On the Jan. 19 “Blacklist” episode “The Harem,” the A-plot featured an all-female team of thieves that steals only from criminals — and it was a top-notch case of the week.
Who doesn’t want to watch “Crossing Jordan’s” Jill Hennessy, “Hannibal’s” Hettienne Park and “Once Upon a Time’s” Anastasia Griffith plan “Ocean’s Eleven”-esque heists?
But as with many “Blacklist” episodes, the real eye-catching moments were happening in the background.
It turns out Reddington’s (James Spader) relationship with Liz (Megan Boone) and the Post Office is not the first time he’s gotten in bed with an intelligence organization. Emma, one of the Harem members, knows Red because she has worked for him for eight years — starting when she was an MI6 agent.
After she tries to double cross him in order to get out from under his thumb, Red surprisingly lets her go — in exchange for America’s witness protection list — complete with a cabin in Vermont and money for her son’s education.
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So, is this all we’re going to see and hear of Red’s time with Emma and apparently MI6? Because the fact that he let her walk away scot free after “killing” Mr. Kaplan (Susan Blommaert) for a betrayal (albeit a bigger one — and no, Mr. Kaplan is not dead, but Red thinks she is) makes us think that Emma might mean even more to him than Mr. Kaplan did.
Or perhaps it was merely Red choosing not to orphan a teenager over a relatively small betrayal. Could be nothing, but with “The Blacklist,” one never knows.
2. Maureen Rowan
Turns out Mr. Kaplan has a sister, whose name was Maureen Rowan before she testified against a Russian mobster and entered witness protection. She is why Red wanted to get his hands on the stolen witness protection list — to make sure Mr. Kaplan’s sister stays safe. But what an intriguing case of the week, when we’re all still wondering who picked Mr. Kaplan up in the woods… hmmm.
It couldn’t have been Dembe (Hisham Tawfiq), because he clearly still believes Kate is dead. Who else would she have called? No, she shouldn’t be able to contact her sister, but what if she could — and this is how Red finds out she’s alive?
3. Baldur Magnusson
This is the biggest mystery of them all — who is the man that swooped in and stole Red’s shipping deal out from under his nose, just as Red’s accountant died of a “heart attack”?
Sounds like the plot for “Blacklist: Redemption” is easing into place, since the preview and episode description for the next new episode, “Natlie Luca,” airing Feb. 2, reveal that Red enlists Tom (Ryan Eggold) to figure out who is messing with Red’s business interests.
RELATED: Can ‘The Blacklist’ ever resolve Liz’s paternity in a satisfying way?
In fact, the episode after that, “Isabella Stone,” also teases that plot line, as the task force springs into action to go after a “sophisticated criminal who has been targeting Red’s businesses,” while Tom is “on the hunt for information about his past.”
Is Baldur Magnusson somehow tied to Scottie Hargrave (Famke Janssen) and the plot of “The Blacklist’s” spinoff? Information about him is nil at this point — nothing in any previous “Blacklist” episodes and nothing in any episode descriptions or casting news.
Guess we’ll all have to wait two weeks to find out just who this mysterious Scandanavian villain is.
“The Blacklist” airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on NBC. The show returns Feb. 2 for four episodes — before “Blacklist: Redemption’s” eight-week run in the same timeslot — and then will resume again in late April.