If you missed last weeks recap, check it out here. This episode begins will several people, walking up to an abandoned building and giving their name to be let in. It seems to be a secret medical facility where they treat patients with a perhaps Parkinson’s or some other disease that causes constant shaking. The doctor explains that this has not be approved by the FDA and they must administer the medicine themselves, otherwise it would be a crime. The patients all inject themselves with the medicine at the same time and miraculously, the patients stop shaking. Smiles are seen on all their faces when suddenly, they all start to have seizures. One of the doctors tries to revive a patient with paddles as he codes, but all of the patients have died.
Next, we find Liz visiting Reddington in jail. She explains that according to the Attorney General, the immunity agreement never existed. Liz informs him that Cooper is not to speak about the Task Force and that he is being prosecuted for several capital offenses. A public defender is being assigned to Reddington besides his normal lawyer, Marvin Gerard. Instead of worrying about his imminent doom, he gives Liz a case. The building where a medical experiment went wrong was conducted by Dr. Spalding Stark, the next blacklister. Reddington explains that he is a devout doctor devoted to enhancing one’s DNA. He continues that Stark approached Reddington for a project and is very convincing. As he explains, we see Stark talking to another candidate for his experiment as the patient is concerned by the cost. Stark says that they are working on their own. Reddington believes that Stark is praying on vulnerable people for his own monetary gain. Unfortunately, the patient Stark was seen talking to decides that he will get the money for the medicine.
We happen upon Reddington’s hearing. The judge walks in and everyone rises. Both sides of the case introduce themselves but Reddington isn’t one to stay quiet. He doesn’t believe his attorney is qualified and since it is all happening so quickly, there are important matters to discuss. He suggests bail but to his dismay, the judge says that he will never be granted bail, since he has been on the run for nearly 30 years and because he is “a textbook definition of a flight risk.” Reddington decides to approach the judge and reveal that there is an immunity agreement he has with the FBI. He brings Harold Cooper to the judge and he informs her that there is indeed an agreement. She orders everyone to her chambers immediately.
We can't think of a better person to represent Red than… Red. #TheBlacklist pic.twitter.com/7kMSc0Y59B
— The Blacklist (@NBCBlacklist) January 12, 2019
In her chambers, Harold divulges that he runs a Task Force that puts away criminals that Reddington provides for them. They have been working together for 5 years and Reddington says that the people who help put the agreement in place are either dead or moved on. The judge orders that the agreement be on her desk that day. She says they will reconvene tomorrow and that Reddington should inform his attorney of the changes. He decides, under the circumstances, that he will be representing himself.
Aram gives information to Ressler and Navabi as he explains that Stark is an icon in the biohacker community. Stark once did a livestream of himself injecting a Malaria vaccine into his body, then have an infected mosquito bite him, on the air. Unfortunately is wasn’t successful and he paralyzed the left side of his body. Aram explains that Stark used himself as an experiment to help better the human condition. Ressler believes that even though Reddigton gave them this case as he is in prison, that the whole story of his motives hasn’t been revealed.
Following their conversation, Ressler and Navabi show up to the crime scene where the 5 bodies were found. They question the building owner who called 911. He says that people rent out the building from month to month and that three days ago, a man named Stark asked to rent. The owner went to check that everything was moved in and fine, when he found the bodies. Ressler and Navabi go inside to look at the crime scene and find the medical examiner. He says that these people had a Motor Cortex Degenerative Disease. “The question is, what where they injected with and why did they all die so fast?”
Stark tells the same man from earlier, you was willing to pay for the treatment, that they received his wire transfer and that he will be eligible for the trial. Stark explains that his disease is caused by chromosomal defects that he will rearrange in the right order. He is signaled by his associate and the associate expresses concern over last time. Stark says that he isn’t stopping and that they will make adjustments to the medication. The medical examiner finds a homemade jet injector was left behind, and its how he administered the medication. Navabi said she would reach out to Aram to see if he knows where it came from and Ressler said he would reach out to an expert on MCDD to see what they’re dealing with.
Cooper is seen in his office and is about to leave to give the judge the immunity agreement when he is stopped by Liz. She says that Reddington knew that he would tell the truth about the agreement and defy a direct order that could damage his career. Cooper says that he is just going to tell the truth, he can’t deny that it exists when, in fact it does.
Ressler is talking to an expert at Crown Life Pharmaceuticals about medication to help MCDD. Mr. Pascal says that there are ways to help manage the symptoms but there isn’t a cure. Ressler informs him of Stark and says he believes he has made a breakthrough. To Pascal’s dismay, he says that patients will get so desperate that they will do anything.
Aram and Navabi arrive at a biohacker friend of Aram’s. They go inside and ask what he is working on right now. He states that one man is altering his DNA to increase muscle tone and the other two of his workers are working on something associated with Leukemia. Simultaneously, we see two different sides to the argument of biohacking, one from Aram’s friend, and the other from Crown Life, about how far technology has come and that more and more people are charging ahead with experiments. There is no regulations to how far these people will go but on the other hand, there is some that believe they can revolutionize the industry. Aram asks if his confidant about the injector he sent over. What he discovered was that the injector is a model from NexHack. When they pull the website, Navabi is shocked to see the building owner where the victims were found, Warren Kirby, front and center in a picture holding the injector, meaning he lied.
Now we arrive at the immunity agreement hearing with Cooper on the stand. Reddington asks Cooper if he would do it again, if he would go through with the immunity agreement. Cooper said that he would. Reddington follows up his first question with why? Cooper explains because they have saved countless lives, thousands perhaps. Without Reddington’s knowledge of criminals never even heard of, they wouldn’t have been able to put all these people away. After being interrupted countless times by the counsel, Cooper snaps. He says that their Task Force has exposed countless criminals in their own government, people they all were supposed to trust. Without Reddington, none of that would’ve happened.
Ressler and Navabi are interviewing Warren Kirby knowing he lied. Navabi shows him the picture of NexHack and he fesses to his involvement. He says that 11 years ago, he was diagnosed with MCDD. Stark was his pharmacist and after seeing Kirby’s treatments weren’t successful, Stark suggested experimental treatment. Stark’s treatment helped him and when Stark asked to lend out his building for his work, he complied. When Kirby happened upon the bodies, he wasn’t sure what to do. Kirby tries to plead Stark’s case saying that he isn’t a conman and that he is the only reason he is alive. Stark documented everything he did for Kirby.
Back to immunity agreement hearing, the counsel is questioning Cooper. The counselor makes sure Cooper is aware of Reddington’s treason, his criminal business that he has kept for 30 years and even after all that, should someone like Reddington be pardoned? Cooper says he is aware of the “allegations,” and that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Reddignton objects and the counselor continues to get heated. Cooper explains that Reddington has no free pass and is required to follow a certain set of rules, which the counselor asks if he complies within those rules. After seemingly avoiding the question, Cooper answers that he has no knowledge of anything Reddington has done. We know that Cooper has just lied under oath because we are able to see flashbacks of what Reddington has done behind their backs.
We are back at the Task Force where Navabi, Keen, and Ressler are all in Cooper’s office. Ressler wants to know what side Judge Wilkins is leaning towards. Cooper said it could really go either way as he thought there would be a decision made after his testimony. They decide to get back to the case. Navabi catches the team up on how Stark knew Kirby and the patients with severe MCDD. Keen volunteers to follow up and investigate how many people he actually reached out to since she can’t bear to think about the news concerning Reddington. Aram walks in and informs everyone that what Kirby had said in his questioning was indeed true. Aram said that the reason Stark started looking into MCDD was because of his own condition after he injected himself with the Malaria vaccine. He documented everything and Aram believes that he reversed Kirby’s disease, no question. Cooper seems confused as to why the warehouse disaster happened in the first place.
“Sabotage?” asks Kirby as again he is questioned. A nerve agent called Cylovex is what killed those 5 patients and it was the only thing different from the formula that Stark had documented. The reason it was detected is because toxicology was run on the injector and that nerve agent is on high alert with the FBI. Warren suggests that Ethan Webb, Stark’s accomplice synthesizes all of his treatments but he couldn’t imagine Ethan betraying Stark since they are partners and friends.
The hearing continues as the counselor says that Reddington, number one on the FBI’s Most Wanted List, who betrayed America, committed thousands of crimes, etc. would ever be considered for immunity. He says that is wasn’t a deal, it was a conspiracy. The counselor states that Reddington can’t erase what he has already done. The court, he states, has a responsibility to reject this agreement because it defies decency and fairness. He says that the agreement should be thrown out, “Justice demands no less.”
The Task Force investigates information on Ethan Webb. His previous place of work was no other than, Crown Life Pharmaceutical. CLP is the leading manufacturer in MCDD medication. He was fired for stealing data, perhaps for his own cure. Question remains, why would Ethan sabotage their progress? Ressler suggests that it is for money, but Cooper still feels they are missing a piece of the puzzle.
Red has a way with words, doesn't he? #TheBlacklist pic.twitter.com/ebcofU6iiL
— The Blacklist (@NBCBlacklist) January 12, 2019
Back once more to the hearing, Reddington prepares to give his defense. Reddington says that the decision to oversee his “allegations” was made 5 years ago. The knowledge he has offered has benefited more than what he has been known for. Of course, some may deem it unacceptable, which is fair enough. Reddington, known for his tangents, talks about a time he went fly fishing. As there is an objection from the counselor, Reddington’s point from his tangent is, “your outrage doesn’t concern me.” What he is concerned about is that those who put the agreement in place, wanted to deny it’s existence. Much benefit has come from this agreement and people had higher up in the government will say anything that the people want to hear, which doesn’t always include the truth. Whether anyone likes it or not, it exists.
Liz, at the Task Force headquarters, explains they have a problem. She looked into Stark and he has reached out again to several patients with MCDD. Another experiment is taking place, that day, at a storage facility. Cooper orders Keen, Ressler and Navabi to find and stop the experiment before more people die, due to Ethan Webb’s betrayal.
Webb and Stark are seen getting ready for another trail when Stark thanks Ethan for their friendship, partnership, and for sticking by him through all of this. Ethan, seeming touched, administers Cylovex into the medicine. Stark tells the patients to inject themselves and to do it at the same time. As soon as the patients inject it, the FBI and the Task Force storm in. Webb takes off, with Ressler on his tail while Navabi tells Aram that it’s too late. Webb runs up the stairs to the top of the building as Ressler catches up. There is a physical dispute but Ressler wins in the end when Webb falls down the stairs.
The end of the hearing has arrived. Judge Wilkins said that Cooper and Liz could be there for the ruling. Liz hadn’t arrived yet but the moment we’ve been waiting for has. The Judge ruled in Reddington’s favor, but suddenly an objection from the counselor. When Reddington was arrested, he had a gun with the serial number scratched off. Reddington says that he the officer conducted an unauthorized search. Judge Wilkins agrees to a suppression hearing, meaning, they will get to do this hearing, once more. Unfortunately, Reddington is not quite off the hook yet.
Liz, Harold and Raymond are all discussing the case and what Reddington’s next moves are. If the search was conducted without probable cause, they can suppress the evidence of the gun. They are transporting Reddington and Liz goes to investigate where that is. Harold and Raymond talk about the hearing held the day before where Harold was on the stand. Reddington knows that Cooper values the truth and that lying under oath couldn’t have been easy. He said that he did it to protect himself and the Task Force. He considered ending their time together but Cooper left the decision up to Liz, and she agreed to continue. Liz returns with news about where he is being transported, an actual prison. Until the next hearing, they want him in jail instead of pretrial detention. Before they end their conversation, Liz informs Red that he was right about Stark and that his partner was ruining his vision.
Ethan is being questioned by Ressler and Stark by Navabi. Samar Navabi tells Stark that he didn’t kill those patients, that Webb did. She pauses, not being able to think of what to say next. Due to her injury? She says that he undermined Stark’s work and he is shocked. Back to Webb, he says that he was never Stark’s partner and wasn’t fired from Crown Life Pharmaceutical. It was a cover developed by his bosses to boost his credibility within the biohacking community. Webb had been assigned to Stark and he wants an agreement for testifying against CLP. Crown Life sent Ethan to sabotage and befriend Stark because they were concerned he made a breakthrough. They wanted to bury his discovery so they could make more money by giving patients treatments for years to come. Stark is going to jail but not for long because he needs to be held accountable for the bodies Webb and him left. “Sometimes, it’s the people we’re closest to you, you have to watch out for.”
Ressler and the FBI go to Crown Life Pharmaceutical as we see Reddington being transported. Dembe comes to visit Liz at her office and says that she knows Reddington always carries a weapon, “That doesn’t make it legal.” Dembe says that someone betrayed them and he can’t figure out who. Liz offers to help and Dembe already has a request, to talk to Stark on Raymond’s behalf, unrecorded.
Dembe visits Stark in the questioning room and they know each other? Dembe says that Reddington invested quite a bit of money into his research. Stark says that Reddington shouldn’t worry and he will not be disappointed. His current situation shouldn’t be a problem. Dembe says, “I certainly hope so.”
What a warm welcome… Red and the team have a long road ahead in next week's #TheBlacklist. pic.twitter.com/vms8fIIPv4
— The Blacklist (@NBCBlacklist) January 12, 2019
Navabi looks up the word “undermine” and remembers the word she was thinking of, “sabotage”. She seems to be having trouble with her memory and she even rehearse what she was going to say, if she had remembered. Reddington arrives at Colton Penitentiary. He steps out of the Prison Transport vehicle and the guard says, “Mr. Reddington, welcome home.”
Here is the trailer for next week’s episode:
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