Violet recaps Season 1 Episode 14 of The Blacklist, titled Madeline Pratt, where Reddington recruits Keen to help him catch a thief named Madeline Pratt, who happens to be an old flame, in order to obtain an effigy that contains valuable information. Following the recap, Violet shares her thoughts on the episode.
Episode Recap of The Blacklist, Season 1 Episode 14: Madeline Pratt
- Madeline Pratt clears out Reddington’s safety deposit box in Istanbul, and leaves a note for him to meet with her, which he does. Tom is still upset with Liz for backing out of the adoption. Liz meets with Red, and he asks for her help catching the thief Madeline Pratt, who has asked him to help her plan a heist to steal an effigy which contains a list of the Kungur Six, who are Soviet spies.
- When Reddington returns to the blacksite, Cooper is suspicious that he is responsible for Diane’s disappearance. Although Madeline Pratt is known as an affluent, politically active woman, Red informs the FBI of her true identity. He tells the FBI that the effigy is currently at the Syrian Embassy. Cooper agrees to let Keen go in, but warns her that she’ll be on foreign soil, so they won’t be able to protect her.
- Red brings Keen to meet with Madeline. Keen tells a story about a bank robbery she participated in as a lookout, and Madeline agrees to hire her. Keen bumps into a Syrian Embassy official, steals his badge, has Aram clone it, then returns it by bumping into him again.
- Keen gets dressed up to go undercover. Tom apologizes for walking away, and invites her to his teacher conference in Orlando, and she agrees. Keen learns Madeline is going to be at the Embassy with a mobster, and that Red is going as Keen’s plus one. Cooper asks Malik to investigate Red in regards to Diane’s disappearance, which he is considering a murder.
- While Keen sneaks into the area with the security lockbox, Reddington dances with Madeline. She asks for an explanation as to why he stood her up in Florence. An alarm goes off when Keen opens the security box, which is empty. Madeline’s date brings her to the safe room, where she points out Reddington as the thief, and from where she takes the effigy. Red rescues Keen from the guard. Madeline contacts her buyer.
- The FBI brings a man in for questioning who is on the list of outgoing calls from Madeline’s phone, and whose father is a warlord. Keen calls Tom to tell him she can’t go on the trip, and he says he thinks they need some time apart. After questioning the man, whose father stole the effigy, the FBI does some research and determines that the Kungur Six are not people, but nuclear bombs, hidden all across the country.
- Reddington finds Madeline and asks her about the coordinates. Two men taser them, and they wake up locked behind bars in two separate cells. Madeline tells him she already sold the effigy to the Russians. Red tells a story about running out of gas and walking home in the snow on Christmas Eve, only to find blood everywhere. He says that is why he didn’t show up in Florence.
- The men take Reddington away. Madeline yells for them to stop and says she’ll tell them what they want to know. She writes down the location of the effigy, which the men hand off to a cleaned up Reddington, who faked this kidnapping.
- The FBI shows up to where the effigy is hidden, and a gunfight breaks out between them and the Russians. Ressler recovers the effigy, but nothing is inside. Reddington tells Cooper he was able to get the coordinates from Madeline, and proposes that the FBI give him the effigy in exchange for the coordinates.
- Tom ignores Liz’s phone calls. Keen confides to Ressler that she thinks Tom is going to leave her. Ressler cancels his dinner plans to talk to Keen. Madeline leaves a note for Red. Tom runs into Jolene at the conference. Special Agent Martin pays Cooper a visit and orders him to stop investigating Diane’s disappearance, because the D.C. Bureau is handling it.
Violet’s Thoughts on Season 1 Episode 14 of The Blacklist: Madeline Pratt
Pretty good episode! Loved the switcheroo game that Madeline Pratt and Reddington were playing with each other. It definitely kept the episode interesting. The two seem to have quite an involved past together, and hell has no fury like a woman scorned. Unfortunately for Madeline, hell also has no fury like Reddington being double crossed. When exactly was this Florence meetup supposed to take place anyway? Was Reddington having an affair? Or did his relationship with Madeline begin long after the Christmas Eve incident? Madeline said that Florence was supposed to be their way out, their fresh start. Then Reddington tells the “running out of gas” story and offers that as his explanation of why he didn’t show in Florence, or many other places, for that matter. What I get from that is that he didn’t want to settle down because what happened that Christmas Eve is what he is afraid would happen to anyone else that he tries to share a life with.One of the things I liked most about this episode is that it shows how versatile James Spader is as an actor. One minute he’s playing clever, another he’s playing charming, another he is being flamboyant, and yet another he is being sensitive… the list goes on.
Another interesting thing this episode is that we get the sense that Keen has some sort of criminal past that was covered up. She claims that the story about Frank in Omaha was made up, but was it? It wasn’t until after Red admitted that he didn’t actually know about Omaha that she said she made it up. I guess this is another topic that the show wants to slow play, and could stretch out through future seasons, as we really don’t know all that much about Keen’s past.
Then there’s Tom and his little hissy fit. Did anyone think that Liz was actually going to get to go on that vacation to Orlando with him? No. In fact, when Tom asked her to go with him, I just assumed that he was doing so out of obligation, and that he was expecting her to say no. I had thought that he actually was planning to spend some alone time with Jolene while he was away at the teacher conference, which she would undoubtedly also be at. It was as if he was waiting for Liz to say no, so that he could have an excuse to be mad at her, and justify himself running off with Jolene. So I was not surprised when he ran into Jolene at the conference. No, I take that back, I was surprised that he acted surprised to see her there. I had thought he was planning on seeing her there. Obviously, Jolene (or whatever her real name is), purposely went there expecting to see Tom, as part of her investigation of Tom. Well, pretty sure we all know where things are headed between those two. But what is Jolene’s angle? Why is she trying to seduce Tom? By the previews for next week, it looks like we’ll finally find out who Tom really is! Or that could be just a tease, and we’ll still be almost as much in the dark as we always have been.
Oh, one more thing. What’s up with the D.C. bureau telling Cooper to back off investigating Diane’s disappearance? It sounds like they don’t want anything about her being a mole coming out. It also sounds like some of the D.C. bureau agents may be moles themselves. Is Cooper going to keep Malik on the case regardless? How is she going to handle that, considering her involvement?
I am definitely looking forward to seeing what happens next!
Scenes from The Blacklist, Season 1 Episode 15: The Judge
Here are scenes from the next episode of The Blacklist, titled The Judge: