‘The Blacklist’ Season 6, Episode 7 Recap: “General Shiro”

26 Min Read
Image courtesy of NBC.com.

If you missed last week’s recap, check it out here.

This episode begins with a man waking up, complaining that he can’t catch his breath. He kills a beetle on his dresser and gets up to find help. He goes to find his wife so she can find his inhaler, when he coughs up a beetle. His nanny and his daughter are baking a cake and find another beetle by the dessert. Suddenly, the man collapses. He is rushed to the hospital, and the surgeons decide they need to open his airway. The lead surgeon makes an incision in the man’s throat, and beetles come crawling and flying out of the man’s throat. They fly all around the operating room.

We now see Liz visiting Reddington in his holding cell, where he explains that a bio tech man has had a tragic death, but Liz resists. He tries to tell her that it is for a case, but she is tired of playing his games. She mentions that Red gave them The Pharmacist so that Dembe could get alone time to chat while also getting inside a mental facility to talk to an old friend that is a patient — just many instances where he had his own agenda. Red explains that he is using the Task Force so he can avoid the death penalty. Liz pleads that she wants to help but she wants Red to be completely honest about his ulterior motives. Raymond says that he was betrayed by someone close, and it is hard to know who to trust. Feeling sorry for him, she lets him divulge about the case. “What do you know about entomological warfare?”

Liz is briefing the Task Force back at their base about the new case. She provides history on the weaponization of insects during many wars and mentions that General Shiro made killer beetles that killed many Chinese. Liz informs the team that there have been three deaths related to these killer beetles, and the third one occurred just the day before: Bob Lockemy, the head of a bio tech company, is the latest victim. Red believes the attacks are being formulated by a modern-day General Shiro. Cooper reminds his team the Red’s immunity agreement is null and void, but Aram assures him that they are all in to help. Samar and Aram are looking into what connects the victims, and Ressler and Keen head to the medical examiner’s office to see what they know about the killer beetles.

Image courtesy of NBC.com.

Mr. Sima’s voice is heard in the courtroom, as we now see him explaining to the judge the lengths at which the jurors are being filtered through Reddington’s questionnaire. Red has a list of 382 questions that he wants jurors to complete, which Mr. Sima complains will take days to complete. Red defends his idea, because he feels that it is important to select a fair jury and wants to know their character based on his questions. Mr. Sima reads off several questions he deems unnecessary and irrelevant. Red continues that he wants these questions to be able to select astute jurors who are capable of understanding the evidence and case that Reddington has to argue. Judge Wilkins decides that 40 questions should be plenty — no essay questions — and that she doesn’t need them to waste her time.

Ressler and Keen meet the medical examiner, Dr. Maguire. Dr. Maguire says that it appears the victim suffocated on some type of water beetle. He explains that he also found the larva were surviving in his digestive tract and stomach wall, perhaps ingested by the victim. The beetles were feeding on him from the inside out and made their way into the lungs. When the incision was cut into the neck, it was a way out for them. He suggests they meet with Dr. Jonathan Nikkila, who is an entomologist that worked at the same company as Bob Lockemy.

A suspicious man is then seen in a workshop where he uses a needle and extracts a liquid from the water beetle. He kisses it and places it into a container. This same man is at a restaurant and has a wine where he pours the liquid he obtained from the beetle into the glass. He drops off the wine glass to another man in a tie and he drinks it, not knowing what is really in his beverage.

Dembe visits with Reddington in his cell. They are going through the questionnaires filled out by potential jurors. Red does not seem impressed, but Dembe tries to remain positive, assuring him they will find the right people. Raymond says that he doesn’t know how Dembe and other spiritual advisors stay so optimistic. “Just once I’d like to hear a man of the cloth say, ‘Yep, this sucks.'” Red says that he just needs one person to sway the others to a not guilty verdict. Dembe reminds him that the jurors are selected randomly, but Reddington knows that they are selected by the IRS, the registered voters log, and the DMV. Red pauses and smiles, “Fortunately, we have a friend at the DMV.”

Glen Carter, Red and Dembe’s friend at the DMV is shown eating when Dembe arrives. He thanks Glen for meeting with him and says they have a situation. Carter is weary, since he can go to jail for manipulating a jury pool for Reddington’s trial. Dembe states that they will put him to death and Carter agrees to help. Dembe asks if he can access the voter registration logs and put a friend on the panel. Carter says that he can ask around to his friends to see what he can do.

Liz and Ressler meet with Dr. Nikkila who says that Bob was a mentor to him. Nikkila was terrified after reading the ME’s report, and he shows them a “predacious diving beetle,” known as the Dytiscidae, the beetle responsible for killing Bob. Nikkila says that there is no way the larvae should have survived, so someone must have enhanced the beetles. He shows a beetle with its jaws 4 times its normal size. Liz does not see why someone would go through the trouble, but Dr. Nikkila says that it is ironic the killer would use beetles to murder a man who developed pesticides to kill the very same insect. Nikkila said that he helped develop a pesticide for killing infected beetles after hurricane disasters but it never made it to market. He thinks that since Bob was the CEO, he surely got death threats, if not more than Nikkila. Ressler asks the doctor if General Shiro holds any meaning for him and he explains that General Shiro was a master at weaponizing insects. He says that whoever is using Shiro as inspiration will not take into account how many people he kills to get his point across.

Back at the Task Force Headquarters, Hexapene, as Samar states, is what connects all three victims. Lockemy was trying to have Congress and the FDA approve the pesticide, but Cooper says that everyone involved trying to get it on the market is dead. Ressler walks over and pulls up Lockemy’s calendar. Ressler said he had a meeting with Dick Kendel. Dick Kendel is “the clean air/water guy” and is the environmentalist who is leading a fight to ban pesticides. Kendel and Lockemy met a week ago, and they believe Kendel is the “General Shiro” they are looking for.

Glen and Dembe are rifting through potential jurors, when Glen suggests they let Reddington stay in jail, so he and Dembe can take Red’s money and disappear. Glen says that he was joking but that he needs lunch, so he leaves Dembe to look at the jurors.

Image courtesy of NBC.com.

Liz and Ressler arrive at Kendel’s house, but he does not answer. A beetle lands on Liz, so they believe they have their guy. Ressler knocks down the door. They walk inside and find tons of beetles flying around or crawling on the floor. Unfortunately, they find Mr. Kendel’s body covered with the predacious beetles. Liz and Ressler are at the scene and on the phone with Cooper, Samar, and Aram as they determine that Kendel and Lockemy died within an hour of each other. They must have been poisoned at the same time, so the same point of reference is the restaurant. Cooper orders the team to head to the restaurant.

Returning to the courtroom, Judge Wilkins decides it is time to have in-person interviews with potential jurors. Several potential jurors are shown and questioned as Reddington and Mr. Sima are seen striking or removing jurors from the case. Most of the jurors’ views are in favor of Mr. Sima, but there are few that Reddington seems to fancy. All of a sudden, Glen Carter walks in as a potential juror, and Reddington immediately asks the judge for a recess. She grants his request.

Aram and Samar arrive at the restaurant and question the owner. He can’t believe that two men were murdered from his restaurant, but he remembers a strange man wandering into the kitchen. A bus boy followed him out and Samar asks if they can speak with him. The owner states that he can’t, because they are the FBI and he is undocumented. Samar assures the owner that they aren’t looking to report anybody and that they just want answers to who is committing these murders.

Aram and Samar sit down with the bus boy and the owner, who is translating. Aram tries to use the only Spanish he knows, but it doesn’t work out too well. Aram tells the boy that he and Samar are refugees and they will leave as soon as they ask him the questions. He then tells the owner what he saw. He saw the man in the kitchen, asked him what he was doing but he ran. The boy chased him down the street and saw him get into a taxi in front of a hotel. Aram and Samar thank him and head to the hotel. They arrive at the hotel and ask to speak to the head of security to check tapes of their cab stand. They find the driver and question him about the man. The driver said he was crazy and that he was being chased by a jealous husband. The man told the driver to drive as fast as he can and drop him off somewhere. Samar asks where he was dropped off.

A door is kicked in, and the FBI is on the scene of where the driver dropped of their suspect. The area is clear of the suspect, but they find the containers keeping beetle larvae and adult beetles alive as Samar and Aram decide that he is going to kill again.

Reddington is in his cell when Dembe arrives. Reddington is flabbergasted as he wants to know why Glen Carter showed up. Dembe says that they only found 3 names. Suddenly, Dembe’s phone rings, and it’s Glen. Reddington takes the phone, asks why he is there, and explains that Dembe gave him very specific instructions. Glen explains that he didn’t want to leave Raymond’s fate to strangers and that he can do it. Reddington says that he cannot do it, but Glen insists and says that he won’t let him down. He ends the call, and Reddington says, “I might as well just ask the judge to let me go lie down in traffic.”

Mr. Sima questions Glen Carter and asks about his knowledge of the case, his morals, and judgments, specifically about the death penalty. Glen is all over the place but says that he does not judge a book by its cover and he does not discriminate. Since Glen was distracted in his answering, Mr. Sima moves to dismiss the juror. Reddington stands up to defend Glen and says the because he is an outcast, he should be able to sit on the jury. Red states, “It’s not a popularity contest,” as Carter seems to be able to make his own decisions. Judge Wilkins agrees that if he can remain impartial that he may be a juror and he makes the cut. Before he leaves, he compliments the judge on her looks as he said his last judge wasn’t nearly comparable. Mr. Sima questions him further because on the questionnaire he said he had never been on a jury before. Carter explains that he was the defendant accused of “sliding the dice” at a casino. He was convicted and, because of that, Wilkins dismisses him from the case.

Arriving back at the Task Force Headquarters, Aram said that their initial idea of Kendel and Lockemy being on opposite sides was incorrect. Lockemy paid Kendel $3 million to support the pesticide that was being considered by Congress and to do an independent analysis. They have not been able to identify the Blacklister but might know their next target. Dr. Nikkila made the Hexapene, and Cooper orders Samar to reach out to him and have a security detail. He also wants someone to monitor what food and drinks he intakes. Aram says that he obtained a copy of the press release of Kendel’s organization’s support for Hexapene that was supposed to be posted that day. The Committee on Energy and Commerce is holding a hearing the same day, and the Blacklister had it circled in his calendar. Ressler and Keen head to the hearing.

Liz, Ressler, and the rest of the team are on the phone with news about Dr. Nikkila. He is the star witness at the hearing they are headed to. They tried to postpone the hearing but it couldn’t happen. The team left several messages on Dr. Nikkila’s phone, but he could not be reached. Liz and Ressler are late, as the hearing has already begun. Dr. Jonathan Nikkila introduces himself to the Committee and is convinced that before the hearing has concluded, they will answer the question whether to legalize Hexapene, as it could “quite literally be a matter of life and death.”

Jonathan says that since he developed the pesticide, he can vouch for the product in question. He says that there can be negative side effects to humans, but he says that isn’t the point. A committee member comments, but he has difficulty speaking because he begins coughing. He stops coughing and finishes his question by asking, “Isn’t harm to humans the whole point?”Coinciding with the hearing, Liz and Ressler arrive at Capitol Hill. The officer outside Capitol Hill takes Keen and Ressler to Dr. Nikkila.

The hearing continues as the members are more concerned about the harm to humans. Nikkila says that the Earth can survive and thrive without humans, but it cannot if insects are completely wiped out. Liz and Ressler arrive closer to the conference room as Nikkila continues. A committee member, the one who was coughing, asks why he didn’t protest the making of Hexapene in the first place. He says that he trusted his colleagues, but Lockemy misled him and wanted to sell it everywhere. He feels that humans who poison the Earth present a danger and must be eliminated. Nikkila tells the committee member that he can’t stop coughing because he poisoned his wine at the restaurant we saw earlier. The crowd and the members murmur as Nikkila continues that the larvae have hatched and are trying to find a way out through his airway. A member asks for security to detain Nikkila as the coughing member collapses. Ressler and Keen arrive and arrest Nikkila as EMTs tend to the collapsed member.

Reddington is on the phone with Glen and berates him because the plan would have worked if Glen would have just stopped talking after the judge approved him. Glen said he has never been picked for anything before and that Reddington said some pretty hurtful comments about him. He asks for an apology, and Reddington gives him one. Glen says that he was kidding and that being odd and annoying is his specialty. Glen asks what is next for their plan. Reddington says that he was and Red hangs up the phone with Glen. Red, seemingly defeated, sits as Dembe tries to remind him of the all the other hard times they have had and that they can get through this rough patch too. Red asks about the case that he gave the Task Force. He tells Dembe to go to his lab and go through his files to find an address to Red’s “get out of jail free card.” Red says that this is his last resort and that the person at this address must have been sent some beetles from Nikkila. Red will take either optimism or false hope, because he is running out of options.

Dembe arrives at Capitol Hill where Liz and Ressler have just arrested Nikkila. Dembe informs Liz that the jury has been picked and that Raymond is in trouble. Liz offers to help and Dembe asks to be taken to Nikkila’s lab, but Liz is hesitant as he is asking the same thing — to have 5 minutes alone. She said that it is a sealed crime scene, but Dembe continues and says it needs to be unsealed.

Samar is interrogating Nikkila. Nikkila says that the people he killed weren’t victims, but rather experiments. He created the pesticide so he wanted to give the beetles a chance to fight back, and they did through 6 experiments. Nikkila said he will be remembered for his legacy of helping the beetles, not destroying them. Samar asks if there were 6 experiments, who was the sixth?  She immediately asks for an ambulance as Nikkila begins coughing profusely. Samar says that he did this because he would not have to go to jail and yells again for a medic. Nikkila said that they don’t need to rush and that Samar might want to leave as he coughs up more beetles. Samar and Aram watch from outside the room as we hear him continue to cough and we see more and more beetles flying around the room.

We see someone arrive at Reddington’s holding cell, and it turns out to be Harold Cooper. He brings Reddington a cigar for them to smoke and Reddington laughs and smiles as Cooper pulls a chair over. As Reddington talks, Dembe arrives at the lab. Reddington tells Cooper about the time their boat capsized and that out of 40 passengers, 24 were lost right away. Dembe finds the file as Cooper asks how Red survived but he said he didn’t. He actually drowned and saw the other side. He said that a wooden door was found and he was able to get the water out of his lungs. “Dembe saved my life that night.” He says that Dembe has always saved his life. Liz arrives at the lab and asks Dembe if he found what he was looking for. He said he did. Liz says that Red said that she reminded him of her mother. Dembe agrees that she does. Liz gets closer to Dembe and starts to tear up as she says that Dembe knows everything about Raymond. He knows all the answers she is looking for, and he nods and says, “I do.”

Judge Wilkins swears in the jurors and she says that trial is set for the Tuesday coming up at 8 a.m. Mr. Sima smiles as Red comments on the grin. Sima said that he has been prosecuting for 18 years and the jury can go either way in his experience. Mr. Sima says that Red’s fate is sealed, but Red doesn’t believe so. Mr. Sima says, “I respect the false confidence, but you and I both know, you’re a dead man walking.”

Here is the trailer for next week’s 2 hour event:

The Blacklist airs Fridays 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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