The King family was a criminal syndicate of black market auctioneers.
The King family dynasty dates back centuries. Building the foundation of their great fortune on slave labor and less-than-legal means, they were infamous in the criminal world for their grand black market auctions, during which they sold off highly valuable and illegal commodities, such as stolen art, radioactive materials, weapons, and even persons of interest, to the highest bidder. The auctions were always held in different locations with varying guest lists and sometimes took place years apart. Reddington, who turned down an invitation to these auctions, later credited the family with the theft of the Davidoff Stradivarius and the disappearance of Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg. All sales were carefully documented in an old ledger listing the item/person that was sold and their name, along with a picture.
Over the course of this lucrative business, there was a tradition among the King patriarchs to make their sons compete with each other to make the most profitable sales. While the total would be added to the family fortune to be inherited later, the son who made the least would be forced to play a round of Russian roulette. This process would continue until one of the sons died and be repeated until there was only one sole heir to the business and the fortune left. The present-day patriarch, T. Earl King VI, would make his sons, Tyler and Francis, follow the same tradition. At one point, he had some unspecified contact with Reddington in an incident in Bolivia, where Reddington apparently fled for his life while King, who had a substantial investment in the area, stayed behind and was attacked by local soldiers. The injuries he sustained resulted in him being confined to a wheelchair and requiring an electrolarynx to speak.
The episode opens at the end of the previous auction, held on Jekyll Island. The King brothers are almost on equal ground, but when the payment deadline expires, Francis is declared the loser because one of his bidders failed to pay up. He takes the revolver and pulls the trigger against his temple, but the gun clicks. He vows to win the next round.
In the present, using Madeleine Pratt as bait, Francis King kidnaps Reddington, planning to sell him at the next auction. To infiltrate the auction, the FBI arrest Josephine Sullivan, who is attending as representative for a Russian businessman to buy a stolen Van Gogh painting, and have Liz pose as her at the auction. Liz goes to the auction, held at a place called “the Vicarage”, and tells a King brother that she is planning to bid on the painting. When Reddington comes up for sale, the Kings are surprised that Liz starts bidding on him instead. When they find out that Liz is an imposter, they sell Reddington to a warlord named Yaabari.
Meanwhile, Liz knocks out her guard and forces Vincent King to take her to Reddington's cell, but he tells her to save a young boy sold at the auction, Vincent Peretti, the 12 year old son of a gangster who has turned state's evidence and is wanted as leverage by Serbian gangs. After Yaabari has been killed by Liz, she and Reddington break into the Kings' tallying of the night's totals. Reddington grabs the revolver they are using and shoots Earl King dead. He and Liz leave before the FBI SWAT teams appear to arrest the sons and all the guests and take the kidnapped people and stolen goods into custody.
The family is mentioned in a flashback.
- What does the “T.” stand for?