The Blacklist Recap: Don't You Forget About Me

The Blacklist Luther Braxton Part 2

Memory
Turn your face to the moonlight
Let your memory lead you
Open up, enter in

Who knew a lyric from “Cats” could apply so well to The Blacklist?

Indeed, the conclusion of the show’s two-part midseason premiere found Liz Keen trying to retrieve something she assumed was lost forever: her memories. Unfortunately for Ms. Keen, the images of her childhood that she was able to conjure again were simultaneously disheartening and extremely misleading. But I’ll get back to that.

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Picking up where Sunday’s episode left off, Thursday’s hour begins with missiles striking The Factory, allowing thief Luther Braxton (Sons of Anarchy‘s Ron Perlman) to capture Liz and take her to another middle-of-nowhere facility. The ultimate goal: force Liz — who is thought to know the whereabouts of The Fulcrum — to remember where that all-important file is.

Braxton calls upon Dr. Selma Orchard (a woman who once helped him eliminate painful memories) to bring Liz’s repressed ones to the surface. Dr. Orchard obliges for the sake of her young son —who is being held hostage until the doc’s work with Liz is done — and with the help of sedatives and lucid dreaming, Liz is transported back to that fateful day when a fire claimed her home and her identity.

We’re only able to glimpse snapshots of her memories: a young Liz hiding in a closet as her parents argue about The Fulcrum. Her doll that was singed in the fire, the flames quickly engulfing her house. But Liz is able to make out a few strangers exiting the building, and she spies Red in a corner of the burning room, as well.

When Liz awakens, she’s (rightfully) furious with Red for pretending to care about her all this time, when he’s really been after The Fulcrum. Though Red insists that the situation isn’t as black-and-white as Liz is interpreting it, she fires back: “That’s why you came into my life, then. And that’s why you’re here now. Not because of me, who I am to you or whatever connection we might have. It’s because of some object. Some thing. This charade of you pretending to care about me? It was a waste of your time. Because I don’t know where it is.”

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So, Liz’s relationship with Red is as tenuous as ever by the time the episode ends. And as for Braxton — well, he’s been hanged after Red tracks him down.

Before the hour is over, though, Dr. Orchard confesses to Liz that, though this may have happened when she was too young to recall, it’s possible someone has already tried to block Liz’s accurate memory of that childhood fire. “The only people that can tell you what really happened are the people who want you to forget,” Dr. Orchard admits.

Soooo, is it possible that Red isn’t just after The Fulcrum? This is the major question we’re left with by episode’s end. Another important query: What is the object that Liz finds hidden inside her stuffed bunny — and what importance does it hold to her?

Oh, and even though Harold Cooper’s health took a backseat to Liz’s memories in this episode, what are we to make of the diagnosis he and his wife received at the end of the hour?

Got other questions about Thursday’s episode? Or perhaps some theories? Grade the “Luther Braxton” conclusion in 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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81 Comments
  1. kate says:

    I’m between frustrated and intrigued.

    • donholley77 says:

      That’s why I love this show!

    • Patrick says:

      Last night I realized that Blacklist is just a dark version of Chuck. Here, Red is the “download” as a person, rather than just memories or data downloaded into the raw newbie who is overwhelmed. There is even a Fulcrum which everyone is after. There is an absent father figure who figures to play a huge role in this before its all said and done.

  2. drhenning says:

    Having now seeing both Blacklist and Scandal, Blacklist was much better… Scandal is completely ridiculous… That sure looked like a fulcrum at the end that Lizzy pulled out of the bunny..

  3. Tran says:

    I give it an A. Thanks to NBC for renewing Blacklist for a third season after a huge boost for its post Super Bowl episode. Really hope Blacklist will do a better job on Thursdays even if the series is staying put next season despite the return of Thursday Night Football over on CBS. NBC better bring new life to its Thursday night line-up no matter how good or bad it’s going to be and we’ll see if Blacklist stand a chance if it’s going to topped Scandal in the 9 p.m. Thursday night time slot.

  4. David Alsobrook says:

    The series has now recaptured its early intrigue.

  5. pianomanndave says:

    Before I read this recap, there was no doubt in my mind that it was the Fulcrom that Liz found in her stuffed animal, which we’ve seen / known about since the first episode!

    It’ll be interesting to see Liz change as a result of knowing that she has something that Red wants and so desperately needs. I’m sure Red won’t find out that she has it until the season finale…

  6. PatioPrincess says:

    Seriously, there just isn’t enough Ressler in the episodes. This bugs me.

  7. JoAnn says:

    This episode was as exciting as it was heartbreaking! Watching Red and Elizabeth’s expressions during Elizabeth’s epiphany. Then seeing Red’s expression when the doctor was reunited with her son….wow spoke volumes!

    • Tamim says:

      Totally agree! If Red isn’t Elizabeth’s father, then I really wonder what they must have meant to each other prior to the fire that makes him care for her so. And how does Red keep those emotions from showing on his face whenever he talks to Elizabeth, then let so much show once she leaves… breaks my heart… It’s also what has me hooked the most I think, the emotional tennis these two play

      • herman1959 says:

        But when, when, WHEN will we find out? I’m starting to suspect that we won’t find out until the season finale. I’m losing patience with this whole show.

        • Katherine215 says:

          Totally agree on the losing patience part. We’re a season and a half in, and we still have no answer for Red’s interest in her other than the Fulcrum, and we don’t even know what that is. Time for some concrete answers, already!

        • Bela T says:

          Totally agree with you on THAT one!
          I’m on the brink of tuning out and not even caring who is what to whom.

      • Normandy says:

        I don’t understand why they wouldn’t have checked out that possibility from the first episode. A wanted fugitive asks specifically to work with a young FBI agent of no name recognition who happens to be adopted and not know who her birth parents are?

      • I’m thinking more and more that Liz’s father was Red’s brother. He’s so over protective of her and it really can only come down to family.

        • B says:

          It really does seem like he’s her father, but I believed him when he told her he wasn’t. So I’m leaning toward uncle or something like that, too. I don’t think he’d directly lie about not being her father when she asked him point blank. He certainly loves her like family.

        • Jean Alica says:

          Agree with you completely DIJea.

        • Jean Alica says:

          I agree with the comment DIJea made. It more or less goes to some of the hints we have had since season one and early season two. Red loves her there is no question about that. She is his last link to anything tangible and normal. Nor do I think Red would harm a hair of little Elizabeth’s head. Some one else did that to her.

          • David says:

            Red’s world is devoid of normal relationships… In Elizabeth he has a rare heart connection. She is “family” and this makes him more likeable for us.

      • Grey says:

        Could he be her uncle or some other relative just as close as a father?

    • arial2 says:

      I loved the emotional play between Liz and Red. Until this episode, I didn’t think Red was Liz’s father because it seemed too obvious an answer. But her vague flashbacks of her father lying on the floor might track with the burn scars on Red’s back. Plus his reactions in that last scene and his solicitousness about Liz’s well-being went way beyond “she’s got something I want.” The previews for next week were a little confusing because they seemed to indicate Liz and Red back on a friendly footing. I wonder why Red didn’t just kill the head of that shady government group; rank didn’t stop him from killing Jane Alexander’s character. But I am happy we’ll get at least one more appearance by David Strathairn; he’s such a great actor! My interest in the show lagged for a while, but it’s definitely back now!

    • David says:

      And it shows just how good an actor James Spader is…the nuances in his facial features are always perfect…every emotion clearly shown…

  8. Mark says:

    All of that fuss over information from 26 or more years ago? What are they going to use to open the file with, DOS? LOL

    • Lucie Loing says:

      Thanks for the chuckle… which made me realize that 26 years ago, external file storage media was the 5″ floppy so that could not have been a micro flash drive. There could be information from 26 years ago that could bring a group of politicians down.

    • B says:

      That’s what I was wondering! Most info that could be used for blackmail would be old enough that it wouldn’t matter anymore.

    • Leda17 says:

      I was thinking the same thing. They said that the Fulcrum was basically a file with a list of names and info. on the Cabal. But isn’t it a bit outdated at this point?!
      And, I was unclear if Liz’s mother was there. I thought she was the female voice, but then Liz said “a women” came in with some men looking for the Fulcrum. I am confused, but intrigued.

  9. lkh says:

    Good episode. They sure get around tho–were they in Juneau or DC and now and why. Forget the fulcrum–get that magic carpet.

  10. lainey says:

    And talk about how to perfectly utilize the post-superbowl spot! Sunday’s episode was a great intro episode for new people and great for old fans, plus it left you wanting more. Then tonight’s episode, while a “conclusion” wasn’t really; it answered the ‘will the heroine be okay’ drama, but it asked so many more questions. Excellent set of episodes. And aahk, the scene in the hospital with Liz being angry with Red. OMG FEELS.

  11. Cass says:

    This episode really annoyed me. They spent basically the entire episode to retrieve Liz’s memories to basically tell us at the end that none of what we learned could be trusted. What a waste.

    • ~ZZZ~ says:

      Agree! DRAGGED on way too long.
      Well, sorry Ron Perlman…It was nice seeing you!
      And really…..Missile strikes are not nearly as effective as I thought…WTF!
      And her being “hurt” that Red doesn’t care about her , just the fulcrum was kinda lame also.

  12. Skippy says:

    At least three times per season, Lizzie says, “I’m done with you Red.” The pattern is becoming annoying.

    • Katherine215 says:

      Yep. Especially since she forgives him 5 minutes later so they can go after their next Blacklister.

    • David says:

      agreed…and you know she isn’t, and she knows she isn’t done with him, either…reminds me of an old girlfriend, ha!

    • Michelle says:

      Hahah! I was thinking the same thing. I can understand the turmoil, but seriously? she sometimes seems petulant and with the emotional capacity of a teaspoon. It doesn’t occur to her that there is more than meets the eye? She is either “I am loyal to you” or “i’m done.” Need resolution already!

  13. julss1 says:

    I could care less about Cooper… and am starting to get annoyed. I hope they don’t drag out this Liz/Red father story too much longer. I don’t want this to turn into Revenge where we are on season 3 and just starting to make progress.

  14. Amber says:

    why no mention of that thing in the stuffed animal she found at the end? that may have been the fulcrum

    • Dianne White says:

      In EVERY episode, there is at least one shot of Red’s hat. The ‘fulcrum’ or all clues leading to it are inside that hat.Red has this crucial info with him at all times. It’s right out there, in the hat.The best way to hide something is out in the open. This is why Lizzie, the CIA and viewers can never figure Red out. The answers are right there,but nobody ever questions or explores the obvious, This is how and why Red always manages to slip under the radar.

      • David says:

        wow, Dianne…wow!

        • Dianne White says:

          Thanks ,it’s the only thing that makes sense.There’s no other reason for the camera to pan in on the hat during every episode. The ‘fulcrum’ information is sewn into the lining of the hat. It’s the age old theory of hiding in plain sight. I’m torn about stating this theory because it could give the writers a clue fans are onto them and they’ll change up the storyline.But, think about it,when Red was arrested and taken to the Factory, what was he wearing? A TUXEDO, one does not wear a hat with a tux. So the hat and the fulcrum are still safe in Dembe’s hands. There’s no way the always elegant Red would risk losing the hat and the intelligence in it by wearing it when arrested. Ergo, the tuxedo was the only other fashion conscience choice to wear to the Factory and the Fulcrum’s whereabouts remains a mystery to everyone but Red.

  15. donholley77 says:

    I believe Red feelings for “Lizzie are genuine & have to do with more than just The Fulcrum. David Straithan’s character creeps me out- In a good, intriguing way.

  16. Red is her father. I am not sure how it worked out, but that man lying on the floor as Young Lizzy is being taken away is Red. That explains the burns on his back. Sam is involved- he raised Lizzy for Red while Red went Underground. Red placed the Fulcrum in the Bunny. IN order to protect Liz, Sam has her memory tampered with so she wouldn’t remember….Hey, it’s far fetched but its all I got…

  17. Trish says:

    Have to agree with you on that one..need to give Ressler more screen time!!

  18. Jon says:

    This show is frustrating at times but its still my favorite. Glad it moved to Thursday night to compete with the big boys. I want to know if Red is really her father but they better not wait and hold this out too long. People will easily lose interest if they don’t come out with something soon. It reminds me of the damn Mentalist where it took nearly 5 or more seasons to find out who Red John is.

  19. kenneth says:

    First of all I do not think Red needs or wants the Fulcrum. I have no doubts that he knew where it was the entire time (he is not that stupid) but he did feel Liz would have been safer not knowing. However Reds life depends on people believing he has it so for him being out of site out of mind is just as good as being in his hands.

    I also think his emotions got the best of him though and he wanted Liz to see how much he cares which ended up backfiring on him with the way she remembered the events

  20. Pinkie says:

    I don’t see this in the recap or the comments…though I could have missed it.
    I didn’t have sound or something at the end and I never heard what Red and Cooper were talking about…apparently Cooper’s health?
    Can someone enlighten me?

  21. Erik Jensen says:

    James Spader is the epitome of cool and his deep caring for Liz is obvious. He’s got the Fulcrum if he says he has it. (Remember his lines to Finch when Red said he’s kept his promise?) That object in the bunny is a decoy to another wild and can’t wait to watch episode.

  22. pingu says:

    What is the photograph that Liz notices before she picks up the bunny stuff toy. Who is in it? Dad? Braxton?

  23. ed says:

    How old is the information on that thing and how relevant could it still be? Is it the launch codes and location of the some missing cold war nuclear missiles? Seriously, even blackmail information has a shelf life.

  24. Bela T says:

    If this season does NOT reveal more , and is another C*ck tease like last season? This WILL be the last season for me. Granted I am only watching this because of James Spader. Although I did like David Straitharn in these episodes, hopefully they don’t do to him as they did Alan Alda (another WASTE of a storyline and actor) Not only that but this will be the absolute LAST time I watch network tv shows and completely give up on them. It’s why HBO, Cinemax, Starz, Showtime etc are kicking a** (granted some are owned by these networks) They are short, to the point, and don’t leave you hanging! For me it was Eh, ok, whatever of an episode. And yada yada yada about the ratings on Sunday, well DURRRRRR it WAS after the Superbowl what do you expect?????

  25. Isabel says:

    i think the episode was awesome!!!! And i understand why Liz freaked out on Red, but i don’t agree with the fact that she did because if we know anything about Red, it’s that he would do anything to protect Liz. And not just for some stupid fulcrum!!!!

  26. Erica says:

    I have decided one of two things need to happen this season and all before the season finale for me to continue to watch Blacklist next season.

    Either: They take the DNA of Elizabeth and Reddington and find out whether or not they are related and how. They have the DNA, run a freakin’ test!

    Or: Elizabeth needs to be pregnant with Ressler’s baby.

    This show is getting frustrating!

    • Jean Alica says:

      I feel like that to sometimes Erica but not about The Blacklist I like the Mystery that surrounds it. I hope we are not going back to the Liz/Tom against Red scenario because I really would not like that.

  27. Judy Hendrixon says:

    There she goes again, we’re not even three episodes into the season and she’s blaming everything on Red. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; it is time for Lizzie to put on her big girl pants, count how many times Red has saved her bacon and then step up to the realization that while he is not perfect he isn’t her enemy! She is so fast to believe the worst in her mind about him.

    • David says:

      Judy, you are reading my mind on Liz !! And, she brushed off her kidnapping of Tom for 3 months on that boat w/o any sense of wrongdoing (as far as I could tell)

      • Judy Hendrixon says:

        You’re right David, actually I felt like there was a part of her that rather enjoyed tormenting him. I wonder how willing she would be to keep this attitude toward Red if she realized there is a detective who has his sights set on her and is closing in as well. Red could make him go away or at the very least cool his jets.. Was that Tom in the previews tonight 2-19-15 for next week??

        • David says:

          Yes, Judy, your points are correct, IMO…

          She fails to she the value Red places in her as a person.

          • Judy Hendrixon says:

            You know David in being so dismissive of Red’s value for her she is showing a level arrogance and contempt because she is dismissive of him and not worth her time. This is going to play out in a couple of ways I think. It has the potential to undermind the trust factor for the team as a whole and for seeing her as a team leader. Perhaps Red may come to consider the need for her to learn some humiltiy for lack of a better word which escapes me for the moment. Red doesn’t need her having him on a pedistal, but he does need her to trust his insight into the case at hand. For now she has the pronoun “I” in the spelling of “team” not a good thing when lives are at stake. Your thoughts.

            Also his contrast comparison of the dance the Tango to a business deall was facinating.

          • David says:

            You’ve nailed it, Judy, IMO.

            Maybe the writers are wanting to stir sympathy for Red with the current story line.

            Yes, the dance scene was great…the way he applied it…not only to the business deal but the look in James Spader’s eyes seemed (to me) to indicate all of life is like this, and their relationship is like a dance as well, which it is.

          • Judy Hendrixon says:

            Hey David, I realize replying to a Feb 21 post on March 26 can perhaps play havoc with a time line but I couldn’t see another way to make a reply to your March 5th remarks; computer savvy I am not.

            David this business of the missing memory Lizzy has either buried or has been wiped clean like some Star Trek thing is either confusing to me or being underplayed by the script, Frankly maybe both For instance tonights 3-26-15 in the conversation of Red with the evil doctor implied her memory had been taken by someone else other than him, somehow I thought Red knew what the memory was, about her at that time of her life, what her experience had been how or why she would want/need to block it and he was just wanting her to remember on her own. Mainly he needed it to come to surface in her mind so she wouldn’t blame Red or be able to imply that he had created it all or somehow contrived the experience as a way of having control of her..

            In rereading my thoughts I am not sure I’m making any sense at all and since your insight to Red’s sharing on the “dance” symbolizing “Life” were spot on. So I’m hoping you can follow the “rabbit trail” of my mind in that paragraph and help me with this memory thread of Liz and Red. Thanks, Judy

          • David says:

            Judy, well the writers have been kind enough to peel back the curtain a little more on the Red/Liz relationship. Last week we saw Liz providing (from the proceeds of the sale of the apartment Red had gifted to her) the college funds (anonymously) for the grieving daughter of the murdered police officer Tom offed on the boat. Liz’s conscience just wouldn’t let her off the hook, and Red somehow knew (he always knows everything about Liz) what she had done and came and sat down beside her basically reading her feelings about being the anonymous donor to the young lady and how it won’t assuage the remorse for the father’s wrongful death no matter how careful a benefactor Liz becomes. Thus, Red let Liz see his role in her own life. He had always been there for Liz making sure of her provision and education without ever revealing his role in her life–her hidden benefactor.

            The close to the end scene we saw in last night’s episode, as Red looked over the photos of a young Liz at an earlier birthday party and other photos of her childhood, revealed that look over his face of his own pangs of conscience. Even a master criminal – a sociopath no less! – can and does and has always had a have a soft place in his heart for the lady he’s watched over. He’s even kept the wine bottle from the grapes Liz had picked 3 decades earlier! That birthday gift of the homemade wine was a confirmation of just how intricately involved in Liz’s life Red has been all these years.

            So the two have been in a dance for years and years although Liz never heard the music.

          • Judy Hendrixon says:

            Liz has not only not heard the music while in this dance with Red, and I love that play on words and the image it creates of them in my mind, she had better wake up and smell the coffee being brewed by the ever elusive non husband Tom. The writers are doing a delicate balance between what has been and what will be as. I need to watch it again to get a clearer insight into facets I’ve either missed or glossed over for the moment so when they begin to pick up the various threads it will be easier to follow them.

            It has also been interesting to watch the development of Cooper, his health the lines he has draw in the sand and how things are developing between he and those in high places around him. Can’t help but wonder if some of this will put him off his game or work instead to make him more astute.

          • Judy Hendrixon says:

            Well David, I guess lying flat on the sidewalk on your back with a bullit in the chest can put one off their game! The bigger question is will it put Lizzy off her pouty little girl game/mode that she seems to be so very persistant at expressing? Or will it jerk her reality chain so the light bulb can light up as she sings 3 choruses of “What Was I Thinking?”

          • David says:

            haha! IDK, Judy, IDK…that’s the conundrum about Liz…

          • Judy Hendrixon says:

            OK David confession time for me, here it goes. For all practical purposes I really don’t know either whether Lizzy will sing or not, but I have dusted off my old tap shoes from more years ago than I care to remember back in 6th grade! But just in case she actually does do a chorus or two I am ready! From what I see our man Red, besides bleeding red. and not as some might expect bleedin’ black, all over the place, he’s also is fighting for his life from the inside out; not his usual place to do that. Chances of shooting ones way out from that position are slim and none, and slim just left the room! Is the series still popular enough to sustain itself? Does Red die?

            With all of this switching days, going twice in a week, and then back to once a week, on to being out for a week or so. I’ve lost track of where we are on the great timeline in the world of television life. Do you know how many more weeks left that there are?? Or by chance is this week the go on hiatas? It seems to me that they have not been on the same program cycle as some of the others that are going out in about three weeks.

            Dental appointment in the morning, siiigghh, so looking forward to it. Catch you on the other side of Red’s breathing machine so take notes.

  28. val says:

    Just awesome Great story.