Virginia Sherwood / NBC

This Blacklist Is Super PAC'd With Tension!

Sure, most of it is political tension, but there's a fair amount of creepy sexual tension too!

We begin with Susan Hargrave in Jakarta, Indonesia. She's calm, cool, in control. Very Red-like in her mastery of the situation. She flips the script on an Indonesian bad guy who was holding some woman hostage. She informs him that, whoops, actually she's holding his brother hostage, and so he'll need to pay her $3 million in ransom money. It's scenes like this that make me almost completely forget about Liz. Liz who? Exactly!

Red breaks it to Tom that a man named Alexander Kirk is responsible for Liz's death. Then Red breaks it to the task force that Kirk is their target and to get to him they're not going to arrest Susan Hargrave, but work with her. Red's no fan of Susan, at least for right now, but he's excited about her plan to draw Kirk into the open, which involves stealing hundreds of millions of dollars from the SuperPAC war chest of Senator Diaz, the potential next president of the United States. "This is going to be a gas," Red says.

Susan grabbing a spot on the team means that Mr. Solomon also joins the party, and he takes Tom to a top-secret location where the two former enemies meet for the first time. Samar wants to fight Nez, naturally. Hey, we all want to see the rematch, but I guess it'll have to wait until the combined teams pull off the big Alexander Kirk dark money super PAC super-heist.

The heist goes wrong, of course, to the tune of a small girl getting gutshot by Mr. Solomon. Tom and Liz's daughter Agnes gets abducted from the hospital and Tom figures it was Susan's doing. The little girl from the bank and Agnes are both okay, of course. Which Tom finds out after confronting Susan. And we find out that there's sexual tension between the two when Tom chokes her and they almost make out as a result. Ah, choking, the new foreplay!

Red gives Tom a big smackdown talk that seems to be him firing Tom from the team, but then Tom's at the center the next phase of the heist plan. Oh well, good talk anyway, I guess. The new phase involves Tom getting arrested in Germany and being taken to the Turkish embassy. And that's exactly what happens. Once in, Tom escapes, quickly assumes the identity of a Turkish waiter at the embassy party, and in the end the team gets what they needed to steal the money from the SuperPAC.

Tom gets one last big surprise at the end, when he shows up to kill Susan Hargrave, as he promised Red he would. He finds out that Susan's husband isn't off in Europe "expanding the business" at all. He's actually hooked to a ventilator in a room off her office. Oh yeah, another minor point: Tom might be Susan's son, who disappeared from their home when he was little. Which makes their sexual tension earlier in the episode all the more unsettling.

In the end, how Blacklist-y is this episode of The Blacklist? Run it through the machine!

Blacklist-y Element Present?
Liz is dead, but she's totally coming back, right? "> Look, I'm holding onto that theory. I'll be super surprised if the season ends without Liz coming back. I'm guessing she'll pop back up in the final two minutes of the season finale, with a "Surprised to see me?"-type line right before the blackout.
Is Ressler still being a total asshole? I'm sure, deep in his heart of hearts, Ressler is still quietly an asshole. But he's given precious little to do this episode and as a result has almost no opportunity to asshole it up.
Red is one step ahead of everyone at all times! Unbeknownst to Susan, Red has a man on the inside of Susan's operation. Also, Red totally knows the exact time to call Tom to keep him from murdering his mom.
This Blacklist-er should totally be on Red's list! We don't really know what Alexander Kirk is capable of, but he seems like a pretty bad guy. So, sure, why not?
Plot is immaterial! After the little girl gets shot during the heist, Tom lets himself be seen without his mask, while he does the honorable thing and helps get the injured girl to an ambulance. The girl's father agrees to go along with Tom and Nez in a strange van without asking questions. Also, he doesn't seem to freak out about the bullet in his daughter's abdomen.
Red's hat symbolizes his cool mastery of his surroundings! You would think the power meeting between Red and Susan would be the perfect time for Red to show who was boss by wearing his hat. But I guess proper manners prevent him from wearing a hat in front of a lady. Instead he simply holds it in his lap. Which is not nearly as powerful.
Dialog by ClichéBot 3000 "I hope you're a choc-o-holic, my friend," Mr. Solomon says to Tom as they board a helicopter. "Because we're going to the chocolate factory." Tom stops him, "Let me say one thing. I'm not your friend." So...that's a thumbs up to the chocolate factory idea then?
Something deadly/dangerous is given a name equally suited to a terrible metal band In a disappointing twist, the combined Task Force/Susan Hargrave operation isn't given a kitschy new name.
We get one more crumb about Red's obsession with Liz Not really. But we do find out that this Alexander Kirk fellow is somehow tied into it all.
5 / 9
Final Score
Red's Blacklist All-Stars
Susan's Blacklist Leftovers
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