This week's episode of The Blacklist may as well have been titled "Family Ties."
At the start of the hour, Liz (Megan Boone) wakes Tom (Ryan Eggold) up to bluntly share the news that she saw a news report indicating that his father, Howard Hargrave, was killed in a plane crash. (Spoiler: He's not dead.) Initially, Tom insists he's numb to the news, because he never knew his father, and reiterates that he has no regrets about turning down Scottie's job offer and doesn't feel the need to get answers about his family.
But that doesn't last long, and Tom can't stop watching the news reports about Howard's "death." Finally, he turns to Red (James Spader) to get some answers, without much luck. Red reiterates that Tom needs to stay away from Scottie and focus his attentions on his wife and child. "Leave the past in the past," Red cautions. "Nothing good will come from digging up secrets."
Instead, Tom does the opposite of that and goes to the home of the lead detective who investigated Christopher Hargrave's (aka Tom's) disappearance 30 years prior. The detective tells Tom that the young boy died and Tom corrects him, revealing that he is, in fact, Christopher Hargrave. By the end of the episode, Tom has gone full Carrie Matheson (the off-her-meds version), and Liz comes home to find her husband sitting on the floor amid a pile of police reports, watching a videotaped confession from the man who supposedly murdered him when he was a child. I guess we have a pretty good idea of what's going to send Tom packing in just two weeks' time when The Blacklist: Redemption premieres.
At the same time as Tom is having his identity crisis, Ressler (Diego Klattenhoff) is stuck overseas on a case while trying to deal with some personal matters back home — namely, that his brother is undergoing bypass surgery. Adding salt to his wound is the fact that he's on assignment from Reddington, and reiterates the fact that Liz is too eager to help Red.
The mission they're on is helping Red track down the Blacklister of the week, Isabella Stone (Melora Hardin), a professional character assassin who is orchestrating the murders of several of Red's associates, including his courier and his accountant. But when Stone's men kill one of Red's most loyal and trusted employees (and his wife), that's the final straw. Red seems truly shaken by the killing, and demands a 1:1 with Stone as soon as she's arrested, which Cooper (Harry Lennix) refuses.
The question is: Who is Stone working for? The murders are just the latest developments in a string of setbacks Red has faced lately, and we can see him sinking further into darkness and despair as he tries to get to the bottom of who's really behind the efforts to take him down once and for all. Unsurprisingly, he decides to take matters into his own hands, sending a team to ambush the van that's transporting Stone after she's taken into custody and bringing her to what appears to be a meat locker for a sub-zero interrogation.
Amid all the despair, Red pauses to give Liz a gift for Agnes: a cuckoo clock, which he says he enjoys because the focus is less on telling time and more about taking a moment to listen to the birds. Could it be that Red feels like his own clock is ticking?
The Blacklist airs Thursdays at 10/9c on NBC.