Crumbling Empire | The Blacklist “Isabella Stone” Review

Raymond Reddington is under attack, so he enlists help from the FBI task force to track down Isabella Stone. Tom’s father, Howard Hargrave, was killed in a plane crash, and despite his initial wish, he starts to dig into his family and his childhood. Ressler deals with a family emergency.

After Natalie Luca gave up Isabella Stone for hiring her to murder Red’s accountant, Red is determined to make Isabella the next blacklister for the task force. Red has been using the task force to essentially do his bidding or take out his competitors. Up until now, it didn’t seem to be doing much harm. The FBI was putting away terrible criminals that they would never have had a chance at catching without Red’s help. Now, it just seems that they are at his every beck and call.

The team chases Isabella Stone all the way to Monaco where she takes care of another one of Red’s associates. While she only puts him in prison for allegedly killing his wife, Red tries to break him out. During the escape, Red’s associate is caught in the crosshairs and eventually dies. They follow Isabella back to the states where she attends a fundraiser for Dr. Sperry. Red has been an anonymous donor to Dr. Sperry’s organization, but Isabella wants to ruin him. She asks Dr. Sperry to admit to wrongdoing or else he dies. Thankfully, the FBI gets there in time to save Dr. Sperry, especially since he was innocent of any ties to Reddington. Red did donate to his foundation, but that was all. They did not have a business relationship.

Photo from the episode "Isabella Stone"

Photo from the episode “Isabella Stone”

Red asks Cooper to see Isabella Stone once she is detained, but Cooper denies his request. Red explains that it’s not a request, and Cooper goes off on him. Cooper tries to remind Red that they are doing these things as a favor to Red, but they don’t work for him. Red doesn’t want to hear it and just hangs up. Once, Stone is in custody, he takes matters into his own hands. Red runs her transport off the road and kidnaps Stone to get his answers. All he wants to know is who hired her to take down his empire. It feels like Red is unraveling, and people are taking notice. Dembe even tells Red that he is putting himself in too much danger, and people around him are continuing to die. Red has no response for that, and I doubt he will pay enough attention to change his ways.

Ressler had a tough time during this case. His brother was having surgery, a triple bypass on his heart. Samar tries to reason with him assuring him that this surgery is routine, and his brother will be fine. Ressler felt bad that he was on a case to save Red’s illegal empire instead of with his brother. Samar lets him know that he was just doing his job; Ressler still thinks he should have been there for his brother. Thankfully his brother had a successful surgery, but that doesn’t ease Ressler’s pain. I have to agree with Ressler here. He should be with his family rather than aiding and abetting a career criminal like Reddington just to keep his empire alive. Yes it’s important to take down the evil blacklisters, but Ressler should be able to take some time to be with his loved ones rather than feel this insufferable duty to his job.

Photo from the episode "Isabella Stone"

Photo from the episode “Isabella Stone”

Meanwhile, Tom is still trying to figure out who he is. When Liz tells him that his father, Howard Hargrave, was killed in a plane crash, he feels nothing. He never knew his father, so why would he care about his death? But, Tom is starting to realize that Scottie Hargrave, his mother, is the only one left who can tell him about his childhood. This realization forces Tom to reach out to Red personally. Red tells Tom, “Leave the past in the past Tom. Nothing good will come from digging up secrets.” It’s hard to tell what exactly he means, but he didn’t prevent Tom from finding more about his childhood.

Tom decides to look into the case surrounding his supposed disappearance as a child 30 years ago. He talks to the detective in charge of the disappearance of Christopher Hargrave. The detective said that Christopher was definitely dead, but Tom doesn’t understand since he’s Christopher Hargrave. Is there a chance that Tom isn’t Christopher? When Liz gets home, she finds Tom on the floor with police files around him and a confession tape on the TV. The man on the tape is confessing to murdering Christopher Hargrave. What really happened here?

Editor's Rating

Overall 85%
While I think this episode set a lot of good pieces in motion, I’m a little disappointed in this mysterious and highly intelligent Isabella Stone. While she was able to get to a few of Red’s men before being caught, it was fairly easy to catch her. Also, a woman of her supposed caliber could use more than a couple of episodes, but for all we know she may be sticking around. As for who is targeting Red, does anyone else think it could be Mr. Kaplan? If it isn’t her, then who is it? And where is Mr. Kaplan?
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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.