The Blacklist s5 ep 11

Much to Cooper’s amusement, Red has been robbed: his car is T-boned by a truck being driven by someone working for this week’s Blacklister, Abraham Stern (who is, fittingly, number 100 on the List, in the show’s 100th episode.) Stern then takes the rare coin Red obtained from Greyson Blaise earlier in this season. Red knows who took the coin and why, and he wants the Task Force’s help in retrieving it. He acknowledges that it might sound like a treasure hunt for his benefit, but insists there will be something in it for the FBI as well. “I think”, says Aram, “it sounds like fun!”

And he’s right; it is. The plot – something to do with four rare coins leading to dollar bills worth hundreds of millions – is of course ridiculous, but tremendously entertaining. Stern is played by Nathan Lane, and as ever James Spader visibly relishes the opportunity to play opposite someone whose acting chops match his own.

Liz’s storyline, meantime, isn’t what you’d call fun, exactly, but it’s hardly dull: having accidentally killed Navarro, one of the people behind Tom’s death, Liz goes way, way back in the show’s history and – once she’s able to deflect Aram’s puppyish enthusiasm – digs out the file of The Stewmaker, an expert at disposing of bodies, in order to mine it for tips. (Lots of acid, basically.) Agent Singleton is after her, though, and knows that she’s up to something. As it happens, Liz’s manipulation of the situation this week is skilful but… well, I was going to say out of character, but it’s entirely possible that we’ll see more of this sort of thing from the post-Tom Liz. A strong episode.

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