They really make us work for these episodes of “The Blacklist.” You have to pay attention, otherwise you might miss a major component of the storyline. This show reminds me of “24” in that regard, only without the ticking clock. It also makes it a challenge to recap! But I’m down for it, because I love the show so much.
We jump right into this week with a big gunfight and a robbery in Shanghai by some Chinese guys — they steal a laptop and the hand necessary to access it. That’s right. Someone’s hand is cut off and taken along with the laptop, because the laptop requires that specific hand print to decrypt it.
Except, it doesn’t work and the decryption fails, causing the thieves to go to Plan B: “Call Raymond Reddington.”
At first I wondered how on earth they’d call Red, since he’s locked up in prison and only dragged out to solve difficult cases (see my rant on this in last week’s recap). But turns out Red is out and about now – in this case, playing chess in the park (I guess with himself, since there’s no one else at the table).
“Good God, not here,” he says, when someone approaches him. “I prefer to play with myself in private,” he quips.
At home, Liz has that box out from the floorboards again. Then she shows us a handy thing, should the need ever arise in our lives. She puts some phone books in a bucket and shoots a hole in them, then takes the bullets to ballistics for comparison. I missed something here as to the why question.
Tom is home now, but rolling around in a wheelchair. He’s pressing Liz for info about the break-in. “I just hate that there are things you have to hide from me,” says the guy who’s hiding something. Things are tense between them.
At work, back to the Chinese hand robbers. Turns out the owner of the hand was a CIA agent. Red says it’s the work of a mythical bad guy named Wujing. “He’s very real,” he tells Liz, when she balks at the idea of helping them, because another CIA agent might be killed in the process (never mind that she might help SAVE some lives).
Ok, she’ll do it, but in return, Red will have to tell her the truth – why does he want only to work with her and no one else?
Meanwhile, some guys break into Liz and Tom’s house and wire the place for surveillance (and Liz and Tom’s assistant nearly discovers them).
Red and Liz go undercover into the Chinese bad guys’ bunker. But first, they’re scanned, and the scanner picks up the chip in Red’s neck. He starts saying something about being captured by Somali pirates, and then, “But if you have a clean razor blade and some morphine, I’ll remove it.” No problem – that won’t be necessary.
Down, down, down they go in an elevator, deep into the bowels of the earth and the Chinese guys’ lair. “I once had a bad experience with a deep hole in the ground,” says Red. I’ll bet.
In the bunker, where Liz was supposed to be “decoding” their computer, didn’t it seem odd that Liz was able to type out messages to Red – and in big letters, no less? Wouldn’t the guys be keeping a little closer watch on the computer than that? I’m sure that a giant “distract them” message on the computer might have been noticed.
Anyway, Red does indeed distract them, giving the guys back at the office the chance to decode the computer and make it seem like Liz did it. They learn the next target: Henry Cho, a Chinese American architect who’s a civilian but has done some work for the CIA. The team has to find and protect him before Wujing’s guys find him. Tick tock, tick tock.
There’s a wild scene with the architect and his small son, who are up high in an under-construction skyscraper. The agents show up in the nick of time, though, and all is well.
Note to Self: If the CIA ever comes calling in need of an entertainment writer, just say no.
Oh, I forgot to mention that prior to that, Wujing was onto Liz and Red and locked the system down before they could get out. Red’s a cool cat. Somehow, he manages to get them out of there, but had to shoot a guy in the process. And the Chinese guys were somehow ok with that.
“You didn’t have to kill him,” Liz later tells Red.
“I believe I will always do whatever I have to do to keep you alive,” he says. (BECAUSE HE’S HER DAD!)
Ok, she held up her part of the bargain, she says. Now she wants answers. “Why me?” she asks Red.
“Because of your father,” he says.
“What’s that mean?” she asks. “Did you know my father? Have the two of you met somehow?” (YES. HE’S YOUR FATHER.)
“I wish the answer were as simple as the question seems,” he says. “But the truth is, the question isn’t simple either. I share your frustration.” Ok, that is not much of an answer, Red. Way to be vague.
“You act like we’re the same,” she says. “You’re wrong. I have a life. I have people who care about me. But you, this is all you have.”
“I have you,” he says.
He’s her dad!!! People, he’s her dad!!!
At the end, we got the ballistics report, but the test results are classified – at least on HER report.
Back at the CIA, however, there’s some discussion. “You were right. Liz Keen is hiding something. Any test reports get sent to us first. Any briefings on this homicide include the Secretary of Homeland Security.”
Meaning … what? That Tom is involved in something really, really bad?
Across the street from her house, some guys are watching the video feed from all the hidden cameras they set up inside her house.
In Red’s envelope he got from the Chinese bad guys is a sheet of paper with a number on it.: 042983
Ooh … what’s it all mean?!!!