The Blacklist recap: That's How Blackmail Works, Sweetheart

Who is Berlin and why is Reddington so afraid of him? We're about to find out because he's just landed stateside.
Ep. 21 | Aired May 5, 2014

Eric Liebowitz/NBC

First, all Vogel says is that "he is coming." Then, feeling more confident, Vogel gets smart-mouthy. "I'm the only one with the antidote. I'm the only one that has what they need. They're going to carry out my plans or die trying. That's how blackmail works, sweetheart," Vogel says.

"I gotta hand it to you," replies Keen. "It's a pretty sharp play infecting people with a virus only you have the antidote to. It's such a smart plan that I borrowed it." She slaps the antidote syringe on the table, as Vogel's nose starts to bleed. "You're gonna give me those five names because that's how blackmail works, sweetheart." Mic drop. Liz Keen, comin' in hot.

The five names are the people that Vogel has infected as part of Berlin's scheme. For the first time in a long time, Keen gets out her files on the Blacklisters and does some real detective work. She connects the strands of webbing that all lead back to Berlin. Then Liz takes her theory to the Feds, who realize that Reddington is using them as a tool to ferret out his nemesis. Each of the names from the Blacklist has helped Red get closer to the season's big mystery: who is Berlin? Who is after Red, and why?

"The apocalypse is coming," Keen says.

"Five names, five victims," adds Malik.

"Five horseman," Ressler says.

"That's a great band name," Aram chimes in. (Ryan Eggold, is this your band name?)

The infected all work at a nearby airport -- the one Berlin is clearly flying to. What's more Aram, somehow unlocks a video made by Vogel that details every plot point of Berlin's landing plan. Handy. We see the plan in action, as we hear the video describe the moves. The big moment is seeing a prison transport plane carrying a hooded man who must be Berlin, since he's directing the pilot. The pilot shoots a bunch of people and throws Berlin keys to his handcuffs -- but at that moment, U.S. Navy fighter jets arrive. The pilot steers away from them and the keys slide away.

The Feds storm the airport. Yep, they storm it. They don't lay in wait and cleverly try to trap Berlin once he lands; they just show up, suburbans blazing with sirens, and scare Berlin's plane right off the runway. This spooks Berlin's minions, who shoot all the disease-ridden folks who were merely pawns in the plan. Well done, guys.

Keen finally realizes that Reddington is not the bad guy, but was merely trying to protect himself. She tries to renege on her resignation, but Cooper says it's too late. Scary Gary has already sent men to capture Reddington at the meeting place Liz lured him to. Jesus, Lizard, you screwed this up royally. Liz arrives, sees Red, sees the federal agents and attempts to reason with her mentor/father figure/guardian angel/relationship counselor. But Red wants to gloat. He wants to savor the moment when she has to apologize (again) for blaming him. He wants to hear her say that she cares about him and wants him back as her partner. Dembe warns the whole bloody lot of them to get in the damn car, since he can see the FBI's trap closing in, but Red sends him away. As the Feds pull their guns on Red, Red pulls a gun on Lizzie, so that she won't be implicated as his accomplice. And then time stops, so Red can meander down memory lane to a time that he was diving off the coast of some tropical island when he was stung by a lionfish and nursed back to health by a lovely sea gypsy. "When she kissed me it felt like a burst of sunlight on my cheek and it made nearly dying well worth it," he says dreamily. "That's how I feel right now." (Heart melt.)

As Red gets down on his knees, hand behind his head, (flashback to the premiere!) Berlin's plane, which has been shot down by the fighter jet, comes careening through the sky and crashes into the East River. "Now it begins," Red says, right as the screen cuts to black.

Latest Videos in TV


From Our Partners