Finally, an episode that isn't all about the Liz mystery.
Courtesy NBC.
The Blacklist - Season 2

Finally, an episode without the mystery surrounding Liz (Megan Boone). I know a lot of readers have been telling me Liz is the real heart of the show, and I'm not going to deny she wasn't important to the story or the series. She is and always will be, but this episode reminded me that the series can go on without Liz at the center of the story.

Sure, Red (James Spader) mentioned Liz a few times, but the Red that we knew from the beginning died when Liz was killed. This is a new Raymond Reddington, who just needs to have closure before he can fully embrace a new life with Mierce (Karina Arroyave) — who we find out has left him.

Let's get into it.

The Blacklist
James Spader as Raymond "Red" Reddington, Joely Richardson as Cassandra Bianchi
| Credit: Virginia Sherwood/NBC

Genuine Models Inc. (No. 176)

The episode begins with a sex scene between a woman and U.S. Ambassador Dan Warren. He tells the woman to choke him, which she does to the point of killing him.

Red tells Cooper (Harry Lennix) that Warren was killed by an escort and to talk to Fredrica Carrellas (Emily Skinner), the Madame for the Influential. The task force interrogates Fredrica, who reveals that Warren canceled his account with her to use a new company, Genuine Models. She reveals that another one of her clients just left for the Genuine Models — Congressman Matt Spade.

We cut to Gordon Graham (Blake DeLong) telling the woman, who we saw killing Warren in the opening scene, about how men like Warren must pay for using and abusing people. It's creepy the way the woman just sits there listening to Gordon as he tells her they're doing the right thing. She tells him she will always believe in him. We later see the woman with the Congressman.

The Task Force arrives too late and finds the Congressman dead. The medical examiner says whoever killed him was strong enough to leave a hand mark imprinted on the man's neck. They find hair in his hand with the DNA matching a nurse, Darlene — who looks nothing like the murderer we've seen. The team questions her, and she has no idea how her DNA would have been there, but realizes that it could be from the wig company she sold her hair to.

Aram (Amir Arison) found that Warren and Spade wired money to "Smith-Provincial Antiques" before they were killed, which they discover is a front for Genuine Models. They find the next victim who sent money to Smith-Provincial: Chef Billy Burton. Aram and Park (Laura Sohn) visit Billy, who is in the middle of getting choked by the woman. Aram and Park break in to save him with Aram pushing the woman off him. We come to find out that the woman… IS A ROBOT.

The Blacklist
Credit: Sony Pictures Television

Dembe (Hisham Tawfiq) and Ressler (Diego Klattenhoff) go to the wig company, which turns out to be a robot company. The CEO of Genuine Models, Maverick Sawyer (Neal Bledsoe), had been expecting them. He called them hours ago after connecting the dots between Warren and Spade's purchase of the "Chrissy" robot and their murders. They've suspended all sales of the Chrissy model and have been trying to figure out why their robots malfunctioned. Sawyer tells Ressler and Dembe that the bots aren't escorts, but A.I. companions, giving them a list of people who purchased a Chrissy model.

Back at the Post Office, Aram examines one of the Chrissy robots and is shocked with how real and intricate she is. He reveals the robots were hacked to kill and identifies the location of the hacker, Gordon. Gordon is aware that he's been caught and escapes with the woman, who we find out is also a Chrissy robot, before the Task Force arrives.

We learn that Gordon is a rich tech guy who believes his relationship with his Chrissy robot is real. The robots have human-like personalities and empathetic skills, making it incredibly difficult to differentiate between what is real or not. Sawyer tells the team that he installed geo-tracking in each model and is able to find Gordon. Dembe and Ressler, along with police, have Gordon cornered on the road. He reveals he had those men killed for what they did to their Chrissy robots and wanted to stop Genuine Models. Refusing to be separated from his Chrissy, he drives off the cliff with his Chrissy next to him, killing himself.

The team found that Gordon had no friends or family, and his only relationship was with Chrissy, leading them to realize how scary this technology is.

Hanging with Agent Cooper

Lew (Danny Mastrogiorgio) tells Cooper that he found Beverly Grant, a close friend of the bartender that spiked Cooper's drink, at a dive bar in Atlanta. Cooper doesn't want to bring another innocent person into this, but knows she's the only person who could help him piece together who is behind all of this. They pay her a visit and reveal that Abe spiked Cooper's drink that caused him to be framed for a murder. She tells them that Abe was a good man who sold drugs on the side to support his family, but a detective threatened to arrest Abe unless he drugged Cooper's drink. She blames herself for Abe's death because she told him to go to the police, but then ended up dead the next day. She reveals that the badge of the detective who told Abe to drug Cooper had two figures and an eagle on it — a New York Police Detective badge.

After Beverly leaves with Lew for safety, Cooper runs into Detective Heber (Mike Houston), who is looking to question Beverly. Heber finds it suspicious that Cooper was around for the two murders. Cooper leaves, telling Lew that this cover-up goes deep and they must find the detective themselves.

The Blacklist
Harry Lennix as Harold Cooper, Diego Klattenhoff as Donald Ressler, Amir Arison as Aram Mojtabai, Hisham Tawfiq as Dembe Zuma,Laura Sohn as Alina Park
| Credit: Sony Pictures Television

Red seeing Red

Red attends the funeral of an old antique-collecting colleague, Barney. At the funeral, Red, pretending to be insurance agent Steve Holman, runs into former flame Cassandra (Joely Richardson), who still has the hots for him. They reminisce about old times, including boosting a ruby necklace they gave to Barney to protect, but thought to be stolen… until they see it on Barney's widow Matilda's (Patricia Richardson) neck.

Matilda reveals that Barney gave her the necklace for their anniversary. Red realizes that Barney used him to do his dirty business, including getting "rid" of Barney's business partner Peter Finchy — who Barney accused of stealing from Red.

Cassandra suggests they steal the necklace, but Red wants to rise above it and let a widow grieve. Little do we know, both Cassandra and Red show up at Matilda's home the next day, intent on stealing the necklace. After Red threatens to reveal that Cassandra swiped the necklace already, they decide to split the goods. Matilda discovers their ruse and threatens to call the police, which leads to Red revealing the truth about her so-called dear husband. Matilda is in disbelief about her husband's criminal activities, including the disappearance of his business partner. Matilda is shocked and heartbroken by the whole thing. Red allows Matilda to keep the necklace.

While picking Peter up from his banishment, Red apologizes to the man for listening to Barney without questioning it. Red is still shocked at Barney's betrayal, but Peter insists that Barney was actually a good man, but his wife was not.

Red and Cassandra visit Matilda again and reveal they know the truth: Matilda orchestrated Peter's disappearance from Barney's business. And, after finding out that Barney was planning on divorcing her, she poisoned him. Frustrated, Matilda tells them the truth about their sham of a marriage and how she was actually the one who managed the business. Red tells her that she is officially banished from the business and that Peter will be the new boss for Barney's company. Red then snatches the necklace right off her neck.

Cassandra tells Red that he's changed, and has gone soft for not killing Matilda. Sounding a bit desperate, Cassandra says they've always been good together, but Red turns her down and gives her the necklace, telling her he's not the man she once knew. The man she knew died when Liz was killed, and he only survived through it all because of Mierce.

Honestly, if Mierce is everything Red says she is, he needs to figure his stuff out soon, because he may descend into the darkness even further as he gets closer to Liz's killer. Mierce may not be there when he comes back... or if he comes back at all.

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Episode Recaps

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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