The Blacklist: Redemption 1×03 Review: ‘Independence U.S.A.’

So last night’s episode “Independence U.S.A.” delivered a revelation that could be huge, if proven true. After Nez and Tom completed their mission at the Russian military base, Tom met with his father who said that Scottie had been seriously injured in a car crash after Christopher (AKA Tom) disappeared. She recovered, but Tom’s father said that she acted completely different after that, and seemed like a new person. His theory is that Scottie was actually killed, and replaced by a Russian sleeper agent who now has her face. This is the program that Tom and Nez investigated.




The Russian military wasn’t just creating American towns to prepare agents to take the fight to America, they were actually replacing American citizens and carrying out terrorist attacks that looked like they were planned by American citizens, not foreign agents. They pick people who look like American citizens that they have selected, and then use cosmetic surgery to make their agents look exactly like the other person. Once that part of the process is  completed, the agent is sent to America where they kill the real people they are impersonating and take over their lives until it is time to launch their attack.

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That’s some crazy stuff. Which got me thinking about Liz’s family ties to Russia and her mother being a Russian agent who was supposedly killed, as far as we know (Red has never given anyone a straight answer about it), but what if it’s all connected? What if Liz’s mother Katarina Rostova was actually one of these agents who changed her identity and her face and replaced an American citizen.

What if that’s why no one has ever found out for sure what happened to her? What if this is something that Red doesn’t even know? This would also be a really interesting connection for Tom and Liz to have. Tom’s case is slightly different because his real mother might actually be dead, and Liz’s mother would be posing as someone else, but what if this program is the answer to everything about both Liz and Tom’s early lives? It just seems like this program is something that has been going on for a long time, without anyone knowing who is being replaced. I mean anyone could be a Russian sleeper agent in disguise.

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If this program from “Independence U.S.A” doesn’t have widespread implications for the lore of the Blacklist, I will be really disappointed because especially with the possible connection to Scottie, it doesn’t seem like this is just a throwaway case. There are deeper connections that should definitely be explored.

The other major event of note that happened in “Independence U.S.A” was that Scottie is on the verge of finding out what happened to Christopher, which means she is about to find out who Tom really is. She had Solomon help her investigate her husband’s “death” which led her to find out that he was looking for Christopher before he “died”. She now knows that her son is alive, and she is going to stop at nothing to find him. Tom’s father seems completely unconcerned about this. Tom is kind of freaking out (understandably so) because his cover could be blown any moment. And his father is just like:

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If Scottie really has been replaced by a Russian agent, and she finds out who Tom is, it could be a much bigger confrontation than it was already shaping up to be. Here’s hoping the next episode “Operation Davenport” starts to give us some of the answers we’ve been looking for.

Check out the trailer below and get ready for a good old fashioned prison break case next week!

The Blacklist: Redemption airs Thursdays at 10/9c on NBC.

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