The Cabal | The Blacklist “Leonard Caul” Review
The Blacklist gave us a whopper of an episode in “Leonard Caul.” The Blacklist tried to kill us by taking a two-week break after Reddington was shot and bleeding out in the street. Luckily, this is not the end of Raymond Reddington. The Director of The Cabal called Reddington’s bluff and consistently tries to kill him throughout the episode. Unbeknownst to The Director, Liz Keen is much smarter than he, and she has the Fulcrum.
Even though this episode is titled, “Leonard Caul,” he is seemingly not a villain. He may be a criminal, but there don’t seem to be any bodies in his basement, so to speak. Leonard Caul appears to be a ghost. He’s not in any database when the FBI tries to find him. He does have a knack for hacking and surveillance. And he just so happens to have been the man in the empty apartment who called Reddington on that payphone. Ever since then, he has been in hiding after an attempt on his life by The Cabal.
After Reddington is shot, Liz and Dembe have to get him out of there and to a doctor, stat. Liz tries to call for backup from Cooper, but Dembe throws her phone out the window. He instructs her to dial *77, and naturally, Mr. Kaplan picks up. She directs them to a warehouse where she has set up a crash team of doctors a surgeons waiting for Red’s arrival. Liz reports back to Cooper to get some FBI help. When the agents arrive, Mr. Kaplan opens fire. Liz doesn’t understand why she shot the FBI agents who were only there to help until Mr. Kaplan points out that they were frauds.
Unfortunately during the melee, the surgeon was killed. He was the one who was supposed to cauterize the arterial bleed. If they move Red before this was complete, he would bleed out. One of the other doctors has limited surgical experience and does the best she can so that Red can be moved to a different location. This new location just happens to be the warehouse where Tom Keen is hiding. Liz says that she had nowhere else to go and didn’t realize that he would still be there. Tom tells her that he only wants to try to have a normal life.
Now that their chief surgeon was murdered, Liz calls in a favor from an old boyfriend. There’s plenty of hostility between the two when we find out that not only did they have a bad breakup, but also Liz turned down his marriage proposal. He still agrees to do the surgery on Reddington and meets them at the warehouse. During the surgery, the old boyfriend reveals that the bullet should have essentially exploded on impact and will be increasingly more difficult to remove. He actually threatens not to do the surgery if she doesn’t agree to pay the hundreds of thousands of dollars to cover his student loans. Mr. Kaplan puts a briefcase containing half a million dollars on the table and asks if they can proceed with the surgery. Leave it to Reddington to always be prepared and for Mr. Kaplan to continue her no nonsense ways.
Dembe sends Liz to Reddington’s flat to get the device that will be able to read the Fulcrum. He warns Liz that Red can never know that she was there. In the flat, Liz finds what appears to be a very normal living situation. There are pictures on the mantel and an unfinished puzzle on the table. This doesn’t appear to be owned by a master criminal like Red. Liz even sees a photo of her and presumably her mother. Naturally, there is a giant sun burst over her mother’s face, so that will continue to remain a mystery.
With device in hand, Liz is ready to leave the flat. She comes face to face with Leonard Caul. Caul realizes that Alan Fitch wanted he and Raymond to meet. The Cabal also made an attempt on his life, which is why Red and Dembe found blood in his empty apartment. Caul shows Liz how to work the decipher for the Fulcrum when he tells her that he is the one who wrote it. Liz is completely blown away by the information on the Fulcrum especially when she sees that the Director of the Cabal is the CIA’s Director of Clandestine Services.
When Liz sees that the warehouse is surrounded by The Cabal’s men ready to storm in and kill Reddington, she knows what she has to do. She goes directly with the Fulcrum to The Director. She shows him how it works and proves that Reddington had it all along. She gets him to call off the attack on Reddington, sadly not before plenty of bloodshed at the warehouse. The attack scene was eerie and beautifully filmed. For the moment, we can breath a sigh of relief in that Red is safe.
After everything died down, Red wants to talk with Liz about Tom. He lets her know that his intention was only to have Tom keep an eye on her. Once Red found out that their relationship became intimate, he fired Tom. Sadly, this only pushed Tom to seek employment from Berlin. Red also tells Liz that he turned himself into the FBI “to point her to a truth that she would inevitably have to find out for herself.” When Liz asks if that’s everything, Red tells her the truth that there’s more, but he doesn’t tell her more. Sadly, one of the last scenes in this episode proves just how shady The Cabal group is. We see The Director explaining to someone that their group provides peace and civility. He hands a drink to Tom Connelly, soon to be Attorney General, and congratulates him on a seat at the table. It’s clear now that Connelly was the leak this whole episode providing Red’s whereabouts back to The Cabal.