The Blacklist recap: Back to square one
Just when I thought it was over, The Blacklist pulls me deeper into the conspiracy over Liz's death.
I thought we finally caught Liz's killer and Cooper's blackmailer with the big reveal at the end, but then they upped the stakes by murdering the man and his counsel — who seemed to know everything. Now, we won't really find the truth to Liz's death. Not yet at least.
Let's get started with the recap:
Andrew Kennison (No. 185)
The episode begins with Red (James Spader) entering Andrew's apartment to find his roommate, Marcus, alone. Marcus is startled by Red and doesn't know where Andrew (Joe Carroll) is because he's been missing for several weeks. We then see Andrew in a safe house guarded by federal agents.
Red visits the Post Office and discloses what he knows about the tracker pill developed by Andrew Kennison, whose wife had a psychiatric episode that led to the death of her mother and daughter. Since Red cannot find Andrew, he places him on the Blacklist. Cooper (Harry Lennix), who is shaken by the information, assigns Dembe (Hisham Tawfiq) and Ressler (Diego Klattenhoff) to track Andrew's last whereabouts. Red has a moment with Cooper, and reassures him that they both want the same thing — to find the person responsible for Liz's death.
Freaking out over the whole connection, Cooper says to Lew (Danny Mastrogiorgio) that whoever wanted Andrew to disappear are the same people who may have murdered Liz. Lew tells him that the blackmailer is a NYPD detective, but if Cooper confesses the truth, both he and Lew are in trouble.
Ressler and Dembe visit the university's campus police, who tell them that the U.S. Marshalls picked Andrew up. They share a photo of Andrew and the back of an agent's head — we can see it's Cooper, but his identity isn't revealed. They then visit the U.S. Marshall's office, where it's confirmed Andrew is in the Witness Protection Program because the Assistant Director of the FBI requested it. In disbelief, they ask the Marshall, "Who?"
Agent Harold Cooper.
Dembe and Ressler are shocked and tell the rest of the Task Force what they found out. Everyone, except Aram (Amir Arison), thinks it's suspicious that Cooper put Andrew under protection knowing they're looking for him. Dembe suggests they set up a trap for Cooper, but Aram adamantly refuses and wants to confront him himself. Aram the overhears Cooper confess everything to Red — the blackmail, breaking laws, involving Charlene (Valarie Pettiford) and Lew in the mess, and putting Andrew in Witness Protection. Red is angry and demands to speak to Andrew. Cooper refuses, saying he'll arrange for Andrew to come to the Post Office, but Red says he'll find other ways. Cooper then tells the rest of the Task Force the truth. They are all in disbelief but support their boss in whatever he may want to do. Cooper calls Panabaker (Deirdre Lovejoy) and will accept the consequences for his actions.
Of course, Red finds a way to get to Andrew by kidnapping him from the safe house. On his private plane, Red asks Andrew about the tracker. Andrew says he has nothing to do with anyone's murder, but that he gave the pill tracker to a cop he met at a business forum several years ago. While looking for investors in his device, the detective thought his idea had potential for the NYPD years ago. The man's name is Detective Reginald "Reggie" Cole (Ross Partridge).
Panabaker tells Ressler to arrest Cooper, but he refuses, telling Panabaker that they've let Red get away with so much. Cooper tells Ressler to arrest him, and asks that the team continue their search for Liz's killer. Ressler takes Cooper in for a statement, but tells Cooper to fight his arrest. Cooper, following his moral compass, says he's done and wants to get it over with.
Aram suggests the team find the man who is blackmailing Cooper. After running a reverse voice modification program on a voice recording of the blackmailer on Cooper's phone, they find out the voice belongs to a former police detective Reginald Cole, who was let go from the force after several corruption allegations and is now a private investigator. We then meet Reggie, who provides his politician client with evidence for her own crimes, blackmailing her for more money. He then receives a call from someone and begins destroying evidence before leaving his office.
Red asks Marvin (Fisher Stevens) to represent Cooper for Agnes' sake. While Marvin goes to take care of Cooper, Red goes after Reggie. Red and his people arrive at the private investigator's office to find it empty, but the ashes from the burnt evidence is still hot, meaning he's nearby. As Reggie is on the run, the task force arrests him before Red can get to him.
Panabaker visits Cooper in the interrogation room and tells him bad news: the President and Congress have always been against the task force and want to indict Cooper. Panabaker tells him they'll need to capture big names to get the government off his back. Just then, the task force brings Reggie in, and Panabaker tells Ressler that it's on him to make sure their suspect talks in order to save Cooper.
Red confronts Panabaker, and wants Reggie given to him to find the real answers. She understands how Red is feeling, but she needs solid evidence, and anything taken by Red will be inadmissible. Red tells her Reggie's boss knew he was coming for him and will stop at nothing to prevent Reggie from talking. Just then, Panabaker receives a call: Reggie's lawyer Tyson LaCroix is there, demanding his client be released immediately. LaCroix reveals his client bought the tracker, which itself is not a crime, and that Reggie has no connection to Cooper's situation and Keen's death. Reggie is released. Angry at the circumstances, Panabaker wants to investigate Reggie and his lawyer. Dembe says Raymond will know what to do.
While waiting for Reggie and LaCroix to exit the building, Red tells Marvin that the pair have been burned, which means people will be trying to get to them. Red must get his men to them first. Just as Red is about to take Reggie and LaCroix in, an motorcycled assassin guns them down.
I honestly thought this was over. I'm such a clown for thinking otherwise. Red and the Task Force were SO close to solving this. We got Andrew Kennison, who thankfully is innocent in all of this (maybe?) and got the name of the blackmailer who would then tell us who is behind all of this. But no. I feel like we're back to square one in finding Liz's killer, because the two people who could have given us information were just brutally murdered on the street.
Now, I feel like the episodes will go back to the Blacklister of the week format with small details of Liz's killer sprinkled in, when I really want this to be over and done with. I'm not sick of this storyline. I just want to get to the truth of Liz for Red's sake. With each episode, Red's descent into darkness and despair will reach a point of no return — and there is no Liz around to bring him back.
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James Spader is Raymond "Red" Reddington, a mastermind criminal who teams up with the FBI.