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Red Played a Dangerous Game With Wujing in the Latest Episode of The Blacklist
What cards will the Task Force be dealt next? Find out by watching The Blacklist on Sundays at 10/9c on NBC.
Raymond Reddington (James Spader) is back in Season 10 of The Blacklist. And this time, the show's most infamous Blacklisters are seeking revenge for his involvement with the FBI. As Wujing pours energy into dismantling Red's empire, the Task Force continues to evolve with new faces entering the mix. The stakes have never been higher, and in Season 10, Episode 2 ("The Whaler"), Siya Malik (Anya Banerjee) proved to be the Task Force's new ace in the hole. Here's everything that happened!
We start inside a sprawling casino, where a woman chastises a rowdy poker player that strikes out. As he throws a tantrum, the woman reminds him that he is gambling with his wife's money, a cheeky comment considering the gentleman is there with a young mistress. This woman has full details on her clientele and isn't afraid to bring out her claws to keep her players in line.
Meet the first new Blacklister of Season 10, The Whaler. One of the casino employees approaches her to comment on the private games she has scheduled, notably, the $15 million line of credit extended to a client named Yao Liang. This diligent casino employee informs The Whaler that Yao Liang doesn't exist, so he knows her intentions are shady, and he plans to file the incident with the Gambling Commission.
The Whaler doesn't seem slightly phased by the man's threats, and as they enter the elevator, she admits he has the advantage. But as soon as the elevator moves, she stops the lift and attacks him, taking him down within seconds. With her pointed heel clamped down on his neck, The Whaler tells the man that they got on the wrong foot and that she wants him to be comfortable at work but not too comfortable because she will blow up his car if he says anything.
Meanwhile, Meera Malek's legacy lives on as Cooper (Harry Lenix) meets up with Red for lunch to tell him her daughter has joined the Task Force. Red says that if Siya is anything like her mother, she'll be a "keen asset with a discerning eye," which we already saw first-hand in the Season 10 premiere. In a flashback, Siya learns the Task Force works with the infamous Raymond Reddington. Siya barely bristles as she is dead-set on getting revenge against Wujing, and more importantly, finishing the job her mother started a decade ago.
Red updates Cooper about Wujing's movements and reveals Wujing has been all over the globe in the past week visiting casinos. Wujing has been working with Anika de Beer, a freelancer that recruits high-rolling gamblers to the casino table. Why is Wujing frequenting these casinos? Red and Cooper aren't sure, but The Whaler is their best bet at finding the fugitive.
But in lighter conversation, Red's ears are perked once he finds out Agnes is being bullied at school. Red offers to step in and help, but Cooper reminds him that Agnes has two parents already, and she needs to figure this out on her own. Red is perturbed but unsurprised because Cooper seems determined to keep Agnes distanced from Red.
Siya is formally introduced to the Task Force as the team gathers around to learn about their latest Blacklister, Anika de Beer, a.k.a The Whaler. Cooper tells them Anika is internationally renowned within the casino scene for bringing some of the richest people in the world to the table, earning her The Whaler as a pseudonym.
They suspect Wujing is trying to target these high-rolling gamblers and is working with The Whaler to get to the table. Better yet, it looks like The Whaler has collected a roster of her highest-paying clients for a private game of Texas Hold'em in Sydney, Australia. The game is scheduled for two days later, and considering Wujing's recent shenanigans, the timing seems suspicious. And wouldn't you know, there are two open seats at the poker table!
Red finally meets Siya as he meets up with the Task Force. Red tells her that he knew her mother and admits that Meera didn't like him very much. But while Red is attempting to get chummy with Siya, the Task Force newbie is no-nonsense at the dinner table.
"Mr. Redidngton, you and I don't need to be friends with one another," Siya tells him. "Like my mother, I'm also extremely capable and can liaise with you, work beside you, smile at your jokes. But this is a professional relationship to me, nothing more."
There's a beat before Red retorts, "Practiced that, have you?"
Red walks Ressler (Diego Klattenhoff) and Siya through the plan, which has dealt them a risky hand. Red has created two false identities to enter the game, leveraging his connections to a reputable poker game organizer to get them into a scouting match monitored by The Whaler. Red wants Siya to sit at the poker table, with Ressler in attendance as her bank. But once Red starts laying out the details, Ressler claims Siya isn't ready to be on the front lines. Red disagrees and counters that she's the wild card they need to blindside Wujing's operation.
As Red leaves, Siya confronts Ressler about his comments. Ressler warns her that she doesn't understand what lines Red is willing to cross, and that her safety is not a priority. Siya takes this in stride and only seems more determined to prove Ressler wrong. And after crushing high-rollers in the scouting match, The Whaler takes the bait and offers Siya and Ressler an all-expense paid trip to Sydney for a good ole' game of poker.
Meanwhile, Red can't seem to shake Cooper's comments about Agnes, which lands him in a car with binoculars outside her soccer practice. Agnes is pushed by one of the girls, and the argument quickly turns volatile. Red struggles to keep his distance as he watches the upsetting scene and contemplates what he should do next.
Siya and Ressler arrive in Sydney and reprise their argument, with Ressler remaining hesitant about her joining the Task Force. Ressler's concern is rooted in Siya getting hurt, as he saw it happen first-hand to her mother and Elizabeth Keen. He doesn't want the Task Force to tear her down, too. But Siya can take care of herself...and look great doing it as she slips on a pair of sleek gold earrings.
Red and Cooper update each other about the agents' progress, and during their chat, Red asks if Cooper knows anything about Phil and Justine Rutherman. Cooper has no clue who those people are, but Red fills him in: Those are the parents of Agnes' bully. Cooper chastises Red for getting involved and insists that he stays out of Agnes' business. Will Red heed this warning? Does Red ever?
Siya and Ressler meet up with The Whaler and identify several notable faces in the casino. While Siya plays, Ressler notices a suspicious man enter the room who seems to be scouting the premises. But as Ressler attempts to take a slick picture of the man, The Whaler catches on quickly.
In the bathroom, Ressler calls Dembe (Hisham Tawfiq), and they learn the man is one of Wujing's associates. But before Ressler can do anything with this information, The Whaler and her two bodyguards burst into the bathroom and tell Ressler their jig is up. The Whaler looked into Siya and realized she was here under a false identity, and she is hell-bent on learning what the agents are doing there.
Ressler is taken to a private suite where they intend to interrogate him. The Whaler snatches Siya from her game, and just as she enters the elevator to leave, Wujing arrives. Wujing is in the house, people!
In the interrogation room, The Whaler's associates demand answers from the agents after binding their wrists. Ressler tells them they are undercover agents for the FBI and MI6, and it takes no time for them to begin pelting him with punches. But as the men let loose on Ressler, Siya discreetly slips off her earring to reveal a James Bond-style lock pick, which allows her to escape her binds. And if that wasn't cool enough, Siya proves she is a bonafide badass by taking down each of the guards with her bare hands. As Ressler comes to his senses, he admits that he underestimated Siya. But no longer!
Ressler and Siya update the Task Force on their movements, and they realize Wujing has hand selected his poker table to plant players that are deliberately losing to him. Wujing is financing his illegal misdoings through his relationship with The Whaler, who receives a cut of Wujing's earnings at the end of each game. Cooper calls Red to let him know about their discovery, but as usual, Red is one step ahead of them. And by one step, we mean already inside the Sydney casino.
Red asks The Whaler if he can join the game, and she tells him all the seats are taken. Red skips the pleasantries and directly asks The Whaler how much Wujing is paying her to coordinate the game, catching her off guard. Red tells The Whaler he is willing to pay more than Wujing to get in on the action, gifting her a bag of diamonds worth over $6 million. Like clockwork, The Whaler follows the highest bidder and allows Red to join Wujing's game.
Wujing is quite surprised to discover his nemesis has arrived, as this throws off his entire gameplay. Red takes advantage of their venue to have a quick chat with Wujing, knowing they are both unarmed. As they begin to play a nail-biting poker match, Red shows his old foe how willing he is to bid on himself by not even checking his cards before tossing all his chips in. Meanwhile, Dembe contacts Australian authorities to alert them of Wujing’s location. And just as Red wins the poker game in a series of jaw-dropping maneuvers, the police arrive.
Wujing, The Whaler, and his associates fled the scene, with Ressler and Siya surveying the damage. It was a challenging but successful first mission, and Ressler admits that he still hopes Siya doesn't get too dragged into the Task Force chaos. Siya reminds him that she is different from the people he lost, so the future may be different as well. Ressler welcomes her to the team, and it's safe to say Siya has proven she can hold her own against Red and his list of Blacklisters.
Red meets with a manager at an office and begins detailing the hefty debt he owes, shocking the man with his intel. Red tells him he is willing to pay off those debts. So, what's the catch? Red would like this man to transfer his employee, Mr. Rutherman, and his entire family to Florida. While watching Agnes' peaceful soccer practice sometime later, Cooper calls him and tells him he knows what he did to the Rutherman family.
But as Red attempts to deny the accusations, Cooper arrives to join Red on a bench. They discuss Red's inclination to protect Agnes, but Cooper encourages him to understand the importance of overcoming her obstacles. What remains to be seen is whether or not Red will respect Cooper's wishes, as it hasn't been going so well.
We can't wait to see what happens next!
The Blacklist airs every Sunday at 10/9c on NBC and later streams on Peacock.
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