The Blacklist recap: Jolene, Jolene

This week's Blacklister seeks justice for those who are innocent, while Tom and Jolene turn out to be pretty guilty.
Ep. 15 | Aired Mar 3, 2014

Virginia Sherwood/NBC

What are Tom and Jolene up to? Why, they’ve gotten themselves caught up in a conversation about Lolita and the morality of extramarital affairs. Of course when you put a group of high school teachers together, they’ll say things like, “Mr. Whitney’s heart sent him right into an affair with Timmy Logan’s mom.” That line gives you the perfect opportunity to say this to your work crush: “I think that people have affairs because they are miserable in their marriages and I don’t think we should judge them.” She might as well have added a stage wink and an elbow jab after that. Sick. Seeing her giggle at Tom’s cream cheese mustache made me want to gag.

First stop for the Feds is the Prison Book Depository in Monroe. Liz and Ressler are here to track down their lead suspect, a man named Frank who was wrongly convicted of a crime and now works in the library. Shout out to costume design for throwing in that exquisite mother-of-pearl broach sweater-holder-closer thing. It absolutely screams elderly librarian and I want one! Frank jumps Ressler and gets away, but the trip isn’t a total bust because they find a file on the next prisoner who ordered The Judge’s special: fresh revenge. The prisoner is Alan Ray Rifkin and he’s set to be executed the next day, but the twist is that the investigating officer who put him away is Harold Cooper. Uh oh, that means Coop’s name is next on The Judge’s hit list.

Lizzie visits Rifkin on Death Row and finds him with his spiritual advisor, Ruth Kipling, played by Dianne Wiest (Hannah and Her Sisters, Edward Scissorhands). Things get a little salty when Rifkin pretty convincingly accuses Cooper of beating him into confessing to acts of terrorism. It can’t be! Coop would never.

Meanwhile, the two sketchy fools in Orlando are still flirting with this sort of scintillating banter: “What’s the story with guys and basketball? If the Wizards were playing I could stand in front of the TV naked and my fiancée would tell me to move.” After enough of this foreplay, they end up in the bathroom making out when they’re interrupted by a tiny child. Truly, how is Tom a teacher? I mean I know he’s faking it, but he is actually in charge of children. Scary. Tom apologizes for getting carried away, but Jolene slips her room key in his shirt like he’s a day-shift stripper anyway. Will he use it??

Once we catch up with Frank, he’s at a farmhouse with Ruth Kipling, that so-called spiritual adviser, but wait – she’s The Judge! Did you guys guess that? Kind of an obvious move. Dianne Wiest really serves up some True Believer fervor and, boy, is there anything scarier than that? She is convinced that exacting justice on behalf of the wrongly accused is her life’s work after her husband was taken from her in that very manner. She keeps the cops and lawyers in the horse stables, which really adds to the creep-factor.

Josey Wales is still on Jolene’s tail and he’s found her apartment stocked with international bank notes, fake passports, and a flash drive with photos of Red and Lizzie from all the places that Red has recently conducted business: Port au Prince, Havana, Miami. Red tells the cowboy to pull back though and let her complete her operation. He’s pretty sure he knows how it’s going to end. What? Tell us! We don’t know.

NEXT: Is Agent Cooper guilty? The Judge seems to think so. 

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