Previously on The Blacklist, ‘The Caretaker’
Liz and Jacob decide to get married sooner rather than later. Last minute celebrations are such a drag, especially when a bad guy decides to steal a nuclear weapon and all of your guests have to hunt for him. Well, they do say timing is everything. Ressler and Red are so preoccupied with the theft of a nuclear weapon they can’t find the time to celebrate two souls coming together in love. It is a nuclear warhead, so, they get a pass.
Red is still not convinced Jacob is the man for Liz. His speech about bad guys and not really knowing who Jacob is not only reeks of pot-kettle-blackism, it falls on deaf ears. Liz is gonna marry that man come hell or high water. Both of which might crash her nuptials. Meanwhile, a blast from his not-so-distant past threatens Jacob’s big day.
Like most bad guys, The Cabal (eye roll) can’t have any loose ends. Mr. Solomon is on his way to having his ticket punched when a mysterious benefactor saves him by taking out Hitchins’ henchmen.
Mr. Solomon. Easily the best villain of the series. He’s so much like Red: his reasoning, the cadence of his speech even, the fact that he’s not evil, just bad. He’s the perfect foil for Red and I would love for him to be on the show forever.
It was clear from the way the last episode ended Red is not here for this Liz marrying Jacob business. Never mind the fact that she very much is. While why he’s against it is very understandable, why he insists on pointing out how awful Jacob is, is not. It’s a bit exhausting watching Red play the hypocrite, even though at this point it’s to be expected. Realizing she may not get the support from Red she wants, Liz turns to her surrogate dad, Cooper, asking him to officiate her wedding. Everyone promises to be there for the wedding if they catch Solomon in time. Ressler’s promise is reluctant; he’s so bitter and judgy. He doesn’t like Tom because he hit Liz at some point. Okay, Ressler, it wasn’t some drunken, domestic abuse situation. Let’s not forget she kidnapped Jacob. Methinks Ressler’s problem is more about Liz than anything else.
Free from the prospect of jail and death, Mr. Solomon takes up with an ex-Navy, nuclear weapons specialist so they can swipe a nuke from the Air Force. Cooper meets with a general about preventing the heist but is summarily dismissed. Why wouldn’t he want to work with Cooper and his team? The nuke specialist is caught at a hotel in Baltimore when her getaway car stalls. Mr. Solomon, on the other hand, makes a smooth getaway. That smells like a setup. The specialist gives up good intel in exchange for a deal. But the truck is empty; it’s just a diversion. I probably could have written this episode.
Red shows up at the church while Liz is getting ready to tell her one more time how much of a mistake she’s making. Jacob is bad, he’s a criminal, he hasn’t changed; then he brings up their child. For the first time, I dislike Red. He could have said anything. Why would he bring her child into it?
Gina and The Major decide showing up empty-handed for a wedding is bad form, so they show up at Liz’s first. The Major is mad because Jacob ruined the perfect track record he had for his operatives and Gina is jealous that Jacob loves Liz. The plan is to execute Jacob, but Gina goes off book and kills The Major instead. She’s still got the hots for Jacob, but she’s letting him go. And she leaves the body for him to dispose. This relationship is so strange. It’s hard to imagine Jacob loving Gina and Liz. After cleaning the apartment and getting rid of The Major, Tom breaks pre-wedding protocol to tell Liz what happened. And Red said he hadn’t changed.
Licking his wounds, Red ponders why the weapons specialist tried to flee in another car while Mr. Solomon got away. He finds out there’s nothing in the car and the car starts fine and it hits him: the specialist is the diversion so Mr. Solomon can go after Liz. Mmmhmm, setup. On his way to the church with his own men, Red calls Ressler and tells him to hustle his ass there, too.
The church is set, guests arrive, and the bride and groom are ready to say their vows.
In walks Red, with a shotgun, and news that Mr. Solomon and his men are after her. Those men show up not even a few minutes later, with the intention of killing anyone in their way. Mr. Solomon calls Red with a choice: a) send out Liz and everyone lives; or b) they’ll come in and kill everyone but Liz and take her anyway.
Matias: ”First of all, you and I both know you are outmanned and outgunned. The plan was to grab her today, no matter where she was. Grocery store or house of God—it makes no difference to me. And for the record, I take no offense that I wasn’t invited.”
Red: “It came together rather nicely. They went with ruby fringed tulips and pink peonies. You’d be impressed.”
I get it; I know why scenes play out this way but it’s tiring. Of course they’re not going to agree to send her out. Instead, they waste time, bullets, and an innocent person’s life on a senseless firefight. Did it look cool? Yes. Is it plausible that someone would die in that situation? Yes, but why that innocent? As much as I love the agents, it would have made more sense for one of them to die. How did that bullet hit that woman anyway? How did Aram not get hit, too?
Ressler finally shows up, and enough bad guys are dead to allow Liz and Tom to make their getaway, while everyone else stays at the church, picking off henchmen like metal ducks at a carnival game. Mr. Solomon was not still at that church and getting away in a car marked “Just Married” with cans dragging behind it was not the smartest move.
The Blacklist S3E17
The Blacklist, like other shows, seems to suffer from its own sense of self-importance. That’s the only thing I can prescribe to such lazy storytelling. Here it is, season three and we should be finding out how Red is connected to Liz. But I guess that’s the showrunners’ long con. Okay then, let’s stick to the team finding and taking down Blacklisters. Correction: interesting Blacklisters, not the ones they just stumble on when one of them just happens to get gripped up.
Mr. Solomon made this episode. Without him, it would have been another boring showing of Red trying to convince Liz to not marry a man just like him. Red doesn’t like him, we get it. Seriously, we understand his reticence, but I’m sick of hearing about it. Liz is gonna do what Liz is gonna do. Let her live.
Liz thinks Mr. Solomon was hired by her mother. Red insists her mother is dead. Who is it? Can we find that out, sooner rather than later?
One last thought, I know Liz is preggo, but those wedding shoes were bloody awful.