I can only lead you to the truth. I can’t make you believe it.
*So, this one starts with some woman, presumably the titular character, hiring a guy to make a radioactive bomb. She needs it in thirty-six hours.
*Meanwhile, back in the general proximity of the Big Box o’ Passports™, Tom is telling Liz that he has no idea what the deal is with the box. He’s saying that he thinks it has something to do with HER and her mysterious intelligence job.
*Tom’s getting pretty pissy about all this: “Are you telling me, like, what? Like you think I murdered a KGB defector? Like I’m Bond? I’m Tom Bond?”
*So, anyway, Tom says that it’s all forged and he has nothing to do with it and he convinces Liz to just call her team and see what they can do about it.
*So, Liz turns Tom over to Ressler and Meera. Cooper sends her home while they get down to questioning Tom about the situation.
*They bring Tom into the site with a bag over his head. They take the bag off of his head and Eggold just says, “Was . . . was that . . . necessary?” He just owns the delivery.
*Tom should be glad he doesn’t have a broken leg. When Meera comes into question him, she has a cup of coffee and Tom’s like “Thanks” and I swear for a second I was just sure she was going to just throw scalding hot coffee into his eyes.
*So, Red meets with Liz and he tells her about this woman, Gina Zanetakos. She’s a “corporate terrorist.” So this seems to mean that she does things like corporate sabotage and such. And Red has a bombshell: “If you want to find the truth about your husband, then you need to find Gina.” “Why? Does she know Tom?” “She’s Tom’s lover.”
*I wish Red would just start carrying a microphone around specifically so he can drop it. It wouldn’t even need to be plugged into anything.
*So, Red pressures Cooper to bring Liz back to the team. “We could always reminisce about that unfortunate incident in Kuwait.” “Are you threatening me, Red?” “I am.” So, last time we got a hint of Ressler’s inner pain. Time to start developing Cooper.
*So, Gina Zanetakos is now travelling under the name “Shubie Hartwell.”
*Because she needed something a little less attention getting than Gina Zanetakos?
*Oh, it’s the computer guy from Wujing. Aram. I guess he’s a supporting character now. I think this is his first appearance since Wujing.
*So, the team figures out that “Shubie” is at a hotel right there in Washington. Ressler and Liz rush there to discover that she’s just drugged a Turkish . . . diplomat or something.
*I will say one thing about this actress that plays Gina. Changing her hair really does make her look totally different. In the opening scene, she has short dark hair and the next time we see her, she’s got a long blonde wig and I honestly think I wouldn’t have recognized her. That rarely happens, it seems to me, in these shows. Usually there are characters that are supposed to be great super-spies, but they’re totally memorable and the disguises never look real. But this really seems more believable than usual.
*So, there’s a cool sequence here with Ressler and Gina on an elevator. She’s slipped into a crowd of women and Ressler gets on the elevator with them and he’s on his walkie-talkie and everything about the situation with her standing like a foot away from him. And then everybody else gets off the elevator and they have a nice little close quarters fight scene. Gina ends up choking Ressler out and escaping.
*They do get her phone though and they find out about the dirty bomb that she’s planning to detonate, but they still don’t know where.
*Oh, by the way, I almost never notice this stuff, but Liz’s scar is noticeably absent in this episode.
*Liz becomes skeptical of Red’s story once she discovers that there are no message between Gina and Tom on Gina’s phone. Red’s answer: “Perhaps they exchanged letters.” Okay, Red. Sure. Two super-secret, globe-hopping agents communicate via letter in the 2010s. Sure.
*So, anyway, Tom’s saying that he’s been set up. He says he met a guy at Angel Station for this job interview, but when they contact the guy, he’s like, “Nope” and then Tom sees his picture and he’s like, “That’s not the guy I met” and, you know.
*So, they raid Gina’s apartment and they find out that she was also at Angel Station when the murder happened because she has pictures of the dead guy.
*So, this FBI guy shows Liz that there’s a photograph of Tom on Gina’s bedside table and this is, like, devastating because it might indicate that Red was right when he said Tom and Gina were having an affair.
*But, um, look, is that something people do? Like just have an old school headshot lying on your bedside table when you’re seeing someone? It’s a digital era, guys. I would venture to say that I have not had an actual printed out photograph of anyone I’ve dated for like over ten years. Or is this why these relationships end? “Oh, I see you don’t even have a headshot of me on your bedside table.”
*Besides, if it’s on your bedside table . . . I mean, we all know what that’s for, right? I mean, if you’re lying in bed holding a headshot there’s only one thing you’re up to.
*Ressler does have a really great line here: “Whatever you think this means, I admire what you’re doing – standing up for your husband. But I think we both know it’s time for you to protect yourself.”
*So, Liz goes crying to Red: “We found a picture of Tom in her house. He said he doesn’t know her, but clearly he does.”
*Because you found a picture of him in her house? Do you know how pictures work?
*So, anyway, they find out that Gina recently made a big payment to this bomb maker named Ruddiger, so Red goes after him and uses some of his patented “I was planning a big operation and I thought I could use you, but could you also tell me about this bomb you just made?” routine.
*So, yet another reason to love Ressler. They figure out where Gina is and we get this whole routine; RESSLER: I know you want to get your hands around her neck. But when you do, don’t kill her. *BLAM BLAM BLAM SHOOTS HER ABOUT FIFTEEN TIMES*” That Ressler. He’s a prankster.
*So, anyway, it’s this whole plot to detonate the bomb at Houston, thus causing all shipping traffic to have to go through New Orleans where this company called the Hanar Group has an office and this will cause their stock prices to go up so they hired Gina.
*In a rather neat touch, Liz figures it out because Red makes an offhand remark about an illegal art shipment he’s trying to get through Houston, but a warning has gone through the criminal underground to steer clear of there for a while.
*So, this culminates in them finding the car-bomb but having no time to either defuse it or crane it away, so Ressler has to do this absolutely hilarious drive in order to send the car flying off the ship its on and into the water before it detonates in less than a minute.
*Unfortunately, a bus of school children is not around to witness this heroic gesture.
*I would love it if the last scene of this episode was just a cameo of Michael Caine sitting in a café in Italy and then he looks up and Ressler is sitting across the room. And then just *slow nod* *slow nod*
*So, Gina survives and tells the FBI that Red was the guy who hired her to kill the Russian defector in Angel Station and then frame Tom for it. Red tells Liz that she’s lying, but Liz is still like “We’re done.”
*Red is philosophical about the whole thing: “I can only lead you to the truth. I can’t make you believe it.”
*Well, in fairness to Liz, you could be a little less cryptic about things.
*And then in our final scene, the guys watching Liz and Tom through the secret cameras in their house discuss matters. “Do you believe he’s innocent?” “The only thing that’s clear to me is that he doesn’t work for Reddington.” “Then who the hell does he work for?”
*OK, so there’s Red. Then there’s these guys watching Liz & Tom. Then there’s Tom. And none of these guys are on the same team. Apparently, I mean.
*This one was fine, I guess. I like that the show didn’t dodge the cliffhanger from last episode and just spent most of its running time investigating Tom and his relationship to the box. I’m glad that’s out in the open now; you can only stretch a plot like that so far and getting rid of the box as an active force in the show’s psychology is a good thing, I think.
*Now, is Tom innocent? I don’t think so. Or I don’t necessarily think so. But I think it’s good that the show purportedly gave us some answers. I expect things to be more complicated than just “oh, yay, Tom’s innocent” but I’m glad to get that box out from under that floor.
*The Gina Zanetakos character is . . . less successful. She’s pretty rote and uninteresting and the whole bomb plot is pretty predictable. Her fight with Ressler in the elevator was great, very well directed and intense.
*Decent episode, not particularly great.
2 ½ stars.