|The Blacklist episode|
|Episode no.||Season 2|
|Directed by||Guy Ferland|
|Written by||Vincent Angell|
|Original air date||April 2, 2015|
Vanessa Cruz, a vengeful widow of a broker turned whistleblower, has been attacking businessmen by committing crimes and framing them for it under the guise of "corporate wrongdoing". Meanwhile, Reddington attempts to sow seeds of dissent within the cabal's ranks in order to depose The Director. Tom asks Liz for help in recovering his passports, but is initially rebuffed. Running into an obstacle in the investigation of Cruz, Liz turns to Tom for help in finding Cruz in exchange for the return of his passports. While the Task Force manages to foil Cruz's initial assassination attempt, Cruz escapes, and is approached by Mr. Kaplan for recruitment into Reddington's fold. During the aftermath, Tom discloses to Liz the truth behind his relationship with Reddington. A disgusted Liz approaches Reddington with the fulcrum, attempting to cut her ties with him, only for an unknown sniper to shoot Reddington.
"Vanessa Cruz" premiered on NBC on April 2, 2015 in the 9–10 p.m. time slot. The episode garnered a 1.6/5 Nielsen rating with 7.70 million viewers, making it the third highest-rated show in its time slot behind ABC's Scandal and CBS's The Big Bang Theory. It was also the twenty-first highest-rated television show of the week.
Ross Bonaime of Paste gave the episode a 6.5/10, stating: "The Blacklist is trying to move itself in a compelling direction that also makes sense. Of course The Blacklist had gone down this road before, only to disappoint, but maybe, just maybe, this will be the time it really does course-correct for the better."
Jason Evans of The Wall Street Journal gave a mixed review of the episode, writing: "Well, what started out as a fairly slow episode sure ended with a bang! The show is taking a short 3-week break and we will have to wait until then to see how badly Red has been injured and see what happens next."
- "Episode Title: (#218) 'VANESSA CRUZ'". The Futon Critic. 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2015-06-07.
- Bibel, Sara (2015-04-03). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'The Big Bang Theory' & 'Grey's Anatomy' Adjusted Up". TV by the Numbers. Tribune Digital Ventures. Retrieved 2015-06-07.
- Kondology, Amanda (2015-04-07). "TV Ratings Broadcast Top 25: 'The Big Bang Theory' Tops Adults 18-49 & 'NCIS' Wins With Total Viewers for the Week Ending April 5 2015". TV by the Numbers. Tribune Digital Ventures. Retrieved 2015-06-07.
- Bonaime, Ross (2015-04-03). "The Blacklist Review: "Vanessa Cruz"". Paste. Paste Media Group. Retrieved 2015-06-07.
- Evans, Jason (2015-04-03). "'The Blacklist' Recap: Season 2, Episode 18, 'Vanessa Cruz'". The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company. Retrieved 2015-06-07.