Seed of Doubt | The Blacklist “Eli Matchett” Review
The Blacklist delivered more of a filler episode in “Eli Matchett.” The story is still moving along, and Red and Liz are still trying to clear her name and take down the Cabal. Tom Keen is back in town and more determined than ever to help Liz. On the other hand, Ressler and Samar are on the heels of the elusive Reddington, while Liz is struggling to continue her life on the run.
I gotta start off with my favorite scenes. Tom Keen is back and looking for Liz. Am I the only one still weirdly rooting for them? As dysfunctional as they are, I can’t help but want Tom and Liz to be happy together. After Tom confronted Ressler outside of his apartment, he asks Ressler, “Don’t you want to know the truth? Don’t you want to know what happened?” Ressler is still not convinced that Liz is innocent and not a Russian spy. Tom says, “Liz needs all the help she can get.”
So Tom decides to use one of their old codes to see if Liz contacts them. It seems that Liz and Tom’s relationship didn’t start out very innocently. They used to sneak around behind her boyfriend’s back at the time. Liz would call a restaurant’s phone to communicate with Tom. Tom visits the restaurant multiple times hoping that Liz will revert back to calling for him. Sadly, the call never comes. What will Tom do next to try and find Liz? He did make it clear that he can go around the law to clear her name.
The Blacklister in this episode was one of my least favorites, but the connection to the Cabal was much more interesting. When you get down to it, Eli Matchett is looking for some simple revenge and willing to sacrifice the world’s food source to get it. Verdiant Industries makes a genetically engineered seeds that are used in farms across the world, most commonly in corn. Eli Matchett uses a small group of local farmers who are losing everything to Verdiant. Eli Matchett steals trade secrets from Verdiant to create a virus that would destroy the special seed and destroys crops around the globe.
The more interesting thing is the connection between Verdiant and the Cabal. Verdiant launders money for the Cabal. Knowing this, Raymond Reddington devises a new plan. Instead of staying on the ship headed toward Spain, Red turns them around and heads back to the states to take down Verdiant. Red’s plan is to steal those trade secrets to hold as leverage over the Cabal. He wants the Cabal to exonerate Liz and instead throw the Director to the wolves.
At this point, Samar and Aram have figured out that Red and Liz are still on US soil. They follow Red and Liz’s path to the Verdiant facility in Iowa. Luckily for Ressler, Liz tries to call him and reason with him. Ressler can’t be convinced, and now, Liz has just alerted him that they are only one step behind catching up with her and Red. This actually leads Liz and Red to almost be captured by Ressler, and their plan is foiled. At least Ressler and Samar stopped Eli Matchett from releasing the virus.
But, that’s not all. One of the only files that Liz and Red were able to recover from Eli Matchett’s lab, showed something very suspicious. It turns out that the Cabal orchestrated this entire thing. They planted the seed (pun intended) for Eli Matchett to steal the trade secret and create the virus. They even provided the scientist who built the virus. All the while, at their facility in Silver Spring, they already had a cure for the deadly virus. They had mass produced new seeds that would not be affected by the virus. Then, they could charge a fortune for these seeds that just so happened to be perfect. Liz and Red were more than happy to provide this information to the FBI. The head of Verdiant, who is also a high ranking member of the Cabal, was captured.
Meanwhile, Dembe is still being tortured by Mr. Solomon. Mr. Solomon insists that Dembe knows where Red is. Red becomes suspicious when Dembe is not at their rendezvous point and asks Glen Carter to look into it. Glen finds Dembe’s car at the restaurant where he was taken and realizes that someone has captured Dembe. Mr. Solomon tells Dembe that they have his colleague, but who do they have?