The Blacklist seems to get better with every episode that airs. What makes certain episodes really stand out, though, are the fantastic guest stars, and this week was no different. Tony Shalhoub guest stars as “The Promestria,” a matchmaker that convinces enemies to become allies, then takes a cut of the profit.
After the brutal, medieval murders last week, this week features feuding families, exes, and even a love interest for Red. The feuding families, the Vacarros and the Erikssons, are both prominent drug dealers on the eastern seaboard. Several lives have been lost due to the families’ lethal rivalry, and The Promestria sees a golden opportunity to unite the families and stop the violent deaths.
While Liz, the task force, and the DEA track The Promestria’s movements and talk of a merger between the families, Tom Keen receives a surprise in the appearance of his ex, Gina. After making contact with the woman he left for his ‘mark’ – that’s Liz, by the way – she sneak attacks him in a restaurant bathroom, and she is really not happy to see him. Tom wants in on a job that would earn him enough to run away with Liz, and it sounds pretty dangerous. Their goal is to pull off one of the most massive jewelry heists in history.
Meanwhile, after tipping Liz off about The Promestria, Red disappears from the game for a while. Through a series of flashbacks, we see Red and a woman together, and they seem to genuinely care for one another. First, Red looks more than hurt to hear that the woman is getting married. “Do you love him?” he asks. “I love you,” she answers. We see their relationship blossom throughout the flashbacks.
After spotting The Promestria but coming up empty with more information, Liz enlists Reddington’s help to locate the man. When he is spotted in a swanky hotel, Ressler, Samar, and Aram are on it. The Promestria informs Mr. Eriksson that Mr. Vacarro has agreed to an arranged marriage between the youngest children of the families, as long as the other patriarch agrees. Eriksson agrees as well, and The Promestria has succeeded. Smart move, appealing to the humanity of a father’s love for his child. Only, The Promestria apparently has no humanity, as Ressler witnesses his orchestration of a hit on the youngest Eriksson’s girlfriend.
Throughout the episode, Liz receives much support from Tom, Samar, and Aram, but Ressler is pretty salty about her pregnancy. A few days after meeting with an adoption agency, Liz hears word that a couple is interested in meeting with her to possibly adopt Tom’s and her child.
Red resurfaces to inform Liz and the team of The Promestria’s idea of an arranged marriage. To solidify the alliance, Red claims The Promestria would require a meeting of all family members, and if the team finds the meeting, they’ll find The Promestria. Never less than two steps ahead of what he lets on, Red surprises Mr. Eriksson with a home visit. Eriksson proves to be the only one with a heart this episode and admits that, while the arrangement is not ideal, it will keep his children safe. At his own home, though, Vacarro has other plans. “We kill them tomorrow,” he assures his wife. “All of them.”
All eyes are on the families the next night as Liz, Ressler, and a really rude DEA agent are staked out across the street. I’m not quite sure why anyone is surprised when Reddington shows up to the event, but Liz and Ressler both seem taken aback. In separate rooms, The Promestria gives the lucky couple a pep talk, and Dembe overhears Vacarro’s plan to open fire when his toast is complete.
In Reddington form, he interrupts just as Vacarro makes to raise his glass. Through an eloquent speech, Red manages to cause an uproar between the families and lure out The Promestria. When Vacarro’s men open fire and the FBI and DEA raid the hotel, Red makes off with The Promestria. Liz follows, as does the really rude DEA agent, who Red (thankfully) kills because he has a plane to catch.
Elsewhere, Tom and Gina lay the groundwork for their heist. When the time comes, Gina steals a piece of valuable jewelry and Tom, acting as an FBI agent, takes her down. They gain access to the back of the store by using the excuse of needing a secure location. The rest of their team is on standby to make off with their haul as soon as Gina and Tom disarm the security system and the goons who run the store. P.S. – Gina also disarms Tom when she kisses him “just for the hell of it.”
Samar and Liz are back at the post office and sharing their troubles. Samar had dinner with her ex, Eli, who is recently engaged to a woman he met a week after they broke up. Liz has still not told anyone she is considering adoption, and, after Samar asks about a baby shower again, finally breaks down and confides in her friend. Later, things take a turn for Liz when she learns that the interested family still wants her baby, but nothing to do with her.
In the final flashback, Red receives a call from his mystery woman, Josephine, who is crying. Red finds his love beaten and bloody on the floor, at the hands of her fiancée. When the monster sees Red coming to her aid, he charges – but not before Red shoots him.
At an empty apartment, we learn the reason for Red’s seeking out The Promestria. Josephine was the daughter of a prolific arms dealer and was part of a grand scheme of The Promestria’s, and Red blames him for her fate. After shooting The Promestria dead, he visits an older, catatonic Josephine who is wheelchair-bound and brings her a trinket that became a theme through the episode: a glass animal. “It’s done,” he promises.
This episode was pretty crazy, but what else can we expect from The Blacklist? More and more of Red’s motivations are revealed, and things kind of click. The difference is that this week’s vendetta was personal and not business. Next week, Tom seems to be in trouble and we may learn more about Red. I am looking forward to it – are you?
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