Reconvo: The Blacklist S2 Ep. 7 The Scimitar

by

Veruca Salt and L.T. Milroy

Our story takes some unexpected turns this week. Some surprising reveals, interesting twists, and some nice visuals to go along with it all. There are also some plot holes to drive a semi through, but that’s pretty much expected at this point. Ignore that, and it’s a fun ride.

All this and Lizzie in her undies! Who could ask for anything more??

LT: In the opening scene, Samar sits in a hotel bar in Dubai. She flirts with a guy and calls herself Ava.

V: Check out the bedroom eyes. Girlfriend knows how to seduce a dude!

01 bedroom eyes

LT: Later in the hallway, as they head to her room, they make out.

02 makeout sesh

Then we’re outside on the street, where a body falls from the hotel onto a car. It’s lover boy. Hey, don’t mess with Samar. No means no, buddy!

03 no means no

We’re back in that skanky warehouse room where Liz has Tom locked up.

05 tom in chains

She asks him about Berlin. He says he can help, but she has to let him go. She ignores that and asks for the name of an arms dealer. He evades by wishing her a happy anniversary then tells her he’s going to freeze to death. Since she’s getting no answers, she turns to go. That’s when he tells her Sevan Valkov runs arms for Berlin. Liz throws him a coat and leaves.

V: Tom is looking good for a man chained up in a warehouse, is all I’m saying. His hair is long but not greasy, and he’s not trying to be good schoolteacher Tom, so he’s got that bad boy edge to him. Liz is so going to fall back in love with him, while Ressler wrestles with his drug addiction.

LT: His beard is also very nicely trimmed for someone who likely hasn’t seen a barber in quite some time.

Liz and Samar are on their way to a meeting with Red. He’s asked for Samar to come along for one of his little powwows with Liz, but she doesn’t know why. She’s careful to tell Liz she doesn’t want to step on her toes, but Liz says her toes are fine.

V: This is, of course, in direct contradiction to what she told Samar when she thought they were both about to die.

LT: They enter a used record store where Red’s going through the inventory.

06 used record store

More vinyl from this show. He proceeds to tell them the story of hotel-jumper guy from the opening scene, which was ruled a suicide. Only it wasn’t, of course. Hotel guy was an Iranian nuclear scientist, and he was assassinated by the CIA and Mossad to undermine Iran’s nuclear program.

Then Red reveals he knows Samar is the killer. She says she can’t comment, but Red says there will be retaliation, most likely in the form of an American scientist being targeted. Red says the man who will carry out the mission is called the Scimitar.

04 the scimitar

V: It’s serious. The man is one-part hitman, two parts conman. He knows how to bide his time, get close to his target, then kill them.

LT: Cooper meets with the assistant secretary of the NCB, who has never heard of Scimitar, and thus insists he can’t be much of a threat. Smug little jerk.

07 NCB guy

Cooper says the intel comes from a confidential informant, and he trusts it. The nation’s top three nuclear scientists are part of a classified operation called Cloud Top, and Coop says they need to be protected. Right now they have other identities in public and are hiding in plain sight. Two of them can be put in lockdown, but the third one will be a problem. Amelia Collins is a senior engineer on the warheads design team and also a professor at Duke University.

08 amelia

In her capacity as professor, she’s giving a symposium that night at the Granville Hotel, and they don’t want to pull her, because they think she’ll wind up in more danger.

V: Oh, look. There’s Ressler, still on the team.

09 ressler on the job

LT: Goody. We’re back to Ressler and his endless pill problem. He tells Liz he hasn’t used in a week and that he can quit on his own. Yeah, that sounds like a good plan. When a cocky guy like Ressler makes a statement like that, you know he’s going to be a basket case in no time.

V: When you’re scooping the remnants of your pills and sucking on your finger, then slamming those same fingers in a car door to get more pills, you’ve officially reached basket case status. I love how he wants to know if Liz is going to tell Cooper. Listen, jerk, it’s her job to tell Cooper. That she hasn’t yet just proves what a gullible nitwit she continues to be. His declaration that if he can’t quit, he’ll tell Cooper himself, is laughable.

Looks like we’ve found The Scimitar’s base of operation. He has a line on Jonathan Reese, an agent for the Defense Security Service. We don’t see The Scimitar’s face, but like any good bad-guy, he’s got a distinctive tattoo of his moniker. Just to make things easy on everyone.

12 tattoo

LT: Liz talks with Tom’s guard, who says the boat or Tom will need to be moved soon.

13 boat

So it’s not a warehouse, Tom has been in the bowels of a ship all this time. He must be nice and mildewy by now. Liz goes to see him to bring him warm clothes. She won’t unchain him, but she won’t let him freeze, either. Such a softie.

V: I’m telling you, in a few days, she’ll be having sex with mildew-ridden Tom on the nasty floor of that boat.

He says he’s told her the truth and wonders if she’ll keep her end of the bargain. She says as long as he keeps helping her with Berlin, it will all be over. And then what, exactly? What does she think will happen?

LT: Liz meets with Valkov.

14 threats

She tells him she knows he supplies Berlin with arms. She asks where to find him, and he says he can’t help her, but she expected that. She says he either needs to help her, or she’ll see to it that he goes on the FBI’s Most Wanted list and attracts all kinds of unwanted attention. “Lead me to Berlin, or I’ll lead Berlin to you.”

V: Ooh. Liz is so menacing. She’s badass! This is who Liz has decided to play hardball with? Okay, whatever.

LT: Liz tells Red a CI led her to Valkov, but he doesn’t believe her.

15 don't believe you

He says she got the info on her own and is hiding it from the FBI, because she wants Berlin dead. She says she has perfectly good reasons for wanting him dead, like the death of Meera, him trying to kill Cooper, and putting Tom in her life. That leads Red to tell her that if she hadn’t told him she killed Tom, he’d think she got the info from him. Liz answers untruthfully “But I did kill him.”

Lying right to Red’s face. Good idea, Liz. He brushes that off for now and tells Liz to set up a time and place with Berlin.

V: Why is she even trying to fool Red? She’s attempting to play Betty Badass, but she just winds up looking ridiculous most of the time. Let Samar show you how to do it, honey. She’s the real freaking deal.

During a routine sweep, the DOD in Annapolis found that camera The Scimitar planted there. Good. For a moment, I thought maybe they were going to make a government agency look incompetent.

LT: Aram traces the signal to a live feed from a construction site.

V: So while Samar is off doing Mossad stuff, Ressler is finding ways to get pills, and Liz has got Tom locked up on a boat and is making secret meetings, Aram is locked away in the basement doing his actual job. Poor guy must be lonely.

LT: It’s the grunts who do all the real work. The pretty people just run around looking pretty. Except for Samar, who kicks butt for Mossad in her spare time. She’s both functional and pretty. I just hope they don’t kill her off, like Meera.

They raid a trailer on the site and among evidence the Scimitar was there, they find the photo of Jonathan Reese. Turns out he’s a scientist they believe to be tied to Cloud Top and who it appears is in danger. Liz and Ressler find a log of Reese’s movements.

V: Look! The bad guys not only left all of the evidence in their trailer, including an entire file on Jonathan Reese, but they’ve drawn the FBI a little map.

17 helpful map

I love it when the bad guys leave huge bread crumbs. I can see why this Scimitar guy is so formidable. He’s stealthy!

Anyway, the map tells the FBI that they’re going to nab Reese at the Park-N-Ride.

LT: They arrive and announce themselves as shots are fired.

V: My favorite TV trope is when the authorities come screeching up, lights on, sirens blazing, and the person calmly says, “What’s this about?” Seriously, dude, you need to go work for the Blacklist FBI. Your reflexes are just as good.

LT: A motorcycle follows and fires at them.

18 motorcycle

They shoot out the back window and throw something in there that possibly debilitates them or affects their eyes in some way.  Then they shoot out the front window. Ressler loses control of the car, and they overturn.

19 accident

V: You’re telling me those humongous and quite expensive FBI-mobiles don’t have bullet-proof glass? Seriously?

LT: Liz is semi-conscious after the accident and hears voices before blacking out.

Then she wakes in the hospital, and a doctor tells her she’s at Bethesda.

21 concerned doctor

Her arm is fractured and in a cast. Ressler is in the bed across from her, sedated and sleeping.

20 humongous hospital room

V: Oh, good. Ressler doesn’t have to go slamming his hand in car doors to get his drugs. Now they’re just pumping them into him intravenously. Head trauma is way better than hand injury to get the good stuff.

LT: Liz is told Ressler is going to be brought down to get an MRI. She asks about Reese, but the doctor says only she and Ressler were brought in. Liz calls Cooper and tells him the Iranians have Reese. She says with how dangerous things have gotten, Prof. Collins needs to cancel her speech. In the first sign that things may not be what they seem, Liz notices a brown, greasy substance on the phone the doctor gave her. It’s also on her fingertips.

22 smudge

V: My first sign was the humongous hospital room and how Liz woke up in serious pain. She should be on the good stuff, as well.

LT: Conveniently, only drug boy was given drugs. Cooper is informed there’s no DoD employee named Reese. Aram then says he called Bethesda, and there’s no record of Liz or Ressler being admitted.

V: Okay, I guess Scimitar dude is better at this than I thought. Because it doesn’t take much to fool these guys. Maybe Ressler and Liz should have been a little suspicious about the overabundance of evidence and the helpful map.

LT: Liz’s keen FBI instincts are kicking in as she chats with an overly friendly nurse. Washington’s bestest agent is pretty sure something’s up. She asks when Ressler is going for his operation, and the nurse says she’ll check. When she’s out of the room, Liz bolts out of bed.

V: Seriously with the panty-butt shot filling my screen? Wow. No hospital gown should have been Liz’s first clue something was wrong. Hospitals don’t usually let the patients walk around in tight shirts and cute little panties. Oh, I mean matching panties. To her shirt.

LT: She looks at Ressler’s chart and sees most of the pages are blank then pretends to be checking Ressler as nursie returns. Liz says she’s in pain, so notNurseJackie puts an arm around her and helps her back to her bed. Liz lifts the scissors out of nursie’s back pocket.

23 grab the scissors

As soon as she’s alone, Liz wiggles her fingers then starts to cut off her cast.

 27 removing the cast

V: Wow. Liz is awesome.

LT: Red is back at the American Bistro truck. It’s the end of the day, and the truck is closed. They share some anchovies and wine and talk.

24 some food at the truck

V: No, Red. Anchovies are not given a bad name. They have a bad name for a reason. Yuck.

LT: She asks if Red has any children, and he says he has a daughter. She says she has a father she hasn’t seen in a long time who did unforgivable things to her. As she talks, she starts feeling faint. Then she has the dawning realization he’s drugged her right before she passes out.

25 small comfort

He promises he won’t hurt her as Dembe pulls up, and she’s put in the car.

V: I’ve gotta say, I did not see that coming. The show did a good job of showing them together a number of times where nothing happened and made me think Red was just getting chummy with her either because she was his daughter or to get information. I thought her opening up about her dad was what he wanted, but I guess with Red, I should know better.

LT: Yeah, that was kind of creepy and unexpected.

Aram says the FBI was totally duped by the Scimitar into believing the made-up Reese. Really? The FBI as portrayed on this show is usually so sharp. How odd for these crack agents to get caught with their professional pants down.

V: I know, right? INCONCEIVABLE! And in Liz’s case, literal pants down.

LT: Hey, I’m not going to complain too much about that! So hospital time is sexy-time for Liz, Just accept it. It looks like the whole Reese thing was all a scam to expose who the other agents were.  The Scimitar and his bad guys were listening in on Liz’s phone call from the hospital about canceling Amelia Collins’s speech, so now they know she’s part of the Cloud. Also, the understanding doctor is The Scimitar. He wipes off the makeup that covered the hand tattoo.

V: No speaking in code for these crack agents. Just talk on a public line about someone who’s supposed to be top secret and give her real name. Once again, ladies and gentlemen, Liz proves her total awesomeness.

LT: Liz gets done removing her cast, finds some weird pins in her arms, and removes them, too.

 28 weird pins

V: Looks like they were to make her think her arm was disabled and cause her lots of pain. Though her slow removal of them gave me the heebie-jeebies.

LT: Yeah, I could have done without that. The nurse returns to give her an injection.

29 just a sedative

Liz grabs and disables her.

V: So, this is new. Liz grabbing and disabling someone else. And Scmitar has all of these people at his disposal, but the person he chooses to guard the two FBI agents can be overtaken by Liz.

Anyway, Liz promises to inject her with it, unless nursie tells her what it is. It’s just a sedative, which is what Ressler has going into his arm. When stupid nursie screams for the doctor (why is she still pretending he’s a doctor, when the gig is clearly up?), Liz hits her with the sedative anyway. Why they chose to only IV Ressler with the sedative and not Liz, remains a mystery.

LT: Then she gets out of bed and rushes over to awaken Ressler. She tells him they need to leave.

V: Did Samar really waste everyone’s time by going to Bethesda to make sure Liz and Ressler weren’t there?

LT: When Samar calls Aram to give him the news, he tells her he’s has been trying to trace the origin of Liz’s hospital call but is coming up empty. Then she straight-up hangs up on him. Wow, she gave him that erectile dysfunction dig last week, and now this. I hope he enjoyed that little bonding moment they had when she was recovering from the plague a few weeks ago, because I have a feeling that’s the extent of the attention he’s going to be getting from badass Mossad woman.

Upon hearing the problems they’re having finding Liz and Ressler, she calls Dembe. When the chips are down and the feds are chasing their tails, Samar knows where to go. And it certainly ain’t to Coop.

Liz is helping Ressler get dressed, when they hear footsteps. A guy dressed as hospital security comes in and draws on Ressler, but Liz smacks him and takes his gun.

V: The least they could have done after making me watch fifteen minutes of Liz in her underwear is given me some half-nekkid Ressler. Alas, by the time we see him, he’s already got his pants on, and we only see him from the back. BOO, show! BOO!

LT: Samar tells Red about Ali Hassan, who’s the key to unraveling the Iranian nuclear program. Mossad is looking for him, and Red says they won’t be happy with her, going off on her own to track him like this. She says she doesn’t care, as her partners are more important. Wow, pissing off the Mossad to save Liz and Res. She’s one hell of a team player.

V: Seriously. I mean, Liz is going rogue for her own selfish purposes, so this is new. Someone doing something for the team.

LT: Then Red gives her some information. The Scimitar is one of the aliases of someone Samar recognizes as the man responsible for ordering the bombing that killed her brother. That’s why Red requested she be on this case.

V: Because Red is the boss of everyone.

LT: Liz helps Ressler through the halls of the hospital.

30 helping ressler

As they come to the end of a hallway, they turn a corner, and…they’re in a warehouse. The whole hospital set-up is fake.

32 it's a warehouse

Okay, that was pretty cool. Nice job, show.

V: Agreed!

LT: At a palatial estate, some fat, hairy, presumably rich guy is getting a massage. It’s Hassan.

V: No half-nekkid Ressler, but I get this guy and his back hair in a towel? How is that fair?

31 ugly hairy dude

LT: He hears glass breaking and goes outside. Red is on his lawn, hitting golf balls into his windows.

33 golfing

Red can be such a scamp sometimes! If he’s not torturing or killing you, he’s golfing on your lawn and busting up your windows. Samar takes Hassan’s gun.

34 samar to the rescue

They want to know where Scimitar is.

V: After Samar honestly tells Hassan she has nothing to lose, and Red tells him what they have planned will make getting his fingers bent in an Israeli jail seem like summer camp, he gives up the location of the warehouse.

Liz and Ressler at first stumble through the warehouse, but I guess now the formerly sedated Ressler is totally awake. So, one second she’s holding him, and the next he’s totally fine.

LT: Samar shows up at the warehouse and helps Liz and Ressler get away. Then she calls Red and lets him know she has them.

V: Of course, after he let Liz disable one of the bad guys, Ressler helps HER out.

LT: Her speech canceled, Collins is supposedly in protective custody at the Granville Hotel. She may be a brilliant scientist, but it seems she’s also an idiot.

There’s a knock on the door. Someone outside says it’s FBI and to open up, which she immediately does. Without asking any questions or looking through the peep hole to see if those two agents who were stationed right outside are still there. Of course, the awesome FBI screwed up again, as those agents are now lying on the floor in the hallway. Collins is kidnapped.

36 kidnapped

V: I could not believe that. Of course, Scimitar has to do the bad-guy trope of revealing his dastardly plan about how before she pays the ultimate price for the crimes committed by her government, she’s going to help build the weapon that will bring the country to its knees, blah blah blah.

So, it looks like the bad guys took the express elevator, while Cooper and the other agents took a leisurely stroll to the hotel room.

37 leisurely stroll

Cooper, being with the FBI and all, notices the two agents are missing. Nothing gets by this guy!

LT: The FBI swarms outside the hotel. As they tell everyone to head inside to the lobby, Liz sees a guy headed in the other direction with a baggage cart. He has a tattoo on his hand.

V: Liz somehow makes the leap that the substance she found on the phone and her fingers was the makeup used to cover up the tattoo. How she makes this leap is never explained, since the guy hasn’t even turned around yet.

LT: It’s the Scimitar. She tells him to stop. He turns around and tells her she’s made a spectacular recovery as a car pulls up, spraying gunfire. He escapes in the car but leaves behind the piece of luggage on the cart, inside of which is Collins.

38 suitcase

V: I hope she didn’t have claustrophobia. Yikes!

LT: That’s the price she pays for being a twit. Back at Hassan’s mansion, Red waits as a harried Scimitar arrives.

39 waiting

V: “I love it when the people I’m chasing, come to me.”

LT: Dembe puts a gun on him. When Samar gets there later, Red has the Scimitar all tied up.

39.1 gift

Samar says she’ll call it in, but Red stops her. He’s a gift for Samar, and she can do with him what she likes. Dembe whispers to Red that Berlin has been located, and he gets up to take his leave. Then he turns to Samar and says, “Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do!” When vetting a captive, here’s a list of things Red wouldn’t do:    .

Am I the only one who was waiting for Samar to say, “You dirty rat! You dirty rat! You killed my brother!” But Scimitar is going to say his piece and tells Samar her brother may not have been the innocent victim she thinks he was.

V: Then, even though he just brought up how she tossed the other guy out the window, somehow he doesn’t think she’s capable of cold-blooded murder, unless it’s government-sanctioned, so he’s not scared and will calmly wait as she calls the cops. He clearly does not know Samar at all.

39.2 that's what he thinks

LT: We get a touching moment as Liz is concerned about Ressler and tells him she was afraid she might lose him. He says it’s ironic that even with all the crap that went down, he feels great, because of all the drugs they gave him in the fake hospital. Liz asks if drugs are going to be a problem going forward, and before he can answer, Cooper shows up and tells them Scimitar’s body has been fished out of the river.

V: Apparently Samar decided not to get one of those pesky government agencies involved.

LT: We get a little montage of Liz and Samar with Scimitar’s body where he was found by the Anacostia river. He has a bullet hole in his head. Liz asks Samar who could have possibly done it, with a look on her face that says maybe she knows.

V: That Liz. She’s sharp as a tack.

But I don’t get it. Samar is Mossad. You’re telling me she couldn’t just make his ass disappear like he never existed?

LT: Ressler is at home, spilling his pills down the sink. Yawn.

V: Yeah, he’s real brave while he’s got a load of drugs pumping through his system. Let’s see how he does when he’s jonesing. I predict more broken fingers. Of course, Ressler’s a fast healer. He had absolutely not one problem with his hands this week.

LT: Liz stops by to see Tom.

V: He looks comfy.

 40 sleepy tom

LT: Liz tells him she found Volkov. Tom tells her Volkov will lead to Berlin, then Red will kill Berlin, then Liz won’t have any use for him any more. He wonders what she’ll do then. Turn him in and risk losing her job and going to jail? Or she could just kill him. If she does that, he warns, “We’ll be linked forever.” She says she hasn’t decided yet.

V: Oh, geez, even in chains locked up on a ship, Tom still has all of the power over Liz. You can tell his linked-forever speech is totally working on her. He says she always does what she wants, which is almost true. She usually does what Red wants. Then he tells her he knew when she threw him down there she had no intention of letting him live and just asks she look him in the eyes when she does whatever it is she’s going to do.

If Liz winds up killing Tom, I will give away all of the money I have to the first person I see when I walk out my door.

LT: Red arrives to the meeting Berlin was supposed to have with Volkov and tells him Volkov sold him out to Liz. He says, “It was surprising. She came to me instead of the bureau, in the hope that I would kill you. I have other plans.”

43 gangsters

He says the whole mess between him and Berlin is a big misunderstanding. Considering the body count, that would seem to be an understatement. All the animosity is built upon Berlin’s belief that Red killed his daughter, but Red says, once and for all, he swears it’s something he didn’t do. Berlin doesn’t believe him.

He knows Red has been spending a lot of time with his own daughter, and maybe Berlin should rub her out, so they’d be even. At that moment, from out of Red’s car emerges Zoe. Red asks him if this is the daughter he’s referring to. “Because she’s not my daughter, she’s yours.”

V: Berlin’s daughter looks thrilled to see daddy.

44 not my daughter

LT: Can’t wait to hear about their whole family situation. Yikes.

That’s it, folks! Next week is the fall finale, after which they’ll take a long enough break for us to have forgotten everything that took place before the finale. Perhaps the “previouslies” on the first show back will be fifteen minutes long.

Predictions about the finale? Will there be Tom/Liz sexytimes? Will Red just hand over Berlin’s daughter to him? Will they become lifelong buddies now that he knows Red didn’t do anything to his daughter? And what will Red do once he finds out who made Berlin think such a thing?

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