Malik joins Red in his travels and at one epic garage sale as she tries to learn the truth about her past.
The Blacklist - Season 2

Over the course of this final season, we've seen Red (James Spader) shedding the trappings of his immense wealth. He's living in the bathhouse and renting ride-share cars, and he even told Agnes (Sami Bray) about giving away entire houses. Yes, multiple houses! In this economy!

What is he preparing for? Your guess is as good as mine. But what we do know is that this week, Red hosts the mother of all garage sales. Included in the pickings: 

  • The horns of the Miura bull Islero, who killed the famed Spanish bullfighter Manolete
  • A Betsy Ross flag
  • A gaming board from Imhotep's tomb
  • The original papyri of Sappho's Tithonus poem
  • An antique Tiffany lamp
  • The sword of Captain Louis Edward Nolan, part of the Charge of the Light Brigade
  • The soccer ball Pele kicked for his first World Cup goal
  • The titular Sicilian Error of Color, an extremely rare stamp

Should any of these things be in a private collection? Nope! Is it kind of disturbing that Red's been hoarding priceless artifacts? Yup! Will I forgive it because he's my favorite criminal character on television? Sure will!

But this episode is more than Red's Antique Roadshow, it's also a Siya Malik (Anya Banerjee) Finding Your Roots! (Insert soothing voice saying "thanks to viewers like you.") Having discovered she was adopted, Siya is full of questions about her mother. Luckily, we get some answers.

Through a series of flashbacks, we meet young CIA Agent Meera Malik (Nikita Tewani). Her partner, MI-6 Agent Nigel Sutton (Harry Hadden-Paton), has gotten himself into debt with Chechen gangsters to the tune of 100,000. They don't specify pounds or euros, but either way, that's a lot to owe the scariest of the baddies.

Sutton demands Meera get him the funds or he'll expose her secrets. Baby Siya cries from her crib as Sutton alludes to Meera's family, implying that she ended up with a daughter because of a shady past decision. 

Mama Malik steals the money from a CIA evidence lock-up and gets away with it, but it's all for naught when the Chechens demand even more. When she begs her partner to just come clean to his bosses, Sutton instead doubles down on blackmailing her to help. 

So it's no wonder that Meera does what she does. While acting as the lookout on a dangerous op, she fails to raise the alarm when Sutton gets caught by the criminals they're investigating. Sutton dies, and Meera's secrets die with him.

Or do they? Back in 2023, Herbie (Alex Brightman) is giving great advice to Siya — namely, if you want to know secrets, the best thing you can do is ask Red. 

Conveniently, Siya is still on her Cooper-assigned stakeout of Red's building. She's doing a pretty terrible job at it, actually, totally fooled by a Red decoy walking around the building. And then she falls asleep during the stakeout. 

Red wakes her with a pressed juice and an invitation for breakfast. Over frittatas, he tells her the story of Manolete, which includes trying to live up to the legacy of a parent. She gets the metaphor and asks him for whatever he knows about her mom.

Red tries to convince her to leave it be, saying "Maybe what matters is what you already know. That you were loved." She still wants more. 

Hey, remember your favorite art appraiser Cynthia Mallet (Kate Bornstein)? She's back, on edibles, and bringing all of Red's treasures for his garage sale. She also lets him know that the specific buyer he was interested in would be stopping by.

Cynthia clearly loves every piece, especially the Sappho poem on aging and its beautiful line "My heart grows heavy; my knees, too weary to stand upon, though once, they could lift me and dance, and could leap as light as a fawn." 

"I feel seen, all the way from the third century B.C.," Cynthia says. Gurl, me too. Red gifts the papayri to his loyal art expert. As always, he knows how to spoil his best employees.

Siya is going to stick to Red's side, per Cooper's orders, and luckily for her Red hasn't given away the private jet yet. Their first stop is Edinburgh, Scotland, where the following hilarious 15 seconds happens: Red tells Siya to wait outside of a building, he goes inside, there's a bunch of gunshots, Red runs out holding a sword, and they take off down the street. 

I give it five out of five black fedoras, no notes!

Their next stop is an extremely disturbing doctor's office in Zurich. Dr. Heinrich Wittelsbach (Frank Ridley) has a dog in a cage and a medicated young woman — both seem abused, and it only gets worse when Wittelsbach offers to trade the item Red wants for Siya. Like, literally. 

Red is not playing with this horror show. He pays Wittelsbach but lets him know that someone will be coming to collect the animal posthaste. It's all gross, and I'm happy to leave that and head back to the garage sale.

There, a fantastic bargain hunter haggles over the Tiffany lamp. She clearly doesn't know what it is, but Red is delighted to settle for $200. Siya can't understand why Red would do that, but he imagines how much fun the woman will have when she discovers her score. "And what if she never learns its true provenance?" Siya asks. "What if?" answers Red. 

That is not about lamps, y'all.

THE BLACKLIST -- "The Sicilian Error of Color" Episode 1013 -- Pictured: (l-r) Janet Zarish as Kathleen Sutton, James Spader as Raymond "Red" Reddington -- (Photo by: Scott Gries/NBC)
Janet Zarish as Kathleen Sutton, James Spader as Raymond "Red" Reddington
| Credit: Scott Gries/NBC

Another customer arrives — the buyer Red has been expecting. He shows her the item she's interested in: the Sicilian Error of Color stamp, named so because the ink is blue instead of the intended orange. It dates from 1859, and the last one sold went for $2.6 million.

The woman isn't there to buy it; she's from normal-people money, not "buy-a-stamp-for-millions" money. She just wanted to see it. Her late husband loved stamps and always wanted to see the Sicilian. She asks to take a photo, but Red offers to sell it for two. Not million, thousand.

She writes him a personal check and while her wallet is out, shows him a picture of her beloved late husband. It's Nigel Sutton, the man Meera Malik let die. 

As per usual, none of this was random. It's always orchestrated by Red.

The last garage sale visitors are Agnes and Cooper. Agnes gets the Pele soccer ball, and Cooper gets the original plans for the USS Constellation. In the face of such extravagance, Cooper finally asks the obvious question: "Are you okay, Raymond?"

Red insists he's just having a little fun. That seems true, it just doesn't feel like the whole truth.

The last gift of the day goes to Siya. Red hands her the personal check from Sutton's wife and tells her that if she wants to know about her mother's past, the check is where to start. 

THE BLACKLIST -- "The Sicilian Error of Color" Episode 1013 -- Pictured: (l-r) Anya Banerjee as Siya Malik, James Spader as Raymond “Red” Reddington, Sami Bray as Agnes, Harry Lennix as Harold Cooper -- (Photo by: Scott Gries/NBC)
Anya Banerjee as Siya Malik, James Spader as Raymond "Red" Reddington, Sami Bray as Agnes, Harry Lennix as Harold Cooper
| Credit: Scott Gries/NBC

The Back-list:

  • Congressperson Arthur Hudson (Toby Leonard Moore) is still hunting down the truth about the Task Force. He successfully persuades a senator into joining his crusade.
  • Herbie is always on the lookout for a rocket-firing Boba Fett, if you see one at a garage sale.
  • Speaking of Herbie, his wife's punk band is playing gigs in downtown NYC, and he couldn't be prouder. He's even wearing an excellent eyeliner/leather jacket combo. We stan a supportive spouse.

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The Blacklist - Season 2
The Blacklist

James Spader is Raymond "Red" Reddington, a mastermind criminal who teams up with the FBI.

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