‘The Blacklist’ Season 7, Episode 15 Recap: “Gordon Kemp”


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

The episode begins with Red and Dembe walking into a convenience store, and asking the clerk at the counter where the ice is. She is looking at her phone, seemingly ignoring him. She looks up and Red asks her what’s wrong. She tells him she got into college. She tells Red and Dembe where the ice is and proceeds to call her mom. A young, suspicious man walks into the convenience store. Reddington tells Dembe that they should get a present for the young girl. The young man goes to the counter and pulls a gun out. He instructs her to give him all the money and to not set off an alarm.  As she does so, she presses the alarm. Suddenly, the alarm sounds and he is agitated so he shoots and kills the young clerk. Reddington shoots the young man and kills him before the shooter runs away. Dembe and Red leave but not before Red takes one last look at the clerk.

Ilya is in an apartment and is looking out his window, very distressed. He grabs his binoculars and looks out the window to write down the license plate of the car he is eyeing. Ilya is flooded with flashbacks and memories of his time in Katarina’s captivity. Ilya’s wife comes in and says he is looking at the cars again. He becomes so paranoid that he runs outside with his gun and knows he saw a blue car. She begs him to come back inside.

Red meets with Liz and gives her the case about the clerk in the store. He tells Liz that he actually killed the gunman himself and the gunman had access to guns being sold in areas of high criminal activity. Red seems upset and tells Liz that this young woman had her whole life ahead of her. She had just gotten into college, “Like a story erased.”

Liz briefs the team about Caliber Arms International and Gordon Kemp. She tells the team that these guns are made available to street criminals and it is the cheapest 9 mm on the market. Reddington is putting Gordon Kemp on The Blacklist. As the team is meeting, we see Kemp on his treadmill when one of his advisors comes to tell him about the shooting at the convenience store. He tells her to gather the team and he wants the narrative to be changed. Back at the Post Office, Harold is reluctant to use the Task Force for this case and Liz tries convincing him by telling him more details and that Red gave her their first lead.

Park and Ressler are out in the field and meet a young man and his girlfriend. The man is known for buying and selling guns. They try to offer him a deal when they see that the girlfriend is on the phone and they decide to bring her in. Kemp is meeting with his team and they discuss the shooting. Kemp says they aren’t responsible and should mention the connections that the young girl had. One of the team members mentions they need to keep support for their cause. As they talk, we see the young woman’s funeral.

Red and Dembe are in the car when Ilya calls Red. He is very troubled and says that there are others. Red tells him that he is sending Dembe over to check on him. Red hangs up and he says that he mentioned the blue Chevy. Dembe asks Red why he assigned the team the case and he says that the girl was an innocent. “So many for so long have been innocent.”

Image Courtesy NBC.

Red and Cooper are in Cooper’s office as the girlfriend of the man Park and Ressler met on the street is being interrogated. Cooper tells Red that the woman passed a background check. Red says that it must go higher up the chain and the two disagree how to proceed with the case. Cooper tells him that the woman paid for the guns in all cash and is considering bringing her on as an informant.

Ilya again has flashbacks of Katarina and hears a noise. He calls for his wife and then checks the window, seeing the blue Chevy. The door knob moves and Ilya hides. Someone walks into the apartment and Ilya attacks them. They struggle and Ilya gets intense flooded flashbacks. When Ilya comes to, it is Dembe. Ilya’s wife gets Ilya a drink and Dembe calls Red. Dembe tells Red that Ilya needs to talk to him.

Kemp is at a gun convention and the Task Force are there undercover. Carly Ambers, the girlfriend turned informant, approaches a seller to buy more guns. He seems unwilling to sell to her and she becomes angry. Gordon Kemp comes over and brings the seller over to tell him to make the deal. Harold asks his team if Kemp should be arrested and they do. As Liz and Ressler try to arrest him quietly, Kemp begins speaking loudly which draws a crowd. The crowd becomes angry but Kemp assures them they don’t have a case and allows himself to be arrested. Kemp is being interrogated with Liz and Ressler and they know about his involvement in straw purchases. He tells them he has a shipment planned of more guns to come in. Ressler says that what Kemp is doing is wrong and Liz is visibly upset. Harold interrupts the questioning because Kemp’s lawyer arrived.

Red comes to meet with Ilya and talks with him and his wife. Dembe tells Red there was no blue car when he arrived. Ilya’s wife says that Ilya’s life with Red is troubled. Ilya tries to defend Red but Red agrees with his wife. Ilya’s wife says they need to figure this out on their own and Red apologizes to Ilya for being involved in the first place. Red and Dembe leave and as they do, Red sees something- a blue Chevy. “Good for you, Ilya.”

Harold and Kemp, with their lawyers, are meeting with a judge in his chambers before it’s on open record. The judge asks why Cooper had Kemp arrested, knowing how controversial it would be. They are all arguing and trying to plead their case with evidence of Carly Ambers, the seller’s warning, and Kemp’s involvement. The judge doesn’t think there is a case. Harold becomes angry and says that the judge is worried about getting flack from the “incurring gun lobby.” The judge is going to go over the case and come back with his decision.

The judge comes back and is still not sure this case can win. Harold’s lawyer says that they can win but the judge says they need to prove Kemp’s selling to prohibited buyers. He continues that there are certain requirements, the government needs to make a case and there isn’t sufficient evidence to go to court. He dismisses the case. As everyone walks out of the chambers, the mother of the young clerk approaches Kemp and slaps him. She says he lied about her daughter. Kemp tries to get her arrested for assault but Harold turns a blind eye.

Image Courtesy NBC.

The blue Chevy belongs to the private investigator who was hired by Liz to find Ilya. Dembe gets in the PI’s car and pulls a gun on her. “Drive.” Red and Harold are on the phone and Harold tells Red that he can’t interfere with a legal shipment. He tells Red that they have crossed the line before but he won’t this time. Red hadn’t thought of it but now that Harold mentions it, it sounds like a good idea. Harold says that he won’t let him get involved and Red seems to be excited for the challenge. He calls Heddie and tells her to call the rest of their team for the job. Ressler and Cooper go to Kemp’s house to warn them about a possible interference in the shipment. Kemp doesn’t want their help but Harold makes it clear that he either accepts the help, or Cooper will get a court order. “So glad the Bureau could be of service.” Red and Dembe discuss their bold plan and Dembe suggests that Red stay back so he isn’t involved.

Image Courtesy NBC.

Aram and Cooper are at the Post Office as Keen, Park, and Ressler are preparing the mission for the shipment. Cooper wants Keen to be in the truck with the real shipment while Park and Ressler are with the decoy trucks. This way, Red might be more hesitant to go through with his plan if Liz is the one riding with the shipment. Dembe tells Red that there are three identical trucks and they are going to have to guess which truck is carrying the shipment. Red calls Liz just as the team is set to go and asks Liz which truck is the real one. He tries to appeal to her emotions by reminding her of the young clerk and even when Liz got into the FBI. Harold asks Liz what is going on and she tells him that she was telling Reddington that they are on a mission. Liz is being pulled in her loyalties as she is listening to Cooper and Red. Red thinks Liz is the one with the truck and tells her to stay on the line to confirm. She does, which lets Red know which truck it is. The team starts their drive and Liz happens upon an accident, set up by Red. Liz tells the driver not to stop but they can’t make it through. Liz checks on those involved in the accident and guns are pulled out. Red’s team goes to the back of the truck to get the guns but it’s empty. Heddie calls Red and says the truck is empty. Ressler arrives at the warehouse with his truck and he’s the one with the shipment. “Thank you, Mr. Reddington. It was a pleasure doing business.”

Liz goes to Harold’s office. She is upset that he lied to her about carrying the shipment and says he doesn’t trust her. Cooper tells her that he couldn’t take the chance of her actually carrying the shipment and telling Reddington. He is angry and disappointed and knows that Liz sees a very blurry line between right and wrong. She gave in to her dark impulses and Cooper says that it’s been a bad day for them all. He says that they need to forgive each other and move forward.

Image Courtesy NBC.

Red tells Ilya that he was right about the blue Chevy. Ilya and his wife are going to leave and go far away. Red assures Ilya that it wasn’t Katarina in the car and that she is dead. Red says he will take care of everything and Ilya needs to worry about taking care of himself and staying safe. Dembe is seen delivering games to Brimley- Red’s interrogator- and asks if the PI has said anything about who hired her. Brimley says no and goes back into the room where the PI is seen crying.

Kemp is at home on the phone when he is met by Red holding a gun on him. Kemp realizes that the man in front of him is none other than Raymond Reddington. Red tells Kemp of his support for gun manufacturing- in the right hands. Red disagrees with what Kemp does with putting guns into the hands of the wrong people. Red tells Kemp , “In my world, if I think you’re guilty, I just execute sentence. Kemp says “please” and Red tells him that the young woman who died at the hands of his guns said the same thing before she died. Red shoots and kills Kemp.

We see the young woman’s vigil outside the convenience store. Liz comes to see Red and tells him that Harold doesn’t trust him. Red says to take it as a compliment.  Red says that Kemp got his and when Liz asks him what he did, he says, “I acted on my conviction and principle.” Liz says she sees a blurred line between right and wrong but Red disagrees. He tells Liz he is thankful she is on his side. Dembe calls Red and tells him that the PI broke and Liz hired her. She knows Red isn’t Ilya. Red hangs up with Dembe and cheers with Liz about being on the same side. “At long last.”

Thanks for reading!

Check out the promo for the next episode!

The Blacklist airs Fridays on at 8 p.m. EST on NBC.

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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