The conclusion to The Blacklist episode on Bastien Moreau (Christopher Lambert), proved that no one messes with Harold Cooper (Harry Lennix). Despite a corrupt Assistant Attorney General and a suspect President, Cooper singlehandedly saved Reddington’s (James Spader) life. There was no doubt Reddington would live. It’s not as if NBC were about to kill off their star. But in typical Blacklist fashion, it was a fun ride.
Cooper pleaded with, then all but blackmailed President Diaz (Benito Martinez), who finally issued Red’s stay of execution. And it worked. With less than a minute to spare, the phone rang in the execution chamber. And just like that, Red walked away from a lethal injection. But there were conditions, of course. Red only had a stay of 48 hours to find the person responsible for Ava Ziegler’s (Roxanne Hart) murder. If he succeeded, they would reinstate his immunity agreement. If he failed, then it was back to the execution chamber. The fun part was that Red had no clue who was behind Ziegler’s murder. He had bluffed his way out of the death chamber. With his ankle bracelet firmly in place, Red walked out of Terra Haute, welcomed by Liz (Megan Boone) and Dembe’s (Hisham Tawfiq) heartfelt hugs. After three months, Reddington was a free man.
But not everyone was happy. AAG Anna McMahon (Jennifer Ferrin), and President Diaz were up to something that depended on Reddington being dead and a certain dossier located. As revealed in part one, McMahon hired Bastien Moreau to dispose of Ava Ziegler and obtain the all important dossier. Whatever is in the dossier, it’s pretty clear the President does not want it made public.
Back in the Post Office, the task force welcomed Reddington back, then it was time to get to work and find the assassin. Reddington ran through the cases he had given them while incarcerated, and they were all connected. Bastien Moreau’s failed UN bombing set in motion a string of events. General Shiro (the bug man) led Red to the Cryptobanker, who had paid $5 million to gain access to Ava Ziegler. Once there, Moreau poisoned Ziegler with an ampule of bug juice taken from Dr Nikkila (Mark Linn-Baker). All of this led to Red uncovering a conspiracy on an attack on America, sanctioned by the President. It was this that Red used as leverage to gain his freedom.
Bastien Moreau was the first and final piece in the puzzle, so they returned to the failed UN Bombing. Who had Moreau’s target been? Someone who knew about the dossier and planned attack, and that had to be Christopher Miles (Michael Xavier), former MI6. If there was a legitimate threat, Miles would be the one to have compiled the dossier. Red called upon one of his contacts to find the whereabouts of Miles, and interrupted their game of Heads Up. While Red got the information, Dembe joined in with the game, to the horror of the assembled party guests. Armed with the address of Miles, Red informed the task force.
Unfortunately, Moreau found Miles first. After obtaining the thumb drive with the dossier (of which there were no copies), Moreau then shot Miles in the leg. He called McMahon to arrange the drop point, where she gave him a new job. Kill Reddington, as he’d got too close, and she was not going to let him ruin this now. And Moreau didn’t even need to look for Red. Thanks to the ankle bracelet, McMahon knew exactly where Red was.
At that moment Ressler (Diego Klattenhoff) and Navabi (Mozhan Marno) breached Mile’s apartment. As the SWAT guys fired of a flash grenade, Samar’s vision swam due to her previous brain injury. With her ears ringing, and white lights flashing in her vision, Samar was unable to shoot Moreau who had Miles hostage. Moreau shot Miles again, then fled down the fire escape. Samar held Miles, trying to help him, but was unable to with her vision so haywire. But, Miles did manage to survive long enough to give her something important right before he died. The password to the dossier. Foxglove.
Red, meanwhile, was out with Dembe, celebrating his freedom, when Moreau suddenly joined them. A shocked Red quickly put two and two together. Only McMahon could have given Moreau his own whereabouts, through her tracking his ankle bracelet. Red turned the tide, however, when he told Moreau to read the dossier. They had fooled him. The attack never had anything to do with the Germans. Moreau had the thumb drive, and Red had the password, which Liz had given him, and together, they opened the dossier. Moreau realized he had been lied to as he skimmed through the document. The attack was on America, and put in motion from the highest levels. Moreau did not let Red read it though, telling him he was giving him his life instead.
With Red still alive, Moreau set his mind on his new target – Anna McMahon. Red then informed the task force that Moreau was out to kill McMahon. While Liz and Ressler rolled out on McMahon, Cooper and Aram left to find Samar. She had not returned after the raid on Miles’ apartment. Moreau killed the courier who had just picked up the dossier from the drop point, then headed to Anna McMahon’s house. But the task force arrived and saved Anna McMahon’s life as Moreau fled.
Once again, Bastien Moreau escaped the FBI. But not for long. Out on the street, running from McMahon’s home, Moreau slipped the dossier thumb drive into a schoolboy’s backpack. Moments later, as police swarmed the street, Liz and Ressler held him at gunpoint. Surrounded, he surrendered. He told them he could be a great asset to them. That he knew a secret. But we never got to hear that secret. Unseen by Liz and Ressler, one of the President’s Secret Service men shot Moreau before he could spill the beans.
Cooper and Aram found Samar on the roof of Christopher Mile’s apartment building. As she stood gazing out at the city, I was almost afraid she was going to jump. Her vision was still in white-out as Aram came up to her. She explained to him that she was responsible for Miles’ death. Her brain injury had caused her to put someone else’s life in danger, and fail to arrest Moreau. Aram told her Moreau was dead. While on the rooftop, Samar had made her decision, and was going to talk to Cooper.
Back at the Post Office, Cooper was perusing Reddington’s new immunity agreement with Anna McMahon. If Red committed a crime, he would be back in jail. If any of the task force knew he had committed a crime, the DOJ would prosecute them as co-conspirators. McMahon asked Cooper if he was sure he wanted her overseeing the task force under these conditions. Cooper just leaned back and offered the best line of the night. He replied, “ I do, because it’s proven to be one with an extraordinarily high mortality rate.” (Regarding her predecessors, Diane Fowler and Reven Wright). Cooper was awesome in this episode! But actually, that was the second best part, because Vontae Jones (Coy Stewart) was paroled as part of Red’s new agreement. Awesome! Red’s little shadow in prison gained his freedom too.
With the news reporters spinning the fake report of Red escaping custody on the way to hospital, Red walked into the Post Office. Their new working arrangement with Anna McMahan would make things more difficult. They all knew she was part of the plot against America, and they would need to exercise an abundance of caution around her. As Red left, Ressler asked Liz why she didn’t tell Red she knew he was in impostor. She told him that in the end she chose not to, that she was okay with letting it go, and she hoped Ressler was too. Really? Liz was too obsessed with needing to know to just drop it like that, and Ressler knew it.
Up in Cooper’s office, Samar entered to talk to him. She told him she was leaving the task force. No reason, just that it was time. She never told him of her aphasia, or her feelings toward Miles dying because of it. Cooper didn’t understand, but saw there was no talking her out of it.
And while the task force wondered where the dossier was, the young schoolboy tossed his backpack near his bed. The thumb drive with the dossier fell out and scooted under his bed. Hidden and lost for how long?
This was a good episode, but I don’t think it was as good as Part 1 of Bastien Moreau. That had heart wrenching tension and goodbyes, as Red faced death by lethal injection. There was never any doubt that Red would survive, so that tension was not there on Part 2.
But it was still a good episode that ended Red’s prison arc, and started a new story line. Red is now free and back to being the Red we know (even if we don’t know who he is!) While the prison arc was good, I am glad it’s over as it was time to move on. Now the task force have a conspiracy on America to track down, while they know it involves the AAG and the President. They are after the very people who employ them. Seeing Red back with Liz and the task force is where this show shines. Everyone is back on Team Red, and it’s always a great place to be.
Oh, and I am totally not buying that Liz is now okay with never finding out who Red used to be. Still basking in the relief that he didn’t die, I am sure at some point she will return to that quest. I also wonder if Ressler won’t do some digging on his own. Now that he knows Red is an impostor, that has to be piquing his own curiosity. And we know Red is aware Liz knew he was someone else before, and that Ressler knows too. It will be interesting to see the dynamic between all of them from now on.
Samar’s story line appears to be coming to a close. It really is looking like Mozhan Marno is departing the show in a couple of episodes. There has been no official announcement, but that isn’t surprising. To announce it before now would have been a huge spoiler. If she does leave, I hope they do her character justice (as in, don’t kill her off!) and give her a good send off.
And something bothered me in last week’s episode, and again in this episode. According to Red, Moreau had entered Ziegler’s hotel room and poisoned her with bug larvae. She then died a few hours later with fully grown bugs coming out of her (a scene I hope we NEVER see on The Blacklist again!) But in General Shiro, they clarified the gestation period of the bugs was at least a week. The timing didn’t work to have poisoned Ziegler with tiny larvae, then die a few hours later.
Next week is a double episode with Robert Vesco first, followed The Osterman Umbrella Company.
The Blacklist airs at 9/8c on Fridays on NBC.
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