The Blacklist Wiki
The Blacklist Wiki

The Freelancer” is the second episode of Season 1 of “The Blacklist” and the second episode overall. It first aired on September 30, 2013 on NBC.


Raymond Reddington receives a new set of clothes in his cell, which he changes into. He then walks out through a door under escort and is shown to be on an oil tanker. A helicopter is just landing to take him to Washington DC.

In Washington, Red and Elizabeth Keen are given polygraph tests. During his test Red suddenly stops and announces that there is going to be a major incident at the Decatur Industrial Park.

While the tests are proceeding, Harold Cooper is in a meeting with Diane Fowler, United States Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division. She insists that there will be no deal.

The FBI and other law enforcement personnel search the park but find nothing, and are just about to leave when they are warned about a runaway train on the adjacent track. Immediately, the agents see a train speeding toward them suddenly derail and hurtle out of control, forcing the agents to flee.

Liz visits Tom Keen at the hospital and then visits Red to tell him that she is calling the shots and he is not getting his immunity deal. When questioned Red says that he knew nothing about the train crash, just that there would be an incident. He says that the crash was caused by an assassin known as “The Freelancer” who assassinates his targets by causing large scale disasters. Red states that The Freelancer has killed over 3,000 innocent people in his accidents. Red compares his scale of carnage to terrorist organizations and governments. He lists several previous accidents where a politician was killed along with hundreds of bystanders.

Red says that he knows an intermediary who may be able to tell them the Freelancer's next victim, but he will have to meet him in person, in Montreal. With little choice the FBI arrange for Red to go to Montreal, and Liz to accompany him to the restaurant where the meeting is to occur.

At the restaurant Liz and Red talk, and Red asks Liz to profile him. Donald Ressler and the RCMP monitoring the meeting notice Red slip something to the sommelier and then leave the table. They all storm inside, but Red is nowhere to be found. Liz and Ressler argue about whose fault it is that Red escaped all the way back to the surveillance van, but when they open the door they find Red inside waiting for them. Red tells them that his contact was the coat check person and shows them a picture of the target, Floriana Campo, a noted anti-human trafficking campaigner who is one of Liz's personal heroes.

Back in Washington, the FBI meet with Floriana, and warn her about the impending attack. She refuses to cancel all fund-raising event, but does agree to a change of location.

As Red is the only person who knows what the Freelancer looks like, he has to attend the event which he won't do until his deal is in place. Reluctantly Fowler signs off on an off-the-record deal while vowing that Red will never have immunity. She also agrees that Dembe Zuma and Luli Zeng will form his security detail. However, she states that Meera Malik will join the task force.

At the event Red identifies one of the waiters as the Freelancer. In the confusion caused by the agents attempting to arrest him Red slips away.

The agents pursue and eventually catch the Freelancer, when he is knocked down by a commandeered taxi driven by Liz. Liz assures Floriana that the assassin has been captured and ensures she reaches her hotel room in safety.

Floriana is confronted in her hotel room by Red, who reveals that he knows that she is head of of the Eberhardt Cartel. He wonders how she manages both sides of her life, saying he would have “kicked the angel out years ago”. Then they argue about their methods of operation and levels of morality.

Ressler is questioning the Freelancer and getting nowhere, so Meera takes over with enhanced interrogation techniques. Squeezing his broken leg, she forces the Freelancer to reveal that Red had ordered the hit on Floriana.

Liz is informed, and returns to Floriana's hotel room to find the the agents guarding the room have been replaced by Dembe, who allows her access. Inside the room Floriana attempts to convince Liz of her innocence, but betrays herself by calling Red “Raymond”. Red says that he has had Floriana poisoned, but he has the antidote which he will handover once she admits her role as head of the Ebehardt Cartel. Floriana is given an emergency tracheotomy by Liz, and nods her guilt.

Next day Liz tells Red that the FBI have proved Floriana's leadership of the cartel and rescued a shipment of girls. When Liz asks what would have happened if the antidote had been administered in time, Red tells her there was no antidote.

In preparation for Tom's release from hospital, Liz replaces the box and has the carpet relaid. Unable to sleep on Tom's first night home, Liz checks the pockets of the clothes he was wearing, when he was tortured and stabbed, and finds a USB flash drive in an envelope labelled “Elizabeth Keen - Background”. When she checks the file she finds that it contains a testimonial about her, recorded by Tom for the adoption agency.

Press Release[]

Red predicts an impending catastrophe, rooted by the work of an assassin, called “The Freelancer”. Together, Liz and Red go undercover to prevent from having his next target, Floriana Campo from being killed. Elsewhere, Ressler and newly re-hired CIA agent, Meera Malik, who’s been added to Red’s private security detail, keep an eye on them from a distance. Meanwhile, Liz considers what she should do next concerning Tom and the mysterious box she found hidden under the floorboards.

Number on The Blacklist[]

  • 145

Unanswered Questions[]

  1. Raymond Reddington
    1. Why did Raymond Reddington allow the FBI the arrest the Freelancer? He revealed Red's ordering of the assassination.
      1. A: To ensure that Liz was present for Campo's confession.
    2. Did Raymond Reddington order her assassination as retribution for Dembe Zuma?
      1. A: It could have been on moral/personal reasons. Red despised Campo for her double life and the deceptive public image she had created for herself. Red has shown he prefers self-honesty and has used the task force's secrets against them. Furthermore, his deals, which include arms trafficking (“Gina Zanetakos”), do give the victims a chance to defend themselves.
    3. Why did Red go through the charade of hiring Alban Veseli to assassinate Campo? He directly stated that Madeline Pratt was a thief and her target was the Kungar 6. He could have told the FBI that Campo was the leader of the cartel.
      1. A: He had to prove her actions unequivocally to Liz.
  2. Alban Veseli
    1. Why did the Freelancer use large scale accidents? The victim might survive and arranging a disaster is more difficult than killing a single person.
      1. A: If the intended target survived, another “accident” could be arranged and the intended target would still not be alerted. If the Freelancer had directly assassinated people, law enforcement would have been actively pursuing him.
    2. Will the Alban Veseli be forced and/or lured into revealing more of his clients? How many will be arrested?
  3. Will Diane Fowler's intention of not going through with the immunity deal come true? Red told Floriana Campo that the FBI was working for him, therefore he likely expects that the FBI will try to find a way to avoid immunity. So far he has outmaneuvered the FBI.
  4. Who were the other people on Red's security detail list?
    1. A: The 2 known are Dembe Zuma and Luli Zeng.
    2. Q: Is Newton Phillips on the list?
  5. How did the FBI contact and locate Luli Zeng and Dembe Zuma?
  6. Where did the FBI locate the supporting evidence that was seen on the newspaper headline? They had not learned of Campo's smuggling operations before Red came to them.
  7. What will happen to Floriana Campo's legal front organization now that her smuggling operations have been exposed? The guest speaker made it clear that Campo had sacrificed some shipments to maintain her public image.
  8. What will happen to the Eberhardt Cartel?
  9. How did Dembe escape from the Eberhardt Cartel?
    1. A: He could have been sold by the cartel as a child soldier to a mercenary/rebel organization. He later escaped during a battle in Africa.
    2. A: He was rescued by Red as shown in “The Mombasa Cartel”.
  10. Why did Diane not know of the DARPA approved tracker?
    1. A: She is a supervisor, and would not normally be involved in ongoing operations where such devices would be used.

Slanders on the FBI and RCMP[]

  1. Why was the control vehicle left empty?
  2. Why did Keen identify herself as FBI and alert The Freelancer? He was able to escape the building. She should have followed the example shown when the Chemist was arrested in “Pilot”. The FBI agent revealed himself after the FBI had control of the room and the Chemist could not counter-attack.
    1. A: She drew her gun in a crowded room, she had to identify herself as FBI to reassure the innocent bystanders.
    2. Q: She could have identified herself after she had moved closer and signaled Ressler to block the exits.
    3. A: The Freelancer noticed her reaction to Red's words and was already fleeing.
  3. Why was Red allowed to leave the restaurant?
    1. A: He was not allowed to leave. He was excused from the table “for a moment” to which Liz should have assumed he was going to meet with the liaison.
  4. Why did Ressler invade the restaurant when Red left? It risked breaking Red's cover story.
  5. How did Dembe replace the guard on Floriana's room?
  6. Why did the FBI only want Red to check the guest list, what about the staff?


  • (Red to Liz) What is it with you, in hotel rooms, with pens and people's necks?


Main star[]

Guest star[]


  • Anastasia Barzee as Staff Lawyer
  • Andrew Polk as Staff Lawyer
  • Kaija Matiss as Anya Kedrov
  • Yelena Noah as Montreal Waitress
  • Doug Barron as Polygrapher
  • Marc Webster as Squad Captain
  • Gregory Konow as Agent
  • Christopher LaPanta as Officer
  • Pascal Yen-Pfister as Sommelier
  • Doreen Gentzler as Newscaster



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  ·