General Ludd

Season 1
Episode 108
Air Date 11/11/13
TV-14

Mike and his son Bobby are throwing a football in a D.C. park when a severed foot drops out of the sky, followed by an airline seat with a charred body still strapped to it. Mike grabs Bobby and sprints, but he can't outrun the plummeting cargo plane. Tom watches a news report on the cargo plane explosion while eating breakfast, just as Liz takes a call from her dad, Sam Milhoan, who's in a Nebraska hospital for some tests. Liz wants to fly to his bedside, but Sam claims it's nothing, even though he's clearly seriously ill.

At the post office, Cooper asks Red to help find the person who planted explosives on the cargo plane, but Red's not interested - unless, Cooper will give him access to the FBI's violent crime database. It's not long before Red gets his way, and Liz is briefing the team on General Ludd, a militant network of anti-capitalists led by Nathanial Wolff. With only one known image of Wolff, Cooper orders his team into the field to find him.

The problem is that Wolff and his team are way underground and planning to explode another airplane in flight, using a homemade bomb wired into a laptop. After dying his hair blond, Wolff heads to the airport dressed in a pilot's uniform, just as Liz and Ressler find his address. The contents of Wolff's apartment spell out his backstory: his father committed suicide after a nasty corporate takeover of the airline where he worked; furthermore, Wolff has altered his face to protect his identity.

Red and Luli sit in a cash-filled suburban garage with Mary - mom, PTA treasurer and counterfeiter, trying to persuade her to move her business to Malaysia. Liz is stunned when Red summons her there. She wants to talk about Wolff, but Red changes the subject - Sam's cancer is back? Shouldn't Liz be with her father? Liz refuses to take Red's bait, so he points her to South Beach plastic surgeon Abraham Maltz, the best in the business when it comes to changing faces. Red instructs Liz to follow his lead; Maltz is not a Blacklister, but an asset who needs his protection. Maltz insists his business is confidential, so Liz explains she's FBI and demands Wolff's new name, which is... Bradley Holland. Feigning shock, Red lays into Maltz for rolling over so easily, pretending that he was testing Maltz's mettle all along.

Back at the post office, the FBI learns Bradley Holland is a pilot for Innova Air, who has just swiped his ID at Reagan International. Introducing himself to the gate attendant as Bradley, Wolff obtains a first class seat to Denver and activates his laptop bomb. As Meera calls the TSA with an order to ground all planes, Wolff has the gate attendant load his laptop case in an overhead compartment while he slips away. On the way to the airport, Tom calls Liz with news that her dad is in surgery; they need to be in Nebraska right now. Since Liz can't leave the job, Tom will go in her stead and book her a flight for tomorrow.

With all planes grounded, Liz and Ressler get to the tarmac just as the plane bound for Denver blows up. Within the hour, the FBI receives a declaration of war from General Ludd; all domestic flights are grounded, which means Liz can't get to Nebraska. Of course, getting to Nebraska isn't a problem for Red since he has a private plane... he greets Sam as a dear friend, and they reminisce about the good old days. With six weeks to live, Sam wants to tell Liz the truth, but Red forbids it.

Aram finds an address for Bradley Holland, a Brooklyn storage locker that contains nearly 100 fully formed identities on paper, notably one John Horlbeck, a trucker working for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. It's all led up to this: as Horlbeck, Wolff is scheduled to pick up $500 million in cash for the BEP today. Liz and Ressler are chasing the convoy of armored vehicles across the Queensboro Bridge when her father calls. After confessing "the truth," the story of his cancer, Sam hangs up and thanks Red. Promising to love and protect Liz as Sam has, Red suffocates him to death with a pillow. Moments later, Tom arrives at the hospital to visit his father-in-law...

In Nebraska, Red sits down next to Tom for the type of intimate conversations strangers share about Liz: Sam adopted Liz when she was four years old and raised her as a single dad. She'll be heartbroken by his death. Red assures Tom that Sam will always be there; Liz will be fine. In Manhattan, Wolff leads the cops and FBI into the midst of a violent General Ludd demonstration. As gunfire is exchanged, he drags pallets of cash into the street, then unleashes a blizzard of cash, before donning a mask and disappearing into the crowd.

Afterwards, the FBI deduces that Wolff was after a drive locked in the truck's safe, containing blueprints for the new $100 bill. Liz calls Red, who's in his plane, on the way to intercept Wolff at a small airstrip. Red has figured that Wolff swapped the drive in the truck's safe with a fake, as part of his plan to take down the economy by flooding the market with fake cash. Wolff has the real drive, and now Red's going to take it - because he believes in capitalism. Within moments of Red's departure, Liz and Ressler appear to arrest Wolff.

With the flight ban lifted, Ressler tells Liz to call her father, but she's too late. She boards a plane to Nebraska to attend Sam's funeral. Back in D.C., Cooper sits Red down for his one crack at the violent criminals database. Red enters the code he received as payment from Wujing into the database, bringing up a photograph of a young woman with several aliases... Later, Dembe escorts Liz back to Mary's garage. Liz wants to know whether Red has the drive, but he's only interested in how she's doing after the death of her father. The best way to keep his memory alive is to talk about it, and Red wants to hear some stories.

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