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The Blacklist

THE BLACKLIST (NBC)

The Blacklist

Season 1 Episode 14

"Madeline Pratt"

Liz helps Tom adjust to the impending adoption; Red reveals a woman from his past is a target; Red convinces Liz to pull of a heist at the Syrian Embassy....

 

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We open on Istanbul. At the Turk Nazlan Bank, where a woman is mourning the loss of her husband by prying open his safety deposit box. The bank agent calls her “Mrs. Reddington.” As she leaves the building, wrapping herself in a silk scarf, the bank’s alarm goes off and she disappears into the sea of street vendors.

Cut to Reddington getting acupuncture. But he is not pleased to find out that his box in Istanbul has been cleared out. Dembe delivers a note from Mrs. Red: “Windsor Lounge, 8pm, -- M.”

Red goes to the lounge for the meet. We found out that the woman is working out a personal vendetta against Red, for the time he stood her up in Florence.

Lizzy goes to meet Red. He’s pacing around Jordan Belfort’s home. Some stockbroker who's dodging the feds has left his house unattended, and Red knows the housekeeper. But Red is in a huff because he can’t stand the Vermeer in the living room!  “She’s breathtakingly unattractive, but she’s worth over 40 million dollars,” Red says. “I got up in the middle of the night for a snack and she absolutely ruined my appetite.”

We learn the woman's name, Madeline Pratt. Pratt is the next name on The Blacklist and she has enlisted Red to help her plot to steal an old relic.

 

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Liz agrees to help Red with Madeline Pratt, so they head off to meet with an expert. The expert tells them that they are looking for “the effigy,” which holds inside of it a list of Soviet spies called the Kungur Six and finding the spies would be “the holy grail of US counter-intelligence.”

At the Post Office, Cooper and Malik are abuzz over the disappearance of Diane Fowler. Malik is getting Cooper all riled about it and throws Reddington under the bus. Cooper tries to threaten Red for information on Diane.

Madeline Pratt turns out to be a jewel thief parading as a socialite.  She likes to steal pretty things and sometimes things that affect national security – this effigy hits both of those marks. Currently the gold statue is being held at a secure wing of the Syrian Embassy and Ms. Pratt doesn’t want to do the job personally, so she’s asked Reddington to do it.  Red thinks Pratt has a Russian buyer for the effigy, since the Russians want to protect the identity of the Kungur Six. Cooper says no, but changes his mind when Reddington throws Agent Keen’s name out there, calling her an “ace of spades” at thieving. Ressler, who is always so quick to assume Keen is guilty, demands to know if she has a criminal record. “So you don’t have a criminal record because you’ve never committed a crime or because you were never caught?” He asks and she replies, “Yes.”

 

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Liz goes in for the jewel thief interview with Madeline Pratt, and she passes with flying colors because it turns out she is a thief! Red prompts Liz to tell Maddie about Frank. Liz quickly picks up the line and says Frank was a guy she knew in high school with whom she'd grifted.  Then Red says, “Tell her about Omaha,” and Liz looks visibly shaken. Liz tells a story about how she and her boyfriend were stealing from a mall shop when the security guard almost caught Frank. To save this boy who she thought meant everything to her, 17-year-old Liz takes the security guard outside and “kisses him off.” To prove herself further, Liz palms Madeline’s phone.

There’s a party at the Syrian Embassy to which Liz will be invited, and she’ll sneak into the vault there. Madeline has everything covered except for a security badge that Liz needs to get from some poor schmuck who wears his key card on his outer jacket lapel and gets his coffee at 4 p.m. every day. (Their security is airtight.) So Liz does a “brush past” and swipes the card. Aram sits in a van and duplicates the card, but they need a distraction to buy a little more time, so Ressler jumps out of the white van and runs directly into the Syrian, spilling coffee everywhere. Then, like this poor man is in a pinball machine, Liz does a second “brush past.” As if he wouldn’t notice that he’d been pawed in the chest three times in his walk to the coffee cart. In the meantime, Liz reveals she swiped Madeline’s SIM card when she palmed her phone, so they can search her phone records.

As Lizzie is slipping into her undercover evening wear, Tom proposes that they spend the weekend in Orlando, since he has to go there for a conference. She says yes.

 

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Reddington tells Liz that Madeline is dating a member of the Russian mob and the two of them will be at the party tonight.

Meanwhile back at the P.O., Cooper tells Malik he wants her to investigate the suspected murder of Diane Fowler. “Who did he talk to? I want to know everything.” Cooper says, not realizing that it’s Malik who talked to Reddington.

 

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At the party, the heist begins with Red telling Lizzie: “You’re not a cop tonight. You’re a criminal. Just be yourself.”  Lizzie tells Red that she made up the Omaha story, but he doesn’t believe her.

 

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The heist unravels when Lizzie triggers the alarm on the safe. Clearly this was a set up by Madeline, who then fingers Red as the thief, and amidst the chaos she pinches the effigy from the safe room.

 

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Reddington pretends to be Lizzie’s gay friend in order to distract the gun-toting guard who's got her tied to a chair. “Do you have any idea whose horn this tramp is blowing? It starts with Bashar and ends with Assad gassing you faster than a Sunni.”

The Feds round up a man whose father stole the effigy from the British Museum years earlier. From their conversation with him, they realize that the Kundur Six isn’t a list of names, it’s a list of coordinates for nuclear weapons hidden across the United Sates by the Soviets.

 

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Reddington doesn’t like to be played, so he catches up with Madeline, hoping to strong arm some information out of her. While in mid conversation, some Syrians whip out stun guns and kidnap both Red and Maddie.

Cut to them in cells, Reddington lying in a heap on the floor after being tortured for information. Sweating and bleeding, he begins to tell Madeline the long, sad story of how he came to lose his family. It was Christmas Eve and he was stranded on the side of the highway when he ran out of gas after doing some last-minute Christmas shopping. Forced to walk five miles home in the snow, he opened the door to his house to find blood everywhere.

“I can still feel her little fingers on my cheek,” he says thinking about his lost daughter. “That’s why I didn’t show up in Florence. That’s why I don’t show up a lot of places.” We watch Madeline’s face through a square grate in the cell wall as she hears this story. Tears stream down her cheek. When the Syrians come to grab Reddington again, she breaks down and says she’ll tell them what they want to know and writes the effigy’s location on a pad of paper. She asks for Reddington, and he appears from the next room in a perfectly pressed suit. When she asks if any of it were true, the story about his family, he doesn’t reply.

 

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The FBI shows up at the site Madeline had written down, just as her boyfriend is making the effigy pick-up. Gunfire ensues and they get the statue, but the figurine is filled only with sand, not coordinates. Red has the nuclear bombs list, and he offers Cooper a trade, the nukes for the effigy.

Liz calls Tom and gets his voicemail. He’s left early for Orlando after announcing that some time apart is what they really need right now. Agent Ressler sticks around the office to give Liz some emotional support after she tells him that Tom is probably going to leave her.

Cooper gets a visit from Special Agent Walter Gary Martin, who tells Cooper that he needs to stop looking into Diane Fowler. “I’ve been cleared level four. I’m going to need all your case files. The D.C. Field Office is running point. It’s protocol.”

 

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