‘The Blacklist’ Recap: Season 6 Episode 4: “The Pawnbrokers”

23 Min Read
Courtesy of NBC

If you missed last weeks recap, catch up here.

We begin the episode with Raymond getting fingerprinted and changing to his prison uniform, getting his mugshot taken, and walking inside the jail, seemingly to scope out the place. The other prisoners look at him as he walks tall into the prison. The guard takes him to his cell and leaves him. Red lays in his cell and rats begin to screech.

Red sits down for lunch with a young teen and introduces himself. The teen knows of him and that he is being charged for treason “and like 200 murders.” The teen introduces himself as Vontae Jones. The teen seems curious and asks Reddington about where they are keeping him, a place called the Bunker. Jones explains, as the Warden walks in, that the Bunker is where he keeps the troublemakers. Vontae gives Reddington the run down on where to get smokes, and other such things, from the other prisoners.

Soon, we meet Teflon Con, a prisoner awaiting trial for knocking over a Brinks truck and killing two guards. He walks over to Jones’ tray, knocks over the top piece of bread, and eats the meat underneath. Teflon Con says that having him around would be a good thing, and they can settle some things.  Reddington, not pleased, sticks up for Jones as he tells the prisoner “that’s not your lunch meat.” Teflon walks away and Reddington walks over to confront him once more. He says that Jones is just a kid and he should cut him some slack. Teflon says Reddington has nothing in prison but his mouth, he has no muscle or weapons. Making threats, Reddington says that if he even looks in Vontae’s direction again, “you’re gonna end up with your teeth sticking out the back of your head and sipping your dinner through a bendy straw.” Ouch. Teflon makes no hesitation when he grabs Reddington and starts throwing punches. The Warden stops the fight and introduces himself to Reddington.

Liz visits Reddington and is worried. She asks who beat him up and Reddington replies that it was an old acquaintance. He says that it is no one fault not even her’s, and he welcomes “the vim and vigor of prison life.” Liz wants to get Reddington out of general population by talking to the Warden but he disagrees. She suggests protective custody, but Raymond again disagrees. He says that he needs to be treated like a criminal, and any interference of the Task Force could jeopardize the case. Not only that, Raymond still has to show the judge he can be an asset. He gives Liz a case, Rod and Delaine Uhlman, the next ones up on the blacklist.

Liz gives the Task Force the rundown on the new blacklisters. They run a pawn shop but front cash for “high value, ill-gotten gains.” If the criminals leave the collateral, they will sell it. As we listen to the Task Force we see Rod and Delaine Uhlman helping a young man asking about the first edition of Treasure Island. Delaine escorts the man to the back of the store. Liz is shown and continues on about their rap sheet. We go back to the pawn shop where the man unwraps something from a towel and presents it to the Uhlman’s. Samar asks if Reddington hopes this will help him. Ressler thinks that Reddington is paying off the judge, but Liz is quick to comment that he has been hurt. Changing the subject, Cooper orders Liz and Ressler to the store and says that information from their clients need to be investigated.

Liz and Ressler are seen parked at the front of the store, taking pictures of each customer to send to Aram for him to check out. Ressler and Liz talk about how she is worried about Reddington and how he looked weak compared to his everyday attitude. Suddenly, Liz gets a call from her sister, Jennifer, saying that her friend might have got them some decrypted files on Reddington from the plastic surgeon. She wants Liz to be there but Liz is in the middle of a case. She tells Jennifer she will try and make it.

Ressler gets Liz’s attention and she goes back to the case. Aram found an ID of a customer from earlier at the pawn shop with a red backpack named Tom Hardekopf. He is a graduate of MIT and has ties to the NSA. Liz lies and tells Ressler that the Warden from Colton called to meet with her so she cannot accompany Ressler on investigating Tom. A woman introduces Tom to a group of gentlemen sitting around a poker table and has him take a seat. As he sits he smiles and says, “let’s make some money.”

Back at the prison, Vontae warns Reddington that Teflon Con and his guys are going to try and finish what they started. Vontae wants to get Reddington a weapon or something to defend himself with. Raymond is not even slightly unnerved by the fact that the day after tomorrow someone is going to try and kill him, and brushes it off as he returns to his task. Vontae says he is going to help Reddington find a pen. Before Vontae leaves Reddington requests he find out who is playing the music heard in the jail because he would like to either buy it or borrow it.

Back at the Task Force, Cooper introduces Ressler and Navabi to Sophia Quayle who works with the NSA as a code breaker. She says that Tom was working on an algorithm to help “decrypt Chinese diplomatic cables,” that is believed to be operational. It could reveal which Americans have been turned by the Chinese and what intel they provided the other side. Unfortunately, the device seems to be in the hands of the Uhlman’s. Samar tries to reassure her that the codes are safe for now as the clients have 30 days to get their property back after that they sell it. Quayle says that if word gets out the Chinese will change their encryption and the NSA will have to start all over. Not only that, but the NSA looked through Hardekopf’s desk and discovered a missing hard drive. The poker game continues and Tom thinks that he has won, but ends up walking away disappointed.

At Liz’s apartment, Jennifer and Liz are talking to the friend who was trying to decrypt information on Reddington’s plastic surgery file, but he was unsuccessful. Liz tells him to leave and Jennifer begins to go erratic at the fact that they cannot find a connection. “He won.” Liz says that although they did not find anything, without all of these turn of events they never would have found each other. It’s not enough for Jennifer but Liz tells her that it has to be. They cannot let this control their life.

Vontae returns with a pen and meat for Reddington. Vontae tells Reddington that he went through a lot of trouble for those items but Reddington seems unfazed. Raymond is trying to get a rat out of the cell and seems preoccupied. He offers Vontae some advice saying that “fear is a liar,” and that it “activates the enemy.” He tells Vontae that their is nothing they can do right now.

We see Tom ask for the hard drive back. The Uhlman’s are happy to give it back as long as he can provide the loan back plus interest. Unfortunately, Tom does not have the money and the reason he gave the drive up in the first place was to pay back a gambling debt. Delaine says that he has 30 days to repay. Tom says that he just needs the drive back and he will find a way to get the money. Rod asks Tom if he switched cars like he asked. Tom says they were not followed and that they are going to reach a new agreement. Delaine agrees and shoots Tom point blank in the stomach. They burn the body in a car with Samar and Ressler on the scene. With Tom alive they had time to retrieve the intel, but now that he’s dead they lost that chance.

Red finally retrieves the rat and says that he has a lot of work to do. A plan of escape perhaps?

Reddington sits down with Baldomero (Teflon Con) and tells him that he heard about their plan. Red wants to settle it. Red tells him where he might be when he gets out but Baldomero says that he will be out toasting his grave. Red talks with the man with the record collection who says that he also has a knife to cut him like a pumpkin. “Jack-O’-Lantern,” Reddington corrects him. Reddington is back to talking about Baldomero and says that was happened between them before was a mistake. Reddington speaks in his own defense, saying the room was dark and that Baldomero’s mother and he were very drunk, and that is why he did not know who she was. Baldomero says that he paid off the guards to have 20 minutes alone with Reddington to finish him and Vontae off. Before Red leaves, he tells Baldomero that when he gets out, within 24 hours he will have a blade in his stomach and gurgling Red’s name. Red assures Vontae that a plan is in progress.

Qualye is at the Task Force telling Cooper to find the drive before they arrest the pawnbrokers. Aram saves the day by telling them that he hacked into their camera. They pull up the feed and find that 10 minutes earlier a Chinese operative met with Rod Uhlman. They assume that the intel has already been revealed, but Ressler thinks that the pawnbrokers would be smart and keep the intel. They could tease the Chinese with it and bump up the price, but if no one grabs it before then it is still safe. Aram catches on and says that they need to buy it first.

Reddington is seen writing a letter as Vontae appears displeased. Reddington goes on a tangent eventually revealing he is using the rat to send a message to the outside. They let the rat go hoping it will bring them some luck, but if not, “either way we’ll be dead by Friday.”

Samar is on sight and undercover as the Mossad. Quayle is worried that Samar might have divided loyalties, but Cooper assures her of her loyalty. Samar enters and tells Delaine that she would like to outbid the Chinese MSS that they spoke with earlier regarding a hard drive. Delaine says that she does not know what she is talking about until Samar reminds her of all their past deals. Delaine asks for her name and closes down the shop. Samar wears no wire in case she is searched and the team begins to worry. Aram stands up for Samar against the idea of her “divided loyalties.” Delaine opens up the Treasure Island book and puts her fingerprints in the system. Uhlman says that the Chinese offered two million so Samar offers four million.

At the prison, the pest control agent on the outskirts of the walls finds a rat in a cage that he set. It is Reddington’s rat with a note saying that if he called the number on the paper, he would get $10,000.

Delaine is on the phone with her husband, Rod, and tells him about the change of plans. She tells him to grab pledge and meet her at the place. Samar asks where they are going and Delaine tells her that they take precautions due to the risks of their business. Liz asks Aram if he sees any movement and he tells her that it looks like she was taken to a back room. Samar and Delaine get in the car and chat on the way to the meeting place. Aram informs the Task Force that Samar is on the move and they went out a different exit. Ressler and Keen are on the move toward Samar.

Dembe is seen giving the exterminator money. He assures the exterminator that he did nothing wrong and that he should finish his work since there are cameras around. Dembe gets the rat out of the cage and sends a note back to Reddington.

Samar and Delaine pull into a parking garage. Keen and Ressler arrive at the scene as Rod pulls out the briefcase. Delaine asks for money first and gives her the phone to wire transfer it. Keen has the SWAT team with her as Ressler is alone. Samar hands the phone back as Delaine checks it and gives the nod to Rod. Samar is handed the briefcase when Ressler calls for breach. The FBI run in until a van starts firing, shooting Delaine. Samar runs and hides with Rod as the FBI and unmarked vans continue firing. A Chinese operative tries to run off with the case but is shot by Ressler. Unfortunately, another van takes the case and gets away. With all the commotion Navabi cannot dial 911 to help Delaine due to her memory loss. Red receives the note from Dembe in prison and asks what he can do.

Liz and Samar are seen discussing the events that just occurred. Samar says that according to Rod, the Chinese did not know what was on the drive. Ressler walks up with information that they got an ID on an MSS agent on non-official cover. “All they have to do is get to the embassy.” An MSS agent is seen on the phone and arrives at the embassy. The gates open and suddenly Ressler and Navabi crash into them.

Cooper says that the team successfully got the MSS agents and the safe return of the drive. Cooper is still curious as to how the Chinese got the information about the drive, since the pawnbrokers and Samar did not spill. He informs her that he broke the deal and looked on the drive. Cooper says that his decryption algorithm was a success. It turns out that Quayle was one of the informants. She was the one to tell the Chinese and she is arrested.

Rod is sitting in an interrogation room as Ressler and Navabi discuss whether he will talk or not. He did give information on a warehouse where some illegal items were held. Ressler is waiting outside of the room to try and figure out how to tell him that his wife just died from her gunshot wounds. Samar looks through the window as Ressler breaks the news and Rod begins to sob.

Vontae approaches Red as they are all walking and Vontae says that he has been thinking about how all of this got started over his lunch meat. Red assures him it was long before their encounter that Baldomero and Red have had issues with one another. Vontae says that Reddington had his back when no one else did and that he will have Reddington’s back. Red and Vontae approach Baldomero and his crew. They ask for any last words and as the other prisoners gather around, Reddington reveals that Baldomero is awaiting trial for a crime he did not commit. He did not rob the armored car. Red reveals that Baldomero’s brother Tip and Ziggy Chapman stole the truck for Red. The boys then pawned off the truck. Baldomero wants to be in jail to hide from somebody on the outside named Anunzio Ross. Baldomero swiftly attacks Red with a shank, but Red dodges and pushes him into the other prisoners. He tries again, but Vontae trips him from behind. Red throws Baldomero’s shank across the fence. The guard shoots into the air to break up the fight and delivers the good news to Baldomero that his lawyer has arrived to talk about getting him out of prison as Red chuckles.

Liz visits Red and tells him that the only reason he gave her the pawnbrokers was because the warehouse where their illegal items were held would be proof that Baldomero did not commit the crime for which he was imprisoned. He says that he needed to stay alive long enough to get his freedom back. Liz says that a criminal now walks the street but he reminds her that, “life is often surprising. And death is even more so.”

Baldomero is seen at a club walking into the restroom as friends congratulate him on his return. Suddenly, an unfamiliar man confronts Baldomero. The man takes out a knife and stabs Baldomero several times and says, “Anunzio Ross says hello.” Dembe receives a call that says to thank Red and that Ross and Baldomero are square. Red is seemingly the new king in town, and walks into the prison with his head held high with Vontae not far behind him. Samar is seen looking up her condition of why she is having trouble recently. Vega, the man with the record player collection, has brought Reddington a gift. He invites him into his cell.

Liz and Jennifer talk about Reddington and says that her friend, Buck, tried finding more information on the file. They found the date that Raymond was admitted. Jennifer hands her a list of patients who might know something about that day. They show a picture of the man’s face and say that they are going to find him.

Vontae comes back with news that Baldomero’s cell is empty and nicer without him in it. Red says that he talked to a guard to move Vontae into another room and they toast with champagne saying, “To the small things in life.”

Here is the promo for the next episode of The Blacklist.

The Blacklist returns in two weeks on February 1st at 9 p.m. on NBC.

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By Kailey
Kailey has been a writer for Nerds and Beyond since 2018. She received her bachelors degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders in May of 2020. Some of her favorite TV shows are The Blacklist, Supernatural, and Prodigal Son, to name a few. She also loves all things Disney! You can check her out on social media @kaileygross.
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