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Immortality | The Blacklist “The Longevity Initiative” Review

The Blacklist’s latest episode focuses on “The Longevity Initiative.” A doctor is doing research on immortality. The episode starts by showing the doctor’s assistant warning him that these human trials need to stop. The human trials are not gong very well, and he knows that it is only a matter of time before the police get wind of this. He was right of course because in a matter of hours, he gets pulled over by the cops with multiple bodies in the back that were used in neurological experiments.

Back at the FBI, the task force gets wind of this new case. Reddington brings Liz a bottle of wine for her birthday. It isn’t an ordinary bottle, naturally. Red brought Liz a bottle of wine that she and her father helped to make years ago. It’s clear that this means a lot to Liz. Red even goes the extra mile and brings her a second bottle of wine, just in case the other one is undrinkable. Reddington explains The Longevity Initiative to the task force, and they take their investigation to the top, the group’s leader, Roger Hobbs.

Tom Connelly comes to Harold Cooper to warn him to be wary of making an enemy of Roger Hobbs. Hobbs has multiple defense contracts, and Tom swears that Hobbs is one of the good guys and deserves the benefit of the doubt. The case leads the FBI to a company called Gold Crown Pharmaceuticals. One of their representatives, Lloyd Monroe, has visited the facility where one of the victims went missing before becoming an experiment. It turns out the Lloyd Monroe is the man who was caught trying to get rid of the bodies from the failed experiments. He tries to leave the country, but luckily he isn’t very smart and is caught before crossing the Canadian border.

It doesn’t take much to crack Monroe. He killed a police officer and is already looking at life in prison. But, the killing of a police officer is a capital offense and could give him the death penalty. He cooperates to avoid this and gives up Dr. Julian Powell. Julian Powell is experimenting with stem cells and a rare breed of immortal jellyfish to get our brain cells to regenerate. He’s targeting a very specific patient, one who has frontal lobe damage. Later, we learn that it is because his fiancée was in a devastating car accident years ago. All of his research is to cure her disability.

Sadly, it seems that Hobbs is actually involved. He green-lit Julian’s research and now wants him gone. Hobbs enlists the help of Raymond Reddington. Red ensures that he will take care of Powell. Red manages to get to Powell only seconds before the FBI. He questions Powell about his research. Red wants to know if Powell’s research will help him to retrieve the memories that were taken from Liz. Powell says that his research will not be able to help her. They go to his fiancée’s house where he has left everything the way it was before the accident. It is there that Powell takes his own life.

There were no real closed loop on this case. It all ends with Powell taking his own life. Liz knows that Red was involved and is worried that Red took the man’s life. She only throws accusations at him about which Red is not happy. No one ever connects Roger Hobbs to Julian Powell, at least not officially. The best parts of this episode were the scenes including Tom Keen.

Tom is really becoming one of my favorite characters on The Blacklist. He always seems to get himself into trouble, and yet somehow, he weasels his way out of it. First, we find Tom alone after being exonerated by the judge. He calls Liz and asks for her help, but she rejects him saying she can’t help him. He tells her to have fun tonight, which we later find out that it’s her birthday. The Major just happens to swing by and pick Tom up. The German group, The Disenfranchised, is still after Tom, so the Major must not clean up his mess.

In the car, The Major gives Tom a new assignment in London, but when Tom looks in the bag for his weapon, he understands what’s happening. The Major had no intention of letting him go. As he says it, Tom needs to be put down. He tells Tom that Liz has been the death of him. Luckily for the moment, a car cuts them off and the Disenfranchised take Tom and The Major.

Elias, leader of the Disenfranchised, questions Tom. He tries to figure out what will make him talk and why he was after them in the first place. It is only until they find evidence of the name Elizabeth Keen that Tom is willing to talk. He reveals that Liz is FBI and that he was only with them to find out who killed a woman named Sarah. The Major is furious of course, but Tom laughs when he realizes that it is Liz who is now saving him.

Tom manages to get away from The Disenfranchised and ends up at Liz’s place. When she walks through the door, she is shocked to see him there. He tells her that he had nowhere else to go. Liz accepts that and doesn’t throw him out. It’s hard to tell what either of them wants out of this arrangement, but we do know that Tom is in love with Liz. Unfortunately, The Major also got away and is actively on the hunt for Tom, aka Jacob Phelps.

Editor's Rating

Overall 85%
Liz’s birthday didn’t prove to be a complete bust. She was supposed to go out to dinner with friends, but we can all guess that she was never planning to go. Ressler then brings dinner to her, and they share that special bottle of wine. I’m not sure that anything romantic will ever happen between them, but their friendship and partnership has really blossomed over the course of two seasons. It’s good to know that there’s at least one person whom Liz can trust. Next week’s episode promises to bring the Tom and Red storylines to a head. Previews show that Liz will be forced to chose between her relationship with Tom or with Reddington.
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Jenny Lampe

Jenny Lampe

I'm a TV and movie enthusiast. I enjoy all genres and try to keep up to date on the latest hits. Follow me on Twitter at @JennyLampe.

  • Lance Denver

    There are real working on this such as Google’s CalicoLabs http://www.calicolabs.com and GenoPharmix http://www.genopharmix.com

  • cambridge

    Not to mention Human Longevity Inc http://www.humanlongevity.com/ and the SENS foundation http://www.sens.org/ and a company called ‘elysium health’ which is not doing research into new drugs like the others but selling supplements to reduce the effects of aging (founded by a nobel prize winning scientists – this is no scam).
    There are many many others which I can’t think of off the top of my head.

    Yep, the immortality industry is exploding the future might be very bright :)
    I hope nobody does experiments on human subjects like in the episode – though would be horrible.

  • Jacob Jones

    Another filler episode.. blah..