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January 11, 2018 at 02:41 AM EST

“You said that once you cross over, there are things in the darkness that can keep your heart from ever feeling the light ever again.” –Donald Ressler, quoting Raymond Reddington

So, we’re basically just down to Aram, right? Like, everyone else on the Task Force has gone full Anakin at some point or another? What with their murder walls and their confession letters and their handful of accidental murders, these hearts have strayed far from the light, and if this episode was proof of anything, it’s that it will be a long journey back for those who still stand a chance.

And, listen…I don’t hate it. If The Blacklist has me suddenly thinking, I wonder when the next Lizzie scene is, then The Blacklist has perhaps done something right. I cannot recall a time where I’ve ever thought that before tonight’s episode.

What else was The Blacklist doing in Wednesday’s episode? In a phrase: the most. First, we were looking into a random and convoluted Blacklister story line, then we were delving back into the Ressler-is-a-dirty-cop business, then Liz was choking people with wires to find Tom’s killer, then Ian Garvey was also tracking Liz, then the whole Blacklister plot ended up being a test planned by Red, then Liz straight-up killed a 300-pound man by slamming him through a glass table. It was a lot. Some of it was good and necessary, and some of it I’m not even sure needs mentioning. But there was a time when I never thought we’d see Dr. Nik’s salt-and-pepper head pop back on the scene ever again, so it’s probably all worth mentioning. Let’s get to it…


Last week might have been an introspective glance into Elizabeth Keen’s mourning-turned-pure-revenge-rage, but this week, the cold open tells us immediately that we are back on the original-flavor-Blacklist grind. A young man and woman are making eyes at each other at a club, until the young woman’s boss calls her and she goes full Devil Wears Prada, insisting on taking it. Once she hangs up, the man comes out, seemingly looking for her, but nope — I know man foaming at the mouth and bulging at the eye sockets from nerve gas when I see one. The young woman rushes back in the club to get help…where she finds every single person inside equally foaming at the mouth. I’m sure you can guess what happens next.

Red has Samar over to his new pad — Red is rich again, and all is right in the criminal empire world — to talk about the attack. She tells him that 57 people died and the terrorist cell claiming responsibility has been taken into custody. He tells her that in the next few days the U.S. Treasury plans to freeze the accounts that financed the attack. Small problem: Twelve hours ago, a man known as The Informant accessed the list of accounts and plans to ransom them back to the account holders, offering them the chance to get their money out before the accounts are frozen.

Got all that? Good. Because we already have a lead on The Informant: Howard Bishop, a political aide to the senator whose credentials were stolen to access the accounts list, and who has ties to the other agencies that were part of leaks at the hands of The Informant. As they tail Bishop, Samar, Aram, and Ressler talk over their headsets about Liz’s return, after Samar saw her at Red’s place. She has a feeling Liz won’t be coming back to the Task Force: “If I were her I’d do whatever it takes to find my husband’s killer…breaking the rules, ignoring the law, whatever it takes.” Aram, surely picturing himself in a tux and boutonniere, says that’s kind of sweet. “There’s nothing sweet about a cop who breaks the rules,” says Ressler, a guilty cop who’s broken the rules, and don’t you let a few months without Blacklist episodes make you forget it.

Bishop shakes Samar, but he turns back up quickly…at a police station where he tells the front desk that he has information about a crime. Once in FBI custody, Samar tells him it’s mighty convenient that he waited 24-hours to report a hit-and-run that took place at the exact same time the list was stolen. But he says there’s a good reason: he was with a married woman at the time, who just so happens to be a judge. So they bring in that judge, Sonia Fisher (played by Orange Is the New Black’s Alysia Reiner), and she confirms that she was conducting an affair with Bishop. The Post Office still thinks Bishop is the Informant though, so Red heads to the Cayman Islands to tell a banker named Herman that if he figures out who the soon-to-be frozen accounts belong to, Red can refer the owners to him for all their banking needs once they transfer their assets.

And Herman pulls through! He brings in his own Girl With the Dragon Tattoo hacker, but she repeatedly refuses to work with Red, which I kind of love. Not many people tell Raymond Reddington, “Bite me.” But that is because his swagger cannot be resisted, and indeed, when he tells the young woman that he has an in with the hottest tattoo artist in Japan, she agrees to get him the names if he gets her an appointment within the week. From the names they’re given, Aram identifies the man named Rosmin Hazman as the man behind the terrorist attack, and the man to whom The Informant is trying to sell information. (Recap continues on next page)

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