Here we are again, Blacklist fans. Whatever we thought we knew about this show has changed. If you have not yet watched the episode, you will find out why. All I will say is this: prepare yourself, because some shit is about to go down. This week’s Blacklist-er is Mato, AKA the creepy guy who kidnapped Tom Keen.
Remember that plane taking away Kirk and Liz? The episode opens with Liz pleading with Kirk, and trying to find a way out of the plane/situation. When she sees her opening to take out the pilot, she does, but then realizes she can’t fly a plane, and they end up in the water.
With no communication and an injured, mouthy Kirk in the back of the plane, Liz needs to think quick. But, really, how much can be done from a tiny, capsized plane in the water off the coast of Cuba? Luckily, the task force back at the post office is on the lookout and have the Coast Guard involved.
As the plane flips, we find Kirk and Liz in the water, with Kirk encouraging Liz not to let go. “They’ll find us,” Liz insists but Kirk corrects her, saying they will find her and, lets go of the aircraft, sinking underwater.
Reddington, Mr. Kaplan, and Dembe are on the hunt to find not only Liz, but also Agnes. When Tom finds the group after the car accident from last week, they set out to find the two at any cost. Immediately after the crash when Agnes was taken, Kaplan got a look at the man’s face: it was Mato. Mato is a notorious skip tracer who is brought in as ‘the big guns.’ There is no doubt Kirk brought him in to get rid of the lethal assassin, Tom.
The quickest way to find Mato is to find one of Kaplan’s associates, Little Nikos. She seems to go way back with the man, valuing the loyalty and protection he gave her in the past. They find him in Amarillo, in surgery. Reddington waits for no man and insists the doctors bring him out of anesthesia to have a conversation with him. While things are still very tense between Red and Kaplan, he does allow her a minute with Nikos. Nikos won’t budge, though, and Red hands him over to Tom, who will stop at nothing to find his daughter.
After some unpleasant use of a drill, Tom has the information needed to find Mato. Once they summon the man, they chase him down. It is too late, though, as he has already handed the baby off to men who will get her to Kirk and Liz. Reddington, being Reddington, gets Kirk’s location out of the man and then ends his time on Earth, but only after torturing him by using Mato’s Native American beliefs against him.
The Summer Palace
If only it were that easy to get rid of Kirk… Liz is a martyr and swims under to keep Kirk alive. After being rescued by a nice man with a boat, Liz tries to betray Kirk and get help, but Kirk shoots him dead. It hasn’t taken long to realize that Kirk and Reddington are very similar, despite their claims to the contrary.
Once legitimately rescued by Kirk’s men, they are taken to his cottage, affectionately called “The Summer Palace.” He claims it was a home she knew and loved as a child, and belongs to both her and Agnes now. Liz explains the confusion she feels, and how the house conflicts with her childhood memories. Kirk insists that Reddington has made her believe what he wants her to believe; that he created the memories for her.
Liz takes time to walk through every room in the house, looking for familiarity. She finds it upstairs in the very last room – her bedroom. In those moments, everything clicks into place for Liz. Memories flood her: the home, her childhood, her mother, and a time capsule. To make sure she isn’t crazy, she heads outside to the swing to see if the coffee can that contained her favorite things is still there – and it is.
As Liz inspect her mother bracelet and slides it on her own wrist, she sees an FBI helicopter approach and agents rush the property. Ressler finds her and the two embrace, happy to see the other and for the nightmare to be over (LOL, like it’ll ever be over). He then delivers her to some type of safe house Red’s had built for the family, where Tom awaits her arrival.
Goodbye, Mr. Kaplan
With Liz safe, Dembe drives Red and Liz out to the country where Red owns some property. Kaplan seems to know where Red is going with the walk he takes her on, and is stoic and strong as ever as she stands in the sunshine while Red is in the woods.
Kaplan interrupts Red, just as he is about to go on another tangent about why he is going to do what he’s about to. She tells him how she’s dedicated her life to him, his missions, and Liz.
“I have never failed you,” she says. “What you see as a betrayal of trust was actually a fulfillment of your wishes to protect your interests. No more, no less.”
Red claims that, even if he could get over the anger, he views her as a stranger after the disloyalty. After some more words back and forth Red shoots her. Yep, he freaking shoots her in the head. At least it looks that way. Because, as the camera pans over her body as the end credits rolls, her hand moves to grasp the grass just the slightest.
WHAT?! Let me just say, I did not see that coming. At this point, we know a few things: Red is a sociopath, Kirk is a sociopath, and Mr. Kaplan is the best character on the show. So… Hopefully next week will bring some clarity to the whole Kaplan situation. Also, I’m really looking forward to a Reddington/Kirk showdown.
What are your feelings on Reddington and Kaplan? Is he finally losing it, offing his most trusted associate?