This episode was so packed with juicy reveals and nail-biting twists that on any other show, it’d be a season finale. It’s only been a few weeks since Liz Keen found out that her whole marriage is a sham, and that her husband is a sleeper agent for some unknown organization so terrifying that people would rather jump out of a ten-story window than be made to talk about it. But instead of stringing us along, The Blacklist gives us exactly what we want, when we want it. After the last couple episodes of skin-crawling restraint between the fakely-weds, all hell breaks loose – and it is awesome. Liz takes a wrench to Tom, looking for answers, but what he tells her brings no consolation. As we’ve been expecting, Reddington has done some very bad things – and he’s probably done them to Liz.
There’s a secondary plot line in this episode involving a woman smuggled out of rural China by American Intelligence. They want her knowledge of biological weapons. But when she arrives in D.C., she’s intercepted by the Pavlovich Brothers, who are working for the Chinese. The Pavloviches were also the shock-and-awe team that kidnapped the General’s daughter in the pilot. Truth be told, I could barely pay attention to this poor refugee, because all the real action happened when Tom, Liz or Red were onscreen.
Liz is unraveling – understandably, considering her awful situation with Tom. It’s gotta be torture choking down his sunny pancake breakfasts when all you really want to do is choke the life out of him for pretending to love you for two years, then guilt-tripping you into almost carrying his child, then sleeping with that tramp in Orlando before brutally murdering her – the nerve! But I’m getting ahead of myself. She doesn’t know he killed Jolene yet. At the start of this episode, all Liz knows is that Tom works for “Berlin,” he’s got a key hidden under a lamp, and he’s spent two years running deeply personal surveillance on her. So yeah, she’s about to blow a gasket. During a tense morning exchange, Liz pops a tracker device into Tom’s keychain. (Why are we always seeing them at breakfast? Jon Bokenkamp really wants us to understand how great Tom is at making pancakes. Maybe he’s saying a man that dedicated to maple syrup can’t be all bad. Blacklist Love Lesson #1: Pancakes = redemption.) Tom asks about Jolene’s disappearance, and when Liz says the police have a lead, he’s visibly shaken. Liz tromps over to Red’s place and, with the acuity of someone who’s always two steps behind, says gravely, “Tom killed Jolene.” Red just replies, “yes.” The audience sighs.
Red has already pieced together that Jolene was also working for “Berlin,” but can’t think of why Tom killed her: “Perhaps he was ordered to murder her, or he’s just out of control, irrational, paranoid and reactionary.” (He’s also describing the four stages of crazy that Liz will pass through in this episode.) As an afterthought, he mentions that the Pavlovich Brothers are in town.
NEXT: Genocides and germ warfare