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Frederick Barnes” is the seventh episode of Season 1 of The Blacklist and the seventh episode overall. It first aired on November 4, 2013 on NBC.


A man with a metal attache case boards the subway. The woman next to him tries to start a conversation, but he is reticent. He leaves at the next stop without the case. The woman notices this and attempts to return it to him, but the doors close and the train departs. Once the train is in the tunnel purple gas starts to escape from the case, causing the young woman to cough first before the gas consumes the entire train, killing all the passengers.

Elizabeth Keen and Tom Keen are discussing remodelling their house to erase the bad memories when she receives a call from Donald Ressler telling her to turn on the TV, when she asks what channel, he tells her any channel. The TV news is showing the scene outside the subway and reporting on the incident.

Liz hurries to the scene to be told that it was a biological attack, with 37 dead. Aram Mojtabai comes running up with his laptop and shows them the Transit Authority security footage, which shows a man entering with a case and leaving at the next station without it.

At the Post Office, Meera Malik tells them that there was no foreign communications chatter prior to the attack, meaning that the attacker was from inside the USA. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will not release the briefcase as it tested positive for trace amounts of radioactivity.

Liz is told that there is a caller on the tip line, and when she answers the call, it is Raymond Reddington. After some banter, he tells her that he knows the culprit and she will have to meet with him to get the information.

Liz and Ressler meet Red at his tailor and he tells them that the man they are looking for is Frederick Barnes, a former defense research scientist working for Arpak Systems, where he designed chemical and biological weapons for the government.

Red says that 5 years ago Barnes resigned, sold his house, and started selling his creations to the highest bidder, including Red.

Red tells them that up till now Barnes sold his creations, but did not use them himself. Red says that if Barnes is now using his creations he is quite literally the most dangerous man in the world.

At the hospital Liz and Ressler learn that the victims died of Kurz disease, a rare condition that causes the veins and arteries to harden until the brain is starved of oxygen. The doctor tells them that normally it takes ten years for the disease to run its full course but in this case it took two minutes. The doctor also tells them that the disease is extremely rare, but that they have seen 600 cases in the last few months and that Atlanta (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has opened a case on the issue. Liz says that their suspect is an expert in biological weapons and asks if he could have weaponized the virus. The doctor replies that it is possible in fringe science / fringe theory. However, the suspect would need access to Strontium-90, as they found traces of radioactivity on the victims.

At a meeting with Harold Cooper, Liz, Ressler, and Meera, Red tells them he has a good idea who the supplier is, and that he operates outside the jurisdiction of the FBI. He then says that he has to catch a plane and invites Liz to accompany him. He tells her that he is going to Cuba. She refuses saying that she is going to visit Barnes's old research partner. Red says that if she is not there, there is no fun to be had and for him if there is no fun to be had, he's not interested. Liz walks straight past Red's car and Dembe, while Red gets in. He tells Luli Zeng that he hopes she has good news as it has been very depressing morning. She tells him that something he has been looking to buy has just come on the market. He is pleased and she says that she will proceed.

Liz and Ressler meet with Anne Forrester, but she knows nothing helpful. Her son Ethan, has the noticable signs of early stage Kurz disease. Liz questions Anne privately and learns that Barnes is Ethan's biological father. Anne tells Liz that when Ethan was 5 and first developed the disease Barnes tried to interest the pharmaceutical companies in researching a cure, but because it is so rare they refused. Liz tells Ressler that she thinks that Barnes is trying to make Kurz disease well known so the public will demand that a cure be found.

Meanwhile in Havana, Red meets his contact, Manny, and says that he wants to buy some Strontium-90.

Luli calls Dembe and tells him that she has secured the funds for the purchase. He tells her he'll let Red know when he has finished his business.

Red tells Manny that he needs 12 kilograms immediately, Manny says he has just sold his supply to someone else. Red bugs Manny's office and then convinces him to call his previous client with an offer for some of the Strontium-90. When Manny calls Barnes, Dembe traces the call and Red calls Liz to tell her that Barnes is in the General District Court of Arlington VA.

At the court Barnes walks into a jury waiting room carrying a similar briefcase. When asked for his jury summons he says that he has left it in his car and walks out, leaving the case behind.

Once outside, he locks the doors with a zip tie before triggering the case via remote-control.

Liz and Ressler alert Cooper to Barnes's location and hurry there. Once at the court house they rush in, identifying themselves. Ressler pulls the fire alarm to evacuate the building and the agents start to search the building. Inside the jury room people start to walk to the door while outside Barnes presses his remote and releases the gas. He then mingles with the people leaving the building.

Ressler hears the calls for help from the jury room and then hears the people inside dying. He requisitions a tank and mask from the firefighters attending the call and tells them to evacuate everyone including themselves.

Now armed with a mask and tank, Ressler then enters the room and discovers multiple dead bodies.

Meanwhile, Liz spots Barnes among those descending a staircase and challenges him. When he flees, she gives chase.

In the jury room Ressler finds a survivor and he escorts her to safety.

When Liz catches up with Barnes who's approaching the exit, Barnes responds by attacking a security guard before forcing the guard out the door at gunpoint.

Outside on the steps, Liz and Barnes face off against each other, Barnes using the guard as a hostage as Liz tries to tell Barnes to surrender but Barnes tells her to drop her gun first and kick it away or he's going to kill the guard before giving her three seconds to choose.

Liz eventually surrenders and places her gun on the ground before kicking it away. As she raises her hands, Liz tells Barnes to let the guard go.

Barnes looks at her for a second before he raises the gun and fires at some windows, causing glass to fall and panic to take hold. Recovering, Liz grabs her gun and looks around for Barnes, only to realize too late that he's gone much to her dismay.

In Tacoma Park Maryland, Luli meets a realtor and is told that she is only accepting backup offers for the property as there is an offer in escrow. Luli offers double the asking price in cash assuming the escrow falls through.

Back at the Post Office Liz learns that 26 people died at the courthouse, and that the attack was confined to the jury room. Meera wonders about the attack and whether Barnes is conducting a demonstration or an experiment. Cooper calls Liz into his office where she is told that an administrative panel will review her actions in giving up her weapon in a hostage situation. Ressler admits to reporting her, and she says he would have taken the shot. She says that then the hostage would be dead, he replies that is what happens in the field.

At the hospital, Barnes disguised as a nurse, anaesthetises the survivor and performs a bone marrow biopsy on her.

Liz calls Red, and he tells her that he is not a gumball machine and hangs up. She calls back and tells him that the reason Barnes escaped was because she messed up. She says that she needs his help. Red makes her repeat that, then tells her that because Barnes is a killer, a survivor represents failure and so he will visit her.

When they arrive at the hospital they discover what Barnes did to the survivor. Liz then realises that Barnes was searching for someone with a natural immunity to Kurz disease, so that he could synthesise a possible cure. She realizes that he will attempt to administer the cure to Ethan.

Meanwhile Barnes has synthesised a possible cure and enters the Forrester home where he subdues Anne before anaesthetizing Ethan. Just as he about to inject Ethan, Liz arrives. They argue about the untested cure, when Barnes attempts to inject Ethan, Liz shoots him to death.

Outside she meets Red where he once again waxes philosophically. Liz says she needs Red's help with The Blacklist, but he must stay away from her personal life. Red says that a “line in the sand” can quickly be blown away by the wind. Red then says that if Liz tells him to go, he will disappear. Liz says nothing, so Red says “see you tomorrow” and gets into his car.

When Liz arrives home she finds that Tom has recreated their first night in the house as a romantic date night.

Next day Red with Luli and Dembe goes to the newly purchased house. Red says that he raised his family in the house. When Luli says its lovely, he says it's not, it used to be. He walks around and reminisces while Dembe goes into the cellar. After a short time Red says “Time to go” and after checking that Dembe has prepared everything they leave. As they drive away the house blows up.

Press Release[]

After a chemical attack on a subway, Liz and the FBI search for the man responsible. Liz reluctantly calls on Red for his help after she finds her search for the next person on The Blacklist, brilliant scientist Frederick Barnes, heading to a dead end. Meanwhile, Liz wants nothing to do with Red after he implicated Tom.

Number on The Blacklist[]

  • 47

Unanswered Questions[]

  1. How did Barnes get the Strontium-90 shipments past the Customs and Border Patrol agencies? Even with the black market network available to him and Red, smuggling radioactive materials should be nearly impossible.
    1. A: It is implied that the quantity required is quite small, and so could have been transported in a lead lined container. Red (and presumably Barnes) could also have access to legal medical device importers, not all X-ray machines used in the US are manufactured in the US.
  2. What happened to Raymond Reddington's family? The fact that he destroyed the house implies somebody was killed. Was Stanley R. Kornish involved?
  3. Will the FBI trace the house bombing to Red? The real estate agent can identify Luli Zeng.
    1. A: The house explosion cause will probably be ruled as a gas leak. As no one was injured and Red does not need any insurance payout, there will not be a full investigation.
  4. Why did Red destroy the house?
    1. A: Closure
  5. Why did Red buy the house, only to destroy it? He could have destroyed the house without first purchasing it.
  6. Was Red referring to Barnes or himself about “burning the world” to protect a loved one?
    1. A: Both. Red is talking about Barnes when he says this, but he says he can truly respect Barnes for that, implying that there are parallels between himself and Barnes. Furthermore, when Liz asks him if he is directing it at her we do not get a straight-forward answer, and he stops denying it. Combined with past evidence, it's relatively safe to assume he is also referring to himself. 
  7. Was Red's offer to leave genuine? Considering the effort he has already given to working with Keen, it would have been a wasted effort. Also, the FBI can inform the black market that Reddington is an informant. Suspicion alone can warrant a death sentence from some criminals. Furthermore, Red would not have surrendered without having planned for the possibility that something went wrong while working with Liz. He could offer a high profile case to Cooper, who would then force Liz to work with Red. During their conversation Liz stated that she needed Red to stay away from her personal life. She needed his help for her professional life at the FBI.
    1. A: Red stated that he could disappear, and that it was a service he had provided several times. The FBI and DoJ would not admit that they had captured Red and let him go for fear of the subsequent “Senate Committee” that Diane Fowler mentioned in “The Freelancer”.
    2. Q: Harold Cooper does not need to officially admit anything. By spreading the truth that Raymond Reddington turned informant among the black market and supplying the evidence of his arrest, Cooper can damage Red's credibility and some criminals will see Red as a liability that needs to be killed. If confronted by the Senate, he and Fowler can deny everything.
    3. A: He could threaten Cooper with Kuwait (“Gina Zanetakos”), and he could probably find something that Fowler would prefer to remain hidden. For the rest, Red could claim (and probably prove) that he was ensuring normal business.
    4. Q: Ranko Zamani's bomb would have caused extreme measures against everybody.
    5. A: The FBI were starting blame him for the actions of Alban Veseli.
    6. Q: Wujing killed a close associate after he had been warned off.
    7. A: And Stanley R. Kornish disposed of the body.
    8. Q: Red wanted revenge on Tommy Phelps for Cairo.
    9. A: Frederick Barnes was a loose cannon and had to be stopped.
  8. For a scientist, Frederick Barnes did not follow procedure. Keen was correct, an untested cure could be fatal. Why was he in such a hurry to develop the cure?
    1. A: When Keen tells him this, he says something along the lines of “he'll die anyway, this is his only chance”. His son was dying, he really did not have a lot of time, and if it went through legal routes it would be too late for the boy (Keen and Ressler confirm this in their last conversation). Barnes must have thought it did not matter if it were fatal because death was imminent anyway, and he was relatively sure the cure would work, in any case.
  9. How badly will the FBI review board damage Elizabeth Keen's career?
  10. Did Elisa Rubin of Barnes's courthouse attack live?
    1. A: Almost certainly, Barnes only performed a bone marrow biopsy, under anaesthetic in a CCU.
  11. Will a cure for Kurz disease be developed? While Frederick Barnes did give it publicity with his attacks, the fact that Barnes is dead may slow the need. The reason for the original refusal was that Kurz disease was too rare. Diseases that were more common had been given priority.
  12. Will Ethan be cured? The FBI certainly recovered Barnes's sample.
    1. A: Probably not, since the testing and verificaton procedure would take to long.

Slanders on the FBI[]

  1. Why did Keen shoot Frederick Barnes fatally? She was close enough for a shoulder wound (“Gina Zanetakos”). Barnes was not holding a weapon on somebody.
    1. A: Law enforcement are not taught to wound. If they have to shoot, they shoot to kill.
    2. A: Because she is not as good a marksman as Donald Ressler.
      1. Q: Unless they clearly say it, or is clearly shown, you have to assume that they are equals.
      2. A: He is a trained field agent, whereas she is a profiler. It is reasonable to assume that the level of marksmanship required for field agents is higher than that for profilers who normally work in an office, not the field.
  2. The security at the courthouse seemed sub-standard, especially after a terrorist attack. Barnes was able to enter the building and leave his briefcase in the courtroom.
  3. Why was there only 1 police officer guarding the survivor's room? Keen should have profiled Barnes and suspected that he would attempt to see the survivor.
    1. A: Since the girl survived, Keen most likely assumed she would be left alone. Remember, at that point she still thought Barnes was only looking to infect a wide range of people, and did not realize he was really conducting an experiment. It is easy to say “just profile him” but it is not magic and people make mistakes. It would be unrealistic if she knew what was going on all the time.


Main star[]

Guest star[]


  • Fortuna Calvo-Roth as Maria Rosa
  • Margaret Daly as Realtor
  • Gregory Konow as ND Agent
  • Rey Lucas as Security Guard
  • Kenneth Maharaj as Clerk
  • Mitchell Michaliszyn as Ethan
  • Oleg Ossayenko as Commuter
  • Jeanine Ramirez as Reporter
  • Dennis Rees as Hazmat Inspector
  • Chris Santangelo as Male Passenger
  • Besanya Santiago as Juror
  • Wolfgang Scheitinger as Boy on Subway
  • Brit Whittle as Eric Forrester



External Links[]

Season 1 Episodes
 · Pilot  · The Freelancer  · Wujing  · The Stewmaker  · The Courier  · Gina Zanetakos  · Frederick Barnes  · General Ludd  · Anslo Garrick  · Anslo Garrick: Conclusion  · The Good Samaritan  · The Alchemist  · The Cyprus Agency  · Madeline Pratt  · The Judge  · Mako Tanida  · Ivan  · Milton Bobbit  · The Pavlovich Brothers  · The Kingmaker  · Berlin  · Berlin: Conclusion  ·