We start in 1994, with a youthful bag-snatching Tom being recruited by this week’s nominal Blacklister, The Major, who trains exciting young criminal talent and then finds work for it. I say “nominal” because the action switches quickly to a courthouse. Liz is trying to persuade a judge (played by Cold Case’s John Finn, a fine actor it’s always a pleasure to see) to quash a subpoena in respect of the death of the harbourmaster, because National Security.
The judge, though, seems much more interested in hearing all about Red, the task force, Tom, and essentially what Liz has been up to for a season and a half. What ensues is dangerously close to a clip show, and I’m not sure why the producers would roll one out at this stage. There might, I suppose, be production reasons: a tight schedule, perhaps, or keeping costs down. Or maybe a focus group has told them that a bit of recapping would be ideal. But it still seems like a strange time to do it.
Anyway, while that’s going on Red has decided that the only way to save Keen is to find Tom, which means finding the Major, which means abducting a Malaysian diplomat who knows where the Major might be. While Red’s working away at that, the judge is finding out, from Keen, more and more about Red and the task force, in a level of detail which seems unnecessary. At the moment it looks as if the judge – or his ever-present clerk – is up to something. Which all makes for an odd episode; I found it engaging, but in a low-level sort of way.