James Spader Shows Some Skin on the Blacklist Finale

Hey the Jerk Store called and they were like, "We have a delivery for the middle of New York City while Lizzie Keen holds a gun to Red Reddington's head, is somebody there to accept?" And nobody was, so the plane just crashed right there in the middle of everything! Scattering jerks everywhere! A jerk stepped on another jerk's dead jerk body, and then all the jerks scattered.

Matt Lauer was all, "Did you ever see Con Air? That's what's going on right now." But people just kept jogging and walking their dogs like they weren't under attack by Eastern European escaped criminals! Because they are goddamn New Yorkers, that's why.

The FBI is able to collect some of the slower jerks and they tell a story with—you won't believe me if I tell you this right now, but it's true—an honest-to-God plotpoint about pronouns. They keep saying about how the one man, Berlin who wants to snatch Red Reddington for some reasons we are free to imagine for ourselves, cut off "his" hand but they are not talking about "him" as a second character in the story.

Sorry to ruin the surprise, please do not put me on your personal blacklist, but the second you see who the surviving guard is, none of this matters. It is fucking Peter Stormare that had "his" hand cut off by the mysterious "he" who is also him, and if you have ever seen a movie or a TV show, the second you saw Peter Stormare's name in the credits you would be all like, "Well, that is clearly going to be Berlin."

But I am not mad at you, show, because I love Peter Stormare more than almost anything in this world. So you go on and think you're fooling us, like a tween doing magic tricks, and we will ooh and we will ahh and we will say, "Nice job! I really did think you sawed your sister in half, I was just trying to 'play it cool.'"

Anyway the guard whose hand was cut off by Berlin—which is also true!—falls down in a hospital and waits for when the FBI will come so he can tell them a very long, super weird story about bones among other things.

Red is in custody after Liz sold him out and then decided not to sell him out and then pretended to sell him out, if you recall. Gary Martin is the name of the little man with the little face that has been up in Cooper's biz for a few episodes, and man is he gloaty! Don't gloat at Red Reddington, he will punch you in the throat and then gloat so hard you will be embarrassed at your paltry gloating from a moment ago.

Martin: "Was Liz worth it? Literally nobody thinks she is. Barely even Liz thinks she is."
Red: "Your hair smells like my Dad. Is that Brillcream? He used to apply Brillcream liberally. To his BALLS, Special Agent Walter Gary Martin. Directly. To. His. Balls."

The Post Office is like, "Where did all these dudes come from?" And the answer is, Russia. But Russia—I hate to get political on you because we're just here to have fun—but Russia is horny illiterate teenage boys playing in shit, that's all it is. So they are not about to explain where they got all these wanted perps or why they flew them to the US or anything at all. But then how can we get a manifest that will explain which jerk was Berlin on the plane?

A sexy Russian watches the Today show and does so many pullups his eyebrows completely disappear, and then Tom Keen drops by lookin' superfine and tells him, "Here is a list of everybody on the show that works at the Post Office. Are we going to kill them or what?" And the Russian who I think his name is Milos Pavel Kinsky—which is a lot of damn references in one place I think—just smiles like, "You look pretty, like woman. Yes, we kill."

Red is very happy to see Alan Alda in his little Post Office Box where he lives, because it means that he gets to be smug at Fitch, his very fave. "See, if we were friends like I wanted to be, how happy that would have worked out. Instead, I murdered that old lady at her house that time, and I am in a box now, and even worse for you, you are a laughingstock of the world now because of the jerk plane and your lack of intel on it and your complete fame for that."

Alan Alda is like, "That's true but you have no idea that I already covered for your ass a few weeks ago with my mysterious faction, so let us not tit for tat with each other. I will arrange your escape from the Post Office if you will solve all my problems. PS, I probably will kill everybody in the Post Office, like, probably today but don't hold me to that because I have a lot going on."

They stick Red in a car with Gary and Red pops him in the face so hard he is knocked unconscious, then he strangles everybody else in the car, and then he walks away from a car crash like it is no big deal to him so he can call Lizzie and tell her what the past hour has been like for himself personally.

This part sucked ass. Malik and Ressler go shaking trees at Russia mobster nightclubs looking for leads on how to get to Berlin, and then Malik sees a giant man looking like he wants to kill her so she goes to help him with that. Then her throat is slit like Robb Stark, and then she is dead. Which is dumb, and not because her character was so well-developed or interesting, it's just because she's expendable. Because however little of a character Don Ressler is, she was always even less.

When Luli Zeng died and Dembe was like, ready to follow, I thought, "Huh. That's weird. As a white person I have no problem with Red having minority servants doing all of his whims without even opening their stupid mouths to talk! But now that you are putting it in my face, that is kind of weird." So now, half the season later, we have a situation where the one minority woman is getting killed, seemingly only to motivate some bad-ass behavior of Ressler later, and then Cooper also nearly dies... I'll think it, but I won't always say it, when it happens once. But for the exact same cardboard BS to happen twice in the same way and basically for the same reasons, precisely as these tentpole seasonal events... That's fucked up. It's just fucked up. It's not intentional, it's not racist, not evil, it doesn't make you evil for liking or watching the show, but the point is it's our privilege to overlook these kinds of patterns, until they're pointed out.

Anyway Liz is like, "Red, Meera Malik just got Luli'd," and he is like, "Who is that?" But also that he can't risk any more Post Officers at this point, because he loves both Liz and Ressler now, so he just has to abruptly quit and make the FBI stop looking for Berlin. But Liz points out that this is Tom's fault—since he engineered his own capture to get a look at everybody?—and therefore, everything is about Tom. By which she means, everything is about her.

"And speaking of me, what about my father Sam? Let's talk about that. It has been five whole minutes since last we spoke of Sam."

Red says Berlin was only interested in Sam because of Liz, and Liz because of Red, and Red because of who knows why? And then also, another thing nobody knows is, why bring all these extra jerks if you just wanted Berlin in the US? Anyway, Ressler is able to figure out that at least one of them was supposed to go back to Russia—thanks to his understanding of Russian hand tattoo meanings that he has—so Red finally goes to the ambassador's house to get that darn manifest.

When the ambassador gets home—from what must be a hard job, all perqs aside, being diplomatic on behalf of the grossest thing of all Europe—he finds Red being adorable at his dining room table, eating (and endlessly talking about) the kind of peaches he's eating, which is freestone, and what freestone means when it comes to peaches, and also chilling with the diplomat's Yorkie. Dembe takes away his cell phone, Red eats more peaches, and then abruptly throws a knife into the diplomat's leg and then stabs him a little bit on the midsection, and so now we have the manifest!

Four of the jerks are missing, neither on the scene smoking and getting stepped on by jerks nor in FBI custody. Two of them are just okay, but one of them is way hot. It is Tom's BFF, Kinsky, or the man we think of as Berlin until—yes, you're very tricky The Blacklist—we learn otherwise. So they should go talk to the guard without the hand and narrow it down, so that way their job is only looking for one jerk and not four jerks (over and above looking for all four jerks, of course which is their regular job).

At the hospital, Peter Stormare is like," Hey, how dumb are you?" And it's Liz and Ressler so of course they are like, "On a scale of one to ten we are about an eight and a ten, but if you would like us to do some close-up magic or terrible hostage negotiating, we are like an eight and a ten on that also." He's like, "Perfect. I have a very long, very weird story to tell you." And they're like, "Uh, we are familiar with that concept from working with Raymond Reddington every week."

Berlin was a Russian Army guy turned KGB who was all about sending people to Siberia during the Cold War. His daughter fell in love with a dissident, and was punished, but he helped her escape and got sent to Siberia himself! Among his enemies, thanks Kremlin. But then some mysterious meanie started sending him parts of his daughter's body! (Also a pocketwatch.) Finally when he got her bones, he sharpened them into knives! Deal with that! Because his guards at the gulag sure couldn't, once his daughter-bone knife was up in their guts. And now he blames Red for some part of this or all of it, and here we are.

I generally pretend that "everything," meaning "nothing," that Red says about his adventures is strictly true. But if you pretend all of it is—if you let him Extraordinary Gentleman you with his narrative—then for sure he would have been able to find time in there to be a Cold War Soviet dissident and get some chick killed and her bones mailed to her dad in Siberia. He could do that in the time it would take you or I to microwave a television dinner, or pit a freestone peach.

Anyway they are like, "Thanks for telling us that crazy story! It has been nice getting to know you, and probably we won't see you again since there's nothing special about you except that you know the entire life story of a person that doesn't exist, but so anyway good luck with your no hand."

Agent Martin meets Cooper and he has double shiners from when Red knocked him upside the head, and what he tells Cooper is that everything is okay, and Red and Keen are welcome to start over again like at the beginning of the season, with immunity and BFF powers of just them two. Cooper is like, "What is even going on with you dicks, you've been riding my jock all season about this and now suddenly you are chill about it?"

Gary woggles his Brillcreamed eyebrows at Cooper and is just like, "You are so dumb if you don't get that Diane Fowler worked for Fitch just like I do," but hints around at him about it so maybe he will figure it out. And maybe he would if he thought about it for one second, but instead he gets distracted from getting garroted in his car immediately after this conversation, by that same guy that killed Meera. Two down. Good thing Aram never leaves the Post Office or for sure he would be next.

Boy, now Ressler is really mad! They find the guy who keeps killing people and he gives this mortifying speech about how he used to be "a real Boy Scout" that "followed all the rules," but then he fell in love and a week later he was engaged and a week after that she got killed by ninjas and then the week after that he blew up a man who was dying of cancer that was pissing him off, and nowadays it's just like who knows. "I don't need rules anymore, just the sound of beating your ass into the ground!" Ressler, red in cheek and eye!

So Donald beats his tied-up Russian ass in custody like a real badass that believes in due process and extradition laws to only a certain extent that doesn't interfere with his incredible virility, chokes him out, and finds out the address of one Berlin (but not the real one, even).

Liz sees Cooper in the hospital and is so desperate to make these two minority attacks be all about her that she starts crying in Red's lap about her dad some more, which is a leap even for her and you can tell even Red thinks she's being tacky. Red explains to her about her father, for the 196,000th time, and that Sam got a visitor in the middle of the night, an old friend who was dropping her off to be raised by Sam, since her dad had died in a fire that night.

Liz is like, "I remember a fire, and this bunny, and my hand, but that's all I remember—as you probably know from the many times I have said all of this," and Red's like, "Yeah because you were a very small child is why you don't remember it so well. Just don't worry about the rest of it because if you ever remember who your dad is, you will be murdered. Your dad died in the fire and Sam is great. PS, I feel bad about killing Sam but I did it for two reasons. One is, because I love him. Two is, because he was going to tell you who is your dad."

You can see her gear up to be like, "Yeah, but who is my dad?" and hope that he yells at her to cut that shit out, but instead Finch sends the fake Berlin's address, and then we have a short sexy montage of Red killing, I would say, six or seven hundred people to get in there.

Fake Berlin is like, "They both kind of have red hair, the man is a strawberry blond and the woman is more of an auburn, but... Yeah, those two assholes. Kill 'em both. We good?" And then Red is like, "I am here to tie you up and torture you for a good ten minutes!" So he does, and tells many a long strange story about many things, but the basics are that he would like to know what Berlin is all about. Why he is here, where did he come from, what is the deal with him doing terrorism, et cetera.

Fake Berlin is a tough customer! Not only will he not tell Red these things or why he is doing all this crap, but he won't even admit he doesn't know any of those things! Finally Fake Berlin is like, "I guess Beirut in 2010 is why I'm so mad?" And Red is like, "Actually that makes a ton of sense." (But really he's lying because it doesn't, which is just how Red works. He will keep torturing you even after you embarrass yourself by not being Berlin.)

Outside, playing 2048 on her phone and trying not to just die of boredom in Red's car while he tortures a man, Liz is surprised by Tom Keen, who slides in beside her in the car. He is so perfect looking that every time comes as a surprise. It doesn't wear off. So she is nearly breathless! But also with fear, because he calls her babe but also there's a gun in his hand. He hostages her up the stairs and into Fake Berlin's house, where they have a commercial-break amount of standoff—Berlin keeps telling Tom to shoot her! But he doesn't want to because he loves her probably!—before Red is like, he just shoots Berlin through the head after shooting him through so many other parts, and he's like, "Now it's just the three of us finally!"

What is the opposite of a family? Is there a word for that?

Anyway, Liz is all scared with a gun to her head and then Tom finally gets jumpy and shoots at Red, just in the arm barely, and Liz responds by plugging Tom in the tummy like, many times. First once or twice, then many times. He falls down on the floor and Red is all set to execute him but Liz says she will do it, which all three of them know means she won't.

The second Red's gone, she feels very sorry for Tom and his beautiful body, and he feels very sorry for being such a fucking drag all season and also for their whole marriage being a lie and making her feel crazy and violated, and she's like, "It's no big deal" and then he tells her that her father is alive! That's very interesting to Liz since it's about Liz, so she drops his hot ass on the floor of this random apartment like Kristen Wiig in the checkout lane at Target and heads down to interrogate Red about that. So by the time the FBI shows up to comb the place over, there's just a good deal of Tom's sexy smeared-around blood, but no sexy Tom qua Tom, left on the floor. Excelsior, Tom Keen!

The Post Office is losing personnel faster than the internet is killing their namesake! Now it's just Ressler, Keen and Aram. None of whom are the best to be honest. Finally they figure out how dumb they are that every single jerk was like, "He cut off his hand!" and they were like, "You already told us that, it's fucked up" and the prisoners were like, "Yeah but it's fucked up at like a 99 and you're acting like it's fucked up at a 40-45." It was over twice as fucked up as they were acting, because pronouns: He cut off his [own] hand. Because it had Russian tattoos on it, which would make Stormare obviously Berlin, like he already obviously was.

This part is mostly redeemed by Aram, the smartest guy in the room, doing this hilariously portentous "my heart just dropped out of my butt because I figured out our tragic/fatal mistake of lexical ambiguity" as though it's this complicated thing that you would have to be Einstein to figure out, and not just be a person who can understand normal emphasis and intonation in people's voices when they say things. (Maybe that's why they were Eastern European jerks, actually, so that this could be the big "puzzle" of the finale and they needed some people with, to the Western ear, a flatter affect. I bet that's what it is.)

So they run to the hospital and guess what, everybody is fucking dead. Piles of dead nurses, chopped and stacked, by a knife that maybe it was made from a daughter or maybe just any bone will do, but either way this Berlin guy, am I right? Piece of work.

Red explains that he already knew all of this because of how Fake Berlin said he was after Red because of Beirut 2010, but this ass ache already started way before that. So now everybody "thinks" Berlin is finally dead, but everybody "knows" that he isn't. So Lizzie has a choice: She can quit the FBI and this whole dumb thing and go to therapy forever and ever, or she can drop out and be full-time Reddington Faction and help him solve these things and do revenge and save whatever is left of the Post Office. She is like, "Much like in every episode, I will first say fuck you and then five minutes later change my mind."

Five minutes later, after staring at every picture of Sam there is and also moving out of her house, Liz changes her mind. Just as Ressler is noticing movement in Cooper's left hand that signifies he is going to survive being murdered, she pulls up at Red's house and they reconcile like they always do. Also Stormare shaves and looks presentable, and very much wonderful in fact, for next season. He checks out the picture of his daughter, who Red also has a picture of—he took it from the Stewmaker, the "#79" Polaroid—and I guess probably goes to find more bones to make things out of. I like to imagine him gnawing or carving bones into everything, from Dutch shoes to patio furniture to replicas of smaller bones. Like Lauren Conrad with seashells.

So that is very exciting! Berlin's daughter, blamed on Red somehow. Liz in the wind and ready to live a life of luxury with her pet monster/pretend dad #3, like any normal person would have done on Day One. Ressler overjoyed in his simple mind by Cooper's survival. Meera's orphaned children for no reason. What a great day for everyb... Oh, what's that, Lizzie? You want to... Are you sure? I mean, it's kinda... You know what, go for it.

Liz: "Are you my father?"
Red: "Are you fucking serious right now?"

Nah see because Tom—a person who even their name is a lie—told her one thing, and Red—who has never lied to her and regularly takes fucking bullets and knives for her—told her another. So obviously fact-checking is in order. Whether or not Real Dad is alive is not the problem, Lizzie. The problem is that you are scaring us, neurologically speaking. Anyway he's like, "Next time I will backhand you, how about. Don't make me that kind of Fake Dad."

And then he goes home and looks at the Stewmaker's picture of Berlin's dead daughter, and then he takes off his shirt to deal with Tom's little gunshot wounds on his arm, and guess what: His back is full of burn scars. So that. Is that. At the very least, Red's the guy who dropped her off.

Which I guess means either Raymond Reddington set that fire, or he died metaphorically and was reborn with his whole well-dressed bi vibe intact, or that he loved both her dads—took her from one BFF to another BFF in a single busy firefighting night—which would make him just a regular old dad-lover.

[Image via NBC]

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