And I think it’s gonna be a long long time
Till touchdown brings me round again to find
I’m not the man they think I am at home
Oh no, no, no, I’m a rocket man
Rocket man, burning out his fuse up here alone
When The Blacklist‘s season 2 finale started, I had no idea that I needed it to end with Elton John. But I did. Of course I did. Because this entire season, as punctuated with an exclamation point in this finale, has circled again and again around all of the ways in which Red has had to hurt Lizzie in order to protect her—and that despite his best, most invasive efforts, he very much has not been able to. By attempting to purge Lizzie of her earliest sins, and secluding her from his own, the vacuum Red created has now sucked Lizzie—family, friend, whatever she is to him—into the life that he never intended for her. He’s a Rocket Man.
And now, I guess, so is she.
Knowing the little bit that we do of the childhood details that Red was trying to keep from Lizzie, the idea the he just tried to wipe them from her memory is almost quaint. Altering someone’s memory to make them forget that they once killed (…maybe killed?) someone—a parent! (…maybe a parent?)—is like trying to cover up a bullet hole with a band-aid. And as Taylor Swift and every It Girl in Hollywood will soon tell you via music video, you simply cannot do that. Tom Connolly would likely tell you the same. Because that dude was on the receiving end of Red’s temporary fix for Lizzie coming completely unhinged, and he has one very unfortunately placed bullet hole and the lack of pulse to prove it.
TOM CONNOLLY, NO. 11
This is the first time in Blacklist history that I can recall the episode not being named after the Blacklister of the week. In fact, the normal structure is all sorts of mixed up tonight; normally, Liz and Red are after the Blacklister while whatever cult lead or evil doctor currently inhabiting that role tries to evade them. But tonight, it’s Tom Connolly who’s on the hunt for Liz/Masha, and what starts as a cat and mouse situation quickly turns into a Tom & Jerry curveball. Connolly might start the chase, but it’s Lizzie who finishes it.
The finale picks up right where the last episode left off, with Red informing Lizzie on her Motorolla flip phone (with roaming fees and 10-cent text messages) that the Cabal knows about her Russian spy mom, she’s being framed for the attempt on the Senator Hawkins’ life, and Tom Connolly is storming around the Post Office asking everyone for favors. No, actually, he’s already fully in Phase 3 of his plan: Remind Cooper every single time you see him that he’s done a bunch of illegal stuff for you, so now he has to do everything you say. (Phase 1 was “join a gang of criminals;” Phase 2: impress those criminals with your favor-framin’ skills; Phase 4: World War III, presumably)
NEXT: Shut the door. Have a seat.