The Blacklist recap: Bugs makes an already bad criminal even worse

If you like gross-out moments, terrifying history lessons, and itty bitty hints about what’s to come — then you’re going to love this episode of The Blacklist. There are many scenes of bugs exploding out of bodies and multiple utterances of “you remind me so much of your mother.”

If you’re a fan of clear-cut answers, having any idea what’s going, and bugs not exploding out of mouth holes every 15 minutes, then I might suggest grabbing some noise-canceling headphones, a weighted blanket, and curling up into a fetal position until next week’s two-part episode. Then, surely we’ll figure out just how Red is going to avoid being charged with treason by a jury of his peers, and how Liz plans to continue hiding the fact that she’s the reason Red is having to go in front of a jury of his peers in the first place.

To make it all the more complicated, for the last few weeks, we’ve been keeping track of the Rube Goldberg machine Red has been constructing to evade his trial, and as it seems to be getting down to the final domino falls and lever swings, understanding the way all of these Blacklisters connect has gotten more confusing than ever. Last week, Red got himself checked into a federal mental hospital so that he could meet up with an old associate…so that associate could give him a name…that was actually just a historical hint at a current criminal…so now Red must find that current criminal…because that criminal’s files might contain the address of another person…who is apparently Red’s last hope at a “get out of jail free card.”

By the end of Friday’s episode, we are told that Dembe now has that address…though we don’t know who it belongs to or what it means or how it will help Red. Additionally, Dembe gets that address just before a conversation with Liz where she asks him if he knows every single answer she needs, and he says yes…but we still don’t know what any of those things are, or who Raymond Reddington really is, or how Dembe knows the truth, or what any of that means to Elizabeth Keen.

So again, if you’re looking for answers—look further. But if you’re looking for maybe the grossest thing The Blacklist has ever done, you’ve come to the right episode!


Frankly, if General Shiro is responsible for the happenings of this opening scene, then he deserves to be a Top-10 Blacklister. It is awful. A man wakes up coughing in bed, desperately searching his bedside table for something to help him, but only finding a beetle, which he swats with a magazine. Downstairs his wife tries to help him, but he can’t catch his breath. That’s when another beetle flies out of his mouth.

We see him being rushed through the hospital as a team of surgeons prepare to operate on him, but when he starts flat-lining, they cut straight into his trachea…from which swarms and swarms of beetles fly out. To reiterate: the bugs fly out of this man’s THROAT.

So, Red calls Lizzie to his holding cell (a popular meet-up spot these days!) to tell her that whoever got those beetles to fly out of that man’s throat is the new Blacklister. But Liz is all, not so fast mister! She knows this lead somehow plays into whatever machinations he’s been constructing, and while she understands that he needs to avoid the death penalty, she doesn’t understand why he can’t just be honest with her. I like this not-naïve, yet still not-informed Lizzie!

Unfortunately, Liz understanding exactly what Red is doing with these Blacklisters doesn’t make him any more willing to expose any of his secrets to her. In response to her plea for honesty, Red says, “You remind me so much of your mother; I don’t remember if I’ve ever told you that before.” Liz states the obvious—that there are a lot of things he hasn’t told her—and Red states the obvious right back to her: “I’m here because someone has betrayed me … under the circumstances, it’s hard to know who to trust.”

That’s right, we’re all keeping secrets aren’t we, Lizzie?!


James Spader returns as Raymond ‘Red’ Reddington, a mastermind criminal who teams up with the FBI.

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