What Jenny's Reading

{September 19, 2014}   The Blacklist: The Freelancer

Welcome to episode 2 of my Blacklist re-watch!  The second season starts Monday, so I fell pretty short of my goal to have the whole season done by then.  But I won’t be quitting!

We got my gran situated nicely, so at least she will be comfortable.  Family is flying back home today, and I am taking a much needed break this weekend!

But before that, here is my recap of the second episode of The Blacklist!

1. We open on a boat. This boat is really confusing to me. I had originally thought maybe the whole first episode took place on the boat (except the obvious parts), like that’s where their headquarters was. But the glass box is at the PO. So…they took him from the glass box, then to the hotel, then to a boat to stash him? That seems unnecessarily complex.
2. I mean, I guess they didn’t know they’d be keeping him at the PO or whatever. And a boat is a pretty safe place to detain someone. It would be difficult to escape from. Well crap, now I’ve talked myself into thinking it makes sense.
3. Why is Harold Cooper heading the team? He was introduced last episode as Assistant Director of the FBI. I mean, I don’t know what Assistant Directors do, but I would think he would be too busy, you know, Assistant Directing. Now I want to Google it, but I’m afraid if I Google that I will be put on some kind of watch list.
4. Cooper fights with the ladies from the Department of Justice about whether Red should get all the stuff he wants. These ladies are awesome. They shut Cooper down pretty hard and tell him to just let them do their jobs. One of these ladies we never see again, but the older lady is called Diane Fowler, and we will get to know her pretty well.
5. This part is funny: they are going to take credit for catching Red. Uh, sure. I guess if your master plan was to sit around with your thumbs up your asses till he decided he was tired of gallivanting around the globe being a supervillain and turned himself in, your plan to catch him worked great.
6. I feel like that last paragraph was mean to Ressler, since he was the head of the Red catching task force.
7. There’s a scene with Red and Liz being interviewed while on a polygraph. Not together. But the questions run together in that way that the question is asked of one person, and the other person answers. It’s a good way to catch people up if they missed the pilot episode.
8. Liz’s hair is INSANE in this episode. That wig she was wearing in the pilot grew like five sizes I think.
9. Red tells the polygraph guy that a train is going to crash soon and they should go check it out. Ressler heads out with a huge team and dicks around for awhile, pissed because it’s been a half hour since the time Red said the accident would happen and nothing’s happened. But then! A giant train crashes into the opening credits.
10. Liz and Red have a meeting in the glass box. Liz is pissy and wants to know about the train wreck. Red tells her about The Freelancer, who kills people and makes it look like an accident. He also calls her Lizzie, which she doesn’t like at all. She tells Red if he screws with her she will walk.
11. You just know that Ressler interrupted her morning coffee or whatever to come to the PO and talk to Red. Or maybe her lunch, as it’s now probably afternoon.
12. Red fills everyone in on The Freelancer. I am interested in why this is his name. Does he get a 1099 each year for every murder? I am surprised the IRS accepts this. But I guess as long as he reports everything properly, that is probably all the IRS cares about.
13. I have a theory about The Freelancer, which I will save for the end of the recap because otherwise it will spoil the story.
14. Also, it’s not particularly exciting.
15. Well, I’m sure you’ll be on the edges of your seats now that I’ve sold you on it.
16. Red convinces the team that he needs to go to Montreal to meet The Freelancer’s contact and find out about the next target. He also says Liz should come with him. Cooper tells Ressler to follow them. This is done in a way that it seems like it is a secret, but later on based on Liz’s reactions I think she already knew they were there.
17. Montreal! You know, when I was a little girl, I lived super close to the Canadian border, and my parents never took me there even though they went all the time. You didn’t need a passport in those days, so I don’t know why. I’m so annoyed I missed out on pre-passport Canada.
18. Liz and Red go into a restaurant. Oh, and call it: Red is the only person in the history of the universe who can wear a fedora and not look like a jackass. Truth!
19. They have a stilted conversation. Red wants Liz to profile him. She says a bunch of general stuff, but has one good observation: he’s conflicted about his relationship to Liz.
20. He orders her something called an aviation cocktail. I have never heard of this, so I Google. It’s made with gin, maraschino liqueur, crème de violette, and lemon juice. Damn, that sounds good. Where the hell do I get maraschino liqueur and crème de violette? This needs to be my official “watching The Blacklist” cocktail!
21. Red hops up and heads somewhere. Ressler freaks and orders his team to capture Red. They flood the building. I think we are supposed to think Ressler is jumping the gun, but what he does is actually good considering that Red has pulled the fire alarm and escapes in the confusion.
22. Ressler attacks the sommelier because he thinks he’s the contact. Liz just kind of sits there. Dammit, Liz, you are so awesome. Just accept your awesomeness and get involved.
23. The next scene has Ressler and Liz bitching at each other about how losing Red is totally the other one’s fault. You guys, it’s really hard for me to take their arguments seriously since I know by the end of the season they are besties.
24. Lucky for them both, Red was dicking with them. Okay, I think I understand. I think that Red, and possibly Liz, didn’t know that Ressler and the team were there. So Red pulled the fire alarm and escaped and waited in the van, to let them know he knew.
25. The next target is Floriana Compo, who heads a nonprofit dedicated to rescuing sex slaves from something called the Eberhart Cartel. Ressler and Liz get the go-ahead from Cooper to chat with her. Liz shares some weird thoughts about writing a thesis on Compo’s work, and how she’d been going through a hard time and Compo helped her through it. Understand we will not be finding out what this difficult time was at any point in the season.
26. Compo asks Liz if she’s a mother. This is an intensely personal question that I think is really inappropriate. What if Liz said no, I don’t like/want kids? Who can answer that question any other way than by saying “yes” or “not yet”? It’s all to lead into that Compo considers the girls she rescues her children, but ugh. And Ressler just kind of stands there awkwardly, as nobody bothered to ask him whether he has kids. Maybe he has pictures he would love to show Floriana! I mean, he doesn’t, but still. She refuses to cancel a charity event but agrees to move it and allow the FBI to offer protection.
27. At this point you are thinking, Floriana Compo is totally awesome, despite being super nosy. I know I was. It doesn’t hurt that she is played by Isabella Rossellini.
28. Red gets his immunity deal, as though there was any doubt. Cooper and Diane Fowler work it out. Red is allowed to have two of his security people, Dembe and Luli. Fowler wants one of her people, a CIA agent called Meera Malik, to join them. They all meet up at a parking garage and Liz and Ressler exchange the most hilarious look when Red kisses Luli. And we are off! Except not really, because I think everyone has to change first!
29. There’s a big party. Everyone wanders around, doing their thing. Ressler bitches at Dembe not to drink while he’s working, but Dembe doesn’t give a fuck for Ressler’s rules. Compo finds out that a “shipment” of girls went missing and is upset about it. Then she gives a speech and drinks champagne from a suspicious waiter. I know he is suspicious, because the cameras linger on him and he’s doing his best to look undercover and squirrelly.
30. Red fingers him, and everything descends into chaos. Ressler chases The Freelancer. He chats with Liz while running through the streets. I guess the FBI has the same radios that the Avengers do, where they can talk at any distance. Those things would be super useful. Liz helps out by crashing a car into The Freelancer. Ha. She is so proud of herself!
31. Ressler and Meera deal with The Freelancer while Liz heads up to see how Compo’s doing. I guess she will not be ticketed by the police for that accident.
32. The Freelancer has a grossly broken leg. Ressler smacks him around a bit and The Freelancer spits blood onto his face. Yikes! Maybe it’s because I was raised by a nurse who works exclusively in infectious disease control, but all I could think about was that I really hope Ressler didn’t get any of that blood in his mouth or eyes, and that he is up to date on all his shots. Also, he sort of shrugs it off like it ain’t no thing, so that makes me question (1) how many times this has happened before; and (2) the integrity of his vital organs, a little.
33. Meera takes over and tortures the guy, like a total boss. Within seconds he’s spilling that Red was the one who hired him to take out Compo. Whoops.
34. Ressler calls Liz and tells her what happened, and Liz flashes back to parts of the episode where Red manipulated them into taking him to the party. She heads back to Compo’s room and pulls a gun on Dembe, who is standing guard.
35. Red and Compo are inside chatting about how she’s a supervillain in disguise and runs that Eberhart Cartel they were talking about earlier. Apparently she wanted to go into business with Red, but I guess there are some lines Red won’t cross. Or maybe he’s grossed out by her because of her lying about being a good person. I really can’t tell. So, he poisoned her.
36. Liz comes in just as Compo’s starting to succumb to the poison, and tries to help. She also finds out Compo is evil but still tries to save her, because Liz is basically a good person. Red coolly watches while Compo dies. Strangely, even though Ressler and some other FBI folk have come in to witness this, Red is not arrested or anything. I guess it’s all okay because she was really evil?
37. Probably I should not Google “is it okay to murder people who are really evil.”
38. Ressler goes to play hero and rescues that missing shipment of girls. That was probably nice for him, that he got to do something tangibly good.
39. Anyway, Liz and Red meet by a lake or something and talk about how Liz had no idea how awful Compo was. I feel like this is foreshadowing for the rest of the season, how everything Liz believes will turn out to be a lie. Also, they talk about Tom and the passports. Oh yeah, Liz did accuse Red of planting them earlier. The upshot of this is that Liz decides to hide the passports back in the trapdoor and goes to pick Tom up at the hospital, but she’s clearly conflicted about their relationship.
40. One interesting note: Ressler and Dembe are in the locker room together (I do not know what locker room this is) and Ressler happens to notice that Dembe is scarred by the Eberhart Cartel’s mark, indicating that he was once a victim of sex trafficking. So Red was doing his good friend a solid, it appears, by taking out Compo.
41. At home, Liz finds something suspicious in Tom’s clothes that he was wearing the day he was so fatefully stabbed. It’s a USB that says “Elizabeth Keen background profile” so of course she watches it, but it’s just a dumb snooze of Tom gushing to the adoption people about how great Liz is and how she’ll be a great mother.
42. Anyway, the episode ends with everyone but Red feeling confused and conflicted. Well, “everyone” being Liz and Ressler, I guess, because we don’t get Meera’s vantage point. Get used to it, guys!
43. And now for my theory: so I think The Freelancer might be fake. Like, I know he’s on the Blacklist, but since Red apparently masterminded the assassination, I think maybe he just hired some random assassin and told the team he was the mysterious Freelancer, and made up a story about all the deaths.
44. Maybe Red himself is the real Freelancer!
45. Okay, that was dumb. Note to self: not all thoughts need to be written down.


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