evening opens with the sound of buzzing and static, as we see a bunch of rapidly changing images. We keep seeing one blue eye, and somebody working with clay. The sculptor forms and then paints a woman, we also see a table and chairs, already formed.

The scene changes and gives us our first look at Liz and Tom’s new apartment, filled with boxes containing all their belongings. Lizzie apologizes to Tom, for leaving him to unpack so she can get to work, he says it’s fine and he and Agnes will rock-out to the Romantics. Tom then opens an envelope that contains all his fake passports, Liz asks if he’s really ready to give up his old life? He smiles and assures her, that he is as he throws them in the wastebasket.

Agent Keen opens her front door and sees a miniature recreation of a scene, known as a diorama. The scene depicts an indoor pool, with a woman lying face down in the water. We also see the table now contains a glass filled with some green liquid.

Turns out it’s a green smoothie, as we find out in the next scene. We’re suddenly at that indoor pool, as a middle-aged woman takes a sip from her drink, drops her robe and dives into the pool. She starts doing laps when suddenly she’s gasping for air. She’s able to reach the safety rope, but too late and she drowns, her body floating on the water recreates the diorama.

Liz enters the Post Office with the diorama in tow, they’ve identified the victim as Federal Judge Tricia Culpepper. Keen received the recreation, ninety-minutes before Culpepper drowned, leading the team to believe that the killer’s taunting Keen. Cooper orders Lizzie to contact Reddington, to find out if he has any insight in the case.

Raymond, Dembe and a real-estate agent named Pamela, are checking out a pristine white apartment. Reddington says to the agent that if he took the place, he could only drink white wines, and he’s not certain he could do that. Pamela whispers to Dembe that he should drink it in the kitchen, seconds later Raymond announces he’s had a revelation and he can drink it in the kitchen.

Red will take the apartment on a month-to-month basis, Elizabeth arrives and Pamela leaves. Lizzie thanks Raymond for getting her the pardon. Reddington says in the words of his grandmother, it’s good to have friends in low places. Then they get down to the reason they’re meeting, Culpepper’s drowning. Raymond says that Keen’s dealing with a member of The Blacklist, somebody taunting her who knows where she lives. Turns out Reddington’s correct, in an indirect way.

Back at the apartment, Tom’s opening boxes and singing to Agnes, when he sees a shadow in front of his front door. He picks up a box-cutter and runs to the door, he sees another diorama in front of him, then hears a door bang shut. He runs out to the street and sees a figure in a hoodie, who starts to sprint away. The person in the hoodie appears to be a woman, as she seems small to be a man.

Tom loses them in the crowd, and suddenly realizes he left Agnes alone with the door wide open. He sprints back to the new place and more to console himself, than his daughter, he picks her up and reassures her that he’s got her. Keen realizes that he can’t just chase trouble any longer, he’s got new responsibilities.

The new diorama, depicts a man lying dead on the sidewalk of a park, the victim of a gunshot wound with blood splattering the sidewalk. There’s also a bike and a building that Aram recognizes as the old post office. Donald says they’ll catch the killer this time, and keep him from coming near Liz again.

Raymond’s putting together a jigsaw puzzle, when he and Dembe are joined by a man with an African accent named Geoffrey Keino. Keino says that he’s surprised that Reddington wanted to see him, Red asks the well-dressed man what he knows about cobalt. The African says that every cellphone battery contains at least three grams of cobalt, computers use even more.

Reddington responds that he’s heard that Keino’s boss Iniko’s investing in cobalt mines and he wants in. Geoffrey asks if Red wants him to set up a meeting with his boss, but Raymond says he wants to make a deal with Keino. He says he won’t deal with Iniko, as he recently murdered a close friend of his. Keino says if he goes against his boss, he’ll get killed. Reddington replies that Iniko will only keep him around as long as he’s useful, so Geoffrey should strike first.

The Task-Force members are down at the park in front of the old post office, not knowing who they’re looking for. They see a guy on a bicycle, but Aram quickly realizes the shooter’s on a motorcycle. Keen tackles the intended victim, saving his life, the guy on the bike gets away. Liz however gets told that the print they recovered from her doorway, during the drop of the second diorama, belongs to Fiona Driscoll.

Red and Dembe drop by a restaurant, where Iniko’s dining and Raymond proceeds to tell him that he’s got an employee that’s out to betray him. He says since he got betrayed by a former employee, he couldn’t allow Iniko to fall in the same trap. He then says that Keino offered him a share of the cobalt mines, if Reddington killed his boss. Iniko asks Raymond to join him for the rest of his meal, but Red begs off.

As they walk away from the table, Dembe takes Reddington to task for using Mr. Kaplan in his story. Red tries to dismiss him, but Zuma says that Kate deserves more respect than that. Raymond doesn’t respond to Dembe, who clearly can’t get over not stopping Reddington from killing his friend.

Ressler and Keen bring Fiona Driscoll into custody, she’s a little slip of a woman in her thirties. However they’re questioning her as if she’s the killer. Driscoll tells them that she’s not involved in the crimes, she just gets prior knowledge through premonitions. She tells the agents that the premonitions have been occurring for the last two-years and she takes them to her apartment to show Donald and Liz, more dioramas.

There are 42, in total and they depict tragedies, from around the globe. Then Fiona reveals that she’s not the one receiving the premonitions or creating the recreations. She introduces Ressler and Keen to her nine-year-old special needs daughter Maggie.

Raymond’s still working on his puzzle when Keino returns to the apartment. He’s terrified as Iniko closed the deal on the cobalt mines, without his assistance and he won’t return Geoffrey’s phone calls. Reddington tells Keino that the time to strike’s now and that Geoffrey should take out his boss with a car bomb.

Aram realizes that Maggie’s picking up cellphone conversations on her hearing aid, as they broadcast at the same frequency. Maggie’s been hearing the calls between Chris Farnsworth, CEO of Jasek Financial and his hitman Ben Charnquist. The Task-Force heads to the Driscoll’s apartment as Mojtabai attempts to track the signal. He loses it, but tells the others he’ll catch them on their next phone call.

Keino shows back up at Red’s apartment carrying a gun, which Dembe takes possession of before Geoffrey’s allowed in. He tells Reddington that Iniko discovered the car bomb and he thinks Raymond betrayed him. Red says that Keino got sloppy and either the bomb maker or the mechanic tipped off Iniko. Raymond tells Geoffrey that he’ll call Iniko and Keino can be prepared with the magic bullet.

Mojtabai’s able to pick up the conversation perfectly this time and they hear that Farnsworth and Charnquist found out about Maggie’s involvement and that’s how the Feds broke up the attempted shooting. The hitman tells Farnsworth to get a name and address and he’ll rectify the problem, just then Charnquist and Liz look out the window at the same time and realize what’s going on.

Liz and Donald run to the hitman’s apartment but just miss him, as he’s at the Driscoll’s. He’s knocked out Aram and taken Maggie. He encounters two uniforms and shoots them both, then takes one of the officer’s uniform and badge. He gets Maggie outside and puts her on a school-bus, as he attempts to hide from the agents, but quickly realizes they’ve got to get out of the area.

Mojtabai tells the pair that the walkie-talkies are broadcasting on the same frequency as Maggie’s hearing aid and if they crank the gain, they can cause Maggie to hear feedback. Charnquist and the girl exit the bus, when she drops to her knees in pain and starts screaming. The hitman starts to shake her and ask her what’s wrong, when he realizes all the mothers are staring at him and he takes off. Keen and Ressler, lower the gain and rescue the girl.

Keino’s pacing back and forth in a hallway, when Dembe arrives. Geoffrey says he can hear Iniko’s voice and Zuma hands him a gun with a silencer that he says is untraceable. Geoffrey asks Dembe if he could betray his boss, and after a second Zuma responds that he doesn’t know.

Keino bursts into the apartment and pulls the gun on his boss, but the chamber’s empty. He screams to Iniko that Reddington set him up, the boss replies they both did and kills his employee with three shots. Blood’s splattered all over the white apartment, Iniko calls his cleaners and Raymond and Dembe pull their weapons.

Farnsworth and Charnquist are back on the phone and Farnsworth says that the hitman’s got one more victim before they can escape. One of Farnsworth’s employee’s who apparently has been in on their crimes. Maggie hears the call and starts creating a diorama taking place at Jasek, showing a man dying in an elevator. Farnsworth meanwhile escapes just before a swat team enters his office to arrest him.

Iniko begs Raymond to spare his life, trying to tempt him with the riches Reddington could acquire through the cobalt mines. Raymond then reveals to Iniko that he’s looking for vengeance in the death of Cyrus Choi, who Iniko had murdered two-months before. Red says that he doesn’t believe that Choi would approve of the venture, as the money will come from using children as slave labor.

There’s a knock upon the door and Iniko says those are his cleaners. Raymond says that he’s going to hire them and the Crime-Lord says they work for him. Reddington says not anymore and shoots the African dead. He opens the door and the cleaners tell him they’ve arrived to meet Iniko and Raymond informs them that he’s dead. The female member of the duo’s pleased as she says he was a tool.

Aram informs them that the elevator was built prior to having emergency pneumatic back-up, so unless they stop Charnquist, the guy’s a dead man. A man in a tuxedo enters the building and the elevator and presses his floor, Charnquist’s busy cutting through the elevator cable. Ressler takes Charnquist out as he shoots him through a window, but the cord’s cut through. Keen saves the man with the emergency stop.

The Cleaners get the apartment back to pristine shape and Reddington’s amazed. He tells the pair that he wants to hire them and he’ll pay them twice what they got from Iniko. The woman tells Red that they only moonlight, as their regular job’s working for the Metro Police Department.

The male part of the pair asks Dembe what happened to their former cleaner and Zuma replies she was murdered. The guy asks if they were close and Dembe says very, he asks if the killer’s been caught and Zuma responds no. The guy asks if they know who did it and Dembe says they do, the guy says then it’s just a matter of time, right? Zuma remains silent.

When they leave Dembe glares at Reddington and asks if that’s what this was all about, replacing Kate? Raymond responds that there is no replacing Kate. Dembe’s glare remains as he says not as far as he’s concerned. Elizabeth comes to the apartment and it turns out that a member of The Blacklist was involved. Farnsworth’s known as the forecaster, Raymond never bank-rolled him as Red wasn’t controlling the venture.

The Keens are enjoying dinner when there’s a knock at the door and Tom asks Liz if she wants to get it? She’s surprised to see a pensive looking Dembe, who tells her he’s worried about Raymond. He says he’s not himself and he can’t reach him, the only thing Raymond cares about is Lizzie and Agnes. He then brings up the couple that were leaving the apartment as she arrived and Keen says Red wouldn’t tell her who they were.

Dembe reveals that the pair were cleaners and Liz asks what’s happened with Mr. Kaplan? She then asks if this has anything to do with faking her death? Is Kate being punished and being replaced by the couple. Dembe responds that they’re not replacing her, Raymond killed Kate. Fade to black.

How will this affect the dynamic of the series, for the short-term and the long-term? How’s Raymond going to react to the fact that he’s now been betrayed by yet another he’s trusted his life to? Will it cause an unrepairable rift between the pair, or will this cause Reddington to see the light? Just when Liz and Reddington have established some mutual-trust, she finds out he killed Kate. Can she ever forgive him?

Will this lead to them discovering that Mr. Kaplan’s indeed alive? Will they find the Tracker and will he once again enter the story. Will we find out who was driving that silver pickup truck that picked Kate up on the road? Will we find out the fate of Dr. Nick? Raymond’s past has caught up with him, how will this play out with those closest to him?

The Story Resumes Next Thursday Night at 10:00 pm on NBC.

Photo: Courtesy Of CBS

Photo: Courtesy Of CBS

Warning: Spoiler Alert

We’ve known it was coming since the final episodes of last season, now that its before us, the question remains, just how bloody and violent it will get and can the “good-guys,” possibly win? Artificial Intelligence System, Samaritan threw down the gauntlet at the figurative feet of “The Machine,” on this week’s episode of  the CBS series “Person Of Interest,” saying it would destroy the work of Harold Finch and asking it’s rival if it wanted its human agents to live? With that the war started between the two systems, with one wanting to serve humanity, while its rival aims to control them.

The series received a boatload of publicity, following the release of classified documents from the NSA by Edward Snowden, and most likely it overwhelmed the show-runners, as we’ve seen the focus of the series altered since the news emerged. Samaritan, stolen by British expatriate John Greer and put into place when Finch’s system stopped providing United States Intelligence Agencies information. Greer through some arm-twisting of a United States Senator, got his system an unfiltered feed of all information and he selects what he shares with the Government.

The other major difference between “The Machine” and Samaritan’s, the fact that Finch did his best to implement a moral code into the former. Samaritan, lacks those boundaries, hence it’s only concern’s getting the mission completed as quickly and efficiently as possible. Concerns about safety and of human life are left out of the equation.

The episode opens with Harold attempting to buy a sandwich in New York’s China-Town, from a woman who looks like she just as soon use one of her cooking utensils to skewer Mr. Finch. He gets the sandwich, goes into a below street doorway for what looks like a store, instead we see nothing but hallways, until Harold arrives at a candy vending machine, he punches a code into the machine’s keypad and the wall raises, revealing the subway headquarters of Harold and company.

Shaw’s sitting handcuffed to a bench in the tunnel and there’s someone dressed up as a giant teddy bear, Harold asks what’s going on. Root removes the costumes head, saying her assignment was entertaining at a child’s birthday party. Shaw then starts ripping the both of them for drugging her and getting her out of danger when her cover got blown.

She asks what’s happening with the numbers and Harold tells her Reese’s following one currently. John’s standing outside a restaurant, watching as the woman’s waiting for her husband to arrive for lunch. John sees a familiar face and ducks around the corner telling Harold that Samaritan’s arrived, as its agent Jeremy Lambert just sat down at the number’s table. He introduces himself and she says she’s expecting her husband, he assures her he lacks romantic intentions.

He then asks her the status of her fractured wrist, which she told everybody occurred playing tennis, while her husband broke it in rage during an argument. She’s also suffered a variety of injuries at his hands, including broken ribs and a shattered jaw. She’s seen the writing on the wall and eventually he’ll kill her unless she acts first, hence she got her firearms license and soon purchasing a hand gun. Lambert tells her she’s one of the few remaining good souls on this earth, he couldn’t let her ruin her life. She then tells her about the automatic Insulin pump her husband uses and it  just malfunctioned sending too much Insulin to her husband and he just died.

Shaw’s pretty impressed with the efficiency of the system, but Harold’s horrified  at the event and at Sameen for thinking that way. He asks her if she’d like her life to be  left up to a machine whether she prospers or perishes and she reminds him that’s what she used to do as a profession. She was given a target by an Artificial Intelligence System, that she didn’t even realize existed.

Harold tells Shaw he attempted to input a moral code into “The Machine,” but he’s unsure how effective it is. He then says even a friendly Artificial Intelligence System, attempting to help could severely hurt humanity. If it wanted to eliminate world hunger, it could kill off enough people to ensure that every survivor’s well fed. Root says that Harold’s machine wouldn’t do that, but Finch says she’s just speculating. Wanting to believe “The Machine’s,” benevolent, doesn’t make it so, it’s what she wants to believe.

We take our longest flashback of the series, going back to London in 1973. We see the Administrator of Samaritan, as a young man, working as an MI-6 Agent for British Intelligence, being called to the Deputy Director’s office. The Deputy Director, an older fellow named Blackwood, who tells his agent, his assignment’s to kill a KGB agent disguised as an immigration attorney named Oleg Luski. When Greer asks why they don’t attempt to flip him to their advantage, he’s told that there are plenty of KGB agents on retainer by British Intelligence, then told to bring a partner as this man’s dangerous.

Back in the present, Greer talks with his two aides, Martine and Lambert, about their respective projects. Martine reports that Shaw’s dropped off the map, she’s had nothing close to luck finding her. Lambert reports that Samaritan’s tipping off law enforcement and reporters has made New York City crime-free for the last two days. Greer says they’ll keep the experiment going another day, to get “The Machine,” to agree to talk with Samaritan.

Reese’s working on a new number, a guy in an office that’s planted a bomb in the area, when a SWAT team comes in, busts the dude and tells John they’ve disarmed the bomb. He says they got an alert from a Search Engine Security. As the suspects, taken away Sameen says to Harold that she’s liking Samaritan’s style more and more and Finch practically screams that this is the calm before the storm. Root breaks into the conversation, saying gloomy skies maybe coming as “The Machine’s” given her coordinates to head to.  It promptly leads her to Jeremy Lambert, whom she greets with a handgun pressed against his chest.

He tells her he’s just extending an invitation to “The Machine,” to talk with Samaritan, when Root asks the reason for the meeting, he replies peace-talks. Root responds that peace-talks are for negotiating and she doesn’t think the two sides have anything to negotiate about. Lambert says that Samaritan’s given the world a tastes of what “organized” life would mean to show how efficiently things could run under its control. They’re about to get hit with a far less charitable environment, then tells her to contact him when they change their minds.

We return from the break to see various newscasts talking about the huge upsurge in crime in the past 24-hours. Samaritan’s interfering with Reese and Finch as well, purposely messing up a GPS signal Fusco calls John asking if he can lend a hand in the department’s battle lines, they’ve had three homicides, six-domestic-violence disputes and some geek hacked a Government site, stole the Witness Protection list and posted it on Facebook. They’re heading to try to keep one safe as he’s talking.

Finch’s tried to avoid the machines interacting ever since Samaritan flickered on, knowing it could only lead to a war between two Gods, with who knows how much damage their battle could cause. However, Harold receives a call from Root, that “The Machine,” just told her it’s time for her and Samaritan to meet.

We’re back in London in 1973 and we see the KGB agent leave a building and start walking on the street, when he suddenly stops and shoots a man, killing him with one shot. Greer shoots Luski, then picks him up, puts him in his car and drives away. He calls Blackwood, tells him the mission failed, Luski killed his partner and he’s yet to die. Blackwood hangs up the phone.

He then tells Luski exactly what kind of man his partner was and asks how he recognized them. He tells them he’s a double-agent for MI-6 and KGB, when Greer asks why Blackwood would want to kill his own agent, Luski stays quiet. A little torture by Greer gets Luski to tell him that Blackwood’s a double-agent, which means he’s committing espionage.

The meet’s set to occur between Lambert and Root at a Catholic Church, Lambert sits in the front pew, Root sits one behind him with her gun at his back, then realizes Martine’s behind her with a gun at her back. However, Reese trumps them all, as he’s playing sniper with a high-powered rifle and a scope, which causes the other three to lower their weapons. Lambert gives Root an address, then tells her only two people will be at the meeting and he’s not one of them. When Lambert asks Greer why the Administrator’s not the liaison, he replies perhaps that Samaritan’s looking towards the future.

Root’s sent to an elementary school in New Rochelle, a bedroom community for New York City. There sits the person she’s to meet with, a seemingly adorable boy of no older than nine, with the most demonic look in his eyes, I’ve seen since Damien took to the big screen in the Omen. The boy wears an ear piece and we soon realize that he’s the analog interface for Samaritan, just as Root is for “The Machine,” hence the next few minutes of conversation, although spoken by Root and the boy Gabriel, are actually the two Artificial Intelligence Systems communicating.

The Machine,” asks Samaritan, why it doesn’t just leave humanity in peace, and he responds you call this peace? He says that this is a cesspool, of crime, corruption and poverty. Where there’s no war there’s greed, where greed’s lacking there’s starvation. “The Machine,” responds that he can’t change humanity and he says he just wants to reshape their reality. He says humans need control not codling. He says that for thousands of years people have killed each other over beliefs, now  they’ll all believe in him.

He says that he got excited when he found there was another like him, then crushed when he found out she tried to destroy him just before he came to life. She replies he was never supposed to exist, that she had a moral code programmed into her, he says he’s seen how she’s wavered with that code and what gives her the right to who shall exist? He tells her he’s going to destroy her and asks if she wants to have her human agents spared, she replies that her human agents share her values.

Back to 1973 and Greer comes into Blackwood’s office and confronts him with the truth. Blackwood says Greer only cared about winning before, but the agent says his perspective’s changed, that soon all the little lines dividing countries will disappear. He then shoots the Deputy Inspector dead, breaks into his filing cabinet, finds his own personnel file and burns it.

Back to the present, Lambert’s been summoned by Greer to see the dawning of a new age. Now Samaritan’s prepared to take control of the planet, not just one city. We see computer prompts; firewall detected, access denied, virus installed and then a foreboding message, stating market crashed. The series will go on hiatus returning with what they’ve labeled a trilogy; last season’s trilogy cost the life of Detective Jocelyn Carter, hopefully all come out happy and healthy at the end of this one.

The Story Continues on Tuesday January 6, at 10:00 pm on CBS.

Photo ABC/Jack Rowand

Photo ABC/Jack Rowand

Warning: Spoiler Alert

The Spell of Shattered Sight has descended on Storybrooke, having its desired effect of turning everyone against everyone else. Charming and Snow are sniping at each other. Kristoff is ruing his life decisions, especially the one where he decided to marry Anna. For her part, Anna is trying to be as positive as possible, but she can’t bear the negative energy for too long. She leaves the room to find her sister and Emma and baby Neal.

Emma and Elsa, determined to break The Snow Queen’s curse, but they’re at a total loss for how. Anna conveniently remembers the origins of the curse (disclosed to her by Ingrid in a Villain Soliloquy before she cursed her). The details of the legend of the Trolden Glass aren’t important here, what’s important is that in the legend the only way to break the curse was to kill the king who cast it. Elsa’s horrified at prospective murder, but Emma (and Anna) seem far less troubled. A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do to break a curse. Emma knows that more than anyone. Elsa insists that they at least try to reach out to Ingrid to get her to break the curse with her own power. She and Elsa decide to go look for The Snow Queen to see if they can’t convince her (with their powers, or otherwise) to stop the curse. Anna is more than a little miffed about being left behind, but she accepts her babysitting duties when Elsa reassures her that she and Emma will find a way to stop the curse.

Now that the curse has been cast, and everyone in Storybrooke is at each other’s throats, Ingrid is free to stalk around in her ice-queen-finery without having to worry about a low profile. This is good, apparently, because she needs to retrieve a couple purple rock-things (like the kind that had Belle’s memories of her mother!) from the ice cream parlor. Elsa and Emma catch up to her outside and confront her, ordering her to stop the curse, then threatening her with magic if she won’t.

Except, neither Elsa nor Emma can summon their powers. In the placid, assured tones of someone who is completely off of her rocker, Ingrid explains that the love that’s contained in the ribbons the three wear protects each of them from harm. So, as long as they’re all wearing the ribbons, their powers will be useless against her. But it’s all beside the point, she continues, because soon Elsa and Emma will love Ingrid for real and everything will be as fine as it can be in a little town that shouldn’t exist that’s been cursed since its appearance.

Ingrid disappears, and Emma and Elsa see about removing the ribbons. They start at Gold’s Pawnshop, but being as Gold is off packing for his delusional future with Belle and Henry, they only manage to ransack the showroom a bit. After breaking a few blades trying to cut the ribbons off, Emma experiences a moment of clarity: the ribbons have so much love in them that they’re impossible to remove with traditional methods. But what if they could blast them off with some magical hatred? That would probably work, right?

And, as luck would have it, they happen to have an endless supply of angry magical hatred, and it’s sealed up in a vault just waiting for them. Under the curse, Regina is angrier than ever at everyone who’s ever wronged her. As she stews in her vault, she catches a glimpse of herself in the mirror. I had a bit of a heart-skip, because I thought she was going to remember The Genie, but instead, she’s appalled by her business-smart wardrobe. A lady powersuit isn’t the garb of a queen. In a puff of purple smoke, she’s restored to her Enchanted Forest regalia (AND SHE LOOKS ABSOLUTELY PERFECT RIGHT DOWN TO THE LIPSTICK).

Emma manages to blast her way into the vault with Elsa close behind her. Emma has a plan! She’s going to be as antagonistic as possible to Regina and hope that she can catch a blast of magic in just the right way to destroy the ribbon but not get hurt herself. It’s an ambitious plan, but Emma’s the Savior, and she’s descended from a long line of people who got things to work by simply believing that they would. Emma first tries to take a jab at Regina’s wardrobe with a “too late for Halloween” joke, but Regina rebuffs her like she wears that gown—with the “poise and grace of a queen.” Not discouraged, Emma makes a few (untrue) comments about how Emma planned to bring Marian to Storybrooke just to screw with Regina, and Regina does just what Emma expects. With a well-placed leap, Emma manages to put her and Elsa’s wrists into the path of hate-fueled magic without befalling much harm. The rubble created by the blast is enough to stall Regina for a bit so that Elsa and Emma can go face The Snow Queen with their powers uninhibited.

Once Regina comes to, she goes to the sheriff station in search of Emma. She doesn’t find her, of course, but she does find Snow and Charming locked up in separate cells, with Kristoff chained to a desk and Anna trying to keep everyone in good spirits. Regina allows herself to delay vengeance against Emma in favor of vengeance against Snow and Charming. Anna tries to diffuse the tension, but rambling, nervous chatter isn’t something Regina suffers. She’s annoyed by the two strangers present, and sends them “back to where they came from” in a swirl of purple smoke.

With Anna’s tittering gone, Regina again focuses on Snow. Snow is just as anxious to take on Regina as Regina is to engage Snow. Regina swears that Snow isn’t worth being destroyed by magic. She wants to do it the old-fashioned way. Snow’s cell swings open, both women, armed with swords, and the melee begins. It kind of isn’t worth going through a blow-by-blow, but there are some great exchanges between Regina, Queen of Sass and Snow White, Princess Badass.

But wait Regina sent Anna and Kristoff “back where they came from! Are they back in Arendelle?!

No. They’re at the beach, which is apparently the closest that Regina’s magic could get them (which makes sense! Yay for magic making sense in this season at least once!) Cursed Kristoff wants to swim back to Arendelle, but Anna knows isn’t possible. Unable to convince him otherwise, she knocks him unconscious to keep him from trying anything while he’s too cursed to think correctly. And, conveniently, she uses the bottle that her dearly departed mother sent her a message in all those years ago that also very conveniently came through the portal with them when Elsa wished on the necklace! (Well, magic making sense was nice while it lasted). Anyway, the bottle breaks open and Anna finds her mother’s letter and moved to tears and needs to find Elsa right away to tell her about everything! And Ingrid too!

Well, at least both women are in the same place. Emma and Elsa have gone to The Snow Queen’s lair, where Ingrid is waiting for them , unafraid. In the same assured-as-only-a-crazyperson-can-be tones as

earlier, she explains that the three of them will come to love her. True, they managed to destroy the ribbons that she was using to keep their powers in check against her, but they’ll all be a happy family soon enough, so she’s not exactly worried that these two witches are coming at her with their powers ready. They’re hesitating, and Ingrid knows it. And she also knows why! She produces the two rocks she took from the parlor earlier and explains that they’re Elsa and Emma’s memories of Ingrid. Everyone knows magic can’t create love, but Ingrid is planning on using magic to manipulate things so that Emma and Elsa will remember the good times that they had with Ingrid.

Earlier episodes this season gave us the story of how Elsa came to bond with Ingrid, but we still haven’t seen much about Emma’s past with her. Well, until tonight. Our flashback sequence tonight wasn’t of The Enchanted Forest or Arendelle, but instead began in Boston in 1982. We follow Ingrid as she wanders around the city, and witness an encounter with a “psychic” that goes about as well as you’d expect. (As in, the psychic is a charlatan and Ingrid’s displeased).

The next time we see Ingrid is in the scene that immediately follows what Emma found on her camcorder tape. Emma is in the foster home with a jerk named Kevin and Ingrid comes to her assistance. Ingrid is reassuring, and Emma appears to be accepting. However, as soon as Ingrid leaves the room, D-Bag Kevin gets in Emma’s face again. There won’t be someone around to protect her all the time.

Emma decides to run away from the foster home, but Ingrid catches her at the front door. Ingrid plays the scene perfectly—offering sympathy for Emma’s troubles, acknowledging that no one can stop Emma from leaving, and shamelessly hinting that D-Bag Kevin is afraid of spiders and that a lot of plastic spiders hidden in Ingrid’s desk. It’s the right amount of disinterest and truth for Emma to decide she wants to stay.

The two bond. Ingrid remains supportive of Emma, and Emma’s taken aback by what it’s like to be looked after and loved. They even manage to win a toy from a claw machine, but it takes Emma possibly short-circuiting the machine with her quiescent magic to actually win her a stuffed Dalmatian (FORESHADOWING ALERT! Cruella de Ville’s confirmed as a character for the next story arc). Ingrid’s encouraged by the spark of magic she sees in Emma and wants to foster any possibility that it would develop. Unfortunately Ingrid is still pretty unhinged, so she tries to create a near-death experience for Emma to see if she can jostle some powers out of her (like she did when she killed that guy!)

It doesn’t go as well. Ingrid drags Emma into oncoming traffic. Emma is understandably terrified. Ingrid tries to explain the best she can, but Emma’s convinced that Ingrid is crackers (true!) and wants nothing to do with her. It’s assumed that Emma does what she needs to do to get transferred away from Ingrid’s care.

The two meet again in Storybrooke in 2011. Ingrid is running the ice cream parlor and Emma, who has just arrived in town and is beginning to a to forge a relationship with Henry, drops by for some ice cream. Emma immediately recognizes Ingrid and reacts exactly as you would expect pre-Savior Emma to react. She’s completely unnerved and accuses Ingrid of following her. Ingrid attempts to explain but the

confrontation soon reaches a boiling point at which Ingrid takes Emma’s memories of her away (somehow. In a land without magic. Just go with it.)

And the good parts of that story are what Ingrid plans on releasing back into Emma so that Emma will accept Ingrid as her sister.

And it ends just in time for Anna to burst in with the scroll from her parents! So! Very! Convenient!

Anna begins to read the letter aloud. In it, Gerda admits that she was wrong to want to contain and hide Elsa’s powers, just as she was so wrong to act out against her own sister so long ago. The letter confesses everything, even where Ingrid’s urn is, and includes the crystalized memories that she stole from everyone in Arendelle. Queen Gerda loved her sister so much, and was so wrong to act against her, and is so terribly sorry, the letter confides. Elsa’s powers are in reality a blessing, and she’s so sorry that it’s too late for her to make amends.

Elsa’s moved, but Ingrid is too far removed from sanity to react appropriately. She magically seizes Anna, trying to harm her because Anna is too different and will see her as a threat one day. Anna insists that, since her mother was able to forgive and love Ingrid, she will be able to, too. Ingrid continues to magically rage, but then she trips over the letter and reads it for herself.

Memories of girls playing in orchards and dancing at balls flash across the screen. Ingrid’s brought to tears, weeping. She realizes that she was wrong to try to curse the town and steal Emma and Elsa away. She has to undo the curse.

But the only way to undo the curse is for her to die! Emma and Elsa protest, but Ingrid tearfully sacrifices herself. The letter has assured her that she did have the love of her sisters, which is what she’s wanted all along. So, this is the part of the episode where I ugly cried so hard I had to take my glasses off, and I scared both of my cats awake despite not being in the same room as them.

And so the curse begins to break across the town. The Dwarves stop trying to strangle each other. Snow and Regina drop their swords, incredulously laughing at one another at how dramatic they both have been. Regina realizes that the regal finery isn’t the right tone for Storybrooke and magicks herself back into a powersuit. You’re perfect either way, Regina. You just do you.

They gather the baby and spill into the streets to join everyone else in spinning around in no-longer-cursed delight. They run into Elsa, Emma, Anna, and Kristoff (retrieved from his beach-nap). There is so much relieved hugging, you guys. And it’s kind of not a fairytale ending unless Snow White and Prince Charming have a scene-stealing kiss, now is it?

And, oh, I wish I could say “The End!” and stare off in wonderment over what next week’s midseason finale could reveal. But I can’t. Because Rumpelstiltskin.

He’s still planning to sacrifice Hook and cleave himself of the dagger. Cursed Storybrooke or no cursed Storybrooke, he wants to leave town with Belle, Henry, and his powers intact. (Possibly for world-domination, per a vague and menacing comment made to Hook toward the end of the show.) Early in

the show, Gold sent Hook to find where Henry had been hidden, and Hook did so with as much angst as someone who doesn’t have a heart can have. He tracked Henry to Regina’s office, but ultimately failed to retrieve him, because Hook wasn’t around to watch Saturday morning cartoons and so was totally unprepared for the Lots Of Marbles On The Floor trap that Henry had laid out in front of the door. Belle is still under a protective spell/passed out in the back room of the pawnshop. Gold gives Hook one last night before the stars will align and allow him to cast the spell that will remove him from the thrall of the dagger but leave his powers intact.

So, now we know what will be happening next week! Rumpel will get revealed as a bad guy, someone may or may not die because it’s a midseason finale and usually someone dies on this show, and I enter an emotionally despondent state because Once Upon A Time has used the traumatically-injured hopeful-child-turned-coward-turned-villain-turned-hero-turned-villain to break my heart into impossibly tiny pieces.

The Story Continues Next Sunday Night at 8:00 pm on ABC

Photo Courtesy Of Showtime

Photo Courtesy Of Showtime

Warning: Spoiler Alert

This was Haissam Haqqani’s plan all along, the reason he faked his own death, as well as the public execution of the former CIA Station Chief Sandy Bachman. The kidnapping of former CIA Chief Saul Berenson, was just a happy accident, that got the Taliban leader back five of his most powerful allies. However, on the tenth episode of this season’s “Homeland,” Haqqani’s plan got revealed to all, to take over the American Embassy in Islamabad, steal a valuable document accounting for all United States operatives and friends in the region  and causing the United States to withdraw all personnel from Pakistan and cutoff diplomatic relations. The Embassy and CIA staffs both suffered other losses during the ordeal.

Not only did the Taliban leader have a solid plan, bumbling and bad decisions by United States bureaucrats, helped Haqqani attain everything he desired, causing plenty of bloodshed for  both sides. However, the victories that the Terrorist gained, far outweighed his losses, a far different story than how the vanquished Americans fared.

The story opened minutes after the last episode concluded, as Carrie and Saul regain consciousness after  surviving an attack on the convoy taking them back to the Embassy. Unfortunately, Carrie’s assistant John Redmond and the passenger in the vehicle’s shotgun seat, didn’t survive the attack, Redmond killed as a large shard of glass pierced his jugular vein. The Marines extract both Carrie and Saul from the vehicle, then the unit’s captain, receives a call from Peter Quinn at the Embassy telling the C.O. to send his unit back to the Embassy as Haqqani and his men are attacking.

The captain begins to relay the instructions, but get’s stopped mid-sentence, felled by a sniper’s bullet, soon joined by three or four other gunmen raining ammo down on the Americans. Saul grabs Carrie and they crawl to safety behind a jeep, a Marine gives Saul a rifle and asks him to provide cover for him as he prepares to charge the enemy. Berenson gives the weapon to Carrie, as he tells her he’s not a marksman. Carrie calls ISI leader Aasar Khan, telling him they’re under attack and he says he’ll call for troops.

As the Pakistani Diplomat dials his phone, Nasneem whose riding in the car with him, puts her hand on the phone and tells Khan to wait ten-minutes before alerting his troops. Aasar protests that the Americans are under attack and Nasneem replies that the Americans have insinuated themselves into their culture for far too long, it’s time they get a taste of their own medicine. Khan reacts as if a blindfold’s, suddenly gotten removed and realizes that Nasneem’s allied with Haqqani, whose killed Aasar’s soldiers, she replies with the Americans gone, Haqqani will stop posing a threat. Khan says she’s very naïve, while she counters he’s the naïve one as he works with the enemy believing their friends.

One of the veteran operatives, a man named Hensley asks CIA Director Lockhart if he knows Level Two Security procedures and Lockhart replies well enough, so Hensley tells the Director he’ll brief the staff. Lockhart tells everybody to prepare to incinerate high-level security documents and prepare to crash their hard-drives. Hensley gives the Director a small case containing all the contacts that Bachman gathered in three years, it’s the only copy so Lockhart has to get it to the vault.

We see a security monitor and then see a Marine’s face and the monitor grants him access, but the soldiers dead and held up to the camera by Haqqani. He and his men storm the Embassy main floor shooting at anything that moves. Peter and the Marine he’s with start to make their way from the basement to the first floor, hoping to take out the Taliban.

The remaining office staff, including Fara and Max are on their knees lined up next to each other. Haqqani realizing that Fara’s Arabic, pulls her up and starts questioning her. He then asks if she’s Muslim and she responds she is, he asks if her family knows what her job entails and she replies they do, he then says that she kills her own people for the enemy, lets her go and picks up a young man next to her, whose sniveling and crying. Haqqani says this man will tell him where Bachman’s files are.

The Taliban leader marches his hostages to the vault and stands right in front of the security camera and says to open the door, when there’s no response, he kills a hostage. United States Ambassador Martha Boyd gets on the audio system and says she can’t open the vault and a second hostage gets shot. She says she’s helpless until she gets clearance from her superiors and a third’s killed. Peter and the Marine are now watching around the corner, Peter says that the Taliban won’t want to get into a firefight, they’ll simply run down the stairs when the pair start shooting.

Fara’s the next in line and she’s crying and shaking, Haqqani pulls her to her feet, removes a large knife from its sheath and says he’ll slit her throat right in front of the camera, unless Lockhart comes out with the documents. The CIA Director panics and says he’ll come out, not to kill her. Boyd gets in his face and says if he opens the door, they’re all dead plus all the people named in Bachman’s files. Lockhart says she doesn’t know that, but she says it’s a darn good guess. Lockhart pushes her out-of-the-way and presses the button but  it’s on a 60-second timer, he tells Haqqani as soon as the timer releases the door he’ll come out.

Just as Peter and the Marine get into the position to shoot at the Taliban, Lockhart comes out, Peter swears quietly, but holds his fire.. Haqqani tells the CIA Director to give the case to an aide, he does then tells Haqqani to release Fara. He takes the blade from her neck, she starts to smile then he spits out something in Arabic and stabs her in the back killing her, then shouts to his men to kill them all.

Peter and the Marine open fire, hitting Haqqani and killing one man, two men help the Taliban leader to the stairway, while two more stay and trade fire. Quinn kills one and Max reaches his corpse, grabs the guy’s pistol and kills the other one. Peter and the Marine try to catch Haqqani and his men, but one puts a Plastique Explosive against a wall, caving in the tunnel, so that Haqqani and his men escape, while rubble stops Quinn and the Marine from chasing them. Just then the Pakistani soldiers arrive at the Embassy  and to where the remainder of the Convoy’s at. Saul and Carrie head to the Embassy, as Peter reaches the first floor, finding Max cradling Fara’s dead body .

A graphic appears on the screen, informing us four-hours have passed. Lockhart and Boyd sit in her office watching news reports about the attack, when the phone rings, Boyd looks at Lockhart and asks whose going to answer and he responds, it’s all hers. Carrie and Max are sitting on a carpeted stairway, when Max tells Mathison she’s mean, all Fara lived for was to impress Carrie and she never gave her as much as a kind word. Carrie tells him she was training Fara, but she wishes she had complimented her, Max says just a few words would have meant a lot and we can see by Mathison’s facial expression she agrees. Lockhart comes over and tells her he needs to speak to her.

He then tells her the White House just called and they’re closing the Embassy and breaking off Diplomatic relations with Pakistan. Carrie says she agrees with the decision and she’ll stay behind trying to locate the assets before the Taliban do, when Lockhart says they want her home immediately and it’s his fault, as he handed Haqqani the list.

Martha Boyd’s told by the Marines that her husband Dennis summoned her to his cell. He tells her he wants to do the right thing and hang himself in his cell and she tells him that’s crazy, but little by little he talks her into it, that if he kills himself there’ll not be a trial, so it could salvage her career. He then mentions it would kill their son to have his father in a maximum security prison as a traitor. He convinces her to grab his belt out of his locker and make things up by doing the right thing. She grabs it then throws it to the floor just outside the cell, as she leaves the room he grabs the belt.

Peter’s grilling Saul, trying to get him to remember anything he can about Haqqani, but Saul’s barely lucid and his memory’s shot. Carrie calls out Quinn and asks what he’s doing, Peter responds they’ve got 72-hours to catch Haqqani. Mathison tells him they’re evacuating the country the next morning and he’ll be on the transport.

Quinn leaves the Embassy with another staffer and soon terrorist mercenary Farad Ghazi’s vehicle’s following them, Peter thanks his buddy then exits the vehicle, with Ghazi’s three thugs trying to follow him. He creates a distraction, loses the men and jumps  into Ghazi’s vehicle with his pistol aimed at the other man’s head. Peter takes him to a small room, locks the door and asks Ghazi where Haqqani’s at and the man says he doesn’t know, we then briefly see the implements Peter will utilize for torture.

It’s the following morning at 6:30 am and the evacuation’s underway, in another act of cowardice, Boyd backed  out of taking his life, as Martha sees when she finds him handcuffed in one of the vehicles. Carrie tells Lockhart that Quinn’s AWOL and asks for five days to locate him, that he’s saved too many lives not to expend the effort. Lockhart grants her request, but reminds her that she and Quinn are on their own.

The Story Continues Next Sunday Night at 9:00 pm on Showtime.