If you missed last week’s recap, check it out here!
Dembe opens the hatch to The Nest as Reddington carries an injured Liz out of the hatch. Dembe fingerprints one of the men lying dead, and it’s Townsend. Liz suggests they leave before others arrive, and Red asks if she can walk.
On Red’s jet, a member of the medical team comes to inform Reddington and Dembe that the bullet Keen was struck with went straight through, and Red thanks him. Dembe tells Red that he won against Townsend, but Reddington tells Dembe they need to see Harold and they need to call Dr. Clemons to say that his services are no longer necessary. Red knows that another fight is on the horizon, but it can’t be won unless he’s gone.
Back in D.C., Liz is recovering, and Dembe tells her that he understands why she blames Red for how her life turned out, but everything happens for a reason. Suddenly, Reddington comes into the room with Agnes, who runs into the room and jumps into Liz’s arms.
Reddington and Dembe arrive at the Post Office to find Aram holding “Get Well” balloons for Ressler, and his voice is high because he’s inhaled helium. Aram says that the team heard about Townsend, and offers Dembe and Reddington a chance to inhale helium. Reddington and Dembe walk into Cooper’s office and Cooper tells them that he’s glad the threat against Keen is gone, but Reddington and Dembe both hilariously speak in high-pitched voices. Reddington tells Cooper that due to the opening in Townsend’s empire, there’s a slew of new criminals who will be vying for the throne. Reddington gives a list of possible contenders to Cooper, and he wants someone else to take advantage of the situation. Reddington mentions “the end,” and Cooper asks how sick he really is, but Red changes the subject to ask if Cooper will care for Elizabeth once he’s gone, to which Cooper agrees. As they leave, Dembe asks if this is all necessary, but Red says it’s the only way he can ensure Liz’s protection.
Back in Liz’s hotel room, Red tells Liz that he’s aware she wants to know about who he is and why he came into her life. He tells her that Liz’s mother foresaw this moment and conversation, and he pulls out an envelope. He tells her the answers are in the envelope and when the time is right, he will give it to her, but on one condition — he wants her to end his life. He continues that she’s known he’s been sick, and before he dies, he needs to ensure her protection. She’s confused how killing him would fulfill this, but he adds that she would be a force to be reckoned with, able to do what no one else could — kill Raymond Reddington. She reminds him that she doesn’t want to take over his empire, and he tells her that under other circumstances, he wouldn’t want her to. Now that Neville has learned things about him and shared those secrets, he’s afraid more people will come after her. He looks at the envelope and says that, “It’s quite a story. Full of ambition and hope. Love and loss.” Liz asks how it ends, and he tells her she’ll find out. At the park while watching Agnes, Liz talks to Mrs. French about her train ticket, closing up her apartment in New York, and using her jet to fly to Europe.
Cooper is walking down the street as Liz pulls up beside him, instructing him to get in. She pulls into what looks like a parking garage and asks if Cooper has spoken to Reddington. He tells her that he knew Red was sick, but didn’t know how severe it was. Liz tells Cooper that Reddington wants her to take over his empire, but she declined his offer and wanted to tell Cooper “goodbye” and “thank you.” He expresses that he wants Liz to be safe, and suggests if she took over for Reddington, he may be able to convince Panabaker to give her immunity, while still working with Cooper and the team. Liz changes the subject to ask about Ressler, and he says that Ressler’s better but worried about her. She says she wants to see him.
Liz is at the hospital to visit Ressler, and she borrows a uniform from the hospital to sneak into his room. She lies down next to him and tells him that she has a decision to make, but Ressler tells her that Cooper is wrong, and pretending to be a criminal won’t keep her safe. They kiss, and she continues to lie in his hospital bed with him.
In Cooper’s office, Cooper, Aram, and Park are going through all the names of contenders that Red gave. Aram and Park ask if Red wants a piece of Townsend’s empire, but Cooper explains that Reddington wants Elizabeth to take over his empire. Cooper explains that Red is terminally ill, and if Liz is going to take over for Reddington, she’ll need the team’s help.
At the train station, Liz finishes a phone call and continues to sit, while a young woman continues to look at her. The woman asks Liz if she’s Agent Keen, and the young woman turns out to be Beth Ryker, General Ryker’s daughter (flashback to pilot). Liz tells Beth that she left the Bureau and isn’t sure what she’s going to do now. Beth’s train is called, and as she leaves, she tells Liz that she hopes she continues making the world a safer place. Suddenly, Liz calls Dembe and says she wants to hear Reddington out, and they plan to meet in New York. Once they hang up, Red asks Dembe if it’s wrong what he’s asking Liz to do, and Dembe tells him tha he’s doing what he thinks is right to keep Liz safe. At the train station, Agnes and Mrs. French come down the escalator, and the trio are headed to New York.
At a park in New York, Liz asks him to explain how people will accept her taking over his empire, and he replies that they’ll accept it when they see him lying dead in the street and because she’s a criminal. She asks if she’s a criminal because of him, and he tells her that he’s considered that question, but regardless of what caused her to become a criminal, this is who she’s become. She asks him to explain how the plan would work. He begins by saying the restaurant’s been under renovations and will be opening soon. Pascual’s going to be having a get-together at the restaurant tomorrow night, but once things die down and he says his goodbyes, he will leave. Dembe will stay behind to thank Pascual, and Liz will be parked down the street with a clear view of the entrance. Red wants it to happen on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant, and once police arrive, Liz will be gone and Pascual will have to show the CCTV footage to the police. He assumes that the footage will be leaked, and Liz standing over his body will be on the front page of every newspaper in the world. Liz looks troubled, and Reddington asks what the matter is. She tells him that of all the times she’s wanted to kill him, she doesn’t think that she’ll be able to pull the trigger. He tells her not to worry about that now, and just have them … be.
In a montage, Red and Liz walk holding hands in the park, and they engage in fun activities together with Agnes, Mrs. French, and Dembe. As Reddington and Liz watch Agnes play, Liz asks who her mother was to him. When Red stays quiet for a moment, Liz pulls out the picture of her and her mother, where her mother can’t clearly be seen. She asks if he was the one who took this picture, and he states he was. After a moment, Liz agrees to follow through with the plan, but she wants to know why she can’t know who he is before she kills him. He tells her if she knew beforehand, she’d never agree to kill him.
At a safe house of sorts, Red and Dembe go through the plan again, including how Red’s body will be handled once he’s passed. Dembe asks if he’s sure about this, and Red explains that Liz is a fugitive, and if she’s to survive in this world, she needs to become a part of it.
At the Post Office, Aram gets a call from Liz. He tells her that he agrees with Ressler about whether Liz should take over for Reddington, and he sternly tells her that he won’t help her. She says that she wouldn’t ask or expect him to, but she hopes that he can forgive her for what she’s done and what she’s going to do. Liz hangs up and Aram tells Cooper and Park that Liz just called to ask for his forgiveness. Cooper understands Liz’s motives behind calling Aram, and asks Park if she’s been able to reach Reddington. She states that she called the restaurant and said they told her there’s a private party tonight.
Back with Red and Dembe, Red reflects on who he became through this journey and what they built. Liz and Reddington are shown getting ready for the night ahead as Red continues to speak to Dembe. Red states that no matter how much he gives of himself or how much he cares, he can’t control the outcome of how this ends. He tells himself that he can keep Elizabeth and Agnes safe, and Dembe tells Reddington that he understands. Red hands him the envelope of answers and instructs Dembe to give it to Liz once he’s gone.
Liz is sitting in her car on the phone with Agnes. She tells Agnes that she’s sad because a friend of hers is sick, and he’s going to die. Meanwhile, Dembe and Red are driving to the restaurant for the party, and Red asks Dembe to stop the car so he can walk. Liz and Agnes exchange “I love you”s, and Liz tells Agnes she will see her in the morning and hangs up.
At Pascual’s, Red and Dembe have arrived and are taking part in the festivities as Cooper and Ressler talk on the phone. Ressler says he talked to Keen himself, and she turned Reddington down, and she was leaving the country. Cooper tells him that Liz is in D.C., and she called Aram to ask for his forgiveness, and he believes it has something to do with him trying to get Liz to become the heir to his empire. Ressler believes that now Red and Liz will need to convince the world and she’ll need to make a statement. Park and Aram come into Cooper’s office, and Cooper puts Ressler on speaker. Cooper asks if Park has any updates, and she said she wasn’t able to reach Liz, Reddington, or Dembe. Ressler realizes that Keen is going to kill Reddington and it was Red’s idea, as he starts to take off the equipment he’s attached to. Cooper says that the party at the restaurant is where Red will sacrifice himself to save Liz, and the team hurries to the restaurant as Ressler jogs out of the hospital to get to the restaurant. The party has begun.
It’s time for Red to leave. He embraces Dembe as the Task Force and Ressler race to the restaurant. Reddington heads outside to the front of the restaurant, and Keen gets out of her car and follows him. Reddington turns around to see her holding a gun to him, and she hesitates, saying that she can’t do it and she doesn’t want to. He tells her he understands, when suddenly, a gunshot is heard and Liz’s chest turns red. Vandyke has shot Liz, and as he goes to shoot Red, Red shoots and kills him. In a beautifully sad moment, Liz’s life and memories flash before her eyes, as Red goes to Liz. She falls into Reddington’s arms and Dembe comes outside to tell Reddington they need to go. Red and Dembe leave the scene as Ressler runs to Liz’s side as she bleeds out. The Task Force arrives too late and now are bearing witness to this tragedy.
What a season! Thank you, Blacklisters, for sticking around all season, and we look forward to seeing you again in season 9!