Virginia Sherwood / NBC

It's Ladies' Night On The Blacklist!

Even if they are only here to prep the launch of that Liz-free spinoff on the horizon.

We begin with a generic white business dude named Samuel Rand (because it's important to keep those balding, middle-aged white actors employed. God forbid either this businessman or Stalder from the last episode be Asian, or women, or literally anything else). He's chatting up the mysterious woman from the surveillance footage. This is the titular Susan Hargrave, our Blacklist-er du jour. She's being super-coy with him. Like, here-put-you-hand-inside-my-shirt-and-feel-my-boob coy. Maybe that's not coy? Well, whatever it is, it gets Rand's attention. An underling interrupts Susan's boob-biz meeting with the news that something has gone wrong with Operation Cobalt. The problem alluded to looks like a bunch of dead spec ops guys in a warehouse filled with guns. Susan meets Nez Rowan there, and Nez alerts Susan to a note left stuck, with a knife, to the chest of one of the dead guys. "We should meet," it says, and it's signed "R." Probably means nothing, but maybe it's a clue?

Turns out, Susan and her husband own a company called Halcyon Aegis, which mostly operates as a private security firm but is, of course, more than that. The Task Force puts together that Halcyon Aegis must've hired Solomon to abduct Liz, and for some reason Panabaker knows all about it, and she and other powers-that-be urge Cooper to ignore it. Red strongarms National Security Advisor and former Cabal mucky-muck Laurel Hitchin into helping him take down Halcyon Aegis. Tom does his part by romancing Stalder's assistant at a coffee shop and then later at her apartment. Way to take one for the team, Tom. And it is probably about time you get back out there. It's been nearly a week since your wife died. Tom's totally ready to put his dongle into her USB port, literally and figuratively, if it will help find the people responsible for Liz's death.

Red arranges a meeting with Susan, but she'll only meet in the First Class lounge at the airport. It's a setup, of course: Susan plans to deliver Red to Stalder, Balding White Dude #1, as a peace offering. But Red foils the plan and ends up capturing Susan in a nearby warehouse. So many warehouses in DC! And I feel like I've toured them all! Red's endgame appears to be a truce and a partnership with Susan. "What a perfect way to create a spinoff!" Red says...with his eyes. Or so I imagine.

But ultimately how Blacklist-y is this episode of The Blacklist? Let's use science to find out!

Blacklist-y Element Present?
Liz is dead, but she's totally coming back, right? I assume the answer is yes, even though there are no CLUES or HINTS in this episode. Only heavy INSINUATIONS about what the potential spinoff will look like.
Is Ressler still being a total asshole? "Did you get a plate?" Ressler asks Samar, all bitchy-like. I mean, he was chasing the car on foot and could have gotten the plate too. But sure, Ressler, continue to treat Samar like she's your personal servant. Douche!
Red is one step ahead of everyone at all times! Well, not at all times, but certainly near the end, when he cleverly foils Susan's plan to abduct him at the airport. To be honest, the part of her plan where a lone airport security guy escorts Red by himself through the back halls and staircases of the airport is ill-conceived at best. Red's the most dangerous man on the planet and you trust an airport security guy to transport him more than twenty-five feet? I don't trust them with my carry-on!
This Blacklist-er should totally be on Red's list! Sure. Susan Hargrave seems powerful and dangerous enough. Powerful enough to possibly warrant a spinoff? I guess we'll see!
Plot is immaterial! One of the bigwigs at Halcyon Aegis agrees to a meeting with the National Security Advisor in a busted-down building. He comes alone and isn't the slightest bit suspicious or nervous. And then he's shocked that Red shows up. He basically deals in black ops on a day-to-day basis, and yet somehow this switcheroo is a surprise to him.
Red's hat symbolizes his cool mastery of his surroundings! When Red surprises Bradley of Halcyon Aegis and threatens him, he's got his classic dark brown fedora on, because Red's in Full Red Mode. The brown fedora must also be his Murderin' Hat, because that's what Red does to Bradley.
Dialogue by ClichéBot 3000 "I'm calling to offer your employer an olive branch," Susan Hargrave tells one of the many balding white dudes. "But if you don't want it, I'm more than happy to shove the branch up your ass." "Go ahead," he says. "I'm listening."
Something deadly/dangerous is given a name equally suited to a terrible metal band The upcoming Operation Cobalt/Halcyon Aegis show at The Sound Farm has been canceled due to lack of interest. We will still be having Pub Trivia that night, however. And two-for-one PBRs!
We get one more crumb about Red's obsession with Liz Liz? Liz who? She's dead, bro! Replaced by Jean Grey of the X-Men and that lady from Heroes and House Of Cards. Unless she's not dead. In which case, forget I said anything.
8 / 9
Final Score
89%
Getting used to a Liz-less Blacklist
11%
Wondering if she really is dead
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