The blacklist recap: bad religion

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Do you have a morbid interest in cults? Do you find the religious iconography fascinating and a little scary? Have you been carried away The Da Vinci Code fever in 2003? Are you still haunted by Tom Hanks’ droopy hair in the 2006 film adaptation? Well have I Have a Blacklist episode for you!

When it comes to criminal vanities, this has to be one of the most elaborate Blacklister plans ever recorded, not so much in the complexity of its heist, but in the nuance of its design. I mean, how do you come up with a scheme to emotionally hijack a mundane religious group and then radicalize it to steal religious relics, all so you can secretly sell those stolen relics for millions on the black market? You should be really the intention not to pay labor to create a whole religious movement instead of just hiring a few lackeys to carry out your heists. And that doesn’t even mention the custom pedal our Blacklister was working with …

But apart from stupidity and Dan-Brown-ness of this plot, tonight Blacklist the episode deals with how the choices we make for ourselves define the relationships we create with others; about how only we can empower myths to help or harm. With Liz no longer in the photo, there’s simply more room for the other Task Forcers to get a little narrative spotlight. I can’t say it’s all work – while I fully appreciate Ressler’s new tight crewneck t-shirt wardrobe, I don’t care about her regression every two seasons by getting crazy boy about Reddington’s pieces for personal use which are essentially part of the task force’s agreement to work with him…

But hey, the guy is going through a tough time; we all act in different ways, and almost all of them manifest themselves at some point in unfortunate hair picks. Except, of course, for Aram, who always keeps his hair high and tight, and whose heart goes always be bigger than his bank account.

THE SPK, NO. 178

The episode begins with a classic cathedral heist. The Cathedral of Prato in Italy currently has the Sacra Cintola – the belt of the Virgin Mary who fell during her ascension to heaven, according to medieval legend – on display. But just as the Bishop uses his special key to remove the belt from its case, a team of thieves are ushered into the building by a guard who has clearly worked with them. Yet one of the thieves stabs and kills the guard before stealing the belt.

As Reddington tells Cooper, the theft is the work of the Supremo Prioro Knighthood, “a rather toothless group of religious extremists” who have been around for a few decades, but only recently began to steal religious iconography and to sell it on the black market – and alone very recently turned violent. And we quickly find out why when Reddington goes to one of those black market auctions and drops $ 5 million on Mary’s belt just to meet whoever came up with it in the first place. And when he does …

Boy, is he surprised to find his old nemesis Robert Vesco – the man who taught Red everything he knows, then swindled everything he had from Red, faked his own death and started all over again in season 6 – is the other end of this strange religious cult.

Robert Vesco is a fun Blacklsiter in a fun Stacy Keach performance, which is why it is all the more surprising that he has embarked on such a dark and twisted scam! I mean, I have no problem with Vesco going after some fanatics, but as he soon finds out, these are really not the people you want to inspire and engage, even if that is make you millions. The initial criminal concept was to requisition the leadership of the historical extremists of STK under the pseudonym “Giovanni” and convince them that they had to steal various religious relics in order to prevent people from worshiping the past and opening their eyes. over the kingdom of heaven. Giovanni’s supporters believe he destroys the relics, but of course Robert Vesco is actually selling them for millions of dollars. And if you can believe it, this simple and infallible plan escaped him …

See, Vesco has a strict no-murder policy (Reddington chose this one after their mentorship, I guess), and he was disheartened to learn that a man was killed during their heist in Sacra Cintola. For the next and final headache of Saint John the Baptist, Giovanni / Vesco’s men are strictly instructed not to hurt any passerby. But when Vesco doesn’t oversee the execution of his plan – Reddington took it off and they’re already on their way to Malta to collect the money that Vesco scammed from Red, obviously – STK members come up with a different plan. . For, uh, blow up the Old Holy Cross Church.

There is a man in a ponytail who is the main fanatic of the antagonists, but he doesn’t make it very clear what he thinks it will accomplish by destroying the church and killing a group of worshipers, only that he think it’s time to step up their mission. Fortunately, the post office is on the trail of the STK. First, they track down a money transfer from a business manager to the security guard at Prato Cathedral. The business manager says he should check the recent transactions of his clients …

Then apologizes in a shed and sets his whole body on fire very quickly. So it looks like he could be wrapped up in something a little stronger than running a business. It turns out that his wife too thought something was wrong with his recent change in behavior, so she tracked his phone and found a building he went to every week to meet his fanatic boyfriends. When Dembe and Ressler find out, they find plans for the bomb and quickly bring Aram to the church premises to see what their options are …

And they are not great! The bombs have been placed under the benches and the service is broadcast live because the presence of the head of John the Baptist is so important. If it looks like everyone is evacuating, the task force is sure the STK will blow up the church, and if it looks like a tech geek who recently got a huge investment from an angel investor in his proprietary security software suite (more on that later) tries to remove the bombs, they will too probably blow up the church. So, Aram does what anybody would do: attach a GoPro to a basket of offerings on a stick, and use it to get the frequency code from the IED to scramble the signal from a distance.

While Aram and Dembe are working on it, Vesco and Red discover through Cooper that Giovanni’s appeals for peace did not inspire the religious cult for which he mobilized … demobilize. So Vesco heads to the staging area where he knows his men will be with the intention of trying to convince them to obey him – but he has lost some of his confidence in the crook. So Red kisses her on the mouth, tells her he’s the most “crook, cheater, double-crossover, and handsome trusty” man he knows and sends him on his way.

Still doesn’t work though! The men take Vesco captive and Red must go and shoot him. So much for the no-murder rule! Fortunately, Aram’s plan to jam the frequency works, so there is no innocent murder, at least.

But this is where things get interesting. See, Ressler hassled Dembe the entire episode about his former allegiance to Reddington, suggesting he’s still working with him behind the scenes. Which one is rich enough, considering that they the two work with Reddington, and have for years. And even though Dembe tells Ressler he’s “not auditioning for your approval or your trust,” he does introduce himself on Reddington’s plane at the end of the episode. Red tells Dembe that the FBI won’t be any better informed if he runs away with Vesco to get his money back in Malta, but Dembe reminds him: “I am the FBI. “And Reddington naturally understands that while Dembe is confident in his own revised loyalties, only Vesco can help convince the more suspicious parts of the post office. As Dembe handcuffs Vesco, he tells Reddington that he considers this. like a great act of friendship.

The episode ends with Aram telling Cooper that on a good day – like today – there’s nowhere else he’d rather be than at the post office, doing a good job with the task force. So, he makes the decision to ask his business partner to buy out his share of their software company which has just received a huge investment, devoting itself to this public service life for good – or as his father calls being an agent of the government. FBI, “an office worker.” Which I don’t like, but as long as it means it’s at a desk on our TVs… I can get over it.

SOME ENDS:

  • Okay, if this show refuse let Aram be rich I think it is about the weather they gave her a permanent, satisfying, non-criminal love interest.

  • I also can’t help but think that there are more lucrative ways that Aram could have reduced its role in proprietary software that he designed! (Honestly, I was on his mother’s side trying to get along Shark aquarium!)

  • When Reddington presents the auctioneer with additional bargaining chips, as he opens a paper bag, Reddington says, “One of the seven,” and the auctioneer looks choking. I feel like I should know what “one of the seven” black market item this is, but I can’t remember! The paper bag is really small for the Picasso and too big for the Lincoln Penny… to help!

  • I could have listened to Reddington and Vesco complaining about the frustrations of dealing with a heist team’s ego throughout the episode.

  • As for the bad news, Ressler’s prescription pill problem is back, which is uncovered through a fairly extensive series of scenes where he tries to dilute his own urine for a drug test. But Park understands and defines his intentions to keep him sober – and I wouldn’t bet against Park.

  • “As a measure of survival, I make it a point to only enter the spaces that I define the boundaries,” is a killer line that Reddington tells Cooper when Cooper tells him that if he’s going to have a relationship with Agnes. , their time together will need to be supervised.

  • It’s all the more significant as Reddington ultimately goes against his own survival instincts to see Agnes. And when Agnes sees Reddington, two years after spending a day together – the last day of her mother’s life – Agnes still remembers him as the “Pinkie” who sailed boats with her and bought her a popsicle. This should help him survive for a while.

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