This week’s Blacklister is Isabella Stone, mentioned in the last episode as the person behind an anti-Red campaign: it’s the cover name for a ruthless character assassin (I’m one too, although just as an enthusiastic amateur, whereas Isabella is available for hire) who has now gone after Stratos, an old Red ally. Stratos has gone to Monte Carlo in order to buy up a shipping line so that Red, presumably, can continue to move illegal goods around the globe.
Now, on this occasion Red doesn’t even bother to pretend that there’s some big moral crimefighting reason why the FBI should be doing his bidding; although, in fairness, Isabella Stone does sound like the sort of person in whom it should be taking an interest. Nonetheless, this is essentially presented as the Task Force doing Red a solid, and Ressler at least is prepared to raise the issue. Although, as the FBI has been working for Red since season 1, there needs to be a reason why he’s mentioning it now, and it’s that his brother is going in for surgery, while he and Samar are in Monte Carlo ensuring that one of the world’s most dangerous criminals can sleep a little more easily. And here I call shenanigans: dude, if you’d said to Cooper that you need some personal time because your brother is getting a heart bypass, I’m sure he could have sent someone else to Monte Carlo, but don’t just say nothing and then whine about it.
Ahem. Anyway, Stone and her team have successfully framed Stratos for the murder of his wife, which means that Red and his team need to bust him out of prison. Then, once the Task Force has identified and arrested Stone, Red wants a private word with her, since no-one knows who Stone is working for. Cooper finally draws a line and makes it clear that he’s not going to hand a suspect over to Red for interrogation, so Red and his team just wait until she’s being transported, hijack the vehicle, and extract her anyway. Why not? It’s not as if it might cause the FBI to re-evaluate its relationship with Red, because nothing does. Along the way Liz finds something she calls a “pop-up safe house”. A pop-up safe house! Props to whoever in the writing room got that through.
Meantime Tom’s “father” has “died” in a “plane crash”, although as his father looks from the photos we’re shown as if he’s being played by Terry O’Quinn, and The Blacklist: Redemption is about to start, I think we would be entitled to a knowing look to camera. Tom doesn’t care about the death of his father; not to start with, anyway. But then he starts to delve into his complicated family history, and all of a sudden he wants to reconnect with his mother, who – coincidentally! – is also about to feature in The Blacklist: Redemption. Against my better judgment I’m kind of interested in this storyline, and I suppose I’ll take a look at Redemption when it starts in the UK in a couple of weeks. Anyway, The Blacklist has been in excellent form since it returned from hiatus, and this is another winner.