The Deer Hunter (The Blacklist)
|"The Deer Hunter"|
|The Blacklist episode|
|Episode no.||Season 2|
|Directed by||Andrew McCarthy|
|Written by||Amanda Kate Shuman|
|Original air date||February 26, 2015|
The FBI team tracks down a serial killer nicknamed "The Deer Hunter", who has been on a killing spree for nearly twelve 4years. Detective Wilcox continues to question Aleko (Liz' helper on the boat) about the harbormaster's murder, who agrees to testify if he gets immunity. The mysterious caller sets up a meeting with Reddington, telling him that they need to discuss something in person. Red then meets with Elizabeth and inquires about the Fulcrum, which she unsuccessfully lies about. They agree to a deal that he will help bring down The Deer Hunter in exchange for the Fulcrum.
The Deer Hunter turns out to be the murdered husband of Tracy Solobotkin (Amanda Plummer), who is an employee in an organization that helps battered women. Kidnapping Liz, she reveals that she killed her husband in self-defense and decided to continue his legacy in the form of killing men who hurt other women. She claims her husband still "pulls the strings from beyond the grave." Liz disagrees with her, telling her she is just like her husband, that she enjoys the killing. The two argue. In a move reminiscent of when Tom killed the Harbor Master, Liz manages to choke her into unconsciousness, just as Ressler and the task force arrive. The irony is not lost on Liz, and she tells Ressler she is going to go to Wilcox and tell him everything. Ressler argues with her, and says if she does, the task force will be shut down and all the good work they do will be lost.
Separately, Reddington finds out about Aleko's deal with Wilcox and tells him he will arrange for the Samoan's brother to get a needed heart transplant if Aleko will to lie to the U.S. Attorney and clear Elizabeth. But the only time Red can speak with the Samoan falls at the same exact time as the intended meeting with the mystery caller, so Red sends Dembe instead to take the call, which angers the mystery caller who hangs up during the phone call.
Wilcox interviews Aleko under oath, who says he can't remember. When Wilcox presses him, Aleko said he only told Wilcox what he wanted to hear.
Red later manages to trace the Mystery man's location, but only finds the cell phone he was using and signs of a fight, including blood on the floor. Liz drives to the police station, but doesn't go in. Red meets with her to inform her of his deal with Aleko. Liz confirms that she has the fulcrum, and says she will give it to Red if he tells her what it is. He says he can't. She refuses to give him The Fulcrum. Reddington calls her out for being afraid that he would lose all interest in her if she gave it to him.
"The Deer Hunter" premiered on NBC on February 26, 2015 in the 9–10 p.m. time slot. The episode garnered a 1.9/6 Nielsen rating with 8.01 million viewers, making it the third highest-rated show in its time slot behind ABC's How to Get Away with Murder and CBS's The Big Bang Theory. It was also the twenty-fifth most-watched television show of the week.
Jodi Walker of Entertainment Weekly gave a negative review of the episode, calling it "a pretty lackluster affair". She went on to say: "Don’t get me wrong, I’m still in on The Blacklist’s story—I just wish we didn’t have to take so many breaks being in The Blacklist’s story."
Jason Evans of The Wall Street Journal gave a mixed review of the episode, stating: "As for this episode, the Deer Hunter was a pretty forgettable Blacklister. There’s no way she fit into any larger plans of Red’s. I’m frustrated we never got to meet Mystery. Despite the blood, I’m guessing he isn’t dead. I was sorta looking forward to Liz having to sweat Det. Wilcox a while longer. I wonder if the show will bring him back to help her on a case some time soon. It might be nice for him to see that Liz is a good person, not a 'stone cold killer.'"
- "Episode Title: (#213) "THE DEER HUNTER"". The Futon Critic. 2015-02-26. Retrieved 2015-06-07.
- Kondology, Amanda (2015-02-27). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'The Blacklist' & 'American Idol' Adjusted Up". TV by the Numbers. Tribune Digital Ventures. Retrieved 2015-06-07.
- Bibel, Sara (2015-03-03). "TV Ratings Broadcast Top 25: 'Empire' Tops With Adults 18-49, 'NCIS' Wins With Total Viewers for the Week Ending March 1, 2015". TV by the Numbers. Tribune Digital Ventures. Retrieved 2015-06-07.
- Walker, Jodi (2015-02-27). "'The Deer Hunter'". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved 2015-06-07.
- Evans, Jason (2015-02-27). "'The Blacklist' Recap: Season 2, Episode 13, 'The Deer Hunter'". The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company. Retrieved 2015-06-07.