The Blacklist recap: A Round of Sudden Death

Tom and Liz renew their wedding vows, but there is nothing romantic about this marriage of spy convenience. Meanwhile, a dying man plots murder-suicide.
Ep. 18 | Aired Mar 31, 2014

Craig Blankenhorn/NBC

After her outburst, Lizzie is ready to take action. (Finally. Cripes.) First things first: Make a whiteboard and tape all the clues to it. Oh, phew. Don't you feel better already?

Red stops by and he's brought pimento cheese sandwiches with the crusts cut off -- Eartha Kitt's recipe. (I tried to see if this was a real thing, but I came up empty. Anybody know if Eartha has an actual recipe for this? That would be worth having.) But Liz is sick of the men in her life trying to placate her with food. She flips out and tells him to give up everything he knows about Tom Keen. He admits that he had a security breach a few years ago and took stock of his vulnerabilities, i.e. Liz Keen. At this, Liz demands to know what their connection is, but Red patronizes her and tells her to focus on finding out who Tom is and what his goals are. I know for the show, it's important to keep that question open, but if I were Liz, I'd insist on answers from Red. It's so obnoxious that he's so secretive, but then again Liz is so unreliable and irresponsible as an agent that I can't blame him.

Anyway, Red tells her he's been keeping tabs on Tom since he entered Liz's life, but he's without intel (or he's unforthcoming with it) because he says that all he knows is that Tom bought his fake passports from a trusted colleague of Red's. But Red does have the surveillance tapes of Liz's apartment from "the apple guy," so she can go back and watch what Tom was up to. The main thing she learns is that Tom kept a key hidden under a lamp, but she can't figure out what it's for. Red throws her another bone and reveals that The Undertaker is responsible for the taxi murder-suicide.

After so much dialogue, it's time for another sudden death. We watch Mushroom Man give some poor woman her assassination assignment and she pulls up to a gas station, where she lights a guy in a suit on fire and purposely burns herself up in the blaze. So murder-suicide number two. Agent Keen briefs the crew on Red's tip at the Post Office, and when they put their heads together they come up with the pattern: Each assassin had a terminal illness and right before his or her death came into a large sum of money.

As we start to get the big picture, cut to an older man in the hospital with an IV bag and a deadly heart condition. Mushroom Milton approaches him and bargains for a murder-suicide in exchange for financial support for the man's family after his death.

Liz has thrown herself headlong into the charade of loving husband and wife. While Tom was at work, she surprise-invited all of their friends to the house for a cocktail party and vow renewal. This is where we meet Craig Keen. Craig is paranoid that Liz is onto them. Craig is smarter than like 2/3 of the people in this show. He tells Tom that she called him and asked about "our parent's accident in Tucson."

I thought the thinly veiled threats that served as marriage vows were going to be a dead giveaway to each of them, but neither acknowledged their suspicions. These days, Liz is starting to come unhinged, "I want to marry this man!" She yells laughing manically, like a woman just shy of a mental breakdown. Lock it up, Keen. Your crazy is showing. But she does manage to snag Craig's champagne flute without his noticing.

Dembe comes over to pick up the glass, so he can get the prints and the identity of Craig. As the music builds, his eyes rove the walls and you think he's going to share a haunting warning..."What color is the paint?" (I'm thinking like can you bug paint somehow?) And she goes, "it's called Chicago Skyline." "Nice," he replies gravely. Dembe, you kill me. To get the prints, Red flies to San Salvador to visit a Bosnian scientist whose wife he once slept with (as one does.) After he bargains for the DNA testing with a weekend at his villa in Dubrovnik, he passes the info on to Liz from his private jet. Next to his glass of whiskey is a carved red egg that is somehow important. So file that away for later.

NEXT: Liz goes Kung-Fu fighting!

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