If you missed the first recap for this two hour event, check it out here.
This episode starts with a man, listening in on phone calls and constantly flipping to new ones. He then hears a man calling a woman, saying his check was $2.2 million dollars. She wants to celebrate, but he needs to talk about… the body.
Red is talking to Dembe on the phone, and Dembe is playing the recording of the 911 phone call that had Reddington arrested. Red says that Liz knows and is trying to find his past; with him in jail, it makes it easier for her to find out clues. Dembe doesn’t believe Liz would put Red in jail, especially with the death penalty looming over. Red orders Dembe to find the person who made the call; he hopes it’s not Liz. Raymond also tells Dembe to get in touch with the Task Force, because he has a case for them.
“Minister D?” He is a serial blackmailer who takes his name from an Edgar Allen Poe excerpt. Red believes that Minister D will help him maintain his innocence. Liz asks if he can also prove who is guilty. Red answers that yes he can, and Liz is eager to know if he has found out it was her. She asks if he has identified the traitor and he said it was someone he trusted as well as the traitor who turned him into the police. “Someone close. Traitors always are.” As he says this, he looks right at Elizabeth, who looks very serious. Liz changes the subject by asking more about Minister D.
Liz explains to the Task Force that Minister D finds incriminating evidence and uses it to extort people. Liz goes through Minister D’s work and says he can have dirt on almost anyone. Samar says that Red brought up this case to perhaps extort members of the jury, but Ressler seems to stand up for Red. Liz, trying to rest the situation, says that they won’t know anything until they find this Minister D. (We briefly see Minister D using a typewriter and listening to the same call we heard at the start of the episode, about a body. The man says where they hid the body wasn’t a good enough place.) Cooper asks if Reddington gave them a place to start, and Liz replies with the name Sayantan Shah. Red gave Shah money to pay off a blackmailer, who was possibly Minister D.
Keen and Ressler are questioning Shah as he says that he gave Red back the money after it was loaned to him. Ressler says that doing business with a fugitive could get him into a whole lot of trouble. He gets defensive and tells them that he didn’t have the money and couldn’t just walk into a bank. Liz tells him to relax, and Ressler says they just want to know information about the man who blackmailed him, so they can make a case. Liz says they will ignore his involvement with Raymond Reddington, if he can give information on Minister D.
We then see Minister D at an office dressed as a delivery man, and he drops off a letter to Peter DeReamer. As Shah continues on about them also ignoring the reasons he was blackmailed, we see Peter receive the letter. Shah explains that he received an envelope of the transcript of a phone call, word for word. The next day he received a call asking for $400,000 in cash. Shah hired a team, and they find a tap in Shah’s apartment. As Shah details the steps, we see Peter open the letter and read a note saying, “I know you killed you wife.”
Judge Wilkins greets them and asks if there is anything that they would like to add before the jury is brought in. Red stands up and says that he has evidence that has not yet “materialized” and that he has a team working on tracking down this evidence. So he asks for a continuance. Mr. Sima chimes in and tells Judge Wilkins he is sure it’s the FBI assisting him. Red says that the FBI’s involvement is voluntary, and he put them in the direction of a criminal. Red says that Mr. Sima might not appreciate the dual benefit of catching the criminal while also proving Red’s innocence. Mr. Sima argues that Red denied the option of life in prison, to which he replies that any innocent man would. Judge Wilkins denies the continuance and says that if such evidence would surface, he can bring it for the appeal or for the trial. Wilkins says they will bring the jury in after lunch.
Cooper asks what the team has, and Aram says that the device that Keen and Ressler found is a splitting device. The call is sent to the person — not the other line — and to another location. They found more devices, and they are linked to VeraCom. Samar says that only a few people were able to service the taps found. So after ruling out several of the members, the one left is Elijah Bailey, an alias. Everything about the ID is forged, but there is an address in Arlington. Suddenly, Mr. Sima walks in to the Task Force, and he is there to speak to Agent Ressler. Cooper tells Keen and Navabi to go to Arlington, and he brings Ressler to his office with Mr. Sima.
Mr. Sima is calling Ressler to be a witness, because before they were working with Red, Ressler led the investigation against him. Ressler says that he is on trial for alleged crimes that existed long before he ever joined the investigation. Mr. Sima says that they all know the crimes are not alleged. Cooper asks why Sima waited so long to tell them, and Sima says that he doesn’t trust them. He reveals that Red told the court they are helping him with a case. Mr. Sima says that, once under oath, Ressler must remain truthful and if he does not, he will make sure he goes to jail with Reddington.
The door bangs down, and the FBI enter the Arlington house. Keen and Navabi walk in and head for the basement. They see his set up and all the tapes that he has acquired over the years. Navabi says that there could be anywhere from 10,000 tapes just in the basement.
— The Blacklist (@NBCBlacklist) February 23, 2019
Dembe is sitting in his car. He dials a phone number, and it rings to a payphone. He walks to the payphone and looks to see a camera, right outside a barber shop. He walks in and asks the man if he can look at his security cameras. The man in the barber shop says that the security camera deletes the video after 48 hours. Dembe says that maybe someone saw something, and we see a montage of Dembe asking around on the street. Dembe leaves the barber shop, thanking the man for listening. He sits in his car and crosses off names on a list. Someone approaches him, so he pulls his gun. It’s a woman, and she heard that he had been asking around about a woman at that payphone. She won’t talk unless she gets money, so Dembe gives her money and she reveals it was her.
Liz and Ressler are seen discussing his upcoming witness testimony as Liz says it’s not worth going to jail over. Ressler says that Sima might not ask questions that require him to lie. Liz says that if he asks if Red is the defendant, she says that he can’t say yes. Ressler says that if Red just admitted to being the imposter, then all the charges would be dropped. Liz says that he is the most honest person she knows, and if she saw him go to jail for perjury just to be able to know the truth, then she doesn’t want to know. Ressler puts his hand on Liz’s shoulder, and she says that she would never forgive herself if she let him go to jail for Reddington. He says that he isn’t that honest and if Red is okay with facing the death penalty without telling the truth, so be it.
Aram walks into Samar’s office, and she is sitting in the dark because of a migraine, which she didn’t have before her accident. Aram asks her if she has ever used a manual typewriter, reminding her that, if you unspool the ribbon from a typewriter, you can see the last thing that Minister D typed, which Samar adds could help find his next target. Aram finds out that his next target is Peter DeReamer, a man who cheated on his wife with Mikela Pariente. They listen to the recording as they discover the Mikela and Peter killed his wife and that he received $2.2 million dollars from her life insurance money. Cooper orders that Navabi and Keen find Peter and Mikela, who are both at her apartment, and arrest them. He wants them to find information on Bailey.
Ressler is in court being questioned by the counselor, Mr. Sima. He asks if Ressler had run an Task Force dedicated to killing or capturing Reddington, which Reddington interrupts by saying that Ressler did for many years of his career. Judge Wilkins dismisses the question and has him proceed with less “foundational” questions. Sima asks if Ressler knows about a submarine called the U.S.S. Gideon that was attacked by a torpedo in 1990. Ressler says yes and says that Raymond Reddington was the cause. Mr. Sima asks him questions which continue to incriminate Red. He was an intelligence officer that knew of the coordinates that changed due to a storm, and they captured a communiqué that said Raymond Reddington was to blame. Mr. Sima brings that communiqué and has Ressler read it to the jury. Mr. Sima asks what “Lamprey” is, and Ressler explains that is a name that the KGB assigned to Reddington. Sima asks if the defendant is Raymond Reddington, the one sitting in the courtroom. Ressler pauses, knowing that in fact this Red is an imposter. The Judge pushes for an answer, and Ressler says that is in fact Raymond Reddington which means that Ressler lied in court.
The FBI once again knocks down a door to Mikela’s apartment. Mikela says not to shoot, and Liz arrests her. Samar asks where Peter is, and Mikela looks out the window where Peter has escaped and she follows. Samar yells for him to stop, and he tries to jump from one fire escape to the next. Samar said that he won’t make it but he jumps anyway and falls. We see him pooled in blood on the ground. Liz is talking to Mikela, saying that they know she and Peter killed his wife, so if she wants to ever leave jail, she is going to tell Liz about Bailey. Mikela said that he told her to put $200,000 in her purse and meet at the Harkins Museum. He wants her to put it in a gift bag and leave it by a bench at 3:20. Liz says that that’s exactly what she is going to do.
— The Blacklist (@NBCBlacklist) February 23, 2019
Back in the courtroom, it’s Reddington’s turn to question Ressler. He says that after all these years, it feels like he knows Ressler. Red asks about Katarina Rostova, and Ressler says that she was a KGB officer. Red asks if he knew that they had a complicated history: “Sex, drugs, rock n’ roll. Did I say ‘sex?’ Sex.” Ressler says that nothing he does surprises him. Raymond questions him about whether he knew that Rostova hid the fact that she was a KGB agent and that she stole the coordinates for the submarine, the U.S.S. Gideon. He states that in fact, Rostova passed on the coordinates to her superiors and that she was responsible for the deaths of those men. Sima objects saying that this isn’t relevant, and Wilkins makes Red move on.
Red then continues and questions whether he was a good intelligence officer, to which Ressler replies that he “was” one of the best. Red seems confused at the “was” and continues. He keeps on the route of the KGB and wants to know if the KGB hated Red and would like to see him disgraced, to which Ressler answers yes. Red brings up that they would hate him so much to forge a communiqué, and Sima objects again saying that Ressler wouldn’t know the intentions of the KGB. Red moves on and asks if when Mr. Sima asked Ressler if Red was a traitor, why he hesitated in his answer. Red asks if he was uncertain or if circumstances have changed Ressler’s mind about who he is, or who he was before. Tensions rise as Ressler says that Red doesn’t want him to answer, but Red does. But the attempt is thwarted by Judge Wilkins as she stops him from answering and dismisses him from the witness stand.
She has Red and Sima approach her at her seat and says to Raymond that she doesn’t like tricks in her courtroom. He says that Ressler hesitated for a reason, and the judge says it’s because they work together. He says that there is another reason and he needs more time, but she says that he doesn’t have it.
Dembe is in the car with the girl and he gives her a winter coat, boots and $3,000. She says that a woman with dark hair gave her $100 to call 911 to say she saw a man in a suit with a gun. Dembe shows a picture of Liz, and she says that Liz is not it. The girl insists that it’s not Liz and says she would never forget the woman’s face, just like she won’t forget Dembe’s.
Lawton B. Nuss is next on the witness stand and is a retired forensic accountant for the FBI. Sima asks him while he was working for the FBI, did he discover that the Russians paid Raymond Reddington for information about the submarine, to which Nuss answers yes. Red chimes in and says, “I would object, but I so enjoy a good yarn.” Sima asks him to tell them how the money was handled. Nuss says that an account was opened a month before the incident and that only the president of the company could have access — and that was Raymond. Sima questions how it might tie into the submarine attack and that the account received $3 million the day before the incident and $3 million after the incident. It was withdrawn using a fingerprint and password, which were Reddington’s. Sima says that he has no further questions, but Reddington inquires if the money was picked up in person. Nuss said that it was a wire transfer, and Red suggests that if someone had a copy of his fingerprint and the password, they could have gotten the money. Lawton says that it is possible. Red says that he believes he was set up by Katarina Rostova, but the Judge stops him in his tracks for a recess to decide whther he is competent to defend himself after he ignored her instructions about digging into the Rostova theory.
Mikela is at Hawkins Museum, walking inside with the gift bag. She walks to the bench, sits down and puts her purse in the bag, and she walks away. Liz and Samar are watching, and they see a janitor pick up the bag and give it to the information desk. Liz goes after the janitor, and Samar goes to the information desk, where the purse is gone. Samar tells Liz that he is their guy. As Liz tracks him down, Bailey sets down the bag, opens it, and a blue ink explodes all over him. He leaves the bag and runs. Liz catches up to see the ink and follows the blue footprints. She follows him to the bathroom and pulls her gun, checking every stall. She is about to search the last stall when Bailey pops out, and he knocks the gun away and chokes her. Liz starts to lose consciousness, as Samar suddenly hits Bailey on the back of the head, knocking him out and saving Liz.
Cooper meets with Reddington in his holding cell. He tells Red that they found Minister D. Red says that he needs the tape from December 7th, 1990. Cooper says that they will try, but he won’t give it to him to extort the jury. Red says that he could have done that on his own and that that’s not what the tape is for; it’s to prove his innocence.
— The Blacklist (@NBCBlacklist) February 23, 2019
Judge Wilkins returns from recess and informs the jurors and the court that since he is representing himself, she will allow him to continue down the Rostova path. She tells him that she is giving him a chance and to not make her regret it. She motions to the witness stand and Red walks over to be sworn in. He sits down to be questioned.
Cooper, Aram, and Samar are looking for the tape Reddington needs, as Keen walks in telling them that Bailey isn’t talking. She asks if they have found anything, and Aram says that they matched DNA from Bailey to a Jordan Loving, a retired corporal for the Army of Engineering. He left the hospital 4 days after he made the tape that will supposedly show Reddington’s innocence. Loving was in the hospital for severe burns after a house explosion, which also killed a man named Zachary Tempkin. Samar says that it is no coincidence that Red is looking for a tape on December 7th, and then on the 11th, Loving is attacked and his lover is killed. Keen thinks Loving may have blackmailed Red and he didn’t take too kindly to that.
Red says that 35 years ago, Raymond Reddington fell in love with a Russian woman, Katarina Rostova, who turned out to be a KGB agent. She ended up becoming pregnant with a girl, who they had together. The Cabal, a global corrupt organization, was Rostova’s superiors. After Red confronted Rostova about revealing the Cabal, she said that the Cabal would expose and discredit him first. He said that with the help from the Cabal, Rostova framed Reddington with the evidence heard in the courtroom. Rostova made it appear that Red betrayed his country instead of protecting it. The Cabal stayed quiet, Rostova disappeared, and Reddington became a changed man. Red has done illegal things that may be scary, but Red never did anything treasonous. The whole courtroom is captivated by his testimony.
Samar says that they looked through everything and Liz frantic, says they need to start over and keep looking. She knocks down the picture frame but behind it, was the tape. Cooper says to notify Ressler immediately as Liz gazes at the tape in her hands.
Mr. Sima is questioning Red about how a secret organization could have framed him. Sima asks if Red has any evidence to support his theory, as Ressler walks into the courtroom and nods to Reddington. Red says that he indeed has evidence to present right now, but he is unsure what all the rush is about. “Everyone seems so anxious to kill me. Makes you wonder….”
Sima asks to approach the stand, and he says that they have not had time to authenticate the tape. But Red says to have Ressler take the stand and testify that he didn’t tamper with the tape.
— The Blacklist (@NBCBlacklist) February 23, 2019
Aram made a copy of the tape for the court but he plays the original for Liz, Samar, and Cooper. Simultaneously, we see Reddington and the courtroom listening to the same tape. Alan Fitch, the old Director of National Intelligence, is heard telling Rostova to take care of Reddington, because he knows too much about the Cabal. But Rostova says that there is a better way and to make him responsible for the submarine attack. She says that she can’t eliminate him because she loves their daughter. Fitch says to either get rid of him or to ruin him but to get it done by Christmas.
Red supposedly had Masha (who we now know is Elizabeth). Elizabeth is listening and is shocked by hearing all of it as Red listens with sadness. After the tape has finished, Red asks Ressler who the voices on the tape were. Ressler said that the man is Alan Fitch and the woman is Katarina Rostova. He asks why Ressler brought him the tape, and he said it is because in Brady v. Maryland, the government has a duty to provide the defendant with any evidence that be can be used in their defense.
Liz runs into where Loving is and asks him about his scar. She says it was from Katarina Rostova and that she also took Zachary from him. He replies that she found the tape and she says that he blackmailed the wrong person. He said he used the tapes to punish people and make money. She said that he hurt a lot of people who deserved it, but he hurt himself. Loving said that Katarina hurt him, and Liz replies with tears in her eyes that she got hurt too. He says that he is sorry. She says that Katarina took something away from her but she says that now, because of this tape, she might be able to get him back.
In the courtroom, the jurors have made their decision. Judge Wilkins receives the paper and reads it. She hands the paper back and asks Reddington to stand. In United States v. Raymond Reddington, the verdict is ..not guilty! He sighs with relief, as the Judge Wilkins dismisses the court and thanks the jury for their service. Sima wants to proceed on his other indictments, but Wilkins says that’s for another day. She says that Reddingoton will remain in custody.
Liz talks to Red in his holding cell. Liz says that she is relieved and pissed off at the same time. Red says not to judge her too harshly, but Liz says that she can’t judge her any harder. “Whoever you are today, whatever you’ve become, it’s because of the lies she told.” He said that she was “between a rock and a hard place.” She said it is no excuse for framing someone. Red said it was complicated back then. Liz says that for her whole life, he was made out to be a traitor, but Red says she knows the truth now. She says she knows a truth but not the whole truth. “You know that your parents loved you very much. And that’s the only truth that matters.”
Mikela is walking past Samar as she appears to have another migraine. She walks into her office and makes it dark. Liz sees Dembe at the jail and tells him that they won. Dembe said he is relieved and is glad to see she is too, since he knows she is the reason that Raymond is in jail. He spoke to the woman who called the police. When he showed Liz’s picture to the woman, she didn’t recognize it, and that’s when he realized it was Jennifer. He says that they worked together to capture him. Liz asks if Reddington knows, and he says, “I keep his secrets. I don’t share them.” Liz says that Red asked to him investigate, so Reddington is suspicious but doesn’t know. Dembe doesn’t confirm or deny, but she asks him to keep it a secret because Red will never forgive her. “You’re his secret keeper. I’m asking you to be mine, too.”
Samar is laying down with Aram being her cushion, telling her it’s going to be okay. Liz walks in to Cooper’s office where Ressler is pouring a drink and tells him she knows what he did. Ressler asks if it’s about stealing his liquor. But Liz says that he lied to the judge so she could find the identity of the imposter. He did exactly what she asked him not to do. He brings her a drink, and she thanks him. Ressler said it must have been hard for her to hear that tape about her mother and what she had done. She said it has all been hard, but knowing that her mother helped this imposter steal Raymond Reddington’s good name is very difficult. Ressler doesn’t understand why the imposter didn’t choose a different identity and that he chose to be a fugitive.
Dembe goes to see Reddington in his cell. Dembe congratulates him, but Red isn’t celebrating yet. Dembe says that a homeless woman made the phone call and after he showed her a picture of Liz, she didn’t know her. Red sighs and says he was so sure it was her and that she betrayed him again but it wasn’t her. Dembe confirms that it wasn’t.
— The Blacklist (@NBCBlacklist) February 23, 2019
The Blacklist returns in 2 weeks on March 3rd, at 9 p.m. on NBC.
Here is the trailer for the next episode: