The Blacklist Wiki

”Mako Tanida“ is the sixteenth episode of Season 1 of The Blacklist and the sixteenth episode overall. It first aired on March 17, 2014 on NBC.


A man escapes from the Abashiri prison near Hokkaido, Japan.

FBI agent Sam Raimo, who is in Tokyo, Japan, greets his wife. He says that they must stay hidden for a few more weeks and goes to review his finances. Later that evening he meets the man who escaped and identifies him as Mako Tanida, a Yakuza boss whom Raimo arrested while hunting for Raymond Reddington in Japan. Tanida talks about honor and then says that if Raimo commits seppuku, he will leave his family alone. Raimo agrees and disembowels himself.

In Washington, Tom Keen comes down for breakfast to find Liz talking to Lucy Brooks about the fact that she is thinking of moving to Washington permanently and asking if Liz can recommend a realtor. Tom and Jolene pretend that they do not know each other.

At the wake for Agent Raimo, Donald Ressler meets up with his old friends Bobby Jonica and Pete McGuire. All 3 agree that the idea of Sam committing ritual suicide is very strange, Bobby theorizes that it was caused by the actions of Reddington. Ressler leaves the wake and goes straight to the Post Office, where he asks Liz to put him in touch with Red. Liz states that Red is looking for him and asks what is happening between the 2 of them.

Red is watching a ballet rehearsal and makes a substantial donation to the company for a special performance on the 22nd of the month. The dancer accepting the donation says that it will be ready like last year. After she leaves, Dembe Zuma informs Red that they have found Agent Ressler. Red and Ressler meet in a country park where Ressler asks about Raimo's death and Red tells him that it was probably Mako Tanida who was responsible. Ressler is suspicious and asks Red if Tanida has double crossed him and now Red wants his head in a box. Red denies this and tells Ressler that Tanida is probably hunting him.

Mako Tanida arrives in the United States using the alias Yasu Itami.

Agent McGuire is approaching his car that evening when Tanida approaches him an introduces himself. Next morning Agent McGuire is found dead under a bridge after apparently jumping. Ressler is briefing the team about Tanida when Meera Malik says that after Tanida's arrest his syndicate expanded and it is believed by her contacts that his younger brother, Aiko Tanida, is now running the syndicate. Aram Mojtabai is informed about Agent McGuire's death and tells the team. Malik uses the Domain Awareness System to track Mako's movements. Harold Cooper orders the resources of the Post Office to be used in the search for Aiko Tanida. Aram discovers that Tanida is already in the United States. Cooper asks who else was on the task force and says he will assign a protective detail to Ressler and Jonica. Ressler leaves saying that he has to get to Audrey Bidwell and transport her to a cabin in Prince Georges County.

Meanwhile, Tom meets Jolene at his makeshift headquarters inside a lock-up garage. Jolene only wants information about what he has been doing, but an agitated Tom explains that he had to go dark after being stabbed and denied ownership of his escape plan.

Ressler reaches Audrey's apartment and notices the door being ajar. While clearing the room, he inadvertently scares Audrey, asking if she left the door unlocked. Audrey answers, stating that she parked in the back to unload things from her car. Ressler tells Audrey about Maguire's death and that he must get her to safety. Tom debriefs Jolene about his findings at the Post Office and records of Reddington's financial payments to Liz's adoptive father, bitterly stating that he could have put a bullet in Reddington when he was sitting next to him at a park, only to be rebuffed by Jolene that “this was not Tom's mission.” While Jolene and Tom wrap up their debriefing, the Cowboy takes photographs of the pair.

During the drive to the cabin, Ressler's SUV is rammed by Tanida's jeep, causing Audrey's head to hit the passenger-side window. During a gunfight, Ressler successfully kills one of Tanida's henchmen and engages Tanida in hand-to-hand combat. Noticing a dazed Audrey trying to walk to Ressler, Tanida fatally shoots Audrey in the stomach. Tanida escapes while Ressler futilely attempts to stop her from bleeding to death.

Back in the Post Office, Cooper tells Ressler to take some time off while the rest of the task force goes after Tanida. Ressler consults with Jonica about potential leads but is told that Reddington might know. Shortly after re-assigning the Cowboy to capture Jolene for questioning, Reddington is approached by a vengeful Ressler. Sympathetic to Ressler's pain, Reddington gives Ressler a lead to a residential house in Columbia Heights serving as an underground hospital. Red warns Ressler that the path of vengeance requires accepting a personal darkness that never vanishes. With the aid of Jonica, Ressler raids the house and shoots the wounded surviving henchman in the leg to get the location of Tanida, being directed to a nearby club. Liz and Malik later enter the hospital, suspecting that Red aided Ressler. Ressler and Jonica are successful in capturing Tanida. Meanwhile, the Cowboy gets captured by Tom while tailing Jolene.

Liz phones Red about her findings and is told that Mako's brother Aiko is actually dead and not missing. At the Post Office, Liz later deduces that Jonica was posing as Aiko after coming across a report that Jonica was escorting Aiko prior to his demise. Concurrently en-route to Ressler's remote cabin, Tanida tells Ressler that when he got arrested, he never heard from his brother. Jonica repeatedly attempts to dissuade Mako from talking, only for Ressler to piece together that Jonica was a dirty agent right after Jonica shoots Tanida in the chest. Ressler grabs the steering wheel, causing a crash. 

Tom tells Jolene to abort her mission saying that she is already compromised through the actions Red performed in relation to Wujing and the Alchemist, and feeds Jolene a cover story to tell Liz about her disappearance. However, the Cowboy tells Jolene not to listen to him, stating that he would kill the both of them if she follows Tom's instructions. After Jolene has left the voice message, Tom attempts to stun her, only for a brief hand-to-hand fight to take place. Tom gains the upper hand and suffocates her before executing the Cowboy.

Shortly after recovering, Ressler picks up the ceremonial knife and pursues Jonica. A cornered Jonica attempts to use his friendship with Ressler to talk him out of killing him. Ressler instead berates Jonica for bringing Tanida's wrath on everyone on the team, as well as blames him for Audrey's death while admitting his working relationship with Reddington, giving Jonica the ultimatum of either committing Seppuku or being shot by Ressler. Liz and Malik catch up to Ressler, with Liz barely talking Ressler down. An enraged Ressler fires several rounds in Jonica's direction, intentionally missing him. Jonica weakly apologizes to Ressler before committing Seppuku while the latter walks away. Upon returning to the overturned SUV, Ressler finds it empty. 

While Tom cleans up his kills by burying their corpses in the woods, a mournful Ressler sifts through Audrey's belongings, finding a pregnancy test kit. Before breaking down, Ressler receives a consolation package from Dembe with a note attached by Red about recovering from his vengeful mission, with the package containing Tanida's decapitated head. Liz enters the shower with Tom, telling him about the voice message she received from Jolene. At the theatre, the dancers gossip about Red, stating that he has given numerous donations in exchange for a special performance every year. Red watches a performance of the ballet production he funded, reflecting on the time his daughter was the star of this particular performance years earlier.

Press Release[]

THE HUNTER BECOMES THE HUNTED – The next target on the Blacklist is one of Red’s past associates, crime lord Mako Tanida. After Tanida escapes from prison he is out for revenge. Elsewhere, Tom confronts Jolene after interfering with his mission.

Number on The Blacklist[]

  • 83

Unanswered Questions[]

  1. Was this episode a reference to the Japanese suicide rate and the Yakuza honor code? Mako Tanida kept his word and did not harm the agent's family in exchange for his suicide. Presenting the head of the enemy to another is common in many Asian stories.
    1. A: At their meeting after Audrey's death Red asked Ressler if he wanted Tanida's head, and Ressler did not say no.
  2. Who is combating who? So far it is Raymond Reddington, the Cabal, and Milos Kirchoff. Is Red attempting to destroy both sides at the same time?
    1. A: It looks like it is Red versus the Cabal versus Milos in Berlin. Milos Kirchoff is likely connected to Red and Liz.
  3. Red’s control of the Post Office is starting resemble Marko Alexandrovich Ramius’s defection plan in “The Hunt for Red October”. The senior officers were on his side, the medical officer would not question Ramius, the junior officers and enlisted would not disobey orders.
    1. Aram Mojtabai lacks the authority to do anything.
    2. Donald Ressler has somewhat alienated Keen.
    3. Elizabeth Keen has been more accepting of Red.
    4. Harold Cooper is compromised. (“Gina Zanetakos”)
    5. Meera Malik will have to ally with Red to avoid legal prosecution.
      1. A: It is more likely that Aram, Meera, and Liz are on Red's side. Cooper, though compromised, still mistrusts Red and is struggling to maintain control of his agents. Ressler is still trying to remain on Cooper's side, though his rogue operation in his vengeance for the death of Audrey will get him into serious trouble.
  4. Is Red's adversary Tom Keen's employers, or are they another interested party?
    1. A: Possibly Tom's employers, who are based in Berlin.
    2. Q: Then why did Tom not kill Red when he had the chance?
    3. A: He had orders not to kill, just gather information.
  5. How did Red locate Mako?
    1. A: It is possible Mako did not know that the underworld hospital that his men used was shut down by the FBI. After the car accident, Mako could have gone there for treatment. Knowing that's where his men got treatment, Red might have gone to the house and waited for Mako to show up.
  6. Why did Lucy Brooks believe Tom Keen over the Cowboy?
    1. A: She and Tom shared an employer, whereas the Cowboy worked for Red.
  7. Who is Tom working for? It is not the people who placed cameras in the Keen house. Are they based in Berlin?
    1. A: His superiors are in Berlin.
  8. How will Red respond to the disappearance of Lucy and the Cowboy? Will he focus on exposing and blaming Tom?
    1. A: He already knows Tom is living a double life and is going to let this play out for a chance to confront his superiors in Berlin, one of whom happens to be Red's adversary.
    2. A: In “Ivan”, Red and Dembe found the deceased bodies of both Lucy and the Cowboy thanks to Kathryn Nemec, who is known to be a “bloodhound” in tracing corpses. He then tells her to cover it up the same way Tom did and Red will take it from there.
  9. Tom is obviously more than a spy, he is an elite assassin. Why did his superiors require such an individual to shadow Liz, especially if his mission was to avoid killing others?
    1. A: In the event things go wrong, his superiors need someone who can escape the FBI.
    2. A: Tom's superiors plan to use Liz as a decoy to draw Red out into the open.
  10. Reddington obviously knows that Tom is an assassin/spy, and has all along. Why is he letting it play out? If he believes Tom is an enemy/threat to Liz, what reason could Red have for not merely eliminating him to preclude darker future events?
    1. A: He wants to confront the people who hired Tom.
  11. Does the FBI have special international permission? We keeping hearing that the Reddington task force has travelled all over the world.
    1. A: Well, they tried this tactic in Iceland.
    2. A: The DEA is aiding South Korea in anti-narcotics operations against North Korea.
    3. A: At the London 2012 Olympics, the United States wanted to send FBI agents to increase the security.
  12. What happened in Vienna? It must have been serious for Donald Ressler to mention it to Raymond Reddington.
  13. Red said the Japanese National Police Agency (NPA) would avoid admitting that Mako escaped from their supermax prison at Abashiri since it would mean a loss of face. But the first FBI agent seen killed had been warned and had moved to another house.
  14. What is the history between the Cowboy and Raymond Reddington? It was implied that a previous deal ended in mutual anger.
  15. Did Mako want revenge for his imprisonment or the death of his brother, Aiko Tanida? He stated in the car that the first 2 agents knew nothing of Bobby Jonica's actions.
    1. A: He probably wanted revenge for the dishonorable manner of his brother's death.
  16. How did Red find Mako?
  17. How did Mako find Ressler?
  18. Why did Mako ram Ressler's car in the street? He ambushed the first 2 agents in areas where there was a low chance of a bystander seeing him.
  19. Did Mako shoot Audrey intentionally (he thought she was FBI) or was it an accidental shooting caused by the street fight (he fired while attempting to shoot Ressler)?
    1. A: He intentionally killed Audrey out of revenge against Ressler because he along with a few agents was involved in the death of his brother back in Vienna.
    2. Q: Mako spared the other agent's family.
    3. A: Mako did not kill Audrey out of revenge. He did it as a distraction to escape him.
  20. How was Mako Tanida involved with Red? He was arrested during the hunt for Red.
    1. A: As a Yakuza leader Tanida would have been involved in many illegal operations from prostitution to drug selling; smuggling to extortion; blackmail to industrial espionage and robbery to assassination. Red could have been involved in any of those types of crimes, either hiring the Yakuza to perform them or facilitating their occurrence at the request of Tanida.
  21. What happened to Red's family? He was likely telling the truth when he met Ressler and tried to convince him to withdraw. During the “Swan Lake” performance he held an old invitation dated 22 March 1987.
    1. A: It was likely that Red's family was killed by his adversary, unless the daughter had survived and was raised by Sam.
  22. How much money has Red given the theatre to ensure a private performance and widespread rumors about him? The dancers mentioned his donations and his daughter.
  23. Is Cooper's insistence on going by the book a result of what he did to Rifkin? In “The Judge” he told Connolly that the right result was achieved in the wrong way. In “Madeline Pratt” he told Meera Malik that procedure must be followed.
    1. A: Cooper's insistence to go by the book shows that there is a deeper secret, apart from the Rifkin incident, that he is trying to keep from being exposed, his possible involvement in the Kuwait incident mentioned in “Gina Zanetakos”.
  24. Is Ressler at risk of following Red's history concerning vengeance? In “The Good Samaritan”, Red has shown he will kill those involved even if the involvement was minimal.
  25. Why did the police have such a rapid response time to the crash where Mako tried to kill Ressler? Did an officer see the crash and fight while on patrol?
    1. A: The gun battle would have been reported and the nearest patrol car was quite close.
  26. How was the underground hospital discovered? The doctor/patients would not have gone to the police for help.
    1. A: That looked like a prosperous neighborhood, the gunshot would have been unusual and so would have been reported.
    2. Q: Having an underground hospital in an upper class area is not a good idea. The residents would eventually question the constant visitors and the fact that most were dressed in the wrong type of less expensive clothing.
    3. A: Prosperous does not mean upper class, merely that it is not overrun by gangs and other criminal types. It is also reasonable to assume that there is a concealed entrance to the property, since lots of injured people arriving would attract attention regardless of the area.
  27. Why were the documents/mail seen in Japan written in English? The location was stated to be in Tokyo.
  28. Why did Bobby Jonica turn to crime and take over Mako's empire? How did he take over the crime empire? The Yakuza is very restrictive concerning entry and promotions.
    1. A: He pretended to be the younger brother of Mako Tanida.
    2. Q: He would have had to have some face-to-face contact for certain deals. Not everything could be arranged by mail, phone, or the internet.
    3. A: After the arrest of Mako and the other senior people, from information gleaned from unknown people, he would have said that for security reasons he would have to remain in hiding.
  29. Why did Ressler believe Mako during the car ride? After Bobby Jonica said “shut up” to Mako, Ressler appeared to give Mako's story credibility. Ressler should know that criminals, such as Red, will say anything if it serves their interest.
    1. A: Bobby Jonica's reaction showed guilt, and Ressler is trained to notice details like that. If Bobby Jonica had laughed at the suggestion or ignored it, Ressler would not have been suspicious.
  30. Ressler stated that he worked with Red. Did Bobby Jonica believe him?
    1. A: Because Bobby Jonica committed suicide shortly afterwards, he probably did not reach a conclusion.
    2. A: Before his suicide, Jonica did not believe Ressler about him working for Red. He was taunting him to shoot him instead, rather than commit seppuku.
  31. What will be the consequences on Donald Ressler's career? Will he join Elizabeth Keen as somebody who cannot be trusted to follow orders?
  32. Now that Liz is starting to learn more of Tom's double life, what will be the consequence of that? Will she end up having to tell Cooper or Red?
    1. A: Liz learned nothing about Tom's double life this episode.
    2. A: Liz found out a little bit in “Ivan”, making Tom suspicious that she is coming closer to the truth and he will be compromised.
  33. Under what bridge did Ressler and Reddington meet to talk about where to find Tanida? It looks more like New York than anything in the DC area, but the timeline doesn't allow for any setting away from Washington.

Slanders on the FBI[]

  1. Why did Ressler state that he was FBI when raiding the underground hospital? It was an illegal raid.
  2. How did Ressler evade his protective detail?
  3. Why was Ressler allowed to keep his gun after the “agent involved” shooting that resulted in the death of Audrey Bidwell? He should have been restricted to desk duty until cleared of blame.
    1. A: It is not outlandish to believe that Ressler has a few private guns.


Main star[]

Guest star[]


  • Stacey Yen as Sarah Raimo
  • Erica Sweany as Elise Paschen
  • Melle Powers as Customs Agent
  • Jennifer Kim as FBI Tech
  • Jeremy Burnett as Strip Club Worker
  • Patti Goettlicher as Ballerina #1
  • Nat DeWolf as Man #1
  • Yasu Suzuki as Tanida Goon
  • Tara Anika Nicolas as Ballerina #2



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  ·