Previously, on The Blacklist: “Ruslan Denisov (No. 67)”
In a barn-like structure, a preacher is delivering a sermon about Lot and his two daughters. Outside, men are moving pieces of a shipment into an underground store room, and one by one, they are picked off. The preacher finishes his sermon, and the congregation sings, as a young bride makes her way down the aisle. And I mean a young bride. The preacher moves from the pulpit to stand next to his bride. Just as I begin to shudder in distaste, the wedding is interrupted by a cross and a smoke bomb being thrown through a window. Panic ensues, as people scream and try to escape, but the door is “locked” by a scythe. This is the second time I’ve known a dangerous cutting weapon on sight, and I begin to worry about myself.
Back in D.C., Cooper is riding in the car with his pissed off wife, asking what she wants for lunch. She is not having this conversation and wants to know why he won’t talk about the trial. Cooper thinks they shouldn’t have false hope because he may not get in. Mrs. Cooper is like, “Bruh, you call that doctor and get in that trial, or it’s me and you.” He agrees to make the call.
At the DMV, Liz is meeting Red who is waiting to meet Glen, a master locator. Red brings up Justin Kenyon, the leader of the Church of the Shield; a cult with a compound in the Smoky Mountains. The group is all about polygamy, Armageddon, ritualized abuse—you know: good, clean fun. Problem is, the Justice Department can’t touch them because Kenyon has good civil rights lawyers. Red tells her to follow the money.
At HQ, Liz tells the team about Kenyon and how he funds his cult: he stores cargo for all sorts of criminals. Red got a partial list of what they have in storage, and it’s enough to wage a small war. The team discovers a prophecy by Kenyon, which says he, The Ken’Yon, and his followers will go to heaven for six days, and upon their return, they will rain fire on Babylon… yada yada yada. Do these cult guys ever have a different message? Kenyon and his people have been off the grid for three days, but DAG says they can’t go on his land to see what’s going on, and what if Red is wrong? Since when has he ever been wrong, lady?
At the DMV, Red asks Glen to help him locate a safe in St. Petersburg. This is the safe Alan Fitch told him about before his head went kaboom. Glen plays around with Red and says he can’t help him, which gets Red all worked up, but Glen finally gives in and says he’ll help him.
On the phone with Liz, Red asks when he has ever been wrong. Like I said. She gives him the party line about political considerations, and he tells her people are going to die. When they’re ready to pull their heads out of their asses, they can call him.
On a highway in Alabama, two state troopers are blown up, along with the driver of a suspicious white van with stolen plates. At HQ, the team is gathering information about the explosion and viewing footage from the police dash cam. The van is registered to the Church of the Shield, and the team learns plates were stolen from two other cars for two other church vans. One of the vans is headed to D.C. So Red was right. Go figure.
Cooper gets a phone call from his doctor; he wasn’t accepted into the trial. Damn, that sucks.
Liz and Ressler are in Tennessee, working with the sheriff to oversee the raid on Kenyon’s compound. How else are they gonna get kidnapped? The sheriff balks and says they can reason with Kenyon, otherwise they will be met with armed resistance.
The tac team gets to the building and all of the adults inside are dead. They haven’t been shot but stabbed, stomped, strangled, or bludgeoned. That’s some up close and personal killing. While searching the store rooms, Liz and Ressler find none of the contraband, but they do find a little girl hiding.
The van on the way to D.C. is sitting on the shoulder of a Maryland highway, with the Maryland State Police several yards away. Using binoculars, Navabi looks at the driver and sees it’s a child. Realizing a child must have been in the van that exploded in Alabama, she goes over and talks Little Bomb Boy out of blowing it, and them, up.
In St. Petersburg, Red, Dembe, and other men are furiously searching an apartment for the safe. Talking on the phone with Liz, Red learns all the weapons and ordinances are missing, along with another van. Like me, Red knows this can’t be a good thing. He tells her someone else must be involved.
Red and the gang can’t find the safe because Glen has them searching the wrong room. This dude. They finally find the safe and inside is a business card with only a phone number.
Liz, Ressler, and the sheriff agree to get the little girl away from the compound, as she stares creepily out the window, at the “Watchers”.
Back at HQ, a former cult member who claims to be the mother of Little Bomber Boy meets with Navabi. She tells them about what Kenyon did. Every man was to take three wives, but eventually there were too many boys. Starting with his son, David, Kenyon began a ritual called The Walkabout. On the first new moon in January, a chosen boy, between eight and ten, would be left in the woods to fend for himself. The plan was for the boys to die; some did, but others became stronger. The Hunger Games never sounded so good.
On the way down the mountain, a tire on the car with Liz is shot out by a Walkabout Boy, and the car crashes into trees. Ressler is pinned in the car, because why not? Liz leaves the sheriff and the girl with Ressler and takes off to find help. In the back woods, the best place to find help.
The new AG, and old friend of Cooper, visits and offers him the Director position. Cooper tells him he’s sick and can’t get into the trial, so he can’t accept the offer.
Walking in the back woods, Liz finds a lot of creepy shit hanging from trees: baby dolls, action figures, and stuffed animals. What the hell is happening in these woods? At the car, leaves are a-rustlin’, putting the Sheriff and Ressler on edge. And the Sheriff walks away towards the sound. Has she never seen a horror movie?! The Walkabout Boys rip the windshield off the car and take Ressler and the girl.
Back at HQ, Little Bomb Boy is pulling a Howard Hughes, shaking and muttering the same phrase over and over. Navabi takes his mom to see him, and they have a tearful reunion. Okay, I cried. Navabi tells Cooper that the Walkabout Boys, with David as their leader, attacked the church and ousted Kenyon.
Navabi calls Red for help because they can’t contact Liz and Ressler. Implanting GPS locators in these two might be a good idea. Red asks for a complete manifest of the weapons that were found at the compound.
Red visits a fellow criminal and asks her to give him the activation codes for the hellfire missiles she had stored at Kenyon’s compound. With the codes, Red is able to activate the nose cameras and GPS, so Navabi can find Liz and Ressler.
Back at the crash site, Liz is trying to get a cell signal. Because standing in one spot for hours is sure to make a signal appear. She is flanked by several Walkabout Boys; one takes her gun.
In the Walkabout camp, Liz is bound with all the Walkabout Boys around her, as David rants angrily at his father in another room. He is interrupted when another boy tells him Liz wants to talk to him.
David tells Liz he and the boys will marry the girls, each taking three wives. And the cycle of crazy continues. As they bring Ressler from another room, Liz tries to get out of her bonds. Seeing that she is almost out, Ressler creates a distraction so Liz can grab an AK to hold off the Boys. Navabi and the tac team arrive, and David runs upstairs and out the back. Liz and Navabi give chase but stop when they find Kenyon’s dead body with branches shoved in his mouth and eyes. Talk about overkill.
The third van is found on the property, with David ready to blow it. Liz talks to him, telling him he’s better than his father, and he agrees. Too bad his boy doesn’t, because he snipes him from across the woods.
Back at HQ, Red gives Liz a key to an apartment he bought her, because it’s time to leave the motel. It’s been time. Red begins one of his stories, but Liz interrupts and tells him they’re just business, so he can stop trying. Dammit, I wanted to hear the end of that story!
The AG brings a bottle of scotch to Cooper and tells him he’s in; he got him into the trial. They recite a quote about friendship and have a tearful toast. Okay, it was me again.
Red drives back to the Kenyon compound and goes to a store room under the pulpit. Inside is a car from a presidential motorcade. In the trunk, he finds a silver briefcase. Back in his car, he calls the number from the business card he found. The person on the other end asks if he has the briefcase, and Red asks who the person is.
Thoughts and Questions:
- This was a tough episode for me to watch. I don’t like when bad things happen to kids; even kids who grow up to be murdering religious zealots. Between the pedophilia and abandonment, I was ready to kill Kenyon myself.
- Why can’t Liz and Ressler be better? I know something has to happen every week to move the plot along, but the fact they keep getting kidnapped makes me question the skill of the FBI. Don’t they learn how not to be kidnapped?
- Was that car from Kennedy’s motorcade? It looked to be old enough, and if it is, what are the implications of that?
- At what point will the Blacklisters realize Red is working with the FBI?