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Dr. Linus Creel” is the fourth episode of Season 2 of The Blacklist and the twenty sixth episode overall. It aired on October 13, 2014 on NBC.


A woman is standing on a sidewalk in front of a bank, overwhelmed by sensory input. A man in a car watches. Inside the bank, she has a conversation with a bank employee: she’s being forced out of her home for delinquent payments. When she returns to her car, she grabs a gun and returns to the bank, opening fire. The man who was watching notes his observations into a digital recorder about the successful final phase activation of “AR-105”.

Raymond Reddington is in a remote house with Naomi Hyland, who is angry and refusing to have her entire life upended again. He tells her she can’t go back to Philadelphia and asks where Jennifer is. Naomi refuses to tell him where her daughter is. She argues she kept her end of the bargain: she didn’t say a word about him or Elizabeth Keen and marvels that he’s working with her. As her husband arrives, Reddington tells her arrangements have been made for new identities, and asks her to let him help.

Elizabeth calls Reddington to demand access to Naomi. He diverts her by talking about the housewife in Reston, the woman in the first scene, who killed a bank manager. In the last 4 months there have been 7 random acts of violence by people with no past history of violence. He states that these are the result of government mind control experiments.

In HQ, they go through the 3 cases that Reddington claims are part of the pattern. Harold Cooper orders them to interview the shooters and families. Elizabeth privately asks Aram to pull Naomi’s phone records.

Ressler and Elizabeth go to interview the housewife, Madeline Thornhill, who’s on suicide watch. She’s talking to her psychiatrist. Interviews with the boss, the ex-boyfriend, and the bank reveal she was getting bad reviews for customer service on Yelp, which resulted in her being fired; Social Services was getting anonymous calls that she was mistreating her ex’s kids, which resulted in her boyfriend leaving her; and that she was 3 months behind in payments, which resulted in foreclosure. The psychiatrist Madeline is talking to turns out to be the man who was watching her from the car.

Back at the Post Office, Elizabeth reports on findings that anonymous accusations resulted in her life falling apart. Samar Navabi reports the shooter she talked to lost his job for the same reason. Amar ran the DNA profiles of the 3 perpetrators. All three had the MAO-A2R gene, which makes people prone to extreme, antisocial behavior.

The psychiatrist from earlier is watching a car chase on TV, while recording notes on the second stage success of “AR-106”. The news reports officers have just opened fire, at which the psychiatrist notes activation of subject AR-106 concluded. He calls Senator Sheridan and identifies himself as Dr. Linus Creel.

Elizabeth reports to Cooper, who’s heard the car chase perp had the gene. Samar has identified 11 other cases in the last 18 months. Privately, Cooper tells Elizabeth that these government programs are true. He tells her about Subproject 7, a black budget program funded out of the Defense Intelligence Agency to use genetic predispositions to train and trigger assets.

Ressler and Elizabeth talk to a senator friend of Cooper who oversees black budget, who neither confirms nor denies Subproject 7, but promises to send over any pertinent documents. As they leave, Linus Creel arrives to see the senator.

Naomi and Frank discuss changing their identities and trusting Reddington. Frank refuses to run. Naomi tells Reddington they’ve decided to stay in Philadelphia.

All the paperwork the senator sent over has been redacted. Samar knows a resource called the Polyglot who could take their black ops budgets and make sense of them. She doesn’t know where he is.

Reddington identifies the Polyglot as someone named Haskell, but they had a falling out over a craps table. When he and Elizabeth visit him, Haskell closes the door in his face. Reddington gets them in by paying Haskell money that he lost at the game. Elizabeth poses as a blogger wanting his help for a scoop. Haskell has unredacted documentation on Subproject 7. It was born out of the Human Genome project, and reverse engineered from the brains of serial killers. It uses a 3 phase activation process. Phase 1: disruption of daily life. Phase 2: destabilize sense of self-worth. Final Phase: sever primary emotional bond. Elizabeth sees a picture of the Subproject 7 team’s lab assistant, Dr. Linus Creel.

The team reviews info on Creel, who works as a locum tenens at 6 area hospitals. At some point he was on staff at each of the hospitals. He has an intake questionnaire on his web site based off a real personality test that highlights aggression and low impulse control.

A woman named Monica enters a house on the phone with Naomi’s husband Frank, who he’s apparently been having an affair with. Her dog greets her. Vargas is inside the house and berates her about her care of her dog. The woman threatens to call the police, but Vargas’s men sit her down so Vargas can talk to her.

Naomi is asleep in the remote house. Reddington takes Frank for a walk and expresses that over time he’s come to feel for Naomi like she’s an estranged sister rather than an ex-wife. He’s concerned for her happiness and well-being. An SUV approaches. Reddington asks Frank to come take a look inside.

Elizabeth asks Aram to feed a fake medical history into a hospital’s system with a full psychiatric history.

The SUV door opens and Monica’s dog comes out. Frank recognizes it as belonging to Monica and demands to know what happened to her. Reddington assures her Monica is fine, but tells Frank he’s going to be a good husband from now on, accept Reddington’s help, and leave Philadelphia. When Frank refuses and threatens to call the police, Reddington uses a stick to threaten Frank’s jugular and tells him the only reason he’s still alive is that he makes Naomi happy.

Creel is talking with a distraught patient, Duncan Prince, who’s been expelled from school after Creel told his school that he’d cheated. He urges the patient to take responsibility for his actions. Elizabeth poses as a woman in the ER who needs a psych consult after problems with her husband drove her to put her hand through a window. Aram and Samar listen in remotely to Creel’s interview with Elizabeth. Elizabeth tells Creel that if she “was above the law”, she’d keep her husband Tom prisoner and make him tell her all the truth about all his lies.

Back at the house, Frank convinces Naomi that they have to leave Philadelphia, and persuades her he changed his mind because he couldn’t live with himself if something happened to her.

Creel hands Elizabeth the personality test and leaves to expedite her bloodwork. Elizabeth grabs his laptop out of his bag and with Aram’s help, hacks it to get a password.

In his room, Duncan has apparently been rejected by a girl he met over the internet. Upset, he pulls out his gun and bullets.

Aram has hacked Creel’s laptop and identified 12 patients, 11 of which have killed someone. The last one, Duncan, is the only one who hasn’t. Samar and Ressler go to his address and ask his roommates where he is.

At a public community forum on gun violence prevention that’s about to open, Creel takes a picture of the activity.

The team determines that the internet girlfriend Duncan was talking to doesn’t exist, and that Duncan is armed and in the wind.

Creel argues at the public forum that to prevent gun violence, the first step is genetic screening. The team sees that the fake internet girlfriend’s profile has been updated with a photo from the forum, and that Senator Sheridan is there. They believe Creel will be there as well to view the experiment.

Creel is making a case for genetic screening of children to the senator, citing his 7 years of research. He’s frustrated that the senator hasn’t been taking his calls and won’t meet him. He claims he can stop the violence. Outside the forum, Duncan records a suicide note blaming his internet girlfriend. He shoots in the air, scaring people away. Creel approaches him and tells him his girlfriend isn’t there. Creel tells Duncan that the girlfriend doesn’t exist, he created her, and that Duncan is there to kill him. He proves it by reciting the messages they exchanged.

The team arrives and tries to talk Duncan down. Creel doesn’t want to die, but he believes that being killed by Duncan will force the world to read and talk about his research. Duncan shoots and wounds Creel. Ressler tackles Duncan, but when Elizabeth goes to help Creel, Creel pulls a gun and takes Elizabeth hostage. Before they can negotiate, a sniper kills Creel out of nowhere. Samar and the team spot him, he’s the man from the motel in the previous episode.

Back at the Post Office, Samar gives Elizabeth her genetic results from Creel’s tests. She suggests the results are meaningless, and then asks if Reddington knew Elizabeth would learn the results if she took the case on. Aram gives Elizabeth the results of the phone trace on Naomi and Frank. He traced back calls to Monica to a number at a rural gas station in Maryland.

Elizabeth knocks on a door and Naomi answers. Elizabeth admits she wants information about her connection with Reddington from Naomi, but Naomi doesn’t give any real answers, beyond saying that Reddington isn’t who she thinks he is. Reddington, who’s been listening in, interrupts any further conversation.

Naomi prepares to leave with Frank, but before she does tells Reddington she doesn’t know where her daughter Jennifer is. Jennifer knew he would come for her one day, so she left. Reddington gives Naomi contact information for him in case she ever needs anything. Naomi leaves.

Elizabeth asks Reddington about the sniper. He confirms the sniper works for him, and that he’s been following Elizabeth since the day Meera Malik died. Elizabeth wants him gone. Reddington suggests if he didn’t know better, he’d think she had something to hide.

The closing scene is of Elizabeth sitting in a basement and playing with some keys to a locked door nearby. The implication is that Tom is a prisoner behind the door.

Press Release[]

SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY EXPERIMENT YIELDS DEADLY RESULTS – After a series of seemingly nonviolent citizens become killers, Red tips off Liz that a dangerous social-psychological experiment may be underway. Elsewhere, Red tries to convince Naomi and her husband into accepting a complicated proposition.

Number on The Blacklist[]

  • 82

Unanswered Questions[]

  1. Elizabeth Keen
    1. How much of Creel’s report was accurate about Keen? She told the truth about her feelings towards Tom Keen. She also included her childhood.
      1. A: It would be based on the truth, as it is easier to embellish the truth, than to create a coherent lie.
    2. What is Keen’s past history with criminals? She quickly created the “junkie” cover story and hid the password.
      1. A: In “Madeline Pratt” Red claimed that she was juvenile delinquent, and she also demonstrated skills with micromagic.
      2. Q: Red could have been lying for the cover story. The magic trick could be a personal interest.
    3. Why did Keen not memorize the password? FBI agents must have a reliable memory for when they cannot take notes.
      1. A: To ensure that should she be given any medication she would not forget the password.
      2. Q: She could have used the radio to send the password to Aram. He was using an audio recording unit.
      3. A: They did not have a warrant and proof that she hacked his computer and website could have been enough for the case to be thrown out of court.
      4. Q: They could have destroyed the recording.
    4. What did Keen take from Creel’s bag? He said it was a “scrip”.
      1. A: Scrip is a colloquialism for a medical prescription form.
      2. Q: In “Examination Of Stolen Cars Motor Vehicle Theft” the narrator states that it is easy to forge and/or steal official vehicle registration forms. In 2006 the British Department of Motor Vehicles, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, lost thousands of records that were used to sell stolen vehicles. Many pharmacy employees are decieved by counterfiet prescriptions. Why go to the trouble of risking discovery by stealing them from the doctor?
      3. A: She was supposed to be a junkie, and most junkies do not have access to quality scanning and printing equipment.
    5. Both Tom (“Pavlovich brothers”) and Naomi Hyland have told Keen that Raymond Reddington is not the surface image he is projecting. What identity is so terrible that it is worse that Red’s criminal career?
      1. A: I suspect that he is the good guy at the national level. The criminal things he does are insignificant on the grand scale. Something really bad happened in the past, triggered the events, but he is now working in some kind of undercover mission.
      2. Q: Tell that to the families of the people he has killed and the people whose lives he has ruined.
      3. A: Actually there is no innocent citizen which was directlly ”attacked” by Red. They are at most ”collateral damage” which is most of the time accepted during war. Some kind of Machiavelli if you like. Red has selectively applied violent actions.
    6. What was the significance of the key she was holding?
      1. A: Correlating with the scenario she told Dr. Creel about the treatment she would apply to Tom, I suspect Tom is locked inside the room. She shot him and she abducted him afterwards.
  2. Elizabeth Keen and Samar Navabi
    1. How similar are Keen and Navabi? Red recruited them both.
      1. A: Red did not recruit Liz, he waited until she graduated from the FBI Academy before surrendering to the FBI.
      2. Q: Red's treatment shows recruitment. He has been taking Liz to meet his contacts and training her to adopt the criminal viewpoint.
      3. A: It also could be argued that he is merely teaching her how to be a better investigator.
    2. Navabi covered for Keen by losing the bet to Aram Mojtabai.
    3. Will Navabi give Keen’s report to the team as evidence?
      1. A: No, she told Keen she thought it better that Keen get the report. It was not sent to the evidence team.
      2. Q: Cooper will demand that Keen enter the report as evidence.
      3. A: Evidence for what? There can be no trial since Creel is dead, and was acting alone.
  3. Harold Cooper
    1. Does Cooper have military and/or espionage/intelligence experience?
      1. A: When working in foreign countries, the FBI is an intelligence agency.
    2. Will Red’s “carpet pulling” of Subproject 7 combine with Reven Wright‘s recent behavior and cause Cooper to question his loyalty?
  4. Linus Creel
    1. Why did Creel not go to the media for support? Exposing Subproject 7 would have been easier that mass murder. He could have found some organization that was willing to believe him and fund a foundation concerning the MAO-A 2R ”Warrior Gene”.
      1. A: Creel wanted his project officially sanctioned. Any private organization attempting such research would have their funding cancelled, and be liable for any and all damages and crimes committed by the test subjects.
      2. Q: What about overseas funding? Corporations will relocate their headquarters if the tax rate is low enough.
      3. A: Creel's results were dependant on the social environment. It is likely that he could not replicate his research in another country.
    2. Why did Creel continue Subproject 7? It was shut down because the MAO-A 2R ”Warrior Gene” could not be controlled.
    3. Why did Creel believe that suicide was the only option left?
    4. Will Creel’s death give his research the credibility he wanted?
      1. A: No. It a situation like this, the FBI (and the Senate for that matter) would be sure to suppress anything to do with him.
      2. Q: Creel's death could give his research the publicity he wanted. Being killed after a public hearing will lead to conspiracy theories.
  5. Creel's victims
    1. Why did the business owner believe the false internet complaints about Maddie Thornhill?
      1. A: Because she was already showing weird behavior, and the owner probably suspected this would have affected her work.
    2. Why did the fired teacher not file a lawsuit? There was no evidence of a felony.
      1. A: They were both predisposed to paranoia.
    3. Why did the school fire the teacher? They should have been concerned with a lawsuit or the teacher's union.
      1. A: Probably parental pressure. It is likely that they would have provided a monetary amount as a contract required incentive.
    4. Will the victims avoid a prison sentence since the FBI can prove that they were deliberately driven to the breaking point?
      1. A: Probably not, since temporary insanity is difficult to prove.
  6. Monica Lyons
    1. What did Vargas say to Monica Lyons?
      1. A: Unknown, but the words ”Raymond” and ”Reddington” probably featured heavily.
    2. Who called Lyons 6 times?
      1. A: Frank Hyland
  7. Donald Ressler's behavior shifted between the extremes. He suspected that Red was attempting to distract attention from Milos Kirchoff. After the supporting evidence concerning Creel was found, he did not mention Red's past actions.
  8. Naomi Hyland stated that she ”already gave up one life” and that she ”kept her end of the bargain and never said anything about him or Elizabeth”. When did they make their bargain? Was it before he disappeared and does that mean she knew Red was going to disappear?
  9. How did Red know about Haskell Twain the Polyglot? Mossad restricted the information.
    1. A: Red has many sources of information.
  10. Why did the FBI check the DNA records of the killers?
    1. A: Because they knew they were looking into human genome/mind control stuff.
  11. Why did the bank not have a metal detector?
    1. A: Not all banks do. Though almost all have armed security.
    2. Q: Maddie Thornhill was not injured when seen in custody.
  12. What is the storyline with Ezra?
    1. A: He is one of Red's men, who Red has had following Keen ever since Meera Malik was killed.

Slanders on the FBI[]

  1. Why did the FBI not notice the increase in violent crime?
    1. A: If it was confined to one police district, or happened in a large geographical area it would not have been seen as a Federal matter.
  2. Why did those searching for Naomi Hyland not monitor all calls to the Hyland's friends? A case could be made for her being either a kidnap victim or a material witness in an ongoing terrorism investigation.
    1. A: Frank Hyland was probably using pre-paid phones or payphones to talk to his girlfriend. It's also possible that Naomi and Frank both knew the girl and there was no reason to suspect the calls to be anything other than friends chatting.
    2. Q: The FBI were searching for the Hylands, it is standard practice to monitor the phones of their friends. People in the Witsec program are explicitly told not to contact their friends and family for this reason. If Naomi had known Monica, she would have recognised the dog.


Main star[]

Guest star[]


  • Meredith Holzman as Maddie Thornhill
  • Kevin Cutts as Haskell Twain
  • Alana O'Brien as Monica
  • Darren Lipari as Charlie
  • Roya Shanks as Moderator
  • Veronica Reyes-How as Nurse #1
  • Gareth Kravits as Loan Officer
  • Caroline Strong as Sales Manager
  • Natasha Straley as Nurse #2
  • Jonathan Lee as Vargas' Man


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  ·