Season three of The Blacklist is really off to an exciting start. That excitement was definitely fueled by last night’s second episode, featuring Blacklist-er Marvin Gerard. When we last saw Agents Keen and Ressler, they were on opposite sides of the fence, quite literally. Keen rushed the Russian Embassy and confessed to being a spy, just out of Ressler’s reach. As Keen enters the embassy, she is completely on her own, having been separated from any help from either Ressler or Reddington.
There is so much that happened in this episode, I feel like I don’t know where to begin. We pick up in the embassy, where Keen demands to speak with the highest intelligence officer they have. After a brief conversation with Mr. Alexander about the Kabal and their goal to reignite the Cold War, they come to an understanding. Alexander will try to help Keen stop the Kabal, while maintaining peace between the United States and Russia, but that requires transporting her to Moscow.
Despite her arguments, Liz gets in the car to find Ressler and Samar waiting for them at the gate. The agents know that any wrong move on their part is essentially declaring war, but that does not stop Ressler from attempting to block the car.
Meanwhile, Red pops up in the Russian Ambassador’s apartment to blackmail him into giving him the details of Keen’s every move. When he learns of the embassy’s plan to export Keen to Russia, he calls Ressler and instructs him to immediately put a stop to it. It turns out the convoy carrying Keen has been compromised by the Kabal, and the second the plane leaves the ground, Keen is as good as dead.
Ressler takes things into his own hands by taking down both cars with his government-issued SUV. After some struggle and gunfire, Ressler finds the Russian agents incapacitated and Keen running away down the street. As per usual, it seems that Keen is just beyond his reach.
Keen meets with Red in a diner owned by a nice man named Chuy. Police cruisers show up outside the diner after a scuffle when the man at the booth behind them hurts his female companion, and Red knows the police and FBI must be on to them. Liz, who tries to trust Red but is ultimately terrified, does not know where to go from here. In fact, she spends a majority of the episode conflicted. However, Red has a handle on the situation and comes up with an easy solution: take everyone in the restaurant hostage.
Boy, oh boy. The hostage situation takes some time, and Red clearly knows what he is doing. When Ressler approaches the diner unarmed, Red threatens the lives of all the hostages if the FBI does not meet his three demands. One: Restore the power to the building. Two: Have ready an armored vehicle to take Keen and him to the runway he chooses. Three: Bring in Mr. Marvin Gerard.
The FBI fulfills one of his demands by bringing Gerard to the scene. Gerard is Red’s former attorney, and a very brilliant man. He has a parole hearing soon, and repeats to the FBI that he has nothing to do with this and he does not want to participate in Red’s antics anymore. The FBI sends him in anyway, and Red makes quick use of him, having him decipher the contents of the Fulcrum while simultaneously figuring out a loophole for the two fugitives.
Things are calm (minus the crippling fear of the hostages) inside the diner until the a-hole from the booth earlier tries to grab Keen’s gun. Keen, reacting as though her life is on the line, takes the man down without another thought. She kicks him once more, prompting Red’s command to stand down. Keen then turns her weapon on Red, her eyes wild and the fear evident on her face. Even though she was being a total badass, she was unrecognizable and I felt really bad for her. It takes her a minute to realize the situation and implications of her actions, but she does eventually lower her weapon.
Some time later, Red threatens the hostages’ lives again to get the power restored, prompting everyone into action. When the power comes back on, Red, Keen, Gerard, Chuy, and his waitress Lucinda enter a freezer-turned-elevator that takes them to a basement where Chuy’s people are running a counterfeit facility. Everyone makes their way out, and Red has a car waiting for Gerard. Keen realizes the hostage situation was meant only to be a jailbreak for Gerard, and questions Red’s motives entirely.
Around this time, Ressler hears the 911 call that led them to the diner. Red tipped off the police and FBI, which can only mean one thing: Raymond Reddington is up to something. They storm the diner, finding only the hostages left. They had just missed her—again.
While all of this is happening, Harold Cooper is basically being forced to either resign or take a lowly desk job. It seems that Cooper just cannot let his task force go, as we see him doing research in a cubicle at the end of the episode.
Mr. Solomon also makes a couple appearances throughout the episode. He visits the convoy driver in the hospital and gives him a quick and easy death – aka, he murders him for losing Keen. Then at the very end, we see him again with Dembe, who is shackled and bloody, having taken a thorough beating. Solomon is convinced Dembe knows Red’s whereabouts, and decides to beat him with a sock full of pool balls until he talks.
As for Red and Keen? They seem to be in a very nice apartment when Red punches in a code to a set of doors. They are in the middle of the sea on a cargo ship, and none of us know where they are headed.
This episode was truly fantastic! Lots of action, mystery, and some great advancement of the plot. Honestly, this felt like a season finale more than the second episode of a season. There is so much more to come and I cannot wait for it.
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