We pick up right where we left off last week, which is in the midst of a pickle if you're Reddington and the gang. The good news for you fans of supporting characters is that Dembe has not been shot, as was being threatened at the end of the last episode—that honor goes to one of Anslo Garrick's henchmen. The bad news is that Keen has been captured, and that's enough to convince Reddington to revive a critically injured Ressler who surrenders the code to the SpaderCage. Garrick whisks Reddington off for a delightful evening of the torture porn America apparently finds endlessly entertaining.
Keen is left to look for Reddington, a search made slightly more difficult by the fact that Garrick forcibly removed the tracking chip from his neck. In the course of her investigation, Keen discovers A) There's likely a mole in the FBI; B) The entire Bureau has been under surveillance; and C) that surveillance extends to the cameras planted in her home by the creepy dudes who've been staking out the Keen household from across the street. Tom Keen is understandably perturbed by C) and suggests that perhaps he and Lizzie should ditch this FBI nonsense for a quiet, surveillance-free lifestyle in Someplace Other Than Here. Lizzie seems more interested in tracking down Reddington, an interest that the FBI now shares what on account of that Someone's Been Watching Our Every Move revelation.
And that someone is apparently Alan Alda. Or at least, he's the duly appointed representative of the people who've contracted with Garrick to abduct Reddington, and he'd like Reddington to know that his associates do not appreciate his newfound chumminess with the FBI. There's hints of a conspiracy that ties Alan Alda to Reddington—because what this show needs is more murky, ill-defined conspiracies—and with that, Alda heads back to the 4077 M*A*S*H* unit from which he came, leaving Reddington to kill Garrick with alarming alacrity. Scissors stuck into the base of his brain—his one known weakness! Anyhow, Reddington's on the run again.
But before he totally drops off the grid, he places one last ostensibly reassuring phone call to Lizzie to let her know he'll be back one day, most likely in mid-January. Keen demands to know if Reddington is, in fact, her father; he tells her he is not. Well, that settles that—or at least it had better for the rest of 2013, as far as we viewers are concerned.
Previously on James Spader and a Bunch of Stiffs Who Are Not James Spader, an old enemy of Reddington’s infiltrated the FBI’s BlackOps site so that he could capture Reddington for doubtlessly nefarious purposes. In the process, he shot up a lot of things, not the least of which was Ressler’s leg. Meanwhile, Keen acted like a one-woman wrecking crew, plucking off bad guys while trying to restore the building’s knocked-out communications system. Boy, if only a recap of last week’s show was readily available so we didn’t have to rely on this Previously segment to bring us all up to speed!
Anyhow, we’re back where we left off with Reddington and the severely injured Ressler inside the SpaderCage. Garrick is on the outside, and a soon-to-be growing pile of bodies next to Garrick if someone doesn’t unlock that cage pretty darn quickly. Next to get a bullet in the head is Dembe, and perhaps you remember last week’s show ending with a "Th… Th… That’s All Folks!" gunshot that implied Garrick had pulled the trigger. But what you didn’t know is that the shot was actually fired by Twitchy IT Guy who not only has restored a wireless signal to the building but also gunned down the henchmen who had captured Keen. Pretty sneaky narrative trickery there, producers of 'The Blacklist'! Anyhow, the trouble with gunshots is that they tend to draw attention from other henchmen, and it isn’t long before Keen and Twitchy IT Guy are captured, this time for good. But they’ve been able to call in for backup and Dembe doesn’t join Luli in the pantheon of deceased Reddington worker bees, so it’s a net win all around.
Unfortunately, Reddington has a difficult time masking his concern when Keen is dragged into the room, and Garrick notices this little tell of his. Congratulations, Lizzie, you’re the next contestant on Bullet to the Brain, the fun new game show where someone either lets Garrick into the SpaderCage or you go home with the lovely parting gift of a bullet in the brain. Reddington decides that this silliness has gone on long enough and decides to revive a passed-out Ressler to get the code from him. That he does so by applying pressure directly to Ressler’s leg wound suggests that Reddington could stand to work on his bedside manner. That he threatens to play his own game of Bullet to the Brain with Ressler further drives home the point that Reddington isn’t fooling around.