The Blacklist Review: Identified and Terminated

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How do they do it?

The Blacklist never fails to provide unexpected results. Whether it's the person on the Blacklist or the secrets that are slowly revealed, the writers continually find a unique twist that fits the theme and tone of the episode.

On The Blacklist Season 1 Episode 13, a seemingly normal case about abducted children being illegally adopted turned out to be much more perverse and shocking. It wasn't the children that were being abducted, but their mothers. Even more appalling, the mothers were impregnated and gave birth while sedated in a coma state. What?!?!

It was such a disturbing sight to see when Liz walked into the room full of comatose pregnant women. The women had their lives taken and were violated in such a terrible way. They are pregnant and have children out in the world that they know nothing about. The unraveling of that situation will be devastating for all involved. 

It was bad enough to see the adoptive parents putting their children through a DNA test. I can't even imagine the pain they will go through when they find out the truth. It's probably a good thing that not something we'll actually see on the show. 

Michael Shaw took his pain out over being "returned" as a child out on innocents and didn't even realize the paradox of what he's done. His children may have been "perfect," but he created a horrible situation for them. Of course he was deluded enough to believe he'd never get caught.

If a set of circumstances didn't collide, he may have gotten away with it. If the combination of Red bringing the case to the FBI didn't correspond with Kate Ellison escaping and being found, it's unlikely the FBI would have figured out the women were being used as comatose incubators. It was the drug in Kate's system that led them to the women.

Despite that wrinkle, it was one of the better cases Red has brought to Liz and the FBI. Of course, he had his own motivations. He wanted to stop Liz from adopting a baby with Tom. If there was one ongoing mystery that I'd like to see play out more quickly it's the secret about Tom.

It's frustrating. Does Red really know something about Tom? Or, is he just suspicious of the guy? Would any man be good enough for his Liz? Liz called off the adoption and was left alone at home crying. Tom took off to meet up with the substitute teacher, Jolene. We know she's up to no good and a plant, but it's unclear if she is working for Red or someone else. 

Red's manipulations in Liz's personal life is a bit annoying. Liz is smart enough that she should recognize what's going on. She needs to push Red and/or Tom for answers. That seems unlikely though. Instead, Tom probably will be seduced by Jolene and that will cause marital woes. I hope I'm wrong.

Meanwhile, Red used Malik to track down the leak that lead to his capture by Fitch and the death of his associate. It was Diane Fowler. She ordered Malik to disclose information under the guise of a security check. Red didn't hold back. He confronted Diane and shot her. And, then killed her. Not even information about his family was enough to save her.

The incredible Mr. Kaplan showed up to clean up the scene. Got to love her!

Overall, it was a great episode. The adoption scam and investigation both played out in a fresh and unique manner. The search for the mole didn't drag out too long and Diane's death should create a few new threads. The only downside was Liz's marriage woes with Tom.

What do you make of Liz and Tom's situation?


Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (79 Votes)

Carla Day is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


Maybe Lizzie was neighbors with Reds family and was there the night his family was abducted, murdered or whatever, happened. There was a fire, maybe that's how her hand got burned. Maybe Red is keeping her safe, so once she remembers what really happened that night, she'll be able to tell Red what really went down. Maybe :-), oh, and it would be so easy for Lizzie to find out if Red was her father, his DNA as well as hers is in the FBI database, duh!!!!!!!!!!!!!


this show is fantastic all the twists and turns and the roller coaster ride between Liz and Red is fantastic as is james spader .they bought in the right actor to make it intriguing and deliver the lines so well .Liz was thrown into a situation that sometimes she finds hard to handle because Red refused to talk to anyone .so she does make mistakes but thats how you learn


Agree with Nisan. I enjoy the show. Spaders character is no nonsense, as it should be. Lizzys character is written poorly. She cannot fight. She cannot shoot. Shes too slow figuring out what to do. Shes way too emotional. The character needs to be a little stronger. Lets get Lizzy up to the speed of Michelle Maxwell of King and Maxwell.

@ Johnny

Yeah, I forgot about her, she rocks.


Why, Olympics, why must you make us wait for the next Blacklist? On an unrelated note, after Red's conversation with Diane Fowler, I highly doubt Red is Lizzie's father.


When Lizzie found the box in the floor, she was very upset. She didn't confront her husband. Her husband found the box, how did he do that? Lizzie found it because she was trying to clean the bloody carpet, he found it because?????? Because it's his box. The woman operative involved was working with Tom. The FBI claims that Red put the box there and all roads led back to Red. Really, if Red did it, they would never have been able to trace it to him, for goodness sake. So, he was set up and Lizzie fell for it. Since I started watching this show, Red has killed quite a lot of people, so if he wanted to, he could kill Tom, like he killed Diane this episode. So far he has only threatened him, in person no less. Red knows something is up and Jolene is probably Tom's contact. Just cause they acted like they just met, doesn't mean this just met. btw, they found her in their bathroom, and nobody thought that was strange. can't stand Lizzie, she is a lousy agent and also used Red shamelessly and then take the credit. She's a poser :-).


Flawed story development. How come the DNA analysis of the adopted children did not reveal they had the very same father?

@ Zed

they were looking for a partial match, they did not compare the children's DNA to one another, if they had, they would've seen the kids were all half siblings. well, that's my take on it

@ Didine34790

But they already found they were siblings, in that some of them had the same mother. The question 'did they share a father too' is quite natural in this case.

@ Zed

Didine, replying to your next remark: you are stuck on the first step, i.e. what they did. Nothing against that, I am simply pointing out the obvious next step of a DNA analysis, once it was known some of them are at least half siblings. All they needed to do is to compare the DNA of the half siblings on the mother side (if two people are full siblings, statistically, approximately 50% of the genes which are examined should be identical). Then comparing the children of two different women they would have found that approximately 25% of their genes are identical, which would point out to a single overall father.
Because they did not follow through with these simple logical steps, it is a plot hole.

@ Zed

Again, they tested the kids dna agnst a database to look for partial matches. They know some kids have the same mother, because one by one they matched one kid with one mother. In the end, they might have as well said "oh this kid has the same mother as this one, same for this kid, must be half siblings then"
Not a plot hole

Sarah silva

I have always said that Red being Liz's dad was way to obvious.
I also still say Tom is just a teacher. He is getting to close to Jolene and we all know she is bad news as she has a file on Tom and Liz. So are Tom and Liz over? Sure seems like it. Liz is letting Red and even her boss control her relationship with Tom and their baby plans. Yes Liz may have some doubts about Tom but eventually she will find out Tom is innocent and it will be too late.
I was right and wrong about Malik, she was set up as the mole, so that was right but she really was not the mole.
Michael Shaw sure was a creep, when he said he fathered all those children, I felt bad for the kids and of course for those poor women and what was done to them.


New theory: Is Red Lizzie’s father is too easy. The answer is no but then the question becomes: Whose daughter is she? Tom is not a bad guy but Red wants him out of Lizzie’s life. Killing Tom would make him a saint in Lizzie’s eyes. Red wants to be the center of Lizzie’s world. He is planting in Lizzie’s mind that she can’t trust, depend or really love Tom. Red planted the box, is always telling Lizzie something is wrong with Tom and has sent the girl to interfere in Tom and Lizzie’s marriage. Even toldLizzie having a baby with Tom would not be good. It is not a good idea because of Lizzie’s job not because of Tom. Lizzie did not even have time to go on interview for baby. Tom and Lizzie are not ready for a baby. Red is slowly destroying Tom in Lizzie’s eyes and Lizzie is depending on Red more and more. Who had apple guy watching Lizzie? Maybe Lizzie's real father or mother? We learned last night that something happened to Red’s family but he doesn’t know what. So I think Red is after Lizzie because she is the daughter of his enemy and he is trying to use Lizzie as a way to find out what happened to his family. So once again: Whose daughter is Lizzie? Yes I love Mr. Kaplan. Malak is owned by Red now which is not a good thing.


I said all along Meera wasn't the mole and I was right...........Red was absolutely correct in saying that if Diane knew the truth about "that night" there are others that do as well--Fitch being one of them........I think there will be another show down with Red and Fitch. I love this show!!! I just hate that we have to wait until after the Olympics for more!

@ Terrie

yeah, my jaw dropped too about the olympics thing. Agree there has to be another 'Red and Fitch' encounter as well as Alan Alda, who probably knows everything.
I think the relationship between Red and Lizzie has to be a positive one. It would be hard to see this relationship going on for 3, 4 or 5 years if Lizzie is a pawn for Red to find something at the top of his blacklist. Also there was no mention of the list Lizzie gave Red last time.


Remember that Red traded a black-lister for time on the computer and Jolene was the face of the person he looked up. I'm not sure if he was finding her to hire her or if he's still trying to find her, but she's got secrets of her own.

@ Jim Garner

In my opinion, there is a reason why Lucy Brooks, (aka Jolene the substitute teacher) appeared in the previous episode. The episode is about a criminal, the alchemist, who can make it appear as though people have died, even though they have not
In the scene in the previous episode, where Red is in the synagogue, Lucy Brooks/Jolene appears in the obituary, and then later appears fit and well, as Jolene at Liz's house. This means that she herself had used the alchemist.
If Jolene was indeed hired by Red, that is why Red had chosen to eliminate the alchemist at that point. Not only would he no longer have use for him but it would also hide any tracks leading back to himself.
His previous attempts to implicate Tom, using Gina Zanetakos, resulted in Liz finding out about the framing attempt. Thus eliminating the Alchemist would burn any trail linking Red to his current method of implicating Tom (Jolene).

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