The Blacklist Review: Tom Bond or School Teacher?

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Who is Tom? And why was that box under the floorboards? 

From the final moment of The Blacklist season premiere, those have been of two of the many mysteries on the show. Even after the box was brought into the open and investigated by the FBI, there aren't clear answers to either of those questions. There's only speculation.

Though, The Blacklist Season 1 Episode 6 did provide insight into both, while causing problems for Red with the FBI and especially with Liz. Will he be able to sweet talk his way out of this one? Probably. He is Raymond "Red" Reddington after all.

The Mystery Box

What do we know about Tom and the box? He was set up. The box wasn't his and it was most likely planted there by Red, at his request, or to frame him. The gun had Gina Zanetakos' print on a casing, the money was traced back to one of Red's bank accounts, and the passports were all fakes.

My first thought was that Red was involved in planting the box, but that shouldn't be taken as a given since all the evidence points directly to him. Why would Gina have a casing with her fingerprint on it in a gun she used in a murder? She wouldn't. And, Red wouldn't have used money that could be traced back to him. 

As unlikely as that seems, that could have been the plan all along. According to Gina, Red hired her to kill the FSB defector to protect his supply lines for his illegal trading business. This was months before Red turned himself into the FBI. And, Tom was set up to take the fall.

Tom had a fake interview with Red's right hand man, he was at the hotel, there was a picture taken of him (though Gina was in it too!), and then the gun that was used was found in his house. Perhaps, Red just underestimated the FBI. Or, he didn't want Tom to be the fall guy in the end, but did want Liz to have doubts about her husband. 

I can only lead you to the truth. I can't make you believe it.


That quote seems to be the key to understanding Red's motivations. He knows something about Tom and it's probably not that he's a Fourth Grade Teacher. Ever since Red first appeared in Liz's life, he's wanted to get Tom out of the picture.

He helped set up Tom's stabbing and when Red's life was on the line, he told her, "But, if I die, you'll never know the truth about your husband.

In addition to the box, Red told Liz that Gina was Tom's lover. And, then Tom's picture just happened to be found by her bed. Not proof of any wrongdoing, but both provided a connection between Gina and Tom. It's always possible that the box was planted to lead Liz to the truth about Gina and Tom. Their relationship could be the truth in all of this. Just because Gina denied knowing him, doesn't make it true.

For the first time, Red's manipulations seemed to have gone awry. Up until this point, he's been able to get Liz, the FBI, and his criminal associates to act to his will. And, now Liz has pushed him away and it's unclear whether the FBI will continue to play his game or not.

The oddest part of this whole situation is that Red actually seemed sincere with Liz. He changed his tune from telling her she shouldn't believe him because he's a criminal to holding her hand and telling her, "You can trust me." And, when she cut him off and told him to go to Hell, he genuinely looked hurt.

One answer does seem to have legitimacy and that's regarding the Apple Man and the Other Guy doing surveillance on the Keen household. They are convinced that Tom's not working for Red, but that he's working for someone. That goes along with everything else we've learned. Though, who's signing their paychecks?

All the answers that were revealed really just led to more questions and muddied up the situation. At least, they were able to protect Houston from a dirty bomb attack and put Gina Zanetakos out of the corporate terrorism business. The rest will have to work itself out over time. 

One thing is guaranteed, Red is not going to give up on his plan for Liz ... whatever that plan may be.

Did Red plant the box? Was it all a set-up? Or did Tom and Gina have a relationship? Should Liz trust Red?


Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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Carla Day is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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The Blacklist Quotes

Just because you’ve been bumped up to first chair in the orchestra doesn’t mean you can compose a symphony.


Red: I feel confident
Liz: Why is that?
Red: God doesn't want me and the devil isn't finished.