The Blacklist gave us another great female adversary in â€œVanessa Cruz.â€ Vanessa Cruz made it her mission to frame the one percent-ers for crimes they didnâ€™t commit. She ruined their lives by either sending them to prison or killing them. We also got a few more great scenes with Tom Keen. The perpetual liar was even honest for a few minutes.
Raymond Reddington brought the task force their latest case with Vanessa Cruz. Red knew of a woman who was framing the rich and powerful for crimes that they didnâ€™t commit. One of her victims that escaped with his life is facing a lot of jail time. Liz and Ressler visit him in prison to understand why Vanessa was targeting him in the first place and how they can track her down. Once again, men fell prey to her good looks, often engaging in an affair with Vanessa only to have her take the rug out from under them.
Ressler and Liz speak with Vanessaâ€™s mother, once they have positively identified her. Her mother is convinced that Vanessa is dead especially after she received the money from Vanessaâ€™s life insurance. Vanessa used a shelf corporation to create a company that supplied the life insurance money to her mother. The shelf corporation is a legitimate corporation; it just isnâ€™t an insurance company. Vanessa put it on the shelf for years and kept up with all taxes and regulations, distinguishing it from the more common shell corporation.
Vanessaâ€™s mother revealed that her husband was a criminal himself. He was an inside trader and was about to be indicted, but he committed suicide before they could prosecute him. After putting the pieces together, Vanessa and the task force figured out that her husbandâ€™s company and the companyâ€™s stock in which he bought had actually framed him. She is exacting her revenge on the people who wronged her and took her husbandâ€™s life.
Liz tries to use Reddington to get in touch with someone who deals with shelf corporations. When he refuses to help until she turns over The Fulcrum, Liz believes she is left with only one option. She turns to Tom for help. She promises that he can have his passports from evidence if he can get information on Vanessa Cruzâ€™s whereabouts. Tom agrees and helps her get Vanessaâ€™s mailing address.
Sadly, Vanessa ends up getting away in the end, but it seems that Red is going to prosper from this. Mr. Kaplan sits down with Vanessa and tells her that she only has a few options. She could either come meet with Red or she could go on the run. Red also had some side business going on with the Fulcrum and the Director. The Director was putting a vote together on whether Red should die. If he does indeed have the Fulcrum and his death triggers a release of the information, the Director and all of his associates will be in a lot of trouble.
Even though it has been pretty obvious in the past few episodes, it was clearer than ever how Tom feels about Liz. They had to work together on this case, but Tom only wanted the passports that he had hidden in their house. After he helped to lead the task force to Vanessa Cruz, Liz gave him the passports. She only asked for him to be honest with her. She knew that their whole life couldnâ€™t have been a lie because no one is that good of an actor.
Liz reveals that Tom was her biggest failure as a profiler. But, he admits that she was his greatest success because she made him feel for a moment like he had a life and that somebody cared. Liz finally got to hear that he did love her, and their life wasnâ€™t completely a lie. Hoping that he will continue to be honest, Liz asks Tom where he got the passports. She says that they are completely real and government issued. When she asks how he got them, he lies and tells her that Berlin knew a guy. Knowing that was a lie, Liz just shakes her head and walks away believing she will never get another honest answer out of him.
Tom shows up again later to finally be honest with Liz. He tells her that Reddington is the one who gave him the passports. She asks for the whole story, which we assume he gives. Later, Liz takes the Fulcrum to Red and asks him to be honest about one question. He knows that she has been talking with Tom. She asks for only a yes or no answer. Since Red is always one step ahead, he only says that yes he was the one who hired Tom to be in her life. When he tries to explain, Liz refuses to listen and gets in her car. Seconds later, Red is shot and Dembe and Liz rush to his side.