The Freelancer

Season 1
Episode 102
Air Date 09/30/13
TV-14

Liz and Red take polygraphs for the Department of Justice, so the government can attempt to understand Red's motivations and plans. Diane Fowler, Chief of the D.O.J. Criminal Division, insists Red isn't getting any immunity deal; the Attorney General will prosecute him as he would any criminal. Cooper insists Fowler doesn't know who they're dealing with. Mid-polygraph, Red warns the Feds of an impending incident in the Decatur Industrial Park. They comb the area, but nothing seems suspicious. Suddenly, an out-of-control passenger train speeds towards them. As the FBI rushes for safety, the train careens off the track and crashes, causing several fatalities.

After visiting Tom, who's in a medically induced coma, Liz tells Red she's calling the shots from now on. She wants everything Red knows about the train wreck and warns him immunity is not on the way. Red begs to differ, but nevertheless plays ball. The man they're looking for is called "The Freelancer." He disguises all of his assassinations with large-scale tragic accidents - just like he did with the train crash. Red knows an intermediary who might help them - but he'll need to meet the guy face-to-face in Montreal, and Liz will have to come along. While Cooper tells Ressler to shadow Red, Liz asks Red about the box hidden beneath her floor. Rather than indicate whether he has anything to do with the box, Red allows that Liz is sitting on a ton of criminal charges, and her situation with Tom is pretty much impossible.

In Montreal, Red and Liz share a table at a fine French restaurant, as Ressler and his crew watch from a van outside. Liz reluctantly profiles Red: a serial loner, he hates that he needs her because it makes him vulnerable. Red refuses to answer any of Liz's questions and asks one of his own: "What if I were to tell you that all the things you've come to believe about yourself are a lie?" When Red passes something to the sommelier, Ressler panics. His men charge in, fearing Red has escaped, and in fact, he's already gone. Keen and Ressler scream at each other - and then find Red inside the van. His contact was the coat check attendant. Red left a $100 in his hat, and in exchange, the contact left him a picture of The Freelancer's next victim: Floriana Campo.

Regarded as a saint and one of Liz's heroines, Floriana heads the world's largest anti-sex trafficking non-profit organization. The FBI believes the Eberhardt Cartel wants her dead. They killed her husband a few years back and probably hired The Freelancer to take her out. Campo refuses to cancel her fundraiser for the following night in Manhattan and the FBI's protection. Liz needs Red's help ASAP to identify The Freelancer. But Red isn't talking until his deal is met, which now includes reinstating his personal security detail. Fowler reluctantly signs an off-the-record deal but vows Red will never have immunity. And she wants someone she can trust on Red's team, CIA Agent Meera Malik.

Red is reunited with his driver Dembe and Luli Zeng, who likely manages his money, then tells Ressler that he'll have to attend the fundraiser to identify The Freelancer. Liz, Red and Ressler dress up for the black tie event, where Red spies The Freelancer working as a waiter. Liz and Ressler chase the man through the hotel and into the street, where he's hit by a taxi. Ressler and Meera interrogate the badly injured Freelancer to learn Red hired him to kill Floriana! Liz rushes to Floriana's hotel room only to find Red, who calmly explains Floriana is actually head of the Eberhardt Cartel. She doesn't save girls... she enslaves them and uses her NGO as a front. As Floriana admits this to be true, she falls to the ground and begins convulsing. Red's poisoned her, and she dies just as Ressler and Meera arrive.

At dawn, Red finds Liz on a park bench. The FBI confirmed everything he said about Floriana, and they were able to rescue her last "shipment" of girls. Red's more interested in what Liz plans to do about Tom. Back at home, Liz returns the box to its hidey-hole under the floor, has new carpet installed and picks up her husband from the hospital. Unable to sleep, she unpacks one of Tom's hospital bags to find a flash drive, labeled "Background Profile Elizabeth Keen." It seems suspicious; but it contains video of Tom sweetly telling the adoption agency what a great mother Liz is going to be, and it brings her to tears.

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