The Blacklist Review: Who is Tom?

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There have been some scary, freaky and deadly people on Red's blacklist, but the Judge was in a class of her own.

On The Blacklist Season 1 Episode 15, the Judge took the noble idea of the Innocence Project and turned it into a dangerous and deadly initiative.

Ruth and Frank were victims of the system and attempted to be the judge and jury for those who wrongly convicted innocent people. An eye for an eye.

The Judge's downfall began when she released Mark Hastings, a prosecutor who she sentenced to 12 years in lock up for failing to turn over exonerating evidence to the defense team. The victim spent 12 years in prison and Hastings was given the same sentence. Red tied the pieces together and Liz began to investigate.

The Judge got away with it for so many years, that it's a bit amazing that Liz was able to bring it all down within a couple days. While the Judge's intentions were noble, the case of Alan Ray Rifkin demonstrated that all forms of justice have some inherent flaws. She believed Rifkin was innocent, but he wasn't.

Innocent people are imprisoned and put to death, though it's also possible that she did the same thing. It's dangerous for one person to decide who is innocent and who is guilty. Liz and viewers were put in the same position as the episode unfolded. Was Rifkin innocent and Harold guilty? 

If Red hadn't pulled some strings and used a likely burned contact to dig up the truth, the situation could have taken deadlier turn. Cooper and Connelly may not have been innocent, but they weren't responsible for an innocent being put to death. They used questionable means to get a confession, but it was a truthful confession. Rifkin was a terrorist and was properly sentenced based on the law.

Liz put her career on the line for what she believed was right. The confession was coerced, so should it have been thrown out? That would have been a decision for a legitimate court of law to decide. She held her head high and did the right thing. And, even though it implicated Cooper, he understood her decision.

When all was done, I give him credit for giving her the okay to report what she found out. He proved his credibility in that moment. He may have made a mistake and was willing to suffer the consequences for his actions. That didn't include being killed though as the Judge wanted. 

Liz showed her own strength and judgment by not forcing the issue further. Whether he was right or wrong, it happened long ago and he wasn't the same person. And, ultimately, he took a terrorists off the streets. It will be intriguing to see if other similar actions come up again from Cooper's past.

Red proved his value once again. And, this time he didn't hold the FBI hostage to help. He did it on his own without anything in return. That was a refreshing shift. I'm sure it's not a permanent one though. Afterwards, he did ask  Harold for help, but it was for the Admiral and not for himself ... yet!

Red warned Harold that a war was coming. That's going to be dangerous for them all. When it hits will Harold still think his "secret weapon" has been worth it?

That's not the only battle coming. Tom is playing Liz. Poor girl. He married her under orders from some organization. It's unclear why they wanted him to marry her or what his job would be. He hadn't heard from his handlers in two years. He held firm to his cover and rejected Jolene's advances, but she know about his real mission. Is she working for the same organization? Or, does she have other intentions?

Whatever it is, it seems likely that it's all related to Red. Someone who knows about his connection to Liz put an asset inside her home. And, Jolene has been tracking Red for awhile. Is it Fitch? Or entirely unrelated to him? It's getting interesting!

I'm glad that the Tom storyline is moving forward and has been revealed. It was time to get answers about at least one of the major questions. The only bad news is that The Blacklist isn't back for two weeks. That's enough time to speculate about what's coming next!

Who is Tom working for?

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

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Last night's (May 5th) Blacklist showed Tom as sinister. I have no idea why, but I still want him to turn out to be good!




I really miss Tom. Did they cut him altogether?


I still would like to see Tom back on the The Blacklist. I really miss him. I actually saw him on a commercial driving a red sports car. Did they cut him from the show altogether?


Okay, didn't red have info on Jolene and sent Lance Reddick off to chase her down? And didn't he say something about her being off his screen for 2 years--same amount of time that Tom has been with Lizzie? When is the last episode of blacklist? Best new show on tv this year! And if James Spader doesn't win an Emmy next year, voting will have been rigged!

@ Tahonia

Red knows her by the name of Lucy Brooks, and sent Lance Reddick to find out what she's up to. I believe Red has an idea of what she's doing, but I don't think he knows of her connection to Tom.

@ PatrickC

Yes, Red said that he knows what Lucy Brooks is doing, with respect to him, NOW, but he wants to find out what she has been up to for the last 2 years. That is how he'll find out about her connection Tom.


Didn't Red have paperwork on that substitute teacher? Didn't he say something like she's dropped off his radar for 2 years(same time Tom has been with Liz) and then he sent Lance Reddick off to find something? That guy's popping up so much I need him to use accents and hats to keep his characters straight!


Unlike most commenters here, I don't like Tom and hope that he either turns completely bad and becomes one of the hunted or he goes away entirely. I was really getting tired of his whimpy, whining school teacher persona. Good riddance.


Obviously "Jolene" is working for the same organization Tom is.........what remains to be seen is if we'll find out what organization that is.......It's obviously one that is out to get rid of Red..........and they are looking to use Lizzie to do it.......... Was "Jolene" at the end the slowed down version of the Dolly Parton original that went viral on the internet a couple months ago?? If so, GOOD CHOICE.........

@ Terrie

No, the singer was a different person.


Tom admitting to the girl was poor writing. He so easily admitted "Ihis is my job". The reason I say that is because he knows Red is trying to expose him. He doesn't know if that girl is working for Red or not. Any "smart" person would deny or walk away without saying anything. Walking away without saying anything would've been a better conclusion, leaving us with some doubt.

@ Mickey P

I didn't like the reveal either. It felt weird, like, "So, what's his endgame then?". Was he supposed to kill her or just get close to her? This damn thing is getting too complicated for its own good. Spader is what keeps it worth watching.


this show is just getting better and better !!! i love James Spader as Red and he always plays his characters with such intrigue mystery but brings in so much compassion at the same time .Liz and Red are great together !!!

The Blacklist Season 1 Episode 15 Quotes

Connelly: I thought you were gone. What happened?
Cooper: My secret weapon.

Tom: I'm sorry. I can't. That's why I came here. To tell you, I can't do this, because I love my wife.
Jolene: Wrong answer. Elizabeth Keen is not your wife, she's your target.