Tom (Ryan Eggold) and Liz (Megan Boone) were back together again in episode 18 of “The Blacklist” – well, sort of. Tom had shown up at Liz’s house at the end of episode 17 saying he had nowhere else to go. So, in episode 18, “Vanessa Cruz,” the couple would be back on the same team for a change while Liz took on a new case. Would they be able to move on from the past?
At the beginning of the episode Tom wanted Liz to get him the passports he had back when they lived together – which Liz had found hidden under the floorboards. Liz told him that they were locked up in evidence, but he pleaded with her to steal them for him. With the German cartel and the Major (Lance Henriksen) out to kill him, he believed they were his only ticket out of the country safely.
Before Tom could convince Liz, Red (James Spader) showed up and forced Tom to leave at gunpoint. He told Liz that she is better off without Tom in her life and filled her in on a new case.
Apparently, a woman named Vanessa Cruz had been framing wealthy businessmen for fraud -- if not killing them -- and stealing all their money after sleeping with them for months and gaining their confidence. Unfortunately, she had never left enough evidence behind for the police to believe any of her victims’ stories. Aram (Amir Arison) was able to stitch together partial fingerprints from all of the cases to create a new print that led the FBI to Cruz’s mother’s house. However, when Liz and Ressler (Diego Klattenhoff) got there, her mother told them she had died.
Liz had another lead, though. All of the victims’ money had been funneled through shelf corporations. Liz thought Red might have a contact in the black market where the corporations were sold to criminals, but he refused to help. He wanted the Fulcrum to save himself from the multinational organization of intelligence heads that were targeting him.
Unable to reach an agreement with Red, Liz went to Tom for help. It turned out the woman who sold Tom the shelf corporation he used when he was married to Liz was the one who had helped Cruz. She was able to get Liz the address for Cruz’s hideout, where Ressler later found piles of evidence from her previous frame jobs as well as ones she was planning for the future.
Back in Washington, D.C., Liz gave Tom the passports after he dropped her back at home. Before Tom left he had a candid conversation with Liz about how he hoped to start a new life. He wanted Liz to run away with him. Liz said she thought parts of their relationship were real, but that she did not believe that he was capable of telling her the whole truth. She kissed him goodbye and walked away.
Back at FBI headquarters, Ressler had developed a theory from the evidence she found at Cruz’s hideout. He thought her motive for the series of crimes was her husband, who was the victim of a scheme similar to the kind she was committing. All her targets since had been men in similar positions as the man who framed her husband. Liz and Ressler visited one of Cruz’s first victims -- who was partially responsible for what happened to Cruz’s husband. He was able to give them a tip that led the FBI to Cruz’s next victim.
Liz and Ressler rushed to a hotel where Cruz had just killed another businessman. However, they were not able to catch her before she got away.
The real shock came later when it was revealed that Red had set Liz and the FBI on Cruz so she would be free to work for him – now that her frame-up ring was exposed. What did Red want with Cruz?
Then, after another surprise visit from Tom, Liz decided to meet with Red and give him the Fulcrum after all. There she confronted him about something Tom had told her: Red was the one who hired Tom to enter Liz’s life! Red did not deny the claim and Liz told him their relationship was over. The argument was interrupted when gunfire rang out and Red was shot. The episode ended before fans could see who fired the shots.
What did you think of “Vanessa Cruz?” Tweet your thoughts to @Ja9GarofaloTV.