The Season 2 finale of NBC’s “The Blacklist” aired Thursday night on the heels of a big promise from the episode’s promos -- “Liz remembers everything!” Would Liz (Megan Boone) finally regain her memories from the night of the fire? If so, she would have to do it on the run after the Cabal framed her for Senator Hawkins’ murder in episode 21. How would it all go down in episode 22, “Tom Connolly?”
The episode began with Liz refusing to believe that the Cabal would be able to arrest her for the Senator’s murder. However, she soon heard Tom Connolly (Reed Birney) explaining to Cooper (Harry Lennix) how he planned to frame Liz using her mother’s identity as a KGB agent and her association with Red. Cooper refused to cooperate, even if it meant getting taken off of his clinical trial, but Liz still had to get out of there. Unfortunately, Tom Connolly and his men arrested her before she had a chance. Connolly also had Cooper put on administrative leave.
Liz ended up in an interrogation with two FBI agents. Liz tried to trust the system and tell them the truth about the Cabal. However, they did not believe her, instead grilling her about her birth in Russia, her mother and her real name – Masha Rostova.
Meanwhile, Ressler (Diego Klattenhoff) was made the interim FBI director in Cooper’s absence. His first task was investigating Liz, which got off to a bad start when Liz’s blood tested positive for the virus that killed Hawkins.
Luckily for Liz, Red (James Spader) had a plan. He cut the power to the FBI headquarters and had Cooper get on the phone with her to help her break out safely. She ran into one roadblock, Ressler, who pleaded for her to trust that he could clear her name by the book. When she refused he was forced to let her leave or arrest her himself. He decided to let her go.
After an emotional moment in the car together, where Cooper confessed to Liz that he was terminally ill, the two went to Union Station to see the surveillance video from the moment Liz was attacked and infected. Liz identified her assailant as Andropov. She got a lead about where to find the assassin from the Russian bathhouse, but was frustrated when she found out her contact there had been paid not to give out information about her mother, Katerina Rostova.
She confronted Red about the secret, claiming that no matter what else he did for her protection, the lies proved he did not really care about her at all. However, he said his role was to “be a sin eater,” absorbing others’ misdeeds to keep their souls pure.
Liz’s next move was to go to Tom (Ryan Eggold). Tom wanted her to run away with him, but she convinced him to help her go after Andropov. The result was a car chase with Liz and Tom tailing the Russian spy through the city. Unfortunately, gunmen from the Cabal got to Andropov first, killing him in a shootout to ensure his silence.
After the firefight, Liz and Tom shared a tender moment when she admitted to fearing losing him. She changed her mind and asked to run away after all, but Tom told her she could not get answers if she left. She said she didn’t need to know who she was to know what she wanted -- him. The two ended up spending the night together, getting pretty hot and heavy.
In the morning, though, Liz got a lead about Cooper’s doctor and suddenly wanted answers again, much to Tom’s disappointment. She called Cooper and told him his doctor was in the Cabal. Cooper confronted the corrupt doctor, who informed him that he had never been sick! It had all been a conspiracy for Connolly to gain leverage over the FBI director.
Elsewhere, Red gathered a group of the world’s most respected investigative journalists and presented them with all of the information in the Fulcrum, asking them to report on the shadow organization.
Meanwhile, Cooper and Liz showed up at a banquet and confronted Connolly. The pair attempted to convince him to clear Liz’s name and arrest Karakurt, attempting to bribe him with a recording of Connolly’s conversations with Cooper’s doctor. When he refused, claiming the Cabal would protect him, Liz snapped. The FBI agent pulled out a gun and shot the crooked Attorney General dead. The shooting jolted her memory and she suddenly remembered everything about the night of the fire -- Liz was the one who had shot and killed her father!
When Liz met up with Red and told him what she had remembered, Red broke down. The weight of the secret had taken a toll and he felt guilt about failing to keep her conscience clean. Liz, though, finally realized the extent of his care for her. The pair hopped in a van to flee the country together.
Meanwhile, Ressler was forced to post a picture of Liz among the FBI’s most wanted fugitives, as Cooper was arrested and Tom took off in his boat. It seems almost everybody was on the run at the end of the premiere. Where will they turn up next fall?
What did you think of “Tom Connolly?” Tweet your thoughts to @Ja9GarofaloTV.