Craig Blankenhorn/NBC
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February 23, 2019 at 12:42 PM EST

“Elizabeth knows.”

That’s a two-word sentence of Biblical proportions when it comes to The Blacklist, and hearing it spoken by Red to Dembe in during the first hour of Friday’s two-part run was a jitter-inducing thrill. When I heard that two episodes would air this week, I assumed that the first hour would be something of a standard Blacklister-of-the-week episode that led into the second hour where we finally got to the good stuff like figuring out what the hell Reddington is up to, and—oh I don’t know—his true identity. To my memory, that’s how many of these two-parters have gone before…

That is not how things went on Friday night. This first hour was a w-i-l-d ride! Within the first 20 minutes alone, Liz has already plotted to kidnap someone, killed someone while very much not on FBI duty, and watched another person die in Ressler’s living room.

The feverish happenings of this hour are made all the more surprising due to the fact that this episode revolved around Liz and Ressler, not exactly two people who are usually at the forefront of creating hectic, adrenaline-inducing vibes. But with Red curtailed to a prison cell or a court room for most of season 6, it’s given the opportunity for other characters to show up and show out a little more (as well as allowing Red to really flex his intellectual muscles; at one point in the next episode, Judge Wilkins literally opens the floor for him to “testify in narrative form,” so get ready for that”).

Even with spotlight off of him though—in the end, what’s happening on The Blacklist always orbits fully around the Concierge of Crime himself, doesn’t it? At the end of this episode, once Other Daughter of Raymond Reddington has been kidnapped, witnessed her sister kill a number of Hungarian guards, and most likely had permanent damage done to her poor eyeball, Jennifer tells Liz she has to be done with all this. “Growing up, I was always so afraid of what he might do to me and my mother,” Jennifer tells Liz: “And now I’m equally afraid of what he’s making me want to do to him.”

Watching Liz operate in this first hour, the Red jumped out. Liz tells Jennifer that they’re doing what they need to do to survive, but after going deeper into this world than she’s ever gone before, Jennifer doesn’t see it that way; she thinks Liz is just getting used to it.

As Lis has strayed further toward figuring out the truth of this imposter’s identity—she’s also shown more and more how much of him she holds inside of her.


I touted last week’s bug-filled cold open as surely one of the grossest things The Blacklist has ever done, and I’d like to go ahead and throw this one into the running as well. And things start out so nicely!

We see a pregnant woman and her husband who have been waiting in a customs line for an hour get escorted to the front because the customs officer has an expecting wife of his own and wants to do something nice. The cute couple tells him they’re taking a trip from Montreal to D.C. for their babymoon. But when we see them next outside of the airport, they don’t seem like they’re headed out for a nice relaxing time…

Oh that’s right, it’s warehouspital™ time, and that is not a baby inside that baby bump. It’s also not some pillow stuffed inside a dress, lest you get any ideas that this won’t make your stomach turn; oh no, once the woman goes on the hospital table, the doctor opens up what look like very fresh stitches on her stomach and removes a plastic bladder full of drugs from her stomach. I will never look at boxed wine the same way again.

Elsewhere in DC, Liz has somehow tracked down the nurse that used to work for Hans Koehler, Marguerite Renard. She is Liz and Jennifer’s only lead on who could identify the imposter that took over Raymond Reddinton’s identity and Liz goes from 0 to 100 real fast talking about how that have to “get her.” Jennifer freaks out when she realizes Liz literally means they have to kidnap her to get the intel they need, but Liz tells her all she has to do is drive. Ultimately, that does not turn out to be entirely true…

Jennifer and Liz pull up on Renard walking her dog in a wealthy neighborhood and under the guise of asking directions, Liz forces Renard into the van at gunpoint. But when Jennifer starts to peel out, they’re immediately boxed in by an SUV, from which two guards jump out and start pulling the women from the car. Liz shoots the man who wrestles her to the ground right through the head, and the other man gets away with Jennifer and Renard.

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James Spader returns as Raymond ‘Red’ Reddington, a mastermind criminal who teams up with the FBI.
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