Violet recaps Season 1 Episode 16 of The Blacklist, titled Mako Tanida, where Ressler tries to avoid the vengeance of Mako Tanida and seeks Reddington’s help in his own vengeance, and Jolene tries to get some information out of Tom! Following the recap, both Violet and Josh share their thoughts on the episode.
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Episode Recap of The Blacklist, Season 1 Episode 16: Mako Tanida
- An inmate escapes from a prison in Japan. He confronts FBI agent Sam Raimo at his house in Tokyo, whose task force captured the escapee, Mako Tanida, in its hunt for Reddington. Mako gives Raimo 60 seconds to commit seppuku, ritual suicide by disembowelment, otherwise he will kill Raimo himself, along with his family. Raimo chooses to commit seppuku to save his family.
- Tom returns home to find Jolene talking to Liz about finding a place in the neighborhood. When Ressler attends Raimo’s memorial, Bobby, one of his FBI buddies, suspects Reddington in Raimo’s death. Reddington gives a check to a ballerina while the other ballerinas are rehearsing. Reddington meets up with Ressler to tell him about Mako Tanida’s escape, and says that he suspects Tanida in Raimo’s death.
- We see that Tanida has traveled to the U.S. using a fake name. He confronts Agent McGuire, whose dead body turns up the next day. The FBI decides to investigate Mako Tanida’s brother, Iko. They then figure out the alias Mako used to enter the country. Ressler, knowing he is a target from having been on the Reddington task force, leaves to get Audrey to a safe place.
- Tom meets up with Jolene in an abandoned building, which seems to be Tom’s secret lair. She tells him that “Berlin” is having doubts and wants info. Tom takes Jolene through his evidence board, and mentions that he’s pretty sure Reddington was funneling money through Liz’s adoptive father. As they leave, Reddington’s cowboy hat wearing associate snaps some photos.
- As Ressler tries to drive Audrey somewhere safe, Tanida attacks them by ramming into their vehicle. Ressler gets out and tries to fight him off, but Tanida shoots Audrey and runs off before the police get there. After she dies, Cooper follows procedure and sidelines Ressler from the case, but Ressler secretly ignores that and meets up with Bobby, the other member of the task force.
- Reddington meets with Cowboy, and asks him to bring Jolene to him. Reddington then meets with Ressler, and Ressler demands to know where Tanida is. Reddington gives him the address of an underground hospital. Ressler and Bobby go there and find a man injured from the attack on Ressler. Ressler gets Tanida’s location from him by shooting him. Meanwhile, Cowboy follows Jolene, and is about to catch her, when Tom sneaks up behind him and knocks him out.
- Keen and Malik investigate the mess Ressler left behind at the hospital. Keen confronts Reddington about having sent Ressler after Tanida, and asks for his help finding Tanida before Ressler finds and kills him. Reddington reveals that Tanida’s brother, Iko, is dead. Meanwhile, Ressler finds Tanida and takes him for a drive. Back at the FBI, now knowing that Iko is dead, they figure out that Bobby is running Tanida’s business.
- Tom ties Cowboy to a chair and asks who hired him, but he’s not talking. Tom thinks that everything Reddington has done was to track Jolene, which means she is compromised, and he’s worried that it’ll lead to him. He has Jolene call Liz to tell her she’s no longer looking for a place because she’s moving to Dayton. Just as Cowboy warned, as soon as she gets off the phone, Tom attacks her and suffocates her. Then Tom shoots Cowboy.
- On the drive, Tanida reveals that Bobby killed his brother and took his business, and tells Ressler that Bobby is going to kill both of them. An altercation breaks out, and the car flips on its side. Ressler leaves Tanida in the car, still cuffed, and follows Bobby through the woods. Cooper knows where Ressler was going, and the FBI heads there. Ressler blames Bobby for taking Audrey from him, and orders him to commit seppuku, otherwise he’ll kill him himself.
- The FBI shows up at the scene, and Keen tries to stop Ressler. Bobby tells Ressler to pull the trigger. Ressler fires his gun multiple times into the empty area beside Bobby, who then decides to commit seppuku. When Ressler returns to the car, he finds that Tanida has escaped. Ressler finds a pregnancy test at his apartment.
- Tom gets rid of the bodies. Dembe reports to Reddington that both Cowboy and Jolene are gone. Liz joins Tom in the shower and doesn’t notice the blood on his hands. Meanwhile, Reddington sits in on a private ballet performance of Swan Lake, and has Dembe deliver Tanida’s head to Ressler. Reddington has a flashback to watching his own daughter dance in Swan Lake in 1987.
Violet’s Thoughts on Season 1 Episode 16 of The Blacklist: Mako Tanida
Finally, we get to see Tom in action! Somewhat. Once and for all, if anyone had any doubts (I didn’t) that Tom was a bad guy, we know for sure now that he is, what with him killing off Jolene and Cowboy! Unfortunately, we still don’t really know what his role or purpose is in all this, just that it has something to do with Reddington. We also learn that it’s not his place to kill Reddington, even though he really wanted to when he happened to bump into him in Nebraska (did Tom really think that was just a coincidence?). Tom also tells Jolene that Reddington was funneling money through Liz’s adoptive father, and that Tom created a map of the black site from memory from that time that Liz brought him there for questioning. What all this means is very unclear at this point, as well as who this “Berlin” is that Jolene told Tom was having doubts. Is it a person? A group? Made up of who? Was she referring to the actual city of Berlin? So many questions, so few answers.
I enjoyed seeing Ressler brought to the forefront this episode. It usually feels he’s kind of more on the sidelines, shadowing Liz most of the time, but in this episode he was more of the main character. Ressler met with Reddington more than Keen did for once! It was sad that Audrey was taken away from him so quickly after he finally got her back. We first heard about her, that I remember, in part 1 of Anslo Garrick, my favorite episode of The Blacklist so far, so when she unexpectedly came back into his life, and things were actually working out again between them, I was happy for him. But now, for her to be taken from him because of none other than his best friend, that’s got to be devastating. I’m not sure how this will affect Ressler going forward. But I’m guessing he’s just going to bury himself in his work, so it won’t be much of a change. I also think they wanted to get rid of Audrey to pave the way for Ressler and Keen eventually getting together after Keen eventually discovers that her husband isn’t who she thought he was.
Reddington’s side story was a bit of a mystery (isn’t everything on this show?). He gives a huge check to a ballerina, and it turns out the check was to pay for a private performance of Swan Lake. What’s more, he still has the Swan Lake program from 1987, and as he watches the performance, he has flashbacks to his daughter’s performance. Was Jolene his daughter?
The Blacklist always keeps me guessing, and continues to keep me hooked on watching the show so that I can get more answers, but it seems the more answers I get, the more questions I have!
Josh’s Thoughts: The Blacklist, Season 1 Episode 16: Mako Tanida
Things are ramping up on The Blacklist. Tom is finally “activated” to some extent, and he is certainly showing that he has the skills to go with his super secret undercover operation. The main storyline this episode was kind of tertiary to me, while the stuff with Tom, Jolene, and the cowboy was what I was really interested in.
I am still working through what exactly Tom is after. We learn a lot of stuff this episode. One, we finally learn that the fake passports and money Lizzie found in the beginning of the series was in fact Tom’s escape box, which he denied repeatedly to Lizzie. We also learn he is not aware of who the people that planted bugs in their house are. And via a fairly violent scene, we also learn that Tom is not too fond of Jolene, or what her job is, as she winds up dead. I was very sad to see the cowboy go this episode, as I really enjoy Lance Reddick, especially from Fringe.
I also enjoyed Reddington’s attempt to figure out what is going on with Tom (which is what ultimately what gets The Cowboy killed). What I really liked about this, is that Tom seems to be a bit of even match for Reddington to take on, with both wits and actions. I am sure the show will drip-feed us what Tom’s and Reddington’s relationship is, but I certainly can’t wait to find out.
As for the main story, I felt it was fairly mediocre. I was into it, but not overly enthusiastic. What was kind of neat about this episode was Ressler’s off-the-rails vengeance binge he went on. I also enjoyed that this episode was fairly light in terms of Lizzie’s appearances, as seen in my previous Blacklist posts, I am not terribly fond of her character. This episode, we mainly see her trying to figure out how to find Ressler to stop him from his rampage. One interesting thing we learn about Ressler is he seems to have a certain respect for Reddington. In his speech to Bobby, he actually thanks Reddington for giving him three months more with his girlfriend that had left him. That was a very sad scene, as Ressler then in the same breath blames Bobby for taking his girlfriend away.
Unfortunately, I am of two minds with The Blacklist. James Spader as Reddington is great. Whenever he is in a scene, is generally is a lot of fun, or at the very least engaging. Now that Tom is getting his storyline going, he has become entertaining as well. The overarching story has me really pulled in, wanting to know what is going on. On the flip side, however, the procedural, NCIS, Law and Order portions of each episode are really lackluster for me. We have enough of those types of shows, and I think The Blacklist is at its best when we are dealing with the big picture, rather than these one-off storylines.
Scenes from The Blacklist, Season 1 Episode 17: Ivan
Here are scenes from the next episode of The Blacklist, titled Ivan: