The Blacklist (S06E02) “The Corsican”

The Blacklist season 6 opener was a wild ride, but it was mild compared to Part 2, The Corsican. Spoiler alert. If you haven’t yet seen the episode, spoilers are coming!

Raymond Reddington (James Spader) has evaded capture for over 30 years, but ironically, his free run ends just because he wanted a pretzel. Salted, too. After just saving the UN from sure destruction, he’s celebrating, when a police officer approaches, needing to see identification. And that’s when it all goes south. As more officers arrive, they discover that the man they are questioning is the most wanted man in America. How do they know this? Someone close to him tipped off the police. As they slap the cuffs on him, they lead away Reddington as Dembe watches from afar.

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That one act of betrayal that lands Red in jail is the main story for Season 6. We’re entering an arena we’ve never been with the Concierge of Crime – a prison cell. Just how Red adapts to, and most likely uses, this incarceration promises to be a great ride.

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As a continuation of Part 1, Dr Hans Koehler, the episode takes up right where we left off. Bastian Moreau (Christopher Lambert) is in New York. The facial surgery has transformed him into a United Nations worker, and after relieving the worker of his badge and access code for the day, he gains entry to the building. In his attaché case is a bomb, built by Red’s bomb maker, Max Ruddiger (Dikran Tulaine). It’s big enough to demolish the building and everyone in it.

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In New York, they discover the dead UN worker and Bastian Moreau’s target becomes clear.  After arriving in New York, Liz (Megan Boone) and Ressler (Diego Klattenhoff) lock down the United Nations building, but Moreau has already placed his bomb in one of the conference rooms. As Moreau exits the building, he shoots and disarms a guard, taking a hostage. As Ressler pursues him, Moreau shoots the hostage, causing Ressler to stop his chase and help the injured hostage. Um, yeah. Ressler should have let the dozen people around them take care of the shot dude and apprehended Moreau.

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With the building clear, Red enters the UN, escorted by an FBI SWAT team. Max Ruddiger is with him, being the only person who can disarm the bomb. Max is nervous about the police escort, and half drunk, but apparently, the alcohol calms his nerves.

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And here, a stressful situation turns hilarious. Fully aware they cannot possibly get away from the bomb if it explodes, Red opts to tour the deserted UN building. He finds the UN General Assembly building and enters. Red then gives the audience of one – Dembe – a hilarious story of Cary Grant and LSD,  all while knowing the building could explode at any moment.

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Ressler finds Liz, who is with Max defusing the bomb, and with the seconds counting down, Ressler assists in the bomb defusion. While Max works, Ressler is concerned if the bomb maker is up to the task, when at the last second, they defuse the bomb. As Max takes a congratulatory drink, Ressler swipes the flask and takes a swig for himself. With the building saved, Red leaves (to get that congratulatory pretzel).

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An hour later, Aram (Amir Arison) informs Liz they have arrested Reddington. Shocked and upset, Liz has him on speaker so Ressler can hear. Cynthia Panabaker (Deirdre Lovejoy) is with Harold (Harry Lennix) stating that it’s over. The FBI must step back, disavow all knowledge of Reddington and his immunity deal. As Ressler points out to Liz, Red is in the system now. It’s over. An upset Liz holds back tears.

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Liz visits Red in his holding cell, to find him focused on who betrayed him, rather than the fact he’s behind bars. It was a tip off, that much is clear, and someone close to him did this. Liz returns home to find Jennifer pleased Red is now out of the way of their investigation into his past. But a torn Liz is not wholly on board with this, concerned with what happens when Red discovers it was her who turned him in.

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FINAL Thoughts

This was a great episode. Action, drama, shock, betrayal, and humor. It had everything. Fast-paced and what we expect from The Blacklist writers, who give us a new twist each season. And with Red now in jail and his immunity deal likely squashed, how will the task force still work with him?  And how will Red extricate himself from prison? Based on behind-the-scenes information, we know Red will be in prison until around episode 12. That’s a long time, and fascinating to see how the writers pull this off.

Red does not know Liz is aware he is an impostor, nor is he aware that she (and Jennifer) had him arrested, but this is Reddington, a man of many resources even behind bars, so it’s only a matter of time before he discovers both those truths. The cast have stated this season is compelling and has a lot of twists and turns and I am looking forward to seeing this unfold.

On a location note, the Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island, Manhattan, stood in for the United Nations in this episode. It was a great location that really gave the feeling you were at the UN.

The Blacklist is on NBC on Friday at 9/8c.

Images courtesy NBC Virginia Sherwood/NBC | 2018 NBCUniversal Media, LLC