“The Decembrist” is The Blacklist‘s last offering before it goes on deep freeze until February 1 (yes, you read that right), and it holds all the twisty, Blacklisty, head-spinning, mind-blowing turns that we expect and take for granted from the NBC hit.
Last week revealed that Tom was behind Liz’s super-secret door #1 and Red’s been stalking food truck lady because she’s Berlin’s daughter. So how could The Blacklist possibly top those crazy reveals? Let’s take a peek.
Ground Control to Prisoner Tom
This week’s mid-season finale opens with what went down when Liz decided to save, not kill, Tom. We see snippets of his four months of capture, with Liz rattling off question after question. On Day #77, Tom says, “You never asked if I really loved you.”
“Because I know the answer,” Liz replies coldly.
“I don’t think you do,” Tom says with those sad prisoner puppy dog eyes. Oh, Tom, still playing those mind games.
Best line of the night comes from Lizzie, who tells bad hubby, “I don’t know, Tom. From where I’m sitting, you look like the bitch to me.”
An elderly confidential informant (don’t these guys ever retire?) stumbles across captured Tom. Mr. Kaplan, the Tom nanny, detains the old guy till Lizzie can come save the day. Kill him, kill him, taunts Tom, saying they’re all going to jail if she doesn’t. He takes matters into his own hands, or legs, and strangles the CI in a classic gymnast move that would do the Russian Olympic team proud. Liz could’ve shot Tom to stop him but doesn’t. Things just went from bad to worse for Liz.
This is the Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship (Not)
The meet with Berlin is still going down. Red has presented Berlin’s daughter and now wants answers. Who led Berlin to believe that his daughter was dead? It turns out Berlin was manipulated by a bad guy who goes by the moniker “The Decembrist.”
Liz heads to the office for help in the takedown of “The Decembrist.” They discover that bad guy’s a bad Russian guy. The FBI says no to a Russian excursion for Liz, so Red will have to go to Moscow alone. Or maybe with his new BFF, Berlin.
Red and Berlin confront the Russian criminal in an elevator who says he’s not “The Decembrist.” It’s Fitch, Allen Fitch. No way! Alan Alda is baaaaack!
A Fitch Blast from the Past
Back on US soil, Red confronts Fitch, saying, “We had an agreement.” Fitch explains that the Berlin debacle goes back to before their truce.
Red warns, “Now your dog is tracking a new scent: yours.”
Fitch says it’s as much Red’s problem as it is his. Reddington has no allies in the group and is still relying on Fitch for protection. In the very next scene, Fitch is picked up by Homeland Security, but it’s Homeland Security with a thick Russian accent and heavy vodka breath. Uh oh, looks like Berlin’s got his man. Actually, is anyone upset that he got his man? This is the guy who let Berlin believe his daughter was dead, cut into tiny pieces.
Red confronts Liz about Tom being alive, breathing, heart still beating. Reddington cuts straight through the BS, asking why are “you playing house?” He admits it’s not the worst situation ever because he does need Tom’s intel on all of Berlin’s safe houses and contacts. Tom tells Liz he can only help if she lets him go. Surprisingly, she does let him go! Oh, Liz, that was way too easy.
Liz enlists Ressler’s help, who seems less than shocked. He says he’s got to take him in. He is an FBI agent (cue Keanu Reeves’ voice). Tom and Ressler testosterone it up a bit, with Tom asking, “What? Are you her boyfriend?”
Ressler says, “I’m coming for you.”
“Good luck with that,” Tom replies smugly. Oh, who does not want to see that showdown? Can we just have a wrestle-off for Liz’s affections?
A Fond Berlin and Fitch Farewell
Liz and Ressler race off (leaving Tom free) to try to save Fitch, who has a mighty shock collar — more like a bomb shock collar — strapped to his neck. Ressler saves Liz’s career when FBI boss lady demands their informant come to headquarters now. He tells her it’s Reddington. The informant is Red. That looked suspiciously like a boyfriend move to me, Ressler.
Red gets Berlin’s daughter to help him track down daddy. She’s given passports and Red gratitude for the father betrayal. Red puts a gun to Berlin’s head, demanding to know how to stop the bomb because a gun to the head always makes you think a little harder. Berlin doesn’t have a clue.
Meanwhile, Fitch is in the familiar Blacklist box with poor bomb diffuser, Mike. He sends little Mike home, saying he doesn’t want another life to add to his body pile. Red shows up for one last conversation. Fitch says people aren’t as scared of you as they once were.
“Do you have it? Do you have the fulcrum?” asks Fitch.
Red nods yes. He says he can’t stop the bomb, he can’t.
Fitch is still relaying instructions: “I have a safe. Get to it!” He makes Red memorize the combo, saying it’s “Margaret’s birthday.” Fitch tears up, telling him where the safe is and — kaboom — Fitch splats all over that nice, clean glass. Note to self: nighttime clean-up crew, not the job to have on The Blacklist.
Cue the Final Twists and Turns
One of the last scenes of “The Decembrist” shows Red and Berlin drinking and reminiscing. Ah, good times. Red suddenly pulls out a gun, shooting the bad guy many, many times. Surprising? No, not really. That is Red’s go-to move.
The surprising twisty turns come in the last two scenes. The first has Red meeting Liz in the Tom prison, reprimanding her. “You should’ve come to me.” No kidding.
She admits that she couldn’t do it; she couldn’t kill Tom. “I told myself I was using him. I was finally in control.”
“When you love someone, you have no control. That’s what love is,” Red counsels, sounding more like a therapist than a Blacklister.
“I don’t know what’s wrong with me.” They hug it out while we are left wondering how in the heck she can still love her traitorous husband.
Later, we see Tom wandering the streets, ending up in a bar to meet — wait for it — Red.
“Do you have it?” Tom asks.
Red hands off an envelope. “You are never to see her again.”
“Yeah, got it.”
“I don’t think you do. Look at me. You are never to see her again.”
“For what it’s worth, I spent four months on that ship … and never told her about us, not one word.” Wait, what? us? What is this us?
What a web you weave, The Blacklist, leaving us all tangled and confused for months to contemplate what all this means. Tom and Red have been working together? For how long? Liz still loves Tom? And now Ressler versus Tom is a thing, right?
The Blacklist did what The Blacklist does best in “The Decembrist.” It solved the case of the week while making us care about the state of our favorite FBI agent, Liz Keen. It gave us bad-ass and touchy feely moments with Red that make us care about our black hat wearing anti-hero. And most important, it offered a few reveals while dropping a bomb (literally and figuratively), leaving way more questions than answers.
Top question on my list? What the heck to watch for the next two and a half months until The Blacklist returns in February 1. I’ll get back to you on that one.
The Blacklist returns on February 1, 2015, following the Super Bowl, then moves to its new day and time beginning Thursday, February 5 at 9pm on NBC.
(Image courtesy of NBC)
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV