The hugely popular “Blacklist” got a spin-off show in the likes of Tom Keen, the extremely popular character, who is a covert operative looking for of all things “Redemption” of his past. His chapter began in “The Blacklist” with Tom wanting to find out the real answers to questions he has about birth parents. His wife Liz supports his quest 100%. While Red warned him before what kind of dangerous person Scottie Hargrave is. How he should not to dig up secrets on her. This is Tom Keen’s spin-off, but its every narrative twist and turn revolves around the eldest Hargraves and how they are or are not manipulating Tom. Whether they are or are not buckets of crazy.
S01E01 Leland Bray
“Welcome to the family”
In the beginning, we meet Tom Keen leaving his family (wife Liz and little daughter Agnes) heading to NYC probing into his unknown past. Furthermore, we see Scottie Hargrave – the head of Halcyon Aegis – a woman with anger issues – but hell that makes her a tough negotiator. This way she gets all the information she wants. She doesn’t take a NO as an answer. Halcyon Aegis is a privately owned company that deals with highly security matters where FBI and other feds can’t work. Next Howard Hargrave enters the scene. Some time ago he faked his own death as he has huge trust issues with his wife Scottie Hargrave. We get to know that Tom Keen is the long-lost son of Scottie and Howard Hargrave. Howard convinces Tom Keen to infiltrate Halcyon Aegis to find out what his wife Scottie is hiding from him. Thing is that Scottie must be held unaware that Tom is her long-lost son. So, Tom Keen joins forces with Halcyon Aegis and goes deep cover. His first mission is a rescue mission. He finds himself within a team of assassins, IT specialists, cryptologists and counterintelligence. The team does great in saving a CIA agent and her son who are held captive. We also get to know that Tom Keen is a highly trained deep cover operative – who already worked for the CIA – and is highly experienced in explosives and emergencies. At the end of the episode we see that Tom Keen is hired by Scottie Hargrave. What will be next? Stay tuned and find out.
S01E02 “Kevin Jensen
“Not all missions have happy endings”
A close friend of Scottie is seeking help from Halcyon Aegis as her son – Kevin Jensen, a journalist – is falsely arrested for espionage in a foreign country. This mission turns out to be an important mission for Scottie as Kevin and her long-lost son were close friends as young boys. It’s her teams mission rescue to Kevin. With the help of Dumont and his special techniques it is Tom’s job to get the weapons in the country, while Mr. Solomon and Nez enter the country as officials. We know only too well that not everything works out as planned. SO, Tom gets busted with the weapons at the border and his only chance is to leave the truck along with the weapons and get the hell out of there! However, the incident at the border shows us that Tom seems to be fluent in several languages. Now with the weapons gone the team must find replacement. Only choice is listening to a teenage girl performing Brittney Spears songs. (Which Tom handled graciously and believe us that was like torture! OMG!!!) But the end justifies the means – and in the end the team gets what they needed. The team can run the plan and we see that Mr. Solomon and Tom break into the jail to rescue the Kevin. They dressed up as prison guards and this way it was easy to enter the jail. However, leaving the building with Kevin turned out to be more complicated. In the end, it’s Nez who saves the day and gets them all out of the prison site. Having freed Kevin, the team isn’t done yet. (BUT we knew that, didn’t we?) Kevin tells them that they must head back to his apartment to grab the laptop with important data on it. The situation is worsened and the team with Kevin are chased back to the American embassy to save themselves. During the final confrontation at the embassy’s gates Kevin is shot and despite CPR measures by Tom, Kevin dies. A heartbroken Tom calls Scottie to tell her that they lost Kevin. However, they could save the laptop. The team heads back to the US only to find out that Kevin indeed was a CIA agent all along. Personally, I just hope that Tom copied the hard disk before he returned the laptop to the CIA.
S01E03 “Independence Day, USA”
“Wanna have a shower with me?”
“We have a rather turbulent start into the episode. We see a plane crashing on Russian soil!!! Later in the episode we get to know that this plane was full of dead bodies and that was the plan was all along to crash it. Halcyon’s just needed a good reason to go to Russia. Solomon and Tom are the best NTSB officers someone could wish for. (DAMN STRAIGHT!) Solomon’s colyly distracts giving Tom the chance to leave the crash site and scope out the nearby facility. Much to his surprise he finds out that the facility is no military base but a typical American village – called Independence. It seems that Cold War rumors about Russia training Russian spies to be Americans are true. (How about that shizzle?) So, Tom and Nez go deep cover pretending to be Russians spies – who pretend to be Americans. While deep cover Tom and Nez find out – that the Russians are only looking for doppelgänger who are supposed to take over certain identities. Having Tom pretending to be a husband, “fangirls everywhere” will be happy as we have a steamy shower scene with Tom. What else can you really wish for in life? This scene also shows us that Tom is very loyal to his wife Liz and daughter Agnes. He nearly blew his cover – only to stay loyal to Liz. However, we see that Tom and Nez are very good at what they do. By easily swapping into the personas they must pretend to be. Tom and Nez also get to know that some doppelgänger is supposed to be terrorists in the U.S… So, they must find out who they are and they must prevent the attack. Gladly we have Solomon back and hell yes – I love his negotiations skills. I must say, next to the hot and steamy shower scene this is my second most favorite scene from this episode. (As I FAN myself.) Solomon pretending to give up negotiations only to leave the finishing job to his sniper colleague. This time the team is successful. By the end of the episode the dialogue between Tom and Howard blew our minds. Howard tells Tom that he thinks that Scottie is one of those Russian doppelgänger. (WHATCHA YOU TALKING ABOUT, HOWARD????) Moreover, Scottie gets more and more suspicious about Tom. When will she find out? For me Redemption gets better with every episode and I can’t wait for the next one.
S0104 – “Operation Davenport”
“Seeking for a plumber “
The 4th episode of Redemption is set in NYC. Terrorists escaped from a black prison site in NYC. Now it’s Halcyon’s job to get them down before disaster strikes. The situation gets even more complicated as one of the terrorists escaped after he was taken into custody by Tom and Nez. To be honest I was bamboozled that this guy could escape that easily. You could say – Tom and Nez haven’t had their best day in the office. Later, the bad guy was run over by a truck – even more bad – as they couldn’t gain any further information. Anyway, the highlight of the episode are Tom and Solomon: The Halcyon team got information that terrorists are hiding in an apartment. Tom and Solomon head straight to the place to get them. Thing is that not only the Halcyon team got that information – someone called 911. Shortly after Tom and Solomon had taken care of the terrorists (everybody can imagine what that means – if you have Tom and Solomon working together) two police officers were knocking on the door. Tick, tock, tick…… they have no chance – as to open the door and talk to them. Tom tries with all means to prevent them from entering the apartment. Worse luck – he isn’t successful. But Solomon rescues the day. He dresses up as a plumber (and hell yes – if once I need a plumber– I wanna have Solomon). This brings us to the funniest dialogue between Tom and Solomon. This allows them to get the police out of the apartment. Furthermore, Halcyon can finish the job successfully in the end. Those are not all of Tom’s major issues in this episode. It seems Howard gets crazier and crazier by every day. Not only that he still believes that Scottie is a Russian doppelgänger (as we know from last episode). Now he seeks for information about Whitehall. What is Whitehall? A Place, a project, a facility, a mission? What does Howard want to encrypt? What the heck is he talking about all the time? Plus, he wants Tom to gain all that information. How should Tom find out? The situation gets worse as Scottie begins to have trust issues about Tom. We are very aware of this – as she sends Solomon hot on Tom’s trail. Scottie wants more details on Tom. Is he her long-lost son? Is he a traitor? Is he linked to Howard somehow? She wants some answers. Is Tom still safe? What will happen next?
S01E05 “Borealis 301”
There 5th case leads the team to, a German official locking 63 refugees seeking asylum into a room with sarin gas? Now you ask, how can a German official get his hands on such a dangerous toxin? I was asking myself this same question. Could this be a distraction or a ruse for a bigger plan? The CIA official had explained to Scottie and the team that they use civilian flights to transfer sarin gas? (SAY THAT AGAIN.) Therefore, they were looking for flight Borealis 301, they were the next target. Scottie was going to have to dispatch 2 of her best agents to stop this from happening. Tom and Solomon, the two hottest undercover flight attendants ever! There is so much happening in the episode, you really must pay attention. We must not forget Howard and his secret decoder ring. (Let me stop playing. BUT you can read so much from comic books, cure for world hunger, cure of cancer.) Obviously, Howard can decipher messages and he has the book to crack the code! Tom spotted this comic book at Howard’s house and did a “OMG, it’s not him.” Tom is still giving “Mommy Dearest” the benefit of the doubt until “Howard the lunatic” proves otherwise… BUT Tom will tell her everything if he doesn’t prove the truth!!! We get back on the plane and obviously, there is lovers quarrel going on… A very suspicious one. It seems like the female doesn’t want to be a part of whatever the boyfriend is doing. There was a SEAL TEAM that somehow went rogue, and his female seal member was supposed to get some intel for them. Well she didn’t follow through, which can only mean, she must meet her maker! BYE, BYE! One thing: the boyfriend can’t do it, so she escapes. This is only after the other seal team members had already hijacked the plane, taken it over and planned to sabotage it. (With Tom and Solomon, the flight attendants on board! Um, I don’t think so.) PANIC ROOM TIME! The emergency masks all fall, then Solomon piggybacks a ride with one of the seals the hell out of there. How come Dumont didn’t detect the SEAL TEAMS’ connection with his extremely intricate spy system at Halcyon? We get back to NYC, and Solomon is headed towards Howard’s house, seems Scottie figured out his comic book message, like she used too, in their heydays. Right it had to be the comic book, that she figured out his location, how could she possibly known where he was? Howard gets taken away as Tom watches…
I must say this was one of the more adrenaline rushing episodes for me. I’ll tell you why, “Scottie IS going to find out that Tom is her son?” (OH, BOY! SO, MANY RED HERRING in the beginning and throughout the episode, Told. Me So. You too? I know.) I mean where yawl expecting it to happen in episode 6? I thought it be a cliffhanger in the finale or something… It seemed like a setup from the get-go that Tom and Solomon, were going to work this job. You know, save Scottie’s good friend and family, who happened to have a little boy? (Um, just like Scottie did when she lost Christopher, I mean Tom cough.) AND I was SO mad at our boy Dumont, “WHY in Gawd’s green earth would he give up Tom’s REAL identity on the screen?” What did he ever do to him but be nice to you Dumont? You knew that Tom was in for some torture and a beat down Solomon style. She put her trust in Tom Keen, he not only let her down, HE LIED TO HER. I get it being betrayed and lied to is never a good thing, but when you are a supposed “sociopath” of the likes of Scottie, well can you be trusted? NOPE. Tom in a rock in a hard place. He didn’t really trust Howard or her. I found the suspense of Solomon looking to do the “kill” shot on Scottie’s order, had me on pins and needles! Edi Gathegi is in a class by himself, playing this role superbly! Scottie tearfully telling him not to do it. Thank you, Scottie! The next scenes though by Scottie, HIGH KUDOS to Famke Janssen. Girl, you truly are a star. The range of rage, sadness, relief and disappointment you showed us was a revelation! You could tell she was in utter shock that her son betrayed her. Adding in the fact, I believe she was still absorbing in what Howard told her, “Scottie, he is your son.” (inside the “faux hospital/prison” she is keeping him captive in) she was processing it all… It was like she sensed deep down inside. I still don’t understand why Nez had another drug relapse? I thought she was doing so well, you too? I felt that Tom and Nez’s family type relationship, would really help her thru this. Why would she give up on getting better learning Howard (her mentor) is alive??? The whole contrasting of the two characters, Carlos and Tom, melded into the story well. It reflected Carlos/Tom the “family men” who’d do anything to protect theirs. How they betrayed their parents, in Carlos’ case, Diego and Tom’s it was Scottie. BRAVO writers! I don’t know about Solomon trying to kill Tom again… He better NOT. Ryan Eggold gave a top-notch performance in this one. Kudos my man!!!! There is reason why you got your own show.
It all comes down to this in the end and battle lines will be drawn… The greatest thing about this episode is the actors. Ryan Eggold, Edi Gathegi, Famke Janssen, Adrian Martinez, Tawny Cypress, Terry O’Quinn and our guest stars. I think the build-up waiting for the conclusion could have been done in one episode instead of two. I loved that we got a cameo appearance by Megan Boone (Elizabeth Keen) and Harry Lennix (Harold Cooper) just wish we could have seen more of them. Howard telling Scottie to turn on the TV to watch the news? “I’M ALIVE.” (Vintage Frankenstein!) Why because anyone who wants to SMOKE “out the VILLAIN” does that. … Scottie is not scared of you Howard, be prepared!!! Um, Kat getting busted by Scottie finding out they (Trevor and Kat) are sleeping together: PRICELESS! You’re going down!
S01E08 “Whitehall: The Conclusion”
We find out Howard was playing everyone like a fine-tuned violin huh? SURPRISE!
BUT wait there is much more. Trevor, oh yeah, remember, Trevor, Mr. Sex for hire? He was a Howard plant. He kills Kat, oh my gawd, yeah! She was trying to warn Scottie. (TOO LATE BABY). Trevor was playing Scottie all along. Ciphering information to “BIG BAD Howard” and using her!!! What exactly was “NOT SO CRAZY” Howard Hargrave’s endgame real deal after all? Whitehall? What exactly is that? The key to unlock everything, all the cures, weapons, diseases, secrets to everything IN THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE? As the show ends we see Tom holding a dying Kat. Scottie and Solomon catch up with Howard and see what he is up to, in his lavatory with his HUGE ASS WEAPON or BEACON to LIGHT! I’ll be honest I am not quite sure. BUT I am dying to find out!!
Although, we only get a taste of what’s to come, frankly I wish it was a full season order, but I digress. I don’t run or own NBC/SONY to do this. I found “The Blacklist Redemption” to be an adrenaline rush, action packed, keeping your full attention and watching every single second of the season! Hopefully this time next year, we are discussing season two!