What Happened to Red on ‘The Blacklist’? (RECAP)
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the Season 7 premiere of The Blacklist, “Louis T. Steinhil.”]
Wrong. In The Blacklist Season 7 premiere, everyone soon learns not everything is as it seems. Following his abduction during his meeting with Katarina Rostova (Laila Robins), Red wakes up to find himself in a hospital in Paris, unable to feel anything. As the doctor tells him, he was drugged and beaten within an inch of his life. Though he had emergency surgery, his spine was shattered. He may never walk again.
Chief Inspector Rene Oban (David Meunier) pays him a visit, having been hunting him and Katarina for years. He knows she’s in Paris and doubts it’s a coincidence Red is, too. He wants Red to lead him to her, but Red insists on speaking with his lawyer first.
Meanwhile back in the States, the team’s working on tracking down Red when a call comes in from the French secret police for Red’s “lawyer.” Harold (Harry Lennix) speaks with Rene and sets up a meeting with an attaché at the embassy before informing the others the call was Red’s way of letting him know he’d been arrested. The attaché shows Harold a photo of Red in the hospital bed, immobilized, as proof the French have him in custody, and even puts him on the phone with him.
But after that, once Rene leaves Red’s room and heads into the elevator, we see that this is all just part of an elaborate hospital set. Rene’s not even French. He’s simply leading an operation for his client: Katarina. He confirms for her that Red still thinks he’s in Paris.
Rene returns to Red’s room and once again asks about Katarina, all while she watches. He expresses his disbelief he’s protecting her since she likely is responsible for his state. “Some people in this world are soulmates,” Red explains. “Katarina Rostova and I shared one. Betraying her would be like betraying myself.”
When an orderly transfers him to a wheelchair, Red’s able to steal his phone. But once alone in the room, he can’t unlock it because he doesn’t know the passcode. And as he looks out the window, he appears to notice something before he uses the light coming in and the clock to blind the camera. When the nurse, Mila (Natalie Paul), enters his room to change his dressing, he has her turn up the music before taking her hostage and holding the same syringe she was about to use on him to her neck.
She confirms she’s working for a Russian woman and the “beating” is just a story. He didn’t have surgery, and he’s not in Paris. He’s being drugged to keep him still, and if he doesn’t get another dose, he’ll be able to walk. She fights back, even manages to get her hands on a gun, but he takes it from her and plays her part when orderlies come in to fix the camera.
Back in D.C., Harold discovers the attaché he spoke with was a fake, and the real one insists the French don’t have Red in custody. But that fake is their only lead, and they’re able to get his print off a Visa application he picked up to have a reason to be hanging out at the embassy to meet Harold. Michael Hansen is a high-end grifter, and Liz and Dembe (Hisham Tawfiq) don’t bother waiting for a warrant to speak with him.
Hansen tells them he works for Louis T. Steinhil, an anagram for The Illusionist. He gets a call, with a character to create and a script to follow. Steinhil has an incredible reputation, and yes, he could play a French cop (Rene).
Speaking of Rene, Red lures him into the room under the pretense of having something important to discuss. But once alone, Mila cuts the wire to the camera and uncuffs him. Red reveals he can stand. “The next time you want to convince me I’ve broken my spine, you damn well better break my spine,” he warns Rene before leaving him knocked out in the room. Red escapes the warehouse, only to be pinned down and forced to surrender.
The others trace the payment Hansen received to a shell corporation, and while they can’t identify the person who owns it, they do find other payments to rent a small warehouse in Annapolis and medical equipment sent to that location. But by the time Liz and a team get there, they’re too late.
Katarina transports Red to another location and has him dosed again before stringing him up. She went to great lengths to pretend to hurt him, but that’s over. Now, he’s going to tell her everything she wants to know — and she’s going to slowly drain him of his blood.
We may not be worried about Red — as Harold tells Liz, he’s sure he’ll rise from the dead again — but this looks like it’s going to hurt.
The Blacklist, Fridays, 8/7c, NBC