What Jenny's Reading

{September 28, 2014}   The Blacklist: Wujing

Good morning!  Did any of you see the season opener last week?  It was pretty intense!

Anyway, here is episode three!

1. The episode starts with a guy leaving a bank with a briefcase handcuffed to his wrist. He is in China, and gets in a car to drive away. A group of Chinese people block him, shoot him, and then cut off his wrist and steal the briefcase. No one around them appears to notice.
2. The gory mess is presented to a Chinese hacker, who tries to break a code with the thumbprint from the severed hand. It doesn’t work, so he demands that someone call Red. Well, sure. Whenever I’m trying to break a computer code with a severed hand and the bloody thumbprint is useless, the first thing I think is, “I really wish Red were here.”
3. Liz is sitting in her living room while Tom sleeps. He is looking rather unbruised for someone who almost died from being beaten and stabbed recently. I wonder how much time is to have passed between this episode and the last? She’s still thinking about the box of spy stuff.
4. While Tom’s still asleep, she sneaks outside with the gun, several phone books (I didn’t even know they still made phone books anymore?), and a bucket. She sticks the books in the bucket and fills it with water, and then when a bus is stopping nearby, she shoots the gun into the books, and collects the bullet and casing. Is that the right terminology? I don’t know a lot about guns. She takes the bullet and casing to ballistics and asks to see if it’s a match to any crimes.
5. I wonder how she will explain how she got that bullet, since I have seen the end of the episode and know what she found out.
6. Red is hanging in a park, playing checkers or whatever, like a clichéd old retired guy with nothing better to do with his days. Some random guy comes up to him and bumbles around about a caper, which disgusts Red. The bumbling, not the caper. He agrees to take the job, and says he has a new contractor who he will bring. But who??? (Oh, whatever, we all know it’s Liz.)
7. Tom and Liz are at home, watching the news. One of Liz’s friends comes by to get Tom to his physical therapy, since Liz has to go to work. Liz tells Tom she’s only going to work because she has to, and she’d rather be home with him. You’re such a liar, Liz. Your husband is a maybe-evil spy. You’re happy to get out of the house.
8. Especially since, as she’s leaving, he ups the creeper factor and watches her from the window. When she sees him, she waves, but he doesn’t smile. Creepy. You aren’t helping your cause here, Tom.
9. Neither is this: when the friend and Tom leave for PT, a bunch of guys invade the Keen home and place a bunch of surveillance equipment all over. One of these guys has an apple. We’ll be seeing the apple a lot this season, but I find the apple sort of annoying, as it has no real significance that I can tell.
10. The friend forgets her purse, and there’s a “suspenseful” moment where you think she’s going to catch the surveillance guys, but she doesn’t. They finish up and leave.
11. Then, it’s Blacklist time! Liz meets Red at a hat shop and he tells her about the newest case. Wujing is apparently a computer hacker genius who lots of people don’t think exists, and even when Red tells her he does, Liz doesn’t really believe him. Always believe Red, Liz! That should be your daily mantra. And Cooper’s and probably also Diane Fowler’s, come to think of it.
12. Liz is also grossed out that he sold secrets to the Chinese. Like, have you been watching this show, Liz? Do you remember how you read all the stuff that Ressler had on him, sometime between the pilot and the second episode? None of this should be surprising.
13. Cut to Liz and Red going over everything with the team at the PO. Red wants Liz to go undercover as a cryptographer/computer hacker. She quite understandably has reservations about this, so Ressler gives her a pep talk. Or rather, he growls at her about all the dead agents and makes her feel guilty. Which is kind of a dick move, but it does work.
14. Meera has a contact who provides Liz with all sorts of gadgets to turn her into a fake computer hacking wizard, and a backup plan to connect to one of the Chinese hackers’ computers if that all fails. They also give her a tracker, so they will know where she is at all times. None of this really helps with her anxiety. I don’t blame her.
15. You know what I think is sort of dumb? When Liz and Red get into the radio station/Chinese hideout, the bodyguard/errand boy from earlier runs her print. And Aram and all the FBI/CIA people are freaking about burying her record as an FBI agent. Why didn’t they think of this before? I know it makes for an exciting scene, but it seems like a big oversight on their part.
16. Of course everything is fine, because Aram is a real computer wizard. Why didn’t Red take him instead?
17. They get in an elevator and go so far underground that Liz’s and Red’s trackers both stoop working. Ressler freaks and is convinced that they did this on purpose, because he doesn’t trust either of them. So, business as usual. He jumps the gun a bit and says they’re going to storm the bunker.
18. Okay, he doesn’t say it exactly like that, but “storm the bunker” is a phrase I’ve always wanted to use in regular life.
19. Below, Wujing and Red exchange pleasantries and he meets their new head hacker. Super convenient, as we will see in a bit. Liz passes some test and sets up her stuff, but since they’re underground now she can’t get a signal. Red provides the necessary distraction (and as a bonus gets to dick with Ressler, a little) that allows Liz to place her computer hacker bug.
20. Just in time, Aram lets everyone know that Liz is okay, so Ressler calls off the cavalry. Phew! I have to admit, while I do like this episode, it hasn’t been particularly suspenseful.
21. Liz plays with her magic gadgets and gets the message out. Since she was able to set up the link to the other hacker’s computer, the FBI finds out about the guy at the same time.
22. The next target is Henry Cho, an architect who is currently in DC on a build site. Ressler and Meera can’t get him on the phone, so they take off to warn/protect him. Yes, just them. They do not thank Aram, but he doesn’t seem to care, so I don’t, either.
23. Okay, something literally just occurred to me. The Chinese hackers got the computer and message from a CIA agent. So it’s CIA information. Meera is CIA. Why did they need Liz to give them the target’s name? Couldn’t she just call her superiors and get it? Then they could’ve gotten to Cho much earlier and avoided the confrontation later on. But I guess that’s not very exciting, is it?
24. I guess that would’ve maybe needed inter-agency cooperation, and possibly some people from Congress giving the go-ahead, and HAHAHAHAHAHA okay I get why she couldn’t do that now.
25. Henry Cho has his kid with him, so you know. Today is going to be the most exciting day of Henry Cho’s kid’s life! I hope the CIA has a good therapy budget, since he’s probably going to need it. The Chinese guys get there first, but Meera does get Henry on the phone to warn him to hide. There’s a lot of cat-and-mouse that isn’t particularly tense because we’ve never met this guy before, but then Ressler and Meera show up to save the day!
26. Ressler kicks one guy off the high rise to his death, which I found really funny for some reason. Then he beats a second guy to death. Ressler’s got some inner rage, I think. In his defense, he couldn’t get to his gun, unlike Meera, who managed to shoot the third guy. They seem pretty satisfied that there were only three guys. I think it would’ve been funny if a fourth Chinese agent had popped up and shot Henry Cho.
27. In the meantime, Red gets his payment from Wujing, which is a red envelope. As they are about to leave, an alarm goes off because their systems detected someone was sharing info with a government computer.
28. There’s a standoff, but Wujing thinks it’s the new hacker (I told you it was convenient that he was new!) and beats him almost to death. During this, the hacker guy sees the little device that Liz put on his computer and is about to say something, but Red shoots him.
29. This causes a second standoff, with Wujing wanting to kill Liz, as payback. Red basically tells him that if he hurts his Lizzie, Wujing is a dead man. He is pretty scary when he says this, so they all call it even and head out the back door.
30. Red tells Wujing to drop them off, and Lizzie leaves her tracker in the car so the FBI can find them.
31. Luli and Dembe pick them up on the corner. Liz and Red have another stilted conversation. She’s unhappy he killed the hacker, but I mean, the guy was breaking the law and helping to kill a bunch of other people. This is hardly the worst thing Red has ever done, is what I am thinking. She also demands to know why she, particularly, is so important to him. He says it’s because of her father, but he refuses to elaborate. She’s pissed and unsettled, and heads back to the office.
32. I’m assuming Dembe drove her, since Red offered and she had no other way back. That must’ve been an awkward car ride.
33. Ressler tosses Liz an olive branch, or so it would seem. He tells her she did well, and not to worry about whatever else happened.
34. Liz heads into her office and finds the ballistics report on the bullet. It’s so heavily redacted that she can’t even read it. All she gets is a name, Angel Station, and a date, June 23, 2012.
35. Ressler also has the report, because he is smarter than we think and has flagged all of Liz’s activity. He shows it to Cooper. Their copy is the full copy, and we don’t get to see it, but Cooper says that the Secretary of Homeland Security was briefed on the case. So…yeah. Tom is involved in some really heavy stuff.
36. The song that plays at the end of the episode is really beautiful. The first time I watched the episode, I went and downloaded it immediately. It’s “Here With Me” by Susie Suh and Robert Koch, if you are interested.
37. Liz’s friend from earlier throws a “Glad You Didn’t Die From Being Stabbed” party for Tom, which is a surprise when she gets home. Ugh, poor Liz. I mean, I’m an introvert, so when I’m involved in faking cryptography credentials, cheating death, and finding out my husband has maybe committed an act of treason, I like to be alone for a little while to recharge, you know? She sits in the middle of the party, obviously not enjoying herself, and nobody thinks to ask her if she’s okay. Nice friends. I think these are the same assholes who throw her the horrific baby shower later this season, so I guess we shouldn’t expect anything less, right?
38. Oh yeah – spoiler. There is a horrific baby shower later in the season. You have been warned!


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