A Cardinal, A Eunuch, And A Pedophile Walk Into A Bar… Check Out This Week’s “The Blacklist”

 

Credit: NBC
Credit: NBC

After last week’s #BlacklistBaby bombshell, the task force, with the help of Reddington and Keen are back to work. Things seem peachy on the surface, but there is underlying tension amongst the team and assets – eventually there will be a breaking point. Following the circus that was “Shell Island” and the whole “Red 1/Red 2” thing, Thursday night’s episode started with a brutal clown murder performed by this week’s Blacklist-er(s), The Vehm.

Liz is back at the post office after her attack, and she is all business, despite Red’s urging to stay home. Home seems like the last place she wants to be, with the baby on her mind and Tom hanging around, desperate to get Liz back. According to Reddington, The Vehm is a vigilante group that operated during the Middle Ages in Germanic. Through history, members have been commissioned by holy leaders to punish sinners. The victims, through the rebirth of The Vehm, have all been murdered through medieval torture methods, even if their sins remain a mystery.

While Ressler, Liz, and Samar track down family members of The Vehm’s victims, viewers watch the group terrorize and then murder its new victim. Through the investigation, it becomes apparent that The Vehm is going after pedophiles, ones that seemingly got away with their sexual abuse.

Back at home for the day, Liz is surprised to find Tom in the apartment, as he was supposed to be in Boston at a job interview. All part of his plan to win Liz back and run away with her, Tom uses the baby news (which he inadvertently found before Liz could tell him) to convince Liz to start over. He appeals to the “pro” side of her pro/con list, and even added a few pros of his own. Ultimately, it is Liz’s decision, even if she does admit the biggest cons on the list are Reddington and the extremely dangerous lifestyle that comes along with him.

One thing Liz does not have to worry about anymore, thankfully, is her attacker. That is because in a random monologue halfway through the episode, Red kills him. After informing the man how many people he’s killed and how dangerous he is, Red shoots him three times. So, that takes care of that, I guess.

Aram, who is quickly becoming the MVP of the task force, reports that he has discovered a unique dye in the lead used on The Vehm’s victims. It leads the team to a religion-based program for former felons. Ressler and Samar walk in on their latest work of art, the child psychiatrist, and struggle to take down the several members who are lurking in the corners.

One of the surviving members turns out to be Harlan Holt, a man who served time for sexually assaulting a minor. He, along with the others, castrated himself as a way to pay for his sins and “mitigate his deviant desires.”

Credit: NBC
Credit: NBC

“It’s monsters hunting monsters,” Samar points out, and she could not be more correct.

The Vehm keeps extensive case files on its victims, which comes as a shock to the team. Upon further inspection, there are a few that just do not add up. Some of the attorneys and police officers in the reports do not exist, so it seems that someone, somewhere, is playing these men to catch another kind of criminal.

Harlan, to his credit, looks shocked and appalled at the news, and offers the name and location of the next victim. It isn’t until much later that he reveals the name of the one who is giving out The Vehm’s orders.

Red also plays his part by tracking down a fellow fugitive who happens to be a money launderer. While the man is not totally innocent, he is not the one issuing the orders, either.

So who is?

Enter Cardinal Richards of the Catholic Church. Or rather, enter Red, who makes himself at home in the Cardinal’s church. The Cardinal was once an advisor to the Vatican bank, and assisted with ridding the bank of corruption and money laundering. Since the revival of The Vehm, he has had the men take out other launderers whose business he covets.

When Liz and Samar arrive at Cardinal Richards’ office, the Cardinal has already left. He took Red up on his proposition to call in The Vehm in exchange for one final money launderer. The poor man didn’t realize Red was referring to him. By the time the FBI is even clued in, the Cardinal is in a car with the medieval metal mask on his face, surrounded by the men he has manipulated and lied to.

At the post office, Samar pulls Ressler aside to offer him an apology. Cooper showed her the recommendation he wrote to reinstate her, and she is grateful for his kind words. Ressler, though, is adamant he did not write the recommendation, and maintains he does not believe Samar deserves her job back. “It’s nothing personal,” he claims. Samar, being the sassy and confident lady she is, replies, “It’s nothing personal, but you sucked in bed.”

Liz receives a call from Tom, stating that somehow the job in Boston fell through. After an evening of pampering at the salon, she returns to the apartment to find Red. “I’ve missed you,” he says upon seeing her new/old hairdo. Brunette Liz is back, everyone!

Credit: NBC
Credit: NBC

Red offers an incredibly sincere apology for speaking too critically and quickly when Liz announced her pregnancy to him. There is never a “good” or “convenient” time to have a baby, and Red knows that Liz would be an excellent mother. “I can protect you,” he says. Liz asks him to leave; it seems he is only confusing her more. He leaves, but Liz later finds that his security team are her new neighbors across the hall. After both run ins, we see Liz leave a voicemail requesting information on adoption.

This show gives us so many ups and downs every week, it’s hard not to get whiplash! The baby announcement absolutely changes things, but Liz is still hard at work. She seems desperate for some semblance of her old life, but it doesn’t seem like she’ll get it. I think the whole team is in for quite a few changes the rest of this season. What do you hope to see next week?

Abby Bertrand

Abby is new with 4YE, but super excited to be here. She is a compulsive buyer of books and movies, and doesn't care if she owns seven copies of the same book, which she definitely does. She loves her dog, pop culture, musical theater, and the White Sox.
Abby Bertrand
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