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The Blacklist Recap: Red Reddington Gets Ruthless to Save His Wife

Red Reddington
Red Reddington (James Spader) talks to Agent Keen (Megan Boone) on The Blacklist. 

Like Serena van der Woodsen when she’s choosing the wrong guy on Gossip Girl, Red Reddington (James Spader) is on a mission and will stop at nothing to get what he wants, in this case, his wife Naomi (Mary-Louise Parker) back alive. Unfortunately, she’s busy chilling with the one-handed man (aka Berlin) who has an affinity for removing her body parts and sending them to her fedora-wearing ex, and who likes to dress like an extra from The Godfather

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The second episode of The Blacklist‘s sophomore season began with Red calling in his favorite cleaner, Mr. Kaplan, to wipe up after he took out three men in pursuit of his wife. Despite her warnings, Red’s a man on a mission (not that it stops him from getting a flawless manicure). 

As they always seem to be, Agent Keen (Megan Boone) and Red’s cases cross when the Monarch Douglas National Bank in Warsaw, Poland is attacked by a group of men who look like they’re trying to avoid ebola. The problem is the bank is famous for laundering the money of the criminal elite without any trace of accounting, but if Monarch’s system is breached, the FBI will have access to the accounts of some of the world’s biggest criminals. 

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While checking out surveillance video courtesy of computer wizard Aram (Amir Arison), Keen and Ressler (Diego Klattenhoff) notice that an additional “robber” leaves the bank with scared, feminine-looking eyes. But when they find her, she’s a little more peeved about the police ruining her escape mission. 

Turns out homegirl has an extremely eidetic memory and can recall all of the bank’s account information — and what she ate in mid-December a few years ago. But right when Ressler is getting to the bottom of her story, Keen is attacked by another agent who has clearly gone rogue. Sadly the soundproof questioning window prevents Ressler from hearing Keen’s struggle on the other side. It isn’t until she shoots a hole through the window that he turned his ginger-haired head toward his partner. Too bad the prescription pills he’s been downing have slowed down his reflexes (don’t do drugs, kids). 

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Now they’re on the run from the corrupt Polish police, and their Beautiful Mind patient is slowing them down with a gunshot wound. Red hooks them up with a boxcar getaway, but swoops in and snatches Beautiful Mind (let’s just call her that since it’s better than her Polish name), sending Ressler and Keen on a plane home, First Class, of course. 

Megan Boone as Elizabeth Keen in Blacklist
Agent Ressler (Diego Klattenhoff) and Agent Keen (Megan Boone) speak to Red (James Spader) on The Blacklist.

Red calls up Captain Hook for a face-to-face meeting. Since travel and time don’t seem to be a factor for him, Red magically teleports to Coney Island, New York from Warsaw, Poland to meet up with his latest nemesis.

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They chat on a park bench in front of The Wonder Wheel, threatening each other — Red with Berlin’s money and Berlin by dangling Elizabeth Keen’s name out there as Red’s ultimate kryptonite. Lizzie gets to Beautiful Mind, getting the intel on Berlin’s account, and begging Red to end his ruthless battle for his wife. The con then pulls the “I’m-more-disappointed-than-angry” card, and it’s almost as if Captain Hook’s already plunged his claw into our hearts. It’s enough to convince Keen to put the money back in order to save Red.

They make the trade in the parking lot, presumably near where tourists are stuffing themselves with Nathan’s Hot Dogs, and Red is reunited with his long-lost wife. But there’s a price. Now Berlin is free to do whatever he wants, and as far as Elizabeth’s concerned, every life the wannabe pirate takes is on Red’s hands. Naturally, Red turns the tables, asking Lizzie how she managed to come by the intel that Berlin’s accounts were in the Monarch bank. Turns out his pseudo (or real?) daughter has herself a secret source.

Tell Us: Do you think Red made the right call letting Berlin go free?

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