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The Kenyon Family” is the twelfth episode of Season 2 of The Blacklist and the thirty fourth episode overall. It aired on February 19, 2015 on NBC.


A religious leader is reading to his congregation the Bible story of Lot's daughters laying with their father. A group of men with headlamps are moving around boxes in a field. The men are slowly killed.

In a room containing more boxes, a smoke bomb goes off.

While the congregation sings a hymn, a child bride walks up the aisle while the leader takes the role of the bridegroom. While a woman begins the wedding service, another smoke bomb is thrown into the room through the window. The congregation panics and starts trying to break down the door, which is sealed from the outside with a sickle.

Harold Cooper and his wife are in a car, discussing a clinical trial that might be Cooper's last chance. His prognosis is not good. She wants him to apply for the trial. He promises to apply as soon as he gets to the office.

Elizabeth Keen meets Raymond Reddington at the Department of Motor Vehicles. He shows her Glen Carter, who he claims has an uncanny ability to locate anything. Reddington informs her of Justin Kenyon, the public face of The Church of the Shield. Elizabeth tells him to forget it, the Department of Justice already knows who he is. The Church of the Shield is a polygamous cult with prominent civil rights lawyers on call. He's untouchable so far by the police and the Internal Revenue Service.

At the Post Office, Elizabeth reviews the Church of the Shield, which owns a 15,000 acre reserve in the Smoky Reserve. Kenyon claimed it as a nation-state. According to Reddington, Kenyon has dozens of shipping crates stored on the location, which contain all manner of contraband. It's a storage facility for the criminal underworld.

Kenyon claims to be a latter-day entity who, with his followers, will ascend into heaven for 6 days and then will return to rain fire down on America. Reddington says Kenyon has fallen off the radar, and his clients haven't had been able to contact him since last Saturday. This makes his very dangerous clients very nervous.

Reddington attempts to hire Glen to find Alan Fitch’s safe in St. Petersburg on the second floor of someplace he doesn't know. Reddington gets upset and accuses Glen of getting him upset on purpose.

Cooper reports to Reven Wright that Kenyon has been missing for 3 days, so they only have 72 hours left. Wright points out that they've been blocked by legal motions demanding no contact. Wright is nervous because of the Waco and Ruby Ridge disasters. The site is a tactical nightmare. What if Reddington is wrong?

Reddington argues with Elizabeth about the political implications and warns her people will die.

In Huntsville, Alabama, 2 state troopers ask for a Tennessee plate check on a smoking van they've pulled over. The plates are reported stolen. When they approach the van, the van explodes.

At the Post Office, Elizabeth reports that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives estimates the explosion contained enough Semtex to vaporize 5 square blocks. The victims were vaporized, including the troopers and the driver. They get footage of the explosion from the car. Aram finds that the Vehicle Identification Numbers on the van match a vehicle registered to Kenyon's church. Cooper gets word that the judge is signing the warrant. Aram Mojtabai reports he got a hit on a second set of plates stolen from the same location as the first. Another van passed through the tollboth into DC. Donald Ressler and Elizabeth are ordered to the compound. Samar Navabi is ordered to find out everything she can about the van.

Cooper gets a call from his doctor, Dr. Levin. It appears he wasn't accepted for the clinical trial.

Reddington refuses to take Glen to St. Petersburg, but Glen tells him he has to to find the safe. There's no guarantee, but he has 2 weeks of vacation he has to take.

Outside the compound, Sheriff Starkweather updates Elizabeth and Ressler on Kenyon and claims he's been a friendly member of the community. She guarantees there'll be armed resistance when they come onsite. The assault team enters the grounds.

In Maryland, Samar is with police who've cordoned off an area around a second van. Samar spies a dirty little boy, Finian, in the van through binoculars and sees a small child. Samar approaches the van to speak with the little boy. He has a detonator. He understands what the detonator does. She tells him that it won't do any good because everyone is too far away, only the 2 of them will die. She convinces him not to trigger the detonator and walks the child back to the police line.

Ressler and Elizabeth and the SWAT team approach the compound. When they enter, they find the building full of dead, bloody bodies.

Elizabeth calls Reddington in St. Petersburg and reports they found 53 of Kenyon's followers dead, no sign of Kenyon. Only adults were found dead, all the children were missing. Reddington finds this puzzling since Kenyon's philosophy was about raining fire on the infidels, not themselves. All the containers are accounted for, but they'd been pretty much cleaned out. There was no weapons or ordinance, and according to the inventory, multiple weapons and missiles and exposives are missing. All vehicles but 1 are accounted for. Something's gone sideways. Either Kenyon was attacked by the competition or the religion fractured into warring factions.

Ressler finds a small girl, Amy, hiding in a panel in one of the underground storage rooms.

In St. Petersburg, Reddington is agitated by Glen, who has ripped up the apartment they're in. Glen reiterates all the legwork he's done to track down the safe, and the data he's uncovered on Alan Fitch. They squabble. Glen pulls out the title to the apartment and demands an apology. Reddington realizes they're in the wrong apartment: they're supposed to be in 221, not 212.

In the new apartment, Dembe Zuma finds the safe while Glen and Reddington continue to argue about Glen's alleged dyslexia. Reddington opens the safe and finds a phone number. He orders Dembe to take it to Sorenson.

Cooper and Samar watch the small boy in a room and discuss behavior of indoctrinated cult members. Samar states that the idealogy and training is similar to the suicide bombers she learned of from Mossad. Aram informs them that according to the Medical Examiner, not a shot was fired in the compound massacre. The victims were stabbed, stomped, pummeled, bludgeoned, etc. A field office gets a call from a woman who claims the boy found is her son.

A jurisdiction squabble is taking place between Ressler and the Sheriff at Kenyon's compound over who has claim to Amy. Elizabeth forces an agreement to get Amy off the mountain. Amy's looking for watchers. She claims they're a secret.

Samar interviews Finian's mother, who thought he was dead. She explains to Samar that Kenyon decreed each man was to take to himself 3 wives. While this was fine at the beginning, as time grew on, there were too many boys. More than half the children were male, so he began “the walkabout”. On the first moon in January lots would be drawn among the boys. They'd have a great feast, and the chosen one would be a guest of honor, treated as a man. This happened at around the age of 8 or 10, just before puberty. Afterwards, the boy would be taken into the woods and left there, ostensibly for spiritual reasons but in reality to die.

The car transporting Amy is shot at. The wheel blows out and they crash into the woods. Ressler's trapped, the radio's wrecked, nobody has phone reception.

Thomas Connolly is waiting for Cooper in his office. Connolly is going to be the next Attorney General. He wants Cooper to reconsider taking the Director's chair. Cooper says he can't because he's dealing with health issues.

Elizabeth investigates the woods and finds a child's doll dangling from the trees. Amy talks with Ressler while the Sheriff goes to investigate a sound. Amy claims it's the watchers approaching. The car is attacked by multiple people and Amy and Ressler are pulled out of the car.

Finian is chanting, “The only cure for corruption is disruption.” His mother and Samar enter the cell. Finian doesn't remember his mother at first, but then he recognizes her.

Samar tells Cooper that the attack was coordinated by a bunch of kids, the abandoned ones in the woods who were raised up in a tribe by their elders, and trained in hand to hand combat, tracking, etc. They were left to die there, starting with Kenyon's own son, David. The weak died, but the strong survived, with their own god, Justin Kenyon. David was their leader. A few weeks ago, he announced Kenyon was an apostate and that it was up to them to fulfill the prophecies. Only David and the drivers know where the bombs are.

Amar tells them Elizabeth and Ressler have gone missing.

Samar calls Reddington to tell them Elizabeth is missing. He asks Samar to send a list of the missing weapons inventory from the compound.

Elizabeth returns to the truck and finds it empty. A hand grabs her foot. It's the Sheriff, bloody. She immediately goes unconscious.

Ressler is being dragged through the woods behind an All Terrain Vehicle.

In a florist shop, a man in a suit is being beaten up by 2 others while an old Asian woman watches. Reddington greets her as Ruth, and asks her for a favor. He asks her to provide him with the activation codes for the Hellfire missiles she has stored on Kenyon's compound.

Night has fallen. In a van with a tactical team, Navabi gets a call. Reddington tells Samar that he's activated the cameras on the nose cones of the Hellfire missiles. He says they're in a large, hand-built structure. Fortunately, the guidance systems on the Hellfires send GPS coordinates every 30 seconds.

Elizabeth is surrounded by boys and held at gunpoint. They disarm her.

Elizabeth is unhooded and finds herself in some sort of building, surrounded by boys. Nearby, David is haranging a tied-up Kenyon. She asks to talk to Kenyon and is told that only David talks to him. The boys summon David. She asks him where the others are. He tells her that Amy is going to become his wife, that all of the boys are going to get married. She asks where Ressler is. The boys bring him in.

The SWAT team moves in. Elizabeth frees herself and grabs a gun, holding the boys off at gunpoint until the SWAT team arrives with Samar. They chase David upstairs and find him missing. Kenyon is dead, with sticks shoved through his eyes and mouth. A SWAT teams reports that they've found the third van.

Elizabeth orders the SWAT team to get all the kids off the mountain immediately. David's in the third van with the explosives, while nearby in a tree, another boy aims a gun at them. Elizabeth approaches him and tells him that his father wanted him dead. She tells David none of them would have made it without for him. Kenyon never wanted them, but David's better than his father. David agrees. The gunman in the woods calls David a coward and kills him. Federal agents kill him in turn.

Elizabeth enters her office to find Reddington there. She tells him Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives searched the containers, so whatever Reddington kept in them is long gone. She finds an envelope on her keyboard, which Reddington tells her contains a key. He bought her an apartment at the Audrey, top floor, great view. He tells her it's time to leave the motels behind. She refuses the key and claims she's happy where she is. She says she wishes he'd stop trying to make things better between them. She says it's only ever going to be business between them, and leaves.

Dembe and Reddington arrive at the compound, which has been sealed as a crime scene. Reddington knocks over the altar and opens a basement storage area beneath it. He finds an old car underneath with flags bearing the seal of the President of the United States.

Connolly brings Cooper a bottle of single malt scotch, and Connolly tells him he got Cooper into the clinical trial. They toast to friendship.

Reddington opens the trunk of the car and pulls out a suitcase.

Dembe tells Reddington that the number from the safe goes to a blind exchange. They can't identify who he'll be speaking to. Reddington pulls out a new phone and calls the number. A man answers. Red says he's calling on behalf of Alan Fitch and asks, who the hell is this?

Press Release[]

THE TASK FORCE INVESTIGATES THE DISAPPEARANCE OF A POLYGAMOUS CULT LEADER “JUSTIN KENYON”. - When Red tips Liz off on the disappearance of Justin Kenyon, a polygamous cult leader with dangerous shipping containers buried on his property, the task force sets out to investigate. Meanwhile Red utilizes his sources to appease Fitch’s last words and travels to track down his hidden safe.

Number on The Blacklist[]

  • 71

Unanswered Questions[]

  1. Was this episode a reference to the Silver Bear Cafe?
  2. References to codeine.
    1. The Deer Hunter” -- “Angel of Small Death and the Codeine Scene” is the song used at the end.
    2. “The Kenyon Family” -- Ressler finds the drug in a storage container.
  3. Elizabeth Keen
    1. Keen’s attempt to distance herself from Red did not seem sincere. Is she attempting to delude herself out of desperation? The anger over the Fulcrum was not present.
    2. Why did Keen refuse to have backup sent in at David’s compound?
  4. Raymond Reddington
    1. How did Red know of the trap door?
      1. A: Red has many sources, so it's likely he did business with them in the past or knew of it through his connections.
    2. Why was Red’s container under the building and not in the surrounding area?
    3. Why was the car a 1968 Lincoln Continental presidential limousine?
      1. A: Because the suitcase was meant to be transported in the safest way possible.
    4. Did Red give the FBI the evidence against Kenyon because he needed the briefcase or wanted to stop Kenyon's crusade
    5. What was in the briefcase?
      1. A: The fulcrum interface.
    6. Who was contacted using the phone number? For Alan Fitch to hide the number implies that it is/was his option of last resort.
      1. A: It was revealed in a latter episode that it was Leonard Caul.
    7. Red’s demand to know who was speaking implies that he desperately needs options and support when confronting the rest of the Cabal.
  5. Justin Kenyon
    1. Why was the first van explosion in an area that killed only 3 people?
      1. A: The van was pulled over before it reached the target.
    2. Why was the FBI unable to obtain enough evidence to search the compound? Considering the amount of contraband stored there, they should have been able to prove reasonable suspicion based on the amount of deliveries and photograph the criminals making the deliveries.
      1. A: The Kenyons were very vocal about the abuse of power from the FBI and also were very well protected by powerful lawyers. Because of this, the FBI couldn't get close without making the Kenyon Family look like heroes and damaging their reputation publicly, despite the truth.
    3. How many of Kenyon’s clients will be arrested? The FBI recovered the manifest, inventory list, and found all the containers. The contraband was located at the main compound or David’s compound.
      1. A: The inventory/manifest may not have included any names.
      2. A: The type of contraband recovered may lead to the owner because of other evidence such as a bar code or serial number. The clients may panic about the loss of the contraband and reveal themselves.
  6. Harold Cooper
    1. The disagreement between him and Reven Wright may lead to Cooper doing something that forces Reven to take official action.
    2. What is wrong with Cooper’s health? He admitted it was serious to Thomas Connolly. The clinical trial sounded like his last resort.
    3. What did Connolly do to add Cooper to the list?
  7. Samar Navabi
    1. Did Samar realize that Finn was a suicide bomber from her experience in Israel? She spoke of her experience with terrorists and fanatics.
    2. Why did she attempt to talk Finn into surrendering? Has she had success in Israel?
    3. Samar’s behavior is similar to Keen’s in “The Alchemist”. She ignored the orders of the local police commander.
  8. Glen Carter
    1. Why did Glen get the wrong apartment? The dyslexia story sounded like fiction.
      1. A: It was. Glen simply made a mistake and tried to cover it up with another of his dramatic lies. Red called him out on it when he pointed out there were no pills for dyslexia.
    2. Why does Glen torment Red? Is he that confident that he cannot be replaced?
      1. A: Glen is a pathological liar and enjoys tormenting Red.
  9. Ruth Peasley
    1. Why did Ruth give Red the activation codes? Was the debt worth more than the missiles?
      1. A: Red is a charming and charismatic criminal and was clearly a friend of Ruth's. It's more likely he turned on the charm to just ask for it in return for some favor we'll never know about.
    2. How did Ruth obtain AGM-114 Hellfire missiles?
    3. Will the missiles be traced to her?
    4. Why the preference for Hellfire missiles? Red used them in “Lord Baltimore”.
    5. Why the preference for dragging people behind vehicles? Both Ruth’s prisoner and Ressler were subjected to the same treatment.
      1. A: In rural areas, roads are laden with rocks, tree roots, sticks, and other debris you don't normally find every few inches on city roads. Being dragged at high speeds on such roads can tear your body apart and is a brutal form of torture.
  10. Donald Ressler
    1. Ressler must be desperate to agree with Red.
    2. How did Ressler survive getting dragged through the forest?
  11. Why did David Kenyon listen to Keen? He killed Justin, the adults, and sent others on suicide missions.
    1. A: His entire operation just went crashing down, and he just murdered his father. It could be because of emotional trauma.
  12. Why did County Sheriff Meryl Starkweather alternate in her opinion of Kenyon? She stated that he had helped the local community, but would kill intruders regardless of the reason.
    1. A: It's likely that she knew the truth about the Kenyon family too and because she was only local police did not want to upset the peace in the community over a powerful family like the Kenyons.

Slanders on the FBI[]

  1. Why did the FBI not search the buildings for containers and so find the trap door?


Main star[]

Guest star[]


  • Matthew James Ballinger as Leo
  • Sea McHale as Caleb
  • Brooke Swane as Amy
  • Gaten Matarazzo as Finn
  • John Mazurek as Officer in Charge
  • Christopher Stadulis as HRT Team Leader
  • Christopher Domig as Co-Pilot
  • James Freedson-Jackson as Little Boy
  • Quinn McColgan as Child Brigade
  • Dylan Riley-MacArthur as Young Man #1
  • Tyler Graham as Young Man #2
  • Quincy Chad as Trooper #1
  • Bernard Bygott as Trooper #2
  • Stefanie Vinopal as Sneezing Woman
  • Aidan Fiske as Young David Kenyon


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  ·