Red arranges for the team to track down a DNA scrubber who substitutes regular people for very bad people who'd like to disappear. It's pretty cool: The opening sequence involves a regular old person waking up with a new identity and husband on a plane, which then crashes, killing them both. After the Post Office gets ahold of the husband, a Russian mobster, the wife goes to the Alchemist and he murders her, then appears at the FBI as the husband's attorney, and kills him too.
All of the women look like Jan Hooks in different wigs and at different ages, but none of them are Jan Hooks. That part really stood out to me, because how oddly specific.
After some tense meetings with Red in a local synagogue, Liz is able to make contact with the man's family and put together his history: After being discredited and tossed off the Human Genome Project, then eventually turning on his Mob buddies, he went underground and only rarely shows back up to menace his daughter and wife (who wants nothing to do with him) because at some point he lost his mind. Heat turned up, the Alchemist takes the logical step of substituting a random dead woman and child before taking off with his own. Before they get too far, though, the team traces them through the daughter's diabetes monitor, a standoff which results in the Alchemist's death.
Liz hands over the list of the Alchemist's former clients, realizing too late that Red was only using her team to get this list and track them down for his usual oblique reasons. Meanwhile, he gets a team of dorks to reconstruct a bunch of old government papers, including some memos that lead him to the second mole (the one in the FBI, not in Red's crew -- Grey -- who was dispatched last week). The episode ends with Red surprising the Mole in her house, and getting an immediate confession: It's Meera.
That's sad, but it makes sense given her status as an outside person and connected through Jane Alexander to Alan Alda, and thus to the raid on the PO that revealed the Moles in the first place. Maybe we can still make it work. Or, given next week's Previouslies, maybe Meera will give up her life of service and head to the dark side. Or rather, the less-dark side I guess. The Red side, of doing evil shit that is always somehow just a tad more hilarious than it is evil. You know you would.
Meanwhile, Tom's marked by a mysterious spy lady who's planted herself in his school as a substitute teacher, and leverages Liz's dedication to her job to seduce him. They end the episode drunk and flirty (at an art exhibit about philanderer selfies!), even though the Keens' baby is only six weeks out from being born. And on a similar tip, Ressler spends the episode determining to tell his engaged ex-girlfriend to drop the dork, only to find out she's already done so and in fact wants to get back together. (Obviously evil. Everybody is always evil.) This part was exciting because you get to see how Tom Keen reacts to someone he actually shows interest in, as opposed to just bitching all the time about nothing, like he does with his wife.
So now we've got Liz, with her marriage suddenly on the rocks and her pet monster acting all monstrous, but at least her hair's looking normal again. Tom and Ressler are both in the grasp of presumably evil ladies that are a little hard to tell apart. And we've got Red, still looking out for the PO crew in the creepiest ways imaginable, and being a good deal snippier with his Lizzie than usual. (Which bums me out! Because without Red being so super sweet to her all the time, like, what is even her life?)
So. Now that the PO Mole has been revealed, which way do you think he's gonna jump? I'd imagine having a person on the inside -- as well as his grateful puppet/champion Liz, of course -- his path seems clear: Ressler obsessively hates him, Aram doesn't seem to spark his interest, and the higher-ups are always having meetings about how evil he is, so if this was the play all along, Meera makes the most sense anyway. Not that there's much profit in speculation, when it comes to this show. At least how I do it, which is reliably: Badly.
Next Week: Although we're most anticipating Red's showdown with good ol' Meera, the story of the week seems cool too: Campbell Scott heads an organization of black-bag adoptions that could involve Liz, Red's own daughter if somehow they are not the same person, and even this upcoming adoption. And presumably, Tom Keen almost cheats on Liz but then doesn't, and then gets kidnapped, while Ressler worries over his reunion with Audrey for a while before also getting kidnapped, and then Red says some nonsense which helps Liz find both of them awfully quickly. Cooper spends the whole time cockblocking her from doing this, but at the last second changes his mind. Stolen babies! Global agencies! Taking shit way too personally, because have you met Liz Keen? That's practically her entire résumé: "Special Skills include: Solving crimes based on how intensely I can make them all about myself." God love her.
Red uncovered his own Mole, but is still tracking the one on the Post Office side. Ressler's ex and one true love is possibly a secret agent? Tom ran off to "Nebraska" with no notice, but whatever: All Liz cared about was solving an old case and bringing Red back into the fold, and in the end she accomplished both.
Red: "Okay, I got a new name for you. He's called the Alchemist, because what he does is turn innocent people -- up to and including actual infants -- into other people, and then into dead people, to protect the paying guilty."
Liz: "This is with science he does this?"
Red: "Of a sort. He's up next because he just got a contract to scrub the ex-Serbian Mob informants Pytor and Catherine Madrczyk. So when they turn up dead, you should know they actually aren't. Because of the alchemy."
In fact just this very moment a good-looking beardy blond is making out with a chick and laughing in a weird sex way, even as she slowly roofies onto the floor and falls asleep. When she wakes up, she has brown hair and her makeup game is on point, which horrifies her. She's on a plane, kind of an entirely different person all of a sudden, and across from her is a man whose passport calls him "Pytor." It isn't him, though, because guess what? That dude has no idea what is going on either.
The Alchemist -- for that is the sex-laugher man we met above -- says what's up to them and then peaces with a parachute, and then the camera -- Horribly! But also amazingly! -- shows us what it is like to be in a plane that is pointed at the ground and moving very quickly toward it. Pretty immediately, they are dead as hell.
Meera: "Well they've been identified as the Madrczyks..."
Liz: "Which means they aren't. Red knows his shit."
Cooper: "Why do you always get to hear vague things from that man who loves you? Why won't he ever hang out with me and act all weird at me? Make him come here!"
Liz: "He says no, because there is still a Mole. Newton Grey Phillips was only half."
Meera: "Ridiculous. The DOJ says it's okay now, and they are always right."
Ressler: "As much as I love disagreeing with literally anything anybody says, I agree this one time. We are no longer under surveillance by anybody in the PO."
Meera: "I am so sick of talking about this Mole, like, can we please find something new to talk about besides Mole This, Mole That, Mole Mole Mole. I mean, what even does that word mean, once you say it enough times?"