BWW Recap: Lizzie Confronts Tom and 'The Pavlovich Brothers' on THE BLACKLIST
We cold-open on a Chinese labor camp, where the WORLD Health Organization is running a vaccination clinic. Nurses are busy, but a couple of them are doing something surreptitious - are they switching needles? A woman who's just been injected sits down and collapses. In "The X-Files" this would have been an alien virus of some sort, but wrong series - she just appears to be dying. The nurses beg for an ambulance over the objections of some guards. As she's being loaded on, an American voice calls out "asset on board, en route." Guards are reviewing tapes and seeing nursely sneakiness; they decide they've been duped and try to get the ambulance back, but it's too late. The woman is on her way to Washington.
Meanwhile, in Serbia, a couple of scary-looking thugs answer the telephone only to discover that a woman - no doubt the one in the Chinese ambulance - is now on her way to Washington. Their Hezbollah clients can pound sand; they're on their way to Washington to get a package.
At the blissful Keen residence, Tom wants to know when the Jolene Parker investigation went from missing-persons to murder. Sure he does; he's the murderer. He's running late for school because he can't find his keys. That might be because Lizzie is planting a tracking device on the key fob. Makes you want to run out and get married right now.
At the office, Lizzie tells Red that she knows Tom killed Jolene, and Red confesses to finding Jolene's body. (Actually, the intrepid Mr. Kaplan did, but she's Red's right-hand... person.) He's still not sure who Tom and Jolene work for, and he wants to know. But wait, there really is work, and that's actually why he dropped in - the Pavlovich brothers, numbers 119 and 122 on the Blacklist, are in town. These guys aren't terrorists, they aren't anything but mercenaries, whose sole occupation is grabbing people for cash. They're kidnappers for hire with no political agenda, and we've met them before - they're the folks who grabbed the general's little daughter in the pilot episode with Ranko Zemani. Now they want themselves some Chinese scientist.
Back at the dark, dank Post Office meeting room, Meera announces that the scientist is the woman who got the bum vaccination so that she could be brought to the United States, because the labor camp prisoner is a big germ warfare biologist. And Meera knows this because, CIA. She's being flown in to Andrews Air Force Base within the hour.
Ressler and Lizzie go to meet her, only... shootout, during which nobody seems to get hit, which is good for Ressler's health. But in the confusion, naturally, the Pavlovich brothers abscond in a helicopter with the scientist. Conveniently, the Anne Arundel County police report a downed aircraft. Those sneaky Pavlovich boys.
Red calls. He claims he has a lead. He also claims Tom wasn't late for school because Tom called in sick and has been spending the day on various pay phones. Fortunately for Tom, he's able to find pay phones in the midst of the cellular age. Where are all The Burn phones, Tom? You're the only person left who can find a pay phone wherever you need one. Meanwhile, Red and Lizzie stake Tom out in Red's plush car, while a thousand now-employed actors are on the street as Red's eyes and ears; it looks like everyone on the whole street is working for Red. Maybe they are. He's rich enough and devious enough. Red explains to Lizzie that they're all working for her. Who's paying the payroll taxes here? But having an entire squadron of people following Tom isn't enough for Lizzie, woman of action, and so she jumps out of the car to chase Tom into that super-secret den of spies, the National Archives. Is Tom planning to Heist the Constitution?
Lizzie lacks the stealth of Red's band of henchmen. (How many henchmen and minions are on his payroll? He's got more loyal employees than IBM.) Tom spots her and tells his suited acquaintance in the Archives, "Not now." Acquaintance dashes out and grabs a cab while Tom sneaks out. Apparently Lizzie failed Tailing Targets 101 at the FBI Academy.
The Pavlovich boys and their team take the scientist to an uncomfy-looking stone basement-type room with a mattress. She uses a piece of metal to scratch into the wall. What are the chances she's leaving a coded message?
Lizzie comes home. Tom is there. So is the music box Red built for her. Tom says he found it in the basement. Tom is good at finding things mysteriously. Just like he found that box of passports, guns, and money under the floor after Lizzie found them. (The passports with his photo on all of them. Yeah, those passports.) Tom says he stopped by the National Archives to arrange a field trip, while he was Out Sick, and thought he saw her there. Meanwhile he's cooking dinner at home even though they were supposed to go out. He has a story about a student's adventures that day with a fruit roll-up. Which is interesting, since he wasn't at school. Lizzie gives him the stink eye, so he suddenly decides it's time to walk the dog. While dinner's still on the stove. Another pay phone pops up just where he needs it, so he can call in with the not-so-mysterious message, "She knows."
"My husband is gone." "Your husband never existed." Red's truth is cold comfort to Lizzie, who proceeds to reveal that it's been pretty gross having sex with Tom lately knowing he's a menace of some sort and a murderer to boot, and it makes her feel filthy. We all have that conversation with James Spader sooner or later, don't we? Red assures her there's going to be a lot more filth before she gets to the other side. He sounds less than disgusted by this fact. But Lizzie wants a lead on the case, too. Red gives her a fortune cookie lead: "To find out where they are, you need to find out where they've been." He's got a million of these cryptic solutions to all FBI cases.