Season Three Episode Two

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Photo Courtesy Of NBC

Photo Courtesy Of NBC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Raymond Reddington must be an amazing chess player, due to his ability to think 10-12 moves ahead of his opponent. That skill served him well as he eluded the FBI and other Law Enforcement Agencies, before making a deal with the Bureau two years ago. That gift’s going to be crucial for Red to obtain his goal in season three of the NBC series “The Blacklist,” clearing Lizzie Keen’s name and restoring her reputation. Possibly getting her reinstated at the Bureau, but at the very least getting Keen her life back.

Prepare yourself for a long battle, this situation’s not going to straighten out in the next few episodes. Keen and Ressler won’t be sharing drinks at the FBI Task Force Christmas party, if they ever share them again. The second episode dealt with Reddington getting a strategic piece of his plan in place. His move won’t help he and Liz next week, it’s a long-term maneuver, also helping a victim of the justice system gain their freedom.

The action kicks off minutes after the conclusion of the previous episode, as Liz Keen’s seeking refuge in the Russian Embassy. A middle-management type starts questioning her and she demands to speak with the official in charge, the guy tries to stall her so she stands up in front of the security camera. She looks directly into the and says her name’s Masha Rostova and she’s a deep-cover agent for the Russian Spy Agency the FSB. She says she’s completed her assignment and now seeks asylum. Two men watch her on a monitor behind a closed-door and one picks up the phone.

The Russian Ambassador to the United States is engaging in a little afternoon-delight with the wife of a US Senator, whose also a TV News Anchor. The two are having fun in the tub when his cellphone rings, he goes out to answer it and sees Red sitting in his hotel-room holding a pistol at him. The Ambassador starts to call his security team, when Raymond suggests the Kremlin wouldn’t look kindly on the scandal that getting caught with his shower-mate would cause. Reddington tells the Ambassador he wants real-time reports on every move Lizzie makes while in the Embassy.

Ressler and Samar Navabi are with an FBI SWAT-Team outside of the Embassy and Ressler’s boiling mad. Navabi tells him that the State Department’s requested that they send Keen outside, but they’ve refused. Donald says if a Middle-Eastern Terrorist was in the Embassy they’d go in guns blazing, Samar reminds Ressler that Keen doesn’t fit that description.

Inside the Embassy Alexander Raskovich, the head of the FSB for North and South America, introduces himself to Keen. He tells her he knows the names and faces of all of his agents and she’s not one of them. So he asks her what she really wants and she tells him that she and Russia have been falsely accused of treacherous acts by the Cabal. She tells him the purpose of the Cabal’s to reignite the Cold-War between Russia and the USA. He tells her he’ll speak to his superiors in Moscow and for her to relax.

The Ambassador tells Red that Liz will get granted immunity, but they’re transferring her to Moscow. Reddington realizes that it’s a set-up by the Cabal and Liz will get killed before she makes it to Russia. He calls Ressler and tells him to make sure she doesn’t leave the Embassy. Donald tells him it’s too late they just took off and Raymond tells him the man that arranged for Russian agent Karakurt into the USA is behind this flight. Ressler realizes that Lizzie’s going to get killed unless he can stop her from getting to the airport. To confirm that to the viewers we see one of the security guys calling Mr. Solomon and telling him the package’s being delivered.

Donald starts ramming the limousine from the side with his SUV, the security guy in the back with Keen tries to shoot him but Liz wrestles away the gun. The driver crashes into a cement barricade and Ressler leaves his vehicle to try to retrieve Keen. Ressler and the security guy are aiming at each other when Keen takes out the security guy from behind, when Donald finishes his fight with another guy, Lizzie’s run away on foot. She heads to a park and punches in her location into her cellphone and perhaps Mr. Kaplan sent her an address to head to.

Deputy Attorney General Reven Wright’s trying to convince Task Force Director Harold Cooper to resign from the FBI. She says the Bureau will give him his full pension and retirement benefits and they’ll decline to file charges against him. Wright says that even if Harold wins by some miracle, he’ll finish out his career as a pencil pusher in some out-of-the-way locale. Reven says Harold deserves better than that and he says that’s right, he does.

The address leads Liz to a diner where Red’s already seated in a booth. In the booth ahead of him an abusive husband’s starting to get rough verbally with his wife. He notices Red’s glaring and asks what you looking at old man? Keen walks in at that second, which likely stops a confrontation from occurring. Raymond asks her if she’s okay and she says she’s not that Ressler just tried to kill her. Reddington informs her that Donald actually saved her life, if she’d gotten on that plane she’d be dead within hours.

Suddenly we can hear the wife telling her husband he’s hurting her and Red glares again, while Liz turns around to see what’s going on. The guy again screams at Reddington and Keen to mind their own business. Raymond gets up from his booth and walks over to the couple’s booth and starts to sit down next to the husband. The dude says you’re dead old man, then turns white when he realizes Red’s got a pistol pressed into his gut.

Raymond says to the guy that he’s obviously clueless about how to talk to a lady but he and his friend are having an important conversation. He concludes that the guy should finish his muffin, but if Red hears him say anything to his wife other than please or thank you, he’ll drag him into the restroom and wash his mouth out with soap. If that doesn’t work he’ll cut out his filthy tongue with the butter knife on the table.

Aram Mojtabai receives a tip where Liz and Red are and they all head to the diner where they’ll coordinate with the SWAT Team.  Red and Liz see the police cruisers pull up in front of the diner and checks and sees they’re behind the diner as well. He goes into his dufflebag and pulls out a shotgun and shoots out all the lights and windows on the cruiser. He then locks the diner’s doors and apologizes to all the diners, he says if everybody remains calm and in their places they’ll have a great story to share at parties.

The driver of the limousine from the Russian Embassy’s the same guy that called Mr. Solomon and as he recuperates in the hospital, Solomon pays him a visit. He injects the guy with some toxin and the man starts convulsing and soon dies quickly after. One less person who can possibly tell the FBI and the Justice Department about the Cabal.

The SWAT-Team and the FBI Task Force converge on the diner and Ressler puts his pistol down on the hood of a car and says he’s heading in there. He goes to the front door and Red’s got all the occupants forming a human-shield across the windows and doors. Donald starts calling for Liz and Reddington heads to the door toting his shotgun and tells Ressler to get a pen and paper for his list of demands. Donald keeps talking to Keen saying he knows she won’t hurt anybody. Red puts the shotgun to a young man’s head and says that he will.

Raymond tells Donald he’s got three demands, that he restore power to the diner, that he get them an armored vehicle that will give them safe passage to any airport of his choosing. His third demand’s to get him Marvin Gerard, they’ve got 90-minutes or Reddington will start killing a person every half hour.

We find out from Navabi that Gerard’s a former attorney in prison for kidnapping his son. He arrives in a police-van wearing his orange-prison jumpsuit. Samar asks him if he’s apprised of the situation and he responds he got pulled out of his cell thrown into a van and treated roughly, but received no explanation. She tells him Reddington wants to engage his services and wants him to wear the jacket, pants, shirt and tie he provided. The FBI wants him to wear a wire, he says he’s going to ask me right away and I’m going to say yes but he agrees to wear it.

Gerard gets to the door and tells Raymond he’s got a parole hearing next week and this will ruin his chances of getting paroled. Red sets him up in a booth with a laptop and tells him to go through the contents of the Fulcrum and see if he can find anything to use against the Cabal. Liz asks Reddington why he brought him there and Red replies that Gerard’s the best at doing what makes lawyers so loathsome, finding loopholes.

Red then tells Liz the real story of Marvin Gerard. A brilliant young-man he graduated at the top of his class from a prestigious law-school and was the youngest man named as a federal judge. He had the perfect life, but then his marriage broke up and his wife started abusing their son. Gerard tried to go through every legal channel to gain custody of his son, but his ex-wife came from a very influential family. Then a friend of her wife started giving the teen barbiturates and other pills and the kid soon got strung out. Gerard kidnapped his son to save him.

However he soon got tracked down, the boy was returned to his mother and Gerard got disbarred and imprisoned. A year later their son hung himself and died at the age of just 15. This was not a case of justice getting served, this was the system working against a father to save his son’s life.

Some of the diners are starting to get edgy and the abusive husband makes the stupid mistake of trying to get Liz’s gun tucked into the back of her pants. Lizzie beats the crud out of the guy and halls off and whacks the diner’s owner when he tries to pull her off. Keen then keeps kicking the guy in the ribs until Reddington points the shotgun at her and yells that’s enough. Liz immediately aims at Raymond he walks over to her and slowly takes the pistol out of her hand. Keen looks around the diner and sees all the customers looking at her and recoiling in horror.

Reddington calls Ressler and asks what’s going on with his other two demands and tells Donald he’s got sixty seconds to restore the power to the building. He thinks Reddington’s bluffing, but the SWAT-Team commander orders they get turned on. He shows Ressler and Navabi his rescue plan and says it’ll cause little collateral damage, Samar says they can’t endanger any of the hostages.

The woman starts crying that her husband can’t breath and Reddington says Liz likely broke some ribs and may have punctured a lung. She tries to help but the woman tells her to stay away from her husband and she looks totally terrified. Liz backs off and shrinks into a corner.

Gerard calls Red over and tells him to read four lines from one of the documents. Reddington reads it and looks incredulously at Marvin and asks if that can be correct. Marvin says it looks like it to him and Red’s jazzed that he’s got something to use.

The woman says her husband’s getting worse and Lizzie says that he needs medical attention. Raymond says that within half an hour he’ll be in Ressler’s hands and tells her they’re leaving. He then tells all the customers that their afternoon together has concluded and has them all walk into a walk-in refrigerator. The diner’s owner, his waitress, Red, Keen and Gerard go into a walk-in freezer that has a hidden wall. Behind that’s an elevator which takes them to some money-laundering operation the diner’s owner runs. Soon Gerard, Liz and Red are out on the street blocks from the diner.

Marvin says to Reddington this will delay him getting parole for another ten-years and now his fiancé will leave him. Raymond asks Gerard if he likes Tahiti and then tells him that’s where he and his fiancée will now live on a banana farm Reddington owns. He tells Marvin he’s a free man and he’s going to keep finding nuggets in the Fulcrum, right then a limousine pulls up with Marvin’s fiancée in it.

Keen and Reddington are drinking some brandy in what looks to be a very posh apartment somewhere in the Metro-D.C. area. He tells Lizzie they put an important piece in place, they’re not going to fight their way out, they have to think their way out.

Keen says she can’t stop thinking about the man she pummeled or the way his wife looked at her. She said she’s never seen that kind of terror in someone’s eyes and asks Raymond how he deals with people being intimidated and scared by him. Red chuckles and says when he was a boy he dreamed of becoming a sea-captain, Liz asks why he didn’t pursue it. He says we don’t have time for every silly idea we think of and Keen says she thinks he would have made a great captain.

Red smiles at her and says he can understand her being concerned with how people perceive her. However he says if it gives her any consolation, when he sees her… He smiles and she does as well as we hear Graham Nash singing the CSN&Y classic Our House. Red throws open the door to the night sky filled with stars and water below them, they’re actually living in a storage container on the waterfront. He points out Polaris to Lizzie and says that’s how ancient sea-captains found their way home. He tells her when he looks at her he sees his way home.

The story doesn’t conclude with the lovely montage. The music fades out as the camera focuses on Mr. Solomon whose taking his shirt off. He says your granddaughter received the antidote, now you need to give something to me. He reaches into a bag and pulls out a sock and starts filling it with billiard-balls. He says nobody knows where Red’s hiding, but I bet you do. The camera pans to Dembe, tied up on the floor as Solomon starts swinging the sock.

Still not finished, Ressler’s walking into his apartment when he feels a presence behind him and turns around with his weapon drawn. The figures wearing a gray hoodie like Liz wore and in the shadows he can’t make out the person’s face at first. Suddenly he focuses on the face and realizes it’s Tom Keen. Tom says we have to talk and Ressler lowers his weapon.

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

Photo Courtesy Of Giovanni Rufino/FOX

Photo Courtesy Of Giovanni Rufino/FOX

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Logic states that most FBI agents have a pretty low opinion of the Fox series “The Following,” as the series, now in its third-season, rarely shows the Bureau in a flattering light. The FBI agents portrayed in the show, starting with the self-loathing Ryan Hardy, come-off as reactive rather than proactive. The Bureau basically stood helplessly on the sidelines watching people die, during the first two campaigns, courtesy of former college professor Joe Carroll and his ever revolving band of cult-members.

Carroll’s now in a maximum security facility, scheduled for execution within a month, however Hardy and fellow agents Mike Weston and Ryan’s niece Max Hardy, are still incapable of stopping a lunatic from murdering innocents, early in season three. Mark Gray, son of another cult-leader Lily, whom along with Gray’s twin brother Luke were killed last season by Hardy’s crew. Bent on vengeance, while nuttier than a peanut plantation, Mark’s channeled his dominant brother’s character into his body, making for some creepy discussions with himself.

Mark’s the first character we see as he drives Andrew’s truck to a locked up warehouse storefront, he bangs on the bars, an older man with a mop of curly hair opens the garage-like type door. Mark tells the man named Spider, that the truck’s Andrew’s whose now in FBI custody and they need it off the street. Spider tells him to park it inside, then shows Mark his array of torture toys, Gray says cool, but he’s not into torture. Spider says he realizes that, but he’s got something Mark will appreciate, then unveils an electric-chair he bought in Nevada, last year. He laughs as he says they’re going to fry themselves an FBI agent.

Back at the New York City Bureau office, the agents have determined Andrew’s identity, following a call, apparently from Mark (which we found out in the first episode, actually happened) he left his wife and kids to go out for a carton of milk and never came back a year before. Andrew admits the family was just a front to fit into society, an associate of Lily’s, he stayed in character until getting the call from Mark after Luke got shot to death.

Andrew asks Hardy and Weston if he can offer a little advice and both agents smirk at his audacity, then say sure. Their prisoner says confess before it’s too late, Weston responds he’s got a clean conscience and Andrew says more innocent people will die. Somehow Mark’s aware that Mike killed Lily in execution-style, after she had one of her sons slit Weston’s father’s throat on videotape, then sent it to him. Hardy covered things up in an internal investigation, but the story started fraying at the edges last week and now looks on the verge of collapsing. The only three aware of the situation are Weston, Max and Ryan.

Mark has sent his unhappy assistant’s on a mission to kidnap an Asian woman, Kyle awkwardly tries picking her up in the grocery store and she says she’s married and buzz off. When she arrives home, she thinks her husband’s home early from work as the stereo’s playing, two glasses of wine poured and a negligee’s laid out on the bed. She carries her glass of wine into the bathroom, as she hears the shower running, but the shower’s vacant. She turns around when she sees Kyle and his girlfriend Daisy in the doorway, the glass falls from her hand. Kyle says his feelings got hurt at the grocery store.

Hardy’s pulled aside by Jeff Clarke, the man that ran point for the Black-Ops program Hardy utilized last year to kill the Grays and capture Carroll, as well as destroy his cult, either by death or arrest. Because Gray’s accused Hardy’s team of lying, the Bureau’s Internal Affairs Division, want to question Ryan again. Jeff says he can’t go through the interrogation again and Hardy says, if things go South, he’ll take the bullet.

We then see a flashback from eleven-months earlier as Ryan and Clarke are about to get questioned the first time. Jeff starts having a major panic-attack, then develops chest pains and Hardy tells him he’s taking his friend to the ER and to relax.

Back at the woman’s house they’ve got her duct-taped to a chair, Daisy tells her she’s going to call her husband and do whatever she can to make him come home. The woman refuses and Daisy says, either you call him, or he’ll get your face in the mail and pulls out a knife. The woman tells her husband, she’s got a really bad-migraine and says she needs him home. He buys the story and Daisy tells the woman she’s a fabulous liar.

The character of Kyle’s rather one-dimensional, a guy with demons, somewhat intelligent, but he allows his emotions to dictate his actions. However Daisy portrayed by Ruth Kearney’s a great new addition to the cast, as she plays Daisy as a cross between Faye Dunaway’s Bonnie Parker and Amy Acker’s Root from Persons Of Interest. She’s the brains of the duo, but she seems to get an erotic thrill out of the violence they inflict.

Mark’s not nearly as clever as Joe Carroll, or even his mother, so the Bureau’s pretty close on his tail. They trace Andrew’s truck to a warehouse and show the footage of Mark driving into the building. Hardy and Weston head an FBI SWAT team as they raid the building, Spider sends Mark out through a sewer pipe to safety and tells him to not worry about him. He grabs an automatic weapon and engages in a shootout, but he’s soon shot to death, as they look through the office, they see pictures of the Asian women, tacked to the wall near the desk. Max gasps it’s Anna, the wife of Agent Jeff Clarke.

Clarke comes home and Kyle attacks him, Jeff says do what ever they want to him, but leave his wife alone, Kyle says they don’t make deals and knocks Clarke out. Daisy then ties a plastic bag around Anna’s face to suffocate her, she says asphyxiation’s a turn-on but they need to go, then kisses Anna on the mouth, leaving red lipstick marks on the outside of the bag.

The trio of agents arrive at the Clarke’s to find Jeff’s gone and Anna’s not breathing. Ryan performs CPR on her saving her life, she tells them that the couple knocked out Jeff and took him away, then pleads with them to save her husband and Hardy assures her they will.

Mark calls Daisy, tells them not to head to Spider’s and asks Daisy about her Plan B, her face goes white as she says she really hesitates to call him as she’s scared of the guy. Mark tells her to make the call. She’s visibly shaken when she hangs up and Kyle asks what’s up, she says Mark wants us to call Neil.

We head to a kitchen, as a heavy-set balding man in his forties, is feeding a man he calls Pop. The man, obviously senile, asks if he knows the man feeding him, the other man says he’s his son Neil, but the man says his son’s much younger. There’s a look in the younger man’s eyes, that’s too cryptic to read, is he upset that his father doesn’t recognize his own son, or is this man really Neil?  A nurse’s aide interrupts them and tells Neil he’s got a phone call and she takes over the feeding.

Back at the Bureau office, when the Bureau Chief Gina says they’ve got a Skype message coming in from Mark and they put it on the big screen. Gray’s happy to see that the gang’s all there and tells them they’ve got until eight that night to come clean about executing his mother, or Clarke dies. After some unproductive back and forth, he disconnects the feed. Gina asks why Mark keeps talking about them lying, Mike says that Gray’s a psychopath and it’s hard to predict what he’ll say.

Max pulls the three of them aside and says they should come clean, Mike of course adamantly disagrees, as he stands to lose the most. Ryan says that Mark’s going to kill Jeff whether they confess or not, the only way to get Clarke back is rescuing him. They find that Andrew and Joe attended a class together while in school, Gina tells Hardy he needs to go talk to Carroll to save Clarke’s life.

We see Ryan in a chopper and the graphic tells us we’re looking at a super-maximum correctional facility in New York. Hardy gets off the vehicle, walks through a series of doors with a grim look on his face, that last door looks like a mile away. He goes into the holding room, we see a pair of padlocked hands and then realize, it’s not Carroll, it’s Joe’s mentor Dr. Strauss whose indicted as an accessory to murder. Turns out the class that Andrew and Joe attended was taught by Strauss.

After some give and take Strauss admits knowing Andrew, but remains silent when Hardy asks if Andrew’s one of the professor’s followers. He does say that if Andrew’s done something to attract the attention of the FBI, then he’d need strong motivation. Ryan asks like a cause and Strauss responds fear’s the likely reason.

Clarke’s now duct-taped to a chair, while Neil’s working with welding equipment building something out of metal. Kyle asks if he’s going to be much longer and Neil gives him a look like he could crush his skull that second and says he hates being rushed. Kyle’s smart enough to say, everything’s cool and take as long as you need.

While the three are talking, Clarke’s slipped the tape of his wrists and feet and makes a run for it, running blind as he has no idea how the building’s laid out. All three split up and start looking for him, Jeff ducks into an office and hides behind a desk. Neil walks right past the office without glancing inside, Clarke grabs a cellphone and calls Hardy and the FBI are able to trace the call. Unfortunately they hear the conversation and as Jeff tries to break for it, Kyle knocks him out with a metal bar.

The calls been traced to a 15 mile radius around Reading, Pennsylvania, the three agents hop on the copter while Gina tells them she’ll have a swat team ready to meet them there. When they arrive, they’re told by the head of the local law enforcement they’ve got a lot of locations where Clarke could be imprisoned.

Jeff comes to and Kyle asks him if he wants to hear the bad or good news first? Clarke says he doesn’t care, so Kyle tells him it looks like his FBI friends let him down and won’t make their eight o’clock deadline. Daisy says however the good news is he can save himself, by confessing, he looks at her and says that’s not happening. Daisy truly looks concerned and says she hopes he changes his mind, then Neil comes over, just finishing his work, it’s a box he’s going to put Clarke in. He then shows them a blade used for slaughtering cattle, he says this will paralyze Jeff, but he’ll remain conscious, then Neil’s going to dislocate every joint in Clarke’s body, to fold him into the box.

Mike’s found the location and Ryan and the SWAT team are there in two-minutes, just as they’re about to burst in, Gina calls Hardy. She says there’s a video coming in and he should see it. We then see Clarke admitting that he was in charge of a Black-Ops Unit, led by Ryan to take out Joe Carroll and Lily Gray, then he says Gray got executed. He then begs for absolution he doesn’t deserve and the feed ends.

They break in, but it’s too late, Clarke’s in the box with his FBI Shield opened in top of it. When the ambulance comes, Hardy asks the EMT if Jeff suffered much, he replies hopefully Clarke lost consciousness quickly.

Kyle and Daisy bring home the video to show to Mark, he’s disappointed he wasn’t there. Kyle says he’s lucky he’s not dead like Spider and Mark grabs him by the throat and pulls out a knife. Daisy begs him to stop telling Mark he needs the both of them to carry out his plans. He lets Kyle go.

Hardy’s back at his apartment showering and thinking back to Jeff’s hospital visit, as that’s where he met Gwen, she was the attending physician who told Jeff he didn’t suffer a heart-attack. Ryan and Gwen smile at each other, back in the present, Gwen walks into to shower with her clothes on to comfort Hardy. He breaks down and weeps in her arms.

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