Red is visiting a friend’s villa. As he paces the indoor pool, he shouts, "Nico, my friend, you’re practically wasting away! Is it all the swimming?" Nico proudly reports that he also cut out carbs. Red, who never misses an opportunity for a personal anecdote, throws out that he was a lifeguard in high school. He quit after he had to give CPR to Mrs. Beerman, who belched corned beef and chlorine into his mouth. Delicious. "I haven’t been in a pool since," he declares. "I’m sorry, weren’t you in the Navy?" Nico asks. Red swiftly changes the subject. (Interesting tidbit. Do you think Red was lying about the pool or the Navy? God, I hope he was lying about the corned beef.)
The two have a poolside powwow to discuss The Kingmaker. Red knows he was behind Dusek’s frame-job, but he doesn’t know who hired him. Nico is skeptical of Red’s ability to handle this problem: "It’s the same mysterious enemy who has been plaguing you for months. Someone has devoted a great deal of time and energy to depreciating your business. Your friends are starting to talk." Red bristles at the accusation: "I don’t have any friends." But Nico leaves him with a warning that his contacts won’t remain loyal forever.
Next, we see Liz in her dining room, where she has Miss Havisham-ed the place by leaving it exactly as it was when her husband fled. Splintered furniture litters the ground; even the oranges are still strewn across the table from when Tom smashed Liz into the counter. Over the last few episodes, Agent Keen has devolved from fairly crazy to completely out-to-lunch mad. She’s flipping through the photos from Tom’s lockbox, which show Reddington walking into the hospital where her father died. She shows the pictures to Agent Ressler, bringing him into her confidence for the first time in a while. I like where that’s going… Ressler levelheadedly points out the photos could be faked. Keen doesn’t really buy that, but she asks Aram to look into it anyway.
Meanwhile, Red’s flashed the Bat Signal, and Keen’s off to meet him. She walks in as a man named Jamie walks out. "Regardless of whether we do business, I’m keeping all the samples," Red is saying to him. Turns out Jamie’s business is farming marijuana and Red is helping him secure funding. (And I thought Red couldn’t get any cooler.) Best scene of the episode: Dembe sitting at the kitchen table sucking down a pint of weed ice cream in front of a sampling of bud. Keen isn’t even fazed. Reddington gives Lizzie the rundown on The Kingmaker and it’s pretty dire. But she’s getting better at playing his game, and barters the FBI’s help for information on Tom. What does she plan to do if/when she gets ahold of him? Torture obviously didn’t work. And she’s clearly reluctant to turn him over to the FBI, or she would’ve enlisted their help already.
The Kingmaker is in America now, and he’s orchestrating a faked hit-and-run accident with a young congressman named Patrick. The Feds are on it. They track his passport to a hotel in Midtown New York, but when Ressler and Keen burst into the room, it’s occupied by a nice couple sharing a room service dinner. Dang it.
NEXT: Alan Alda returns!