If you missed last week’s recap, check it out here.
This episode begins in 1989, in Kuwait. Two men are arguing in a car about money as they are driving down the streets of Kuwait, when the passenger is shot. The other man, who is revealed to be Harold Cooper, is calling for back up, saying that they have been ambushed.
Katarina and Liz are in Liz’s apartment talking about a nanny that Liz is planning on hiring. When Liz turns around, Katarina takes a picture of the nanny. Liz tells Katarina that she is meeting with her this afternoon and all her backgrounds check out. Liz asks if Katarina has reached out to her daughter. Katarina tells her that she put her daughter through some dark times. Liz tells Katarina there have been men across the street watching the building, because of Liz’s mother. Katarina acts surprised, and Liz tells her that she should make a call to her daughter. Whatever Katarina put her through, it’s nothing compared to what Liz’s mother did to her. Katarina asks if it was Liz’s mother, would she want her to reach out. Liz replies that her mother doesn’t want a relationship with her.
Liz arrives at Cooper’s office, and he tells her that they have done great work. He decides he is going to tell Main Justice about Reddington’s real identity. Liz asks for the afternoon off to interview her potential nanny. She asks if he has already reached out to Main Justice. He said he has set a meeting with Cynthia Panabacker, as Aram walks in. He tells Cooper that a message come over SIPRNet from an unofficial CIA outpost in Zahedan. Cooper, looking shocked, asks if it’s accurate. Aram says he decoded it himself. Cooper wants verification by picture, fingerprints, dog tags, etc. as Aram asks, “Who is Daniel Hutton?” Cooper replies, “A man who died 3o years ago.”
Cooper visits Hutton’s grave as Reddington and Dembe approach. Cooper tells Reddington that Daniel Hutton is alive and made his way to a CIA outpost. Red is not convinced. He tells Red that he escaped from captivity a week ago and requested Cooper by name. He continues that Hutton wants Cooper’s help to get him out of the country before his captors find him and kill him. The CIA wants nothing to do with this situation. He asks Red if he knew that Hutton was alive and the flash drive that Cooper holds in his hands was held over his head for this reason. Red tells him that the flash drive was given so he could put the incident behind him. As Red tells him that he believed Hutton was dead, and the issue of Kuwait was left in the past, we see Hutton’s picture and fingerprints being confirmed at the CIA outpost. Cooper says he will not turn a blind eye because he has been carrying this secret for too long. Red suggests that he and Cooper go to Iran without the team, so Cooper can see Hutton with his own eyes and then decide what he wants to do.
The audience sees a plane, with present day Cooper is sitting inside, watching the flash drive seen earlier. Cooper, as a young man, is seen on the laptop, being interrogated about what happened when he and Hutton were ambushed. Young Reddington looks on from another room. The interrogator makes a comment about a report where Cooper and Hutton were seen arguing. Young Cooper gets defensive on the video as present day Cooper remembers how the argument started in the first place. Young Hutton was putting “medical supplies” in the car as the cover of the box falls off and money is revealed. Young Cooper walks over and tells Hutton to put the box in the car and leave it alone. Suddenly, present day Reddington walks over and sits with present day Cooper.
Reddington makes a comment on Cooper’s younger days, when Cooper mentions Reddington’s real identity. Red is surprised Liz took so long to tell him and that Cooper will feel obligated to report to “the powers that be.” Cooper tells him he doesn’t see a way around it, as Red tells him that they will take away everything he has built. Red tells them that they aren’t quite finished yet in their work but finds this situation ironic. “Us jetting over there to protect your secret and you refusing to protect mine.” Cooper defends that they aren’t protecting anything, just righting a wrong. Cooper questions how Red knew about Hutton when the real Reddington was supposed to be there. Red says he just knows, and no matter who he was then, he is Raymond Reddington now. He asks Cooper if he is the man Red knows him to be now, or the man who got into this mess in the first place. Red questions Cooper about if Hutton knows anything about Cooper’s real involvement in all this. Cooper believes Hutton wouldn’t have asked for him if he did. Red hopes not because if Hutton plans to tell the world, Red will shut him up.
Liz is interviewing her potential nanny as Katarina and her guard listen via the doll she had rigged. Liz explains her job, working crazy hours, traveling, etc. and the nanny says she is willing to do it. Liz seems pleased and offers her the job. Katarina seems surprised.
In Kuwait, Farhad greets Red on the plane, and Cooper doesn’t seem pleased about Red’s interference in Iran’s sanctions. Red says despite his disapproval, Cooper needs help in and out of the CIA outpost. Farhad explains the plans that he discussed with Raymond beforehand and tells them that this close to the border, check points are everywhere and are very tricky to navigate. Red tells him that he will be waiting for Cooper when he returns. He explains that he has made some trouble and Iran and doesn’t want to stick out.
Cooper is seen being driven through the checkpoints successfully, and he makes it to the outpost. He sits face-to-face with Hutton and is surprised to see that he is alive. Cooper asks him how he survived, and he says that he was tortured. Cooper asks if remembers anyone who held him captive. He tells Cooper about an Iranian that is known as “The Simoon.” Cooper tells Hutton that everyone in the intelligence community knows The Simoon’s reputation and that his leak of intel has caused many casualties of U.S. citizens. Hutton says that he remembers that day in Kuwait and is also surprised at Cooper’s survival. He wants to apologize about what happened between them before they were ambushed. A flashback is shown about what happened right before the ambush. Young Hutton tells young Cooper he told their superiors, and Cooper said Hutton made the situation worse. Again, we see Hutton shot and Cooper radioing for help. Back with both present day men, Hutton said he knew that Cooper would come back for him, no matter what.
Red and Farhad are smoking and chatting as Dembe walks in and says they might have a problem. The air strip where they landed is crawling with armed guards. Red asks Farhad for extra men, saying he will double his payment as Red gets a call from Cooper saying that he and Hutton are about to leave but that Hutton gave him information on who was holding him, The Simoon. He tells Cooper to get out of there as quickly as he can. The Simoon is already on the hunt for Hutton, and he will “burn the city” to find him. Reddington tells him they need to move quickly, and Cooper says he can meet Red at the airstrip in 30 minutes. Red tells Farhad to call his men and that it will be more difficult getting out now than it was getting in.
Katarina and her guard stop Liz’s newly hired nanny, Denora Mejia, on the streets, posed as FBI agents. They tell her that Liz is not who she says she is and that she is in cahoots with FBI’s most wanted fugitive, Raymond Reddington, who also happens to be her father. They also tell her that Liz’s real name is Masha Rostova and her mother is Katarina Rostova, a KGB agent. Both warn her that the men out front of Liz’s apartment are watching Liz. If Denora is watching Liz’s daughter, both of Liz’s parents will become apart of Denora’s life too.
Back in Kuwait, Cooper and Hutton are seen being transported back to the checkpoint. Hutton apologizes for putting them in danger. He tells Cooper he can’t go back, but if The Simoon does get them, “maybe he can take you this time instead,” he tells Cooper. Red calls Cooper as they approach the checkpoint. Red is still on the line, listening to everything as Cooper says that something isn’t right. One of the patrolmen’s gun is too expensive for police. Red tells Cooper to get out of there as Cooper pulls for his gun. Red asks for a reply from Cooper and orders Dembe to get the Task Force on the phone. Guards make Cooper, Hutton, and the drivers get out of the car, and they take Cooper’s gun. Cooper tells them to translate that he is in the FBI on official business, and Hutton says that they know already. Hutton is the one that told them, and he is handed a gun, which he points at Cooper. “Looks like The Simoon wants a word with you after all.”
Liz arrives at the Task Force. Ressler and her approach Aram. He is on the phone with Reddington and has eyes on the checkpoint. Red tells them the last thing he heard was men speaking Farsi and yelling. He thinks they took Cooper. Aram finds him and tells Red where they took Cooper. Ressler says they need to contact the state department, but Red says he can do it better and faster than them. He tells the team they have one chance to get Harold out alive, and he needs them to listen carefully.
Cooper is seen in a cage as Hutton approaches him. He tells Cooper about how many people held him captive and how Cooper sold him out and left him for dead. Cooper tries to defend himself, saying he had no idea they were going to be ambushed because Hutton found out about money dealings with The Kurds. Cooper got a medal for bravery that day, but Hutton says they both know what really happened. Back into a flashback, Hutton has just been shot, and Cooper is shooting at the gunmen. Both men are taken out of the car as we flash quickly to present day Hutton saying they weren’t really ambushed. The Kurdish were after Hutton because he found out about the money. The flashback is shown again. Hutton is taken into the back of a truck, and Cooper was knocked to the ground. Hutton is calling for Cooper, but Cooper couldn’t get up. “Everyone may think that you would never leave a brother to die, but I know you’d never think twice.” Cooper again tries to defend himself when once again we go into a flashback. Cooper bursts into his captain’s office and asks if the ambush was his idea. The captain tells him that Hutton had tried to expose the mission and tells Cooper that Hutton was executed an hour ago when Cooper wants to go back to Kuwait. He tells Cooper that he recommended him for the Navy Cross. Cooper says that he had Hutton executed, but the captain says he was following orders and suggests Cooper do the same. Back to present day, Hutton says he was treated like a traitor, so he became one. Cooper figures out that Hutton is The Simoon.
Ressler is standing outside a gaming store. Francesca arrives carrying a case. He makes sure that Reddington sent her, and they go inside looking for the Dungeon Master. They find him and show him the case of money. He says he will take it from there. Francesca and Ressler leave, and she asks if he works for Reddington. He says no, but Reddington sure seems to think so. Ressler calls Red to say it was done, and he tells Ressler to thank Francesca, they’re now in the hands of a master. Red and his team are ready to storm the building where Cooper is being held. Red says that even with impossible odds, “this’ll be fun.”
Cooper asks how Hutton could give them all that intel that was responsible for many casualties. He said that he held out for so long but knew no one was coming. Cooper says he gave Navy Intelligence information, and Hutton says he did before he got shut out. Then, he interpreted data and knew only one player, Cooper, which is why he is there. Cooper says he won’t cooperate with them.
Liz is on the phone with Katarina, saying that Denora quit by text message. She asks if Katarina can please watch Agnes when she gets home from school. Katarina agrees and tells Liz not to worry. “Sometimes people just aren’t who they seem to be.”
Red and his team are looking from afar. Farhad is worried and not ready to storm the building. Red is counting down as a drone is heard and suddenly seen flying towards the building. Hutton says that Cooper is in one of the cages. The Dungeon Master is seen in his special chair, and he locks on to the building and fires. The drone shoots and blows up part of the building.
Cooper is trying to protect himself from debris, as the cage is still intact. Farhad and his men burst through the door, along Red and Dembe as gunfire ensues. Cooper tries to break free as Red and Dembe are shooting at the guards, just as Farhad and his men are. Cooper ibreaks free from the cage, but Hutton almost shoots him and tells him not to take another step. Red and Dembe unfortunately run out of ammo, and just as they are about to get captured, Farhad and his men save the day.
Cooper tells Hutton that it’s over, right as more debris falls from the roof. Hutton is stuck and begs for Cooper to help him. Cooper hesitates as he flashes to 1989 but does the right thing. Hutton says he should’ve learned his lesson the first time and goes to shoot Cooper, but Hutton is shot by an incoming Reddington. Red tells Cooper they need to go and that Hutton is no longer his burden and that he needs to let him go.
Back on Red’s plane, Red assures Cooper his secret is safe and that Cooper tried to do the right thing. Red tells him to celebrate. Cooper asks how Red wakes up every morning, living a lie. Red says that he isn’t. He may have been another identity, but that person is gone. “And I can assure you, I’m a far more interesting Raymond Reddington than Raymond Reddington ever was.” Cooper asks about Koslov, and Red says that he thinks people should be defined by who they are, not who they were. He hopes Cooper finds peace in whatever decisions he makes moving forward.
Agnes and Katarina are seen as Katarina has Agnes play a game while she looks through Liz’s drawers and takes pictures.
Cooper has returned from Kuwait and tells the team what transpired. Cooper tells them he tried to bring Hutton home, but he died in the process. Cynthia Panabaker arrives, and Liz questions Cooper if he made up his mind. He says he has, on many things. Panabaker approaches the team, and they tell her she is not going to like what they have to say. Cooper and her walk to his office.
Panabaker says that Cooper called her to talk about Reddington, and he says that’s true. He tells her that Red is not who he says he is. Panabaker asks who he is, and Cooper replies, “He’s a much better person than I gave him credit for.” Cooper hands her the flash drive with his 1989 interrogation. Katarina is seen finishing up taking pictures and gets Agnes.
Cooper visits Hutton’s grave and puts his medal on the stone. Red and Dembe once again approach, and Cooper tells them that he was a coward and wasn’t willing to stand with Hutton because someone on the higher chain of command made an order. He tells Red he gave Panabaker the flash drive and that the flash drive and the medal represent who he was. Now, he is someone who takes responsibility for his actions. Red asks if he told Panabaker about his true identity, and he says that he told her he is Raymond Reddington.
Liz grabs the picture Agnes made in her five minute game with Katarina and says that Katarina saved her today. She tells Liz that she can count on her, and Liz says she will have to count on her a lot. Katarina goes to her apartment and shows her man the pictures she took. One specific picture is important, and it’s Ilya Koslov. “Who’s he?” “The one person who tell me what I need to know.”
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The Blacklist airs Fridays at 8 p.m. EST on NBC.