red the blacklist
Red (James Spader) continues his hunt for Kirk (Ulrich Thomsen) in "The Blacklist" Season 4, episode 3. NBC

“The Blacklist” Season 4 isn’t pulling any punches when it comes to plot twists.

In “The Blacklist” Season 4, episode 3, Red (James Spader) and the Post Office finally rescue Liz Keen (Megan Boone) from Alexander Kirk (Ulrich Thomsen). However, Liz’s daughter is still in Kirk’s clutches, and he’s not giving her back anytime soon. When Liz confronts Red and asks him to include her in his plans to track down Kirk and Agnes, Reddington refuses to give her information because he still doesn’t trust her after the whole faking-her-own-death stunt she pulled last season. However, he tells her that he has someone in mind to help him find Kirk’s whereabouts: Miles McGrath (Tate Ellington).

The members of the Post Office get wind of McGrath, whom they discover used to be a child prodigy. He’d created a popular social media platform while he was in Princeton, but he was kicked after it was discovered that he was a high-functioning sociopath. Nowadays, McGrath uses the money he got from suing Princeton for kicking him out to invest in criminal activity. The Post Office gets ahead of Red and does their own snooping with the help of two New Scotland Yard detectives. However, McGrath’s associate spots the cops and kills them, which makes Red furious for two main reasons: (1) McGrath is now aware that someone’s on his tail and (2) the families of the cops will have to bury their loved ones because of the Post Office’s incompetence.

Meanwhile, Tom (Ryan Eggold) and Liz are doing some investigating of their own. They create a scene in the office of some higher-up in the FBI in order to steal the agent’s I.D. They break into an office to take photos of the case files and steal some of the evidence they took from Kirk’s house. Among the stolen items is the journal of Liz’s mother, Katarina Rostova (Lotte Verbeek). In the diary, her mother talks about her affair with Red and how she fell in love with him. Liz recalls the memory of her mother writing these things in her journal, including how Red had asked Katarina to take Liz with her and get away from Kirk. Liz discovers that much like Tom was assigned to be in her life, Liz’s mother was also tasked to get close to Red.

However, they don't have enough time to dwell on the history between Red and Katarina. Upon Red’s recommendation, Tom is hired by Halbeck (Manny Perez), the leader of an elite heist team that is in charge of McGrath’s latest venture. He—along with the rest of Halbeck’s team—is tasked to jump on a train. However, it turns out that the train is carrying six containers holding Class A infectious substances.

When Ressler and Samar head to the train’s supposed stop, it’s not there. The Post Office has a hard time locating the train, but they later discover that McGrath had a second rail line built. McGrath takes “sample number 17,” while Halbeck gets the rest of the infectious substances. Red shows up just as Halbeck and his team wrap up their transaction, and he pretends to be annoyed that McGrath made off with the best samples. He asks for McGrath’s contact details from Halbeck, pretending that he wants to buy the substance from him.

When Red finally tracks down McGrath, he doesn’t waste time and immediately shoots the latter’s sidekick. Red then orders McGrath to call up Kirk and arrange a delivery point for the sample. However, Kirk doesn’t show up at the location when Red gets there. Cooper (Harry Lennix) calls Red and tells him that the samples taken from the train were Robowski virus cultures, which sparks recognition in Red's eyes.

A nearby pay phone suddenly starts ringing, and Red knows it’s Kirk calling. “Well done Constantine,” he greets the caller. Their conversation is vague and riddled with subtext. Kirk tells Red that he knew the latter would be there so he didn’t show up.

When Red later tells Liz that Kirk refuses to give back Agnes, Liz recalls another memory about her parents. Her mother previously wrote on her journal that Kirk would need to have to blood transfusions because of an “accursed disease” that has afflicted the males in the Rostov family for generations. Red then confirms that Kirk is indeed dying and the Robowski disease will serve as a temporary cure for his rare blood disorder. The disorder prevents Kirk’s body from producing enough blood cells, which the Robowski disease will compensate for since it causes the overproduction of blood cells.

In the end, the truth about Kirk’s real motive for desperately searching for Liz and her daughter finally comes to light: Kirk needs them to save his own life. “He needs a biological descendent to save his life … That’s what you are: a collection of cells. This isn’t about saving you from me. This is about saving you for him,” says Red.

Find out if Liz and Tom will finally reunite with their daughter when “The Blacklist” Season 4, episode 4 airs Thursday, Oct. 13 on NBC.