The Blacklist Wiki

For the character of the same name, see Nathaniel Wolff.

General Ludd” is the eighth episode of Season 1 of The Blacklist and the eighth episode overall. It first aired on November 11, 2013 on NBC.


A cargo plane is brought down by a bomb 90 seconds into its flight. An anti-capitalist organization led by General Ludd claims responsibility.

Elizabeth Keen gets a call from her father telling her that he is in hospital for more cancer tests. She is concerned, but he reassures her that there is nothing to worry about.

Harold Cooper and Raymond Reddington are negotiating. Red wants access to the FBI's ViCAP (Violent Criminal Apprehension Program) system in return for information on the bomber, since he is not a consultant. With prompting from Liz, Cooper agrees.

Red tells them that the General Ludd organization, named after the Luddite movement, is responsible. The founder and leader is called Nathaniel Wolff. The FBI find the names of two suspects for the bombing, Arthur Denning and Roger Guard. Comparing the photographs shows them to be the same person, but not Wolff.

Meanwhile Wolff's supporters have created a bomb for a laptop computer, and hand it to him as he confirms flight details with them. Wolff states that it was an honor to work with them.

Liz and Donald Ressler raid the Denning/Guard home and find evidence that he is Wolff and deduce that he has had cosmetic surgery to change his face.

Luli Zeng is trying to convince Red's counterfeiter, Mary, to move to Malaysia when Liz arrives having tracked Red through his chip. Red takes Liz outside where she tells him that he was right about Wolff, and that Wolff had changed his face. Red tells Liz that her father is sicker than she thought, as his cancer has returned. Red then tells her that Dr. Abraham Maltz is the cosmetic surgeon that Wolff would have used.

Red and Liz go to Dr. Maltz's office and Red asks him about Wolff. When he is not forthcoming with information, Liz says that she is an FBI agent and threatens to have his office raided. Maltz folds under the pressure and reveals Wolff's new name, Bradley Holland. Red then lambastes Maltz, complaining about the fact that he gave Wolff up so easily. Elizabeth Keen had not shown her badge, she had only made forceful threats. Red asks what else Maltz has confessed and leaves stating that Maltz has damaged his credibility.

Meanwhile Wolff, dressed as an airline pilot, has made his way to the first class lounge of an airport where he arms his laptop bomb. While there he converses with an investment banker who sees the General Ludd organization as a social movement for anti-social losers. When informed that a first class seat is available, Wolff asks the staff member to load his luggage while he retrieves his airline logs from another terminal.

The FBI learn that Bradley Holland's pass has just been swiped at Reagan International airport, and Meera Malik orders all planes grounded and evacuated at Reagan airport. While Liz and Ressler rush to the airport Tom Keen calls Liz to say that Aunt June has called, and that her father's cancer has spread to his liver and he is in surgery. Aunt June thinks that they should be there. Tom is flying to Nebraska, from Dulles, immediately, and as Liz can't get away he'll book her on a flight the next morning. Ressler and Liz and arrive just in time to be knocked over by the blast wave from the explosion.

After the return to the Post Office, Cooper shows a video message where Ludd declares war on corporate America. Cooper states that all commercial flights have been grounded.

Meanwhile, back at the hospital, Red pays a visit to Sam, Sam and Red talk about memories for a while, before Sam states that he needs to tell Liz the truth. Red tells him that that is not a good idea.

While searching the Holland address Liz and Ressler discover another name: John Horlbeck.

Meera presents her research to Cooper, it shows that Wolff's whole plan involved him becoming John Horlbeck, a truck driver who works for a trucking company sub-contracted by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. With all commercial aircraft grounded he will be moving 500,000,000 dollars today. They decide that it was all about the theft.

When Liz and Ressler are following Wolff's van, Liz receives a call from her father, where he tells her the true state of his illness. After he hangs up, Red smothers him with a pillow.

Tom arrives at the hospital to be told that Liz's father is dead. Outside whilst having a coffee, a stranger consoles him and says that Liz's father will always be watching over her and that she is stronger than she thinks. The stranger was Red.

Liz and Ressler, with the assistance of the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia, intercept Wolff's armored car. The car backs into alley and there is a gunfight, which allows Wolf to unload a pallet of money. Wolf detonates an explosive charge in the middle of the pallet dispersing it over a demonstration by General Ludd protesters to cover his escape.

Back at the Post Office the team determine that the purpose of the theft was to cover the removal of a hard drive containing the program for the new 100 dollar banknote design. They decide that they stopped Wolff before he could steal the drive. Liz calls Red to enquire about which airport Wolff could use, since all commercial flights are grounded. Red hangs up the phone and instructes Dembe Zuma to tell the pilot they are making an unscheduled stop.

At a remote airstrip, Wolff is stopped by Red who steals the real hard drive. Red states that he wants capitalism to survive. As they leave Red tells Dembe to send the plane's tail number to Keen.

When he walks to the hanger to get to his plane, Nathaniel Wolff is arrested by the FBI. Wolff mocks Donald Ressler and his loyalty to the powers that be.

While Liz attends Sam's funeral with Tom, Cooper allows Red access to ViCAP where he enters the numbers given to him by Wujing. The numbers refer to a young woman called Lucy Brooks.

Liz goes to Mary's house to tell Red that the FBI know about the hard drive, but Red changes the subject to Sam, and gets Liz to talk about him.

Press Release[]

Liz uncovers an elaborate plot to destroy the country’s financial system when a new name on The Blacklist is revealed by Red. Meanwhile Tom supports Liz when a family member falls ill.

Number on The Blacklist[]

  • 109

Unanswered Questions[]

  1. This episode seemed to be a reference to the Occupy movement, which uses the Guy Fawkes mask as a symbol.
  2. The storylines in “Eli Matchett”, “General Ludd”, and “Vanessa Cruz” are similar. The attacks on the corporations did more damage to the common people than the direct victims.
    1. Eli Matchett’s plan would have destroyed the farmers who rely on genetically modified organisms.
      1. A: Matchett was opposed to the genetically modified foods that destroyed small farms and wanted to force people to see the dangers of relying on a very limited range of foods.
    2. Nathaniel Wolff’s plan to destroy the currency system with counterfeit money would have harmed the common people he claimed to represent.
      1. A: Wolff likely wanted the common people to revolt and overthrow the government. The actions were primarily aimed at making the 1% poorer, and any other damage is irrelevant in pursuit of the objective.
    3. Vanessa Anne Cruz’s actions harmed the 99% when she framed somebody from the 1%.
      1. A: Cruz only considered the primary result and not the overall consequences of her actions. She only considered the primary result, not any secondary or tertiary damage.
  3. Raymond Reddington and the banknote design hard drive.
    1. How would the counterfiet drive have evaded detection? The Treasury department would have checked the drive after a failed theft.
    2. What was Nathaniel Wolff's plan for the hard drive?
    3. Assuming that Red can keep the original, will he use it or sell it?
    4. Did Red suspect that the FBI would blame him for the theft regardless of witnesses?
    5. Why did Red conduct such an open theft?
    6. Will Red be forced to surrender the hard drive?
    7. Why steal the hard drive? Once the theft is discovered, the Federal Reserve System and the United States Department of the Treasury will create a new design to prevent counterfeiting.
      1. A: By having possession of the hard drive for a short period of time, Red ensures that the new design will not be implemented, as the officials at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing will believe that he made a copy. The B.E.P. will, therefore, have to completely restart the re-design process. This means that Red's current counterfeiting operation can continue to operate.
      2. Q: The re-design will/would not halt Red's counterfeiting operations. Red's counterfeiters can use the old designs that remain in circulation. In “Seven Thieves” and “FBI: Burglary Investigation” the stolen banknotes are brand new and can be easily traced by the serial numbers.
      3. A: Red can use the hard drive for counterfieting outside the United States.
      4. A: Red can use the hard drive to upgrade his counterfieting operations.
      5. A: Mere possession of the hard drive gives Red information on the government's current currency programs. In “Before the Storm”, the retrieval of the Order of Battle aboard the Gnisnal is seen as an intelligence victory despite being 10 years old.
  4. Nathaniel Wolff
    1. What will happen to the “General Ludd” movement now that Wolff has been arrested? Will the movement fracture into splinter organizations or become more extreme?
    2. Why did Nathaniel Wolff risk activating the bomb in the airport? Somebody could have seen him doing it.
      1. A: By activating it there, he could ensure that it reached his target. If someone had seen him, he could have explained that he was playing a game.
    3. Why did Wolff's father commit suicide because of a hostile takeover?
    4. Why did Wolff attempt to escape using his planned route? He should have anticipated that Red's interception meant that the FBI could locate him. During the arrest he did not resist and seemed to realize his escape route had been destroyed. Did the theft of the hard drive undermine his resolve since his plan had failed?
    5. Did Wolff walk into the arrest so the other members of General Ludd could escape?
    6. Why did Red allow Wolff to leave after stealing the hard drive? He should have killed him to cover up the theft. Wolff's death could have been blamed on a rival terrorist organization.
      1. A: So the FBI could arrest him later, which is why he told Dembe to send the number to Liz.
      2. Q: Wolff could then tell the FBI that Red stole the hard drive. What is the advantage to leaving Wolff alive?
      3. A: So that he could tell the FBI that Red has the hard drive, thus ensuring that the new designs will not be implemented in the short term, allowing Red's counterfeiting operation to continue.
      4. Q: What about the FBI insisting that the hard drive be returned? Red's immunity deal could be used for leverage.
    7. How did Red learn where Wolff was going to escape from?
      1. A: Red went to where he would have flown from. Remember the FBI went to the same place without information from Red, so it was an obvious location.
      2. Q. Red told Dembe Zuma to send the tail number to Elizabeth Keen.
      3. A: Only after he had the hard drive.
  5. Who was the woman that Red found on the FBI's ViCAP (Violent Criminal Apprehension Program) system using the numbers that Wujing gave him?
    1. A: Lucy Brooks
  6. Why was Cooper so concerned about giving Red access to ViCAP?
  7. Is Harold Cooper starting to waver in his immunity deal with Reddington? He initially refused to grant access to ViCAP.
    1. A: According to Cooper, ViCAP was not in the deal. Red claimed that General Ludd was not on The Blacklist, and so not covered by the agreement.
    2. Q: Red demanded access in exchange for information on General Ludd. While Cooper did agree, he should have known that Red would demand something extra in exchange for a non-Blacklister. Cooper's resistance could be based on the fear that Red is attempting an absolute infiltration of the FBI's systems.
    3. A: Cooper could suspect that Red is pursuing his own agenda, by using the FBI to destroy his rivals.
  8. If General Ludd was not on the blacklist as Red claimed, why did he have a number in the credits?
    1. A: Red could have heard rumors of the counterfeiting scheme. In Red's view that would make Ludd a Blacklist target. Red can always re-number the list if needed.
    2. A: Red never said that General Ludd is a non-blacklist target. Red tells Cooper that the agreement is for Red to bring cases to the FBI, not the other way around.
  9. How was Red able to fly? What was required to evade the no-fly directive?
    1. A: Cooper clearly says that commercial flights are grounded. Red has a private aircraft, and those were not subject to the ban. Wolff was also aware of this, which is why he planned to escape by air.
    2. Q: Then why did Elizabeth Keen ask Red why he was able to fly after Cooper stated that commercial flights were grounded?
    3. A: Liz did not know that Red was travelling in a private aircraft.
  10. Will Mary be arrested?
  11. Will Abraham Maltz be used as an informant by the FBI?
    1. A: No, he does not even know that he gave up information to the FBI. They succeeded in tricking him into thinking that it was all just a test.
  12. Why did Elizabeth Keen and Donald Ressler avoid any injuries from the explosion? They were close enough to get hit with shrapnel.
  13. Why was no one in the General Ludd protest worried about the nearby firefight?
    1. A: Probably they were told that firecrackers would be deployed.
  14. Will an investigation be conducted into the murder that places Red at the hospital? Tom Keen can place Red in the vicinity.
    1. A: Liz's father had cancer that had spread through his body. The doctors did give him six weeks to live, but people often die before the time their given is up. None would suspect that the bedridden cancer patient was smothered. The hospital did not seem to think he was murdered, and Tom Keen did not know the man he talked to was Red.
    2. Q: Somebody probably saw Red going into the room. Red spent at least several hours in there. Did nobody notice?
    3. A: Much like Red said in “Wujing”, Red has avoided detection by every major law enforcement and intelligence agency in the world for over 20 years. If Red does not want to be found, seen, or noticed; he will not be. 
    4. Q. How did they not confirm cause of death as asphyxiation? Smothering leaves very distinct evidence. 
    5. A: Autopsies are not routinely performed on terminal patients who die: in hospital; under medical supervison; with no obvious signs of trauma. Smothering a terminally ill person with a pillow would leave minimal visible evidence, which only a trained investigator would notice. In “Night Probe!” a person is smothered to death and the death is blamed on failing health. The true cause is discovered after the prime minister orders an autopsy conducted by an expert.
  15. What is the connection between Keen's adoptive father, real father, and Red?
  16. Why did Red kill Sam Scott, Elizabeth's adoptive father?
    1. A: To ensure that he did not tell Elizabeth their secret.
    2. A: Because Sam did not wish to die in agony over a period of time.

Slanders on the FBI and TSA[]

  1. Why did only Keen and Ressler raid the apartment? They could have found a few more agents as a backup team.
  2. Considering the degree of force seen with other criminals, why did the FBI never use a SWAT team?
  3. How did Nathaniel Wolff get the bomb past airport security?
    1. A: By using the aircrew entrance which did not have all the Transportation Security Administration security measures.


Main star[]

Guest star[]


  • Andrew Dice Clay as Abraham Maltz
  • Katie Paxton as Sophie
  • Royce Johnson as Agent Heller
  • Reza Salazar as Young Man
  • Emilie Miller as Nurse
  • Kendra Mylnechuk as Oncologist
  • Dana Shiraki as Acolyte
  • Samuel Ray Gates as Mike Hobbs
  • Morgan Priester as Bobby Hobbs
  • Jim Vance as Reporter



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  ·