Recap: Cooper Makes a Tough Choice in ‘The Blacklist’ Season 8, Episode 8: “Ogden Greeley”

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

The episode begins at a U.S. Navy Operations Center in Iceland. The team is notified of two ships being picked up on the radar that are suspicious. Suddenly, alarms blare because a missile is headed straight for them and they take cover… but nothing happens. Ogden Greeley is shown, and he has orchestrated this as a demonstration for potential buyers. The bidding is now open for 36 hours.

Cooper meets with a man named Alan Tuppert about an opportunity to take over for Senator Warwick after he retires. The Governor wants to recommend Cooper for the job, but before they can discuss further, Cooper gets a call from Reddington. Next, Cooper meets with Red at Red’s restaurant and tells him of this potential opportunity, even before telling his wife, Charlene. Cooper says that he already knows what Charlene thinks- an ulterior motive. Cooper himself is suspicious of this offer, and Red mentions the fact that if the Governor finds out about their working relationship it could make waves for Cooper’s possible career in politics.

Red changes the subject and asks Cooper if he knows about the National Reconnaissance Office. Red continues that Ogden Greeley works for them as a defense contractor, but he went missing. He has SAP-level clearance and knows all about the country’s satellite technology. Red shows Cooper a copy of a “communiqué” from Greeley.

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At the Post Office, Cooper and the team discuss Greeley and his plans to sell sensitive information to the highest bidder, perhaps an enemy of the United States. Cooper tells the team that the NRO (National Reconnaissance Office) is responsible for “the backbone of U.S. national security.” Ressler is confused how Greeley, former NSA with a wife and kids, could wake up and decide to betray the country. Cooper has Ressler find the wife as he and Aram will reach out to the NRO and CIA to warn them of what’s on the horizon. This case is time-sensitive, with bidding ending in 13 hours.

Ressler and Park meet with Greeley’s wife. She is adamant that Ogden was kidnapped, but Ressler and Park tell her that he may have chosen to disappear and sell intelligence to other countries. She becomes defensive and says that she knows Ogden, and he’s a good man. Simultaneously, Ogden meets a woman at a hotel room and he kisses her as she closes the door.

Red is sitting on a bench at the park. Anne, the bird watcher, strikes up a conversation with Red as she sketches. Red asks if he can look at her work and he’s in awe of her talent. He asks about a specific bird she drew- a fox sparrow and they decide to venture to where the fox sparrow appears most often as Anne talks about her husband. When asked about his life, Red tells her that he’s #1 on the FBI’s “Most Wanted List.” She laughs it off and tells Red that she’s from Kansas; she came to New York to watch a musical on Broadway because musicals were something her and her husband were fond of. They arrive at the bird’s spot, and Red tells her that he finds bird watching to be very calming. After some time, they are walking through the park, when she says that her Uber has arrived. Anne tells him that she’s sorry they didn’t see the fox sparrow, but he tells her not to fret because he will be back. Red gets a call from Dembe, and Anne and Red part ways.

Red asks if Dembe has spoken to Marvin, and Dembe says that they can cover the retainer. Red instructs Dembe to contact Zurich saying he wants to “fund the balance.” Dembe says that Red has been gone three hours, and it’s not safe for him, but Red says it was worth the risk. Suddenly, Anne appears to tell Red that she’s canceled her Uber, and that she needs Red’s help in finding a souvenir for her sister. Red suggests they enjoy a sweet treat at a chocolate shop first.

Ressler and Park arrive at the NRO to meet with Jim Halloran and Paul Thorn from the DNI’s (Director of National Intelligence) office. They state that they received the video that Cooper sent over and they believe that Greeley has the intel he claims. Greeley helped design the software for the NRO, writing much of the code himself. Thorn and Halloran explain that the country is heavily dependent on satellite software, and Greeley could damage the system beyond repair. As the group discusses the situation, Greeley is shown working on the satellite systems.

Halloran forewarns that, “If an enemy of the United States buys that intel and uses it, we’re looking at a war we can’t win.”

Back at the Post Office, Aram and Park tell Ressler that they found Greeley at a Berlin hotel five months ago with a mysterious woman who’s not his wife. Park says they will need to move as soon as they get an ID and asks where Cooper is. Ressler says he is taking some personal time.

Harold Cooper and his wife, Charlene, are being driven to a meeting with Senator Warwick. Cooper still questions why they would chose him and tells Charlene that Reddington thinks it’s because he is “morally flexible,” much to Charlene’s dismay that Cooper would take Reddington’s opinion into account. Charlene and Harold sit down with Senator Warwick.

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At the chocolate shop, Anne and Red are enjoying their time together. Anne, after picking up the bill, asks about Red’s work. She says that his life sounds exciting, but Red would rather have her more peaceful lifestyle. He asks if she would like to attend a movie tomorrow at midnight, but she tells him that her flight leaves tomorrow morning. He suggests she change her flight as Dembe appears. Red thanks her the lovely afternoon and offers her a ride back to her hotel. She respectfully declines, and he asks that she still consider changing her flight to catch the movie with him. He goes to grab their coats and asks Dembe if he spoke to Zurich. Dembe says they have the funds and Red says, “then let’s make a deal.”

Cooper and Charlene are still sitting down with Senator Warwick and Alan Tuppert. Warwick tells Cooper that within two weeks of him being sworn in he will have to vote on the “black budget,” appropriations for everything from the CIA, NSA, and even NRO. Warwick explains that when they vote on the “black budget,” they just get a number and don’t know where or to whom the money is going. He asks that Cooper, if chosen, will vote “yay.” Cooper gets a call from the team and steps away. Ressler, Aram, and Park tell Cooper that they found a woman that Greeley has been getting cozy with, a Russian spy named Nina Kurylenko. Nina just landed in London and Cooper orders Park and Ressler to head there and see what she knows.

Aram walks into Cooper’s office and hands him what he asked for- information on the “black budget.” Unfortunately, there is not much to go on, and Cooper asks that Aram close the door on his way out (did anyone else have major Hamilton vibes for this line?). Cooper calls Reddington on his jet to ask if he looked into the “black budget.” After Red and Cooper hang up, Dembe and Red continue their conversation about Anne. Dembe knows what Anne means to him and what she represents, but Anne doesn’t know who he is and she will end up getting hurt. Changing the subject, Red and Dembe discuss the deal they are about to make.

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Ressler and Park are in London, with eyes on Kurylenko. Aram notifies Cooper that the bidding ended an hour ago, so he orders Ressler and Park to move on Kurylenko. At the restaurant, Park starts her descent on Kurylenko, and the bartender warns Kurylenko. Nina gets up from the bar and turns a corner as Park trails behind her. Park looks in the women’s restroom, but Nina is nowhere to be found. Suddenly, Nina comes from the bathrooms and races into the kitchen. Park chases after her and lets Ressler know where she’s headed. Nina makes it out of the kitchen, but Ressler catches her.

While interrogating Nina, Park quickly informs her that they know about her and Greeley in Berlin. Ressler chimes in to say that they know she’s FSB (Federal Security Service in Russia), and she convinced Greeley to steal classified information. Ressler says that if she talks he will personally escort her to the Russian Embassy. He and Park disagree, and Park angrily leaves the room as Ressler sits down with Nina. He says he can help her out if she gives up where Greeley is selling the intel. She tells him that she tried to get her country to bid the highest, but because she was picked up she doesn’t know who won the bid.

The meeting is in Mongolia in four hours, and Greeley is already there. Cooper suggests the “Disposition Matrix” (“Federal Kill List”). Aram tries to be the voice of reason against possibly assassinating an American citizen without due process, but the rest of the team agrees they are out of options. Cooper tells Aram to let the White House know he’s on his way.

At the White House, Thorn quickly briefs Cooper and they walk in to see Diane Hatch and General Warren Ames in the conference room with others via video conference. The problem is that since Greeley is not a known terrorist they aren’t sure that the threat is imminent, and they’re not currently at war with any of the potential buyers. Cooper states that if another country buys the intel they need to assume they intend to use it against the U.S. As the meeting of the minds discuss, Greeley gets into a car to meet his buyer. Diane brings up the fact that Greeley has a right to due process, but Ames says they are out of time and they can’t let the Mongolians know that the intel is in play.

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The conference room has eyes on Greeley’s car and confirms that he’s on the way to meet with the buyer. Ames orders the strike to hold until they have eyes on Greeley and the buyer. Suddenly, two individuals approach Greeley and as the drones zoom in, it’s Dembe and Raymond Reddington. Cooper tells Ames that they can’t do this since the authorization for the strike was intended for a rival power not against a lone criminal. Red, Dembe, and Greeley decide to move inside and the drones lose visual. With no assets on the ground, they are forced to let them go.

Dembe brings an envelope to Cooper that contains information on the “black budget” and tells Cooper that he hopes whatever is in the envelope doesn’t dissuade him from taking the offer. Next, Cooper meets with the Senator to tell him that he declines the offer because the Senator was using the budget for financial gain.

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Afterwards, Cooper meets with Red and Dembe. Red tells Cooper that he will give the Bureau the intel for a price, as Greeley is arrested. Dembe apologizes to Cooper about the offer and says Warwick was wrong to think he would be “morally ambiguous,” but Cooper isn’t so sure.

Red assures him that, “You accept that the world is gray. That’s a virtue, not a vice.”

Cooper explains that he’s made questionable choices over the years and that working with Reddington has changed him, as well as the team. Red says that he’s also changed because of Cooper. Red makes Cooper feel better by saying that he could’ve taken the job and gone back on his word on voting for the budget, but as Red so nicely puts it, “Your word is your bond.”

Anne is waiting at the movie theater for Red. He calls to tell her that he can’t make it as he watches in his car from afar. Red apologizes because he told her to change her flight, but to save them both from embarrassment, Anne tells Red that she didn’t change her flight. He thanks her for their time together and hopes they see each other again. Red says he will try to catch a glimpse of the fox sparrow for her.

Thanks for reading!

Check out next week’s promo below!

The Blacklist airs Fridays at 8 P.M. EST 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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