Violet recaps Season 1 Episode 8 of The Blacklist, titled General Ludd, where we learn some interesting information about Elizabeth’s father, and the FBI has to deal with a plot to bring down corporate giants and cripple the economy! Following the recap, both Violet and Josh share their thoughts on the episode.
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The Blacklist, Season 1 Episode 8: General Ludd Recap Overview
Need a quick The Blacklist episode recap of Season 1 Episode 8, titled General Ludd? Here is a summary of events for the episode. Each event is linked to the more detailed The Blacklist episode recap for General Ludd if you need more information!
- A group called General Ludd is behind a plane bombing. Elizabeth’s dad is in the hospital. Reddington knows the identity of General Ludd’s founder: Nathaniel Wolfe.
- The FBI has two suspects, Roger Guard and Arthur Denning, who they discover are the same person. Meanwhile, Guard/Denning gains possession of a laptop bomb.
- Ressler and Keen raid Denning/Guard’s home and discover evidence proving that he is Wolfe, but that he changed his face. Reddington and Keen visit a plastic surgeon in Miami, who tells them Wolfe is now going by Bradley Holland.
- Tom informs Elizabeth that her father’s cancer came back, and he’s catching a flight to go see him. Wolfe, dressed as a pilot, gets his laptop bomb onto a plane, which explodes when Keen and Ressler arrive at the airport.
- All flights are grounded. Wolfe assumes the identity of John Horlbeck, whose trucking company is transporting $500 million. Reddington visits Sam in the hospital but refuses to let him tell Elizabeth the truth — that Reddington is her real father. Reddington kills Sam.
- Reddington sits and talks with Tom at the hospital after Tom arrives too late. Keen and Ressler catch Wolfe‘s truck, but he gets away.
- Reddington helps catch Wolfe using his plane. The FBI didn’t realize it, but Wolfe swapped the blueprints for the new $100 bill and left the counterfeit blueprints behind. Reddington takes the real blueprints from Wolfe for himself.
- Elizabeth attends Sam’s funeral. Cooper gives Reddington access to the ViCAP database. Reddington and Elizabeth bond over stories about her father.
The Blacklist Episode Recap: General Ludd, the Details
A Plane Falls From the Sky, Thanks to General Ludd
Season 1 Episode 8 of The Blacklist, titled General Ludd, begins with a father and son playing catch in an open field, when they hear what sounds like thunder. Then pieces of a plane start falling from the sky all around them, and the man picks up his son and tries to run out of the way of the falling debris.
Then we see a broadcast of a man wearing a red mask, saying that the “storm of destruction” is coming, which will wash away the greedy, and when it does “you can thank General Ludd.”
Elizabeth and Tom get ready for work in the morning, and they decide to shower together. Meanwhile, the Apple Man watches them on his video feed. Later, they see on the news that there was a plane crash that appears to have been caused by a bomb. Just then, Elizabeth’s dad calls her from the hospital to tell her he’s having some tests run. He insists it’s not serious. When he gets off the phone, his doctor tells him that he should tell Elizabeth the truth.
Over at the FBI, Cooper refuses to give Reddington access to the FBI’s ViCAP (Violent Criminal Apprehension Program) system, but it seems that Reddington is able to convince him, as it appears he may know who is behind the plane crash. It’s not an individual, it’s a movement.
Elizabeth briefs the team on the group that calls themselves General Ludd, and shows examples of their destructive work over the years. She warns that the members are highly educated and as disciplined as any terrorist cell, and identifying the members has been impossible. However, Reddington can identify the group’s founder, Nathaniel Wolfe, who is ultimately responsible for the plane crash. They have only one known image of him. Cooper tells them to get out there and find him.
Two Suspects, One Man
Ressler visits the crash site, and finds out from an FBI investigator that the bomb was homemade, and they have two suspects. It was driven onto the tarmac by a cargo operator named Roger Guard, and placed on the plane inside a shipping crate. The other suspect is Arthur Denning, who is suspected of stealing chemicals from the fertilizer plant where he works.
Cut to a man and woman carefully construct a bomb together, and place it underneath a laptop keyboard.
Ressler discovers surveillance footage of Arthur Denning. It turns out that he and Roger Guard are the same person. They then pull up their picture of Nathaniel Wolfe. Ressler concludes that the Denning/Guard is not Nathaniel Wolfe.
Back to the bomb makers, Denning/Guard takes a look at the laptop bomb, which brings up a prompt onscreen asking if General Ludd would like to proceed. Denning/Guard asks the others for his itinerary, which is flight 1143. He says he wants them to know what an honor this has been. It looks like he is dressed in a pilot’s uniform.
Back at the FBI, Elizabeth leaves a voicemail for her father, who she hasn’t heard from yet. Ressler comes in and tells her that he got Denning/Guard’s home address. When they show up, it has been cleared out. Except that Elizabeth finds a bag in a hidden compartment in the closet. The fingerprints all over the contents of the bag prove that Denning/Guard is Nathaniel Wolfe after all, and that he changed his face.
Elizabeth goes to talk to Reddington, who is in a garage with Luli and a woman named Mary, printing fake money. Elizabeth informs Reddington about the prints. Reddington changes the subject and tells Elizabeth that her father’s cancer came back. Then he gets back to business, and tells her the name of the best plastic surgeon in the business: Abraham Maltz.
Elizabeth and Reddington go to Miami to visit Maltz. They’re able to get Wolfe’s new identity out of Maltz after Elizabeth threatens to bring the FBI in. However, when Maltz reveals that Wolfe is now going by Bradley Holland, Reddington feigns anger, and acts as if he was only testing Maltz’s dedication to confidentiality for Elizabeth as a potential client, a test which Maltz failed. Elizabeth plays along.
Back in D.C., Elizabeth informs the team that Wolfe, now going by Bradley Holland, is a pilot, and that Wall Street destroyed the airline that Wolfe’s father worked for, so Wolfe is now using the airline in his efforts to destroy Wall Street. They find out that Bradley Holland just swiped through security at Reagan National Airport, and realize he’s going to bring down another plane.
At the airport, Wolfe asks to deadhead to Denver. He takes a seat in the lounge, and activates the laptop bomb. Meanwhile, Malik makes a call for flights to be rerouted and to stop flights from taking off or landing at Reagan. Wolfe asks the receptionist to watch his bag, and she says she’ll put it in the overhead bin for him.
Elizabeth gets a phone call from Tom, who informs her that her dad’s cancer spread to his liver. Elizabeth says she can’t go to Nebraska right now. Tom says he’s catching a flight from Dulles airport, and will book a flight for Elizabeth for the next morning. When Elizabeth and Ressler make it to Reagan, a parked plane explodes and knocks them to the ground.
The Big Reveal
Elizabeth’s father wakes up in the hospital — and sees Reddington sitting there.
When Elizabeth gets back to the office, Cooper informs her that all flights are grounded. They then watch another message from General Ludd, essentially declaring war on corporate giants, and warning that planes will fall from the sky. They realize Wolfe wanted them to ground the flights all along, to cripple the economy. They find an address in Holland’s name for a storage facility in Brooklyn, and head out.
Meanwhile, at the hospital, Elizabeth’s father, Sam, and Reddington are reminiscing about the old days. They talk about Elizabeth, and Reddington thanks Sam for taking Elizabeth in as his own and loving her. Sam says he has 6 weeks, though he wishes they’d said 6 hours. Sam wants to tell Elizabeth the truth before he dies, but Reddington refuses.
At the storage facility, Keen and Ressler discover the name John Horlbeck. Wolfe’s plan was to become Horlbeck, a truck driver, whose company has contracts with the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Usually, BEP moves currency by plane, but with the planes grounded, they’re moving it by truck. Horlbeck’s company is moving $500 million today.
As Ressler and Keen track the truck, Keen’s father calls her and confesses that his cancer came back and spread everywhere. He says he should have told her the truth, but that he was trying to protect her. She says she’ll get on a plane over there as soon as she can. After Sam gets off the phone, Reddington tells Sam he will always be her father. Reddington says he can only hope to love and protect her as Sam has. Then he smothers Sam to death with a pillow.
Tom and Reddington Meet; Keen and Ressler Have a Shootout with General Ludd
As Keen and Ressler continue to track Horlbeck’s truck, Reddington calls her to offer a ride on his plane to see her father, but she blows him off. Reddington, who is still at the hospital, grabs a cup of coffee and sits with Tom. They talk about their losses, and Tom wonders what he’s going to say to his wife. He explains that his wife’s father adopted her when she was 4 years old, and raised her as a single parent. Reddington says that her father will always be there with her, watching over to keep her safe. It almost sounds like an ominous warning to Tom.
Keen and Ressler and the police catch up to Horlbeck’s truck and chase it down. Wolfe goes to the back of the truck. There’s a crowd of General Ludd demonstrators nearby, as Keen and Ressler exchange gunfire with a couple of General Ludd members at the truck. Inside the truck, Wolfe appears to set a timer, then pushes the pallets of money into the street for the General Ludd demonstrators. There’s a small explosion, and the money flies everywhere, as Wolfe sneaks off unnoticed.
Reddington Helps Catch Wolfe
Back at the FBI, they have realized it wasn’t about the money. There was a safe on the truck with a hard drive containing software upgrades for the new $100 bill. But they got to Wolfe before he could access the safe. Keen concludes that Wolfe is trying to escape by plane, and calls Reddington to ask for help. Reddington is waiting with his plane when Wolfe drives up. Dembe pulls a gun on him. Reddington tells Wolfe he knows the blueprints for the $100 are fake, and that he swapped the drives. If the mint uses it, billions of dollars of counterfeit currency would be circulating, bankrupting the country. Reddington takes the real blueprints from him.
We then see a scene of Elizabeth breaking down at Sam’s funeral as Tom comforts her. Then she greets all of her family members.
Cooper allows Reddington access to the ViCAP database. Reddington types in the numbers that he got in Wujing, 042983, and the image of a woman is brought up.
Keen confronts Reddington about taking the blueprints for himself. He responds by telling her he’s sorry about her father, and asks her to keep his memory alive by telling him some stories. It looks like they go on to have a nice chat.
Violet’s Thoughts on Season 1 Episode 8 of The Blacklist: General Ludd
If last week’s episode was starting to lose me on this show, this week’s episode brought me back! I loved the introductory scene of this episode. It sucked me in quickly and had me on the edge of my seat, wondering what was going to happen next, as the plane debris fell all around the father and son. The story of General Ludd was interesting enough, and kept me on my toes with all the name and face changes.
But of course, the big story in this episode is the one we’ve all been waiting for: finding out that Reddington is in fact Elizabeth’s father. The show has been hinting at this ever since the beginning, so it was kind of a letdown to me to find out that that’s all it was. I was hoping that Reddington’s infatuation with Elizabeth was a little more complicated than him just being her father. This seemed too easy of an answer. But I guess the show likes to make viewers feel like they’re smart, so they can say they knew it all along. Kind of like the show has been trying to make viewers feel smart because Elizabeth has been acting so dumb with things that should be common sense.
For the first time, it was revealed to us that Elizabeth was adopted at the age of 4. Also for the first time, we meet Elizabeth’s father and witness her interacting with him, if only by phone. Bringing him into the show kind of confused me, because apparently I had some misconceptions about Elizabeth’s father. In the first episode, Reddington tells Elizabeth that he knows her father abandoned her. She also talks about a scar that she got in a fire, and that her father gave her. This led me to believe that her father mistreated her, and that they were not on good terms. Either that, or he was dead. We never see her talk to her father at all until this episode, which supported that theory. I don’t know where this super loving relationship between Elizabeth and her father came from. Of course, we’re not going to see all facets of her life, as the show is mainly focused on her dealings as an FBI agent, but it just seemed out of the blue to bring him in, and then claim they were close.
Anyway, so now we get a better picture of how things went down. Reddington abandoned his family in 1990. Presumably, Elizabeth was part of that family, and went to go live with Sam. Somehow the FBI did not connect Elizabeth to Reddington, and we know they would have done a thorough background check, so Reddington must have snuck her out to Sam somehow, without leaving a paper trail. Either that, or she was an illegitimate child. That would make Elizabeth 27 years old. But if Elizabeth was 4 when she was adopted, wouldn’t she remember her real father? And that he was Reddington? I remember a lot from when I was 4 years old. It would be more credible to me if she were 2 or maybe 3 when it happened, assuming she actually was around Reddington during her young childhood. Who is this woman that Reddington looked up on ViCAP? His other daughter that he was unable to rescue and put into safety like he did for Elizabeth?
And I haven’t even mentioned Tom’s encounter with Reddington! It didn’t seem like Tom knew Reddington, but it looked like he may have caught on to Reddington’s ominous warning at the end there. Who is Tom? I want to know! What is his agenda with Elizabeth? It’s these mysteries that keep me watching The Blacklist!
Josh’s Thoughts: The Blacklist, Season 1 Episode 8: General Ludd
So as usual with The Blacklist, Reddington gets his way in the end. Oddly enough, Elizabeth knows that Reddington stole the missing plates, but opts to not do anything about it. I guess she figures his help is more worthwhile than turning him in for whatever crime that he committed would be. Elizabeth has also seen his “employees” printing forged money and did nothing about it. It is rather annoying seeing how easy it is for the FBI to turn a blind eye to Reddington’s activities, especially when they should know that he has some ulterior agenda going.
Of course I have to talk about the big bomb of the episode. The bomb I predicted early on—that Reddington is Elizabeth’s biological father—but her foster father raised her.
I have a feeling Reddington’s “abandoning” of Elizabeth is directly related to some event that forced Reddington to turn on the government. I just get the vibe that the show is trying to turn him into a good guy forced to do bad things. I would guess he was forced to do something he didn’t want to do, and somehow got burned in the end. What it is exactly is unclear, as we have no information on this, but this is my working theory so far.
Reddington, as he kills Keen’s foster father, certainly had a look of despair on his face, and seemed to truly regret doing what he did. Why can’t Elizabeth know the truth? Is it just because of the emotional response Keen would have? That it would jeopardize Keen’s career? Or is there something more—that her finding out would put her in danger somehow. I find it a little odd that Keen hasn’t questioned more why Reddington wants her to be the liaison between him and the FBI. She would have to think there is more of an angle than just using her because she is a “newbie”.
Then, there is weird exchange between Tom and Reddington. At first, they seem like they don’t know who each other, even though we know at a minimum, Reddington knows who Tom is. Then the conversation begins to turn, and subversively, Reddington seems to hint that he is going to protect Elizabeth from Tom, and at the same time, Tom seems to be telling Reddington that she could be in danger! There is definitely something more to Tom than is being shown so far.
As for “the story of the week” plot, it was rather mediocre I thought. I really was most vested in the father storyline and then dealing with Tom. I can’t wait for more of that to unfold!
Scenes from The Blacklist, Season 1 Episode 9: Anslo Garrick
Here are scenes from the next episode of The Blacklist, titled Anslo Garrick:
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