THE BLACKLIST Returns With a Shotgun Wedding
By Kai Greenwell
Let’s Recap: This week on The Blacklist’s return episode the Cabal attempts to tie up loose ends by staging Solomon’s death as an escape attempt. However a mystery sniper kills his would-be executioners and takes him from the scene.
Meanwhile, Tom and Liz hurriedly plan their wedding, trying to have the ceremony before Liz has the baby. Red once again protests the wedding, having gained intel that Solomon has plans to steal a nuclear device with unknown intentions.
The team track Solomon to a hotel and move in, capturing one of his team while he escapes. The captured henchman secures immunity in exchange for revealing Solomon’s plan — namely to attack a convoy that is secretly moving a nuclear warhead.
Also, we knew it was only a matter of time before The Major finally caught up with Tom, and “Mr Solomon” proves to be Tom’s episode as he finds himself confronted by both The Major and his old partner, Gina. The Major airs his disappointment in Tom, going on to inform him that is here to execute him. Before he can though, Gina kills instead The Major and leaves Tom to deal with the body.
Back at the FBI, Ressler leads a strike force to stop the attack while the remainder of the team go to attend Liz’s wedding. However when Ressler realizes there is no attack (with Red coming to the same conclusion separately) he concludes the real target must be Liz.
Red and his team arrive just in time to warn the wedding party to get ready before Solomon calls to demand they turn Liz over. Liz wants to leave but Tom and Red won’t allow it and a gunfight ensues. As they fight their way out of the building, Ressler arrives to lend support, allowing Tom and Liz to escape in their “getaway vehicle.”
It’s always a good thing when Solomon gets screen time, his Bizarro-Red demeanor allows us to enjoy that swagger and sardonic fearlessness with fresh eyes — not that Red’s charisma is getting tiring at all. So similar are their mindsets that Red was able to counteract Solomon’s plan to flush them out of hiding and into an ambush during their shootout. With Solomon’s services now either available to the highest bidder, or on retainer with his new employer, we are surely in for more clashing quips or schemes, possibly even a forced team up akin to The Following’s season two finale.
Tom finally came face to face with The Major again, something he’d been avoiding for a long time. In a show full of stubborn characters, it was nice to see Tom let his stubbornness subside to honesty and vulnerability in what he thought were his final moments. So nice to see in fact, that it saved his life, as Gina killed The Major and presumably leaves her and Tom’s deal to stay out of each other’s lives intact.
Gina leaves the body for Tom to deal with though, as not killing him was probably a big enough favor for the day in her eyes. Tom dealt with the body surprisingly well given he had to get it downstairs, into a car, and buried in broad daylight.
The episode also gave time for members of the team to have their say about Tom with Ressler outright saying he can’t forgive him for putting his hands on her. Aram and Tom awkwardly exchange that Aram only knows him from his description/mug shot and Harold, more benevolently telling Liz that if she thinks it the right thing to do, then it’s the right thing to do. It’s example of the show laying it on a bit thick — everyone dealing with their Tom-baggage at once — but it actually makes sense with the wedding as a backdrop and isn’t forced like some previous themes of children of forgiveness.
Regardless of the strange circumstances leading up to their wedding, from the moment Red walked in to the building things picked up. Revolvers, pistols, shotguns and rifles all speaking over each other was exciting, and while once again pushing on cliché, there aren’t many backdrops as a good as a quaint church for a shootout. Red’s perimeter of men being quickly whittled down to the unkillable NKR (Not Kurt Russell) made for some tense teamwork that will hopefully bring Tom, the team, and Red closer together again. Never to forget how actions have consequences though, there were innocents harmed and Aram had to deal with a woman dying in his arms.