This week on NBC’s The Blacklist, Elizabeth Keen has been safely rescued and exonerated of all the war crimes she was charged with. So, now that she is technically free and clear, what’s a girl to do? Well… Liz is not quite sure, either. But if there is one thing we all learned from The Blacklist this week, it is to question everything.
With Harold Cooper at the helm of the task force again, the whole team – including Samar and Liz – reconvenes at the post office. In a short but sad moment, Liz must turn in her badge and weapon. Despite Cooper’s assurance that she will be a major asset as a profiler, but as much as she would like to pretend, everyone can tell it kills her inside.
Liz’s first day back starts on an awkward note when the team follows a lead from Red on the “Shell Island Retreat” that leads them to a small operation in a very nice apartment. Imagine everyone’s surprise when the middle-aged man in a three-piece that they arrest claims his name is Raymond Reddington. It is worth noting that this is the same man we saw earlier in the episode with a very detailed board of suspects and events entitled “Blacklist.”
The man, who has intel on every case the task force has taken on, has no way to prove if he is or is not, in fact, Raymond Reddington. Because there was no DNA evidence and only one photo of the “real” Reddington in the last 25 years, there is no telling who is telling the truth. He says he will give Liz and the task force the information they need as soon as he comes face-to-face with the Red we all know. To entice-slash-distract the team, he informs them an FBI executive is about to be abducted.
After a proposal followed by a romp with Tom and the situation at the post office, Liz wonders if she would be better off walking away. After all, she can’t even rent an apartment anymore. Despite Red’s warning that “they won’t let her,” Liz is still conflicted. Everything has changed, including her.
Reddington #2 makes the team an offer they don’t refuse: let him go and he will take them to the Shell Island Retreat, a meeting of notorious “bad guys,” for lack of a better term. Cooper takes the deal, and they wire him with cuff links. As Liz relays the information to Reddington #1, he makes his way to an elevator that delivers him to said retreat. “Welcome to Shell Island,” he toasts.
As #2 prepares for his arrival, #1 greets his guests and issues some pretty heavy threats. He claims that one of his friends/enemies has betrayed him, and framed him as an FBI informant. He also claims that before the meeting is over, he will prove his innocence and the other’s guilt. When an associate named Marcus has “proof” of Red’s guilt – a voice recording from the abducted Janet MacNamara – things get a little shaky. Then, of course, in true Blacklist fashion, Reddington #2 arrives. “May I introduce Raymond Reddington?” Reddington #1 says.
Outside the meeting place, the team discusses their options, including storming the hotel. Liz convinces Ressler and Samar to stand down, that Red knows what he is doing. Inside, Reddington #2 has a hissy fit, just short of stomping his feet. He states that #1 knew he would arrive and claim he was an imposter, so he beat him there. Things don’t seem to be making sense to anyone in the room. And that is when #1 introduces #2 as “Fake Red,” or “Faux Red.”
Reddington #1 alleges that he befriended Liz Keen when she was on the run, and it was only after he gained her trust that he learned it was Raymond Reddington assisting the FBI with “decimating our ranks.” Outside, Liz and Aram are totally confused – and so are the rest of us! The whole scheme seems to be a ploy to take down the man named Marcus who, if we are being honest, seems like kind of a jerk.
He continues, saying that Marcus hired #2 to play an imposter and turn himself into the FBI. After a struggle, #2 admits that Marcus hired him, to which Marcus objects, and Red #1 drives a knife through his chest. Bringing Marcus close, he whispers, “You’re right. I am the informant. Tell all our friends in hell to be patient; I’ll be along soon enough.”
And what about #2? Oh yeah, him. Red shoots him without a second thought. Instead of taking the helicopters, Red #1 and his associates take a freight elevator to the basement.
Elsewhere, Ressler and the FBI find and release Janet MacNamara. Red gives Janet strict instructions that she is to resign from the FBI and move to Santa Monica where he has purchased a beach house in her name. In a few words, she knows too much.
Later, Liz confronts Red and asks him who the man was. Mr. Gregory Devry was allegedly an old friend of Red’s who, at his request, euthanized him and saved him from stomach cancer. “You manufactured a clone to reclaim your reputation?” Liz asks. Apparently it is one of many contingency plans Red has in his back pocket.
As Liz shops for her new apartment, she is brutally attacked in the parking lot and hospitalized. At the same time, Red meets with Tom and commands that he will not marry her again. “Why,” Tom asks, “because I didn’t ask Daddy’s permission?” What?
A battered and bruised Liz finds out that she has sustained a few broken ribs, but is otherwise alright. Oh yeah – great news! The baby is okay! WHAT?! “You’ll really have to be more careful, now that you’re pregnant,” the doctor warns.
Oh. My. Gosh. How many #BlacklistTwists can we handle in one episode! Number one – a second Reddington? Number two – a #BlacklistBaby! This certainly changes things, and makes it a little easier on a very pregnant Megan Boone. I’m still a little confused on the Reddington thing, but I’m ready to buy some onesies for Liz and Tom! What did you think of this week’s episode?
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