Previously on The Blacklist, “Mato”
Red, still pissed and bitter, keeps Liz, Tom, and the team in the dark regarding his plans to find Kirk and Agnes. Instead of going off the grid, Kirk reaches out to Miles McGrath for help acquiring something. Red has to figure out how to get to McGrath and rescue Agnes. It’s not much of a plan, so Liz takes the information he does give her back to the Post Office. Although the team has the best of intentions, their interference gets a couple New Scotland Yard agents and an innocent bystander killed. Talk about an international flub. Red’s admonishment is cut short once Harold lets him know they got a partial image of one of the men working with McGrath.
Even though the team at the Post Office is no longer in charge of the case, The Keens demand to see the evidence that was collected. The arrogance of these two criminals is galling; killing people willy-nilly, faking deaths, etc. then demanding to see evidence when Liz no longer has clearance to do so. But Ressler gives in, so what’s the point? Tension at the Post Office is pretty thick, what with Navabi making it clear she’s not cool with Liz or her shenanigans. So much so, she’s planning to transfer off the team. Not getting much info from the evidence they looked through, Liz and Tom set to off play Nick and Nora Charles in the FBI Director’s office. A few tears from Liz and angry utterances from Tom, distract the Director enough for Tom to steal his key card so Liz can get into the office of the agent in charge of their case to get real answers. Among the evidence: Liz’s mother’s journal.
Worried about loose lips sinking his ship, McGrath has the man who was photographed killed, making it harder for the leader of his team of criminals to finish the job they’re working. No worries though; it just so happens Red knows the guy running the team of criminals and he also knows a guy who can fill the opening—Tom. Red can’t stand Tom yet he continues to use his expertise when it suits him. Tom does well on his interview with the leader, Johan Halbeck, but is further tested when Halbeck has one of his guys beat Tom. Almost down for the count, Tom uses the cord from the hood of his jacket to nearly strangle the guy. Tom is not just a pretty face. Too late, Tom realizes the job Halbeck and McGrath are pulling, is hijacking Class A infectious substances from the CDC; giving sample 17 to Kirk while Halbeck keeps the rest. While terrifying, it was pretty cool how McGrath and Halbeck rolled out their plan, going so far as to build train tracks and a hangar for the train to disembark. This is what The Blacklist is about. Elite criminals committing their dastardly deeds in the most sophisticated way.
Red goes after McGrath and sample 17 as the Feds, pinching Halbeck, his men, and securing the other dangerous substances. Kirk remains one step ahead of Red, by not showing up for the supposed meet with McGrath; he’s no fool. Sample 17, it turns out, is cultures taken from the Ribowski Virus, which killed a lot of people a long time ago. Red realizes Kirk wanted it to stall his aplastic anemia. Kirk hoped the virus would give him Leukemia, as it did to one of his uncles. The leukemia would eventually kill him, but long after the anemia would have. Kirk wanted the virus as back up, because he lost Liz, who he planned to use for a blood transfusion. Welp, so much for that happy family reunion.
Upon waking, Kaplan drags herself to a nearby creek and is later rescued by a dog and his mysterious owner.
Miles McGrath: former child prodigy who invented a social media platform, only to be outsed by his board of directors because he’s a little touched. With the money he won from suing off their asses, he became an incubator of crimes, investing in criminal activities.
“Turn-ons include red heads and long walks on the beach. Are you guys looking for a soldier or a date?” ~Tom
Second best line
“I hired them once to get back a shamefully expensive Patek Philippe I foolishly left on a nightstand in Ras Al Khaimah, after a dalliance with a lovely, very…oh, never mind.” ~Red
The Blacklist S4E3
In some ways, this episode was a return to all that I love about The Blacklist. The sociopathic bad guy, who’s actually a Blacklister, the action, Liz not being such a goodie-goodie, Red and his many stories — it should have added up to a great episode, but everything in between was so much fluff. The only other intriguing thing to happen was Navabi’s anger toward Liz and it wasn’t even explored. I would have liked another scene with Liz trying to break her coldness, but nope, we got more Red bitterness instead. So, Red shot Kaplan in the face, but it wasn’t a kill shot; he did it on his land, land he said was unoccupied, yet she was found and rescued. Sounds like a set up to me or a long con. And that is more interesting than the “mystery” of Liz’s father. Kirk lost the Ribowski Virus and Liz’s bone marrow, so now he’ll use Agnes. And we’ll get at least one more episode of this storyline. I like babies, I like Tom and Liz together but this is getting old. I’m glad Red is coming back around to his former self. Maybe he just needed to meet up with the right bad guy? I don’t know. While recounting the story of his short-lived lawn service in ’72, it hit me. Red is Verbal Kynt. He remembers far too many specific details—details that sound somewhat fake—for him to not be making some of it up. They’re entertaining as hell, but there’s no way all of his stories are true.