It’s a mind control, freaky experiment kind of night on NBC’s The Blacklist with Liz seeking another crazy doctor in “Dr. Linus Creel.” Last week saw our team on a body part stealing doctor’s trail. This week, it looks like a sick psychological experiment is set in motion by the loony Linus. 

It is also a night of returns with Red’s ex-wife, Naomi, stepping into the spotlight and a major reexamination of the “Is Red Liz’s daddy?” storyline. The battle between the numerous plot points is on with so many twists and turns, it’s enough to whiplash the strongest neck.

Mind Control Through a Faulty Gene

The first scene of the night shows a woman looking like she’s in a daze, eyes glassed over, standing on a busy street corner. She gives the stink eye to a bank before finally going into the financial institution. The bank manager gives her the news that her house is being foreclosed on. She loses it, grabbing a gun from her car, returning to the bank and opening fire. A guy with sunglasses is watching from outside, recording that “activation is complete.” Welcome to the case of the night.

Meanwhile, Red’s ex, Naomi, is screaming at her former husband, saying, “No way! I kept my end of the bargain. I didn’t say anything about you or Elizabeth. How much does she know?” Naomi also reveals that now she’s going to have to tell her husband about her past, being married to the blacklister, all of it. Red says passports are ready. “Let me help.” 

While Red is trying to get Naomi out of town, Liz wants to meet her. Red deflects again, bringing up the housewife on a bank-shooting spree. What do you know about social psychology? He thinks this is all part of a freaky mind control experiment.

“Strap on your tin foil hat, Lizzie.” He convinces Liz that the experiment is being conducted by the government. She finds more examples of common, normally dull citizens who’ve gone postal. Ressler’s not so eager to jump on the crazy train, asserting it’s Red’s attempt to divert attention from Naomi.

Ressler and Liz discover that the “gone postal” people possess a mild genetic abnormality that cannot take stress. Liz thinks the government is identifying these people and seeing if they can turn them into killers. Better assassins through genetic mutations?

It turns out the doctor running the social experiment is none other than Dr. Linus Creel, who’s given up the quest for better coffee on Breaking Bad (think Gale), settling on making killer soldiers instead.

Lizzie discovers it’s all part of a super shady government operation called Sub Project 7, also known as a “black budget” project.  

Marry New Husbands But Keep the Old, One is Silver the Other…

Naomi comes clean to Frank, her new, overly sensitive husband. He doesn’t trust Red, doesn’t like Red and isn’t going anywhere. He insists that they don’t need his protection. Naomi adds that her Red days were as a “miserable housewife married to a miserable man.” Frank puts his arm around his wife, marking his territory. Take that, Mr. Blacklister.

The surprise of the night comes as we see a woman on the phone yelling at Frank, “Tell your wife or I will.” Mr. Vargas makes another hilarious appearance in “Dr. Linus Creel,” reprimanding the mistress about the inhumanity of leaving her dog inside all day long.

In the best scene of “Dr. Linus Creel,” Red takes Frank on a nature walk, giving him a talk about Naomi’s sense of well-being and letting him know he’s been a very bad boy. “You’ve given her stability, the one thing I could never provide.” 

Red lets the mistress’ dog out of Vargas’ car to ensure Frank fully understands the threat in his words. “From this point on, there is only Naomi. You are going to accept my protection and leave Philadelphia.” Red finds a sharp twig on the trail, pressing it against Frank’s jugular, saying, “You make her happy. That’s the only way you’re still here.” Frank agrees, seeing the wisdom in the plan through the pressure put on his neck.

Frank immediately tells Naomi that they need to take Red up on his escape plan, they need to get out of town, and he loves her forever, likes her for always. Frank, you may have a brain cell in there after all.

A Crazy Kid Sets the Creel Plan in Action

Dr. Creel is counseling a troubled young man, telling him, “It’s time.” The crazy kid leaves, setting off on his mission while the doc is told a new crazy’s just shown up. He meets this possible subject and it’s Liz! She has all the right answers, talking about her cheating husband named Tom. Dr. Creel asks if you could do anything to him and not get caught, what would be your plan? 

Liz confesses she would “chain him up and force him to tell me about all the lies. I’d make him my prisoner. Pretty messed up, huh?” 

Dr. Creel says it all sounds like a beautiful dream. Liz goes on to talk about her father, the fire. The doctor suggests that maybe she doesn’t want to remember. He gives her the psycho-metric test. Bingo! Now we know she’s in. The doc leaves the room and Lizzie goes to work on his laptop, getting the password. He notices his computer case has been disturbed, accusing her of trying to forge prescriptions. She gets out of there with the password in hand. Whew.

Ressler discovers the troubled young man is going on a rampage at a town hall meeting with a senator in attendance. They all show up, with the crazy guy brandishing a gun, upset at false accusations by a fake online girlfriend Dr. Creel invented. Confused yet?

The doctor tells him, “You’re here to kill me,” and begs the young man to pull the trigger, saying it’s the only way his experiment will get the attention it deserves. Our FBI agents have guns pointed at the crazy guy.

In the bonehead move of the night, Dr. Creel somehow gets Liz in a choke hold, pressing a gun to her head. Ressler’s not backing down, but before either side can make a move, a sniper takes out the doctor with a headshot. Doesn’t this have all the markings of a Red hit?

Liz Demands Some Answers

Liz discovers Naomi’s location, heading off for the big meeting we’ve all been waiting for. Liz doesn’t mess around, skipping straight to the Red inquisition. “Why doesn’t he want me to see you?” 

Naomi suggests, “He wants something from you. It’s a game, a manipulation. I’ll tell you this, though. He’s not who you think he is.” It rhymes with Schmaddy.

Red shows up before anything is revealed. “Wow, look at the two of you. I should’ve brought a bottle of Chardonnay. Agent Keen, I hope you had an illuminating conversation.”

That was it? Red gets his way as usual and Lizzie doesn’t discover anything. 

Naomi is ready to leave with her sad consolation prize husband, confessing to Red that she doesn’t know where daughter Jennifer is. Red says, “If you need anything, ever,” and kisses her forehead sweetly. “We need to tell her,” Naomi says cryptically. That’s confirmation of the daddy connection, right?  

Liz confronts Red, asking, “Who’s the gunman, the sniper? He works for you?”  Red admits that he’s had her followed since Agent Malik was killed. Lizzie wants her little shadow gone. 

The final scene is Liz holding a key, looking at a mystery door. Is she ready? Can she handle the truth? We’ll have to wait until next week for that answer. Or the week after. Or the week after that. This one was heavy on fast-paced storylines, Red dipping his hand in all the cookie jars and Liz getting no answers. Typical Blacklist.

Did you think “Dr. Linus Creel” lived up to the hype? Were you as disappointed in the Liz/Naomi meet as I was? We can only hope that next week’s Monday night treat will satisfy the sweet tooth and give us a few more answers to those burning Red questions.  

The Blacklist airs Mondays at 10pm on NBC.

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(Image courtesy of NBC)

Lisa Casas

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV