The Blacklist Season 2 Premiere Recap: Good Morning, Lord Baltimore

The Blacklist Season 2 premiere

If there’s one thing The Blacklist has taught us, it’s that Ray Reddington demands all eyes on him at all times.

But during the NBC drama’s Season 2 premiere, it wasn’t the criminal mastermind at the center of everyone’s attention. Instead, Monday’s jam-packed hour belonged to two very important (and very different) women.

Before we get your thoughts on the sophomore premiere, let’s review the finer points of “Lord Baltimore”:

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THE ART OF WAR | We find Red in the back of a Jeep that’s barreling through Cameroon, where he’s been seized by a war lord named Yabbari — though my spelling of that name is admittedly questionable — who is unhappy with Red crossing his turf. “I told you if I ever found you on my territory again, I’d kill you,” Yabbari says, somewhat gleefully. But as always, it’s Red who gets the last laugh: He offers Yabbari $3 million in exchange for the names of the bounty hunters that Berlin has hired to tail Red. With the help of a few Hellfire missiles, Red gets the name he’s looking for — Lord Baltimore, a world-class data tracker — and promptly burns the money he promised the war lord and his associates.

Red informs Liz (who’s holed up in a motel, for now) that Lord Baltimore is their best hope for tracking down Berlin. As the task force begins digging, they zero in on Rowan Mills (hi, Krysten Ritter!), a data engineer at a major analytics firm who recently had $250,000 appear and disappear from her IRA in the blink of an eye. Rowan seems innocent after her first round of questioning with the FBI, but after she gets a threatening phone call warning her not to speak to the FBI again, Rowan enlists Liz and her team to trace the call — which came from inside the house! an apartment leased by… Rowan?

SISTER ACT | Rowan is able to explain the funny business by citing her long-lost sister, Nora, who allegedly perished in an accident years ago but is seemingly still alive, using Rowan’s identity to get her own apartment. Rowan and her mother both confirm that Nora was once molested by her uncle, forcing her to lead a much darker childhood than her sister.

The Blacklist - Season 2Meanwhile, Aram’s detective work reveals that Lord Baltimore is not, in fact, hunting down Red, but a woman who fits a specific set of criteria. Liz offers Red an enormous file of possible targets, and Red immediately recognizes one of them: Naomi Hyland, his former wife. (We’ve missed you on TV, Mary-Louise Parker! Also, is anyone else surprised by how majorly star-studded this premiere is?) Red urges Liz to get an FBI unit to Naomi’s apartment immediately, since his former flame is in imminent danger.

Back at Rowan’s apartment, a man named Marcus enters unannounced, and although Rowan tries to get him to leave, he insists on playing a record for her: “We Three (My Echo, My Shadow and Me)”. Marcus talks Rowan through the song, trying to jog her memory about a particularly fateful night years ago… and just like that, Rowan remembers. “How long was I gone?” she asks, stone-faced, before rounding up a team of associates outside Naomi’s apartment. They gun down most of the guests and FBI agents at Naomi’s place, and Naomi is taken to a remote location while Liz arrests Rowan — or, as we come to know her, Lord Baltimore in the flesh.

Later, Liz questions Marcus about what triggers Rowan’s memories, then plays the same song for Rowan on her cell phone. Within minutes, it’s revealed that Rowan is really Nora Mills, who killed her sister years ago in order to claim her sibling’s less tragic identity. At the same time, Ressler heads to Nora’s mother’s house, where he finds a van in the backyard that contains the decayed corpse of the real Rowan. (Whew! Still with me?)

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The Blacklist Season 2 PremiereAt a rundown apartment building nearby, Berlin uncovers Naomi’s face (accompanied by a bone-chilling, “Hello, Mrs. Reddington.”), climbs on top of her and takes a Polaroid photo of her face. And although Red and Dembe are clued into Naomi’s location, all that remains at the apartment by the time they arrive is Berlin’s pocket watch, which now contains the most recent photo of Naomi. Later, a package arrives for Red at the hotel where he is staying, and he calls Berlin upon viewing its contents. Berlin vows to send Naomi back to Red piece by piece, just as Red did with Berlin’s daughter. The episode’s parting shot? Naomi’s severed finger, resting in an elegant gift box. Yeesh.

Other highlights of the hour:

* Red is briefly captured by former Mossad agent Samar Navabi (House of Cards’ Mozhan Marnò), who knows Red from a previous dust-up in Haifa, Israel, which killed two of her fellow agents. Red also knows that Samar’s brother perished in a 2009 bombing — hence the falcon tattoo she has in his memory — and although Samar’s time on the screen is limited, surely she’ll be back on Red’s radar very soon.

* Red and Dembe pay a visit to Harold Cooper’s apartment, where the former FBI director now gets around with the help of a cane. (Is it in totally poor taste to say that the past few months have done wonders for Cooper’s physique?) Red attempts to convince Cooper to return to work, but his argument seems to fall on deaf ears… until the end of the episode, when Cooper returns to the FBI headquarters and is welcomed with open arms. Also receiving a warm welcome? Liz’s new haircut, which must mean Megan Boone’s conspicuous wig days are behind her. Rejoice!

* Ressler spends most of the hour avoiding Dr. Friedman, the FBI’s resident shrink, who is scheduled for regular appointments with the agent and his undoubtedly damaged psyche. Ressler blows off the doc more than once, but behind closed doors, his pill-popping habit indicates he’s not doing so well on his own.

* Liz receives paperwork confirming her annulment from Tom. She insists on keeping the last name Keen, considering it was never really Tom’s surname to begin with — and speaking of Tom, might he be the one spying on Liz throughout the hour?

What did you think of The Blacklist‘s Season 2 premiere? Grade the episode via our poll below, then hit the comments to back up your choice!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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69 Comments
  1. Ian says:

    YOU DO NOT CUT UP MARY ELIZABETH PARKER! I was HORRIFIED she was getting dismembered. Big fat no-no.
    Classic Blacklist. Fast-paced and smart. Loved Megan ditching the wig finally *coughs* I mean I loved Lizzie getting her new divorce-do ;)
    My other thought was about Naomi mentioning a daughter. Doesn’t seem right now that it could possibly be Lizzie, buuuuut you never know with this show.

  2. herman1959 says:

    OMG. It was so awesome I don’t even know where to start!

  3. Sparky says:

    Always happy to see James Spader back on my screen. Lizzie’s awful wig is finally dead and I think her acting may have improved from last season although the jury’s still out on that for a few episodes. Going to be that person that brings up Reds daughter but I think I was under the assumption that Reds daughter was also his wife’s. His wife didn’t recognize Liz so is it safe to assume that she really isn’t Reds daughter????

    • Jimmy says:

      I may be proved wrong, but I’ve been moving away from Lizzie being Red’s daughter. I would think a mother would recognize her daughter, even separated by so many years, but you never know.

      • herman1959 says:

        Yes, but just because Liz may be Red’s daughter it doesn’t necessarily follow that she’s also his ex-wife’s daughter (and vice versa). Yeah, our questions were answered with more question.

        • Carol says:

          so does everyone think that Lizzie is Red’s ex-wife’s daughter? I thought Lizzie’s mother died in a house fire.

          • herman1959 says:

            At this point, I feel like I know even LESS than before! It does look like the daughter issue is going to be big this season, but we could be talking about as many as 3 different daughters (Berlin’s, Red’s, and Mrs. Reddington’s)!

  4. Alichat says:

    Finally! They wrote a story point allowing them to get rid of that crappy wig!

    • Gey says:

      I suspect the actress’ hair finally grew long enough for them to a) get rid of the wigs and b) give her a decent/better hair cut. May she never be allowed to make her own choice of hairstyle again. :-0 LOL! Some women just honestly don’t know which haircuts work for them and which ones don’t.

  5. Liz says:

    Watched this, the two BBT episodes and tried out “Gotham” tonight. This show is still the best. From start to finish-edge of your seat good. Nothing beat it tonight: great action, great story with great twists and funny, classic Red, interesting character of the week and great stuff with Berlin all in one ep. So, so good.

    • MP says:

      Same here, although I liked Scorpion and was so-so on Gotham. After I watched The Blacklist I thought to myself, now THAT is good TV. It was my favorite of the night. James Spader is just so fine in every way.

      • Liz says:

        Ha! I thought the same. Watching them on the same night made the contrast more noticeable. Even the soundtrack of the show is good. “Scorpion” seemed too full of overused tropes and uninspired execution so it was a pass for me.
        .
        Yeah, maybe “Gotham” was so hyped up I expected too much. It was fine. But I kept thinking, ‘If this is the best of all the new shows coming out this season of all the ones they screened, then that doesn’t say much for the rest.’ That being said, it WAS fine and I think it’ll get better now that the introductions, etc., are layed out.

  6. Tran says:

    I’m still hooked on The Blacklist since the beginning and two things I really enjoyed most about the series is action & suspense. Can’t wait to see the Red vs. Berlin showdown to begin and Peter Stormare’s character really gives me the “creeps” 100%.

  7. itsbighead says:

    Tom bby come back to us

  8. Kenny says:

    If only there was a grade higher than “A”

  9. bean says:

    Loved the episode! Am I the only one hoping that something happens between wrestler and keen?

    • Katherine215 says:

      Definitely not the only one! I’ve wanted them together ever since Ressler gave her that hug after she was abducted in I think episode 4 (the Stewmaker one). I love them!

      • Patrick says:

        See, I don’t. Ressler is wound too tight. I think that’s where they are going, but IDK. I liked Ressler and the CIA chick from last year, whom they wrote out for no real reason. Ressler and Keen are too similar.
        .
        I think that Tom will ultimately turn out to be a “good” guy, and that he and Keen will end up together.
        .
        Ressler needs another love interest. I think he would be a great candidate for an off screen wife/serious GF who is never seen.

        • DavidaMak says:

          Anyone can see from a mile ahead that Keen and Ressler are going to be put together. It’s formulaic, obvious, and the writers have all but evasively confirmed this. Tom is coming back, but his romance subplot with Keen is done. He’s coming back as more of bada** killer for hire.

    • MP says:

      I always thought Elizabeth and Ressler had more chemistry than she had with her husband, even when he was a regular guy.

  10. Elysium says:

    This show is top notch! With Blacklist, NCIS:LA and Castle on all at the same time it’s going to be rough. I think Castle may have to go…Blacklist is my favorite show on TV.

  11. Not feeling it. The show was gone, it came back, and I just didn’t care. That’s it for me.

    • jenna says:

      same, I was iffy if I would keep watching after the finale and the premiere just didnt do it for me. I will say that i’m glad boone FINALLY ditched the awful wigs

  12. Lucie Loing says:

    What if Mrs. Reddington is actually Berlin’s daughter? I don’t see Reddington killing an innocent to punish someone. The only other explanation would be that Reddington was the guy his daughter was in love with and Berlin blames Reddington for her death.

    • herman1959 says:

      Lucie, I get the feeling that you didn’t actually watch the entire premiere. Berlin said he would send Mrs. Reddington back piece-by-piece just like Red did his (Berlin’s) daughter. Unless the writers are pulling some weird, triple switcheroo (ok, not entirely impossible), Mrs. Reddington is not Berlin’s daughter because she’s already dead.

      • herman1959 says:

        I meant to add – how about this: Could Liz be Berlin’s granddaughter?

      • WenRaz says:

        Unless Red didn’t really dismember her. Maybe Berlin only thinks that Red did it. Or maybe the pieces sent to him were not really from his daughter. I don’t think Red’s ex-wife is really Berlin’s daughter, though.

      • Lucie Loing says:

        Actually, I did watch the entire premiere. In season one, it was stated that Berlin’s daughter fell in love with a political dissident, Berlin tried to protect her and was thrown into prison for that act. His enemies killed his daughter and sent her back to him piece by piece. How is Red involved in that? Why would Red do that? Red doesn’t hurt people unless they hurt him or those he loves first (at least the Red that we know). I don’t know why Berlin would be that important to Red. Red could have been the dissident. Just because they told Berlin that she was dead and said that they were sending her back to him piece by piece doesn’t mean she is or that they did. This is fictional TV, not a documentary based on facts.

        • leo21 says:

          Whatever happened may have been before Red went rogue.

          • You have to realize, Red never went rogue, he went underground, he went “black” Red is working on eliminating the bad guys from the appearance of their home turf.

          • Amber says:

            I honestly think that red got involved with Berlin’s daughter and wasn’t supposed to. She ended up dead by the hands of the stew makerand sent back to her daddy piece by piece as a way to get back at Red.

        • herman1959 says:

          OK Lucie, everything you just said makes perfect sense, but the confounding thing is that in your first post you presented 2 mutually exclusive theories: (1) Mrs. Reddington is Berlin’s daughter, and (2) Berlin blames Red for getting his daughter killed. Either the daughter is dead or she is alive (in the person of Mrs. R.) – which do you think it is?

      • Amber says:

        And we know she IS dead because the picture Berlin had of his daughter is the same one that Red took from the stewmakers photo album.

        • herman1959 says:

          Exactly, but I don’t put it past the writers to eventually reveal that the girl in the picture is Berlin’s granddaughter and/or (!) Redd’s daughter. OMG.

  13. Fargo says:

    I started out loving this series but now it jumps around too much…the plots are becoming implausible beyond comprehension. Everyone is the good guy, everyone is the bad guy. Every 5 minutes, it seems, someone is getting blown up, shot, cut up. Tone it down a bit and let’s focus on less violence and more plot!!!!!! Man if you are ADHD you absolutely can not follow this series!!!!!

  14. DIdo Twite says:

    Fantastic episode.

  15. bj says:

    I’m so glad Cooper is back!!!

    Red’s wife is looking good. And if she hasn’t seen Red in 20 years she must have a daughter out there somewhere who’s no longer a child too.(Surely if she was dead she would have mentioned it.)

    I love Lizzie’s new hair cut too.

    Still loving this show!!

  16. Ding Dong, the wig is dead….the awful wig is DEAD!!!

  17. Cam says:

    Did anyone else notice the matching rings worn by Naomi and Nora/Rowan. The camera made a point to get a shot of Naomi’s, Red also mentioned Naomi’s daughter once or twice, is it possible that they’re related??

  18. WenRaz says:

    Two things I don’t get: Why would Nora keep the body of her sister whom she murdered in a van on her mother’s property instead of burying it somewhere or disposing of it some other way so it would be at least very difficult to find? And did the fact that the mother tried to prevent the FBI from entering the van mean that she knew what Nora had done?

  19. Nate says:

    Damn that episode moved fast

  20. tahina45 says:

    A*M*A*Z*I*N*G!

  21. Roz12 says:

    Well this was a super charged come back! Although I still don’t get the wig enigma…I mean, why was she wearing it in the first place? She did have hair, didn’t she? Why couldn’t she produce her own mane?
    Naomi’s husband is Lee Tergesen, I don’t think he was there for those final 2 minutes. I bet husband is an intriguing character too.
    And I too want Tom back! although I don’t know if back with Megan, I don’t care much about romance as a central issue on tv shows.

    • leo21 says:

      The producers made her wear a wig until her pixie cut grew out.

    • torimelching says:

      Sorry this is late as I just watched the episode last night.

      Namoi’s husband was shot with the taser just like Lizzy. Lizzy ripped hers out right as one of the kidnappers were getting ready to shot the husband. Although I agree that is seems super odd that Lee Tergesen would only be in it for a short period of time. I think he will come in to play later. Maybe has a similar job to what Tom had.

      Tom is absolutely the person in the car. As soon as they should the eye glasses I knew it was him. I don’t want him a Lizzy back together at all.

      Glad the wig is gone. She had really short hair during the filming of the first season. It actually made her look strong and intelligent but I think with Lizzy they wanted someone not quite sure of themselves since she was starting a new job.

  22. betty says:

    Really enjoyed the opening episode!!!! The program moves at such an amazing speed(similar to Scandal) I always record it to view a few days later and always pick up on something i missed.

  23. Rick Katze says:

    So many questions. So few answers. Looks like The Blacklist is back in form.

  24. S says:

    You missed a key componet in Red’s talk with Cooper….he said I know what they found and what the prognosis is. So something is going on with Cooper…

    • herman1959 says:

      I caught it, but WHAT does it mean and WHO was he talking about – Cooper or his wife? I’m asking who because Red seemed to make a particular point of acknowledging Cooper’s wife…more questions, questions, questions!

  25. Joey Padron says:

    Great season premiere episode. Liz looks better with short hair. Red is great as always. Happy Cooper is back at work.

  26. Derek StJohn says:

    Totally spinning…one day later! There’s no way The Blacklist can keep up this pace…but, I’m hoping! Well done by everyone. And, I want more of Krysten Ritter’s psycho assassin/killer sister/techie. Maybe she and Aram will date.

  27. Samuel Sherwood says:

    Liz and Red being watched in public when all their meetings have been in some private place? Not happening. Former Mossad having a Blackhawk at their disposal to shoot up a hotel in DC? Not happening. Red’s wife not running out of the house at first sight of US Marshal? Not happening. One US Marshal at the back asks her to leave while two in front stand in plain sight? Not happening. Keeping decaying sister in air conditioned van for years? Not happening. Credibility is critical… oh one more, the drug kingpin/terrorist, whatever he was, in Africa? He is in the loop of knowing who was hired? No, no and no, on many counts. And burring the 3 Million? Why? Hand him counterfeit Euro, he was obviously an idiot. And the jeep running from the Humvee firing an RPG IN THE JEEP? Talk about quick toast of everyone in the jeep. The technical folks got no idea about the real world.

  28. Ashley says:

    Welcome back Blacklist! I was so excited for this episode as I finished season 1 four days before season 2 began and I gotta say I missed all the fantastic Liz/Red interaction in this episode. There wasn’t nearly enough scenes with the two of them together. I was glad to see the regular cast was back and I think Mary Louise Parker is great. There was great acting by all— although the dead twin sister/stolen identity fell a little flat as a story line. I hope they find Megan another wig, the short hair is not a good look for her! I hope next weeks episode feels more like the first season, but I am probably viewing this season through rose colored glasses as the finale was just fantastic and is still fresh in my memory.

    • Jean Alica says:

      I like Liz’s hair the length it was and it frames her face. Lets just move on from the whole wig scene because it is cruel and boring. So Red has an ex wife because about six people wanted him two. I still think there is a dead wife and child out there before he met this one. It would not surprise me if Red had several wives the way things are going for business reasons. I think that Madeline Pratt was the best woman for him. Loved the show and as for Tom I still think that he is more likely to want to kill Liz and Red than want to make out with her. Ressler and Liz? I like a lot people do not care about the romance. I like new Liz and Red well whats to say. He is just amazing but I agree not enough time with Liz and Red. Two many woman in this story. You just need Liz and one other if they do this again. Two fast for me. I have to watch it at the weekend.

  29. Mary perkins says:

    This is the best program on. James spader makes this show. Megan and the others fit their roles perfectly. James has “the look ” down perfectly! Casting of all the characters was excellent! We count the days from one episode to another.

  30. Lisa says:

    I love James and the blacklist. I just wander what is in the brown envelope?

  31. Janis Rooks says:

    I was hoping to find the answer here — I could see (or thought I did) that the first box contained a finger. But Red received a second box with a body part in it. It looked to me like the end of his ex-wife’s nose, but there was no injury to her. I thought that was a way the show was telling us that Berlin was not actually cutting up Naomi. What was the body part in the second box? It sure didn’t look like another finger. I deleted the episode so I can’t go back to look.