The Blacklist
Anslo Garrick

Episode Report Card
Mr. Sobell: B | 84 USERS: A
YOU GRADE IT
Ressler Leg Syndrome
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Boy, they are not kidding with that "Due to violent content, viewer discretion is advised" warning at the top of the show. Because that caption barely faded to black by the time we’re treated to a few seconds of a very bloody, very wounded Ressler being tended to by a weary-looking Reddington with a very sharp-looking knife. How did we arrive at this rather sorry state of affairs? Let’s flash back to 13 hours earlier at a Bavarian beer hall, where it seems we could have started this episode in the first place without any hiccup in the narrative. Red is having a few comically over-sized steins of beer with some of his criminal chums to celebrate some lucrative caper that happened off camera. That’s when Ressler shows up -- the buzz kill. Reddington pretends like he’s a State Department mole being flown off to Bavaria as some sort of Crooked Employee of the Month award, just to keep his criminal pals from getting suspicious. But the real reason Ressler high-tailed it off to Germany is because Keen needs Reddington, or so Ressler says. Reddington wisely surmises that if this is actually the case, then whey isn’t Keen here herself? Because she’s been detained, Ressler responds. For what reason, Reddington demands. Sounds like a case of the bullshits to me.

And indeed, by "detained," Ressler apparently meant "still mourning her recently dead adoptive father" and going through boxes of his effects, which include a singed stuffed bunny. That, in turn, triggers a flashback to the fire that scarred Lizzie both literally and figuratively in her childhood, which we heard about ever so briefly in the pilot episode, but not so much since. Lizzie is many things right now, but detained isn’t one of them. She is wearing a robe that suggests she’s been cast as Yum Yum in a local theater group’s production of The Mikado, so maybe that will take her mind off her grief.

But Reddington doesn’t know any of this, and he’s flown back to the FBI’s Super Secret BlackOps Center where he and his henchman (Luli and Dembe, if you’re scoring along at home) are placed in protective custody. Instead of examining the kind of complicated trust issues that have created the need for a ruse like this to bring Reddington in from the cold, we’re instead treated to some FBI-provided exposition: there’s an imminent threat on Reddington’s life. Reddington scoffs that there’s always an imminent threat on his life. He’s not scoffing when he finds out who the would-be assassin is, though -- a fellow by the name of Anslo Garrick. But that’s only because Reddington has figured out what the FBI is too thick-headed to have worked out on its own. That the FBI’s information likely came from Garrick himself and that he fed it to the FBI precisely so that the usually hard-to-find Reddington can be easily tracked down to a predetermined location. Reddington explains this slowly, as if he’s talking to children, in large part because that’s about the cognitive capacity of the open-mouthed-breathing FBI agents he’s talking to. But it also allows us to cut away to an assault team methodically infiltrating the FBI’s BlackOps Center in the exact manner that Reddington describes.

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The Blacklist

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