Josh recaps Season 1 Episode 21 of The Blacklist, titled Berlin, where we finally get some information on what, or more appropriately who, Berlin is. Meanwhile, Keen still tries to say she is “done” with Reddington, which might backfire for her in the long run. This is a two part episode, so we are left hanging at the end! Following the recap, both Josh and Violet share their thoughts on the episode. Let’s get into this week’s recap after the jump!
Don’t need the Blacklist episode recap for Berlin? Click here to jump directly to Josh’s thoughts on the episode!
To see Violet’s thoughts on this week’s The Blacklist episode, titled Berlin, click here to get directly there!
The Blacklist, Season 1 Episode 21: Berlin Recap Overview
- A security guard dies from a virulent virus that turns out to not be contagious. We learn he was infected by a mystery man who is blackmailing these people to carry out his tasks for some unknown motive. We learn that a cure is given to the infected people, but it only lasts so long, so they have to perform their tasks to receive additional treatment.
- Keen comes clean about Tom, and the FBI interviews her and searches her house. Liz tries to resign from her post, but Cooper and Reddington convince her to stay for one more case. But after that she definitely is done! She swears!
- Reddington takes Keen to talk to Dr. Sanders, a virologist with a few screws loose. He has been working with the mystery infecter, and Aram in the FBI is able to trace the man to the CDC after Keen’s epiphany about Space man UD4126.
- Keen pieces together that Berlin is a person, not a place or thing. She also discovers the Blacklisters are all connected to each other, and that they must be working for someone who wants to bring Reddington down.
- After Vogel is captured and Keen uses some underhanded moves to make him talk, the Task Force is able to piece together that a prison break via airplane is the motive of Vogel’s actions. Ressler and his team are able to make it to the airport before the plane lands, but the plane decides to keep flying
- Fighter planes shoot out an engine, and we see the plane descend in a not so pleasant manner, as a mystery man aboard the plane plans to jump out.
- Keen rushes to try to help Reddington escape, as the FBI has no use for him if he only will talk to Keen. Reddington decides to hang around and have a sentimental moment with Lizzie rather than make a run for it though. The episode finishes with Reddington, Lizzie and the FBI watching the mystery plane overhead, looking to be heading for a very rough landing.
This episode of the The Blacklist opens up with a security guard coughing his lungs out, seemingly sick. At work, he continues hacking, and blood comes up. In TV this is usually never a good sign. We then see him look at a syringe he has, but he just puts it back in his jacket. He heads into his building, but clearly not looking too good, eventually falls over. Just before he fell, he called 911 and left a loving voicemail for his wife. After he falls, a panic starts and people charge for the doors. Security for the building manages to lockdown the building, and a quarantine is put in order. I have to say it was very admirable of these guards to lockdown the building.
Back at Liz’s house, she has told Ressler about Tom. She heads to the FBI blacksite she works for, and tells them everything. There are flashbacks back and forth between her being interviewed about Tom, while forensics takes apart her house searching for evidence. We see Tom as well, who catches one of Red’s tails. He lures the man to a private building, and executes him. During Liz’s interview, we learn that Gina Zanatakos, a previous Blacklister, has escaped from custody.
After her interview, Liz has decided to resign from the FBI. Harold Cooper isn’t having it, and tries to talk her into staying. Reddington is there as well, putting in his usual snarky two cents. He uses his usual guilt trip to convince Lizzie to stay, withholding information unless Lizzie stays. C’mon Lizzie, how many times this season have you said, “I’m done” and come back? Well add another to the list, and she grudgingly decides to do one more case.
The next case turns out to be the death of the security guard we saw at the beginning of the episode. Reddington explains that this case is somehow connected to him, which he calls a “coordinated assault” against him. Keen has a hard time believing this, but Cooper and the team decide to check it out.
Ressler and Keen visit the bank where the security guard died. The CDC agent gives them a report, and it turns out that the strain that the man was infected with was a mutated virulent strain, but the strain was not contagious. What is the point of infecting someone with a non-contagious virus? Well, we will soon find out. The CDC agent says they will analyze the syringe found in the guard’s jacket.
Aboard Reddington’s plane, he suggests they visit Doctor Sanders, a doctor he knows that is a leader in the field of viruses. Reddington also gives Keen some paperwork on Tom.
Back at base, Ressler reveals the analysis of the syringe–it was a cure. Cooper puts the pieces together, and realizes that the guard was being blackmailed for nefarious purposes.
And in the next scene, the mysterious villain has recruited another person to carry out his plans, and this man has also been infected with the deadly virus, and receives a wonderful video message letting him know his mission. We also get to see the culprit briefly–no one we have seen before.
So Reddington has brought Keen to the renowned Doctor Sanders, who has seen better days. He seems a little “out there” and we learn why–he decided to play around with some meningitis, and the cure, which left him a little wacky since.
Reddington plays along with his wackiness, and in doing so is able to get some information on the virus being used in the attacks. Liz then gives Reddington a hard time about dragging her out to this guy, and throws a fit, telling Reddington she will be taking her own flight home.
Back at base, Cooper is meeting with some higher-up guy, and he threatens to arrest Reddington if Keen walks out on them. Meanwhile, outside Cooper’s office, Malik learns of Keen’s potential leaving of the FBI and asks her about it. They quickly get back to the case, and discover that Dr. Sanders has worked out a cure for the virus, and might be working with the Blacklister. Keen needs Reddington’s help though, as Sanders isn’t too talkative without Reddington.
Keen, Reddington, and Sanders talk, and he seems to have a nervous break, repeating UD4126 is the person he is working with, but doesn’t provide a name. A nurse comes to calm down Sanders, and Keen notices something on the nurse. Keen then rushes away, leaving Reddington curious about what she saw.
Back at base, agent Aram has begun cross-referencing badges that were at the bank the security guard died at. Apparently Keen had seen someone with the letters “UD” on their badge, and has Aram looking through the logs of the bank. Aram discovers that UD is a prefix for CDC employees, and turns up Dr. Vogel as matching the number Sanders kept referring to.
The FBI team heads to Vogel’s house, and find his lab set up. They arrest Dr. Vogel, and take him in for questioning. He plays coy, but warns them that “he is coming”. Meanwhile, behind the two-way mirror, Cooper and Keen discuss what happens to Reddington if she leaves the force. It sounds like she is “out” for good, and it seems Cooper is trying to have Reddington set up for capture.
Keen decides to try her hand at interrogation. Meanwhile we get flashes of the infected people performing their tasks as indicated by Vogel. Keen turns the tables though, and we learn that Vogel has been infected–and Keen has a cure for him. She demands to know the five people infected, or no cure for him.
Back in her office, Keen does some research on Berlin, trying to figure out what it could mean. She heads home and begins going through all of her files to try to piece the big mystery together.
Keen heads back to the base, and she reveals that the cases are all intertwined in some way. She provides some examples, and thinks that most, if not all trace back to Berlin. Keen then reveals she thinks that the FBI could be being used an ally for Reddington. Keen then realizes that Berlin is not a place–but a person. Meanwhile, Vogel decided to talk, and the men all seemed to have ties to airports. Vogel didn’t seem to know who for, but Cooper believes it is a prison break.
We begin seeing the plan unfold, with the 5 men performing specific tasks. Keen finds Reddington, and tries to get him to come with her. Keen tells Reddington about his immunity being revoked. Reddington doesn’t seem to be in a rush to leave though, and wants to know why Keen had a “change of heart”. He pulls a gun on her, to create a ruse that she is being detained against her will, but tells her to run so he can be arrested. They chat a bit longer, until they are completely surrounded by agents there for Reddington. Meanwhile, Ressler and Malik rush to the airport, as one of the infected men plans to land the plane. The plane receives word to not land, and continues the flight.
We then see an aircraft carrier, that launches some fighter jets and the man inside the jet being “rescued” demands that the plane be landed. The fighter jet fires a missile, disabling one of its engines. The plane comes crashing down over the head of Reddington, and everyone looks up at the plane just as Reddington is about to be arrested. Reddington finishes the episode telling Elizabeth, “Now it begins”.
Josh’s Thoughts: The Blacklist, Season 1 Episode 21: Berlin
I really enjoyed this episode, and it seems we know a bit where Berlin came from–prison it looks like. As I kind of thought all along, these Blacklisters are connected in some way, and as I also thought, the reason Reddington went to the FBI was for some necessary help. I was a little surprised that this was a big revelation for Keen and the FBI when they talked about it this episode. To me, it almost seemed to be a given. Reddington obviously wants something out of the deal.
When the “Blacklister of the week” is tied into the story more tightly, the episodes turn out to be a lot better. Vogel, while not strictly a Blacklister himself, did tie into the episode very well, and made for a much more interesting story as a result.
While I am sick of hearing Keen say she is “done” for the umpteenth time with Reddington, I did enjoy her turning the tables on Vogel during their interrogation. I also liked the scene between Reddington and Keen towards the end of the episode too, but this was more of Reddington’s performance than Keen’s. I found it a bit odd that Cooper wasn’t able to get the deal back on between Reddington and Keen after Keen had her change of heart, but Walter Gary Martin (I had to look him up on IMDB to find his name) did already seem set on bringing Reddington in.
Hopefully Monday we learn who Berlin is, as so far we have just seen a guy in a shroud. Is seeing his face that big of a deal? Is it someone we have seen before? I really hope this is answered before the finale! The big question I still have though is this: If Berlin is only number 8, who is number 1-7? Since we now know that the Blacklisters are tied directly to Reddington, the number one person has to be the leader of these criminals against Reddington. So if the FBI captures Berlin, Reddington will still likely have some work to do, even though from the sounds of it, he has no idea who the next group of people would be that would be targeting him, considering he doesn’t even know who Berlin is. I have a feeling despite us getting some answers this week and probably some more next week, we might be left with more questions until next season.
Violet’s Thoughts on Season 1 Episode 21 of The Blacklist: Berlin
It seems like the first part of these two part episodes of The Blacklist are always really good ones! We got some really good information here. We pretty much figured out last episode that all the Blacklisters were connected, or at least that they were connected to Reddington, as his enemy attempted to bring him down. But this episode we got to see exactly how they are connected to each other, and how Reddington used the information he obtained from each case.
As was obvious to most likely everyone who watches The Blacklist, even though Liz claimed that she was done with Red last episode, she really wasn’t. I did like the way she was able to outsmart Vogel and beat him at his own game, though. Why can’t she be that smart all the time?!
It was also revealed that Berlin is a person, not a place. But that’s something that I suspected from the beginning when we first heard about Berlin, and I felt that the show confirmed it in the episode with Tom’s “brother” where Reddington and Liz ask him what is in Berlin, thus referring to Berlin as a place. At that point, it seemed like the show was trying too hard to throw us off and make us think that Berlin was a place, which actually had the opposite effect on me, making me think Berlin was actually a person, not a place.
The final scene between Reddington and Liz was the best. It reminded me of the scene in the Anslo Garrick episode where Reddington goes off on a monologue, because he did that here as well. Just an amazing performance by James Spader, yet again. Then when the plane passes overhead and starts crashing down, and Reddington says, “Now it begins,” there’s this eerie feeling of impending doom, and having no idea what is going to happen next.
The next episode is the Season 1 finale of The Blacklist, and I have a feeling it is going to be awesome. We saw a little bit of Tom this episode, but I’m thinking we’ll see a lot more of him this episode. I think he may even die in the end, before the FBI team can get answers out of him. Although we may get some answers to nagging questions from this season, I’m sure that there will be plenty of other questions that we will be left hanging with, that the show intends to keep a mystery for the long haul. I’m betting we’ll also have a big cliffhanger. Either way, I’m excited to see how this season wraps up!
Scenes from The Blacklist, Season 1 Episode 22: Berlin Conclusion
Here are scenes from the next episode of The Blacklist, titled Berlin Conclusion: