If you missed last week’s recap, check it out here.
This episode begins with a man in a tall, clear box trying to diffuse a bomb. As he does this, a crowd of people watch, and a man who runs the show is addressing the audience. The man in the box, Mr. Palmer, can’t diffuse the bomb. He begs the man running the show to stop this, and let him out. The host blankly stares at him, so Palmer decides to try and diffuse the bomb again. He clips the white wire and the countdown disappears. Palmer is ecstatic and turns to the host, but all of a sudden, the clock starts again, and the man dies with his blood all over the walls of the box. The audience claps as the host gives his final remarks.
Liz is walking to her apartment when Katarina is outside. Liz drops her keys and Katarina offers to help. Liz thanks her for the offer and invites her inside for coffee. Katarina asks Liz what she does for work. Liz tells her she is a government employee. Katarina tells her that she moved here to get closer to her estranged daughter. As they talk, Katarina grabs Liz’s keys and makes a copy of them without Liz looking. Liz shows her Agnes’ dolls, and Katarina laughs. When Liz gets a call from work and has to leave, she can’t find her keys. Katarina “finds” them and says she must’ve knocked them off the table.
Red is reading poetry when Liz walks in. She asks about her grandfather, and Red says he and Dembe visited him that morning, but he is still critical. She asks about the woman who did this to him, but Red seems to avoid that. Liz tells him that she thought he has a lead. He tells her he does. It’s a secret society named after Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal. “People who go to extreme lengths to offend public morality.” He tells her it connects them with the woman in Paris.
At the Task Force base, Liz briefs the team on what Reddington told her about the secret society. Reddington says that this society is the best chance of a lead on Steinhill. The leader of the society hired Steinhill to create an illusion. Liz says that Charles Radcliffe should be their first lead, according to Reddington. Radcliffe attended one of the society’s event so Cooper sends Adam and Ressler to question Radcliffe. Cooper asks about Agnes, and Liz tells him she is doing well and unaware of the security. She asks if this is why he sent Aram instead of her out in the field. Cooper explains that Aram needs more experience in the field and tells her that if she needs some time off or needs to leave early, etc., she may. Liz thanks him, but she doesn’t need time off.
Aram and Ressler arrive at the Radcliffe home, and his wife Elodie answers the door. She knows what they are here for, and she brings them to her husband. He is wheelchair bound and can’t communicate. She says that the people at Les Fleurs du Mal “all but killed him.”
The leader of the society is seen walking into the ballroom where the game is held. He asks about “The Defiance,” which refers to the clear box. The leaders asks about the tools provided to the players, and the man who constructs the box says that all the tools are useless, and they would have to go through some drastic measures to escape. Just as they planned. “So, one could survive.” “Could? Yes. Would? Incredibly unlikely.”
Back at the Radcliffe home, Mrs. Radcliffe explains that her husband had an arterial embolism. At least, that’s what they told her. Aram asks if she went to the police, but she says no because she didn’t know what really happened, and there are powerful people in the society who can protect themselves. She tells Ressler that her husband thought the society would bring some excitement to their marriage but she couldn’t bring herself to go. Ressler and Aram want her to reach out so they can catch whoever is hurting people, and perhaps find out what really happened to her husband. She gives them the name of the man who runs it, Thelonious Prackett, and says that Charles had his email address.
A kitchen is shown, and men play cards around a table. As Reddington walks in, a woman appears to tell Mr. Morozov that she tried to stop someone. He asks Motoya Morozov about the Townsend Directive and that it’s personal he finds Katarina on his own. Motoya says that Red cost him his business and his wife. “To be fair, she’d been screwing him for months.” That angers Morozov, and he says that he will find Katarina, hunt her down, and kill her himself. The next time he sees Reddington, he will shoot him before he can speak. Red leaves with Dembe, who says he knew that would happen. Red acknowledges Dembe was right but says that Motoya has now forced their hand.
Aram walks into Cooper’s office and says that he couldn’t find anything on Thelonious Prackett, because it’s mostly likely an alias. He says that whoever Prackett is, he agreed to let Mrs. Radcliffe recommend a new member, but the new member has to be accompanied by Radcliffe. Cooper says that Ressler should be okay with going, but Aram recommends that he go. They have to be convincing to Prackett, and they need to have some sort of connection: their connection over their loss with their relationships. Cooper agrees and tells him to work on his cover.
Red arrives to his jet with Dembe, and Francesca is sitting there waiting. She asks why she is there. He tells her she is still in her debt, even though she tried to save his life, since she was the reason it was in danger in the first place. She tells him that she has her wedding anniversary dinner, and he is holding her hostage. “I prefer to think of it as looking out for my best interests.” He tells her that they should be back by the time her dinner starts and tells her to find another seat to sit, relax, and read. Red and Dembe discuss how they are going to get a photograph in the hotel where Motoya and another party are meeting. Francesca chimes in, asking if she gets the picture, will her debt be paid?
At the Radcliffe home, Prackett is there talking to Aram, who is under cover as Shameel, and Mrs. Radcliffe. They discuss how they met. Mrs. Radcliffe lies and tells Prackett that she doesn’t blame the society for their role in his accident. She tells him that her and her husband were new to the risks at the time. After she took some time and meeting Shameel (Aram), she is ready to go to the event. Prackett says that he hasn’t sent out invitations to the upcoming event, so their interest is unusual. Aram says he will pay what he needs to get in, and Prackett hands them an invitation.
The team goes over the plan with Mrs. Radcliffe on how it will all happen. They will be taken to the private location wearing a watch and necklace that holds the GPS tracker. Once they arrive, they activate it, and the FBI will be able to get their location to shut down the society. As the team discuss the plan, Aram and Elodie are seen getting contact from the society, getting checked by security, and traveling on a yacht to a secret location. Elodie and Aram arrive at the location and meet with the hostess and security. She welcomes them and puts a bracelet on their wrists. They walk into the ballroom event, and Elodie asks about the wristbands. Aram tells her he doesn’t know what they are for.
Katarina uses the copy key she got from stealing Liz’s keys and gets into the apartment. She replaces one of Agnes’ dolls that Liz showed Katarina earlier with a replica doll that will transmit to Katarina’s apartment. Katarina can hear what happens in Liz’s apartment. Katarina’s man says that the signal is good. “I miss having children.” Katarina and her guard leave the apartment.
Back at the event, Aram and Elodie are drinking at a table where he goes to “tie his shoe.” He bends down and grabs the sole of his dress shoe to reveal the tracker device. He asks Elodie for the antenna from her necklace and he puts the device together as Prackett approaches and catches them off guard. Aram and Elodie cover for the interruption. Prackett tells them to enjoy the festivities and parts with a “good luck.” Elodie doesn’t like the sound of that. Aram puts the tracker on the bottom of the table and they decide to keep moving.
In Miami, Francesca is at a hotel. We see Red, Francesca, and Dembe in the plane discussing what he needs done. Francesca is shown a picture of Motoya, but Red tells her that he has photos of both parties. He just needs them in one picture. Francesca follows both and finds the rooms they have both checked into. Francesca goes to the front desk and fakes a story about proposing to a man sitting in the lobby. She walks to the room and calls Red to tell him the lobby is crawling with security. Red says he expects nothing less from the FBI. Francesca had no idea that the FBI was involved and thought Red was working with them. He says that he has a select team that he works with. He says that this might have been a bad idea, but she tells him to be in the valet line in 10 minutes with the engine running. He asks her how she is going to pull it off, and she says, “Ding-dong ditch.”
Prackett rings a bell and grabs the attention of the guests. He tells the guests that each of them have embraced the challenge, but only one unlucky guest will be able to face it. He tells them that there is no risk that they haven’t already taken and that “The Defiance” begins in one hour. Suddenly, the guests’ wristbands light up blue and a caged wheel with numbered balls is seen. “Oh my god, the player.” “They choose one from the guests.”
Aram asked why the team hasn’t arrived yet because the tracker is transmitting. She asks about range but he said that it’s GPS activated. Prackett picks a ball from the wheel and holds it up as Aram realizes there must be a jammer that is blocking the transmission. Prackett tells the audience it is time to meet the player. Elodie’s wristband beeps and turns red. She is the player. Security takes her away as she pleads, and they stop Aram from trying to follow.
Motoya and Agent Fields are talking when noise is heard from another room. Francesca is yelling for someone to get away from her when Agent Fields busts through the door. She snaps a picture of them. Motoya tries to catch her, but she wraps the phone in plastic and jumps out of the room into the pool below. She walks to the valet line, gets in the car, and shows Red the picture on her phone. “I believe this makes us even.” Red seems pleased, and he tells Dembe to make sure the jet is ready in 20 minutes. He asks Francesca about her husband and says that within no time, she will be enjoying dinner for her anniversary.
Aram leaves the party to find the jammer. He finds it by the security office, but finds the breaker box. He flips the breaker and the lights go out, including the video cameras in the security office. At the Task Force, the signal finally gets to the team. Aram switches the breaker back so everything is online and the team loses signal but still has the location. Cooper orders Ressler to get the helicopters ready so Liz and Ressler can get there immediately.
Back in the event room, Prackett addresses the audience. He says that it is time for “The Defiance.” The curtain is pulled off the box, and Elodie is shown. Prackett tells the audience that she must use the tools in the box to escape, but she has a time limit. She must do so before she suffocates. Suddenly, small jelly orbs fall from the roof of the box and quickly starts to fill it. Aram watches in horror at Elodie struggling, as it brings him flashbacks of Samar nearly dying from the submerged van she was in.
In the kitchen where Motoya and his men hideout, a woman gives Motoya an envelope as Red and Dembe walk in. Motoya opens it and sees the picture, knowing that Red had sent Francesca. Motoya draws his gun but Red reminds him that circumstances have changed and the photo proves he went to Miami to meet with the FBI. If he doesn’t cooperate, Red will tell everyone that Motoya is a snitch. “When you get a lead, I get a lead. When you get a location, I get to go there first.”
The box continues to fill up as Elodie tells Prackett that the FBI knows about this, and they are coming. The other guests laugh in amusement. She pleads for Aram to help her, and Prackett leans over to security. Security approaches Aram and tries to take him away, but Aram throws a drink at the guard and grabs his gun, shooting the other guards. He tries to shoot the box, but it won’t break, so he throws the entire gun, and it busts open, freeing Elodie. He grabs Elodie and tells the guests that he is FBI and that everyone needs to get on the ground. They flee, and guards are after them. They hide in a hallway, and Elodie kisses Aram. He asks what that was for, and she said it was a thank you. Aram checks that the coast is clear. It is, so they run again but are caught.
Guards bring Aram and Elodie back into the event room. Prackett says that he will make them tell the guards everything the FBI knows, and then drown them. He encourages the guests, and they yell remarks at Aram and Elodie. Fortunately, the FBI busts through the door, and Prackett is arrested. “Some Defiance.”
Liz and Ressler question Prackett. They tell him that the society has already detailed six murders, including Mr. Palmer. Liz asks him about Steinhill and that he hired him once. He says that he doesn’t know, and Ressler says that it’s too bad, because they could’ve gotten the death penalty off the table for the murders he is responsible for. They are about to leave, and Prackett stops them, asking for the name again.
Red is in the car, and Dembe tells Red that there was no reservation for Francesca and her husband. Red even had her checked out at the DMV, and it says she is single. Red calls Francesca, and she is at home. He asks for her services. She is confused, thinking they were even. He tells her they are, but he could use a “capable operative.” She asks if he needs an answer now, and he “forgets” she is at dinner. He apologizes and tells her to get back to her dinner.
Liz walks to her apartment. A basket with some books is waiting by the door. Red is on the phone with her as she walks into her apartment, telling Red the location of Steinhill. Katarina and her guard are listening, and they get the location. Red arrives to where Steinhill is staying, and there is a note that reads, “You’re good. I’m better. -K.” Dembe and Red find Steinhill murdered in his bed.
Agnes knocks on Katarina’s door and thanks her for the books. She asks if Katarina will read to her, and she agrees. Agnes grabs her hand to bring her into their apartment. Aram walks into Cooper’s office as Cooper grabs some liquor from his desk and congratulates Aram on a job well done. He pours them both a drink. Katarina is shown reading to Agnes as Liz looks on. Cooper and Aram talk. He tells Cooper that Elodie is okay. Cooper says that he encourages Aram to try and feel again. “As hard as it is to feel pain, it’s much harder to feel nothing.” Aram goes to check on Elodie to make sure she is okay and tells her not to feel bad about kissing him. He leans in, and they kiss again.
Katarina finishes reading to Agnes as she falls asleep. Liz asks about how Katarina is estranged from her daughter. She tells Liz that all that matters is she wants to make amends. Liz tells Katarina that she is also estranged from her mother, hoping her mother would want to reach out. “I’m sure she does.” Liz puts Agnes to bed as Katarina tells Liz that after some time, she finally thinks it will happen.
Thanks for reading!
Here is the promo for next week’s episode:
The Blacklist airs Fridays at 8 p.m. EST on NBC.