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The Blacklist recap: Sir Crispin Crandall

Red’s got two thumbs and a plan to exonerate Lizzie.

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Peter Kramer/NBC

The Blacklist

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

Let’s just get this straight from the jump: That. Episode. Was. Bonkers.

It felt a little bit like the writers took all of the leftover notecards from the “Random Ideas” bulletin board that had been collecting since season 1, stacked them up, and then, instead of putting them in the recycling bin, someone in the back of the room was like, “Hey, you know what would be crazy…” And that’s how we ended up with an episode that combined an eccentric billionaire who’s freezing geniuses, a Blacklister that operates from a permanently airborne jet, Tom in a nonconsensual fight club, Red giving a culinary upstart her own restaurant in order to break into a bank, and a couple of frozen thumbs rolling around in a safe deposit box. Because you know what they say about a box full of thumbs: “Raymond Reddington must have been here.”

There was so much to keep up with in this episode that I almost forgot about how this is the third week in a row that Red’s been after a person presumably listed on his own numerically organized “Blacklist” (you know — the premise of the popular television series, The Blacklist) without actually knowing who they were first. While the purpose of the titular Blackist has always been — on at least the slimmest surface level — for Reddington to aid the FBI in catching the world’s most dangerous criminals, it now seems to serve solely as a means for the FBI to aid their No. 1 most-wanted criminal in finding other criminals that can assist in exonerating Liz, its No. 2 most-wanted criminal.

The frozen thumbs almost made me not think about those things. Almost.

But these are semantics, right? There’s a billionaire out there assembling a cryogenic Noah’s ark. And he’s doing it at cruising altitude of 39,000 feet!


First things first: Dembe is doing just fine, even if he doesn’t want to drink Lizzie’s tea. He’s back together with the two leads of your favorite complicated relationship, and the whole gang is headed to Montreal on Red’s jet. Red calls Ressler — everyone’s second-favorite complicated relationship — with the next name on The Blacklist: Andras Halmi. Although this ultimately is not the name of the Blacklister from which this episode gets its title, if you were to take a drink every time anyone said Andras Halmi’s name in this episode…well, you would probably end up about like Andras Halmi did.

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Halmi, one of the foremost economists in the world and the Director’s most-trusted advisor, has recently gone missing — and he’s not the only one. Two geneticists, two civil engineers…the most brilliant minds in a variety of fields are going missing in pairs. And the Post Office team, who are willing to cooperate with Red because they always are under the assurance that finding Halmi will get the Director out of their hair at headquarters, discover that the pairs are always male and female. Someone is building an ark…which, if you ask this recapper, is much more interesting than someone building yet another cult.

And that someone is the excellently named Crispin Crandall, who’s currently showing a recently abducted male mathematician around the airplane (which seems to be more like a blimp in interior space) where he does all his best utopian plotting. Crandall tells the man, who appears to have and ALS-like disease along the lines of Stephen Hawking, that his plans for him will “free that beautiful mind” from his broken body. And then he says seven words that you don’t know just how horrifying they’ll be until you hear them: “Good news, we’ve found you a mate.” So — confirmed — this guy is a real freak.

NEXT: Two-by-two, thumb-by-thumb…