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The Blacklist recap: The Djinn

To get revenge, to be exonerated, to just take a nice shower… What do the women of ‘The Blacklist’ really want?

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Peter Kramer/NBC

The Blacklist

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:
James Spader

What is Elizabeth Keen’s deepest desire? What does she relish? What feeds her soul? What does Elizabeth Keen want?

For even the most casual of viewers, season 3 of The Blacklist has been markedly different than the two that came before it. The premise that once guided the series’ more episodic nature — Raymond Reddington’s agreement with the FBI that he would guide them toward his Blacklist of the most notorious criminals in the world with the understanding that he would only work with Agent Elizabeth Keen — is now a distant memory. Oh, Red still has a list of people to find, at times even in conjunction with the FBI — the organization on whose list he claims the No. 1 spot — but now that list seems to be constructed for exactly one purpose: to clear Elizabeth Keen’s name.

“They’re fugitives, but they’re not running. They’re searching. But if not for Keen’s innocence, then for what?” –Samar

Tonight’s episode doesn’t ask the question outright, but lightly suggests it… Is exoneration what Elizabeth Keen really wants? Where does a righting of the tables get her? Alice the Omnipotent Fantasy Assistant is correct in her assertion that Liz doesn’t really thrive on vengeance and violence — for every dude she shoots, there’s another trip to the hospital to try and save him. It’s pretty evident that Liz is uncomfortable with the life she’s leading as a fugitive, as a killer, as Red’s right hand; what’s less clear is the life she’d prefer. Tonight she tells Red her greatest fantasy, one that has apparently stayed steadfast even as her life has been turned on its head: a husband, a child, a forever-handhold of happiness.

We know what Red and Lizzie are working toward… but as a very polite blonde in Yonkers will tell you, it’s a much more interesting story to find out what they actually want at the end of all of this.


You know what I want? One thousand more scenes in Aram’s apartment so I can figure out every single thing on his refrigerator (Samar selfie!). Alas, we just get this one, but it’s a goodie — Red shows up at Aram’s apartment to get his help tracking The Djinn, a woman who helps people achieve their deepest desires, specifically, revenge fantasies, for the right price; Liz shows up to be showered in compliments (and also showered, literally). They’re also fine with him reporting this little B&E back to Ressler because they want the FBI’s help — apparently something still at their disposal — tracking down this Djinn.

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Aram helps them figure out how to get in touch with the Djinn on an old-school website that looks a little like one of those games you learn to type on in the 3rd grade, and Lizzie books herself a revenge-fantasy appointment. Red knows that at least two of the Djinn’s former clients have been Cabal members, and for undisclosed reasons, that’s important, and therefore important that he finds the Djinn.

It’s also important that he finds Dembe, whom he calls “more than an acquaintance” and whom we know to be one of probably two people that he would do anything for. He’s enlisted Leonard Caul to locate Solomon, who is a former CIA asset who was disavowed due to his ruthless tendencies. Yeah, tell that to Dembe who’s currently swollen and bloodied in that dirty warehouse with Mr. Vargas. He’s filing a spoon into a shiv, but he tells Mr. V it’s not for the guards, but for himself — they can’t hurt anyone else to get him to spill on Red if he’s not alive. That is a sobering thought (the selflessness of which just makes me love Dembe more), but ultimately, he and Mr. Vargas work out a little plan to trick the guards into thinking they’re fighting, and then one of them gets a swift spoon to the jugular, another gets choked out, and Red’s two associates are on their way out of captivity.

NEXT: Well, at least it wasn’t Mr. Kaplan…