You’ve heard of exposition; you’ve heard of Game of Thrones‘ patented sexoposition; now, let me introduce you to…Spy-Baby-Agnesxposition! After weeks of concern for the whereabouts and well-being of the Keens’ daughter, Agnes — who is either the most self-sufficient infant in the world, or is being kept by a team of nannies to rival even the richest of Real Housewives — she was finally revealed in Wednesday night’s episode to have been sitting patiently, listening to her father explain his ill-advised exploits featuring her family heirloom bag-o-bones all along. And though we should perhaps still be worried over whether she’s being fed, we don’t have to worry about her appropriately emoting to Tom that he’s being an idiot, that “delayed honesty” is not a thing, and if it was a thing, it would most definitely be a lying thing. PTL for Baby Agnes.
In a slightly less significant return, but still an important one, after weeks of waiting for a Blacklister story line that isn’t convoluted, trivial, or baffling in its Blacklister assignment, we’re finally treated to one, with a few twists and turns to boot. Wednesday night’s hour won’t go down in history as the best Blacklister ever, but it might go down as the episode to figuratively scream, “IT’S A PARALLEL, DO YOU GET IT?” the most times without ever bothering with a single gratuitous shot of a mirror.
Regarding a woman who was conned into helping a man she idolized while he repeatedly lied to her, Cooper says, “She had no idea the man she admires was the devil she thought she was hunting.” As it turns out, that devil was more of a…morally ambiguous vigilante, fighting for a cause he deemed worthy, and telling the necessary stories along the way to win more noble people to his dangerous cause. Additionally, as it turns out, when faced with the similar bones of Reddington and Elizabeth’s complicated connection, it’s no easier to pick the good guys versus the bad guys, the right and the wrong, the lies worth telling and the truth worth following.
Hopefully Baby Agnes tracks down that bag of bones soon though, because those might really provide some moral clarity.
ILYAS SURKOV, NO. 54
This cold open had me at British children. In Leeds, England, some little British nuggets are partaking in an idyllic summer day tradition: a lemonade stand. Suddenly, they’re yelling inside to their mother that it’s snowing outside. It seems impossible, given the weather, and indeed, it is. That’s not snow, it’s ash, and that’s not a warm summer breeze, it’s the residual blare of a nearby chemical plant explosion.
And that’s not your average chemical plant explosion, either. As Red tells Lizzie, newspapers are saying it’s the work of terrorist Ilyas Surkov, but Red knows one important thing about Surkov: He’s dead, and has been for 15 months. So, Red asks Lizzie, who exactly is using his name to commit terrorist attacks? But she also has a question for Red before she reports back to the Post Office team: Did he have anything to do with the police finding Dr. Nik’s body in an empty lot? Red says Nik’s death could possibly be connected to him, but he doesn’t know why it would be; he promises he’ll find the killer.
At the Post Office, Aram finds that in the 15 months since Red claims Surkov died, he’s “taken credit” for three major international attacks, including the chemical plant explosion in Leeds. So it’s time for Liz and Ressler to head across the pond and meet MI6 agents with names like Liam Gladstone. Gladstone doesn’t buy their copycat theory because, with the help of the CIA’s Surkov task force, they’ve placed secret chemical markers into the C-4 of the company suspected of selling explosives to Surkov. The C-4 used in the Leeds explosion contained those chemical markers, meaning it must have come from Surkov.
The Post Office continues with Red’s theory, setting out to find who is buying the C-4, if not Surkov. The known seller identified by MI6 and the CIA is Raqquan Ghaffari, a demolition contractor in Belgrade who speaks Arabic — and you know what that means. UNDERCOVER SAMAR! Which apparently now means she’s accompanied by a worried-sick Aram…to Belgrade. Internationally. Aram! (Recap continues on next page)