"The Blacklist" - "Luther Braxton (No. 21)"- Feb. 1, 2015
We open on a breaking news report that "most wanted" criminal Red has been apprehended, which neatly gives his backstory to all those new viewers who might have decided to check the show out after the Super Bowl.
Of course, the world doesn't know that Red turned himself in and is working with the FBI. The CIA who picked him up of course does know, but they don't seem to be playing ball.
The CIA has taken him to a black site in the Bering Sea and the gang back at the Post Office is confused by this turn of events.
Ressler insists that he got himself caught and sent to that facility on purpose and it turns out that he is right.
It turns out Red wanted to get into this black site prison called the Factory-- where they torture intel out of criminals-- to touch base with one Luther Braxton (No. 21 on the list) an old acquaintance being held there.
Red tries to bribe the guard chaining him up but really just wants him to make a call and get warden to speak to him. The warden arrives and Red calmly explains that soon this Braxton is going to break out of his cell and all hell is going to break loose. The warden, foolishly, does not believe him.
While resisting his torture Braxton is slipped something plastic which he swallows
Back at the Post Office Harold meets with Cat Goodson who is a liaison from Clandestine Services and another high level government type and they exchange info on Red and Braxton is a thief of the highest order who steals secrets and sells them and Interpol has been after him for years. He stages his heists amidst big deal-- read war zone-- chaos.
Liz, Ressler, and Navabi are authorized to evacuate Red.
Braxton uses the plastic piece given him to hitch it up to some kind of contraption on the door that electrocutes the guard and he busts out. He then helpfully lets lots of other prisoners out, including the buddies that are going to help with this particular heist at the prison.
Amidst this chaos, the warden comes to Red and says he's getting evacuated. Red tells him to tell the chopper to turn around, he knows it's gonna be a problem.
And, of course it is, the minute Liz, Ressler, and Navabi step off the chopper they are ambushed. Navabi is shot in the leg and she and Ressler are hauled away while Liz manages to escape notice.
Ressler and Navabi and a guard are strung up by their necks, balancing precariously on blocks just under their feet.
Braxton calls the Post Office and quickly dispenses with the negotiator bureaucrat who get on the phone as well as a hostage, the warden. (Who really should've listened to Red.) Cooper gets on the phone Braxton wants a specific code to the servers at the prison. It turns out, bizarrely, the government decided to store some of the U.S. biggest secrets on a server at a prison with some of the world's most evil criminals.
Skulking around, Red grabs Liz into a room and explains that Braxton is after the Fulcrum, it is a blackmail file that offers proof of powerful clandestine U.S. organization and all its operatives and information and info critical to finding it is at the prison even though the file itself is held somewhere else. Red tells her to leave but she won't without him, Ressler, and Navabi.
While Braxton waits on the code-- after threatening to kill Navabi if he doesn't get it-- Red works with his own team of guys in the prison-- because of course he knows some-- to figure out a way to stop Braxton. They get a plan in place to blow up the boiler which will shut down the server, when one of Braxton's guys notices that there is a breach in that room. He calls the room and Red answers and they taunt each other, reminisce about how things got nasty in Belgrade, how Braxton was just an ordinary thief but bested Red and became famous. Braxton calls Red a snob, Red calls Braxton a fool.
Cooper gives up the code to Braxton when he lets him hear Navabi struggle, choking as she hangs. His guys head to the server room, enter the code and begin their search for what they want.
Liz makes it to the boiler room and lets in Red and his team.
The government official from earlier goes to members of the clandestine operation and explains that security has been breached and that Braxton may find what he's looking for. They all thought Red had it and that was what was keeping him safe. Now they know they can kill him, Braxton, and everyone else at the prison and their problem will be solved.
The official goes to Cat Goodson who argues for more time to save the agents and innocent hostages and he says he's ordering an attack on the prison.
In the boiler room Red's team has a setback. The only way to blow the boiler is manually which means whoever does it will probably die. The other members of Red's team opt out and Liz insists they can do it together.
As Liz and Red do the boiler dance to get it to blow she asks for the truth about why he cares if Luther exposes the cabal behind the Fulcrum. He explains if the. world believes he still has it and if Braxton gets it they'll kill him. Also, funny tidbit-- Braxton will discover if he follows the file code that he actually needs Liz to ultimately find the Fulcrum for some reason that Red doesn't divulge-- of course!-- which is why Red didn't want her to come rescue him.
She is confused and he tells a long story about Mexican fish who adapted to live in darkness but became hideous which is an analog to what he feels he has become, saying he once had a normal life with family, friends, bills and playdates and he wonders if he saw the sun if he would become less hideous.
Before she can ask any questions they run and the boiler blows, which throws Braxton's men offline.
Liz coughs herself alive but Red is not breathing and she starts CPR. When she realizes she's about to be captured she covers his body with debris. She is captured and brought to Braxton who promptly slugs her. She tells him Red is dead.
Cooper pleads with Goodson to stop the attack and says he won't just roll with it. She retorts that he didn't have the stones to keep the code to himself and if he goes to the press he knows how it works, he will be made out to be a kook and his people will still be dead.
The attack planes are 10 minutes out.
The guard Red tries to bribe saves him. Red loads up his weapon and shoots his way to Liz and Luther. Red tries to explain to Luther that the thing he seeks is not a "heist" thing or a golden ticket and Luther says he knows about Red's past "about the house, the fire, the girl." As he says this he realizes she's probably "the girl." Red tells Liz to shoot him.
The missiles slam into the prison.
To be continued!