From the FBI’s High Value Detainee Site, a cargo ship in the middle of nowhere – I would quite like this to be a thing, and perhaps it is – Reddington is helicoptered to New York, there to be polygraphed about his relationship with Liz, who is going, or has gone, through the same thing. Do they know each other? Hell, no. But everyone’s wasting time, Red says, because something bad is going to go down at a nearby industrial estate at 11am. Not quite – we had to wait until 11.20, but the bad thing did indeed go down, proving that Reddington knows his shit.
He’s prepared to offer the FBI the goods on a criminal known as The Freelancer – number 145 on The Blacklist – but he’ll only talk to Liz and he wants immunity. The immunity thing is kicked about during the episode, and as far as I can tell they settle on a deal under which he gets tracker-chipped and might get immunity eventually. I may be wrong, and anyway it’s not as if trackers ever go wrong on American TV drama, is it? He also gets to choose his own security team, supplemented at the Feds’ insistence by Parminder Nagra, presumably from the CIA’s British exchange programme.
The Freelancer’s MO is to disguise his assassinations as mass-casualty accidents, leading to a considerable loss of civilian lives, “rivalled”, Reddington notes drily, “only by governments and terrorist organisations”. And his new target is a human rights activist played by Isabella Rossellini, about to give a speech in Canada. To Montreal, then, for a few twists and turns, and yet more pen-in-neck action. I’d like to think they’ll go three-for-three on this next week. Liz, meantime, is trying to decide what to do about her husband – a teacher, it turns out, to go with his puppyish charm – and his box full of tricks.
We don’t really get answers to any of the big questions this week, and the show might yet founder on the syrup-wearing charisma vacuum that is Megan Boone’s Liz. But with another slickly-plotted, improbable episode under its belt, James Spader moving through every scene as if on castors, and a full-season order already in the bag, The Blacklist doesn’t have much else to worry about for now.