‘The Blacklist’ Season Seven, Episode One Recap: “Louis T. Steinhill”

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Image courtesy of ‘Entertainment Weekly’

If you missed the season finale of Season Six’s The Blacklist, check it out here.

The episode starts where we left off last season in Paris, France. A group of men are huddled around a T.V. watching soccer and a woman is counting money. One of the men hear something and go to investigate but they believe that no one was there. Suddenly, Dembe bursts through the door shooting at the men. He keeps one man injury free to ask where Reddington is. Dembe suggests that this man would know if Reddington was smuggled but the man insists he doesn’t know of Red’s whereabouts. If Reddington was in Paris, he would know. Dembe gives him a phone and orders him to call him if he hears anything about Raymond.

We see Raymond waking up at a hospital and he becomes distressed. Nurses rush in to calm him and tell him that he’s in Paris. Reddington is soon seen by a doctor and asked about the events that transcribed before he landed in the hospital. He remembers Katarina stabbing him and him being taken into a van but he lies and tells the doctor that he doesn’t remember. The doctor tells Red it might have been a gang and the suspects were not caught. Reddington asks about his legs and learns that his spine was shattered from L1 to L4. The doctor tries a quick assessment to test any feeling in his legs but it is not promising. As Reddington quickly tries to come to terms with the fact that he can’t walk, he enquires about the bed they placed him on. It is to prevent any further complications.

Aram and Liz go through background checks of nannies for Agnes and they find that no one’s background is completely clean. He believes that these applicants are not a good fit for Agnes. “Bad? No. Just not good enough to be Agnes’ nanny.” Liz worries that it seems like everyone has “skeletons in the closet.” Aram tells her of the time right as Samar left that Ressler encouraged him to try a dating app. Ressler did it for him and swiped on the first couple. Those women turned out having previous records. Liz says that she needs to keep looking. Suddenly, she gets a phone call from Dembe. He explains that Red has been taken. Liz asks for details and Dembe explains that they were in Paris and he went to a meeting, alone. Liz seems surprised and Dembe begs for her help to get him back.

Returning to the hospital, inspector Rene Oban visits Reddington and tells him that he has been hunting Red and Katarina Rostova for years. Oban tells him to give him information on Rostova so he can get to her before anyone else does. Red calls out a number and tells him to call it. The inspector insists on getting the information from Red. Red tells him that if he thinks that Red is an illusion, Rostova definitely is one, and he will never find her. Red recalls the number out loud and tells the inspector to call Martin Gerard.

Katarina is sitting in her car with her driver as they discuss their schedule and Reddington being interrogated at the hospital. The car door opens and the man that was questioned by Dembe gets inside the car. He tells her that one of Red’s associates found him and that he wants to warn Katarina that they are getting close. She thanks him for his intel and kindness and her driver turns around and shoots, killing the man. Katarina says, ” Oh, I wish we lived in a world where kindness was the liability.” She tells her driver to clean it up and meet her later as she exits the car.

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Cooper and Liz are on the phone as Aram looks at cameras in the streets of Paris where Raymond might have been but no luck. Ressler arrives saying that the French Police are on the FBI’s secret line. They answer and the inspector that questioned Red is on the line. He tells them that he has Red in custody and that if they would like to meet, they need to meet at the embassy in France. They agree and hang up the line. Ressler and Cooper say that Red only uses that line if he has been caught and pretends he wants to speak to his lawyer who has been “arrested” by the FBI. Aram is surprised that after 30 years, Red has been caught twice in the last year. This leads Liz and Ressler to tell the team the truth. She tells them that she turned him in to find out who he really was and that the real Raymond Reddington died in 1991. She promises to tell the whole story once they get him back. Cooper gets back to work and tells the team to get started on getting Reddington back.

Cooper arrives at the Embassy and a man greets him. The man starts walking down the street and says that they can’t have a private conversation with the listening devices inside the Embassy. Cooper expresses concern about Oban but the man counters with the same concern. Cooper then asks for proof that he is in their custody. He is shown a picture of Red and he asks that the French will give their full cooperation. The man makes accusations about the FBI working for Reddington but Cooper changes the subject by needing more proof. The man makes a call to have Red speak to Cooper. Cooper quizzes Red a question only Red could know and he passes the test. He asks about Red’s injuries and Red confirms they are true but isn’t worried since he was paralyzed before. Cooper says that there will be a request to take him back to the U.S. within the hour.

Since Oban did what Raymond asked, he said he will tell him what he wants to know. He proceeds to tell him about the first time he was paralyzed as Oban leaves. Oban gets into the elevator and the scene unfolds as it’s a production, the hospital is not real. Oban loses the accent and gets details on Red’s state and Cooper. Oban meets with Katarina and updates her on Red. He tells her he thinks he is still in Paris but they need to hurry before the FBI finds out what is really going on.

Nurses come into Red’s room telling him that he will be moved to a chair soon and Red asks one of them to itch his cheek as he tries to reach for their telephone. Oban storms in and says that the extradition order will not be authorized by him until Red tells him about Rostova. Katarina watches from the monitors as Oban kicks out the nurses. Red tells him that what he told Oban earlier is all he needs to know about her, that she is a figment of imagination. Oban tells Red that he thinks Rostova did this to him and asks why Red is protecting her. He says that betraying her would be like betraying himself.

Back at the FBI Headquarters, Dembe arrives and is briefed by Ressler about the extradition and Red’s condition. Aram and Liz discuss the revelation of Red’s identity and he recaps his understanding of everything. “You’re definitely gonna need therapy. And now that you’ve told me, so am I.” Cooper gathers the team and tells them that the French are denying everything even though he went to the Embassy and they cooperated. They believe that the French want to get more intel from Raymond before they release him so Cooper is going back to the Embassy to deliver the extradition paperwork himself.

Back to Red at the “hospital”, Red hasn’t eaten a bite of his food as the team of nurses move him from the bed to the chair. As the team moves him, Red slips into of the nurses pockets to get his phone and distracts the nurses by telling them he will treat them to a “finest night of drinking and dining.” The nurse handcuffs him to the wheelchair. “That oughta keep me from running.”

Cooper arrives at the Embassy as we return to the hospital to see Reddington hiding from the cameras to make a phone call. He tries to access it but the phone has a passcode. Cooper is at the Embassy and meets with the agent he met with before but it’s not the same man. He calls Liz and tells them that they have a situation. At the “hospital”, Red puts the phone under his leg and rolls over to the window. He is suspicious as he looks out to see the view.

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Back at the Task Force, Ressler shows the camera from the Embassy and shows the man that Cooper first met waiting in line for a Visa and walks away, never filling it out. Aram puts out a BOLO for the imposter and Cooper says the real Embassy agent says that Reddington is not in French custody. Liz asks, if he is not in French custody, who has him? Ressler suggests it could be the person Red met with and asks Dembe details.  Dembe says that all he knows that it was someone Red trusts, and he trusts no one. Liz asks why the imposter met with Cooper and Cooper suggests it was to gain intel on Red and if he is the informant for the FBI. The imposter is the only lead they have to Raymond.

Returning to Reddington, he finds a clock that has a reflection and he points it towards the camera. One of the assistants sees the camera and asks another associate for help. A nurse comes in to change Raymond’s dressing and he asks her if she is afraid of him. She replies no and he seems nice. He asks her to turn up the music and then tells her a story about the first time he heard this song. As the nurse goes to walk, Red trips her with the chair and takes the syringe and puts it to her neck. She tells him that she works for a Russian woman, he is not in Paris, the story that he was beat was made up, and that Oban should be there any minute. The camera crew can’t get any visual or audio because of what Red did. He asks her about his legs and that what they give him during a change in dressing is an epidural. He can really walk. Suddenly, the nurse tries to get away as Red tries to grab her but falls out of the chair. The camera team think that it may just be a glitch in the camera but Katarina says it is no accident and to get in there. The other nurses go into the room but everything is fine. Red asks one of the nurses to reach out to Oban so he can speak with him.

Cooper and Aram discuss Liz killing her real father and if they reveal his identity, will the Task Force shut down. Ressler comes in with news that the imposter’s Visa application was found in the trash. The print off the application matches the ID of Michael Hansen. Liz and Dembe decide to go after him. Dembe and Liz storm in to Hansen’s house as he tries to run but Dembe stops him. Liz asks him who has Reddington and he says he doesn’t know but Liz tells him he is gonna tell them who does. Hansen reveals Louis T. Steinhill has Reddington and it’s an anagram for “The Illusionist.” Hansen says he gets a call, creates a character and follows a script. He tells them that he can be anywhere and anyone, even a French cop. Liz asks how Steinhill pays and he looks towards them both but doesn’t answer.

Oban comes to Reddington’s room to speak to him privately. The woman nurse who Red attacked earlier closes the door behind the other nurses and barricades it. She grabs scissors and cuts the cord to the camera as Red orders Oban to take a seat. The camera crew knows that the camera has been lost again and notifies someone. Red says that he admires Oban’s plan but it was the paralytic that ruined the plan. Red stands up out of the chair as the dose has wore off and says, “The next time you want to convince me I’ve broken my spine, you damn well better break my spine.” The nurse tries to inject Oban but he resists. Red says that he either takes the needle or a bullet. He tells him that he knows he isn’t a cop and the nurse injects him. Officers rush into the “hospital” room and find that Red has escaped with a gun. He hides as Rostova’s team looks for him and he escapes.

Cooper walks into Liz’s office as she tells him that Hansen’s money could lead them to “The Illusionist.” Liz apologizes for not telling him the truth sooner when Aram walks in. Aram tells him that he tracked the Paris accounts payments to a warehouse in Annapolis, Maryland and for medical equipment to that same warehouse. They believe that’s where Reddington is being held. Cooper tells Aram to grab Ressler as Liz tells her that she has an answer for Cooper’s question.

Red walks into an alley as Liz and Ressler roll out to find him, with Aram on the line. As Red walks, cars come around the corner and order him to stop. Red starts shooting but runs out of bullets and is captured again. Katarina walks from the van and says it’s nice to see him again and orders her man to put him in the van. In Annapolis, Liz, Ressler, and SWAT agents storm the warehouse and find all the actors and crew there. Red is strapped to a bed and Katarina’s driver gives Rostova the phone that Red stole. She asks about intel on Elizabeth Keen and tells the nurses to dose Reddington again as he was coming to. Katarina tells her driver to bring the nurse that let this happen, to her.

The Task Force team is questioning the crew and workers at the warehouse and know they work for Steinhill. They want to know who hired Steinhill. They know that Red isn’t paralyzed and the suspects tell the team that if they made Red think that he couldn’t run, she thought he might talk. The team asks for a name or description of the woman but no one knows who she is. They push further into the suspects and ask what the woman wanted Red to talk about. They tell the team that it was a Russian woman and Liz realizes it’s Katarina Rostova.

Cooper comes to talk to Liz as she holds a picture of her and her mom. Red was taken because of her and Cooper assures Liz he will be okay. Liz tells Cooper that he is honest and she didn’t want him to report Red to Main Justice. Liz tells Cooper that Red took on the responsibility of being her father and how he devoted his life to her.

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Oban looks on as Katarina approaches Red hung up on a fence wall. Katarina says that she doesn’t want to do this but she is past pretending to hurt him. She assures him that by the end of this, he will tell her everything she wants to know. “Shall we begin?” The nurses set up a tube to drain Red’s blood as he looks Katarina in the eye.

Thank you for reading!

Here is the promo for next week’s episode:

The Blacklist airs Fridays at 8 p.m. on NBC.

Kailey

Written by

Kailey is an editor and writer for Nerds and Beyond, who joined the team in 2018. She's a USF student and a Disney dreamer. She loves all things Supernatural and Wayward Sisters. You can find her on social media @kaileygross.

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