This week’s Blacklister looks as if it’s going to be The Coroner, a mild-mannered chap who provides fake IDs for criminals who want to disappear, which seems like a necessary service if you’re a criminal who wants to disappear, but hardly something you could make an episode out of. And you couldn’t, because the person named and numbered in the episode title is actually Dr. Adrian Shaw, who (a) isn’t much of a Blacklister either; and (b) actually a woman, which threw me, as I spent the first half of the episode trying to work our which of the dudes on show was Dr. Adrian Shaw, before realising that it was the doctor with the appalling bedside manner we saw in the cold open. So Adrian’s a female name in America. Every day’s a school day.
Anyway. Red wants to get his hands on The Coroner because he expects Kirk to escape and reach out to him for an ID change. Impossible, says Liz; Kirk’s locked up in the Red Box and he can’t get out. Whereupon Kirk throws a sickie and is transferred to hospital. Now, we know that when a prisoner is transferred anywhere in a TV drama it’s entirely in order that they can escape or be extracted, so we can set our watches and wait for it to happen. Not incidentally, The Coroner once found a new identity for a haematologist named Sonia Blume, now Dr. Adrian Shaw, who has been carrying out cutting-edge research into therapies which might save Kirk’s life. But what Red wants from her remains to be seen; he abducts her from the ship where she’s been – fairly brutally, it has to be said – furthering her work. She wonders if Red is sick. “You have no idea”, he drawls.
Meantime, though, the hospital is hosting yet another round of Who’s Your Daddy? Liz agrees to provide some stem cells to save Kirk’s life, but when the hospital conducts compatibility tests – SPOILER ALERT – Kirk isn’t Liz’s father after all. Oh God. Will someone please put this storyline out of its misery? (Presumably it now has to be Red, unless yet another contender is to be produced, in which case I will need to rethink my commitment to this show.) But with Liz now officially expendable as far as Kirk is concerned, both as issue and as a possible source of life-saving liquids, he gives the signal for his extraction to start. Which is where we leave this entertaining but somewhat frustrating episode; as next week’s is the midseason finale, one has to assume that Red’s plans will fall into place then.