We start this episode of The Blacklist with a woman getting into a NYC taxi to go to the airport. She calls her kid and tells her she is on the way home. Then the cab driver goes nuts, begins driving erratically and blows up the taxi in a massive fire killing both the driver and the women. In less than a minute, the body count is at two!
Next, we see a man looking at a picture of the dead woman on a client information dossier . As he begins shredding the file he makes a phone call to make a wire transfer. Looks like he is our bad guy of the week, Milton Bobbit.
Because the producers of the show love filming scenes in utter darkness, we now have a mushroom farmer with an indoor farm which he tends loving. I suppose, I can’t really see much, because contrary to the producers of the shows apparent beliefs, I can’s see in the dark! Oh that is Milton! Off topic, Milton and the Magic Mushrooms would be a great name for a band, but I don’t think this Milton is musically inclined. Um. y’all? I’m really not sure how to recap what I see next. Milton takes his pulse, drinks a magic mushroom smoothie takes of everything but his undies and sits down in a chair in the dark. He’s bleeding moderately from several oozing on his body. THEN HE TAKES OFF HIS NOSE! Don’t ask me! I’m just telling you what I see. Maybe it’s a prosthetic nose. Then he puts on some protective eye gear and appears to be trying to tan in the dark under some sort of funky light. Gross.
Moving on to Tom and Liz, for reasons not explained they are both in the apartment where Tom is preparing breakfast, working the role of dutiful husband. Liz’s ability to find comfort in the arms of Red the night before and somehow pull herself together, get home with out Tom noticing and play the role of happy wife are apparently not important to the storyline. Liz wisely doesn’t eat any pancakes. Out of nowhere Tom proposes to Liz saying that he wants to renew their vows. He leaves for work and she immediately begins destroying thing and searching through Tom’s belongings. Because that is what they teach in How To Keep Your Cover 101 at Quantico. Who the hell is going to clean all of that up? How will she explain all the missing items she broke?
Then just like that we are no longer in the rubble of Liz’s apartment but at some sort of a windowless command post. Of course it has to be windowless with one forty watt bulb to light the small area because otherwise they could see each other and we could see them and apparently none of the producers what that to happen. So there we are at, let’s call it Keen Kamp, where Liz is devising yet another crime scene board. There, slap dab in the middle of the board is a picture of her husband, with the name Tom Keen written underneath. At least this one is a white board so that when the enemy arrives at camp, all they will have to do erase the dry erase marker and take down the center picture. Am I being too understated with the stupidity of this board?
Red arrives with pimento cheese sandwiches made by Eartha Kitts recipe. I really wish he would pontificate even more on the glorious sounding sandwiches, say for the next 48 minutes as it would be much more interesting than listening to Liz demand information about Tom from Red. Her acting is particularly bad in this scene. Red says that he doesn’t know who Tom Keen is or who he works for. He has been monitoring him since he came into Liz’s life and know he bought some forged passports. That’s hardly work having a whole white board for, y’all. Liz throws a tantrum trying to get Red to tell her his connection to her. She blames Red for all of the things that are happening. He says, that is irrelevant. They must concentrate on finding out who he his and who he works for. He promises Liz her answers will come. They must remain working at the blacksite as normally as possible. He gives her a case, The Undertaker. He convinces people to become assassins in a murder suicide set-up, and fortunately for us he is probably just down the road somewhere at the moment.
Next we see Milton convince a woman to kill a guy named Bennett Cochran. She pulls up next to him at a gas station begins spill gas while talking to him, she asks him to forgive her because she has a brother, (huh?)and then drops a lighter into the gas setting them both ablaze. Death count 4. Should I even bother to point out that the lighter would go out before hitting the gas?
Liz goes to the blacksite to brief our country’s finest agents on The Undertaker. They begin to interview the killers’ families starting with the taxi driver. His wife said they had a rich uncle leave them an inheritance, her husband did not even need to work. He was also beginning to forget things, like which way to push the faucet to get hot water. Please don’t let this mean he had a deadly disease because I can never remember which faucet is hot and which is cold when I am in the shower. Well, shit. Dude had a brain tumor. I may drop dead of a brain tumor before I complete this recap. Pray for me y’all. The other girl had less than a month to live, she had stage 4 cervical cancer. So they were both going to die. They both received great financial benefit. The girl’s brother is ill and is now receiving 24 hour medical care.
Milton goes to what appears to be a hospice facility to get his next killer.
Meanwhile, Tom comes home to find Liz looks beautiful and entertaining a group of their closest friends and family flown in from all over. If Tom wants a vow renewal, a vow renewal he shall have. Liz has even invited his brother “Craig Keen.” Tom and Craig argue a bit in the bathroom as Tom is shaving and preparing for the ceremony. Tom says he should not have come. Craig says he tired to get out it. Craig says he thinks she “knows” because she was acting about the accident with their parents in Tucson. Craig says she is onto them, he says he is over his head. Tom says he knows what he is doing he knows how to read his target and she doesn’t no a thing. Point Liz.
So they had a renewal ceremony and all I could think about was Tom’s wonky mouth. Has it always been wonky like that? Liz’s vows were rather ominous. Craig performed the ceremony.
Sidenote: I’ve been working on this recap for an hour and a half and am still only 20 minutes in. Not complaining, because it’s fun. There is just so much to talk about!
Back of Kamp Keen without any idea of how much time has passed since the vows, Liz is coloring on her white board and watching surveillance videos of her life with Tom. On the surveillance tape she sees Tom hide a key inside a lamp. She goes home to retrieve the cleverly hidden key. But what is it for? She also has Dembe run some prints for her from a champagne glass that Craig used at the vow renewal. That was apparently the whole point of the vow renewal.
Aram, my favorite middle easterny guy and the only one with any skill set whatsoever has found the bank that the money is coming from. He also found that the next transfer is to go to a Danny Moss. He’s the guy from the hospice looking place. He is dying of congestive heart failure.
Danny lives 8 hours away in Dorchester, MA to a political rally. But fortunately for us, he just so happens to be right up the street at a political rally and it just so happens he is going to blow someone up there right at the exact time the Feds figure all this out. Liz didn’t even have to call Daddy Red for help with this one! The only two people who bother to get there are Liz and Ressler. They arrive just in the nick of time and everyone clears away and Liz saves the world.
Red, unlike the Feds, has to travel all over the damn place. In this case El Salvador to run the prints from the champagne glass. The Bosnian scientist is very cranky and unhappy to see Red. In another fantastic James Spader scene, the two come to an agreement and he attempts to identify “Craig Keen” from touch DNA. Bet they can’t do that back at the post office.
On the flight back we have the usual scene where Red tells Liz how to crack her case. He knows who Craig is and he says it is time for the three of them to have a little chat. He tells her to follow him. He sits his drink down next to a wooden carved Chinese egg on a stand. (Available for four dollars on Etsy, yes of course I looked, why do you think it takes me so damn long to write these? No luck with the pimento cheese recipe, btw.) The camera lingered on it a bit, it may be a puzzle of sorts, or have some sort of clue to something carved on it. Or maybe I just wasted my time.
The very next shot is Liz beating the shit out of Craig. Then she stands over him with a gun and say, “Hey Craig! Can we talk?” They are at the hotel (apartment) where Craig is staying. Although it is broad daylight, it is of course very dark in there. She handcuffs him to the bathroom sink for no apparent reason. I suppose the plumbing is a secure anchor? She tells him she knows everything. She know about his prison time, the warrant, that his name is Christopher Malley. He says she has no idea who she is dealing with. She responds with, “I never did like you.”
Ressler calls and she responds that she is on her way. Then Red and Dembe arrive. Liz has to go. She tells Red she has to leave. Red plans to take ole Christopher Malley on a field trip! I love field trips! But on this show that means someone is going to get planted.
Meanwhile, Liz is back at the blacksite (AKA post office) and they are trying to figure out how the guy knows how to pick the terminally ill killers. (Another good band name The Terminally Ill Killers.) They find they all have a connection to a life insurance company. Liz and Ressler dash off to track down the lead. But Liz asks Ressler if she can go handle some business and he lets her.
The field trip is to a museum! I love museums! So does Red. He is going on and on about the artist and how he got his start in puppetmaking. Now it seems he is fascinated with body parts. Christopher/Craig is not amused. But Red continues his monologue. Then Dembe walks by pushing a woman in a wheelchair. It’s the guys mother. Red talks about how much he misses Bob Ross, the dude who used to paint trees on TV. Christopher freaks out and agrees to talk.
Ressler and Malik track down Milton at the life insurance company but he overheard them talking and bolted. Next, they show up at his apartment, AKA the mushroom farm. Out of sincere respect for the mushrooms, they opt not to turn on any lights and hold their flashlights like Kate Jackson on Charlie’s Angels. There is a folder laying on the table that is the next victim. Because that is how things work in the FBI. Files are just right there amongst the shrooms begging to be picked up.
Milton is indeed off to kill the guy who is one of his former doctors. He pulls a gun on him and laughs a scary laugh.
Meanwhile, Red and Dembe are back at the hotel room watching The Three Stooges when Liz arrives. The Christopher guy is chained under the sink again. He says that he thinks Tom has a real brother in Chicago. There is a woman named Nikki that he mentions. The phone rings. He is expecting a call from Tom. They are supposed to meet to talk about Liz. It’s only a matter of time before he shows up at the door. They get the guy to take the call. Tom mentions Berlin. Red, Dembe and Liz prepare to move him to another location, but he takes his life via defenestration. Body count: 5.
Milton was apparently part of a clinical trial for a diabetes medication. The medicine is what is killing him. Apparently it is also the reason he has a removable nose. Which he removes again, just for effect. All of this is happening in cemetery. Miraculously, the FEDS all swarm in on this cemetery at just the precise moment so that Ressler can save the world, since Liz is busy with Red. No wait, somehow Liz made it to the cementary with the rest of them. Milton is strapped with bombs. Ressler, who has a bit of a death wish these days, just walks past the suicide bomber and arrests the doctor. As he walks the guy to a squad car, Milton blows himself up. Body Count. 6.
Ressler continues to work himself to oblivion. Liz works on her crime wall adding Christopher’s name and the key. Red was in Cooper’s office going through all of Bobbit’s clients. Cooper asked if that was what this was about, getting to see the files. Red said yes. Cooper asked if he found what he was looking for and Red said, “Good Night, Harold.” Then, at Kamp Keen Liz tells Red she can’t do it anymore. She can’t look at him let alone touch him. He tells her to be patient. Things have been set in motion. How Tom reacts will tell us a great deal. He tells her she needs to stay the course. She says she is not sure she can. Red fiddles with a burnt bit of paper on the board that says Berlin. Later, in the obscure timeline that is this show, Liz is seen replacing the key in the lamp. Later when Tom comes home, they seem to be testing each other, looking for signs the other knows. In order to keep her cover she sleeps with Tom.