Red brings Liz news of the Cyprus Agency, which he says is stealing babies and then passing them off as boutique adoptions. The real story -- as we see from the harrowing opening sequence, in which a wasted lady roams the streets looking for her baby and is eventually murdered along with a cop -- is vastly worse and scarier. They get the couple whose forthcoming baby is the Blacklist person for the week to sting the agency's lawyer, but he's immediately run over by a bus right before he explains what's really going on.
While the agency itself opens its doors without complaint, none of the leads go anywhere. It's only once Red tells Liz to widen the DNA search to near-matches/relatives of the 27 adopted babies that they put it together: The kids aren't being kidnapped, they're being bred in a lab. After the escapee's body is discovered bearing traces of an out-of-fashion sleep aid -- and some investigation into the founder's own sad history -- a young dorky drug contact of Red's points them toward a fertility clinic where the women are being kept doped up, impregnated over and over with IVF.
Several gunfights and grimly funny corporate-speak human trafficking shenanigans later, Liz has saved all the ladies, but she's horrified by the revelation -- a procedural staple of the last ten years -- that the Agency's founder (Campbell Scott) is the biological father of the brood. It's actually a smart, poignant twist, once you get past the cliché and into the story: Having been returned to the orphanage as a child for being too unstable, he's having double revenge, first by pretending to give crummy people the perfect accessory baby and second by giving himself the chance to grow up in those privileged homes, in a way, 27 times over. And, of course, there's nothing Liz can do about that now. If you have to do the sperm creep story -- different headline every decade, same basic rip -- at least do it well, and they did.
But what about Meera? Well, she is kind of the Mole in that she signed off on the schematics order that gave Garrick the layout of the black site. But she doesn't know who authorized it, only that Cooper handed it off, so she promises to find out who the FBI Mole is (again, but for real this time) by hacking into his computer. She produces the original memo for Red, who once again stations himself in the dark in a new Mole's house. But this time, he's right: Diane Fowler, working for Finch, set Red up "to make a point" about the Post Office. Red murders the hell out of her, even after she tells him she knows the truth about what happened to his family, so now we know what's gonna be on his mind for a while.
Back at the Keens', Liz and Tom are all excited about the impending baby -- she's even thinking of taking leave! -- before Red gets in her head, pointing out for about the millionth time that Tom is fully evil and you should definitely not commit to co-parenting with evil. She overreacts as usual, but by episode's end he's got her wondering. She says she wants to postpone the baby, points out that no child has ever saved a broken marriage, and spends the night weeping alone, while he cries to his spy girlfriend about it. Meaning that, if he's somehow not evil, Liz just did a self-fulfilling prophecy on herself.
In the end, Cooper seems to give Meera a subtle nod for helping protect Red, while the Amazing Mr. Kaplan arrives at Diane's, to a kiss on her beguiling cheek from Red (she calls him "dearie!"), and begins cleaning up the mess. A thrilling end, thanks to ironic use (both lyrically and tonally) of Gordon Lightfoot's "Sundown," but also one that underscores the serial/procedural split you get in all truly good shows that are trying to do both at once. I don't mind, but it's interesting to see how different shows deal with it.
So, your thoughts? Did I miss anything? What is the Red/Kaplan relationship about? Would you be this loyal to Red if you were lucky enough to occupy his same shadows? What will happen with Liz and Tom? When will Jolene spring her trap? How will Finch retaliate for Red killing all of his moles all the time? And what will Meera's role be at the Post Office, now that Fowler's out of the picture?
These things and more, after a month spent on the disrespectful travesty that is sending our best athletes to a competition that will be history's joke. Until then, I remain your faithful and constant friend. Do not buy babies if you can at all help it, never get in a van with strangers, and for God's sake don't go anywhere in your house if the lights are off. Red Reddington is probably in there, getting ready to weird you out.
Red used the Post Office to get information on the Alchemist's clients: Villains who, for one reason or another, had reason to disappear forever. Meanwhile, through some pretty brutal means, he got his hands on the FBI Mole: None other than Meera Malik. Back at home, Liz's continued ambivalence -- even in the midst of their impending adoption -- may be pushing Tom into the arms of another spy, the crazy-eyed "Jolene."
A zombie lady! Wrapped in a sheet, wandering the streets for what seems like a while given her hygiene situation, bumping into strangers, mumbling about her missing baby like a crackhead La Llorona. Finally a shiny-hatted NYPD officer is forced to pay attention to her, but a man with a ridiculous horseshoe moustache runs up, claiming to be her brother.
Frankly I think it would be more believable if he said they were time-travelers from the Old West. Either way I question it, mainly because they make such a curious pair grooming-wise: Your Glasses and Tenenbaums and Binewskis, your families of prodigies, don't come around that often. Although if he is her brother, I would very much like to know what is going on with their parents.
Moustachio: "She has not been well. As you can plainly see."
NYPD: "And yet I would like to know more."
Moustachio: "Can I just shoot you real quick right here on the street?"
Then he apologizes to the lady softly before also plugging her. This is no way for a person's brother to act, in my opinion.
Clinging desperately to each other on the couch, the Keens look at creepy-as-hell pictures of their developing fetus inside the lady.
Liz: "Look how he has features! I love it."
Tom: "Yes. A baby with a face is preferable."
Liz: "Have you managed to figure out how the car seat goes into the stroller?"
Tom: "Rather than admitting my own incompetence, I will simply offer my idea that you, asking me if I am planning on accidentally killing our baby with common household items, are now officially a mother."
Liz: "Yeah, I wasn't trying to like, pressure you? It's more about confirming your operational awareness. You say that like learning the ropes of car seats is somehow further than you were expecting to go."
Tom: "The important thing is that you have decided to take FMLA leave. As the woman, that's your prerogative whether or not I have a job or will ever have a job."