The Blacklist (S04E04) "Gaia"

With their baby still in the hands of the sinister Kirk, Tom and Liz take different approaches to finding Agnes. The team hunts Gaia, a “stealth eco-terrorist” as a means to hunt down Mr. Kirk. Elsewhere Mr. Kaplan tries to recuperate from her gunshot.
This episode of The Blacklist starts off with some pretty serious hippie vibes, which quickly descend into some fairly bloody moments. This might mean some trouble for the team with this Blacklister.
Cut to a retirement party that features a fan of the Cubbies who has gladly, but unknowingly, imbibed a laced drink from our man with a bloody nose. Sadly the Cubs fan parishes; but for reasons that our murderer has yet to reveal to us.
After the expected murderous cold opening, we see Liz studiously looking for Mr. Kirk, who almost immediately appears on her laptop. After a brief threat, Liz reveals that she knows the real truth about Kirk’s sickness and what his backup plan for young Agnes appears to be.
With Tom’s promise not to trace the video call that Kirk made, Red gives us a new lead on Agnes’ whereabouts. With the delightful anecdote about a friendly ocean dweller, we learn about an eco-terrorist known only as Gaia, or ‘Earth mother’. Being a stealth eco-terrorist, Gaia arranges for polluters and other oil drillers to meet with massive bouts of sabotage in order to raise awareness about the atrocities that these companies have committed in the name of profit.
Catching up with Navabi and Aram, it seems the transfer is official. It seems Aram takes if fairly hard, despite Ressler saying how attractive his new girlfriend appears to be.
Returning to Gaia’s new target, a field inspector for a company named Borron Energy, a clearer picture starts to come into play about Gaia’s plan; at least not until we see how Mr. Kaplan is faring…
Still in the ominous shed in the woods, there seems to be a slightly less malevolent intent that previous episodes led us to believe. Mr. Kaplan is not only bandaged but also safe in a bed. She kinda deserves a rest.
It seems that Kirk’s disease is not only advancing, but Agnes’ life might be in more danger than previously expected. This scene also alludes to Kirk being slightly closer to his henchmen than we have ever been led to believe.
With the FBI hot on the trail of Gaia, Tom…erm Marcel, is hiring a team to trace the call that Kirk made to Liz earlier in the episode.
With the team learning that a power plant is the next target for the wrath of Gaia, Red goes to (my personal favorite recurring character) Glen the forger! Apparently, Glen likes bowling and bringing out the athletic side of Dembe; but we have an address so that’s cool.
Back to the off the grid hippie school bus, we see tidal charts for the Hudson River, the location of the nuclear plant Gaia is targeting.
Speaking of Gaia, we see what his main motivation is, his apparent son who has been disabled by a yet to be determined accident.
Back to Mr. Kaplan, we see a slightly awkward, yet genuinely kind older gentleman who seems to enjoy having our favorite cleaner around.
With Tom breaking his promise not to trace Kirk’s call, Liz is furious and devastated when her supposed father takes the video link offline.
Not only does the team have a real name, Owen Airs, but also how bad the nuclear threat could be. With Airs taking a helicopter to the pipeline, millions of people could die. Thankfully, Aram is on the case, with the help of Cooper.
And what helicopter crash isn’t complete without grade-schoolers sprinting from the scene during some classical music?
With the juxtaposition of beautiful music with horrific carnage aside, Red joins a visibly uncomfortable mother and son in a diner with some milkshakes.
As it turns out, caramel sauce is a great social lubricant, and Maya (“Gaia’s” wife. Heh. Rhyming is fun. *ahem*) gives Red the name of Skyler’s hematologist, and delivers a rather moving speech on the amazing concept of a child’s creativity.
The next scene shows a lot of the animosity that exists between Aram and Navabi, which really shows how much they feel by betrayed by each other.
Speaking of betrayal, Tom and Liz are fighting over how he went against her wishes for tracing the video call.
As it turns out, Skyler Airs and Alexander Kirk share the same hematologist. Finally, Liz has a real lead on Mr. Kirk.
With Mr. Kaplan finally feeling better, she decides to sit up from the bed of her mysterious savior…or is he something much more horrifying? In the final scene, Kaplan discovers her leg is in shackles.
For me, the highlight of this episode was Red’s interaction with Skyler. “It took four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.” to quote Picasso. While I’ve always seen Red as a passionate man, the way he talks about those children with “special needs” is truly poetic. He sees that Skyler deserves to not only be treated like a boy without an affliction, but also as someone to be admired for the hardships he has experienced. I should note that this Blacklister is one of the more sympathetic of the bunch. He isn’t fueled by money or fame; he’s angry that his son is reviled “like some kind of monster”. Granted, he went coco-bananas off the deep end, but the sociopathic actions are for his child; kinda like Red… 6.5/10