Fans of NBC’s hit drama The Blacklist have been reeling for more than just the last three weeks; we have been reeling for three seasons. Every new arc brings more twists and turns than fans could dream up, and it has been a highly enjoyable, mostly satisfying ride thus far. While fans are still trying to figure out who is behind Liz Keen’s death, Reddington and the task force are out for vengeance. After tracking down the Artax Network, this week’s Blacklist-er is Susan Hargrave. Will she bring us all the answers we are seeking?
The pretty brunette who was spotted in photos last week is back in action. We first see her catching up with a potential colleague who is unsure he can help her. The interrupting knock at the door is regarding Operation Cobalt: “There has been a problem.”
There certainly has been a problem when Hargrave and Rowan (from last week’s showdown with Samar) find a whole bunch of mercenaries brutally murdered. No weapons or technology are missing, but there was a note left behind, addressed to Scottie Hargrave.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, our friend Reddington, the murderous psychopath, is alive and well again. And we have Susan “Scottie” Hargrave to thank.
At the Post Office, Aram brings the rest of the team up to speed on his interaction with Reddington the night before. When Red dropped by and Aram showed him the photo, Red recognized her right away. She and her husband own a security company, Halcyon Aegis, that also moonlights as a private intelligence agency that breaches American foreign policy laws at every turn. Tom has been tailing Rowan, who led him straight to Hargrave. Since Mr. Stalder from last week is still off the grid, Tom’s task is to get close to his assistant, Amanda.
When Tom and Aram’s initial plan to get information from Amanda fails, Tom is forced into a first (and last) date with her. He eventually gets the details needed from her laptop, but his suave methods of seduction feel forced and it is obvious the date was painful for him. In a very sweet moment, though, Tom encourages Aram to tell Samar how he feels, before it is too late.
Calling in Favors
Elsewhere, Red is in a private meeting with Laurel Hitchin. Hitchin says that, although she hates Halcyon, the government relies on them. Red, however, is literally out for blood. He invites Laurel to test his patience, seeing as she was the one who put the target on Liz’s back.
Laurel meets with Scottie’s colleague regarding Red’s “project.” Red informs the man he needs his message to get to Scottie, since she ignored his last note. Just as the man is telling Red there is possibly no one she would listen to more, Red aims and fires more than once.
It looks like his plan will have to wait, as Scottie ignores his next message; “Shall we?”
Ups and Downs
Meanwhile, Cooper remains diligent on finding Liz’s murderers the ‘right way.’ He files for a warrant, which is denied, and Aram’s plan to hack Amanda’s computer has ben thwarted by her highly encrypted network. Reddington provided a burner cell that belonged to the now-deceased Bradley, that placed calls to another burner cell that just happened to be powered on and somewhat able to track. After some confusion, they let the man, Samuel Rand, get away but it isn’t long before Red tracks him down.
At his home, Red confronts Samuel on his company’s recent contract with Halcyon. His wife is the one who ultimately gives Red the details: Vestant’s competitor is buying oil from terrorists. Red catches up Cooper, who agrees to block the oil Halcyon plans to take at the Port of Amsterdam. As Red departs, Cooper asks how he is doing. Red delivers the line of the episode: “As long as we keep moving forward, I’ll endure.”
The S.W.A.T. team Cooper promised has eyes on the port where Rowan is expected to be. When they find her, the infiltrate, hoping to put a stop to her sabotage. Despite a firefight, S.W.A.T. command finds the explosive device and is able to contain the explosion.
The next day, Red receives a call from none other than Scottie Hargrave. It was easy enough to ignore the deaths of her mercenaries and colleagues, but Red is disrupting business now. She agrees to meet him at 5 PM sharp, but in the first class lounge of an international airport. Since he cannot get her alone anywhere else, Red agrees, despite the fact he is wanted “everywhere from here to Siberia.”
An Olive Branch
Tapping into Amanda’s laptop proves useful when Tom and Aram overhear a meaningful conversation between Stalder and Scottie. It turns out that Stalder’s employer hired Scottie to kidnap Liz, but since they lost Liz they tried to kidnap Stalder as a bargaining tool. Stalder’s employer now wants Scottie dead, as well, but instead Scottie offers the olive branch: Raymond Reddington’s life. As she is en route to the airport, Tom calls Red immediately. Even with the information, Red insists on keeping his appointment.
Somehow, he makes it through TSA and security. As he arrives at the lounge, TSA comes in to arrest him, per the call placed by Scottie a few minutes prior. The two men take him to the stairs where one, contracted by Scottie, knocks out the other. Reddington knows exactly what he is doing, though, and Dembe meets them at the bottom of the stairs. Red and his men outsmart Scottie and hers, and after some lives lost, the two come face to face.
The two use similar tactics of hostility, distraction, and storytelling, but it doesn’t take long for Red to get the answer he wants. So, who hired her to abduct Liz? “You know exactly who hired me,” Scottie says, but Red must be certain. “Alexander Kirk.” A name we’ve never heard before…
Now that the two have a mutual enemy, Red’s agenda has become Scottie’s agenda. And next week, we just may meet Alexander Kirk.
What an episode! It’s beginning to feel a lot like pre-fugitive Liz Blacklist and I really like that. Leave me your thoughts and theories below!
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