The Decembrist

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"The Decembrist"
The Blacklist episode
Episode no.Season 2
Episode 8
Directed byMichael Watkins
Written byJon Bokenkamp
John Eisendrath
Original air dateNovember 10, 2014 (2014-11-10)
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
← Previous
"The Scimitar"
Next →
"Luther Braxton"
The Blacklist (season 2)
List of The Blacklist episodes

"The Decembrist" is the eighth episode of the second season of the television series The Blacklist, which aired on NBC on November 10, 2014. The episode was directed by Michael Watkins and written by Jon Bokenkamp and John Eisendrath.[1] This episode serves as the season's fall finale; the show returned on February 1, 2015 after the 49th Super Bowl.[2]

The Blacklist number for this episode is No. 12.

In this episode, Raymond "Red" Reddington (James Spader) reveals the whereabouts of his rival Berlin's (Peter Stormare) long-lost daughter, and attempts to hunt down the person responsible for his belief that she was dead. Elsewhere, Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone) ponders whether or not to kill her ex-husband Tom Keen (Ryan Eggold), whom she has held captive for four months.

Upon airing, the episode was watched by 9.75 million viewers and attained an 18-49 rating of 2.5,[3] placing first in its time slot and second for the night, behind only its lead-in show The Voice.[3]


The episode begins with a flashback to when Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone) shot her husband Tom Keen (Ryan Eggold) after he tried to kill her. She then tells Raymond "Red" Reddington (James Spader) that he should leave the room so she can finish him off; she instead kidnaps him and takes him prisoner to a boat on the docks, and makes him reveal important details regarding Red's nemesis and former KGB member Berlin (Peter Stormare) and several other people on Red's Blacklist. It is revealed that Elizabeth has held Tom captive for four months.

Elsewhere, Red meets with Berlin and reveals to him that his daughter Zoe (Scottie Thompson) is in fact alive, and he presents her to him, thus making their feud pointless, as Berlin believed that Red killed her. Red asks Berlin who told him the lie; he reveals the person's identity as The Decembrist. Red and Berlin hunt down several people in order to find out The Decembrist's true identity. They eventually find a name: Alan Fitch (Alan Alda), an associate of Red's. After finding out who it is, Berlin decides to hunt him down and kill him, something Red is not keen on doing.

Red later reveals to Elizabeth that he is in fact working with Berlin and that he knows that Tom is not dead. This angers her, as she has spent months trying to find Berlin; Red expresses disappointment that Elizabeth did not trust him enough to tell him about Tom. Back at the boat, Tom tells Elizabeth that she will not kill him despite her supposed desire to. A security man arrives to check out a report about the boat, and Elizabeth has to capture him. Tom then kills him as a way to remove witnesses; Elizabeth watches in horror as her associate holds her back. Elizabeth then demands to know where Berlin is: Tom says if she lets him go, then he will reveal the information. Elizabeth asks for Donald Ressler's (Diego Klattenhoff) assistance, which he provides despite his reluctance. The two allow Tom to escape into the city unseen after he reveals Berlin's last known whereabouts. Before letting him go, Ressler warns Tom that he will hunt him down.

Berlin later takes Zoe out to lunch. Zoe is visibly uncomfortable being there, especially with Berlin's men keeping watch. Berlin orders his men away, and Red then drops in and demands to know what Berlin's men did to Alan, as he has gone missing. Berlin realizes that his daughter has set him up. The FBI later finds Alan with a hi-tech bomb strapped around his neck. He is escorted to FBI headquarters and locked in the same box that Red was sent into after first being detained by the FBI in the first episode. There, several bomb squad officers attempt to disable the bomb. Eventually, Alan announces he does not want any more blood on his hands than he has already, and asks the bomb squad office to leave, which he reluctantly does. Alan knows he is going to die, as the bomb can go off at any time. Alan then asks to speak with Red. Red stands outside the box, and Alan asks if he has "The Fulcrum"; Red merely says that he cannot stop the bomb. Alan then says that his death will trigger a series of events, which will make it harder for the moderates to resist the extremists, and predicts that by 2017, conditions will get worse. Alan then tells Red the combination to a safe he has hidden away in St. Petersburg, but is unable to tell him the exact location within the city before the bomb explodes.

Later, Red meets with Berlin in a warehouse and the two share a bottle of vodka as Berlin reminisces about better times during the Cold War. Just after Berlin finishes the bottle knowing he is going to die, Red shoots him four times, killing him. Elizabeth goes back to the boat where Tom was and finds Red waiting for her there; he reiterates his disappointment in her not trusting him. Elizabeth tells him how frustrated she is that she could not kill Tom, and Red says that love is still a factor and a power she cannot control. He then embraces her.

That night, Tom meets Red in a restaurant, and Red gives him an envelope, telling him twice that "You are never to see her again." Before he leaves, Tom tells Red that during his captivity, he never told Elizabeth about them, which suggests that Tom has worked for Red in some capacity.



The episode was watched by 9.75 million American viewers, and attained an 18-49 rating/share of 2.5/8.[3] This marks an increase in viewership and 18-49 ratings from the previous episode, which was watched by 9.30 million viewers and attained an 18-49 rating/share of 2.4/7.[4] However, this also marks a significant decrease in viewership and ratings from the first season's fall finale, which brought in 11.67 million viewers and an 18-49 rating/share of 3.2/9.[5] The show placed first in its timeslot, and second for the night, behind only its lead-in show The Voice.[3]

Including DVR viewing, the episode was watched by a total of 15.96 million viewers, and attained an 18-49 rating of 4.5.[6] The Canadian broadcast received 1.99 million viewers, making it the third most-watched telecast of the night and the twelfth of the week.[7]

Critical reception[edit]

Commentators gave the episode highly positive reviews, saying that the episode lived up to its anticipation. Jodi Walker of Entertainment Weekly gave the episode a highly positive review, commenting mainly on the episode's anticipation paying off, saying "Does The Blacklist still have it? This season's self-proclaimed "huge reveals" have all been largely foreshadowed in previews and Voice commercial breaks: Tom behind the door, Zoe as Berlin's daughter, Fitch as Berlin and Red's common enemy. But, The Blacklist stuck the landing where it counted tonight, when we finally got to see what all of those reveals mean to the world of Red and Lizzie,. After the plethora of reveals in the last 10 minutes—or as NBC marketing would say, "You won't believe the. LAST. TEN. MINUTES"—my jaw has resumed its formerly gaping position."[8] Brent Furdyk of ET Canada said "the gripping thriller ended the first half of its second season in true over-the-top fashion with two major characters biting the dust."[9]

Jim McMahon of IGN gave the episode a 7.2 out of 10, saying that the show's midseason finale "goes out with some potentially big plot developments and a small bang."[10]

Sean McKenna of TV Fanatic gave the episode a 4.6 out of 5, saying "Perhaps it being a fall finale helped amp things up, but it was so satisfying to get the entire hour focused on the bigger story. This was the engaging episode that I’d been waiting to get again, and I’m so glad how it turned out."[11]

Andrea Reiher of Zap2it gave the episode (and the first half of the season) a positive review, saying "The first season [...] sometimes suffered from putting too much emphasis on the case of the week, leaving the overarching mythology barely present or even nonexistent. But Season 2 has pulled off the masterful job of providing cases each week that are wrapped up within the hour while most weeks also connecting in some way to the larger picture. It has made the drama more serialized and it became apparent during the fall finale that the season is neatly divided into acts (probably three), the first of which has come to a close with some events that perfectly set up Act II."[12]


  1. ^ "Listings - BLACKLIST, THE on NBC". The Futon Critic. Retrieved November 11, 2014.
  2. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (May 11, 2014). "NBC 2014-2015 Schedule: 'Parenthood' Renewed; 'State of Affairs' & 'Marry Me' To Air Post-'Voice'; 'The Blacklist' Moves Midseason + 'Parks and Recreation' Final Season Benched". TV By the Numbers. Retrieved November 11, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d Bibel, Sara (November 11, 2014). "Monday Final Ratings: 'Dancing With the Stars' & 'Castle' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 11, 2014.
  4. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (November 4, 2014). "Monday Final Ratings: 'The Voice' Adjusted Up; 'Jane the Virgin', 'Dancing with the Stars', 'The Originals' & 'Countdown to the CMAs' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 4, 2014.
  5. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (December 3, 2013). "Monday Final TV Ratings: 'How I Met Your Mother' Adjusted Up; 'The Blacklist' & 'The Voice' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Top 30 Programs (November 10-16, 2014)" (PDF). Numeris. November 25, 2014. Retrieved February 20, 2015.
  8. ^ Walker, Jodi (November 11, 2014). "The Blacklist recap: 'The Decembrist'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 11, 2014.
  9. ^ Furdyk, Brent (November 11, 2014). "'Blacklist' Bloodbath In Fall Finale". ET Canada. Retrieved November 11, 2014.
  10. ^ McMahon, Jim (November 11, 2014). "The Blacklist: "The Decembrist" Review". IGN. Retrieved November 11, 2014.
  11. ^ McKenna, Sean (November 10, 2014). "The Blacklist Season 2 Episode 8 Review: The Decembrist". TV Fanatic. Retrieved November 11, 2014.
  12. ^ Reiher, Andrea (November 11, 2014). "'The Blacklist' fall finale sets up Season 2's second half perfectly". Zap2it. Retrieved November 11, 2014.

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