The Blacklist season 10 episode 3 recap: Red is making moves

James Spader in The Blacklist
James Spader in The Blacklist (Image credit: Scott Gries/NBC)

Reddington (James Spader) was in fine form in the March 12 episode of The Blacklist, as he starts to move pieces into position for the long game he’s playing. 

At a re-election rally for Virginia senator Cynthia Panabaker (Deirdre Lovejoy)sSecurity is tight and the Secret Service agents protecting her focus in on a young man who looks a bit suspicious. While they are questioning him, Cooper (Harry Lennix) shows up to talk with Panabaker. They're old friends, but while talking someone screams a man has a gun and there’s immediate chaos. Panabaker's security detail pull her out of sight, but they discover their guns and radios are missing, and one of them has been shot in the shoulder.

 After hearing about what happened, Red brings Cooper to where he’s staying in New York City. Red's living in a tucked away corner of an old bathhouse building, which surprises Cooper. Red tells Cooper that pickpockets were responsible for taking the agents' guns and radios. Specifically, The Four Guns, a crew of elite pickpockets. But their code of ethics forbids hurting people, so Red tells Cooper they must be working for someone else who had a grudge against the senator. 

Deirdre Lovejoy, Guy Lockard and Harry Lennix in The Blacklist

Deirdre Lovejoy, Guy Lockard and Harry Lennix in The Blacklist (Image credit: David Giesbrecht/NBC)

The person who hired The Four Guns turns out to be someone very good at disguises who definitely has a grudge. He's a true believer in American ideals and is determined to uphold his beliefs. After his attempt failed, he makes plans to change his appearance and attend a public debate the senator has with her opponent.

While Malik (Anya Baneerjee), Zuma (Hisham Tawfiq) and Ressler (Diego Klattenhoff) are trying to get something on who the The Four Guns are, Red visits an antiquities dealer to sell a book. The dealer offers him money for the book but that’s not what Red wants. Instead he trades the book for a Victorian copy of Oliver Twist with an arsenic-filled ornate jacket, which was highly sought after during that period. He has the book delivered to his mentor and frenemy Robert Vesco (Stacy Keach, delightful as always) in prison.

The task force catches a break and finds a partial thumb print on one of the stolen radios that was found in a nearby trash bin. They can’t pull enough of a print to ID it, but Red has a guy, as he always does. Red calls Herbie (Alex Brightman) back into service and he pulls DNA from the print so that the FBI could get an ID. The DNA matched Quentin Dodd (Jacob Pitts), a thief with a penchant for fancy watches and a member of The Four Guns. To catch him, Ressler goes undercover at a luxury watch auction wearing a fake of a rare watch. When Dodd tries to steal it, Ressler arrests him. 

During questioning, Dodd reveals the client who hired them for the rally was an odd person who was almost fanatical in his beliefs. Dodd helps the team find the guy, but he was gone when the agents got to his place. 

Figuring the Senator's debate was the next place this mysterious figure would try to go after the senator, Ressler joins her security team. 

While the task force is working on protecting the senator and figuring out why she's being targeted, Red meets with Dodd. Red tells him the senator is one of his connections and Dodd crossed a line by helping someone attack her. He wants Dodd to do a job for him, but Dodd is reluctant. Red brings in a tray of cutting implements to remove Dodd's hand, since that's the almost universal punishment for stealing. Dodd agrees to tell Red whatever he wants to know and to do the job Red needs done.

Neal Huff in The Blacklist

Neal Huff in The Blacklist (Image credit: David Giesbrecht/NBC)

In prison, Vesco gets sick from the arsenic-laced book. He is taken to a secure wing of a local hospital. Dodd’s crew infiltrate the hospital and in a finely timed operation bust Vesco out of the hospital, whisking him away to a car where Red is waiting. Red and Vesco get on a plane. Vesco is suspicious of Red, but they soon fall back into their mentor/student dynamic.

At the senator's debate, the mystery man, now identified as Lucas Roth (Neal Huff), shows up in the crowd. Roth was a former decorated Secret Service agent. He gets through security with the pieces of a plastic 3D printed gun hidden on him. He manages to get backstage during the debate and pulls a fire alarm to get the senator on her own. 

While her security agent Strickland (Guy Lockard) is walking the senator to a secure place, Roth stops them and takes them to a hidden room. Ressler finds them and learns the senator was never his target, it was Strickland. Strickland had been recording the senator's private calls and turning them over to her opponent. Roth was outraged because he wanted the Secret Service to be an honorable institution again and Strickland had tainted it with his actions. 

During a tense exchange between the senator, Roth, Ressler and Strickland, Panabaker pulls out a gun and shoots Roth in the arm to make him drop the gun. Roth and Strickland are taken into custody. 

On the plane, Vesco points out that Dodd stole Red's Rolex watch, but Red explains he put a tracker in the watch because he knew Dodd would take it. Now Red will know where to find The Four Guns if he needs them in the future. Red knows better than to throw away any bit of possible leverage.

New episodes of The Blacklist air Sundays on NBC, then are available the next day on Peacock.

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Sonya Iryna

Sonya has been writing professionally for more than a decade and has degrees in New Media and Philosophy. Her work has appeared in a diverse array of sites including ReGen, The Washington Post, Culturess, Undead Walking and Final Girl. As a lifelong nerd she loves sci-fi, fantasy and horror TV and movies, as well as cultural documentaries. She is particularly interested in representation of marginalized groups in nerd culture and writes reviews and analysis with an intersectional POV. Some of her favorite shows include Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, The Handmaid’s Tale and The Sandman.