THE BLACKLIST --
Now that we're done pretending to understand football, we can get to the most important part of Superbowl Sunday: "The Blacklist's" premiere. Last time we checked on everyone's favorite criminal, Raymond "Red" Reddington, he was busy wearing a fedora, dealing with the aftermath of Alan Fitch's death, comforting Lizzy (who's basically having an emotional breakdown), and secretly meeting with Tom. That's Tom Keen, as in Lizzy's estranged husband who happens to be a contract killer. Let's just say there a lot of things happening in Washington D.C., including Ron Perlman changing out of his Hell Boy costume and wrecking havoc on the city. Which brings us to our recap.

Raymond Is Captured, Forms Cunning Plan While Fedora-less
Here's the bad news: hot off the heels of losing Fitch's protection, Red is arrested by the CIA and set to a detention facility / "slaughter house for spies" called The Factory, which happens to be in the middle of the ocean. The good news is that Red actually planned his arrest (sigh, this guy) in the hopes of stopping major league thief Luther Braxton. Turns out Braxton is planning an elaborate escape from The Factory and plans to steal a bunch of important national security secrets (note to the USA: you're terrible at keeping secrets), and Red is the only person who can stop him.

It goes without saying that Lizzy and her fellow FBI task forcers are frantically trying to locate Reddington, which takes them surprisingly little time. Once they do pinpoint Red's location, they quickly learn that he's hunting Braxton, and then get authorization for an evacuation. Easy, right? Wrong. Unfortunately, Braxton is busy taking over The Factory with his minions, by which we mean murdering everyone with machine guns.

Ressler and Samar Are Imprisoned, Lizzy Teams Up with Red
Because they have the worst timing ever, Ressler and Samar arrive at The Factory and immediately end up getting shot and captured by Braxton's cronies (typical), leaving Elizabeth with no choice but to troll around the boat in the hopes of finding Reddington. So, what's Red up to? Turns out he's trying to stop Braxton from accessing "The Fulcrum," a blackmail file that proves the existence of a clandestine organization (note: Fitch asked Red if he had the Fulcrum before his head exploded during the mid-season finale). Naturally, Lizzy isn't about to let Red go at it alone, so they join forces with a group of Factory inmates and make their way to the boiler room in the hopes of causing an explosion that will take out The Factory's server.

Of course the only way for Lizzy and Red to access the boiler room is via an air duct (again, typical), so they hop to it –– but not before Reddington and Braxton have a tense phone conversation in which Braxton mocks Reddington for liking Nietzsche and Beethoven. Naturally, Red quotes Bruce Lee at him and hangs up.

Braxton Steals All The Secrets Ever, Lizzy and Red Save The Day (and Each Other)
Over in Washington, some well-intentioned CIA liaison named Agent Rosenberg and his boss, Kat Goodson, attempt to negotiate with Braxton, who's like "Hard pass" and promptly kills The Factory's warden. Braxton then hops on the phone with Cooper, demands a all-access CIA master code, and threatens to kill Samar if he doesn't get his way. The problem? Braxton will use the code to break into a the CIA's most sensitive data, because apparently some genius thought it was a good idea to put an access point to the country's biggest secrets in a prison. Shockingly, Cooper decides to risk the entire nation's secrets in exchange for Agent Samar's life, as ya do, so the CIA / FBI should probably think twice about letting him keep his job.

Meanwhile on The Factory, Liz and Red meet up in the boiler room and realize they have to explode said boiler manually and risk their lives in the process. Fortunately, they manage to blast the server and make it out alive, causing Braxton to lose his connection (oh, and Red drops the bomb that Lizzy's somehow the key to finding the Fulcrum). Unfortunately, Lizzy gets kidnapped by Braxton, but Reddington only takes about five seconds to wander around the ship murdering everyone in an attempt to save her, so don't even worry about it.

Bombs Explode and Bombshells Drop
Not to end this recap on a dramatic note, but everyone is about to be blown to smithereens. You see, shadowy members of Fitch's secretive group (led by US National Clandestine Service leader "The Director") have decided that Reddington is no longer a threat because he doesn't actually have the Fulcrum, and their new plan is to kill him. In fact, The Director gives his NCS liaison, Kat Goodson, orders to bomb the entire Factory –– eliminating Red, Braxton and proof of their secrets all at the same time. In other words: three birds, one stone.

Cooper doesn't manage to call off the bombing (he's kind of failing at his job this week, to be honest), and the first strikes hit at the end of the episode. But even more alarming is the fact that Braxton spends his last moments with Red and Lizzy musing on her mysterious past: "She was there that night wasn't she?" Braxton asks Red. "She's the one." Actually, that would be Neo ("Matrix" jokes never get old), but Lizzy's past definitely seems tied up in the fulcrum. Suddenly, Red's obsession with keeping her safe is starting to make sense....

Burning Questions:
What secret is The Fulcrum holding, and how is Lizzy involved?
We're pretty sure The Factory was bombed at the end of this episode...does everyone make it out alive?
Is Raymond Lizzy's father? (We'll never stop asking that question)
Where is Tom? He didn't show up during this week's episode, which was a bit disappointing given the mid-season finale's bombshell.

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