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The Blacklist - Leonard Caul (No. 62) - Review: "Bulletproof"

"Save me. I'm down man, I'm dying to meet you, no.
With the pen brushing in my thumbs now. I'm thinking, don't let me go.
Don't let me go, don't let me go, don't let me go."
- "Save Me" - Glass Animals

The Blacklist has been away for far too long. Three weeks had gone by since the intense cliffhanger, at the end of "Vanessa Cruz", that anything would have been welcome in terms of answers to Red's fading condition. However, The Blacklist excels at many things, not the least of which is returning from a hiatus with stellar episodes. Earlier this season, the show returned from a nearly three month break to air "Luther Braxton", an exceptional episode and now, equally impressive, is "Leonard Caul", which I consider one of the best episodes of the season. It is the first of the four remaining episodes of Season Two and I would say The Blacklist is off to a great start.

When we last saw our characters, Liz and Dembe had been protecting Red from further calamity after being shot by a sniper. Roll credits and three weeks later we arrive at last Thursday's episode, "Leonard Caul". The hour picks up immediately where we left off and we find Liz and Dembe racing to get Red to a doctor. However, this is Red we are talking about, who has prepared for every uncertainty. I love the fact he has workers (in this case medical personnel), during their day-to-day activities, drop what they are doing the moment they hear their bat-phone alerting them to Red's circumstance and seemingly difficult situation. It was such a great treat to see that part of Red's world and something that fits so perfectly with his lifestyle.

Bleeding, extremely vulnerable and at a risk of losing his life, Red still manages to give Liz the next name on the blacklist - Leonard Caul. We learn later that Caul is the man in the apartment from a few episodes back ("The Deer Hunter") that Red was supposed to meet, but chose instead to help Liz by bribing the witness (The Samoan) and missing his opportunity. Red gives Liz this name because he knows Caul will find her even though she can't find him and Caul is the only one who can open The Fulcrum.

This is where many pieces of the puzzle Red has been accumulating over the course of Season Two come together. And although it didn't happen the way Red most likely envisioned it, The Fulcrum, and all those pieces of the puzzle, did save his life. We have the 'silver suitcase' from "The Kenyon Family" episode; The rustic 'key' Red retrieved from Pepper (Thank you all, by the way, for putting up with me as that key and its purpose drove me crazy, Lol) all the way back from episode 5 of this season "The Front"; and, of course, The Fulcrum, that Liz had all along, but only realizing it in the "Luther Braxton" episodes. Having a big pay-off for closely paying attention to those elements made the episode exponentially better.

There are only three episodes left this season and if they are anything like last Thursday's then we are in for some great television. Red has proved just how 'bulletproof' he really is, escaping death's clutch time and time again. Even though it was Liz who ultimately 'saved' him, it was only through Red's forward thinking and knowledge of The Fulcrum that she was able to do so. Without Red having the forethought in obtaining the 'silver case' and the 'key' from Pepper, who knows how badly the events of "Leonard Caul" could have turned out?

The Director is easily being groomed to be the next 'big bad' for Red and the Task Force. The way Liz handled him shows how much she has transformed since the woman we saw in Season One Episode One. As with all things relating to The Blacklist, the more answers we get the more questions that arise. After Liz deals The Director a loss, he turns and comments about the resemblance she has to her mother. Fans have been speculating about Liz's mother since she was first mentioned in the pilot. Could she have been alive all this time? Will we get to see her before the season is over? Just when we thought we got all the answers when the contents of The Fulcrum were revealed the writers throw this in the mix and a new puzzle emerges. It would be a great story line if Liz's mother is truly still alive and it would no doubt make Season Three so much better.

I was thinking of making the tagline for this review be "Code 77", after the code Red's team uses to jump into action. Then I thought of making it "Save Me", because that is the title of the song in the first musical montage where everyone is literally trying to save Red. I finally landed on "Bulletproof" because, well, isn't that a perfect name for Red? However many 'Code 77's' he calls out for or however many people come to 'save' him, Red has a hand in how he ultimately stays in this world. Like I said, Liz may have been the one to save him, but she only did so because Red gave her the tools necessary, just like he gave the people receiving the "Code 77" the tools to do the same. He is the master of his world. He is bulletproof.

Red's Quotes

- "A confluence of Peril had entered your life. I wanted to be within reach, to have influence. I turned myself into the FBI to point you toward the truth that inevitably you would have to discover for yourself."
Red to Liz

Blacklist Theories

I wanted to begin including a section in my review dedicated to certain theories revolving around the shows main themes. Mainly the one about whether or not Red is Liz's father. I have noticed there are MANY clues supporting both sides and think it will be fun to list them here. I could at least try it out and would love feedback from all of you. I promise to remain unbiased and only state the facts and clues as I see them.

- The name 'Euclid' is said at least three times in the episode indicating where Liz and Dembe are at one point to Cooper, then to Mr. Kaplan. Also, The Director is told he lost a man on Euclid. "Euclid" is widely considered the "Father of Geometry". I am not saying that because we hear the word Euclid it automatically means Red is Liz's father, but I do believe that it is not a coincidence the writing team chose to use that name. Clues like this are constantly thrown in to episodes to play on the whole father/daughter theory that is circulating.

- Red tells Liz that "it was only a matter of time that my life would jeopardize yours". What could he mean by that if he wasn't the father?

Other items, for example, that would have gone in here are the phone call from Season One Episode 10 from Liz to Red where she flat out asks him if he is her father. This section is not to say one way or another if Red is Liz's father, but to provide clues so we can debate the issue, which I, and hopefully you as well, think will be fun.

Music from the Episode

- "Save Me" - Hanni El Khatib
First Music Montage - Red's medical team begin preparations to save Red; The Director is updated on Red's situation; Leonard Caul tracks Red & Liz's escape via traffic camera footage.

- "Exxus" - Glass Animals
Liz calls Tom to warn him the building is surrounded; The Director confirms he wants Red eliminated.

Thoughts and Discussion

- Did you notice...Around the 4:00 minute mark, during the first musical montage, you can see one of the "Code 77" personnel working in a hospital get the text with a patient board behind them. The names of the patients are actual names of people that work for The Blacklist in the art and production department.

- I love the part where the paramedic gets the "Code 77" to go help Red and leaves in the middle of his shift because he got the call, Lol. Red did a great job at vetting his personnel.

- Mr. Kaplan's phone number is "* 77".

- In the episode titled "Vanessa Cruz", Mr. Kaplan is shown at the end recruiting Cruz to Red's team. Why did Red need her and when do you think we will see her again?

- I was glad to see Dembe get more than one line in a row. Season Three will be that much better for making him a series regular.

- I did have an issue with how Liz treated Red near the end of the episode. He was just trying to explain himself and give Liz what she wanted all along - answers. However, Liz just wanted him to 'lie'. At times she acts like a petulant child.

- Now that we know what the 'key' is for, the question now becomes - Why did Pepper have it? Why didn't she tell Beck about it? What was her relationship to Red? I suppose now that she is dead then all of this is moot, but it would still be nice to have some answers.

- We know that Liz trusts Red. Caul said that if you trust [Red] then you will show it to me (referring to The Fulcrum interface). Then Liz shows it to him.

- Did you notice...When Liz is showing The Fulcrum to The Director the word Reagan appears three times. The Reagan-Gorbachev talks also appears.

- The scene between Nik and Tom was very enjoyable. I wonder if we will meet Nik again in the future? The ominous warning Tom gave him about being indebted to Red suggest we will making it something to look forward to.

- Mr. Kaplan is such an enjoyable character to watch. When she took down those two FBI imposters it was such a great scene. I laughed when she produced the $500,000 for Nik, telling everyone that Red is prepared for all contingencies.

- Did you notice...Keeping up with the Russian theme we have been seeing - among the items in Red's flat are Russian nesting dolls. Other items in the flat are lots of books (mostly about art and politics). There is also a picture that Liz holds up and takes a photo of using her cell phone (a very old cell phone I should add). The picture appears to be of a young Liz sitting on the lap of a woman who is sitting on a swing. The face of the woman is obscured due to a flash of light caught when the photo was taken. Who could that be? Could it be Liz's mom? What do you all think?

- Also on display on the mantle is a graduation picture of Liz and men wearing military uniforms.

- Did you notice...Red's apartment had some interesting themes as I stated. One thing that caught my eye was the painting. It is by Pieter de Hooch and titled "Woman hands over money to her servant". What caught my eye was that it was right next to the scene where Liz notices the photo of the woman with a child in her lap that she snaps with her phone and the painting is also of a woman with a child nearby tugging at her dress. (Incidentally, the other painting is by Andrei Rublev, a prominent Russian painter from the 14th and 15th century. It is of St. George)


Thank you for checking out my review! Please comment below so we can discuss the episode and the series some more. Have a great week everyone! Also, don't forget we are conducting a "Live Discussion" this, and every, Thursday night during The Blacklist. If you would like to participate, just check SpoilerTV's Homepage and click on the "Live Discussion" link for The Blacklist that will be posted a few minutes before the episode begins to air.

About the Author - Geo N
Geo N is from Detroit, MI. His favorite shows include The Blacklist, Hell On Wheels, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, LOST, The Leftovers, The Strain, Sons Of Anarchy, Sleepy Hollow and countless others. When he's not watching tons of TV, he enjoys reading, playing hockey, comic books, weightlifting, and writing. Thanks for checking out my post.
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