Recap: The End Is Near in ‘The Blacklist’ Season 8, Episode 12 “Rakitin”

16 Min Read
Will Hart/NBC and Sony Pictures Television

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

The episode begins with a distressed Congressman Russ Friedenberg calling Cooper at his office. He tells Cooper that they need to meet and says he will text him an address. Rakitin tells Friedenberg that his daughter will not be harmed, but the same can’t be said about him. Rakitin tases him, and then once his men puts the Congressman on the bed, they drop a poison of some sort into his eyes, killing him.

Reddington and Dembe are on the jet, headed to Moscow to have a “pep talk” with their “friend in the east,” who needs reassurance about Cooper. They discuss Cooper’s actions and his refusal to leave the situation with Rakitin alone, as Cooper leaves the Post Office to meet with Friedenberg. Dembe is worried about Cooper’s life, but Red assures Dembe that their “friend” won’t act without Red’s consent. As they talk, that “friend” (assuming it’s Sikorsky) leaves to meet with Red.

Rakitin calls the same Russian “friend”, and tells him he’s on schedule. The “friend” tells Rakitin that he’s on the way to meet with Reddington. At Reddington’s jet, the “friend” arrives and sits down to talk with Red. Red tells him that he was called there so he could assure him that the situation regarding Cooper is handled, but the “friend” says that he took care of Cooper himself. Concurrently as the two talk, Cooper is arriving at the address to meet the Congressman. The “friend” says that Rakitin can’t be arrested or interrogated, especially because he works on highly sensitive projects for SVR (Foreign Intelligence Service for Russia). Rakitin doesn’t know of Red’s involvement with the FBI, and he only sees that Red has done nothing to stop them. Red sternly orders his “friend” to call it off, but he says it’s too late.

Cooper pulls in further to the parking garage, and calls out. Suddenly, a man appears from a vehicle and tells him that the Congressman is close, but he can take Cooper to him. Cooper rolls up his window as the man approaches but is unexpectedly ambushed by a group of men, breaking the windows of his SUV. They drag him out of his vehicle, and knock him unconscious.

Cooper is brought to a warehouse and sits down to talk with Rakitin. As they talk, Dembe and Red are on the jet, returning home, and Red calls Rakitin. At the warehouse, Rakitin answers his phone and Red tells him that he hasn’t authorized this, but Rakitin says he was already given the green light, and he hangs up. Cooper realizes Friedenberg was used to lure him out and if Rakitin kills him, the Task Force will investigate. Rakitin tells him that they are going to stage it as a suicide, and that he died from carbon monoxide poisoning. Rakitin phone rings again; Red tells Rakitin that he wants him to interrogate Cooper for details about his secret task force, and Rakitin agrees. After Rakitin hangs up, Red stays on the line and Aram is able to track the location of the call to a warehouse. Ressler heads there immediately.

Cooper is being interrogated and tortured with a carbon monoxide mask. Rakitin wants to know who told Cooper about the stolen files he placed on the Volgograd servers, as well as why Cooper and his team persisted after he fed them a fake Rakitin. He tells his men to finish Cooper, and gives his men instructions. Suddenly, Ressler and a tactile team bust in, Ressler saves Cooper, and Rakitin is taken into custody.

Will Hart/NBC and Sony Pictures Television

Cooper, Ressler, and Rakitin arrive at the Post Office. Rakitin is put into an interrogation room, and Cooper wants Cynthia Panabaker to come to the Post Office immediately. Cooper goes to his office to call Red and once he’s on the phone, Cooper asks if he knew anything about this plan. Red says he didn’t and he was the one to help find him, and Cooper tells Red that he has Rakitin in custody. Red hangs up with Cooper to get another call; it’s his “Eastern friend” who is mad that Rakitin is now in FBI custody. Red says he will handle it, and when it’s done, the two of them are going to talk. At the Post Office, Ressler calls Skip Hadley (Liz’s lawyer) and tells him that he needs to speak to Liz. He tells Skip that the situation has changed, and Liz may be able to prove that she was right all along.

Panabaker meets Cooper in his office, and Cooper tells her the real reason Keen left, and how it all spans back 30 years ago to the fall of the Soviet Union. He continues, by talking about the file that was stolen (Sikorsky Archive) by N-13. It also brings into play Neville Townsend, whose family was killed after he was named on the Archive. Townsend went after Katarina Rostova thinking she was N-13, but Reddington killed Katarina before she could release evidence clearing her name. Now, they have Andrew Patterson, or Rakitin, in custody and they believe he works with/for Reddington. Meanwhile, Skip Hadley grants Ressler’s request and calls to tell him that he’ll give him a number where he can leave a message for Keen.

Next, Cooper sits down to interrogate Rakitin as Panabaker observes. Cooper reminds Rakitin of his murders- Friedenberg and the suspect Rakitin killed as a cover- with an attempted murder of a federal agent, and more crimes. Rakitin isn’t as worried about his pending charges, as he is about how Cooper’s team found them at the warehouse. Cooper tells him that they are searching his home and office for evidence to help their case.

Aram and Agent Park are listening to the recording of Reddington and Rakitin from when the team tracked the call, and discuss Red’s involvement with the whole ordeal. Aram mentions that if Rakitin talks about Reddington and how/why he’s collaborating with Russia/Rakitin, his immunity deal may be null and void. Park gets a phone call and it’s from Reddington- it’s time for Red to collect on the favor she owes him. He tells her that they need to meet, and Dembe will text her an address. After Skip gives Ressler the number, he leaves a message for Keen and tells her that they have Rakitin and if they can prove that Red is N-13, she may be able to come home. He sets a meeting place at Bentham Park at midnight.

Next, Park arrives at the location, and calls Red to see where he is. Red, at his restaurant, tells her that he won’t be meeting her there. He reminds her of the favor he did for her (getting rid of Mason Dieterle). Suddenly, Park sees Dieterle alive and working as a mechanic. He says that he gave Dieterle a new identity and relocated him outside of the city, but if Park doesn’t do as she’s instructed, he will raise Dieterle from the dead, so to speak. He tells her to go back to the office, and he’ll call her when his plan is in place.

Red and Dembe make a visit to a friend of Cvetko’s, a high school biology and chemistry teacher, whose real name is Felix Klopp. Klopp doesn’t remember Red, but in a Superman-like fashion Reddington puts on his fedora and miraculously, Klopp remembers him. Red requests Klopp’s services to reach Rakitin, but Klopp may have a dangerous idea.

Back at the Post Office, Cooper tries once again to interrogate Rakitin and he asks Rakitin about N-13. Cooper decides to reveal that Reddington was the one to give up Rakitin and he plays the recording of Red talking to the team. Panabaker busts into the room to stop Cooper, as Rakitin is taken aback at Red’s actions. Panabaker and Cooper argue outside the interrogation room because Cooper almost revealed the fact that Red is their confidential informant. Panabaker wonders if Red really is N-13, why did he save Cooper and why is he letting Rakitin sit in an interrogation room?

Will Hart/NBC and Sony Pictures Television

At Red’s restaurant, Park meets with Reddington. Reddington asks if Rakitin has talked, but Park tells him that he hasn’t and the plan is to transport him to a black site in the morning. Red says they need to act fast, and he shows Park an envelope he needs her to give to Rakitin. He explicitly states that the contents of the envelope are for his eyes only. She now has to figure out how to deliver him the envelope inconspicuously. He hands her the envelope and tells her that the less she knows, the better.

At the Post Office, Cooper walks into the interrogation room to see Rakitin. He says he wants to give a statement, and when Cooper asks why, Rakitin answers that he knows why Red gave him up. He defied Red and took matters into his own hands to handle Cooper, so Reddington is punishing him. Rakitin also tells Cooper that he knows Reddington is their informant, and that’s why Panabaker didn’t want Cooper to play the recording.

The team is prepping for Rakitin’s statement as Panabaker shows Cooper the agreement that Rakitin needs to sign. Park happily volunteers to give it to Rakitin and she heads to the interrogation room. Ressler goes to make a call to Keen and leaves a message telling her that Rakitin has agreed to talk, and to remind her to meet him at midnight at Bentham Park. Concomitantly, Park goes into Rakitin’s holding room and hands him the clipboard. She tells him to look under the papers for an envelope that Reddington gave her to deliver and explains that it’s supposed to give him instructions. Rakitin opens the envelope to reveal that the note is blank!

Will Hart/NBC and Sony Pictures Television

Rakitin begins making his statement, as we see Klopp telling Reddington about the envelope and the toxin. Rakitin clears his throat and tells Cooper that he’s being working for SVR, among other groups. Cooper begins to ask about Raymond Reddington when without warning, Rakitin starts coughing and choking on blood. Cooper orders Aram to call a medic and Rakitin collapses.

In Cooper’s office, he is notified that Reddington is there and is on his way to see Cooper. Red and Dembe are in the elevator when it stops and Park is there. She’s worried about being an accessory to murder, and knows they’ll investigate. Red instructs her to burn the evidence before they are able to prove anything. She considers going to Cooper, but he persuades her against it.

Rakitin’s body is taken away, as Reddington and Dembe arrive and go up to see Cooper. Red is surprised to see Panabaker, and says that he came to check how Rakitin’s interrogation was coming along. Cooper asks if Red killed him, but Red tries to change the subject. Cooper becomes angry and Red says that he warned him. Cooper tells him that he wasn’t scared of his threats, but Red eerily says he should be. He tells Cooper he saved him, and whoever Rakitin worked for won’t just let Cooper expose them. He tells Panabaker and Cooper that they’re both safer for not hearing what Rakitin would’ve said. As Panabaker tells Red that they’re launching an investigation, Park burns the envelope. Panabaker tells Red that if they discover he was involved, they will invalidate his immunity. He plants the possibility that it was one of their own who poisoned Rakitin, and he leaves for an appointment.

Red and Dembe toast to Rakitin and his artistry as their “Eastern friend” arrives to meet with Red on his jet. He flew from Moscow, and is mad that Red killed their most valuable asset. Abruptly, Red hits his “friend” and warns him that if he threatens him again, it will be the last thing he ever does.

Reddington: “This is my endgame…and you will not interfere with it again.”

His “friend” tells Red that Rakitin was involved in dozens of projects that are now lost. Red tells him that they’ve worked together for a long time and he values their friendship, but they’re nearing the end now, and nothing is more important.

Ressler meets at Bentham Park and when Keen doesn’t show, he leaves her a voicemail. He tells her that Rakitin is dead and Reddington most likely was responsible for poisoning him. We see someone listening to Ressler’s voicemail and driving away. Red continues to scare us!

Thanks for reading, Blacklisters! Check out next episode’s promo below.

The Blacklist returns April 16 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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