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The Blacklist – S3E12 – The Vehm (No. 132)

Previously on The Blacklist, ‘Gregory Devry’

Using Medieval torture techniques, a group called The Vehm stalk and kill pedophiles who have gotten away with their crimes.

Tom and Liz contemplate a normal life together; with a dog, a kid, and a move to Boston. Too bad Uncle Red is not having it.

Cooper, Navabi, and Ressler keep their personal shit at work, while the team tries to find out why one of Red’s associates was killed by The Vehm.

The Blacklister(s) The Vehm, aka The Holy Vehm. Originally, the group was known for torturing sinners in the Germanic regions of Europe during the Middle Ages, for crimes like heresy and witchcraft. Now, they’re after pedophiles. They tend to use Medieval devices to kill their victims, most notably, the Lead Sprinkler. Turns out these particular Vehm are pedophiles that castrated themselves and are now doling out punishment to other pedophiles, as protectors of children. Alright then.

Images: NBC

Images: NBC

Red’s best line “It’s God-awful. If they’d only switch to a good burgundy, people would be much more devout.”

Red’s second best line “Hell hath no fury like a fundamentalist scorned.”

Tom’s best line “Pro: chance for a normal life, family, doting husband with rock-hard abs.”

Navabi’s best line “You’ve never seen a eunuch?”

The Blacklist - Season 3

Number of times Liz was annoying Surprisingly, zero. Although she was a bit whiny, she had every right to be. She knows Red doesn’t want her to have her baby nor does he want her with Tom. She should be scared.

Get a grip Several people get snatched up by The Vehm: the clown, the psychologist, and Cardinal Richileu—er, Cardinal Richards.

Funny moment Navabi thanks Ressler for going to bat for her so she could her job back. He says he didn’t because he doesn’t believe she should have gotten it back; it’s nothing personal. Her response: “Okay well, it’s nothing personal, but you sucked in bed.

Navabi with that shade

Holy shit moments

  • Red is talking to the guy who beat up Liz, who looks like he’s seen the business end of someone’s fist recently. Red gives him a speech about being a violent man and how every time he kills someone, a part of him dies with the person. Then he shoots the guy three times center mass, without a flinch.
  • Red and Dembe find money launderer, Gerald Sullivan, and his wife in the woods, living out of their Bentley. Sullivan is a rival of Red’s associate, Edward Weston, who was murdered along with other launderers. Sullivan tells him he didn’t kill any of the others; he ran so he wouldn’t be killed, too. Red asks for the name of the person controlling The Vehm, but Sullivan refuses. Barbecue fork in hand, Red tells Sullivan he found him for two reasons: to get that name and to hear a campfire song. He loves them, but can’t sing well enough to explain them to Dembe. Feeling threatened, Sullivan and wife sing. Red is enjoying the song, but Dembe, not so much.

Dembe-Red collage

What did work

  • After talking to the clown’s daughter, who says her dad was a pedophile, the team realizes The Vehm are torturing and killing pedophiles; they find nine other cases with the same M.O.
  • Having rescheduled his job interview (or whatever) in Boston, Tom waits for Liz in her apartment; with the ultrasound for the baby they were going to adopt. He shows her the poorly concealed pro/con list she left lying out in the open. When she tells him she’s considering giving the baby up for adoption, because there are too many cons, he says they can leave D.C., they can get away from Red; the cons are fixable.

The Blacklist - Season 3

  • Aram tracks down the purchase for dye added to the lead used to kill the priest; a halfway house for ex-cons in Philly. Navabi and Ressler get there and find Dr. Meyer’s dead body and four of The Vehm. They kill one and arrest the others.
  • Liz and Ressler interview Harlan Holt, one of the captured Vehm. He admits The Vehm go after pedophiles who did not meet justice. Remembering what Red said about his associate and the fact that one of the victims supposedly had eyewitness testimony against him, but didn’t get arrested, Liz realizes The Vehm are being used to get rid of people who are not pedophiles.
  • Red convinces Cardinal Richards he has a job for The Vehm; taking out another money launderer. He makes the Cardinal a proposition: call them back and he’ll make sure the FBI doesn’t find him.

The Blacklist

  • Tom tells Liz the Boston job fell through—yep, Red. But he has something else lined up. Liz is flip flopping but he reminds her that he has a say in whether or not their child is put up for adoption.

What didn’t work

  • Red was actually annoyed that Cooper took Liz’s guns. Um, felons aren’t issued guns, Red. He should have given her one sooner if he was so worried.
  • Liz announces her pregnancy to Red, which he already knew, but goes on to tell him about Tom and the job in Boston. How is it she hasn’t yet learned that Red doesn’t want her with Tom and will do anything to see him out of her life? Stop telling him stuff, Liz.

The Blacklist - Season 3

  • Charlene sends Cooper flower at work and he throws them in the trash in his office. Ressler and Navabi talk about their brief encounter in the middle of the bullpen. If you don’t want people in your business, stop being so sloppy, people. Keep that mess at home.
  • Ressler kills one of The Vehm at the halfway house, yet three bodies are taken to the M.E. at the Post Office. Where’d the other bodies come from? 1+…
  • The Cardinal had other money launderers taken out to expand his business and Red had him taken out to expand his business. Why? In order to raise capital in preparation for war. What war??
  • The Vehm beat Cardinal Richards to death for misleading them. Why didn’t he get the torture he had bestowed on those innocent people?
  • Red tells Liz her pregnancy is inconvenient. For who; her or him? Then he apologizes for saying it, but keeps butting into her life; moving her nice neighbor and putting guards in her place to “protect” Liz. He’s the reason she ended up in this mess. He should let Tom worry about protecting her.


  • Where does one find 15th century torture devices to kill a pedophile? Ebay? And why were there no female victims? What, women don’t molest children or they don’t dabble in money laundering? #misogyny
  • Will Liz seeking information about adoption be what breaks up her and Tom?
The Blacklist S3E12
  • 6/10
    Plot - 6/10
  • 7/10
    Dialogue - 7/10
  • 6/10
    Action - 6/10
  • 7/10
    Performances - 7/10


This one was tough to get through. The Blacklist can be as disappointing as it is exciting; maybe more so. I liken this show to Mary J. Blige albums: for every good one, there are two that really kinda suck. Not too much shade to MJB because at least two songs off a sucky album are good. With this show, you’re lucky if you get two good scenes in a sucky episode. I’ve watched this episode twice and I still don’t get the point. And why did it have to be so gruesome? The shock of Liz’s pregnancy and Red’s indifference is enough, what The Vehm did is just overkill, pun intended.

I feel like I need a crash course in Blacklisters. I’ve said this before, but it seems like a lot of these “Blacklisters” are people Red doesn’t even know about until they kill someone he does know. That’s not what the show is supposed to be about and it’s getting boring. By the way, I don’t like this Red; he’s far too menacing for no reason. Killing the guy who beat Liz, holding the fork on the Sullivan and tying up his wife. Did he even care about his associate being killed? I mean, just find another money launderer; apparently there are plenty.

What’s with this talk about war? This show tries too hard to be clever, with the cryptic stuff Red says. He does sound cool saying it, but just spit it out already.

While I don’t think having a baby makes much sense right now, it bothers me that this storyline might not be played out. It would bring another dimension to Liz, Tom, and Red. I wish Liz would tell Red he better cool out or she’ll dip. He sorta kinda apologized, but he needs to know he can’t keep threatening Tom, making out the way remarks about her pregnancy, or getting in their business in any way.

Side note: I’ve seen Anthony Carrigan, who plays Harlan Holt, on a couple other shows playing a bad guy. I could not remember how I’ve known his face until a trip to good ol’ IMDB; he played Adam’s boss on Parenthood in season two! I really like this actor. Even though his characters are menacing, there’s a vulnerability that makes me worry about and cheer for them.

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About Teanna W (61 Articles)
Teanna is a self-proclaimed library goddess, who loves to talk about cataloging techniques as much as she loves to talk about her geek obsessions. She spends her leisure time painting her nails, watching too much TV, playing too many video games, and shaking it too much on the dance floor…sometimes all at the same time!
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