On Thursday's episode of The Blacklist, Liz (Megan Boone) was ready to put her life on the line for Alexander Kirk (Ulrich Thomsen). And she may still be doing so — just not in the way she had planned.
After collapsing while in custody, Kirk is brought to Walter Reed and given a grim diagnosis: End stage aplastic anemia, meaning he will be dead within 24 hours if he doesn't get a stem cell donation from a blood relative in that time. Hmm... who could that be?
Against all odds, common sense, and voice-of-reason advice from Tom (Ryan Eggold), who astutely points out "He attacked our wedding, kidnapped you, and threatened to throw our child from a rooftop," Liz practically jumps into the dialysis chair, knowing that all the answers about her past could die along with Kirk. She tells Tom that he would do the same thing in her situation, and — twist! — he tells her that, no, actually, he did meet his mother Scottie (Famke Janssen) and was able to walk away from her with a clean conscience (Ed. note: until The Blacklist: Redemption kicks off, that is).
Anyway, of course, there are complications with Liz's stem cell harvesting, so the next option would be for her to have an operation to draw the cells from her hip. But for that to be successful, she has to undergo a DNA test to prove that she and Kirk are biologically related. Eager Liz doesn't even want to wait for the results to come back before going under the knife, in case Kirk dies in the meantime. She gets prepped for surgery, but just in the nick of time, the results come back and, whaddya know, they show that Kirk isn't her father after all!
Meanwhile, Red (James Spader) tracks down Dr. Adrian Shaw (Linda Emond), who provides the title of the episode and who has been conducting human experiments in order to develop a cure for Kirk's disease. The FBI's looking for her too, to arrest her for the whole human experiment thing, but per usual, Red is one step ahead of them and kidnaps Shaw in order to prevent her from getting to Kirk and, probably, kill her (or worse).
Back at the hospital, when Liz breaks the news to Kirk that they're not related, he breaks down and insists that Red must have altered the DNA test. This seems fishy at best, but it does seem as though Kirk genuinely believed Liz to be his daughter. When Liz calls Red to see if he altered the test, Red warns her that Kirk has only been keeping her alive thus far because he believed she was his daughter and thus could save his life. Now that she's of no use to Kirk, Liz is in grave danger (according to Red).
He appears to be on to something: Kirk's right-hand woman Odette (Annapurna Sriram) is orchestrating a plot to get him out of the hospital, and as the episode ends, she activates all of her agents — who are posing as patients of a freeway crash in the hospital — to extract Kirk, and probably kill Liz in the process. It's safe to say that a lot of sh-- is going to go down in next week's fall finale, which will feature what looks to be a final showdown between Kirk and Red.
The Blacklist fall finale airs Thursday, Nov. 10 at 10/9c on NBC.