Eric Liebowitz / NBC

The Blacklist Cleans Up!

It's Episode 5. Time to put the hematologist in the bathtub!

In the church he's now using as a headquarters, Red coerces Alexander Kirk's hematologist to help get him closer to Kirk. I say "coerces," but it's just a nice way of saying "tortures." Despite its fading popularity as an intel-gathering device in the real world, Red still loves his torture. Old habits, I guess! Liz is stoked that they're suddenly so close to Kirk, but Red tells Liz there's something even better for them to go after. The Lindquist Concern is this week's Blacklist-er, and it's a group paid by corporations to suppress inventions that would undercut them. Their preferred method of suppression? Murder, of course. Murder that looks like accidental death, a well-oiled Blacklist trope, most recently seen last episode in the form of Heart Attack Pills. We see a member of The Concern at the top of this week's episode offing some poor sap who invented a tube-covered thing that could change the world. I'd describe what it does, but I think Red describes it better: "It's rumored [the dead inventor] was working on revolutionary technology with the potential to save millions of lives." Ohhhh, one of those revolutionary technologies.

Red convinces Liz that while going after Kirk will net her Kirk, going after The Lindquist Concern will be the more efficient way to reunite her with Agnes. No details are offered. So, of course, Liz agrees and drags the Task Force into it. While the Task Force chases down The Lindquist Concern, Tom shakes down a Russian attaché for intel on Kirk, thanks to a little help from Ressler. Imagine that! Ressler's not being a total b-hole for five minutes. It's like I don't even recognize this show anymore. Even though Red spent some time convincing Liz to go after The Lindquist Concern rather than Kirk, Liz flies off to Geneva with Red and Kirk's hematologist to nab Kirk. Again, no details are offered. Red waits until they get all the way to Switzerland to let Liz know she doesn't get to be part of the raid. Liz has conflicted feelings about Kirk, Red tells her, and that could pose a problem during the raid. Liz believes Kirk could be her father, but Red doesn't buy that. Or something. Honestly, I can't believe we're still dragging this "mystery" out. Just make Kirk Liz's father already and let everyone acknowledge it. I feel like we established that fact already this season, but now, this episode, Red's like, "I don't buy it." What is even happening anymore? Turns out, it's good news that Liz didn't go with Red, because the whole meetup with Kirk was a trap. Red and Dembe survive the exploding car trap, but who sold them out?

Stateside, the Task Force closes in on The Lindquist Concern, which seems to be just one nebbish guy named Silas Gouldsbury. They nearly catch him in the act of murdering another nerdy inventor -- a girl with glasses this time. Imagine that! A smart girl wearing glasses? Well, I never! But Gouldsbury gets away long enough to go to his patent office job and take a bunch of hostages. Turns out he's not trying to keep inventions off the market, instead he wants to "open source" them to everyone in the world. Sure. Okay. For some reason, Samar doesn't just take Gouldsbury out, even he's holed up in a glass-enclosed server room just around a corner from where she's standing. National Security Advisor Laurel Hitchin shows up in time to recommend sending in a team with guns blazing, but Aram finds another way at the last second. Of course, Hitchin ends up with the catalog of inventions that Gouldsbury was trying to "open source," and she hands them over to Red, who plans to sell them to the Cabal. In the end, Liz finds DNA evidence that Kirk is her dad and gets mad at Red for "lying to her about everything from the beginning." Sheesh. Grow up, Liz. Take the long view for once.

So, how Blacklist-y is this episode of The Blacklist? Let's run the numbers.

Blacklist-y Element Present?
Liz is alive, but she's totally still boring, right? But it's not really her fault this week. Red totally mansplains her onto the sidelines.
Stupid government agents! Always ruining everything! Laurel Hitchin tries her hardest to initiate Operation: Bloodbath in the patent office, but Aram short-circuits that plan.
Red is one step ahead of everyone at all times! Red gets totally played by Kirk and walks right into a trap. I'm telling you, this is all because he tried to kill Mr. Kaplan. #TeamKaplan
This Blacklist-er should totally be on Red's list! It's unclear whether Gouldsbury IS the Lindquist Concern or a part of it. Either way, neither feels List-worthy.
Convenience? Schmonvenience! Tom gets his intel on Kirk from the Russian attaché and reads it just in time for Liz to call him to whine about not getting to go on the raid with Red, which Tom tells her is actually a trap since he read the Russian intel right before her phone call.
Red's hat symbolizes his cool mastery of his surroundings! Red takes his hat off to question the hematologist in the bathtub. And when he doesn't get the answer he wants, he puts the hat back on, which the hematologist knows means shit's about to get real. That's when he coughs up the info about Kirk. All because of the hat.
Dialog by ClichéBot 3000 "Thank you," Tom says. "For what?" Ressler replies. "This conversation never happened."
Something deadly/dangerous is given a name equally suited to an improv theater or troupe The Lindquist Concern will perform its last Robert Ludlum-based improvisational shows this week, at 11 PM on Tuesday at the Make-Em-Up Hole. Print out this article and bring it to the theater for ONE DOLLAR off admission price!
We get one more crumb about Red's obsession with Liz We find out that Kirk is Liz's dad, but not really why Red's so consumed with obscuring that information.
6 / 9
Final Score
Finally moving past the Who Is Liz's Dad? non-mystery.
Oh no we're not!
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