WARNING: Spoilers Ahead!
There's no peace for Red Reddington — only pieces of peace.
The NBC spy thriller returned with its second season premiere on Monday night, diving deeper into the world of James Spader's most-wanted super-criminal, and his mysterious past. Specifically, one of the most important people from Red's old life resurfaced on the premiere, titled "Lord Baltimore," and it was not to Red's liking.
Here's what you missed on the "Blacklist" premiere:
In The Weeds
It turns out that Red has an ex-wife: a woman named Naomi, played by "Weeds" veteran Mary-Louise Parker. Twenty years after the end of their marriage, Naomi lives a normal, quiet life, until it's interrupted by the mystery man called Berlin, a one-handed criminal who wants endless vengeance against Red.
Berlin believes his daughter died at Red's hands, and as such, he's going to return the favor by killing Red's wife in similar fashion: Cutting her up and sending her back to Red in pieces.
Berlin completed phase one, by capturing Naomi. By the end of the hour, Red had a precious finger to call his own. How long until he starts receiving some of the more vital pieces?
Hail Lord Baltimore
The first of the new "blacklisters" of the season is a computer hacker called Lord Baltimore, who was apparently hired to get information on Red's wife for Berlin. Lord Baltimore turns out to be a woman named Rowan Mills, played by "Breaking Bad" actress Krysten Ritter.
Except, here's the thing: Rowan is not Rowan. She's actually Rowan's evil twin, Nora, who killed Rowan, had a psychotic break, and now inhabits both personalities.
Weird, right? That's "The Blacklist" for you. By the end of the hour, Nora/Rowan is in custody, but her situation has a lasting impact on Liz Keen.
Keen to Change
Even with her duplicitous ex-husband dead, Liz clings on to trust issues, and severe paranoia. She believes that there are still people out there watching her, waiting to turn on her.
Through busting Lord Baltimore, and seeing the mental condition of Nora/Rowan, Keen has an epiphany of her own: "Tom" is gone, but the Keen of it all remains. Liz annuls her marriage to the dead spy, but keeps Tom's last name — because it was never really his to begin with. Keen belongs to Liz.
Liz ends the episode with an extreme makeover, chopping off all her hair (goodbye, wig!) and embracing her new identity as Liz Keen, wholly owning her new old name.
— Agent Meera Malik's death at the end of season one lingers heavily throughout the season premiere, even if she's only name-checked once. Some of her colleagues, like Liz and Aram, admit that there isn't a day that goes by where they don't think of Meera's murder. Others, like Ressler, refuse to talk about it, going so far as to dodge agency-mandated therapy.
— Harold Cooper, meanwhile, deals with the attempt on his own life by staying away from the agency altogether. He's back on his feet after having his throat slashed, but barely, requiring a cane to walk. There's something else, too. Apparently, during his stay in the hospital, doctors discovered a "condition" in Harold — a mystery that remains unknown to anyone beyond Cooper and Reddington, as far as we know. Whatever it is, by the end of the episode, Cooper returns to the agency, clearly determined to get back on the job.
— There's another new agent in the mix: Tamar Katzman, a former Mossad agent with a grudge against Reddington. Early in the episode, she captures and interrogates Red, before she's forced to relinquish custody to the FBI. Exactly what Katzman wants with Red, and how she'll factor into the larger picture, isn't clear just yet; but since actress Mozhan Marno is a new series regular, we're sure to find out before long.
— Finally, there's yet one more spy circling the world of "The Blacklist," but we have absolutely no idea who this person is; we only see this person wearing a hood, photographing Liz and others from a distance. At one point, the person picks up a pair of tortoiseshell glasses from the dashboard of their car. Is it possible that Tom's still alive?
What did you think of the "Blacklist" season premiere?