Will Hart/NBC
February 08, 2018 at 03:15 AM EST

The Blacklist

TV Show
Current Status
In Season
run date
James Spader
We gave it a B+

Things! Just! Got! Interesting! Don’t get me wrong — watching Skeleton racing on NBC is also going to be interesting, but after the last five minutes of Wednesday’s episode, having to wait three more weeks for our next Blacklist fix might be particularly torturous. (I mean, not “whole body through a wood chipper” torturous, but at least “Brimley is behind a locked door with a small-to-midsize animal” torturous).

Just to be clear: We’re now dealing with an off-duty FBI agent who accidentally killed a criminal while trying to find out who killed her husband. She liquefied that criminal and drained him down a bathtub in order to hide his death from the detective investigating her husband’s murder. That detective is in cahoots with the man who actually killed the FBI agent’s husband, who is apparently a United States Marshal. That United States Marshal killed the FBI agent’s husband because he had something that belonged to the FBI agent’s (maybe) father, who is a criminal mastermind. Now the off-duty FBI agent is going back on duty so she can stand a chance at taking on the be-badged people who killed her husband.

At some point, maybe she’ll also learn how her (maybe) dad is connected to the reason for her husband’s death. Also, she unknowingly met her maternal grandfather tonight. We good? Good.

That is a lot of new intel coming our way with so little actual information to go on! To use a handful of unconnected metaphors, the waters have officially been muddied, and we just have to wade around in them while watching jacked bobsledders for the next three weeks; the pins have been set up and we simply must wait for The Blacklist to knock them down once Megan Boone returns from PyeongChang (presumably); the deck has been stacked and we will sit patiently until Jon Bokenkamp is ready to explode them all in our face (under blankets, in our homes, watching athletic people throw themselves around on ice).

And that’s not even getting to the Blacklister-of-the-week, which was the intriguing, if not totally novel idea of a vigilante justice co-op getting back at the bad guys they hold responsible for killing their parents (plus a couple spares because if you’re gonna murder, go on and MURDER…is how murderers think, I guess).


Wednesday’s cold open is simple but effective. A restaurant owner sees the last of his patrons out, locks up, then heads to the back of the restaurant to hang out with his friends. They’re getting to know the new boyfriend of one of the friends and peppering him with your normal commentary like, “You make the cheapest handguns on the market today,” and, “Your sales drive homicide rates,” and, “You profit off misery,” and, “It’s blood money, Tim.” Then Tim gets cracked over the head with a wine bottle and buried alive by his dinner companions in hazmat suits. It really is hard to make new friends as an adult.

Okay, maybe not that hard — as Red tells Samar, a body belonging to the owner of a controversial gun manufacturing company has turned up, and he believes he was killed by a provocative group of vigilantes known as The Invisible Hand who go after targets who don’t technically break any laws but are morally reprehensible. The man’s body was found in a town called Brenford, where there’s a 10-square-mile stretch of land deemed uninhabitable because a former chemical corporation dumped so many toxins there. As Samar tells the Post Office, Red thinks there’s much more than just one dumped body to be found in the wasteland.

Samar and Ressler go to investigate the toxic burial site and find out that nine bodies have been unearthed, all with signs that suggest they were buried alive. Other than the cheap guns guy, they’ve been able to identify a man who hiked up the price on cancer pharmaceuticals, a retired judge, and a lawyer. They also get access to a surveillance camera that’s used to monitor the site’s topsoil. Unfortunately, that means it only takes one still photo a day; fortunately that’s all Aram needs to figure out a little somethin’ somethin’. He doesn’t find a suspicious vehicle like he was hoping, but he does find one photo with a suspicious man in the background, suspiciously roaming around a toxic wasteland with no protective gear on. (Recap continues on page 2)

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