Last week’s episode established that Kathryn Nemec is the person behind the campaign against Red; and that Kathryn Nemec is better known to us as Mr. Kaplan. So in this week’s Blacklister-free episode, ‘Requiem’, we’re shown more about what Mr. Kaplan is planning, and that’s excellent in itself: enigmatic and menacing to start with before it all falls into place, and rounded off with a final shot to take the breath away.
But what really counts in this episode are the flashbacks, starting in Kathryn Nemec’s childhood, moving forward to her time as Liz’s nanny and Katarina Rostova’s confidant, showing how she came to call herself Mr. Kaplan – particularly poignant, this part – and all the way up to her recruitment by Red and the beginning of the very first episode, with Red turning himself into the FBI. It covers just about every aspect of The Blacklist’s backstory, and does so in a way which is both deeply satisfying and intensely thrilling. All that’s left is the question of whether Red is Liz’s father, and I don’t think there’s much room for doubt about that now, to be honest. It’s a highpoint for this season and, perhaps, for the show as a whole; and it’s to the credit of the The Blacklist’s writers that, four years in, they can produce an episode like this. Absolutely wonderful.