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+

And wouldn’t you know it, it’s one of the guys from the five-person friend group we saw bonding over murder earlier. Now they’re bonding over concern that the FBI are onto their operation. The man Aram spotted in the woods seems to be their leader, and he reminds them, “Everything we do, we do together; we choose who is deserving of punishment together, we execute sentences together, and we are all equally responsible.” He tells them if the rest of them want to stop, then they’ll stop — but he’s got something he knows will make them want to keeping going. He passes a file containing information on a woman to all of his friends, and one of them immediately says, “She has to die.” They all put their hands up and say, “Anna Hopkins, you will know The Invisible Hand.”

These guys are…pretty extra. And speaking of extra, Red is being hands-off on this Invisible Hand task because he’s occupied by his own invisible business. Remember that guy Anthony who helped Red get rich again by starting an Airbnb for criminals? Of course you do. Well, he shows up at Red’s office because he intercepted a package coming out of a house he’d heard was a drug-dealing operation, in hopes that the package was full of drugs he could make money off of in order to get liposculpture for his new girlfriend who’s out of his league. The package was, indeed, full of cocaine, but Big Willie Wilkins, whom the drugs originally belonged to, came looking for Anthony, not buying his lost-package story. So Anthony tells him that he heard Momo Marnello is the one who stole the package. And now Momo Manello is definitely going to kill him.

Red tells Anthony, “In matters like this, honesty is always the best policy…probably,” and takes him to tell Big Willie the truth. But, see, Willie has already chopped Momo into a bunch of pieces in the back of his warehouse and, oops, started a drug war. Momo’s guys come in, guns blazing, and there’s a shootout. Red accidentally shoots Anthony — you guys, there’s a lot happening, and it ends up all being because Red wanted to get to have Big Willie’s confidence so he could help him with a narcotics venture: He wants to go after the Nash Syndicate. That would be the drug ring Liz believes to be involved with Tom’s killers. Willie tells Red that they’re untouchable; their guys never go to jail, their shipments never get sieged, and he’s heard it’s because they’re protected by the cops. Tuck that in your cap for a while.

Speaking of cops, Liz is visited by Detective Singleton, who is no longer playing nice with her — he knows she killed Navarro, but he doesn’t know how she managed to steal the rag with her blood on it out of the evidence locker before it could be tested. He’s there to give her Tom’s personal effects, but also to tell her that he’s coming for her. She tells him, “You know, you better be careful, detective, because no matter what you believe, you’re still talking to a federal agent.”

In Tom’s personal items, there’s a special key that unlocks a safe she has in storage. Inside, she finds a notebook of Tom’s Secret Spy things, with a page he was clearly working on when he was killed. It’s titled “Oleander” and has a postcard from the Oleander Hotel in Slovenia tucked inside. Liz calls Cooper for help. Coops calls in a few favors because that sweet man just cannot say no to Liz and finds out that Oleander was/is a person — it’s the name of Russian operative during the Cold War. A few years ago the CIA thought he might be in the U.S. under an assumed name, and Cooper has that name and address for her, though he warns her the man would certainly be dangerous if he really is Oleander.

He turns out to, of course, be Katarina Rostova’s father, Dominic, whom we’ve seen Red go to a number of times, and therefore Elizabeth’s maternal grandfather. And she has no idea. Dominic tells her that he did work for Russian intelligence, but in the civilian escort as an analyst — he’s not Oleander, though the CIA once thought him be. Liz says it’s possible, then, that he knew her mother: Katarina Rostova. Dom says he knew her quite well; they worked in the same building, where she was already a legend. He even recalls seeing little Masha when she was 3 and Katarina brought her into work one day. Liz asks if he thinks she’s dead, and he tells her that he never heard from her again once she came to America. “I think there are people who want to keep that information a secret, and I think they will do whatever is necessary, even now, to keep it that way,” says Dom. Much like her father, Liz’s grandfather seems quite skilled at not lying while also not telling the truth.

But secrets that big can’t stay buried forever — just ask the Invisible Hand crew, who are rapidly being uncovered. Aram discovers that the judge and lawyer whose bodies were found served on one case together…in the city of Brenford. He can’t see the case because it’s sealed, but he can see the one other person who tried to have it unsealed years ago: Steven Altman, the man from the surveillance photo. But he also has no traceable records for the last two years. Ressler wonders if it’s because he was reckless enough to move back to Brenford… (Recap continues on page 3)

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