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The Pavlovich Brothers” is the nineteenth episode of Season 1 of The Blacklist and the nineteenth episode overall. It first aired on April 21, 2014 on NBC.


The episode opens with an aerial shot of Changzhou Labor Camp in Jiangsu, China. Inside the camp, women are receiving shots from nurses working for the World Health Organization (WHO) while being closely watched by Chinese soldiers. Some of the “nurses” are clearly up to something, and the shot to one of the prisoners results in her falling over. The nurses insist that she be taken to a hospital because her heart has stopped, and the soldiers reluctantly let her leave by ambulance. The Chinese commander reviews the video recordings and realizes that the prisoner was deliberately injured. He orders a lockdown, but the prisoner has been transferred and revived in another vehicle and told “You will be in America by morning. We are taking you to Washington D.C.”

The 4 Serbian Pavlovich brothers are in Kraljevo, Serbia; oiling their weapons, when they receive a call for a job. “We are going back to DC.” An offer from Hezbollah will have to be delayed.

While getting ready for work, Tom Keen is pumping Elizabeth Keen for information about the Jolene Parker investigation. She tells him that the police believe that Jolene was murdered. Whilst talking, she is replacing the battery in his keychain with a tracking device. He leaves for school with it.

Liz says to Raymond Reddington, “He [Tom] knows something is up. I can feel it; I know him”. When she tells him that she thinks Tom killed Jolene, Red says that he already knew and did not tell her for fear that the knowledge would change her behavior towards Tom. They speculate on why Tom would kill Jolene, but it is clear that about the only thing they know for sure is that Tom and Jolene worked for the same organization. Then Red says, “But Tom is not the reason I'm here, the Pavlovich Brothers are back in town.”

At the Post Office we learn that the Pavlovich brothers are the same people that previously grabbed the general's daughter Beth Ryker in “Pilot”, a “snatch and grab” extraction team with no political agenda, whom Reddington says now have a contract in the US to come after Xiaoping Li, the Chinese prisoner whom the CIA, posing as WHO nurses, had extracted from a labor camp 18 hours ago because she was an immunologist specializing in diseases who 4 months ago signalled the CIA with a willingness to disclose secrets about a secret Chinese weapons program and then was imprisoned 1 month ago. When the FBI figures out the the Pavlovich brothers are going to attempt an interception, they try to change the travel route, but the brothers get the scientist anyway by attacking and hijacking the CIA helicopter.

Back at the Post OfficeDonald Ressler says that the helicopter was found burning. He asks Meera Malik why the Director of National Intelligence called him. Meera says that the Chinese prisoner was working on Whitefog, a germ warfare program, and had access to the designs, which if obtained by the CIA would represent “the biggest intelligence coup in a decade.”

Red calls Liz, knowing already that the brothers have gotten the scientist and telling her that Tom called in sick for work today. Liz leaves, telling her co-workers that she is going to meet Red for a lead in the Chinese case, but clearly more interested in information about Tom. She later meets Red and observes Tom entering the National Archives from inside a car. When she says that they should follow him, Reddington subtly points out many of his own people who are shadowing Tom Keen, telling Liz that they “work for her now”.

However, Elizabeth, still rattled emotionally by Tom's betrayal, rushes from the car to follow Tom herself, much to the annnoyance of Red. She sees Tom standing next to a man holding a green package meant for Tom. However, because Tom spots a security camera nearby, he tells the man not to pass him the package. He looks over his shoulder just in time to glimpse Liz, but she has already withdrawn back into hiding.

Later, when Liz reaches home, Tom tells her that he has cooked for the both of them. When he mentions having seen Liz at the National Archives, she refutes him by saying that she was at the office all day. Tom however, now knows that Liz has figured out who he truly is, and under the pretense of walking their dog, Tom escapes for good.

Later, Tom is seen walking down a street. He calls his bank contact and asks for an evac route. He tells his handler that “she knows”.

Back home, an upset Elizabeth Keen is talking to Red about her husband leaving. To which Raymond Reddington responds that her husband never existed in the first place. Liz reveals how truly upset she is about Tom's betrayal, having been married to him for 2 years. Red explains to Lizzie that to Tom, it was just business, and that in order to get to the bottom of her situation, she needs to be more patient and less emotional. Liz angrily refuses to be patient and says that she is going to hunt Tom down with or without Reddington's help. 

Press Release[]

THE PAVLOVICH BROTHERS ARE BACK IN TOWN – The Pavlovich brothers specialize in abductions of high value targets and according to Red, they are planning their next hit. While the team tries to protect the next target, Red has a job of his own for the Pavlovich Brothers. Elsewhere, Liz patiently tries to uncover the truth about Tom.

Number on The Blacklist[]

  • 119, 120, 121, 122

Unanswered Questions[]

  1. Elizabeth Keen is starting to mirror Raymond Reddington in her behavior. Even if she eventually breaks contact with him, as offered in “Frederick Barnes”, her personality has been changed. What will be the aftermath for her career?
    1. A: It's likely that she will end up being suspended for acting on her own interest in Tom, rather than have report him to the FBI.
  2. Who can Liz trust?
    1. Harold Cooper showed in “The Judge” his concern for his career. Liz might fear asking for help since Cooper showed the importance of the careerist political game.
    2. Tom Keen could have been lying about everything he said. Christopher Maly's decision to commit suicide in “Milton Bobbit” and the death of Lucy Brooks are not the actions of the “good guys”. Tom said that Red was being deceptive, not a major relevation to Liz.
    3. Liz somewhat believed Donald Ressler's accusation that Red wanted Xiaoping Li for himself. She knows that Red is using the task force for his own ends and being manipulative about The Blacklist.
  3. Liz's FBI career seems headed for ruin. Cooper demanded to know where she was during the hunt for the Pavlovich brothers. Donald Ressler's intentionally vague reason will not help her or Red.
  4. Why did Keen not tell Tom about her dislike of pancakes during their marriage? Why did Tom make them? He would have done a background study on Keen for the assignment.
  5. What would Red have done about Tom if the Pavlovich brothers had not been available?
    1. A: Used his own people.
    2. Q: Then why hire the brothers in the first place? Was it because they were professionals and/or they were expendable?
    3. A: Dembe Zuma's suggestion to use Red's standard team was not an option since they were in South America.
    4. A: Red knew Tom was dangerous and Milos Kirchoff had sent security guards at the safe house. He needed the help of the brothers to take out the security and capture Tom.
    5. A: They were not known employees of Red, and so any survivors could not report Red's involvement in the abduction. In addition if Milos Kirchoff could access any surveillance footage Red's involvement would be concealed.
    6. Q: They could have revealed Red's involvement if the FBI had taken them alive.
    7. A: All the more reason for Red to ensure that they were involved in a fatal shootout with the FBI SWAT team.
    8. Q: Red allowed the FBI to arrest the Alban Veseli. Who then revealed Red's contract on Floriana Campo.
    9. A: Red wanted Liz to know about Floriana Campo's double life, and to hear her confession.
    10. Q: That was seen in the hotel room. If the Alban Veseli had died then Liz would have heard the confession at the hotel. Later, the FBI finds information from another source.
    11. A: Liz only returned to the hotel because she had learnt that Red had hired the Freelancer.
  6. Why did the brothers fight to the death at McKendrick Pier instead of surrendering? They could have turned state's evidence.
    1. A: State's evidence against who, the Ministry for State Security?
    2. A: Red could have convinced them that the FBI were going to kill them because of the 6 agents killed when they kidnapped Beth Ryker.
    3. Q: Evidence against their previous non-government employers. Also, their evidence would have increased the intelligence coup against the Chinese government. In addition to developing the illegal Whitefog program, Beijing also ordered a kidnapping on American territory. Consider the aftermath of the abductions conducted by North Korea.
    4. A: The only non-govermental employer mentioned was Hezbollah, a known terrorist organization.
    5. Q: Since they worked for Red, they certainly have worked for other criminals. They worked for Ranko Zamani.
  7. Why was the World Health Organization allowed to visit the Changzhou Labor Camp in Jiangsu, China? Meera Malik said that Xiaoping Li was in a secret location.
    1. A: The Chinese government are aware of the risks of an epidemic, so would take precautions.
  8. Why did the Chinese goverment want Xiaoping Li alive?
    1. A: To ensure she produced a cure for the Whitefog germ warfare agent.
  9. Why was Xiaoping Li in the Changzhou Labor Camp in Jiangsu, China? She should have been in a Supermax prison.
    1. A: One of the side-effects from a supermax prison can be mental problems. If they needed her to develop a cure, she would need to be able to focus properly.
  10. Why did the Chinese CIA team and the Pavlovich brothers switch between English, Chinese, and Russian? They should have spoken constant Chinese or Russian since there was no need to speak English in China and the room where the brothers got the Chinese contract.
    1. A: By speaking English to Li, they could reassure her that they were rescuers, not abductors.
  11. How is discovering evidence of a biological warfare program an intelligence coup?
    1. A: Biological weapons are classed Weapons of Mass Destruction and the discovery of such a program can allow for propaganda coups.
  12. What will be the diplomatic aftermath of Xiaoping Li revealing the Whitefog program?
    1. A: Probably nothing public, but behind the scenes deals will be done.
  13. Why were Donald Ressler and Liz surprised that Red might kidnap Xiaoping Li for himself? Everyone on the task force has constantly said to Red and themselves that Red is using the FBI for his own objectives.
  14. Why was Red unable to bargain for Xiaoping Li? Did he lack the currency or do the brothers believe in upholding a contract?
    1. A: The brothers probably believed in fulfilling their contract. In criminal circles reputation is everything.
  15. Why was Raymond Reddington surprised that Elizabeth Keen acted so emotionally while conducting surveillance on Tom Keen? He asked why she was leaving the car while at the National Archives.
    1. A: Liz didn't know who to trust afterwards. She was feeling betrayed by both Red and Tom for numerous of reasons.
  16. Did Red interrogate Tom after he was captured by the brothers? Or did he realize that interrogation would be nearly impossible and decided to use Tom to further manipulate Liz and locate Tom's contacts with Milos Kirchoff?
  17. To what degree was Red manipulating Liz? Red seemed to expect that Tom would escape from Liz. Liz also realized that Red had been tracking Tom for the entire episode.
  18. Why was Liz able to access Tom's safety deposit box? Most banks demand that the client prove their identity. Liz did not know of the box, Tom or his bank contact should have been the only people with access. The fact that she was able to access the box casts doubt on the reliability of the so-called evidence she found. Tom obviously wanted Liz to find it to damage Red's credibility.
    1. A: Tom told her the access code of his safety box at the bank. He knows it was only a matter of time before Liz discovered the truth about his double life as a assassin.
  19. How did the brothers organize the raid on Tom's safehouse so quickly?
    1. A: Based on the information Red provided from another contact of his whom was spying on Tom by pretending to be a homeless person, they were able to organize quickly to capture him.
  20. Why did Tom's safehouse have so many guards? How important is he to Milos Kirchoff?
    1. A: Milos Kirchoff is aware that Red is after Tom for his own reasons. He is a very important link to both Red and Milos Kirchoff.
  21. How will Liz explain Tom's disappearance?
  22. Where/who will Tom go to for medical help for his thumb?
  23. When did Keen contact Ressler about Rolph Cisco? After Red told her about Cisco, she hung up and went back to interrogating Tom. We did not see her calling Ressler, however Ressler and Malik contacted Cisco.
    1. The contact occurred off camera, due to the time pressure of the TV format.
  24. What will Rolph Cisco do now that the FBI forced him to reveal a smuggling operation?
    1. A: It depends what he said. As the FBI needed information quickly, they may have given him an immunity deal for that one operation.
  25. Why were there no guards or alarms at the brother's safehouse at the tobacco/maize Halifax Agro-Chem factory?
    1. A: By the time Red and then the FBI arrived they had wound down the operation.
  26. Why was Donald Ressler surprised that Meera Malik cooked and knew soup types?
  27. Why did Xiaoping Li write the equation on the wall? Was she desperate for any type of hope? Why did the brothers not notice and/or ignore the message?
    1. A: They probably ignored it, because it made no sense to them.
  28. How is the music box and the picture in Tom's safety box connected to Liz? Did Tom suspect the truth about Red being her real father?
    1. A: The music box was from Liz's past back in 1990 when she was trying to escape her burning childhood home, possibly something which Milos Kirchoff's syndicate was involved in that lead to her having the scar the same shape as both Gina Zanetakos and Tom's boxes. The tune that was hummed by Sam was a way to calm her down when she had nightmares of the fire. The photograph was recent, taken when Tom headed to Nebraska and met Red at the hospital after Red had killed her adoptive father, Sam. In a way, he did suspect that Red was Liz's father and didn't elaborate much.

Slanders on the FBI and CIA[]

  1. Why did Cooper not use more non-FBI agencies?
    1. Why did Harold Cooper not contact the United States Coast Guard earlier? He should have expected an air or water escape.
      1. A: Initially he probably suspected that she would be delivered to the Chinese Embassy for transfer through the diplomatic bag to Beijing.
    2. Why did the FBI not make the connection with Rolph Cisco and the Pavlovich brothers? Red said Cisco knew about every smuggling operation in the Chesapeake area.
      1. A: If Rolph was not a major smuggler (especially of weapons or people entering the USA) he would not be on the FBI suspect list. He is more likely to be known to the Coast Guard or U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
  2. Why did the FBI not make a silent approach at McKendrick Pier? They did so in “Pilot”. By using their sirens they alerted the brothers, who could have used Xiaoping Li as a hostage.
    1. A: To discourage any assisstance from dockworkers.
    2. Q: How could the dockworkers assist? The ship was not moving and once the FBI appeared in an ambush, they would not have resisted.
    3. A: By using sirens, they ensured that any dockworkers would leave the immediate area, and therefore, be out of harm's way.
  3. How was the CIA site breached by the Pavlovich brothers so easily?
  4. After being warned that the transfer arrangements were compromised, why was a pre-arranged backup plan used, since this was also likely to be compromised.
    1. A: CIA Procedure.


Main star[]

Guest star[]

  • Hisham Tawfiq as Dembe Zuma
  • Amir Arison as Aram Mojtabai
  • Stivi Paskoski as Fingers Pavlovich
  • Goran Ivanovski as Driver Pavlovich
  • Renne Gjoni as Clock Petrovich
  • James Biberi as Gunner Pavlovich
  • Natalie Kim as Xiaoping Li
  • Marc Damon Johnson as Geoffrey P. Seevers


  • Christine Lin as Nurse #1
  • Angel Pai as Nurse #2
  • Yinka Adeboyeku as Outpost Guard
  • Airon Armstrong as Outpost Lead Guard
  • Ruy Iskandar as Prison Guard
  • Clem Cheung as Warden
  • Dion Sapp as Symir, Ogden's driver
  • Jon Kit Lee as Ambulance Driver
  • Phil Nee as Front Gate Guard
  • Tyler Elliot Burke as Preston, Skater
  • Ron Domingo as Agent Morimoto


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  ·