The Blacklist: Dr. Linus Creel

Dr. Linus Creel - October 13, 2014

A woman stands outside her bank. She looks shaken, beaten down by life. She has lost her boyfriend, her job, and when she goes into the bank, finds she has lost her home as well. It is the last straw. 

She has been labeled as having "the warrior gene" by someone doing experiments. She is broken and has no idea what to do next. Her life has unraveled for seemingly no reason. She takes a gun back inside and starts shooting. 

She feels she has nothing left to lose. Her life has been turned upside down. What she doesn't know, is that someone is acutely aware of everything that has happened. Has in fact engineered it to bring about just this reaction.

A man in a car across from the bank speaks into a tape recorder saying that this has been a successful activation of the subject AR105.

All of this is an experiment to see what will drive people with "the warrior gene" over the edge. It seems to consist of three elements. Take their loved one, take their job, and then take their home.

Liz calls Red and asks after Naomi saying they need to debrief her since she spent so much time with Berlin. In his usual way, he changes the subject to the bank shooting and how it's the 7th random act of violence of late. And he thinks it's part of an underground government social science mind control experiment.

Thus begins the investigation.

Liz and Cooper, her boss, talk about this gene and how the people are being triggered. Cooper has the scoop. He heard about experiments like this in the service. He says he loves this country but he hates crap like this and the fact that Red pulled up the carpet. It's called "Sub Project 7" and is exactly what they think it is but it's top secret. 

What I am enjoying most this season, aside from James Spader and his continuous masterful performances, is the fact that we are now getting to know the other characters in depth. We are learning more about their lives, their demons. Their vulnerabilities.

We are now seeing them as separate entities from their jobs and roles. We are seeing who they really are, and what drives them. 

Somehow I do not trust the woman on the far left, Samar, the newest member. I am not sure if she is really helping them, or exploiting them. What do you think?

Lizzie has been "on the edge" since the end of last season. Going to different obscure motels to sleep. Signs of paranoia, whether warranted or not. Elizabeth Keen is showing some frazzling around the edges of her personality. She is becoming less "the sweet little FBI agent" and more "the woman with secrets and demons to battle."

She obviously has been deeply haunted by what her so-called husband, Tom, did to her. And it is causing her to act in peculiar ways. That, and her uncertainty as to her parentage, and Red's real role in her life.

Liz will go to Naomi and try to get more answers about her past, but Naomi, though she shows a hostility toward Red, gives her very little.

Liz asks Naomi why Red doesn't want them to see each other. Naomi says it's a game and a manipulation and that Red wants something from her and that's why he's making her feel "special" which is something he is expert at. 

Naomi says that most importantly Red is not who he is making himself out to be to her. Red arrives and overhears the end of this. He calls Liz "Agent Keen" and says he hopes she had an illuminating conversation.

We see an angry woman yelling at her married lover on her phone. The man who played "Fargas" last week breaks into the woman's home and says he needs to talk to her. He begins the conversation by telling her how offended he is by the way she treats her dog.

(Is Fargas strange or what???) 

As so many of us have unfortunately learned, men can have secrets that they hide very well. And Naomi's husband has a big secret. Namely the woman above, Monica, who he is having an affair with. He does not want to leave her and go away with his wife. He wants to have his cake and eat it too. 

Sound familiar to anyone reading? 

Naomi has a heart-to-heart with her husband, and she wants to do whatever he wishes. He wants to go home. He has yet to understand the reach that Reddington has.

He learns very quickly. Raymond Reddington, who displays little to no emotion at times, cares very much for his ex-wife. He of course knows everything about her current husband. And he will use it. 

At the safe house Red tries to explain to Frank how he's concerned about Naomi. He seems to be doing this in a threatening manner. Then an SUV pulls up and a dog jumps out. Frank recognizes it as "Monica's dog." 

Red says he's done with Monica. He will now be a faithful husband to Naomi, and they will take his protection and leave Philly. Frank protests. Red threatens to rip out his jugular with a stick. Red says since Frank makes Naomi happy that is the only reason he's still here. Frank backs down.

He will, Red tells him, become the man she thinks he is.

Red brings Frank and the dog into the safe house. Naomi immediately takes to the dog and wonders who he belongs to. She wonders if they can bring him back to Philly. 

Frank says they can't go back and he couldn't live with it if something happened to her. She thinks Red did this by threatening him. Frank insists it is his own concern for her that changed his mind.

As I have said before, I have never been a James Spader fan. But I had yet to find out the strength of his acting abilities. Either this man has this role internalized, or he literally becomes this role. 

Who is Jennifer, who Red keeps asking his ex-wife about? Is she the daughter they have together? Then where is she? And how does Liz play into all this? Is this the daughter, years ago?

So many questions... 

As Naomi and Frank leave, Naomi seems to have a moment of tenderness toward her ex-husband. She tells Red that she doesn't know where Jennifer is. She knew Red would come for her one day and she disappeared. 

Red presses his number into her hand and says if she needs anything ever he will be there. He kisses her forehead. She says to him "You need to tell her" and walks off with Frank. 

Deep down, you know these two share a past that is very convoluted. But one that binds them together forever. 

Toward the end of the show, Liz asks about the sniper, who saved her from Dr. Creel, assuming he works for Red. Red confirms this and says he's been having the sniper follow her since the day agent Malick died. 

(So this was the guy she bumped into at the motel?) She says she wants him gone. Red thinks she's hiding something. 

We then see Liz sitting outside a locked door with a set of keys.   

There are two women Red will move heaven and earth to protect: Lizzie and Naomi.

Maybe one day we will understand why.  


  1. This was one of my all time favorite episodes. It had me guessing on so many levels. I thought Naomi told Red "we need to tell her". I am like, what???? This was awesome writing! Happy Hump Day.

  2. I plan to watch all the episodes for this season tommorrow while I paint the mantle surround and coffee table.
    then I'll be able to discuss this wonderful show.

  3. I thought this was a good episode and I loved the care that Red showed to his Ex wife! So more more please!

  4. Great show, we think Lizzie is Reds daughter, but is she. What about that fire, was the Ex wife there? So many questions, answers pleaaaasee!! Di

  5. I keep hoping for more answers, but I keep coming up with more questions. I'm not sure, but isn't Fargas actually (the actor) Pee Wee Herman?????? It looks so much like him!!
    I don't trust that new woman working with "the team", either. It has been a good season so far. I truly am in awe of how they continue to weave this incredible web each week.

  6. I only watched episode 1 of the new season. I'm finding difficulty finding the time to watch the shows I've recorded but this was a great summary and it sounds like a really good episode.

  7. David Costabile might be the best actor on TV right now...he's so good at just totally becoming his roles, for a guy whose face I recognize instantly, I never think "oh that's David Costabile" I totally get lost in his character. He does Dr. Linus Creel in such a disturbing and convincing way, that alone was a highlight of this episode for me. My favorite role of his since Breaking Bad...

    I also think Naomi has been great for this show, and it is really pushing forward the links between Red and Liz. I do wonder if maybe secretly Naomi knows where Jennifer is though and I loved the whole end scene where Red and Naomi are talking before she drives off. Last, love the fact that they used "Tide" by Junip during that end scene, that's such a great mood-setting song.


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