Last week, The Blacklist saw NBC’s favorite criminal softening bit by bit. Raymond Reddington not only came around to support Liz in having her baby, but also seems to be investigating her mother’s whereabouts. He hasn’t changed too much, though – thank goodness. This week finds Tom in trouble. Is Red to blame, or is it Tom’s crazy ex, Gina? This week’s Blacklist-er is Drexel.
As Liz panics over Tom’s whereabouts, her first suspect is obviously Red, although he plays coy. He deflects the suspicion by giving Liz information on a murder where the victim was staged to be, quite literally, a work of art. According to Red, the murderer is Drexel, who considers himself “a performance artist.” Drexel has underground fans that follow his murders, and even advertises them.
Ressler visits the victim’s home to investigate the murder of the CEO of a tech startup. As he takes in the crime scene, he finds a web cam that Drexel is using to remotely monitor the crime scene. Samar and Ressler find the victim’s business partner, whose office Drexel is also monitoring. Aram, working in the post office, calls with the news that he has an idea where the hack came from – and it is connected to the NSA.
In a meeting with the head of the NSA, Samar and Ressler learn that the RAT, or hacking technology, is used to remotely access any type of video/audio device. The technology was leaked, and the task force quickly finds the mole. During questioning, the coder reveals he posted the RAT online, but included a tracker on the technology to alert him whenever it has been used.
Aram sets to work, dissecting the list of IP addresses that have used the RAT. He finally settles on an address, and at the location, Samar stumbles upon a giant drawing with “Reddington” across the top in bold letters. As the task force further investigates the warehouse, Aram discovers Drexel’s true identity: Reginald Turner.
Finally, Liz hears from Tom. She hears from her friend Nick, rather, who treated Tom in the emergency room. While Tom is in surgery, he’s alive but his chances don’t look good, especially with officers waiting to question him when he wakes up. When Liz visits the hospital, Tom is still in critical condition.
On his own as usual, Red tracks down a lead that takes him to Ramona, the woman who wrote the Rigby article about Drexel’s murders. When Red returns, he finds a very angry Liz, who confronts him on the street about Tom’s condition.
Red fills her in on Tom’s extra curricular activities with Gina (robberies) to further drive home the point that Tom is unfit to be a parent and/or partner. Liz doesn’t listen, and instead visits a barely awake Tom in ICU. Their reunion does not last long, as the police are eager to question him. As Liz waits outside, Nick assures her that everything is going to be okay.
Elsewhere, Red visits Ramona, whose real name is Rachel Hobbs, and she refuses to give up Drexel’s anonymity, citing journalistic integrity. However, Red forces her to choose between Drexel’s anonymity or hers. She chooses her own anonymity, because Red and Dembe then follow her through an art museum where she is to meet with Drexel.
Ramona’s interview is off to a shaky start, probably due to being locked in a concrete basement with a serial killer. Drexel corners her, informing her that he saw Reddington. Just as Drexel is ready to strangle the life out of her, Red and Dembe pop in to save her. Red takes a few minutes with Drexel and, through his artfully crafted stories, convinces Drexel of the importance of a specific address.
Following a lead, Samar, and Ressler finally take action by raiding the location of one of the feeds Drexel was observing. The building belongs to the owner of the startup, and the team realizes the location also has been using the RAT. It has a giant theater-sized screen playing live feeds from people’s web cams. It is a “RAT farm,” where people pay to access the feeds of others. The FBI shuts down the feeds and the building, but still have no leads on Drexel.
Back at the hospital, the police question Tom and bring in a witness from the robbery. Somehow Tom makes it out unscathed, as the man admits that Tom works for him. When Tom relays the situation to Liz, she wonders how on Earth Reddington could have intercepted the witness, when Nick admits that he told Red, as he is now on Red’s medical detail.
Later, Liz asks Red why he went to the trouble to save Tom’s life. Red gives a non-answer but offers her an apology for frightening her with his foreboding warnings of the future. He also assures her that, no matter what, she and her child will make it out alive.
At home, Liz pulls out a jump drive that holds Tom’s interview from the adoption agency they’d used years ago. Maybe it’s the hormones, maybe it’s nostalgia, or maybe it’s just love, but when Liz sees Tom next, she tells him the news. “I want to keep the baby,” she says. “Our baby.”
Red is always at least seven steps ahead of everyone, and pays a visit to an art broker. “Where is Rostova?” Red demands. The man knows nothing, but has a painting from Rostova, for Red. “She said you would come,” the man states. Red refuses the painting, which depicts Liz standing over his own grave. “Send it back.”
Oh goodness – the drama is never in short supply with these characters! Now that Liz has changed her mind about the baby, what should we expect from her and Tom? Will they actually move? And when will Liz’s mother finally come into play? At this point, I can’t tell if Red is trying to make it happen or make sure it never happens (probably the latter, let’s be honest). Leave a comment below and don’t forget to tune in to The Blacklist next week!
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