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S5 E6
November 02, 2017 at 09:24 AM EDT

Red says whoever has those bones now will be looking for him because “knowing their value, he knows they are most valuable to me.” Red will allow himself to be found, get the suitcase back, eliminate its brief babysitter, and rebury it with Liz none the wiser. Tom tells him — I kid you not, my friends — “Whatever secret you’re hiding from Liz, it will come out. Family secrets always do.” I truly wonder if Tom can hear himself speak or if he has some sort of very specific self-audio-hearing-impediment.

Liz, clueless that the two most important men in her life are secretly conspiring about the most important bag of bones in her life that she doesn’t know about, has arrived with Samar at the farm of Mr. Knobbs, a.k.a, the wood-chopping man. It definitely seemed like Knobbs was murdered in 1989 since his murderer was fresh off a Berlin Wall breakfast served from Blue Cornflower Corningware, but Knobbs’ daughter is speaking like her father died rather recently. She doesn’t know of him ever encountering a Mitchell Dunning, and of his homebody ways, she says, “I don’t think Dad ever left the state again after he closed the agency.” Samar and Liz both do a Scooby-Doo-style double take as they clamor to get Knobbs’ daughter to explain what she means by “the agency.”

And wouldn’t you know it, Knobbs owned a travel agency; a little digging into the old records in the basement reveals it to be The Travel Agency. Among Seawall Travel’s old records are a list of people that the Post Office knows to have been killed, as well as a photo of Knobbs and his wife on vacation, where Mitchell Dunning can be seen in the background. That brings about the discovery that these two apparent strangers, in fact, owned a “murder business” together, but that said murder business is no longer out there murderin’ — its employees are now in the business of being murdered. Cue more Scooby-Doo noises, but from me this time.

Don’t forget, Cooper is currently away from the office attending to some personal matters in the form of tracking down a young man named Isaiah, the son of some family friends who’s headed down a dark path. And listen, I always enjoy building out Cooper’s character more because I love Cooper and I really love Harry Lennix, but this story line just doesn’t add up to a whole lot. It’s pretty cute that Red is so insistent on helping Cooper rough up some drug dealers, and I appreciate the recognition from Cooper in regard to Isaiah’s father’s death that, “It’s the gospel truth that if you’re black in this country, and you say the wrong word, you can be killed.” Though it doesn’t make up for that ill-advised “cop-killer” story line a few weeks ago…

But, in the end, Cooper gets Isaiah out of a tough spot without having to do anything that would compromise his job as an FBI director, and for some reason, Red is the one who has to remind him that acting recklessly would weigh on his conscience. Which just doesn’t seem like something Cooper would need reminding of, let alone from Red, let alone in regard to protecting a character we’ve never heard of before. But hey, everyone is allowed the occasional mental health day to punch out a drug dealer in an underground club — Coops earns his PTO just like the rest of us.

Suddenly, we’re back in 1989. And not just back at the house of the man who killed the Travel Agency owners, but it seems like we’re back in the exact same scene that opened the episode: same alarm clock, same Tom Brokaw clip, same crossword puzzle, same wife, same conversation about the daughters — everything exactly the same. At the Post Office, the team is finding out that the Seawall Travel Agency run by Knobbs and Dunning extended far beyond its two bosses. There was a large support staff doing all kinds of jobs within the murder-for-hire chain of command, all of whom are dead now. All killed… except for one man.

Ressler and Samar go straight to that man, who, in the middle of being told he’s in trouble by the Post Office staff, is shot at, seemingly out of nowhere once again. But this time, Ressler sees the gun barrel retracting into a shockingly pristine ’85 Oldsmobile. After escaping death, the man tells the FBI that nobody in the Travel Agency ever saw each other, but he used to work with an asset who drove an Oldsmobile just like that 30 years ago. The only thing he knows about the man is that he would drop dossiers for him in a P.O. box in Seven Valleys, and then page him the P.O. box number to notify him: 3-4-2.

(Recap continues on page 3)

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