This week’s Blacklister is The Longevity Initiative, a scientific project funded by gajillionaire Roger Hobbs, and run by mad genius Dr Julian Powell. The Initiative intends to prolong life indefinitely by using Turriptosis dohrnii, the so-called “immortal jellyfish”. Of course, splicing humans with Brer Jellyfish needs a ready supply of not-quite-dead bodies on which to experiment, and some pseudo-science; but happily it’s Marshall Flinkman from Alias (Kevin Weisman) on exposition duty this week. I’m sure his character in this show has another name, but since it’s clearly Marshall that needn’t detain us; he can, of course, come back any time.
Meantime, though, Tom’s back on the scene, and about to be killed by The Major – who’s decided that Tom’s love for Liz has compromised him – when the bad Germans of a few weeks ago rock up out of nowhere. They capture Tom and the Major and give us our weekly dose of torture porn, then find a photo of Liz in Tom’s wallet and threaten to kill her instead. For some reason, though, they back off on discovering that she’s FBI. Which is kind of typical of how the episode fizzles out; Powell turns out not to be interested in immortality after all, and Red of course had his eyes on another prize entirely. “You gave us this case because you wanted Powell, and then you used us to flush him out”, seethes Liz to Red. Well, duh. Haven’t you seen The Blacklist before, Liz?
And talking of immortality, it’s looked for ages now as if all signs of life have been extinguished in the Keen/Ressler ship. But this week its eyelids flicker a little: not when Keen calls Ressler “sweet” – friend zone, dude, friend zone – but when he turns up with Chinese food to celebrate her birthday. Although that doesn’t entirely lift her melancholy: “I am”, she broods, “the puppet of some high-functioning sociopath”. Liz. Haven’t you seen… oh, I’ve done this.