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The Blacklist “Milton Bobbit” 

Photo Credit: Craig Blankenhorn/NBC
Photo Credit: Craig Blankenhorn/NBC

If The Blacklist accomplished anything this week, (and to be brutally honest, it really, really accomplished very little. This whole ‘Who Is Tom Keen?’ plot pacing they’ve got going on is practically glacial) it was to guarantee that I will never eat another mushroom again as long as I live. From this point forward, they will forever more be associated with the dying and decaying contract killer slash insurance actuary, Milton Bobbit, who *took his nose off* while enjoying a multi-fungus smoothie. It was so bad, Mr. Tobey asked if Bobbit had leprosy. I was actually kind of looking forward to seeing how The Blacklist would explain that, had they chosen to go that route. Missionary work overseas? Ate some bad armadillo meat? I digress.

I’ve always wondered how someone becomes a contract killer. Really, it fascinates me. Is there an audition process? Some sort of job shadowing you have to go through? Do you just start killing people and hope that the right people will notice? I think I have a handle on mob guys and ex-military types, but for people like Milton, working 9-5, day-to-day, how the hell does he become a highly paid assassin with a cool nom de guerre like, ‘The Undertaker?’

Photo Credit: Craig Blankenhorn/NBC
Photo Credit: Craig Blankenhorn/NBC

Because he made enough money to subcontract out to all those people with terminal illnesses and have them do the dirty work of the murder/suicides, and still get paid himself, which is genius. Really, Milton, my hat is off to you. I was expecting the old, “We’ll kill your family if you don’t do XYZ for us,” and this was way better, and a nice twist on an old trope. Also, ‘Guy poisoned by experimental diabetes drug turns to contract killing to save enough money to have people responsible for his inevitable death assassinated before blowing himself up,’ is certainly novel.

Milton even managed to convince himself he was doing a good and noble thing by ensuring all his killers’ families were taken care of after they were gone, because his evil insurance company had denied them their benefits. Really, he was doing everyone a service. He’d have been a monster if he hadn’t done it. The needs of the many, after all, outweigh the needs of the few, or of the one. So I guess the ‘one’ just has to die. Sorry, your need to stay alive is outweighed by little Susie’s need to go to college. Guess you shouldn’t have covered up all those deaths from your experimental diabetes drug, bro.

While, inherently, the Case of the Week made all the sense in the world to me (“I am mad at you for making me sick and causing me to die prematurely, so now I’m going to kill you”) I’m a little stymied at the course Liz is taking with Tom. Yes, Red told her to hang tight and pretend everything is hunky-dory, but why is she listening to him? It’s his fault Not-Tom infiltrated her life in the first place, and, as much as I love Red (I, too, hate clowns and puppets: They are carved from the Devil’s workshop, and I love me a good yogurt pretzel) she still works for the FBI; what’s their opinion on this? It cannot be understated: Elizabeth is in clear and present danger. GET OUT.

Instead, she goes along with this stupid ‘vow renewal’ idea of Not-Tom’s, which, by the way, is something only young people married for five minutes think is romantic. I’ve been married twenty years and if my husband got down on one knee and asked me to marry him again, I’d look him dead in the eye and respond, “What’s the rule about talking when the TV is on? Huh? WHAT’S THE RULE?” But Not-Tom thinks this will convince Elizabeth that everything is peachy-keen and Elizabeth thinks going along with it is a good way to get his not-brother Craig in town to lift his finger-prints and DNA.

Not-Craig, who presumably has the same training as Not-Tom, so should be able to handle himself in a fight, allows himself to get captured by Lizzie, who he outweighs, towers over and whose reach stretches about a foot beyond hers, but sure, I’ll believe the teeny-tiny girl overpowered the man-mountain without benefit of a taser, when in fact, that whole scene should have played out like a Daffy Duck cartoon with Not-Craig’s hand on the top of Lizzie’s head as she flails and punches the air ineffectively around his midriff.

And it’s not like Not-Craig was a font of useful information. We learned his name is Christopher, that he loves his mother (sweet) the name ‘Berlin’ (but that was on a scrap of burnt paper salvaged from the fire in the trash can at Tom’s hide-out) and that Tom has a brother in Chicago and knows a girl named Nikki. Riveting stuff.

We also learned that Craig would rather die than impart any other information, as he threw himself out the window of his hotel room, presumably to die on the street below. Also, he is still wearing Elizabeth Keen’s handcuffs at that point. So, he and Tom work for really bad people. Again, riveting.

Photo Credit: Craig Blankenhorn/NBC
Photo Credit: Craig Blankenhorn/NBC

At this point, I really don’t know why Liz doesn’t just hand Tom over to Red and have him hacksaw pieces of her husband off until he starts talking. Tom is over-confident to the point of arrogance that he knows Elizabeth and can read her so well that he would know if she suspected anything, and Elizabeth is counting on her instincts and her ability to maintain the marital status quo to keep Tom from knowing she’s onto something. It’s really just a case of who screws up first.

 The Blacklist airs Mondays at 10/9c on NBC.

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