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- James Spader
Julius is an embalmer that Red also happens to know, so he arranges a meeting. After that, he’ll have done all that’s in his power to save Samar, and intends to head to Costa Rica to follow up on the duffel bag leads Smokey has secured — a plan Lizzie overhears and is none too happy about. She says she’ll be coming along with him to see Julius, and Red sets the record straight that just because he’s helping does not make his associates her associates. Cooper says Liz can sit outside, and Red gives a very hilarious, “UGH” but continues to help….
By putting a gun to the cadaver that Julius is painstakingly working on. Even on The Blacklist, I think threatening a dead man with a gun is a first. Julius tells them that the man’s real name is Lawrence Dane Devlin, a man who specializes in making problems go away with his unique knowledge of thanatology, the study of death and decay.
Which would explain the unique predicament Samar currently finds herself in. See, after Devlin loaded up those mice in the car and found out Samar was awake in the back, he simply could not stop casually chatting with her about all the creative ways he was considering ending her life. He’s the kind of guy who thinks it’s totally kosher to look into a rear view mirror and say, “I was sort of thinking of suffocating you. It’s the most natural way. Just putting you to sleep — with my hand.” Devlin is really into doing things (like murder) the natural way. He tells Samar he doesn’t believe in god: “Nature, that’s my guy.” She tells him, “We’ll have to agree to disagree. I have an angel.” That’s her guy, Devlin!
In addition to her devoted man and team searching for her, Samar also has…herself, and herself is very capable, unfortunately for Devlin. There’s an emergency kit built into the back of his van, which Samar quietly gets into, and quietly shoots a flare up into the driver’s seat while simultaneously slicing her binds off. Devlin jumps out of the car, and when he opens the back door, Samar lunges out past him and takes off into the woods. Devlin catches up with her, and given that she was recently knocked out and he has a gun, she’s back in his captivity soon enough. But not before stuffing a very sharp stick up her sleeve. As he marches her back toward the van explaining how he’ll make one clean incision in her then let the rats do the rest, she lunges at him once more, impaling his stomach with the stick.
Devlin is furious, but still refusing to use his gun because nature is his guy and all (what a turd). And so, his guy does his thing. As he’s driving, Samar does some explaining: “It’s getting harder to breathe because your lungs are slowly filling up with blood. Without a doctor, you’ll be starved of oxygen until eventually you’ll be forced to aspirate on your own blood. But on the bright side, it’s an entirely natural way to go — likely what god intended for you.” Yeeeees, Samar girl, you tell him. Fortunately, she is right, and Devlin starts passing out…
Unfortunately, he does that while still driving, runs the van off the road, and it crashes violently, settling on its side. When Samar comes to, a tire iron is sticking out of her stomach. A tire iron. Trapped in the van with loose mice now running around, and Devlin unconscious in the front seat, Samar yanks the tire iron out of her stomach and I promptly pass out.
Red is having slightly better luck in Costa Rica, because it would be hard to have worse luck. Employee-of-the-Month Smokey has found out that when Ian Garvey went to San Jose with the duffel bag, he attended a secret auction of black book items run by a local Raymond Reddington of sorts. Through a series of benders, Smokey secured Raymond a coveted entry coin. But once in, Red doesn’t do so hot. He tries to play his “I’m Raymond Reddington” card with the security guards keeping him from the big boss, but when they check in the back, the big boss doesn’t seem interested. So…
Red finds a gun Smokey hid for him in the bathroom the night before, shoots two of the auction patrons in the leg — it’s okay, they audibly say they don’t care that their money is probably funding terrorism — and gets himself to the back, one way or another. There, he finds Mr. Gonzalez, who in exchange for a $6 million purchase, tells Red that Garvey was there a month ago, but it wasn’t to see him. Security footage shows Garvey carrying the bag and meeting up with a man who Mr. Gonzalez knows as Max Birmingham: “What his real name is, I cannot say,” he tells Red honestly. “I can,” Red says, looking at the screen currently showing the owner of a proud new bag o’ bones.
At the post office, Aram has tracked down a known phone number of Devlin’s, but it’s only pinging one tower, so he can’t triangulate it. At the same time, Samar is trying to grab that phone by prying open the cage separating her form the front cab with the tire iron that was recently in her torso. When she gets her hand through though, Devlin grabs it. He’s awake. Little does he know that Aram is currently leaving him quite the threatening voicemail how killing a federal agent is punishable by death, but Devlin is a little less direct: he simply leaves to go find a doctor, telling Samar, “And you — I suspect you’ll die here.” (Recap continues on next page)