Season 2 Episode 3
"Dr. James Covington"
Red sends the FBI after a black market organ operation while continuing his campaign against Berlin...[button color="black" size="small" link="http://www.nbc.com/the-blacklist" target="blank" ]Official Site[/button]
At a trendy D.C. cafe, a man threatens Paul Wyatt's family, so he runs for his life, nearly getting hit by a van. The driver seems friendly, then jams a hypodermic into Wyatt's neck, knocking him out. A woozy Wyatt comes to on a stretcher, which is rushed into an operating theater. Claiming Wyatt is out of time, Dr. James Covington covers his mouth with a breathing mask and the world turns black. Later that night, a metro D.C. uniformed officer stumbles across Wyatt's naked corpse dumped at a homeless encampment, chest splayed and emptied of his heart.
It's the middle of the night when Liz wakes up to find a bearded Tom aiming his gun at her. Reddington has discovered Tom's whereabouts and is on his way over. Liz shouldn't trust Red; he's using her and when Berlin is dead, he'll kill her. And has Red told her anything about the night of the fire? Liz needs to ask Red why he turned himself in to the FBI. Just as Tom is about to tell Liz "the truth," Red shoots him dead, asking, "What do you want, Agent Keen?" Liz wakes up a second time - it was all a dream. She's still on edge on her way to work, so when she spies a guy following her, she frisks him and demands to search his bag. Failing to find anything, the egg on Liz's face begins to sting.
Red meets his associate Niko Demakis with news that the Indonesian government has finally agreed to turn over day-to-day operations at the port of Tankulu to a private company, and he wants the business for their syndicate. Demakis thinks they're too small, but Red has already tripled their investment. Liz's arrival terminates the meeting. She wants to talk about Naomi, but Red is curious about Wyatt's death, for which he thinks Covington is responsible. Once a preeminent cardiothoracic surgeon, Covington now runs an illegal transplant ring for anyone who can't get a life-saving organ through conventional channels. He's keeping some of the worst of the worst alive. Aram researches Covington to learn that what Red says is true; a few years ago he had a meltdown, stole a pair of lungs from the donor pool and performed an experimental operation on a 10-year-old, then went off the grid. Meanwhile, in New Orleans, Covington's operative Oliver Fleck meets with corpulent crook B.B. Babbitt, who's in desperate need of a heart.
Cooper introduces Samar Navabi, who's now on indefinite loan to the task force. It's clear neither Liz nor Ressler trusts this Iranian woman, formerly employed by Mossad. On the way to talk to the ME, Liz reminds Ressler that Red sent Samar to rescue them in Warsaw; something's up. At the morgue, ME Milo Burnham explains the heart taken from Wyatt's chest wasn't his to begin with. Wyatt's wife Ellen doesn't want to talk about the transplant - they'll kill her if she talks. With the promise of protection, Ellen admits her husband leased a heart from Covington for an exorbitant fee. Once he went bankrupt and could no longer afford to pay, Covington "repossessed" the heart. The fee was paid to a non-profit called The Wellbright Fund, who paid out local medical examiner Dr. Gordon Albee. Liz calls Red, asking to borrow Mr. Kaplan, who digs up and examines several corpses that came under Albee's jurisdiction, which are all missing organs. Presented with the evidence, Albee admits to calling a courier to pick up viable organs and agrees to cooperate. He packages a pig heart as Liz builds a profile on a fake donor. The FBI quickly IDs Covington's operative Ronald Cassell, who picks up the heart, just as Covington preps Babbitt for surgery. Hopping on a motorcycle, Cassell quickly makes Liz and Ressler, who give chase. Their plan goes awry when Cassell is killed in cross-traffic.
Demakis meets two of Red's associates, Laskin and Russo, who agree that the plan to take over the port of Tankulu is reckless. That's when an effete man, Mr. Vargas, crashes the meeting, claiming Berlin sent him with a once-in-a-lifetime offer. Demakis gives Red the details: if Demakis et al. will break with Red, Berlin will allow them to operate the port under his name. Red thanks Demakis for his support, and asks him to report back if any of the others intend to defect. It's not long before Demakis presents evidence of Laskin and Russo meeting with Mr. Vargas, prompting Red to call all the parties to a meeting in an alley. With little fanfare, Laskin and Russo are dragged off, presumably never to be seen again.
The FBI learns the pig heart was destined for Babbitt, who, it turns out, Red knows just where to find. Waiting for another heart, Babbitt refuses to turn over Covington's number until after his surgery, so Red discloses that he spiked Babbitt's cocktails with an erectile dysfunction drug which will likely bring on a heart attack. So how 'bout that number? Aram is tracing Covington's location just as he makes a call to schedule a removal. After canvassing the target neighborhood, Liz and Ressler break into a suspicious warehouse where they find a full-on trauma center in the basement, filled with sickly, unconscious kids. Ressler takes Fleck down, sending Liz to catch Covington in the midst of a lung transplant on a young patient. If she wants him to stop the surgery, she'll have to shoot him, which Ressler is more than willing to do. Covington explains it all started when he transplanted adult lungs into a little girl and lost his license. Moreover, every dime he earned off criminals like Wyatt has gone to spare the lives of children. Touched, Liz appeals to Ressler to let Covington finish the transplant he started before taking him in.
Mr. Vargas concludes an arms deal at a car wash with Cristobal Rojas just as Demakis arrives to kick off their own arrangement. Since Demakis betrayed Reddington by convincing him that Laskin and Russo made a deal with Berlin, he wants Red dealt with. Though Berlin would have killed Red already if he wanted him dead, Mr. Vargas agrees to take care of it if Demakis will set a meeting with Red. It's not long before Red is back in Demakis' office. Demakis admits he took Berlin up on his offer, then introduces Vargas, who aims his gun at Red. After congratulating Demakis, Red grabs Mr. Vargas' gun. It turns out that the former Deputy Minister of Transportation missed his heart transplant and died, so his replacement has given Red the job of running the Port of Tankulu. When Red shoots Demakis in the heart, Mr. Vargas gets upset. How many times have they discussed this? Red knows he needs to leave the room before all the bloody stuff!
After work, Samar invites Liz out for a drink to celebrate closing the case. Liz begs off, admitting she doesn't trust Samar. Moreover, Samar only found Reddington because he wanted her to find him, wanted her at the FBI. Back at her motel, Liz apologizes to the man she frisked earlier in the week, explaining she's a federal agent. He returns to his room, which is directly across from hers, to unpack a sniper rifle and scope. Meanwhile, Dembe drives Red to a rustic cabin in the woods where Naomi waits. After laying eyes on the man she hasn't seen in decades, she punches him right in the mouth.