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The Blacklist recap: Arioch Cain

Red might be in over his head…and Lizzie has a six-figure price on hers.

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David Giesbrecht/NBC

The Blacklist

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

Code Red, Code Red: Raymond Reddington is in over his head.

Sorry, I rhyme when I’m nervous, and I’m nervous because all in one episode, Red calls someone “better” than himself, tells Ressler that he’s failing, and gets completely and totally duped by a man in a wig wearing a turtleneck. I felt sure that Red knew something was up with Dembe’s “death” or that he had been working with Vargas all along… But no, Red might finally have just one-too-many balls in the air. Or maybe it’s just that he’s finally met his match in Mr. Solomon, a man who is more than willing to extort Red’s only two real weaknesses.

Last week’s episode raised the question, what does Elizabeth Keen really want? This week, the punctuation comes at the end of a query that this show has been underscoring since episode 1: What is Elizabeth Keen worth? Why is she worth Red’s obsession, the endless risks he’s taken for her well-being? Why was she worth being spied on by Tom, and then married by Tom, and then loved by Tom, and now protected by him? Why did Cooper perjure himself for her? Why does the entire FBI seem to think it’s okay to protect a wanted terrorist? What makes her worth that?

Tonight, we sort of get an answer: Very technically, it seems that Elizabeth Keen is worth $700,390. And while she might be worth protecting to that select group of people — to the rest of the world, she’s worth killing.


“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked.” –Psalm 1:1

I don’t think I could have handled one more trip to the E.R. with one of Lizzie’s growing collection of gunshot victims. But I don’t know if I was pleased or shocked to see her apathetic stares as Red killed anyone and everyone who posed a threat to her tonight. I do know that being just as in the dark about Lizzie’s new moral compass as Lizzie is herself has made her a much more interesting character this season. The Blacklist has managed to base its entire season 3 plot around Lizzie, while making it more from the point of view of Red, simultaneously giving us more Spader and a reason to care about anyone but Spader/Red. That’s some feat. Red doesn’t believe that his main girl Liz walks in step with the wicked, of course. But he also killed, like, eight people tonight, so everyone’s moral compass is a little questionable around these parts. Lizzie’s inherent goodness is an area that Raymond Reddington and I tend to disagree on, and as it turns out, the rest of the Bitcoin-loving world has their hesitations, as well.

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Sure, some of their information is wrong (Masha Rostova), but some of it isn’t (Attorney General), but one way or another, someone has put a bounty on Elizabeth Keen’s head. Red finds out that a notorious vigilante named Wendigo is coming after Liz; he’s known for targeting people whom he deems unworthy (drink!) of society. Red goes to see Ressler at a Narcotics Anonymous meeting to ask for the FBI’s help in finding Wendigo. So Ressler, when faced with an international crime lord, makes no moves to arrest him, and then tasks his FBI team with protecting a suspected terrorist. Oh, that’s unfair; it’s like he tells Aram: “We’re not going after Wendigo to protect her, we’re going after him to find her.” Yeah…so you can protect her.

NEXT: Elizabeth Keen is not a terrorist…