What Jenny's Reading

{January 20, 2015}   The Blacklist: Madeline Pratt

Happy Monday!  It’s been a week, I just realized! I was out of town for a family member’s wedding the whole weekend and just got back earlier today.  Anyway, here’s the next episode of The Blacklist!

1. Can we all agree that “Madeleine” is a way more awesome spelling for this name? They should’ve gone with that.
2. So our titular anti-heroine is in a Turkish bank, talking about her dead husband, Raymond Reddington. Is this a flashback from years ago when he first went off the grid? Nope! It’s happening in the here and now, and this lady is lying so much, I can’t believe her pants haven’t caught fire yet.
3. She gets access to some safe deposit box and swipes some stuff, and saunters out like a boss. The alarm system blares out only after she’s departed, because I guess Turkish banks aren’t all that worried about security.
4. Now we’re with Red, who is apparently taking some time off from being a criminal mastermind and toying with Lizzie’s brain to kick back and wear his favorite Pinhead costume. Well, we all need hobbies.
5. Dembe interrupts his zen time with a note, which Maddy had left in the Turkish safe deposit box. Who sent that to them? Did the bank go all, Whoops, our bad, here’s your note in lieu of your ten million? How is this bank not littered with dead employees?
6. Probably because Red likes Maddy. They have history, you see. So he goes to meet her at some hotel bar and they discuss that she stole stuff from him because of Florence. I hope you like Florence, because we’re going to hear a TON of whining about it from Maddy this evening.
7. She proposes a caper. He accepts, because capers are awesome. Credits!
8. Morning at the Keens’. Tom is chatting with a friend of theirs while Lizzie gets coffee or whatever. He hangs up and says their friend and his wife are having a baby. Lizzie is awkward but happy for them, and suggests they do something nice, like get them a gift or have them over for dinner. Tom is super offended by these polite gestures of congratulations and friendship and storms out of the house.
9. I wonder if this friend was one of the ones who helped plan the horrific baby shower? If she was, then fuck her and maybe that’s why Tom’s pissed.
10. No, it’s the baby thing.
11. Anyway, now Red and Lizzie are talking, and he’s telling her about evil Madeline Pratt. Lizzie is floored, because I guess Maddy’s like a double agent and is totally sweet and philanthropic but then on her off hours she steals stuff, for kicks.
12. The caper is to steal some effigy from the Syrian Embassy. A random art historian guy is just hanging in the house Red is squatting in, like rando art historians are just part of the entourage.
13. The art historian tells them that the real treasure of the effigy is that it’s rumored to contain information about the Kungur 6, supposedly still-active Russian spies from the Cold War times.
14. Crazy that the Cold War technically didn’t end till 1991, huh? Like, I was a kid then.
15. Also, I looked up “Kungur 6” and I think it’s made up for this episode. Just if you were interested in that sort of thing.
16. So they take the case to the PO. Cooper’s totally not interested in stealing the effigy, because it’s on Syrian soil and they have no agreement with the Syrians, so any agent who walked into the embassy would be totally alone and without protection.
17. Red then drops a bomb: Lizzie’s a totally skilled cat burgler!
18. Ressler and Cooper talk to her about this. Ressler is really, really into it. I mean, distractingly so. Lizzie assures Cooper that she can do it and that she wants to try. He again reminds her that she has no protection, but agrees. Do you think she’s going to be caught?????
19. Dumb question. Would this be an episode if she just sauntered into the embassy and waltzed out, effigy in hand?
20. So Lizzie meets with Madeline and Red, and Red passes her off as an associate named Nicole who has a sordid story about Omaha and a guy named Frank. This is not a story that would imbue me with confidence in her thievery skills, honestly, but I am not Madeline Pratt.
21. Lizzie and Maddy snipe at each other (I get strong daughter-stepmom vibes here) and Madeline finally agrees to hire her. Then it’s down to business!
22. I love this part. They plan a mini-caper within the larger caper, and we get to see it happening as Madeline describes it. The whole gang gets involved, which is super fun.
23. Madeline tells Lizzie she needs to steal a keycard from some guy who works at the embassy, and that he takes a coffee break at like four in the afternoon, every day. So the plan is, Lizzie will steal the keycard in a brush-pass, get someone to copy it, and replace it before he goes back to the embassy with a second brush-pass.
24. So here’s how it ends up going: Lizzie bumps into the guy before he gets his coffee, and swipes his card. She delivers it to Aram, who is waiting in a totally inconspicuous van like right outside the embassy.
25. You guys, I doubt the van thing. I once had clients who needed a taxi to pick them up at the federal courthouse, and they got totally bitched out about it by the security guards. The guards said you never have vehicles sitting outside a federal building like that, because they will think it’s a bomb or something. So that’s a stretch to me.
26. While Lizzie’s in the van waiting on Aram, she gives him a SIM card from Madeline’s phone, which she says she stole when she swiped her phone earlier. Aram is all surprised that she can palm a phone, like where have you been all episode, buddy?
27. Meera’s by the coffee cart, and relays that embassy guy is headed back. Aram needs more time, so Ressler hops out of the van and runs into the guy, spilling his coffee everywhere and delaying him. Surprisingly, embassy guy isn’t upset, and says it’s fine. I would be super pissed if it were me.
28. But then I would’ve looked up at Ressler and not been mad at all, because hotness. So maybe that’s why embassy guy wasn’t pissed.
29. The tactic works, and embassy guy is lost in Ressler’s eyes just long enough that Lizzie’s able to replace his keycard. You know, embassy guy is even less observant than Cooper, which is surprising.
30. Ha!!!! This is probably my second favorite scene of the series so far. The first is that one from Gina Zanetakos.
31. We break up the fun stuff to catch up with Meera and Cooper, who discuss Diane Fowler’s disappearance. Cooper thinks she’s dead, and that Red killed her. There’s no proof, though, so he tells Meera to monitor Red’s actions. Meera’s all, hooray, I get to do things I don’t want to do for another guy with an agenda. When did my life become about this bullshit?
32. Does Cooper actually think Red’s going to give up the ghost somehow? Like he’s going to give away he killed her when he’s gotten away with it?
33. Lizzie gets ready for her caper. She puts on a gorgeous red dress. Tom apologizes for the whole “being a pissy babyman” earlier in the episode (do you even remember that? I didn’t) and helps her zip up. Then he invites her to Orlando to some teacher’s conference.
34. How does a random school in DC have the money to send their teachers to a conference in Orlando? I have friends who are teachers. Their schools don’t pay for this stuff.
35. Anyway, Tom wants her to come on a vacation with him, and Lizzie accepts, even though there’s no way she could possibly go, considering the caper and all. Why doesn’t Tom understand this? She has a job, and it’s not the kind of job you can take off on vacation on a minute’s notice.
36. Lizzie heads to Red’s place for reasons I’m not clear. Oh, I forgot – he’s squatting in some art lover’s place (not the art historian’s) and there’s a horrible painting that he hates there, of some ugly girl playing a piano.
37. They have a shouty conversation because Red’s in the other room. He tells Lizzie that Madeline’s going to the party, which is off plan, since she specifically hired Lizzie because she’s too high profile to go to the party. Also, she’s dating some hot guy who’s an ambassador. Lizzie thinks Red’s being insecure, but in reality he’s just worried because he thinks the ambassador is a Russian spy.
38. Red decides he’s going to the party too, and that’s why he was in the other room: he was changing into a tuxedo. Lizzie argues with him, but it’s futile.
39. They head to the party, and dance. It’s cute; he tells her not to lead. Then he helps her start the caper by spinning her into a waitress and smashing a bunch of wineglasses to create a diversion. Lizzie heads to the restricted area unnoticed.
40. In the meantime, Red cuts in on Maddy’s dance, and they dance together. I guess it’s sexy, but since all I see is Lizzie’s fake dad and his fake-ish girlfriend, and ugh. It’s like thinking about your parents being sexy with each other, is what I’m saying.
41. Sorry for those nightmares! But if I have to have them, so do you.
42. Maddy ruins any possible sexytimes by harping on Florence. See, they were supposed to meet in Florence last winter, or twenty years ago, or whenever I have no fucking idea. All I know is she won’t shut up about Florence. Seriously, she says it like twenty times. And every time, I hate Florence more.
43. Anyway. Lizzie heads down to the safe and cracks it, and an alarm goes off, and she’s caught. Also, the safe is empty.
44. The alarm sounds throughout the party. Red steals a guard’s gun and shoots it into the air, adding to the chaos. Maddy’s boyfriend takes her to some safe area. Red heads downstairs, looking for Lizzie. He catches a couple of guards in a choke hold, then continues on.
45. In the safe room, on the security screens, Maddy sees this and shouts out that Red is responsible. Then she turns around and swipes the effigy, which was in the safe room all along. Dun dun dun!!
46. In the meantime, Red finds Lizzie, being held captive. He puts on a dog and pony show for the guard, acting like he’s Lizzie’s gay bestie who’s totally sick of her shit, and then manages to knock the guard out.
47. So now they’re back at the PO. I’m a bit confused about the timeline. Lizzie’s wearing a suit of some sort, but Ressler’s still in the clothes he wore during the mini-caper. I guess maybe after the mini-caper they all went back to the PO to wait on Lizzie, and she changed when she got back? In the middle of the night?
48. Madeline calls someone and offers to sell the effigy to him. That’s about it for the scene.
49. Now Meera’s traced the call because of the cloned SIM card. They discover that the Kungur 6 aren’t spies but old Russian nukes. Lizzie and Ressler head…somewhere. To find out about the nukes, I think, but their destination isn’t clear. What’s important is that they’re in the elevator and Lizzie calls Tom to let him know she can’t go to Orlando. He’s pissy, because duh, and she hangs up all sad.
50. Ressler offers to beat him up, which ordinarily I would think is gross, but c’mon. Tom totally deserves it, and I’ve already talked about the whole “Ressler is hot when he does questionable things” thing I have.
51. Lizzie declines. Well, she doesn’t actually tell him no, just that she hates her job. I really don’t think she hates her job, though. She could quit and do something else. I think she just hates fighting with Tom about gender roles and his apparent expectations.
52. Red meets up with Maddy in the street. She insults him and his apparent lack of hair. I mean, he’s not bald. He just has a shaved head. Low blow, girl. It’s fitting that they are both immediately tasered and captured.
53. Now, a prison. Red and Maddy are in different cells. You know what I love? This show moves so fast, you don’t even think while you’re watching that Red would never have been captured like that.
54. Anyway. Maddy tries to find out about Florence, again (BARF!), and Red is as fed up with the Florence bullshit as I am, and tells her a very probably fake story about finding his dead family and hugging his dying bloody daughter.
55. Then, random Syrians drag him away and start torturing him. Maddy freaks, and promises to tell them where the effigy is if they stop hurting him. But whoops! It was all a setup, and Red gives the info about the effigy to Lizzie. Maddy’s pissed, and wants to know if the story he told her was true, but come on. You don’t bitch about Florence for ten thousand years without some sort of retaliation.
56. Cut to the PO and a strike force converging on the effigy. The Russians or whoever are headed to steal it, but they are ambushed by our guys. There’s a huge shoot out, and Ressler waits on top of a giant stone cropping to jump on the guy who stole the effigy.
57. He’s wearing the coat, you guys! And it looks awesome. When he jumps, it spreads out and we can see the dark red lining. I think Audrey bought this. It looks way too cool for Ressler to have bought for himself.
58. So he ambushes the dude and beats him within an inch of his life to get the effigy. Then he takes the cap off the effigy and pours out a bunch of sand.
59. Cooper is pissed at Red for the wild goose chase. Red’s all, oh, I’m sorry, I thought maybe you’d enjoy catching some Russian terrorists? Also, he’s got the locations of the nukes, and trades with Cooper for the effigy.
60. Lizzie’s hanging in her office, looking pensive and sad. Ressler comes in and notices, and Lizzie confides that she thinks Tom is going to leave her. Ressler, being a supportive friend, stays to talk her through it, even skipping his dinner with Audrey. I am assuming he called her to explain, and that since she’s more mature than Tom, she understood.
61. I guess I’m assuming the maturity thing. But seriously, my two-year-old niece is more mature than Tom these days.
62. Tom’s in Orlando, booking his hotel for this no doubt fascinating and awesome teachers’ conference. No offense, teachers! Are conferences really ever fascinating, though? Not the ones I’ve been to. He runs right into “Jolene” because “Jolene” planned it that way, and Tom is too stupid to figure it out.
63. Mean, yeah, I know. Well, he’s not giving me much to be nice about.
64. Red finds his ugly painting gone, with a note from Maddy that he can find it – and her – in Florence. He puts the effigy in the place of the painting, and looks happy. I mean, sure. Now he doesn’t have to look at that fucking ugly painting and also Maddy isn’t talking about Florence anymore. Win-win!
65. Now Cooper’s in his office, and interrupted by some agent named Walter. I really thought this guy’s name was Carl. Anyway, Not-Carl is all, Hey! Stop looking into the whole “Diane Fowler death” thing. I bet Meera will be happy when she finds out about that.


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