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The Blacklist: Who Has "Catastrophically Compromised" Red?

And is it the same person who orchestrated Tom's "murder"?

Liz Raftery

Lots of pieces are starting to fall into place on NBC's The Blacklist-- and they're painting an ominous picture for Red Reddington (James Spader) and Tom Keen (Ryan Eggold).

On Thursday's episode, Red learned that Isabelle Stone (guest star Melora Hardin) came after him and his associates in the previous two episodes because she received an anonymous envelope containing all kinds of information about Red and his comings and goings, plus a hefty amount of cash. The sender knew to target Isabella because her real name is Judith Pruitt. She was previously married to a man named Gavin Pruitt, who set up financial havens for Red, and who later flipped on Red when he was approached by authorities. Isabella believed that Red had Gavin killed, but according to Reddington, he merely set Gavin up with a new identity because Gavin's primary concern was keeping his family safe.

But the real twist came at the end of the episode, when the banker whom Red coerces into tracing the money that was sent to Isabella reveals that the money came from... one of Red's own accounts. As the banker bluntly puts it, Red has been "catastrophically compromised."

The Blacklist: Is Red Reddington Liz's... mom?

And the circumstances under which Isabella gets steered towards Red seem eerily similar to a situation from Tom's past. Since Richard Game, who confessed to murdering Tom (aka Christopher Hargrave) when he was a child, is dead, Tom goes to see Game's mother instead, in search of answers. From her, he learns that, while his alleged killer was responsible for several other murders, his confession about killing young Christopher came from a highly-detailed script that his mother received in the mail, along with $100,000 in cash.

Harry Lennix, James Spader, The Blacklist
NBC, Virginia Sherwood/NBC

So the big question on Tom's mind is, who would want to fake a child's death -- and why? Liz (Megan Boone) suggests that he takes the script to his mother Scottie to get some answers, but Tom is hesitant, thanks to Red's warning that once Scottie knows Tom is her son, he'll have no chance of getting the information he's looking for. It's a near certainty that that situation will come to a head in next week's winter finale, which will lead right into the premiere of the Tom-and-Scottie-centric spin-off The Blacklist: Redemption.

Meanwhile, Aram's (Amir Arison) undercover assignment leads to him notching his first kill when he takes out the Blacklister of the week, a perfect crime planner known as The Architect (guest star Brent Spiner) whose latest heist involved springing a white supremacist from death row.

Elsewhere in the episode, Cooper (Harry Lennix) has just about had it with Red, who he says has become more of an asset than a liability to the FBI. But by the end of the hour, things have gotten personal between the two men, with red ill-advisedly bringing up Cooper's sick daughter (we never find out why, but my guess was that maybe Red is paying for treatment for her?) and Harry cutting him off, saying that Red has never done a good deed for someone else that didn't have a selfish motivation behind it -- and that doesn't make him a good person; it just means he's good at being selfish. Good line.

And, in a couple of throwaway scenes that will probably have major repercussions later on in the season/series, Cooper tells Ressler (Diego Klattenhoff) that the inquiry into Reven White's (Adriane Lenox) "disappearance" (aka murder) is being closed. Knowing that Laurel (Christine Lahti) killed the deputy attorney general, Ressler decides go rogue and re-open the case it himself.

The Blacklist winter finale airs Thursday, Feb. 23 at 9/8c on NBC, followed by the premiere of The Blacklist: Redemptionat 10/9c.