Posted by Geo N at Thursday, April 03, 2014 19 CommentsGN Reviews The Blacklist
And where, where are you going?
I've got nothing left to prove
Cause I've got nothing left to lose
See me bare my teeth for you
Who, who are you?"
- Who Are You, Really? - Mikky Ekko
Red made it clear from the start of the season that Liz, and by extension 'the viewers', were not to believe anything Tom tells her with any certainty. Tom cannot be trusted is all Red gave us, but it was enough to make us scrupulously examine every word Tom spoke and every move he made. What we did not know was how it would unfold. We knew that Liz would find out, but how and what would her reaction be. The Blacklist does a very good job of telling a story while simultaneously giving up the secrets to the end game. The latest episode, Milton Bobbitt, continues the story of last week with Liz discovering Tom's secret identity. Liz, being as clever as she is, did not act on this new found information until she investigated further. She needed to find out more about her husband's history and what he is really after, but she was also a woman in love who needed to have her reaction after the startling revelation. In Milton Bobbit we saw her reaction and how bold she can get when she is betrayed by the only person she said she would ever need. Oh, and there was an interesting villain this week, but with the storyline between Liz and Tom being so fun to watch I barely paid any attention to Milton, waiting patiently for more scenes between our favorite couple. I have a feeling that the four remaining episodes will play out much the same way.
Number 135 on Red's blacklist is Milton Bobbitt, a.k.a. The Undertaker. The way Red describes the villain is that Milton is a 'broker of death' who convinces ordinary people to kill on his behalf through a process dubbed 'assassination by suicide'. Milton is a loner who works for an insurance company, which helps him search for his next victim. He locates people who have terminal illnesses and financial difficulties and offers to help their families after they have killed whoever he needs. The team apprehends one of the assassins Milton has hired to kill a pharmaceutical lobbyist and gets important information out of him while halting the attempt. Red, as usual, guides Liz to the pertinent questions she needs to ask herself about the case in order to get Milton. The team figures out what all the victims have in common and conclude that the insurance company where Milton is employed is the common denominator. Milton was involved in a clinical trial that went wrong run by Frederick Osborn. When they arrive Milton flees, but they remember he spends time at a nearby cemetery. At the cemetery, Ressler saves Osborn from Milton, but soon after Milton detonates the bomb he had strapped to his chest and perishes.
Throughout the episode Liz was mostly preoccupied with her situation with Tom. The scene where she loses it and smashes the plate with Tom's 'gluten-free' pancakes set to music was great. The music in this episode was incredible and The Blacklist continues to outdo themselves in that area, week after week. Just as Tom had his own wall with the information he was massing over the years about Liz and Red, Liz begins her own wall to gather all the things she knows about her double-agent husband. One of those things is Tom's supposed brother Craig whom we later learn is really a spy, named Christopher Maly, that works for the mysterious 'Berlin' like Tom and the recently departed, Jolene. Liz takes Tom up on his offer to renew their vows so she can invite his brother to the event and get some information. It seemed that both Liz and Tom were being blatantly obvious about what they know about each other when they were reading their respective vows. Tom's 'brother' says as much when he tells Tom he thinks Liz is on to him. I was glad when we saw Liz's inner cage fighter come out when she kicks the crap out Craig/Chris. She handcuffs him to the sink in his hotel bathroom waiting for Red and Dembe to arrive. Red eventually gets Chris to talk but he doesn't reveal much other than the similar employer he share with Tom. Whoever Berlin works for, however, must be something or someone to fear because Chris would rather leap to his death from his hotel window than suffer their wrath.
Liz, this episode, was as daring as I have ever seen her. She is definitely in a precarious position and she does anything to keep playing the part she has to with Tom. I thought she was a little lax when putting the key back under the lamp and not noticing Tom coming up right behind her. He didn't see much, if anything at all, but it's clear he knows that Liz is onto him. He then takes full advantage of that. Liz's resolve is deep and she will bring her 'A-game' to compete with Tom. I look forward to all their scenes together now that everything is no longer a secret. It truly makes every scene so intense and I hope the writers keep this arc going for as long as possible.
The Blacklist has a penchant for revealing answers to mysteries in a quick and timely manner, much to the delight of many viewers, no doubt. It was not truly revealed on the show until a few episodes ago, but we knew from the first hour that Tom was not to be trusted. Clues about his nefarious nature were sprinkled throughout the season and, if you paid close enough attention, you could puzzle out that Red was right from the start and Liz needed to be more mindful of the man she married. What we don't know is how this 'Mr. and Mrs. Smith' role that Liz and Tom are acting out will unfold and ultimately end. That is what I hope remains a secret, and a long one at that. I anticipate The Blacklist's prolific writers have a mammoth-sized cliffhanger waiting for us in four weeks to conclude the fast-paced first season but the story arc between Liz and Tom is such a good one that I hope it spans much longer than just this season. It would also be nice to not have any hints or reveals about how this dance between Liz and Tom will play out because that part of the story is too great to be spoiled. On this, it will be nice to be kept in the dark...until, of course, Red spoils something for us.
Thoughts and Questions
- In case you wanted to know, here is the list of the song titles and their artists from the episode, beside the one I quoted at the top -
I'm Sorry, But I'm Beginning To Hate Your Face by the Eagle Seagulls - This was funny because it was playing when Tom asked Liz to renew their vows.
Can't Pretend by Tom Odell
Keep in the Dark by the Temples
- I loved the scene where Red and Dembe were watching the three stooges, Lol.
- What is the key for that Tom hides under the lamp?
- Red continues to be hilarious and his scenes are always the best. His scene where he takes the glass with Chris's fingerprints to the Vlad, the scientist in the lab, was funny.
- Was there something to that red, carved, cinnabar egg that Red had on the plane? It was odd to me that it was just sitting on his tray table.
- Did you notice...When Red and Dembe take Chris to the museum there is something written on the wall as part of a piece. The name is Quirinus Kuhlman who was a German Baroque poet and mystic. Known for his travels throughout Europe, Kuhlmann spent the last years of his life in Russia, where he was executed because he was considered 'politically dangerous'.
- Who is Niki that Craig mentions in regard to Tom? And does Tom really have a brother in Chicago?
- Was Red being completely honest with Liz about how much he knows about Tom? I think he was but it's possible he was holding something back.
- What is it that Red is searching for when Harold lets him look through Milton's list of victims?
- One thing that was confusing is that Liz thinks that Tom inserted himself into her life because of Red, but according to Tom and Jolene's conversation a few episodes back Red had nothing to with Tom seeking her out. Jolene said that Red was not the target. So, what makes Liz so important.
- Who or what is Berlin?!?
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