We start with a student bumping into a dishevelled elderly man, who’s protesting about something or other. The student walks a few steps, then collapses, convulsing, with blood running from his eyes, and some unmentionable fluid emanating from other facial orifices. (I was eating yogurt while watching this scene.) Yes: Karakurt, mentioned in last week’s episode, is in town. He’s an assassin known to work for Russia, and the Cabal has smuggled him into the USA in order to do something bad – if he commits an act of terror, runs the logic, it will be blamed on Moscow, and will spark a new Cold War. (This, just after Scandal, is the second show in a couple of days in which Russia is presented as the international baddie-du-jour; whether The Cabal’s plan works or not, it does look as if the present geopolitical situation has restarted the Cold War in the minds of TV writers at least.)
Liz and Ressler head to a sort of CIA sub-office occupied by the Office of Russian and European Analysis (OREA), to share their intelligence about Karakurt. But the head OREA dude tells them that if Karakurt were in country OREA would know about it, because they’re totally the Russia experts, so piss off, kids, OK? No more than a couple of minutes later Karakurt explodes a truck outside OREA, killing everyone within. Liz and Ressler are gracious enough not to burst out laughing, which is what I’d have done, while making a single-finger gesture at the smouldering remains of OREA. That’ll learn them. Mmm, Oreos.
In Tom-and-Liz news, meantime, it looks as if they did it somewhere between the end of last week’s episode and the start of this one, and now Tom’s trying to get Liz to come away on a boat with him. I’m still shipping them – heh – and still of the view that lovelorn Tom is better than no Tom at all, but even my patience was strained by the shot of Tom sitting alone in a restaurant, all broody, waiting for a Liz who’s not turning up. Might be time to stick a gun in his hand again.
So is Karakurt planning another bomb? That’s what everyone thinks to start with, but it’s then confirmed – by Dr Kimberly, a biotechnology expert who’s so keen on Red that she refers to him as “Reddy Bear” – that the student at the start was killed by a genetically engineered “supercharged rotavirus”. Conclusion: Karakurt is targeting an individual, using another extra-special virus. But – and ignoring Tom Connolly, who’s running interference and bullying Cooper into helping him – who’s the next target? And why? The answer will prove to be both ingenious and utterly preposterous.
It’s all complete nonsense, of course. But it’s The Blacklist, and it worked for me. I enjoyed this a lot.