Violet recaps Season 1 Episode 20 of The Blacklist, titled The Kingmaker, where we find out what was in the pictures that Liz found in Tom’s safety deposit box, and Reddington puts Keen onto the case of the Kingmaker! 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 20: The Kingmaker
- The Kingmaker poses as the driver for Emil Dusek, a member of the Prague Parliament, and drugs him. The next morning, Dusek wakes up in an unfamiliar location, and is arrested for the murder of a male escort. Dusek withdraws from the Senate. Reddington visits Nico, his associate, and tells him that he suspects the Kingmaker is behind what happened to Dusek, though he doesn’t know who hired him. Nico says that although Reddington doesn’t have a name, it’s the same enemy that’s been after Reddington all along.
- Liz looks at the pictures she got from the safe, and they are of Reddington at the hospital where her father died. She brings the pictures to Ressler, but says she won’t bring it up to Reddington until she’s sure the pictures are real. In the meantime, Liz visits Red, who tells her about the Kingmaker.
- The Kingmaker meets with his client, Patrick, on a bridge, and they discuss the Patrick’s car going over the bridge. The man is hesitant, but agrees he will be there. The FBI traces the Kingmaker’s credit card to a hotel room, but when they bust into the room, it turns out it was a case of stolen identity.
- Reddington meets up with Alan at a restaurant, and is upset that he is under attack. He asks for Alan’s help and warns him that he and Alan’s alliance share the same enemy, because if something goes wrong, Reddington will expose certain information he has about Alan’s alliance.
- As Patrick and his family drive over the bridge, a van swerves into their lane, and Patrick’s car goes off the bridge. It turns out Patrick Chandler was a State Assemblyman. His wife ends up dying in the accident. Reddington tells Liz that this is the work of the Kingmaker, with the purpose of putting Chandler in the spotlight.
- Aram obtains video of Reddington leaving the hospital one hour before Liz’s father died. Keen tells Ressler that she and Tom had a fight and he left. They visit the site of Chandler’s accident, then pay him a visit. They question why he was heading in that direction when it’s nowhere near his house. He comes up with an excuse not to answer their questions right now. They get a phone call giving them the location of the van that hit Chandler and head there. The Kingmaker gets there first and kills the van driver, Arturo Ruiz.
- Alan meets up with his alliance and tells them about his meeting with Reddington, warning them that if Reddington has nothing to lose, then he has no reason to keep secret the evidence he has against them. Alan calls for a vote about whether to protect Red against his enemy.
- Ressler finds the dead body of Ruiz, who has been made to look like he shot himself. The Kingmaker meets with Chandler, and insists that they move on to the next phase. The FBI looks at Ruiz’s phone records, and they trace a call to a payphone. Keen and Reddington go to the payphone’s location, which is next to a pawn shop with a secret upscale speakeasy in the back, which Reddington is familiar with.
- In the speakeasy, Keen asks Reddington about being in her father’s hospital room, and he simply says he went to say goodbye. Reddington asks the owner, Charles, about the Kingmaker. Charles says the Kingmaker was there recently, complaining about his hotel. Keen and Ressler enter the Kingmaker’s hotel room and find some electronic equipment. They find pictures of the house of who they believe to be the Kingmaker’s next target: Senator Mitchell. If he dies, it would trigger a special election, of which Chandler would be the perfect frontrunner.
- Senator Mitchell is awakened by an alarm. He goes downstairs with his gun to investigate, but the Kingmaker takes his own gun from him and shoots him. Keen and Ressler show up just as the shot goes off. They enter the house and find the Senator. Unfortunately, the Kingmaker finds Keen, and begins strangling her. However, Ressler comes from behind and shoots the Kingmaker in the back of the head.
- Alan meets with Reddington and tells him that he and his colleagues are out. Reddington warns him that it’s a mistake, and ensures that when this is all over, he won’t be able to help them. Keen calls Reddington, and he asks her to hold the Kingmaker for him so he can find out who hired him for the Prague incident, which is the whole reason he brought her this case. He hangs up on her when she informs him the Kingmaker is dead.
- Keen and Ressler arrest Patrick Chandler for conspiracy to commit murder. It turns out Senator Mitchell survived the shooting. Aram calls Keen and tells her that her father died a little less than an hour before was found by the hospital staff, which means that Reddington was there when her father died. Liz visits Reddington to question him about this, and he admits that he killed her father, though he says he did it to put him out of his misery. Liz tells Reddington they’re done. She shows up at Ressler’s door for comfort.
Violet’s Thoughts on Season 1 Episode 20 of The Blacklist: The Kingmaker
I actually found this episode’s “villain of the week” kind of interesting for once. Usually I view them just as fluff preventing us from getting to the meat of the real story, which involves the mystery surrounding both Tom and Reddington. Maybe it was because from the beginning of the episode we see that Red has a stake in catching the Kingmaker, whose actions with the initial target of this episode directly affect Reddington’s interests. How, we don’t know of course, we just know that somehow what the Kingmaker did screwed things up for Reddington. We’ve been learning little by little that Reddington somehow benefits from every case that he brings to Liz and the FBI, and this episode we learn that pretty much everything that has happened this season with those Blacklisters were all an orchestrated effort to attack Reddington. Unfortunately for Red, this is one case he doesn’t get to benefit from, since the Kingmaker ends up dead before Red can get the info out of him that he needs.
We don’t get to find out what Tom is up to, because just as Reddington is about to give Liz a report on Tom’s whereabouts, Liz confronts him about killing her father. She brings up the fact that her father wanted to tell her something, and accuses Red of killing her father in order to prevent him from telling her. Red explains that if her father were thinking clearly, and not in so much pain, he would have seen that it was not a good idea to tell her whatever-it-is. (What could it be? At the time, it seemed like it was that Reddington is Liz’s biological father, but now I’m not so sure about that.) Of course, no amount of explaining on Reddington’s part could ever justify to Liz him having killed her father. So for the umpteenth time, Liz breaks up with Reddington.
If there’s no Reddington, what happens next? If there’s no Reddington, how can she keep tabs on Tom? It’ll probably be like another time when she was “done” with Reddington where it’s only their personal relationship that is done, but she is forced to continue to see him and work with him because of her job. So essentially, Liz being done with Red means nothing really. Actually, what it means is that she’ll use Ressler as her shoulder to cry on instead of Red. I’m thinking that her late night visit to Ressler in this episode was actually innocent and that their relationship remains strictly platonic — for now. However, the potential relationship between Keen and Ressler has been a long time coming, and you could see it coming from almost the beginning of the season. Obviously they had to get both Tom and Audrey out of the way before that could happen, and guess what? Mission accomplished. The door is now open for Keen and Ressler to get together. Will it happen by the end of this season? We’ll see! Only 2 episodes left, but it could happen.
Josh’s Thoughts: The Blacklist, Season 1 Episode 20: The Kingmaker
I was kind of frustrated with this week’s episode of The Blacklist. We had a really good episode last week, but this week returned to form. As usual, Reddington’s story was great. We are slowly learning more about his background and motives, and that everything isn’t alright in the world of Reddington. It was nice to see the meeting of the “Super Secret” power players as well. From what it looks like, they are not a part of the Blacklist, or Berlin, but some other entity that seems to have some unseen power that Reddington knows about. Reddington is willing to use his knowledge to his advantage if he has to, it seems, if it comes down to it.
As for the procedural aspect of the episode, it was another dude for me. Sadly, it seemed to hold a lot of promise when Reddington first talks about him. He sounded like a guy who brought down kings, and created legends. The character even looked the part. But as the episode wore on, he did not seem to command the presence I felt someone like him would have. He did not seem like a guy that would get his hands dirty himself, but would have an organization that worked for him. The Kingmaker turned into a dude with a couple of henchmen that seemed a little unbelievable to me. The way his part ended was rather bothersome to me as well. It seemed reckless considering how calculating this guy was supposed to be.
Tom was oddly absent this episode of The Blacklist, which I thought was strange. Apparently Reddington is still keeping tabs on him, but he is off doing his own thing, at least for this episode. I really wish this show would have better “villains-of-the-week”. So far with the exception of the Pavlovich Brothers, I haven’t been thrilled with the villain turn out. There is always next week I suppose!
Scenes from The Blacklist, Season 1 Episode 21: Berlin
Here are scenes from the next episode of The Blacklist, titled Berlin: