The Blacklist‘s fall finale finds Red fighting to survive a brutal abduction at the hands of a pair of old foes, while Elizabeth risks her marriage (and her life!) to save him. Oh, and a very important someone finally catches wise to a theory we’ve all clung to since the very beginning: Perhaps Red has some paternal ties to the aforementioned agent?
WHEREFORE ART THOU, ROMEO? | Red’s former associate/fellow Blacklister Anslo Garrick continues his reign of terror within the task force’s compound, as Cooper refuses to open the box and release the informant to his captors. However, when Liz is captured and nearly killed before his eyes, Red forces his “cell”-mate Ressler to give up the door code (it’s “Romeo”) and turns himself over. Anslo, seeing that Liz is important to Red and thus important to him, escapes with the pair. But it’s not long before the former is able to flee the getaway vehicle — an ambulance in which a paramedic successfully removes Red’s internal tracking device. As such, Liz’s attempts to trail the transport are derailed.
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A MOLE AMONG US | After that naysaying Department of Justice dame Diane pulls the plug on the task force in favor of solely locating Reddington, Liz and her covert cohort Aram begin digging into how Anslo and his team found Red and their secret location in the first place. Unfortunately, it turns out that someone within the organization has been tipping off the intruders via calls from burner phones that regularly occur a few seconds after Red arrives in the “post office.” As for where the calls are headed, Aram gives Liz an address, which just so happens to belong to the Apple Man’s surveillance-filed building across the street.
Fearless as ever, the agent breaks in, locates the live feeds of her home and subsequently kills the man who approaches her from behind with a gun. (Is he absolutely, positively the Apple Man?!) In desperate need of help and unable to turn to her FBI colleagues, Liz calls Red’s contact “Mr. Kaplan” and, almost instantly, a buttoned-up, middle-aged woman arrives to clean up the scene and help find Red. Using the possible Apple Man’s GPS history, the pair — along with Red’s right-hand man Dembe — find a high-tech surveillance outpost that has been watching the task force for months — and that includes the aforementioned higher-up, Diane.
KILL THE MESSENGER | How’s this for a twist: Anslo is just the “hired help” in this entire scenario. The mega-criminal was tapped to capture and torture Red for none other than Alan Alda. The TV vet makes his Blacklist debut as a liason for some sort of higher criminal power, one that very much wants Red to keep his mouth shut. “I thought we had an arrangement,” he says to a drugged and distressed Red. “The people I represent, they’re nervous… We could have killed you every day for the past two decades. But we know what you have, and we know what will happen with it if you turn up dead. And in exchange, we trust that our secret will remain secret.”
Red insists that regardless of his informant ties, he has not divulged a word. As a semi-show of good faith — at least, until he can verify the Blacklist-wielder’s claims — Alda’s alter ego lets him go, warning, “There’s nowhere you can go, there’s no one you can trust to keep you from us.” Anslo soon learns that he can’t, as he was promised, kill Red, so he threatens Liz’s life instead. Unfortunately for him, Red isn’t as unconscious as he thinks, and the always-one-step-ahead mastermind ends his old foe’s life. Liz & Co. soon arrive on the scene, but Red has already escaped.
THE BIG QUESTION | Red soon calls Liz to let her know that he’ll be “gone for a short while,” but is always with her. “Wherever I am, whatever I’m doing, if you are in need, I will be there.” It’s that sentiment that possesses Liz to ask Red the question we’ve long wondered ourselves: “Are you my father?” Hesitating for a second, Red responds, “No,” and then, for good measure, adds, “Lizzy, be careful of your husband…”
EVERYTHING ELSE | After Anslo intercepts Tom’s call to Liz — and announces his plans to kill her — the maybe-murderer insists that his wife leave the business. “You need to stop,” he pleads. “You need to walk away from this job before it destroys you.” She’s semi-receptive, but throughout the hour she repeatedly puts her job first. Elsewhere, a now gravely injured Ressler is taken into surgery. Thankfully, he pulls through and is soon reunited with his ex-fiancee, who he learns is now engaged to someone new.
So, what did you think of the fall finale? Grade the episode below. The Blacklist returns with new episodes Monday, Jan. 13 at 10/9c.