What Jenny's Reading

{November 7, 2014}   The Blacklist: General Ludd

It’s Friday!  I’ve got the next episode of The Blacklist today and I’ll have some other things this weekend!

1. A dad and his son play catch in a park. It’s all very picturesque and wholesome till a plane drops on them.
2. Lizzie gets back from her morning jog to find Tom in the shower. He tells her he’s still there because of something something at the school, and cracks on one of his female co-workers for being overweight. Way to be a dick, Tom. Lizzie I guess finds this sexy and hops in the shower with him.
3. Creepy apple dude is watching them. Ick.
4. Post-coital, Tom is watching a news report on the plane crash and sipping coffee. What time in the morning do these people go to work? I mean, seriously. I feel like they spend half their mornings away before heading in to punch the clock.
5. Lizzie’s phone rings, and it’s her dad! Not Red, though. That would be too easy. Her dad’s name is Sam and he tells her he’s having some tests run, but we see him in a hospital bed looking like shit so obviously he’s lying. Lizzie doesn’t really buy the “tests” thing, but tells him to call her when they’re through and that she loves him.
6. Ressler’s at the scene of the crash, meeting some other cops and FBI agents. Huh. I had no idea there were other FBI agents than Lizzie and Ressler.
7. Like the last episode, I’m not sure why Ressler is there. Red didn’t bring them in on this.
8. Anyway, Ressler finds out pretty quickly there’s a suspect already, a guy who works at a chemical plant close by. They have a short video of him. Nice going, terrorist guy. Way to be discreet.
9. Red and Lizzie are meeting with Cooper. The group that claimed responsibility for the plane crash is called General Ludd, and they think the economy and money and all that stuff sucks and want to watch the world burn. Cooper wants Red’s help with them, and Red protests. However, he agrees if Cooper will give him access to ViCAP for a short period of time. Cooper resists, but we know he’s going to cave, because otherwise this episode would be the PO people, just staring at each other.
10. Next, Lizzie is telling the PO about General Ludd and their founder, Nathaniel Wolfe. Ressler seems to think General Ludd has the right idea, taking down Wall Street. That is…interesting. Not what I would’ve expected he would think. Anyway, they have the video of the terrorist guy, Roger Gard. They also have a picture of a second suspect, Arthur Denning. They look exactly alike. Ressler has a hard time wrapping his mind around this, but Meera jumps in and helps him out: they are the same person.
11. Too bad. I was sort of hoping for an evil twins plotline or something.
12. These guys are played by an actor called Justin Kirk. He is cute. I have only ever seen him in one other thing, a movie that I can’t even remember what it was called. All I remember about the movie was that he was doing a sexy shirtless dance and it was weirdly like negative sexiness.
13. They all decide that paunchy Nathaniel Wolfe can’t possibly be cute-but-negative-sexy Rothur Garning (ha!). I guess Red told them the suspects and Wolfe were the same person.
14. Now we see Rothur dying his hair white blond and wearing what appears to be a pilot’s uniform. He’s also got some friends futzing with a computer, clearly doing something evil to it. He tells his friends it’s been an honor working with them. Is he going to commit suicide or something?
15. Lizzie leaves a message for her dad, telling him she’s freaked out that he’s not calling her and to call her ASAP. She hangs up and stares into the middle distance, totally spacing on Ressler’s excitement about getting an address for Rothur.
16. Ressler and Lizzie find the place, but find a secret compartment in a closet full of Wolfe’s personal belongings, things that were his father’s. Also, Wolfe’s fingerprints are everywhere. The plot thickens!
17. The team tries to figure out how this is possible. Well, they could be roommates, you know. Ressler points out you can’t change your fingerprints. Lizzie proudly announces that Wolfe has changed his face, because this is The Blacklist and the most insane answer is clearly the correct one.
18. We cut to Red and Luli, chatting with a blonde lady who is making counterfeit money. Red and Luli are trying to convince this lady to move to Malaysia, which I guess has a big business for counterfeiting. I wonder how the Malaysia Tourism Board feels about this free advertising. Anyway, it’s no dice; she doesn’t want to leave, because her son is only nine and also she’s on the PTA.
19. Ugh, who gives a fuck about the PTA? Girl, you are literally printing your own money. I think you’re beyond the PTA.
20. Lizzie pops in to say hi, and Red covers, telling the lady she’s a courier. He and Lizzie head out, and she expresses outrage about the whole counterfeiting thing. LIZZIE. I WOULD LIKE TO INTRODUCE YOU TO RAYMOND REDDINGTON, CRIMINAL. Where have you been?
21. Anyway. Lizzie tells Red they think that Wolfe and Rothur are the same, and that someone changed Wolfe’s face to make him him cute-but-negative-sexy Rothur. Red tells Lizzie that she should be with her father, as he knows the cancer has come back. Lizzie is pissed, because she doesn’t want to deal with his mindgames and also her dad’s only having tests. Red relents and advises they will need to go to South Beach to meet a plastic surgeon named Maltz.
22. South Beach! I hate Miami, but I love South Beach. I was there several years ago with my mom and sister. We stayed right on the beach in this awesome little Art Deco hotel. It was great!
23. Red and Lizzie stroll down an office corridor. Red stops her and tells her that they need to do all this fast, because he has other business that day. MURDER business.
24. Okay, he doesn’t say that. But it’s what he means. Also, Maltz isn’t on The Blacklist, but is an asset who needs protection. Lizzie is skeptical, but they head inside.
25. Maltz is getting a pedicure or something. I appreciate a man who takes care of his feet. Red and Maltz are obviously buddies. Maltz gets rid of his pedicurist and they chat about Red’s juicing habits. Red asks him about Rothur, says he needs his new name. Maltz refuses, as Rothur’s a client.
26. I wonder where Rothur got the money to pay Maltz? I mean, he’s the leader of General Ludd, and they’re supposed to hate money.
27. Maltz is pissed, because he clearly holds himself to the highest of ethical standards. So Lizzie pulls out the big guns: she tells him her real name and real job, and that Red is her informant and they need Rothur’s name to take him down. She’s ready to call in the Miami field office if he won’t cooperate.
28. Maltz folds like a cheap suit, and it turns out the whole thing was a ruse! Red pretends that he was proving to Lizzie, who he calls Christina, and hilariously asks Maltz whether he’s told anyone about the word Red’s had done. They swan out of there on the fumes of Maltz’s pleas for forgiveness. Ha!!
29. Lizzie tells the PO that Rothur’s new name is Bradley Holland, and they find out he’s a pilot. Ressler wonders how that’s possible, since Holland would need licenses and so forth. I guess Ressler isn’t familiar with the fine art of forgery?
30. Wow, I am being mean to Ressler today! I don’t feel bad about it, though, because he is fictional and also because I give him tons of praise and nice words otherwise.
31. Rothley is now headed in to an airport, I think in New York. He chats with a gate attendant in a high flyer’s club and tells her that he wants to “deadhead” on the flight. I had to Google this, and it means allowing flight personnel to fly for free. So was this all to score a free first class ride to wherever the hell he’s going? I mean, I know that first class tickets are expensive, but geez, Rothley. There had to be a less dramatic way of doing this.
32. He settles himself down in the fancy lounge area and chats up a Wall Street banker. The banker mocks General Ludd, and you know Rothley’s itching to end him with his evil laptop bomb. But he has bigger fish to fry, so he stows his carryon with the helpful gate check attendant and lies, saying his flight log was left a few gates back. She says she’ll put it in first class for him. The bag, not the log.
33. Aram has found Rothley on circuit cams, and Lizzie and Ressler take off for the airport. In route, Lizzie gets a call from Tom, who tells her that Red was right about her dad. Well, not in so many words, but that’s the gist. He is super nice about everything and says he’s headed to Nebraska and he’ll get her a flight the next morning. She hangs up, upset, and Ressler glances over at her the way you do when you know a new friend is having troubles, and you aren’t sure whether you should say anything. He asks if she’s okay, and she discreetly wipes her tears and focuses on the case. Poor Lizzie.
34. Then we see Sam, in his hospital bed, coughing. The shot un-focuses, and then re-focuses with Red in the background. He smiles at Sam in a way that makes you think maybe Red is going to commit murder. Sam looks mildly surprised.
35. Lizzie and Ressler get to the airport and talk to people on the tarmac. They evacuate and ground flights and then guess what, the plane behind them explodes. If I’m Lizzie, I’m never setting foot on a tarmac again. Remember that time the helicopter exploded and she got kidnapped? I bet she does.
36. Red and Sam are giggling about a woman that they apparently both had sex with, and how scary she was. Red is super happy to see Sam, so obviously this is a friendly reunion. They chat about Lizzie, and it comes out that Sam adopted Lizzie. So, you know. Red could possibly still be her biological father, but I’ve already said what I think about that so I won’t get into it again.
37. Sam talks about the cancer and how they’ve given him six months. He says he wished it were six hours. I say, be careful what you wish for, buddy. He wants to tell Lizzie a secret, and Red steels himself and replies that he can’t let Sam do that. They argue, but you can tell neither of their hearts are in it.
38. Sam calls Lizzie, and uses double speak to tell her he’s sorry for lying to her. Lizzie is upset and says she’s going to see him soon and he’ll be fine. You know, having recently lost someone I love, these scenes are especially difficult. Poor Sam. Poor Lizzie.
39. Lizzie approaches Cooper and says she needs to fly to Nebraska because of a family emergency. Cooper says she can’t, and she misinterprets this as him telling her she can’t leave the case. But no – all US flights are grounded because General Ludd has released a video saying they’re going to bomb planes from the sky.
40. Sam has hung up with Lizzie, and Red tells him that he – Sam – will always be Lizzie’s father, and promises to care for her and love her as much as Sam did. He kisses his forehead, and then suffocates him with a pillow.
41. Holy. CATS. What’s Lizzie going to do when she finds out what Red did to her daddy? Red has the grace to look really sad when it’s over, and you do feel that he loved Sam a lot. But still. You just murdered your apparent best friend and Lizzie’s beloved daddy.
42. The PO finds out about a storage facility that Rothley was using, and heads off. Red calls Lizzie from a pay phone outside the hospital, offering to help her with anything. She’s dismissive, because she’s in a hurry and doesn’t know that he killed her daddy. He does offer her some advice – not all planes are grounded, as he can still fly.
43. Tom arrives at the hospital, and finds out that Sam has died. He looks genuinely upset about this.
44. Red and Tom end up sitting down together at a café table outside. Tom does look a tiny bit apprehensive when he sees Red. Red, pretending to idly chat, says he came to see a friend who died. Tom offers that his father-in-law also died, and that he doesn’t know how he’s going to tell Lizzie, since Lizzie and her dad were super close and her dad adopted her when she was a little girl and it’s always been the two of them. Red offers some very specific platitudes, and they are clearly threats about what will happen to Tom if anything bad happens to Lizzie.
45. The acting in this scene is excellent. The dude who plays Tom really conveys a lot with just his facial tics. Personally, it was this scene, back when I was originally watching it, that convinced me that Tom was really evil.
46. Anyway. The PO discovers that Rothley is going to be a truck driver for an Armored car service that ships US currency. I should remember the name of fake persona, but seriously there have been a lot of names this episode and I’m running out of portmanteaus. They search for the guy and decide he was going to steal all the money, and that was General Ludd’s plan all along.
47. Wall Street. Rothley and his driver friend who is obviously cannon fodder are driving. The PO is in pursuit. Rothley is futzing with the safe in the car and then lets the back door open, where tons of wrapped up money rains out and explodes. The crowd cheers and steals the money, and the PO engages in a shootout that’s ultimately futile. A bunch of General Luddites put on Anonymous-like masks and walk away. I guess the masks make them invisible since no one tries to arrest or pursue them.
48. The PO is at a loss. They know Rothley was going to steal the new $100 press plate but that he failed, and they don’t know where he is. Lizzie calls Red and tells him what’s happened, and he changes course.
49. Rothley is waiting at a small airfield. Red shows up with Dembe, and they chat about how crappy the airfield is. Then Red robs him, because he knows that Rothley has the real plate and replaced the one in the safe with a fake one. He then mocks the idea of General Ludd, as he thinks Rothley’s a hypocrite. Me too! Dembe calls in the plane’s tail number to Lizzie.
50. I’m confused by what happens next. I think the PO gets there really quickly? Ressler arrests Rothley. Rothley is bitchy about it and mocks Ressler’s probable salary, because to Rothley I guess money is more important than maybe doing a good job and making a difference. Ressler tightens the handcuffs, then tells Lizzie to go see her dad, as he’s got this.
51. Unfortunately, Lizzie then gets the call that her dad has died, and she’s devastated. Ressler looks really sad for her. Aw.
52. Funeral. Lizzie and Tom sit at the gravesite with a ton of people we will never see again. The episode ends.
53. Sorry I don’t have a better ending to this review. Sam’s death really bummed me out. I guess I can maybe try to lighten the mood by saying that the next episode is absolutely hilarious.


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