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Luther Braxton” is the ninth episode of Season 2 of The Blacklist and the thirty first episode overall. It aired on February 1, 2015 on NBC, after the Super Bowl, the first episode of the show not air on a Monday.


Raymond Reddington is captured in Hong Kong and handed over to the CIA. They fly him to an oil rig in the Bering Sea. In actuality, this oil rig is The Factory, a top-secret CIA prison that holds the most dangerous and ruthless prisoners in US custody. When he is brought into the prison, he tells Warden Ramsay Mills that a prisoner will escape within 24 hours, and all the details for him to do so are already in place. The warden dismisses this and orders Red to be locked away.

In the meantime, Harold Cooper, Elizabeth Keen, and the rest of the task force are anxious to know where Red is, and who has him. They figure that if he was captured, it was on purpose. After some digging, they find out the CIA has him. Cooper meets with CIA officials and explains the situation about Red being part of his team. The agency agrees to release Reddington back to Cooper. Ressler, Keen, and Navabi leave to take custody of Red from the CIA at The Factory.

While they are en route, the prisoner Red was talking about, Luther Todd Braxton, breaks free with the help of corrupt guards and other prisoners he has previously selected for his escape team. They quickly swarm through the prison, killing all of the CIA guards and rounding up the non-military civilian staff, including Warden Mills.

As the escape goes down, Keen, Donald Ressler, and Samar Navabi arrive at the Factory via helicopter to take Red back to Washington, D.C. As they land, they are met by CIA personnel telling them to get back on board and take off, as the prison is going into lock-down because of the escape. Before they can ask questions, Braxton's men suddenly assault the helipad, killing the CIA men and capturing Ressler and Navabi. Keen manages to slip away.

Luther calls the CIA, and is directed to the Post Office control room, where Cooper and Kat Goodson, a senior CIA official, are handling the situation. A hostage negotiator tries to talk to Braxton, who then kills the warden, and asks to speak to someone with actual authority. Cooper takes the phone, and asks Luther what he wants. He wants the CIA master code for The Factory.

Goodson explains that in the event of a lock-down, the prison's administrative codes are all revoked, and a single master code is put in place to keep inmates from accessing the CIA servers in the prison, and to give full control to any agency assault team, should they try to re-take the facility. She also tells Cooper than the Factory has another purpose besides being a prison: the server room holds a direct line into the US defense network, a relay station between American forces abroad and CIA Headquarters. The system was designed so intelligence from the prisoners could be instantly sent to the relevant agency without the risk of political delays. If Braxton gets his hands on the code, he would have full access and they would have to shut down the network to prevent him from accessing it. The shut down would then leave US forces around the world with no communication or satellite link, also leaving the US extremely vulnerable to an attack.

They refuse to give him the code, so Braxton starts to suffocate Agent Navabi with a chain, broadcasting her desperate gasps to Cooper and Goodson. Cooper relents and gives him the code.

Meanwhile, Liz has located Red and teamed up with some of his previous associates that were also locked up there, as well as a couple of CIA guards who survived the break-out. Red knows that Braxton wants to access the US server, and determines that they must destroy the computer room where the servers are located to prevent this. The come up with a plan to over-heat the prison's boilers, located one level below the server room. The resulting explosion would destroy the computer systems, keeping Braxton from accessing the network. They make it to the boiler room, but because of automated safety valves, someone must manually turn the valves to overheat them. Red and Liz stay behind, while the others leave on their own.

The resulting explosion destroys the server room, as planned, but renders Red unconscious from the blast. Liz is captured by a very angry Braxton, who takes her to the prison's control center. Ressler and Navabi manage to escape their confinement, and begin freeing the other CIA staff from their chains. Red is awakened by one of the earlier team members, and told about Liz. He is also told that between him and Braxton and Liz there are dozens of criminals that were set free by the explosion. Red takes a shotgun, fighting his way through the inmates, and reaches the control room.

As all of this is happening, the CIA determines that the Factory has fallen, and they cannot risk the server being accessed or any of the inmates escaping to the mainland. They order an air-strike on the factory, sending fighter jets from a USAF base in Alaska to destroy the prison. They fire their missiles just as Red reaches Liz and Braxton in the control room. The missiles strike the pilings holding up the prison, and the blast knocks everyone in the control room unconscious.

Press Release[]

RED IS CAPTURED BY FEDERAL AGENTS IN THE FIRST INSTALLMENT OF THIS TWO PART SUPERBOWL SPECIAL - When the elusive Reddington is arrested and taken to a secret detention facility Liz and the task force set out to save Red before he disappears forever. Meanwhile, Red encounters Luther Braxton at the detention facility, a thief that he shares a complicated history with.

Number on The Blacklist[]

  • 21

Unanswered Questions[]

  1. Similarities between “Anslo Garrick”, “Anslo Garrick: Conclusion”, “Luther Braxton”, and “Luther Braxton: Conclusion”.
    1. An official of another agency overrides Harold Cooper and tells him that he must obey orders or his career will be ruined. However, the female official also is wary of her male superiors.
    2. Cooper must demand and/or force information from his superiors.
    3. Elizabeth Keen is captured by the Blacklister and used to provoke Red into action.
    4. Luther Todd Braxton and Anslo Garrick have names that contain nearly the same amount of numbers. 5/6 for the first name, 7 for the last name.
    5. Most of the supporting character law enforcement officials are killed during the raid.
    6. Raymond Reddington is arrested at the start of the first episode.
    7. Red and Keen must organize a desperate defense after the location is seized.
    8. Red and the Blacklister have a history of being enemies.
    9. Red is wounded.
    10. Red kills the Blacklister.
    11. Red’s warning to the law enforcement officials is ignored.
    12. The Blacklister despises Red.
    13. The Blacklister is an expert in raiding high security areas and has experience in several nation-states.
    14. The Blacklister negotiates a new price with the Cabal.
    15. The Blacklister refuses to negotiate with law enforcement.
    16. The Blacklister spent time in a Supermax prison and suffered injury.
    17. The Cabal is concerned with the possible release of the Fulcrum blackmail evidence. The Cabal debates the idea that Red is bluffing.
    18. The first episode ends with the main characters facing death. The second episode ends with Red proving that he can survive the Cabal.
    19. The target location is a top secret government location chosen for its power status.
  2. This episode seems inspired by “Face/Off” and “The Rock”.
    1. The air strike is ordered as a last resort option.
    2. The escape leads to a prison riot.
    3. The FBI agents are divided between those who know the truth and those who demand the truth. After learning the truth, they refuse to blindly follow orders.
    4. The main character, who is a criminal/in prison, is left alive because he knew the existence/location of a blackmail file. He reveals this to the partner who is a FBI agent that sides with the prisoner.
    5. The secret prison is located in an oil rig.
    6. The specially trained government unit is defeated and the criminals must be stopped by a semi-trained unit that lacks cohesion.
    7. The Supermax prison security.
    8. The torture and execution rooms.
    9. The use of a top secret blackmail file that involves several high ranking government officials.
  3. Raymond Reddington
    1. Why was Red subjected to extraordinary rendition? The arrest was global news. In “The Alchemist”, Pytor Madrczyk was not sent to the Post Office. The outrage seen in the War on Terror should make the government consider the downsides of using a black site.
    2. Why was the arrest in Hong Kong? That is not United States territory.
      1. A: The FBI does deals with local agencies and with Red's involvement in the arrest of Wujing the government of Hong Kong would not raise any objections.
      2. A: It ensured that Red was rendered to the Factory.
    3. What was the arrest for? Donald Ressler mentioned an assassination.
    4. What will be the political and public fallout from the arrest?
    5. The arrest will make it more difficult for Red to operate. His current appearance was broadcast globally. The people unaware of the immunity deal certainly photographed and fingerprinted Red before sending him to the Factory.
    6. Why was Red's arrest a global story?
      1. A: Red is/was an international criminal wanted in many jurisdictions.
    7. Why did Red not go to the FBI for help with Braxton?
    8. Cooper stated that only 41 people in the US government knew of the immunity deal with Red. Why was Assistant US Attorney Thomas Connolly left off the list, as seen in “The Judge”?
      1. A: It is presumed that either Connolly was part of the 41 members or Cooper may have not mentioned him due to his uneasy truce with Red.
      2. Q: Connolly stated that once Cooper was the FBI director, he would learn of Cooper's “secret weapon”.
      3. A: An Assistant US Attorney has a specific area of responsibility. His area was not specified and his lack of knowledge regarding Red suggests that he is not involved in covert operations.
    9. What happened in Belgrade?
    10. What happened to Red's family? Braxton used the fire to mock Red.
  4. Elizabeth Keen
    1. Why is Keen so important to Red?
    2. Her decision to volunteer as the tunnel rat shows that she has accepted Red's double dealing.
    3. Keen's FBI is on a shaky foundation. She has sided with Red, told him she cared for him, and kept Tom Keen a prisoner.
  5. Luther Todd Braxton
    1. Who did Braxton bribe to organize the escape? He needed outside assistance.
      1. A: The escape was planned by the Cabal
    2. How did Braxton plan to escape? What if the helicopter had turned back?
      1. A: The helicopter was part of the plan.
      2. Q: The FBI helicopter could have turned back. The medical helicopter could not have been sent after the air strike.
    3. Braxton seemed surprised by the air strike. Does he know the power of the Cabal?
      1. A: The air strike was ordered by the CIA.
      2. Q: The air strike was ordered when Peter Kotsiopulos decided that Braxton was no longer needed. The German member of the Cabal stated that nobody would know and/or care about the destruction of the black site.
    4. How did Braxton convince his team that his plan would work? If it failed then they would have been executed at The Factory.
    5. Who is Braxton working for?
    6. What is Braxton's interest in the Fulcrum?
      1. A: To sell it to the Cabal.
  6. The Factory
    1. Why did the Factory not have some cybersecurity firewalls in the event of an escape?
  7. The Fulcrum
    1. The Fulcrum seems to be a reference to the series “Chuck” and “Alias”.
    2. Who owns the Fulcrum? The Cabal used a mirror search program so they could steal it first.
    3. Who will be exposed if the Fulcrum is made public?
    4. Why does Red want to keep the Fulcrum secret? If he makes it public then he can use the public backlash to destroy the people involved.
      1. A: In “The Decembrist”, Red promised Fitch to keep the Fulcrum a secret prior to his death. Unfortunately, Peter Kotsiopulos had tried to advance the 2017 timeline further out of desperation when he found out that Red did have the Fulcrum when Keen showed up to confront him in Leonard Caul. Later on in Tom Connolly, he finally released the Fulcrum in an inconspicuous location to the mass media.
  8. Cabal
    1. Who has taken over Fitch's position? The chairman was identified as the Director of Clandestine Services.
    2. What is the Cabal's objective? It is an international organization.
    3. The air strike could not have been kept secret. The destruction of an oil rig would have drawn the attention of somebody who demanded the truth.
  9. Harold Cooper
    1. Will this incident undermine Harold Cooper's trust in the FBI? Reven Wright and Linus Creel have shaken Cooper's trust. The heavy use of the film noir style of shadow showed the double-dealing in the Justice Department's command structure. Kat Goodson threatened Cooper with the ruin of the task force.
    2. Why was Cooper given the Master Code?
    3. Why did Cooper tell Braxton the Master Code?
  10. Why did Samar Navabi attempt to persuade the Islamic prisoner? She ignored the Scimitar's attempts.
  11. Why was Aram Mojtabai so worried about Samar Navabi?
    1. A. Based on all interactions to this point, he is quite clearly in love with her.
  12. Samar Navabi
    1. Samar was shot in the leg and hung for hours. Why was she not sent to a hospital?

Slanders on the FBI[]


Main star[]

Guest star[]

  • David Strathairn as Peter Kotsiopulos
  • Janel Moloney as Kat Goodson
  • John Ventimiglia as Warden Ramsey Mills
  • Daisuke Tsuji as Kun Phan (Cambodian Carl)
  • Omid Abtahi as Khan
  • Scott A. Martin as Desmond
  • Laith Nakli as Yousef
  • Marc Menchaca as Pierce
  • John Pirkis as Gernert
  • Jade Wu as Chinese Cabal Member
  • Ylfa Edelstein as Cabal Member #4
  • Alok Tewari as Indian Cabal Member
  • Ron Perlman as Luther Todd Braxton


  • Hilary Kehoe as Anchor #2
  • Jim Handly as DC Anchor
  • David Sedgwick as Anchor
  • Stink Fisher as Marine
  • Akintola Jiboyewa as Interrogation Guard
  • Izzy Ruiz as Nest Guard
  • Julien Seredowych as Computer Guy
  • Justin Morck as Meeks
  • Sean Labbe as Third Guard
  • Josh Philip Weinstein as Phillip Rosenberg
  • Ivan Santiago as Quintano
  • Kelvin McGrue as Braxton Man #2
  • Grizz Chapman as Jenkins
  • Clem McIntosh as ERF #1
  • John Halas as ERF #2
  • Stephen Barrington as ERF #3


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  ·