Looking for a bit of revenge, Reddington (James Spader) sicks Lizzie‘s (Megan Boone) on the latest name in The Blacklist: Madeline Pratt (Jennifer Ehle), a master thief looking to steal a valuable Syrian artifact which may hold the priceless names of six infamous Russian spies. Going in undercover as part of Red and Pratt’s team, even realizing that Pratt will likely betray them, Lizzie is caught while breaking into the safe inside the Syrian Embassy while Pratt executes her real plan and leaves with the effigy.
Learning that the list isn’t a list of Russian spies but of nuclear bombs, Reddington arranges a little impromptu theater (which was far easier for me to see through than Pratt) to get his former flame to give up the location of effigy. However, in the middle of the lie orchestrated in the dark dungeon the master spy manages to tell a kernel of truth (how much is up to debate) further cementing the probability of Reddington’s real relationship with Lizzie and possibly even the event which stole her from him.
Along with the heist and subsequent search for the priceless trophy, “Madeline Pratt” also furthers two ongoing stories as the trouble between Lizzie and Tom (Ryan Eggold) continues, and Cooper (Harry Lennix) puts Meera (Parminder Nagra) to look into the death of Diane Fowler (Jane Alexander) but is soon put off the case by an agent (Jason Butler Harner) of the D.C. office who takes over the investigation and may, or may not, want the investigation to succeed.
While offering an opportunity for Red and Lizzie to work closely together in a criminal enterprise, the episode also strongly suggests that Lizzie’s childhood and teenage years may have included more than a few indiscretions which left her with an unique skill set she hasn’t had reason to use in several years. The preview to next week reveals the complexities of Tom’s new mistress (Rachel Brosnahan) as we should expect to learn what her connection to Reddington is and her purpose for worming her way into Lizzie’s family.