The Blacklist (S07E13) “Newton Purcell”

This weeks episode of The Blacklist, Newton Purcell, was a mixed bag. A straight forward case of the week, Aram (Amir Arison) still making wrong choices, and Liz (Megan Boone) on the hunt for someone. But the real star of the episode was our little Jelly Bean, Glen Carter (Clark Middleton), attempting to please Red (James Spader).

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The episode opened with our blacklister of the week, Newton Purcell (Bryce Pinkham) setting off an explosion in the server room at a data center. Purcell, a former Optimus data center employee, has had his life ruined by their data centers. How? The sound their cooling systems make affected his hearing, and just about every other bodily function and his state of mind. Seems reasonable – in Blacklist land, at least.  So it’s a revenge story. They ruined his life and health, and he will make them pay.

The explosion was only the beginning. He’s kidnapped a man who previously ignored Purcell on how dangerous sound waves were.  And as our kidnap victim floated in a tank of water, surrounded by the biggest sub-woofer ever, Purcell made his point abundantly loud and clear. As he increased the volume, the sound waves basically made soup of the kidnapped man’s organs.

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The task force are already on the case, even though Aram was late for the briefing because he was, wait for it, skydiving with Elodie (Elizabeth Bogush)… They’ve got a break though, discovering his next victim, Libby Bishop (Angela Pierce) a woman responsible for the Optimus data centers. Ressler (Diego Klattenhoff) and Park (Laura Sohn) race to the woman’s home, but of course, Purcell got there first. And before you know it, he’s got Libby in the water tank recently vacated by soup man. On arriving at Libby’s home, Ressler finds an ear piece, left after Libby’s struggle with her kidnapper. A specific type of hearing aid, that they track to one Newton Purcell.

As Liz and Park race to Purcell, they rescue Libby just in time, as the sub-woofer increases. So with Libby safe, Park goes all ninja again and almost kills Purcell while arresting him. Liz gives her a little word about crossing lines. Um, Liz is a great one to talk to anyone about that. So, one blacklister in custody. Case closed.

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Meanwhile, Aram is in his own deep water. In thick with Elodie, he’s decided she’s the woman for him. Which is really great timing, you know, because it’s while waiting outside a hospital room where Elodie’s husband Charles dies. Yeah, the boyfriend offering support to the cheating, ‘grieving’ woman just didn’t do it for me. This entire story line is ridiculous, especially with Liz being happy for Aram, you know, getting it on with a married woman. So Charles is dead, and at the wake, Aram finds something. While Elodie had promised Aram she had no pre-nup, guess what Aram finds. Yeah, a pre-nup, that Elodie doesn’t get one red penny if her and Charles divorce. But she inherits the entire kit and caboodle worth $10 million if he dies. Aram is finally suspicious.

Throughout the episode, Liz was making her own investigation into someone. And we finally discover it’s Ilya Koslov (Brett Cullen). After taking Tom’s (Ryan Eggold) lock box from its hidey spot in a wall grate, noting the lid design is the same as her wrist scar, Liz pulls out several thousand dollars. And say what? She has a fake passport for Agnes (Sarah and Katherine Kell), definitely made after Tom’s death. Seems Liz learned well from her former husband. And with that money, she hired a private investigator to track down Ilya.  Liz has always wanted answers on her family and Ilya can provide that.

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But really, the best, funniest story of the night belonged to Glen. In an effort to appease Red, after inadvertently sending a truck to the wrong port, Glen is on the case. Seems it’s not just a truck, but has Tritium in it, a rare isotope worth $12 million, used in nuclear warheads. And it’s not IN the vehicle. It IS the vehicle. So, Glen races after this $12 million truck, ready to deliver it to Red and win Red’s recognition. But the truck is the grand prize in a Hands on a Hard Body contest at the truck dealership. But Glen’s got this, and with sweat pants, head band, sore feet (and a hilarious montage to Eye of the Tiger),  Glen’s tired, but he’s almost the last man standing.

And while Dembe (Hisham Tawfiq) refused to massage Glen’s stinky, sore feet, Red helped out behind the scenes. On a 5 minute break, unseen by Glen, Red sidled up to the other contestant, a pastor (who had already won twice),  extolling Glen’s virtues to the man of God. And wouldn’t you know it, our little Jelly Bean won. Proudly, and just in the nick of time for Red’s anxious buyers, Glen drove the truck into the warehouse. And almost immediately, the gathered buyers set about destroying Glen’s hard won prize. Disappointed, he covered (not that well) and was just proud to have helped Red. To be the man he could depend on, and that was all that counted. Red smiled, pleased at the outcome.

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But, Red wasn’t heartless that Glen won and then lost the truck so quickly. In drove Dembe with a fancy red (of course) sports car. Glen’s reward for a job well done. And with Glen’s theme song of the night, Eye of the Tiger playing, he drove off, one happy little jelly bean.


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

Images courtesy NBC Will Hart | Sony/NBC | 2020 NBC Universal Media, LLC