The Blacklist (S06E20) “Guillermo Rizal”

After the big reveal last week of just who Raymond Reddington (James Spader) was, we settled back into a Blacklister of the week. Guillermo Rizal (Joel de la Fuente) gave us a case of missing kids, and tension between Red and Liz (Megan Boone).

A conflicted Red kept his distance, still reeling from the fact that Liz knows he used to be Ilya Koslov. He was in a different place. Conflicted, because he could not kill, trust or forgive Liz for what she had done. Refusing to discuss it further, he gave Liz a case regarding missing kids. A young girl, Corinne Walker (Delyn Wall) was abducted, but the case was not as cut and dry as it first appeared. Another girl, Nora Mitchell (Keziah Wall) was also kidnapped 37 hours earlier. The two girls were identical. Twins, from different parents, living 1000 miles apart. But Red had another interest in the case, and it involved Anna McMahon (Jennifer Ferrin).

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After interviewing both sets of parents, the Walkers and the Mitchells, the common denominator was the fertility clinic they both utilized. New Dawn Fertility Clinic, outside of Minneapolis. Ressler (Diego Klattenhoff) and Liz met with them. Both the Mitchells and Walkers had different fertility doctors and different teams, but shared an embryologist, Miles Gordon. That could have been the only place a swap of embryo’s occurred. Someone paid Miles a lot of money to swap three embryos. But now the task force had a new problem. Three embryos. Triplets. Racing to the school of third girl, Grace Daxton (Keziah Wall, in a dual role), Ressler and Liz were moments too late to stop her kidnapping.

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Back at the Post Office, the task force discovered that someone had kidnapped several twins and triplets over the previous 18 months. And just like the three girls, they were from different families. Aram (Amir Arison) discovered that the girls had altered DNA. But why? We crossed to where the girls, Corinne, Nora and Grace, were being held in a type of greenhouse. And there, Dr Guillermo Rizal experimented on them by increasing the heat and humidity, to gauge their tolerance. Corinne was unaffected by the heat, while Nora and Grace collapsed.

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Red, meanwhile, was looking for a man. After gatecrashing a luncheon with a Senator Christensen (Howard McGillin), he made it very clear he knows Anna McMahon is looking for an item. She is using a ‘Finder’ to obtain it and Red needs to know who the man is. The Senator whispered that the man’s name was Francis Cotton, and he hired him to find a missing piece of artwork. Dr Rizal had also employed him to find the twins and triplets. But Red wanted him for a different reason. Cotton was looking for something else – something Anna McMahon wanted.

The Senator, panicking, spoke with Anna McMahon, and she realized they were in trouble. Reddington knew about the Finder and his search for her. After dismissing the Senator, she called her man. He needed to find Cotton before Reddington did.

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After sweet talking a woman who dealt in underhanded transactions, Red had her list the Senator’s stolen painting for sale in her catalog. He then borrowed the woman’s back room, where he sat in wait for Cotton, knowing he’d show. And sure enough, he did, and thanks to  some interrogation by a couple of beekeepers and Brimley (Teddy Coluca), Cotton sang like a bird. He gave up the name of Dr Guillermo Rizal, the one taking the twins and triplets. But more importantly, that he’s looking for a missing dossier. Remember the one that outlined the threat to America, that Bastien Moreau (Christopher Lambert) hid in the kid’s backpack? Yeah, the one Anna McMahon wants.

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Ressler and Liz were also back on the confiding in each other train. Liz hurriedly told Ressler about Dom and what she had found out about Red’s past. A stunned Ressler thought they should let Cooper and Aram know, but not with Anna McMahon sniffing around. She hated Reddington, and would use that to get rid of him and the task force. So for now, while they both knew there was more to Red’s story, Liz and Ressler kept it to themselves.

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Thanks to getting Guillermo Rizal’s name from Reddington, the task force located a well guarded warehouse. With HRT and SWAT, Ressler and Liz breached the facility, where they found the kidnapped twins and triplets.  During Rizals’s escape, he took Corinne, but as he ran the girl was shot. Ressler caught up to him, and gave the young girl CPR while waiting on medics. After taking Rizal into custody, Rizal explained he had been experimenting on them for the future of the planet. As global temperatures increased, these children’s geno mapping was the future. They would be  able to withstand higher temperatures and were the future of the human race.

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After the children were safely back with their parents, Liz met Red in a park where she watched her daughter, Agnes, on a merry-go-round. Now that she knows Red’s truth, and is no longer afraid, she had decided to bring Agnes home.  Red told her about Anna McMahon and her search for the dossier. He was too late. Cotton had already told McMahon a child had it, before he told Red. Anna McMahon has a head start.

FINAL THOUGHTS

This was a return to the blacklister of the week format, yet it tied in with the overarching story with Anna McMahon. It was a typical blacklister story, (one with warped, flawed logic.)

While Red was conflicted, Liz was in a far better place, now that she finally has some of Reddington’s truth. So much so, that she felt safe enough to bring Agnes home. We’ll see how that goes. This is The Blacklist and they rarely have happy endings to anything.

Red seems ‘lost’ though. Dembe (Hisha Tawfiq) is not with him, and I am not sure who this ‘Chuck’ is. We know Red always has protection though and right now Chuck is his driver and bodyguard. But we need Dembe back. Red needs his trusted shadow. It looks like Dembe will return before the season end though, which is good news.

Anna McMahon is next week’s blacklister, and then the Season 6 finale is the President, Robert Diaz. High stakes and targets in high places for our task force. Judging by the promo, it seems Anna McMahon has the upper hand with the task force next week. I’m betting that doesn’t last long. Red may be at odds with Liz, but he’d still move heaven and earth to save her. Lot’s coming in the final two weeks of the season.

And might we see an alive and kicking Katarina Rostova? Judging by some behind the scenes video at the filming location a couple of weeks ago, I think we will.

The Blacklist airs at 8/7c on Fridays on NBC.

Images courtesy NBC Will Hart | Sony/NBC | 2019 NBC Universal Media, LLC