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The Caretaker” is the sixteenth episode of Season 3 of The Blacklist and the sixtieth episode overall.


A news report in Beijing, China, an online recording has been leaked that proves that Zhang Lau was poisoned as part of a plot orchestrated by states person Robert Pritchard.

Pritchard is walking down the street and watching the news report on his cell phone. He freaks out, he calls someone and tells them that the recording is all over the news, they need to get him out of China ASAP While he is talking, 2 men run up on him and grab him and throw him in a car. Pritchard shouts that he has been framed by “The Caretaker”.

Meanwhile, a strange man is in a cemetery. He lights up a gas grill at the grave of a man named “Walters” and then he pulls out his cell phone and makes a call. It looks like the homeless man is the infamous Caretaker, he informs the person on the other end of the line that the “First secret has been released, the second one will come very soon”.

Elizabeth is getting ready for work. Tom surprises her with breakfast, he appears to be on the mend after the shooting. Elizabeth gets down on one knee and tells Tom that she has made a decision, “Yes,” she wants to get married. Tom is speechless. Elizabeth’s phone goes off, it’s Red, way to kill a moment.

Elizabeth heads to work, a man stops by and says that he is delivering Tom’s prescriptions. After Elizabeth leaves, the guy from the “pharmacist” gives Tom a bag with illegal percocets and a handgun. Tom pays him with cash.

Liz meets up with Red, she tells him that she is keeping the baby and he is thrilled, however less thrilled when he learns that Liz and Tom is getting married. Red wants to talk about Robert Pritchard, he was fished out of the river in Beijing, the Chinese killed him for assassinating Zhang Lou. Apparently, a business man named Addison Wen helped Pritchard kill Zhang, and he recorded the conversation between himself and Pritchard.

This is where the Caretaker comes in. He is the secret keeper of wealthy and high-profile criminals. They give the Caretaker their secrets and instructions as to when to release them, like if they are arrested or killed. The problem is, Addison Wen did not tell the Caretaker to release his secret recording, something is horribly wrong. The Caretaker has thousands of closely guarded secrets and if he starts leaking them all, anarchy will reign.

Elizabeth heads to the office and briefs Cooper and the rest of the team on the Caretaker. Harold tells them to start with Addison Wen to see how he contacted the secret keeper. They need to move fast before the Chinese get a hold of Addison.

Tom pays his ex-girlfriend a visit, the one that just shot him and nearly killed him, at her hotel and catches her in the shower, he says that he has come to negotiate. She knows that he is weak from being shot and tries to attack him, Tom manages to get the best of her and slams her on the ground and holds her at gunpoint.

The Caretaker is digging up a grave in the middle of the night at a cemetery with a back-ho. While he uncovers the grave he talks out loud and says, “Hello Jeanette”.

Ressler and Samar bring Addison Wen in for questioning, they are trying to get information from him about the Caretaker. Addison says he doesn’t know his name, he never met him, he put the recording in “the tubes”. In the 1800’s there were tubes that span under the city of New York that were once used by the post office, library, medical offices, etc. It’s how the Caretaker received all of his secrets, and also the perfect underground tunnels for criminals to use to pass along intel right under the agents’ noses.

Elizabeth fills Red in on the tube system, he knows the man that runs the tubes, his name is Hugo. He keeps the tubes up and running and charges criminals to pass their stuff through them. Red takes Liz to meet Hugo. Red explains to Hugo that he needs one of his clients’ addresses. Red promises Hugo that if he gives up the Caretaker, Elizabeth will make sure that the FBI leaves his tube system alone.

Meanwhile in the cemetery, the Caretaker is still talking to Jeanette. He has pulled her casket up out of the ground and is trying to pry it open with a crowbar.

Tom is still trying to talk some sense in to Gina, he tells her that he is walking away from everything. He promises not to come after her again, as long as she promises not to come after him again. He wants to be a better person, and for his family to be safe and sound.

Ressler and Samar got the address to the Caretaker’s house, which is coincidentally at the cemetery. They arrive in the middle of the night and find him sitting in Jeanette’s coffin with her, he has dug up a canister that he had inside of her coffin, it looks like one of the “secrets” that he has passed through the tubes. Ressler and Samar arrest him and bring him in to custody.

Back at the FBI office, the Caretaker confirms that he released the video. The Caretaker reveals that someone took his daughter Rose hostage and tortured her, and sent him a video of it. They told him if he didn’t release Addison Wen’s video, Rose was dead. Once he released that video, they demanded another one and still haven’t given back his daughter. The second secret is the one that was in a canister in Jeanette’s grave. It’s an airline contract between the German government and a company called Lufreiber. There was a terrorist attack on one of the planes and Lufreiber covered it up for the German government, hundreds of people were killed. Samar fills Red in on what’s going on, he warns her under no circumstances to expose the Germans, there is no coming back from that.

Elizabeth is going some investigating of her own, about her mother Katarina Rostova. She visits an old man named Velov in a restaurant, she met him about a year ago. Velov is old, and doesn’t look so good he’s on an oxygen tank and in a wheelchair. Velov says he wishes he could help her, but he didn’t know Katarina, she was just a name that he used to hear. Velov wants Elizabeth’s help, he doesn’t know where his daughter is, he has written her a letter before he dies, and he wants Elizabeth to find her and deliver the letter to her. After Elizabeth leaves, Velov’s caretaker Darla calls Red and reports to him that Velov didn’t tell her anything, he talked about his own daughter most of the time.

Red and Elizabeth get to work tracking down the kidnapper’s van, Red recognizes some custom work on the van in the pictures, and knew which chop shop it had been to. They get an address for the owner from the chop-shop, and Elizabeth calls it in to Harold. Harold tells them he needs them back at the office ASAP. Harold released the German contract secret and now the Germans are furious, they refuse to share their intel on terrorists in the United States that are about to attack on American soil.

Meanwhile, Ressler and Samar head to the address that they got from the chop shop. They find the Caretaker’s daughter alive and well, they rescue her and arrest the man that was holding her hostage. Ressler grabbed a book on the bed next to Rose and she confirms that it was her father’s ledger, the book full of the secrets and where they are hidden.

Samar questions Rose back at the office to try and figure out who kidnapped her, she says she has no idea. They question the man that was holding her hostage and learn that his name is Van Zandt, and he is actually Rose’s brother. He says that he was just trying to help Rose.

A call comes in, Red located the cargo truck with the terrorists in it, and enough C-4 to take out the whole city. Ressler, Samar, and the rest of the team leave Rose and her brother in their cells and rush out to take down the terrorists. Samar shoots and kills the men in the truck, but when they open the back, they learn that the bomb has already been activated. They have less than 3 minutes until it is detonated. Aram talks Ressler through cutting the wires over the phone, and they are able to disable the bomb.

Back at the FBI office Harold tells the Caretaker that Rose is fine, she kidnapped herself, to get away from her father. Apparently, Rose found out that she was kidnapped when she was a baby and the Caretaker wasn’t her father. He explains to Harold that one day he saw Rose out with her father, he was drunk and beating her, the Caretaker thinks that he saved Rose. Apparently, Rose found out and found her real brother, and they were leaking the secrets as revenge.

Elizabeth shows up on Irina Velov’s doorstep with the letter from her dad. Irina laughs and says that she talks to her dad every day and she knew Liz would be coming. Irina explains that the letter is actually for Elizabeth. Velov wanted to tell her about Katarina but was told not to, so he wrote her the secret letter instead. Elizabeth sits in her car and cries while she reads the letter, which also came along with a picture of a little girl, presumably Elizabeth.

Red is leaving the FBI office and runs in to Elizabeth, she is furious, her mother is alive, Red has been lying this entire time. She knows that the person Red was afraid would find her after the manhunt is her own mother. Elizabeth scoffs that some things “can’t be forgiven” and storms off.

Press Release[]

After a State Department official is found dead in Beijing, Red and Liz link the murder to a secret keeper known as “The Caretaker”, who maintains an impenetrable safety deposit vault for criminals. Red and Liz work with the task force to find the Caretaker and his collection of lethal and classified secrets. Meanwhile, Tom makes a risky decision, while Liz persists on her quest to find out more about her mother.

Number on The Blacklist[]

  • 78

Unanswered Questions[]

  1. Post Office task force
    1. None of the task force members have the right to use the argument of moral superiority. Why did they take those positions?
    2. Why did Donald Ressler state that the secrets should stay secret? He has usually taken a pro-justice approach where the guilty are held responsible.
      1. A: Secrecy does not imply guilt, especially with larger organizations.
    3. Why did Samar Navabi state that the secrets should be released? She knows the importance of secrecy from her Mossad career.
    4. Cooper stated that Red only helped stop the terrorist attack to gain control of the ledger. However, Cooper’s past actions have been illegal and/or questionable.
    5. The characters stated the benefits of forgiveness, but refused to forgive others.
  2. Diplomatic relations
    1. What will be the aftermath of the Chinese/American retaliation murders?
    2. Why did the Chinese kill an official from the United States Department of State? Killing a diplomat usually leads to vicious reprisals.
    3. Why did the German government blame the United States for the publication of the airline bribe?
      1. A: Because the FBI released it.
    4. Why did the German government refuse to help after the release of the airline bribe? By stopping a terrorist attack they can combine that debt with the accusation of the release for more leverage.
  3. Terrorist groups
    1. Why did the terrorists warn the German government of an attack?
      1. A: Terrorists often did this in the past to cause property damage and disruption, while avoiding the killing of humans. Even if no humans are killed, such an attack demonstrates the capability to perform future attacks.
    2. Why did the German government not warn the airlines?
    3. Why was the German warning a secret? Terrorists will publicize warnings and attacks to promote terror and fear.
    4. What was the target of the truck bomb?
    5. Why did the terrorist activate the truck bomb?
    6. Why did the truck bomb have a timer?
  4. Elizabeth Keen
    1. Keen’s anger to Red seemed weak. Her anger towards him has diluted.
  5. Raymond Reddington
    1. Why does Red see Katarina Rostova as a threat to Liz?
    2. Did Red take any other canisters from the graveyard?
    3. What did Raymond burn in the graveyard?
      1. A: His confession.
    4. Did Red know of the terrorist attack? He told Cooper that the German airline bribe must not be made public.
      1. A: Red assumed that the Germans must have had good reasons to store something with the Caretaker.
    5. Why did Red not ask for the letter back?
    6. What is Red’s history with Katarina Rostova?
    7. This is the second time Cooper has ignored Red’s warnings concerning political fallout, the first was “Ruslan Denisov”. Will Red restrict information and demand more control since the Cabal has political allies that can override Cooper?
  6. Albert Janus
    1. Why did the Janus family continue the tradition for 3 generations? Unlike the King family, the family had not made money from the service.
    2. What happened to secrets that were no longer secret or the owners died? Were they destroyed?
      1. A: Red's statement regarding the red letter implies that there are multiple options, including delivery to someone in case of death.
    3. Why use a graveyard for safekeeping?
      1. A: It could have been the original family business for the Janus family. People wouldn't think to hide secrets inside dead bodies.
    4. Why only 1 canister per grave?
    5. Will the FBI dig up the other canisters?
      1. A: Probably. They are evidence in the Caretaker case and the original crimes.
    6. Will the other secrets be released or used for blackmail?
  7. Rose Janus / Jessica Van Zandt
    1. Why did 1 of the false kidnappers reach for the gun? They were surrounded.
    2. Will Rose and/or any of the kidnappers face prison? It was a false kidnapping.
    3. Why did Rose force Albert Janus to release secrets? How was that revenge?
      1. A: She wanted to ruin his life. By releasing the secrets, Albert would lose clients.
    4. How did Rose choose which secrets to release?
      1. A: She probably didn't care. Given enough time, she might have released them all.
    5. Was Rose part of the terrorist attack?
      1. A: No she only had the secret released, which led to the terrorist attack.
    6. Why use an armored van?
  8. Aram Mojtabai
    1. Where did Aram learn about explosives and detonators?
    2. Why did Aram force an apology? Ressler and Samar could have been killed.
  9. Harold Cooper
    1. Why did Cooper say the ledger should be destroyed? Was it because of the client names?
      1. A: He thought the secrets in it should never be revealed or used as leverage. Numerous lives would be ruined.
    2. Why did Cooper use the “patriotism” reason when asking for help with the truck bomb?
      1. A: He thought they were Americans. He didn't know that they were Mexican.
      2. Q: The “patriotism” reason would not work in the black market.
  10. Tom Keen and Gina Zanetakos
    1. What happened with Gina Zanetakos in the end?
      1. A: She contacted the Major.
    2. Why has Tom not killed the Major? With the Major dead, the hunt will end.
      1. A: The Major is probably good at hiding and has a number of assassins protecting him.
    3. Why did Gina not leave the country after the robbery?
      1. A: She is likely after the bounty on Tom.
  11. Hugo
    1. Will the FBI make an effort to infiltrate the tube system? Ressler said that it was a highway for the black market.
    2. Where did Hugo get the money to maintain the pneumatic tubes?
      1. A: He most likely charged his clients to use them.
    3. Why use pneumatic tubes? In the event of a malfunction, repair work would attract attention.
    4. Why did Red say “do not stare”?
      1. A: He was referring to Hugo's eyes.
  12. Why did Anton Velov not tell Liz that the letter was for her?
    1. A: Somehow he knew Red had people watching him.

Slanders on the FBI[]

  1. Why did the FBI fail to recognize the armor in the van?


Main star[]

Guest star[]


  • Ty Robinson as Justin
  • Steven Hauck as Russell Pritchard
  • David Shih as Addison Wen
  • Andy Reinhardt as Messenger
  • Levi Ricks as Girl / Young Rose
  • Kimberly Stern as Darla
  • Helen Piper Coxe as Irina Velov
  • Orville Mendoza as Semo
  • Camille Gaston as Father
  • Doug Montgomery as Team Leader
  • Christine Toy Johnson as News Anchor


External Links[]

Season 3 Episodes
 · The Troll Farmer  · Marvin Gerard  · Eli Matchett  · The Djinn  · Arioch Cain  · Sir Crispin Crandall  · Zal Bin Hasaan  · Kings of the Highway  · The Director  · The Director: Conclusion  · Mr. Gregory Devry  · The Vehm  · Alistair Pitt  · Lady Ambrosia  · Drexel  · The Caretaker  · Mr. Solomon  · Mr. Solomon: Conclusion  · Cape May  · The Artax Network  · Susan Hargrave  · Alexander Kirk  · Alexander Kirk: Conclusion  ·