Recap 'The Blacklist' Season 2 So Far Because When The Post Super Bowl Episode Hits, It'll Be A Doozy
It feels like years that I've been waiting to between The Blacklist's Season 2 midseason finale and its reemergence after the Super Bowl to find out what's going on between Raymond Reddington and Elizabeth Keen, exactly what Tom Keen is up to, and how exactly Agent Fitch plays into Red's history. It probably feels like that because I have been waiting years — those are questions that first presented themselves when The Blacklist premiered in 2013 and have taunted me ever since. And while The Blacklist Season 2 has given us hints to those mysterious ties and relationships, there were even more new questions that emerged from the first half of Season 2 to keep us coming back to the Post Office for more week after week.
The Blacklist Season 2 mid-season premiere has grabbed the coveted post-Super Bowl slot, and as a serialized mystery drama, that's a tough spot to be in. Red and Lizzie will have a lot (like, millions) of new eyeballs on them while working with a back story that can occasionally confuse even the most dedicated of viewers. This mid-season premiere has the unique challenge of engaging longtime viewers and introducing new potential viewers to the saga that is Raymond Reddington's complicated life... or lives... maybe. For those of you that watched last season and need a refresher before Sunday's return brings up 100 more questions, let's try recapping all the mysteries solved in Season 2 so far, and the doors that have been left wide open going into the Super Bowl episode...
Leading into Season 2, Berlin was the biggest question mark on Red's Blacklist. Berlin was after Red because he thought Red murdered his daughter, and Red was after Berlin because he needed to know who their common enemy was that would have pitted Berlin against him. As it turns out, that enemy was Alan Fitch, the Assistant Director of National Intelligence with whom Red shares many criminal secrets. When Berlin found out that Fitch had framed Red for his daughter's murder, he captured Fitch and had a bomb strapped to him, only to then find out via Red that his daughter was apparently kept alive by Fitch and his secret baddie "syndicate." None of it mattered though... once Fitch blew up and the hands of Berlin, Red had to take Berlin down in turn. At least he gave him a few vodka shots to numb out all the murder.
A storyline that fizzled a bit, but raised oh so many tasty questions about Red's personal history, was the reveal of his former wife, Naomi Hyland, upon her abduction by Berlin. Red trades the Monarch Bank accounts he'd used Lizzie to help him steal to get Naomi back, short one finger. While in Red's care, there is much discussion of "Jennifer," who is carefully only ever referred to as Naomi's daughter, though it's clear that Red was at least some sort of fatherly presence in her life at one point. But Naomi refuses to reveal where Jennifer is, so that is sure to come back up.
Ah, yes, the allusive Mr. Keen: third grade teacher, loyal Warby Parker customer, and secret spy. Also, maybe immortal. After it was revealed that Tom was working with Berlin to spy on Lizzie (his, uh, wife), she eventually got him at the end of her gun and shot him three times in the Season 1 finale, but a quick shot of the empty floor where his bloody body was eventually leads to... Liz holding him hostage behind a highly promoted door for the entire first half of Season 2. He proves a valuable resource in eventually tracking down Berlin, and Liz's inability to kill him leads to her and Ressler making a deal for him to scram forever in exchange for the Berlin intel. But that guy is like a very handsome cockroach: He'll be back... oh, he'll be back.
Tom & Liz, and Red & Tom, and Liz & Red
Probably the most confounding thing about Tom though is his love of whispering cryptic things in finales. In Season 1, he told Lizzie that her biological father was still alive, though we haven't gotten much more intel on that, and in the mid-season premiere, as he's leaving Red, supposedly for good, Tom reminds him that he's never said a word to Lizzie about his "arrangement" with Red. Damn you and your mysterious eyes, Tom Keen!
But For Real, Red & Lizzie
So, obviously there are still 1,000 things we don't know about the relationship between Lizzie and Red. In fact, we don't know most things about them, and there wasn't much revealed in that regard in the first half of Season 2. Revelations about the threads that connect Liz and Red were more mental in Season 2 than factual. We saw Liz throw away the rule book time after time in a way that she never would have in Season 1. It's easy to see her turn toward a darker side of Liz as a slow transformation into being more like Red... whoever he may be to her.
Of course, the biggest hanging question going into the latter half of Season 2 is everything that Fitch revealed shortly before he met his blood 'n gutsy demise. The information revealed by Fitch is so confusing and Blackilst-coated, I frankly have to do a lot of quoting to even begin to explain it. (For the record, I don't understand what any of it means beyond theorizing.)
First, Fitch asks Red, "Do you have it, Ray? Do you have the Fulcrum?" Red doesn't confirm or deny, but Fitch goes on to get real apocalyptic anyway, telling Red that his coming death will "trigger a series of events ... the moderates are already outnumbered. The closer we get to 2017, the more radicalized they’ll become. Talk to Mitchell and Hobbs—they might be persuaded. Jasper sides with the Chinese.” He gives Red the combination to a safe in St. Petersburg, and that's that. That's the kind of cracked out mystery we're going into Season 2's return with, so best of luck to you all, and fingers crossed that all of our wildest questions are answered in the two-part mid-season premiere.
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