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The Front” is the fifth episode of Season 2 of The Blacklist and the twenty seventh episode overall. It aired on October 20, 2014 on NBC.


A woman, Carrie Anne Beck, is on the phone with another woman, telling her that she had to take “it” because people are going to die. She’s going to go to the police. The woman on the phone offers to go with her, if she’ll say where she is. Carrie Anne agrees. When she moves the phone, there’s blood smeared around her ear. Her friend promises to come alone.

When Carrie Anne meets a car, her friend and a man, Maddox Beck, come out of it. Maddox argues with Carrie Anne and tries to take her purse. She resists, and is hit by a taxi. He takes something from her purse and escapes with the other woman.

Elizabeth Keen spies the sniper in an apartment across from hers and complains to Raymond Reddington, who refuses to call him off. He draws her attention to Carrie Anne’s death. Carrie Anne and Maddox are leaders of The Front, who were believed to be killed setting off a bomb in BP offices protesting an oil spill. They went underground and became more radical instead. Reddington believes Maddox killed Carrie Anne because she was the more moderate of the pair, while Maddox viewed humanity as a disease that needed to be eradicated.

At the Post Office, the team reviews history on The Front, including bombings and ricin attacks. Carrie Anne is at the hospital instead of the morgue for labor and delivery, 30 weeks pregnant. Carrie Anne is brain dead and on life support until the baby can be safely delivered. The Medical Examiner reports signs that Carrie Anne was in a fight: she has defensive injuries. Also, she had 700 year old clay under her fingernails.

Aram Mojtabai traces the clay back to a paint used in the 15th century. A painting using it was stolen recently, but was the least valuable of the collection.

Maddox takes detailed pictures of the stolen painting under a black light, and pins them up in a room filled with cages of lab mice.

Reddington is at the Department of Motor Vehicles and is forced to wait 45 minutes to meet his tracker, Glen, who works there and who he has looking for a girl. Reddington fires Glen because Glen hasn’t found her yet.

Aram tells the team that there are codes hidden in the stolen in the painting that were discovered when the museum did thermal imaging to test for authenticity. Nobody knows what the codes are. Harold Cooper orders them to bring in Lillian Sharp, an FBI expert, to figure it out.

Elizabeth walks into a psych office, watched by the sniper. She pays off a body double and goes out the back while the double tricks the sniper to keep watching the building.

Lillian identifies the painting code as a map leading to the Apophis Strain, a legendary disease weaponized in the 14th century by the Byzantines and the Ottomans and said to be the source of the Black Death. Pneumonic plague, which is airborne and killed 200,000,000 people. The map purports to lead to the location where the plague was taken by 4 priests tasked to hide it. Lillian tells Cooper the map is worthless.

Lillian, who’s being paid by Reddington, meets with him and Elizabeth to tell them that the map is actually priceless and has to be moved on immediately. One of the 4 priests got sick and swallowed the strain to keep it safe, after which he was buried. The map identifies the location as being in Burial Ridge in Staten Island, the largest Native American burial site in New York. Elizabeth and Donald Ressler head there, but Aram tells them authorities were already called in on a grave robbery. Maddox wanted the bones of the priest to get the DNA of the virus, but the body had already been moved hundreds of years ago. In its place was left a Cyrillic marker. Aram and Samar Navabi decode the marker to send them 31 miles east of Burial Ridge.

Elizabeth and Ressler arrive at Holy Trinity Church in New York City, where they find signs that Maddox is in the crypts.

Reddington asks Aram to find a girl, name unknown, who is critical in the war against Berlin. He gives Aram a picture.

Elizabeth finds Maddox, who has the bones. He delays her with the threat of releasing the plague until she’s knocked out by a compatriot. He escapes.

At the Post Office, the team argues over Elizabeth’s hesitation that resulted in Maddox’s escape. Elizabeth discovers that Reddington has come to Aram to ask him for help.

Maddox preaches to a group of followers about the need to eliminate humanity, while experiments proceed to extract the plague from the bones.

Elizabeth bursts in on Reddington to tell him Aram will not be helping him search for his daughter, and delivers an ultimatum that he get rid of the sniper protecting her. Reddington refuses, and tells Elizabeth not to be jealous, their relationship won’t change even if he finds the girl.

Back at the hotel Elizabeth’s body double distracts the sniper by stripping while Reddington calls to warn the sniper that Elizabeth is hiding something and to be wary since she’ll try to manipulate him. Elizabeth hangs out in the basement seen in the last episode. She’s greeted by a large man who warns her about coming at this time of night. She asks for permission to go inside the door seen in the last episode and does so.

One of Maddox’s followers is infected with the plague and sent out into the streets where she’s visibly affected. News reports that hundreds have been infected, government organizations have been evacuated, and a quarantine area has been set up.

At the Post Office, Patient Zero is identified and autopsy confirms it’s a genetically modified strain of pneumonic plague that works at an accelerated rate. Quarantined affected show no signs yet. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified 3 phases: incubation; symptomatic; then infectious. 2300 people are infected, they’ll be dead in nine hours. There are no treatment protocols. In order to create a treatment, they need the original strain, which only Maddox has. Aram reports that a rat hair was found on Patient Zero, and was traced through the breeder to a property in Thurmont. Cooper sends the biohazard team from Quantico, who find Maddox’s lab.

Reddington’s agent at the DMV gets a hit on the girl he’s looking for and calls him in. The girl is identified as Zoe D'Antonio.

At Maddox’s lab, they discover that The Front’s plan is to hit multiple cities across the globe.

Maddox and his followers infect themselves.

At the Post Office, Samar reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found an inhaler mask at Dulles containing the plague. They tie it one of Maddox’s infected followers who left Dulles 2 hours ago on a plane to Panama City. They use his travel profile to identify 31 other passengers headed different places, all but 1 are already on planes. They notify the Federal Aviation Administration about the infected flights and have them quarantined on arrival, while Samar and Elizabeth go to detain the 1 who hasn’t left yet.

After a chase through the airport, Samar catches their target. However, he sprays the virus into her face, then shoots her in the side before Elizabeth shoots and kills him. Samar closes the door to the room they’re in to keep Elizabeth and others from getting infected. Elizabeth breaks in to apply first aid to Samar.

Ressler reports all flights have been quarantined or diverted. Samar and Elizabeth have about 8 hours. Aram has narrowed down a location on Maddox’s main site by about 50 miles. While Cooper deploys a canvass to search for the site, Aram calls Reddington to tell him Elizabeth has been infected, and gets advice on narrowing down the search area for Maddox. Maddox is a survivalist who lives “off the grid”.

Elizabeth and Samar are quarantined in the airport. Elizabeth confesses she feels possessive of Reddington and jealous of his daughter.

Aram used Reddington’s advice to find Maddox’s compound.

Reddington has already arrived at the compound and has Maddox and his girlfriend at gunpoint. He’s correctly guessed neither of them are going to die from the plague, because Maddox has already synthesized a cure, which Dembe has found. Reddington claims he’s not there for them, but for a key that Maddox’s girlfriend had hidden. He leaves with the vaccine.

Elizabeth receives treatment. Reddington watches a home movie of a young girl. Authorities find Maddox with his girlfriend after he commits murder/suicide. The news reports that the quarantine has been lifted in DC. Ressler reports to Cooper that the CDC has started vaccine protocol, passengers on the flights have been treated. Carrie Anne has been taken off life support. Aram sits with Samar in recovery. Reddington watches Zoe, who works in a food truck, from a distance.

Press Release[]

ECO-TERRORISTS PURSUE A DEADLY TREASURE– Agents Keen, Ressler, and Cooper pursue an eco-terrorist cell in search of a destructive weapon. Meanwhile, Liz tries to lose her guardian. Elsewhere, Red uses manipulation to pursue someone close to his heart.

Number on The Blacklist[]

  • 74

Unanswered Questions[]

  1. Raymond Reddington
    1. What is the significance of the key?
      1. A: The key activates the interface that decodes the Fulcrum.
    2. Why did Beck have the key?
      1. A: Pepper had the key.
      2. Q: Why did Pepper have the key?
        1. A: Jon Bokenkamp said in a podcast that he thought of Pepper as a hippie rebellious daughter of a conservative official involved with the Cabal. Bokenkamp said her story may or may not be explored in the future.
    3. Why has Red not had Milos Kirchoff assassinated?
      1. A: Because he is not ready to take over his syndicate.
      2. Q: Red surrendered to the FBI and Niko Demakis chose to ally with Milos Kirchoff. If the situation was/is that bad then assassination removes the primary threat. Red can/could exploit the ensuring power struggle after the leadership is paralyzed. The Irish Republican Army fractured into multiple factions over political reasons.
      3. A: The FBI is not hindering Red's syndicate much, and a power struggle within Milos Kirchoff's syndicate could lead to problems within Red's syndicate.
      4. A: Red wanted to know who started the conflict between himself and Kirchoff, once he found out the information he killed Kirchoff in “The Decembrist”.
  2. Elizabeth Keen
    1. How can Liz despise Red and be jealous of his possible daughter at the same time?
      1. A: Human nature.
    2. Why has Liz's double been able to deceive Ezra?
      1. A: The double has been careful never to show her face to Ezra.
    3. What did the double write on the window?
      1. A: Bite me.
    4. Who played the role of Keen's double?
      1. A: Marianna McClellan
    5. Who does Liz meet in that boiler room, and where is she asking to “go in” to?
      1. A: The Samoan.
      2. A: Maybe she is hiding the alive “Tom Keen” in there.
      3. A: It was confirmed in “The Mombasa Cartel” that Tom is Liz's prisoner.
  3. The Apophis Strain pneumonic plague
    1. Why was the painting map created? The priests were sent to destroy the virus.
      1. A: The medieval church recorded everything, which is why most historians now dispute the occurrence of mass torture and witch burnings by Spanish Inquisition.
    2. Why send the priests? The virus could have been destroyed by burning it after the Byzantines and Ottomans made the truce.
      1. A: In the Middle Ages mind, the virus could have been created by God, and therefore should be preserved like all God's creations.
      2. Q: The Middle Ages had witch-hunts and religious purges.
      3. A: They were driving out the devil.
      4. Q: A virus would be seen as an act of the devil. Destroying the virus would destroy the evil.
      5. A: Plagues come from God, as told in the story of Moses.
    3. Why was the body moved from Burial Ridge to the Holy Trinity Church?
      1. A: To bring the virus under the control of the church.
      2. Q: Then why not bury at the Holy Trinity Church to begin with? Was a “secret society” created to guard the corpse?
      3. A: Holy Trinity church was not built at the time of the  original burial.
      4. Q: That means the church knew about the virus and maintained a “secret society”.
      5. A: The whole premise of “The Da Vinci Code” is a secret church “society” hiding something, there have been numerous rumours about the secret Vatican archive for centuries.
    4. Why was the stone marker created?
      1. A: To inform those who were looking for the virus where it was currently located.
      2. Q: Why risk an outsider learning the truth? The priests were sent to destroy the virus. That means removing the knowledge from history.
      3. A: The marker could only be decoded with knowledge of the virus and the original priests mission.
    5. Why did the virus still work after hundreds of years?
      1. A: It was probably not still active, but could be re-created as indicated here.
    6. Why were there no samples at the first lab the FBI found?
      1. A: The terrorists had decontaminated the site.
    7. Why did the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) need the original strain of the virus for creating an antidote?
      1. A: Because the virus was mutating in the infected people.
      2. Q: If the disease mutates, then the antidote might not work on the new strain.
      3. A: Virus mutations are subsets of the original. In the 2 “Star Trek” episodes that used the polywater storyline, the cure for the mutation of the polywater intoxication was developed from the original cure.
    8. Would not the gap under the door at the airport allow the plague to spread?
  4. Maddox Beck
    1. Why did Beck believe the story of the virus in the first place? Even fanatics must be skeptical of legends and myths.
      1. A: The hidden map gave credence to the legends.
    2. Why did Beck not have the visor shut on his hazmat suit when he retrieved the virus?
      1. A: When confronted by Liz the virus was already safely stored.
    3. Beck's use of the virus could easily have evolved into a strain that killed animal life.
      1. Q: Why did Red not kill Maddox Beck himself?
      2. Q: Beck refused to infect himself. That is not the sign of a fanatic.
      3. A: Trying to indiscriminately kill over 90% of humanity is the act of a fanatic.
      4. A: To a fanatic, like Beck, living with failure is intolerable, hence the murder/suicide.
      5. A: Fanatics are not known for their ability to think beyond the initial results of their actions.
      6. A: He had the antidote.
  5. Why was Samar Navabi so harsh on Keen? Keen was ambushed from behind, she kept the gun pointed at Beck the whole time.
    1. A: She has read the report on the Frederick Barnes case.
  6. What will Harold Cooper do now that he knows that Lillian Sharpe is working for Red?
    1. A: Throw his arms up in despair and resolve not to ask her advice again.
  7. Why did Carrie Ann Beck choose to abandon the scheme?
    1. A: Because she was pregnant and like most pregnant women wanted her child to live.
    2. Q: She did not care about the myriad of other children who would have died from the virus release.
    3. A: I believe she was on her way to report them, when she was ambushed by her husband.
  8. Is Zoe D'Antonio Red's real daughter? Age enhancement computer programs are not 100% reliable.
    1. A: I expect her to be Milos Kirchoff's actual daughter.
    2. A: Zoe/Jennifer is confirmed to be Milos Kirchoff's daughter in “The Scimitar”.
    3. A: Red has found Milos Kirchoff's daughter, Jennifer, living under an assumed name as Zoe D'Antonio and brought her to him.

Slanders on the FBI[]

  1. Why did the FBI agents use hazmat suits instead of NBC suits or MOPP?
    1. A: The other types have all been requisitioned to deal with the Ebola problem.
  2. Why was the FBI and FAA unable to impose a no-fly lockdown?
  3. Why was Dulles airport not evacuated, a simple fire alarm would have sufficed.
    1. A: The carrier could have escaped in the chaos.


Main star[]

Guest star[]


  • Katrina Lenk as Carrie Anne Beck
  • Amber Skye Noyes as Pepper
  • Freya Adams as Sharon McManus
  • Blake Delong as Chris Perez
  • Angus Hepburn as Priest
  • Dante Nero as Samuel Aleko
  • Marianna McClellan as The Double
  • Sidney Titus as Gummy Bear Kid
  • Wendy Rieger as News Anchor #1
  • Jim Vance as News Anchor #2


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  ·