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TV Recaps

The Blacklist recap: 'The Forecaster'

Sure, the murder dioramas are interesting, but keep your eyes on Dembe and the emotional stakes.

Posted on

Will Hart/NBC

The Blacklist

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
seasons:
2
run date:
09/23/13
performer:
James Spader
broadcaster:
NBC
genre:
Drama

We gave it a B

Welcome to The Blacklist: Mentalist Criminal Minds. I was worried — really worried — when Thursday’s episode of The Blacklist got started that we were in for a creepy prescient-child episode. And while the child was creepy (though that can mostly be blamed on all the eyeball close-ups) and technically prescient, at least it all boiled down to a technicality easily solved by Aram. We’re already asked to believe a woman could kill the attorney general of the United States while on the run as an alleged Russian spy and eventually be reinstated as an FBI agent because her maybe-daddy-definitely-criminal-overlord asked for her to be. There’s really not room to add “the supernatural adventures of Lizzie Keen” to the list of hard-to-believe allowances.

So, yes, I was very relieved little Maggie Driscoll didn’t turn out to be a tragedy-foreseeing precog, and even more relieved her final diorama didn’t feature one Elizabeth Keen in a dire position, who was ultimately saved just moments before Maggie’s diorama came true. Because that was exactly the prediction my subpar psychic abilities helped me conjure. So, the hearing aid linked to a stock-market-scamming syndicate, an enigmatic Raymond Reddington mission, and undertones of a betrayal on the rise? Those were all a relief. I did not want to have to bring Aaron Hotchner in on this.

THE FORECASTER, NO. 163

The episode opens with Liz and Tom playing house in an actual house, no Boz or Dembe included. Well, technically, the episode opened with its first of many close-ups on an eyeball, though we don’t yet know who said eyeball belongs to. Then it’s on to Tom and Liz talking about how everything is turning up roses for them now, what with their real windows, cute baby, and origin story as secret spies who tried to kill each other. While unpacking, Tom comes across his old passports and Liz says, “That’s a lot to give up,” like he’s giving up his life as a CIA agent, not a sociopathic teen recruit to a bad-guy agency who secretly spied on her for, like, a decade. Whatever, I guess she’s just a really understanding wife now.

Tom says it’s not a lot to give up considering what he has now and tosses that 10-inch stack of former fake identities into a trash bin. Now, Tom and Liz Keen are just a couple of coffee-pouring, baby-raising, job-going adults. Until, of course, Lizzie opens the door and finds a rudimentary-looking cardboard diorama depicting a woman floating facedown in a lap pool with a pitcher of green liquid on a table to the side. Cut to an actual woman taking a sip of her green juice and diving into a lap pool, only to start choking on her first lap and wind up … You guessed it, super dead, just like the diorama depicted.

Newly reinstated Agent Keen heads to the Post Office to share her diorama with the class, telling them that although real-life federal judge Trish Culpepper was found dead from poisoned green juice at her country club pool at 8 a.m., Liz received the diorama on her doorstep at 7 a.m. Further, when she checks in with Red, even he doesn’t know who might be behind the dioramas. But considering Judge Culpepper was a high-profile murder victim and the mysterious diorama-maker knows where Lizzie lives, they better go ahead and make it a Blacklister.

Luckily, Tom is armed with a box cutter when the artist makes their second diorama drop. It’s also lucky the person doesn’t actually mean Lizzie or her family any harm — especially since Tom leaves Agnes in the unlocked apartment when he takes off after them. As it turns out, the person is actually trying to help the people depicted in the dioramas. After the second diorama of a crime — one the Post Office is able to thwart — is found at Lizzie’s apartment, enough partial prints are left behind to identify Fiona Driscoll as the delivery woman. But she’s not the one organizing the murders … or even the one making the dioramas.

Fiona tells Liz and Ressler she brought the dioramas to Lizzie’s doorstep because she followed her home after seeing her in the grocery store and recognizing her as the recently reinstated FBI agent (so much for future Undercover Hoodie Liz, I guess). They’re not depictions of crime scenes she’s planning … they’re premonitions. And they’re not her premonitions. Cue the door opening to reveal a slow-motion head-turn of a little girl with long blonde hair: “Her name’s Maggie, she’s nine.”

NEXT: Do they teach “murder dioramas” in elementary-school art class?

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