Previously on The Blacklist, ‘Vanessa Cruz’
As Red lay in the street bleeding out and Liz and Dembe return fire on the unknown shooter, a man in a dark room develops pictures of Liz and Tom, and listens to a tape of their passport conversation. He switches to a police scanner, and hears the dispatcher put the call out that shots were fired and a man is down. And he has a wicked scar on his throat that looks like he may have stitched it himself. Gross.
Liz and Dembe manage to get Red into the car and they drive away without further injury. Liz calls Cooper and tells him Red has been shot and that she needs backup. She begins telling him their location, but Dembe is no fool. He snatches that phone out of her hand and throws it out the window; replacing it with another phone, he tells her to dial *77. Mr. Kaplan answers and asks where she is, but Liz has to ask who she’s talking to. She is so damn new. She finally gets that Mr. Kaplan won’t answer her so she gives her location. She tells Dembe they need to get Red to a hospital and he refuses. Mr. Kaplan calls back and tells them where to meet her.
Liz works to save Red
A few texts from Mr. Kaplan have doctors, nurses, and EMTs dropping whatever they’re doing to get to her location. The medical team gets Red prepped for surgery, but before going under, Red tells Liz to find Leonard Caul.
The backup Liz asked Cooper to send arrive, but before they’re in the door good, they start to pop caps. Okay just one, because Mr. Kaplan pulls out her big ass gun and shoots them to shit, before Liz and Dembe can even blink.
Liz tries to jump in her ass, but Kaplan tells her those dudes didn’t have standard issue weapons; that’s how she knew they weren’t right. Shouldn’t Liz know this? Meh, I’ll chalk it up to PTSD.
Liz goes to check on Red and sees that the surgeon caught one. Damn! Liz asks the rest of the staff if any of them can close up Red so he can be moved. Because, you know, more bad guys are coming. Fresno State steps up and Liz tells her to hop to while giving her the Mama Ru “Don’t fuck it up” stare. No pressure. Liz calls her ex, a surgeon, and asks him if he can help her. See, she is new! You don’t call your ex after three years, asking for favors. He’s still a wee bit butthurt about how she dumped him, but after some bitter whining, he agrees. Sometimes all you need is someone to listen.
Liz takes the team to a new location and it just so happens to be where Tom is. That won’t be awkward at all. Liz’s ex explains that the bullet is still inside Red and removal will be risky. Liz asks if he can do it and old dude uses that moment as an opportunity to measure his dick against Tom’s. Time and place, fellas. Doc tells Liz he can do it—for $376, 422; the amount he owes in student loans. He knows who Red is, so he knows he should be getting paid. In true baller fashion, Mr. Kaplan whips out a briefcase with $500,000—unmarked and untraceable. Old dude scrubs back in to get that bullet.
Still in town because he thought he could start his normal life there, Tom sticks around the “safe house” and warns Liz against about Red; “Unless you get out, this will devour you.” Didn’t Red say something just like that about him? Did they go to the same Bad Guy School? Hello, pot, meet kettle. Liz tells him she’s pretty much going to keep kicking it with Red because he has answers about her past. Tom tells her he can help her find those answers; he knows a lot about Red. Excuse me while I roll my eyes at you, Tom. When the good doctor gets ready to make off with his loot, Tom warns him to not take the money. Red will have his hooks in him. Still bitter, the doctor makes a crack about how Tom was supposed to be a good guy, then leaves.
Before going kerplewy, Alan Fitch told Red to find Leonard Caul, to help him with The Fulcrum. Leonard Caul nee Joseph McCray is ex-CIA, was part of a covert group, charged with keeping tabs on the Sandanistas, but the group was disbanded after Iran Contra. And no information about his existence past 1981 exists. After making contact with Red, an attempt was made on his life; his neck was cut and he lost two fingers in the process.
In the middle of the bullpen, on speakerphone, Liz tells the group that Leonard Caul needs to be found because he may information on who tried to kill Red. The people trying to kill Red are looking for The Fulcrum. She explains that it’s a blackmail device with information about a cabal. I guess clandestine group is too wordy.
After finding the bodies of the surgeon and the fake agents, Cooper realizes there’s a leak. Maybe now they’ll stop using the speakerphone. Leonard Caul proves a hard man to find. The team goes to his last known and finds blood, but no body. A little digging leads them to ER admission logs and they learn there was a man who visited the ER, with his two fingers in a Ziploc bag. I’m so glad we didn’t get to see that. The man left the ER, and his fingers, because he got spooked when he saw cops. Cooper meets with Caul’s former C.O., to get his location; he promises to use the info only as a means to help Red. The DAG and incumbent AG meet with Cooper to let him know their misgivings about Liz. After that harbormaster mess, I don’t blame them. But they’re all dirty, so why throw stones? The AG asks what if the only reason Red chose her and turned himself in was just to get The Fulcrum; what if it’s all been manipulation. Another pot meeting another kettle. Cooper doesn’t believe it though and I can’t help but think that kind of naiveté is not cute on a man his age.
Dembe and the flat
Dembe sends Liz to a flat in Bethesda, to find a key to open The Fulcrum. He tells her to bring the key and The Fulcrum to Red and Leonard Caul. He also tells her that Red can never know she was there. Mmmkay. Liz finds the key, but gets distracted by a cat and decides to take a look at the nearby pictures. And she spots a picture of her from her graduation, as well as a picture of a little girl on a swing with a man. Surprisingly, she doesn’t take it, but she does take a picture of it.
Leaving the flat, Liz finds Caul outside the door, pointing a gun at her. He directs her back inside so they can talk. I guess she’s not really getting gripped up, but it’s pretty damn close. Seeing the bandage on his neck and missing fingers, Liz realizes who he is. Caul tells her he knew he could trust Red after the attempt on his life because the same people wanted to kill them both. He went into hiding, waiting for a message from Red, which was sent through Liz: the background checks and talking to his former superior. Liz recognizes he is the answer to understanding how The Fulcrum works. Using the key, the little box, and the ciphertext, which Caul wrote, The Fulcrum opens so Liz can see what the hubbub is about. Left speechless, and slightly horrified, Liz and Caul head back to Red. Caul tells her the names she saw are just the beginning; no longer trusted by The Director of Clandestine Services, Fitch had been cut out so he turned to Caul. Cue disbelief. Liz can’t fathom that the Director of Clandestine Services would be involved in such a thing!
Red comes to with Dembe standing watch over him; he asks after Liz and tells Dembe to get to his flat. Dembe tells him she still hasn’t found Caul and Red says Caul will find her. While resting, Tom tells him that even though Red threatened him and anyone who tries to hurt Liz, he is the one who hurts Liz the most. That’s why he snitched.
It just got real!
Just as she and Caul get to Red’s location, Liz sees bad guys surrounding the place. She calls Tom and warns him. Seeing Red’s men get geared up, Tom asks for a gun, but says he can bounce if they don’t need him. He ends up with a gun, of course. Liz calls Cooper for backup, and he makes sure Ressler sends a specific team. Caul refuses to go back to help everyone and tells her to walk away. She realizes the only way to save the day is to let The Director know that she knows. Dr. Kaplan tells Red it’s about to go down, pulls out her gun and sets about protecting him. Red tells her to leave so she can do that other thing he needs her to do. She leaves him the gun then flees. The bad guys blow in the doors and bullets fly. Tom and Dembe go full badass and take out a bunch of guys. Using all the bullets in his TAR-21, Tom throws it, picks up a handgun, and shoots a bad guy in the head, point blank. That was kinda hot.
Hearing all the mayhem, Red turns on the O.R. light and shines it toward the doors to blind anyone who approaches.
Using all the bullets in his gun, Red takes out three bad guys of his own. Liz goes to CIA Headquarters, demanding to see The Director. She activates The Fulcrum and tells him to call off the hit on Red or she’ll go to the Times. Red leaves his bed to get a gun, but is surrounded by several bad guys. One approaches and whispers to another, then they all take off. Liz tells The Director that they have copies of what’s on The Fulcrum, so he can keep it. He threatens her about the enemies Liz has just made, but she don’t give a shit. Go, Liz! As she leaves, The Director says he never saw before, how much she looks like her mother. Why are these men always playing with her emotions?
Liz gets to the location in time to see Red about to be wheeled away. He tells her why he hired Tom; that he was just to be her friend. Once he learned they had become lovers, he fired Tom. He wanted to remove him, but she was in love and Tom was working for Berlin—to protect himself from Red, but also to stay close to her. See, I knew he loves her! Red turned himself in so he could direct her to a truth she had to discover own her own. Is it just me or was that code?
Liz asks if that’s the whole truth and Red admits it’s not. Fed up, Liz leaves. Pouring drinks for two, The Director explains that even though the unseen person is conflicted, the work the cabal does is important. The person wanted to be involved so they have to learn to deal. And wouldn’t you know it, it’s the AG. He betrayed Cooper! And least he looks shitty about having done it.
Liz and Tom
Liz calls Tom to meet her and she tells him he’s right about Red. He tells her she’s strong so she won’t get devoured. Oh, these two! She asks him to help her find answers about Red. And we know it’s now officially on.