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Dr. James Covington” is the third episode of Season 2 of The Blacklist and the twenty fifth episode overall. It aired on October 6, 2014 on NBC.


A man is met at an outside street corner cafe by another man, who threatens him. The first man runs away into the street, where he's almost hit by a car. The driver of the car drugs him. When the man wakes up again, he's being taken in for surgery, and is drugged again. Police roust a sidewalk of homeless people, and find his half-naked corpse with a Y-incision exposing his inner organs.

Elizabeth Keen wakes up scrambling for her gun and finds Tom Keen holding her gun on him. He warns her she can't trust Raymond Reddington, because he'll kill her as soon as he gets rid of Berlin. Reddington bursts in with a gun. When Tom tries to tell Elizabeth something about the night of the fire and Naomi Hyland, Reddington kills him. Elizabeth wakes up to discover it was just a dream.

As she leaves her motel, she sees a man following her. She jumps him and checks his belongings to find he's what he says he is, just a guest staying at the same motel.

Reddington is discussing business with Niko Demakis. He wants “the syndicate” to take over an Indonesian port. Niko warns him that tripling his investment at this time is risky given his war with Berlin. Reddington dismisses him. Elizabeth arrives with Dembe Zuma, and asks Reddington about the whereabouts of Naomi Hyland. Reddington diverts her with the death of Paul Wyatt, the man in the first scene. We learn Paul Wyatt was in financial services and under U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation for fraud allegations, until he was found with his heart taken out. Reddington tells her about James Covington, a cardiothoracic surgeon who now runs a black market organ ring for recipients outside of normal channels by killing people for their organs. Reddington doesn't know where Covington is.

Oliver Fleck approaches an obviously sick man in a restaurant, and introduces himself as representing Dr. Covington. He guarantees the quality of the organ being offered, along with a 10 year guarantee.

Back at headquarters, Aram Mojtabai gives the rundown on Covington to the team. Harold Cooper brings in Samar Navabi and announces she's joining the team on an indefinite loan. We learn it took her 74 days to find Reddington, as opposed to Ressler's 5 years.

Ressler and Elizabeth go to the Medical Examiner, who's done the autopsy on Wyatt. He refuses the theory that Wyatt's heart was harvested, since the heart that was taken wasn't originally his. Wyatt was a previous heart transplant recipient.

Interviewed, Wyatt's wife disavows any knowledge of a heart transplant. There's no record of Wyatt receiving a previous heart. On further questioning, she reveals that Wyatt was a customer of Covington, but that the heart was not bought, it was rented. For every year of use, Wyatt had to pay 500,000 dollars. When Wyatt went bankrupt, he was no longer able to pay, so the heart was repossessed.

Niko is meeting with 2 associates about the Indonesian port investment. They all have concerns about Reddington's plan. An agent from Berlin interrupts the meeting and says he's there to make them an offer.

The task force tracks the 500,000 dollars Wyatt was paying to a non-profit called the Wellbright Fund. Looking through the financials, they found the fund paid 200,000 dollars to a general surgeon named Dr. Gordon Albee for consulting.

In Cogan Falls, Maryland, Ressler and Elizabeth meet Dr. Albee, who's the local Medical Examiner. He becomes nervous when asked about the Wellbright Fund and refuses to answer questions.

Niko tells Reddington about Mr. Vargas, and the offer that he made, which was a short window during which Niko and his associates could change sides. He tells Reddington that everyone's still with him, but warns again about the Indonesian Port investment. Reddington asks him to keep him informed. Elizabeth calls to borrow Nemec.

Nemec performs an open-air autopsy on a corpse dug up from its graveyard. She tells Elizabeth and Reddington that the corpse is missing organs, which makes it like the other 3 she inspected. Using that evidence, Elizabeth and Ressler confront Albee, who did the autopsy on all 4 of those bodies. He admits to being a provider of organs under very specific circumstances after the bodies come under his control as an M.E. He reveals details about the transport process and asks for protection.

With Albee's help they set up a sting using a pig heart and a fake medical file.

Niko shows Reddington pictures of his associates apparently meeting with Vargas. Reddington goes to ask them himself.

The courier arrives to pick up the heart from Albee. Elizabeth sends a picture to Aram, who gets an identity on him, Ronald Cassell. Cassell calls Covington after checking the fake medical file to confirm it's a match for their client, the sick man from the earlier scene. Ressler and Elizabeth follow Cassell, who realizes he's being tracked. They're forced to chase him on foot, but Cassell is hit by a car and killed.

Reddington, Niko, Dembe and several men confront the 2 associates who met with Vargas. The 2 associates are taken away.

Ressler pulls a medical file off of the courier's body that allowed them to identify the intended recipient of the fake heart as Bernard Babbitt. The FBI has been trying to indict him for years.

Reddington finds Babbitt at a restaurant, and asks to be put in contact with Covington. Babbitt has a number to be used for emergency purposes only, and refuses. However, Reddington has poisoned Babbitt with a drug used to cure erectile dysfunction, which causes Babbitt to go into distress, which constitutes an emergency.

Cooper calls Elizabeth in to review the recommendations from the FBI psychologist, who has concerns about her and is recommending a 1 month suspension. Cooper is not going to take the recommendation, but offers his ear to Elizabeth if she needs to talk.

Aram tracks Covington's emergency number to a 5 block radius. The team listens to Covington talking about another heart repossession taking place in less than 1 hour.

Vargas meets with Niko, who tells him that his 2 associates have been taken care of: Reddington bought the photo op without needing real evidence. However, in return for betraying Reddington, Niko demands that Reddington be killed. Vargas argues against it, but Niko is willing to give up all the details of Reddington's operation. Vargas agrees and tells Niko to set up the meet with Reddington.

Ressler and Elizabeth arrive at a locked store, the last site they haven't checked in the area, and crowbar their way in. Ressler finds a stairwell to a lower level that's not on city plans. They find 2 children unconscious in hospital beds, and a sterile setup that appears to be for child care. Further in they find a couple and Oliver Fleck. Elizabeth interrupts Covington in an operating room, where he's preparing to transplant lungs into a child who will die in the next 24 hours if he doesn't get them. They stop him.

Handcuffed, Covington explains he lost his license for transplanting adult lungs into a child, an experimental procedure which wasn't acceptable practice at the time but saved the child. However, nowadays there's an appeals process for this. Covington has funneled all his proceeds from dealing with criminals into building the underground transplant clinic for children that gives them a chance with adult organs. He asks to be allowed to continue with his patient since the donor material is already there.

Elizabeth argues with Ressler that Covington has to do the transplant, and asks him to buy her time with Cooper.

Reddington meets Niko, who tells him he's out and introduces him to Vargas and his men, who draw guns on Reddington. Reddington takes Vargas's gun, and Vargas apologizes to Niko, saying he's misled him. The 2 framed associates enter with more of Reddington's men, implying the whole thing was a sting to catch traitors. Reddington reveals to them all that the Indonesian Port deal came through. The Indonesian minister who opposed Reddington's syndicate needed a heart transplant, but the arrangements he made for a new heart had fallen through. He died that morning, and the new minister saw things Reddington's way. Reddington tells Niko a story about installing carpets for a store owner during a summer job. Reddington shoots and kills Niko.

Covington finishes the transplant to save his child patient, then is led away by the FBI. Elizabeth speculates whether Reddington knew Covington was saving children. When Ressler reminds her that for every 1 child saved there were 3 criminals as well, she says that's a tradeoff she'd make. Ressler observes that the Elizabeth of a year ago would never have thought that.

Samar offers to take Elizabeth out for a drink to celebrate the case, but Elizabeth refuses. Samar knows Elizabeth doesn't trust her. Elizabeth warns that if Samar found Reddington, it was because Reddington wanted her to find him. And if she's in the task force now, it's because he wants her there, and they don't know why. That's why she doesn't trust Samar.

In the parking lot of her motel, Elizabeth runs into the other motel guest she frisked at the beginning and apologizes again. The guest accepts her apology, then returns to his room and sets up a very big gun.

Reddington and Dembe arrive at a remote house, where Reddington greets Naomi. She slaps him.

Press Release[]

DERANGED DOCTOR FINDS HIMSELF ON THE BLACKLIST – When a man is found with his heart cut out, agents Keen and Ressler team up with agent Samar Navabi to uncover the intricacies of Dr. Covington’s black market operation. Meanwhile, Red and his associate try to capitalize on a new opportunity in Indonesia, leaving Reddington in a vulnerable position.

Number on The Blacklist[]

  • 89

Unanswered Questions[]

  1. Elizabeth Keen
    1. Liz's paranoia is pushing her to ally with Raymond Reddington.
    2. Her nightmare shows/implies that she wants to know the truth that Red is concealing.
    3. She used Kathryn Nemec to avoid the delay of legal procedure.
    4. Why is her wall of clues at the hotel/motel? It should be at her safehouse.
      1. A: She probably has multiple copies.
    5. Donald Ressler told her that her personality had shifted over the past year.
    6. Why is the family storyline so important?
  2. Raymond Reddington
    1. Why did Red tell Niko the carpet store installing summer job story about loyalty? In “Anslo Garrick” he told Ressler that loyalty is not an option in the black market. He said the same thing to Liz in “The Courier”.
      1. A: Red told Niko what he expected in “The Kingmaker”.
      2. A: While Red has said there's no place for loyalty in the black market, he can still cherish loyalty as shown by how he is with Dembe.
    2. Niko Demakis was right, Red is taking higher risks. There are times when defense is the superior strategy.
      1. A: Red has tried defense, it is because that strategy did not work he went to the FBI in order to force Milos Kirchoff to break cover, and so make himself a target.
      2. Q: I am refering to the Port of Tankulu takeover. Tripling the investment while combatting Milos Kirchoff, gives Milos Kirchoff another target area where he can damage Red's syndicate. Milos Kirchoff can wait until Red is fully invested in the port's operation and then commence with a sabotage operation. In “Frank Herbert’s Dune” Vladimir Harkonnen must constantly remind and instruct Feyd-Rautha and Glossu Rabban about the need for restraint and timing.
      3. A: In the case of the Port of Tankulu, there were 2 options: 1) Red takes it over; 2) Milos Kirchoff takes it over. Red decided to take the first option.
    3. Why did Red employ Mr. Vargas, who cannot tolerate the sight of blood?
      1. A: Red hired Mr. Vargas to keep an eye on the members his syndicate.
      2. Q: Someone who works in the black market should be able to tolerate the sight of blood since agreements and loyalty are enforced by “fear and the threat of violence”, as stated in “The Courier”.
      3. A: Exactly, fear and the threat of violence, Vargas as a senior aid to Red would be able to walk away from the actual violence with a parting line like “Deal with it”.
    4. Why did Red remark on the talkative person at the graveyard? Red frequently uses conversation to distract people.
  3. Raymond Reddington's syndicate
    1. Why did Niko Demakis side with Milos Kirchoff? He was Red's long serving ally. Alan Fitch also deserted Red despite their history and the blackmail evidence. Red's high ranked allies are deserting while the lower ranked allies, such as Dembe Zuma, are remaining loyal.
      1. A: Demakis knew Red had been careless in the past years by taking higher risks and was secretly planning to attack him from behind. To ensure his protection, he secretly supplied information to Milos Kirchoff via his emissary Mr. Vargas, during their trade. Demakis was unaware that he exposed himself to Red until near the end, when Vargas revealed himself.
    2. How much damage has Milos Kirchoff done to Red's syndicate?
      1. A: In “The Kingmaker”, Red implied the damage that Milos Kirchoff has done to his syndicate was severe. This was later confirmed in “Monarch Douglas Bank”, when Red admitted to Liz he doesn't have too many people he can trust.
    3. Why did Red suspect that someone in his syndicate was siding with Milos Kirchoff?
      1. A: Red suspected his most trusted ally, Niko, was betraying him to Milos Kirchoff by supplying information and employed Mr. Vargas to confirm his suspicions.
      2. Q: What was the origin of the suspicion?
  4. Samar Navabi
    1. Why was Aram Mojtabai's first statement about her height?
      1. A: Aram appears to be smitten by Samar.
    2. Does she know Red's plans for her? Liz compared Samar to herself and Red.
  5. How many of James Covington's clients will be arrested?
  6. Harold Cooper seemed concerned about Keen, not her actions. Will he show more skepticism to Ressler in the future? Or has Cooper decided to attempt to counter-balance Red's influence?
    1. A: His concern for Liz was more likely due to her feeling betrayed by both Red and Tom. She had been acting erratically after learning the truth about Tom's double life as an agent to Milos Kirchoff and Red's involvement in the murder of her adopted father, Sam. Cooper suggested she takes time off, but Liz refused knowing that work could help keep her emotions in check. It is unknown if she trusts Cooper enough to tell him of her skepticism for Ressler.
  7. How did Ronald Cassell identify Ressler so quickly?
  8. Is the man at the hotel/motel, Ezra, an agent of Milos Kirchoff? He had a sniper rifle.
    1. A: He works for Red, revealed in “Dr. Linus Creel”.

Slanders on the FBI[]

  1. Why did Ressler and Liz not have a SWAT team with them?
    1. A: They did not have an exact locaion until they discovered the basement.
    2. Q: Previous raids have involved a SWAT team. Using a team would have allowed the FBI to search the area in less time.


Main star[]

Guest star[]


  • John Nielsen as Paul Wyatt
  • Andhy Méndez as Med Tech #1
  • Robert Ray Manning Jr. as Officer Hodge
  • Kevin Collins as Oliver Fleck
  • Miguel Cervantes as Cristobal Rojas
  • Brian Edwards as Man
  • Ejyp Johnson as Driver


External Links[]

Season 2 Episodes
 · Lord Baltimore  · Monarch Douglas Bank  · Dr. James Covington  · Dr. Linus Creel  · The Front  · The Mombasa Cartel  · The Scimitar  · The Decembrist  · Luther Braxton  · Luther Braxton: Conclusion  · Ruslan Denisov  · The Kenyon Family  · The Deer Hunter  · T. Earl King VI  · The Major  · Tom Keen  · The Longevity Initiative  · Vanessa Cruz  · Leonard Caul  · Quon Zhang  · Karakurt  · Tom Connolly  ·