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The Scimitar” is the seventh episode of Season 2 of The Blacklist and the twenty ninth episode overall. It aired on November 3, 2014 on NBC.


Samar Navabi is in Dubai at a high-end bar, where a businessman picks her up. They go to his hotel room on one of the top floors. Shortly after, his body crashes onto a parked car.

Elizabeth Keen questions Tom in the basement where she has him chained up. She threatens to take away his heat if he doesn’t give her the name of the arms dealer associated with Milos Kirchoff. He gives up Sevan Volkov, who can arrange a meeting with Berlin.

Elizabeth and Samar go to meet Raymond Reddington in a record store. Samar questions why she was asked along. Red talks about Kian Nouri’s death, the businessman from the first scene, and prompts Samar, who fills in details about his identity and claims that it was a suicide. Reddington informs them he was an Iranian nuclear scientist, there to supervise a purchase, and he was assassinated in a joint CIA/Mossad operation to undermine Iran’s nuclear program. Samar won’t respond, but Reddington claims Iran is going to retaliate by killing the American top nuclear scientist, and has contracted The Scimitar to do it.

The Scimitar is “1 part hit man, 2 parts con man”. Samar is familiar with his work. Red has intel he’s already in the US.

Harold Cooper meets with Vice Admiral Evan Mullen, who doesn’t believe the threat exists. The threat is to Cloud Top, a classified project on warhead design. The top 3 scientists are on it. They’re protected by false identities in a kind of witness protection for high-value assets. He agrees to put 2 of them under protective custody, but the third will be a problem.

Amalia Collins, the third scientist, is a professor of astrophysics at Duke, and is scheduled to give a talk that night at the Granville Hotel. Pulling her at the last minute would only draw attention to her. Cooper orders the team to find The Scimitar. Elizabeth pulls aside Donald Ressler to talk about his drug use. He claims the last time he used was in Sitka, a week ago. She wants him to get help, but he insists he can deal with it on his own. She gets an emergency text summoning her to the Pier.

In an anonymous room, a man with a tattoo on his hand works with a compatriot to get a security cam picture of a Defence Security Service agent, Jonathan Reese.

Elizabeth meets “The Samoan” on a boat, where he reports that random checks are taking place in search of zebra mussels. He managed to keep the authorities from looking inside the boat, but it’s only a matter of time before they insist on a search. Liz delivers warmer clothes to Tom, and tells him she has a meeting with Volkov that evening. She reminds him that after he helps deliver Berlin to him, it’ll all be over.

Liz meets with Volkov and wants Berlin. He refuses. She tells him she’s nominated him for the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted List. Instead of arresting him, she’s going to leave him out there so Berlin knows the US government is spending all its resources in looking for him. Unless Volkov sells out Berlin.

Reddington wants to know how Liz came by the info. She lies, claiming it’s an FBI source, but he doesn’t believe her. If it was an FBI source, the FBI would be moving on it. Instead, she came to him, because she’d rather see Milos Kirchoff dead than arrested. He suspects Tom as the source, but she says she killed him. He promises to be there when Volkov sets up a time and place with Milos Kirchoff.

At the Post Office, Ressler tells Liz that the Department of Defense found an Iranian security camera at a field office during a routine sweep. Aram reactivates it to triangulate where it was feeding to. He pinpoints a construction site outside New Carrollton.

An FBI tactical team finds nobody at the construction site. Liz and Ressler find surveillance and notes on Jonathan Reese’s activity and background there. They use the notes to stop a kidnap at the Defense Security Service shuttle stop.

They arrive just as Reese is being dropped off by the shuttle at the Park-N-Ride. A shooter opens fire. Ressler and Liz escape with Reese, but are pursued by motorcyclists, who get a grenade into the car. The car crashes.

Aram can’t locate Liz or Ressler. Cooper sends a team to their last known location.

Liz comes to in a hospital room. Ressler and another patient are unconscious in nearby beds. The attending, Dr. Rivera, tells her her arm was fractured in 3 places, and that Ressler had a significant head trauma. No other patient was brought in from the crash scene. She demands a phone.

Aram reports multiple 911 calls from an overturned SUV near where Reese was picked up. A man and a woman were reportedly taken to Bethesda. Aram calls Bethesda. Samar goes to the hospital while Cooper notifies the DOD.

Dr. Rivera brings a phone to Liz. She calls Cooper and reports that Reese is hurt and the Iranians have John Reese. She reports hearing men’s voices speaking Farsi, and that someone needs to find Professor Collins, cancel the speech, and put her under protective custody. The Department of Defense has already been notified and Cooper is on his way to Collins now to make sure she’s on lockdown. As she hangs up, Liz notices dark smudges on the phone and her fingers.

Vice Admiral Evan Mullen arrives at the Post Office, and reports that there’s no such employee as Jonathan Reese at the Defense Security Service. Aram tells Cooper there’s no record of Liz or Ressler being admitted to Bethesda.

Liz talks to a nurse who’s checking them over and asks about the promised Radiology exam for Ressler. The nurse makes a note in his chart and promises to go check on that. While she’s gone, Liz checks Ressler’s chart and sees that it’s blank paper except for the cover page. When the nurse returns, she steals her scissors from her pocket and cuts off her cast when the nurse leaves again.

Red hangs out with Zoe D'Antonio outside her food cart and feeds her anchovies and wine. They talk about Reddington’s daughter. Zoe tells Red her own father did evil things she hated him for, and hasn’t seen him for a long time. Zoe realizes she’s been drugged, and is taken away by Dembe Zuma.

Cooper realizes they’d been played to trigger a reaction that would reveal Collins’ identity.

Dr. Rivera, who is the Scimitar, and his men, including Reese, review a recording of Liz’s conversation with Cooper. They’ve found Professor Collins. He wipes concealer off the tattoo on his hand and tells them he’s done with Liz and Ressler.

Liz finishes removing her cast and discovers there are nails driven through her arm to make her think she had a fractured arm. She removes them. The nurse comes in and tries to sedate her. Liz knocks her out with the sedative and wakes Ressler by stopping his IV.

Samar confirms Liz and Ressler aren’t at Bethesda. Aram is trying to trace the call but it’ll take hours, and tries to update Samar but she hangs up on him to call Dembe instead.

Liz and Ressler scramble to get dressed. A security guard enters and before he can shoot Ressler, Liz knocks him out.

Samar is with Reddington. It’s been 2 hours since Liz and Ressler disappeared. They have a lead through a Mossad target, Ali Hassan, who’s believed to be key to unraveling multiple Iranian intelligence operations. Reddington warns her that she’ll be sanctioned for this indiscretion by Mossad, but she accepts that. He tells her that this case may be more personal than she realizes, since one of The Scimitar’s aliases is Walid Abu Sitta, which is the name of the person who ordered the bombing that killed her brother. This is why he brought the case to her.

Ressler and Liz escape the hospital hall to find themselves in an empty warehouse, where the hospital was simply a set.

Ali Hassan is getting a massage at a mansion when he’s disturbed by noise. He goes outside to find Reddington knocking golf balls. Samar disarms him. Ali admits that The Scimitar made contact and asked to use one of his warehouses.

Ressler and Liz attempt to escape the warehouse, but run into guards. Samar arrives with a SWAT team just in time to shoot the guards and save their life.

Cooper arrives at the talk, where agents meet him. The talk has been canceled, lockdown protocol is in place, and Collins is in a room with 2 agents on the door.

Someone knocks on Collins’s door, claiming to be FBI. She opens the door and The Scimitar enters with his men, dragging the unconscious security detail behind them. Cooper and his escorts arrive to the room to find her gone. Cooper orders no one be allowed to leave until she’s found.

Samar, Ressler, and Liz arrive at the hotel and start herding everyone inside. Liz calls after a man pushing a luggage cart, and notices a tattoo on the back of his hand. She remembers the smudges on her fingers and realizes it was concealer, used to hide the tattoo. She holds him up and recognizes Dr. Rivera right before a car pulls up and the men inside open fire. The Scimitar makes his escape but leaves the luggage behind, which turns out to be Professor Collins.

Scimitar arrives at Ali Hassan’s house to find Reddington there.

Samar arrives at Ali Hassan’s house to find a captured Scimitar and Reddington there. He gives her the Scimitar to do with as she chooses. Dembe informs Reddington that Liz called with a lead on Berlin’s location. Reddington leaves. Samar removes Scimitar’s gag and speaks to him about her brother. Scimitar claims to have spoken to him on the day of the bombing he supposedly died in, and implies he was a bigger player in the bombing than just a victim. He refuses to give her more information and taunts her to call the CIA or Mossad and be done with it.

Liz and Samar go to where the Harbor Patrol has fished a body out of the Anacostia. It’s The Scimitar, shot in the head execution-style. Ressler dumps his drugs out into a sink. Liz visits Tom and tells him Volkov gave them intel on Berlin. Tom challenges her on what she’s going to do with him when he’s no longer useful: kill him or let him go? He says he’s known all along she wouldn’t let him live, and asks if she kills him to look him in the eyes when she’s doing it.

Reddington and Dembe arrive at a meet where Berlin was expecting Volkov. Reddington tells Berlin that Volkov sold him out, and Liz let him know where Berlin was, apparently with the hope of having Berlin killed. However, Red has other plans and says he didn’t kill Berlin’s daughter. Berlin refuses to believe him and believes Zoe is Red’s daughter. He threatens to kill her the way Red did his. Dembe opens the door to let the last person in Red’s car out. It’s Zoe, and she’s not Red’s daughter, she’s Berlin’s.

Press Release[]

A CUNNING HITMAN KNOWN AS “THE SCIMITAR” TARGETS A VALUABLE SCIENTIST – When an Iranian nuclear scientist is suspiciously assassinated, a revenge ploy begins against a valued American. Red informs agents Keen and Navabi that a dangerously conniving hitman “The Scimitar” has been sent to the job. Liz and Ressler find themselves in a tricky predicament as they investigate a surveillance lead. Agent Keen attempts to gather information on Berlin, while Red finds company with a woman working at a food truck.

Number on The Blacklist[]

  • 22

Unanswered Questions[]

  1. Elizabeth Keen
    1. Why did Keen use a position of moral superiority with Samar's killings? Her actions have been illegal and immoral. She expected and wanted Raymond Reddington to kill Milos Kirchoff.
    2. Was Keen's threat to have Sevan Volkov placed on the FBI Most Wanted List a bluff? How much influence does she have?
      1. A: She could submit him as a candidate, but she could not put him on the list herself. The Criminal Investigative Division (CID) at FBI Headquarters calls upon all 56 Field Offices to submit candidates for the FBI’s “Most Wanted Fugitives” list. The nominees received are reviewed by Special Agents in the CID and the Office of Public Affairs. The selection of the “proposed” candidate(s) is then forwarded to FBI Executive Management for final approval.
    3. Why does Keen want Milos Kirchoff dead? What is the downside of an arrest?
      1. A: There is a lack of admissible evidence for his illegal activities in the USA.
    4. Why is Keen keeping Tom Keen's capture a secret?
      1. A: She would have to recuse herself from his case due to their relationship.
    5. Why would killing Tom be different from the other people Keen has killed? How will they be “linked forever”?
      1. A: Because it would be an execution, not an act in defense of herself or others.
      2. Q: She wanted Red to execute Milos Kirchoff. That qualifies as an execution.
      3. A: She wanted Red to meet Milos Kirchoff under Red's terms and hoped that Red would kill him, but as shown in their meeting Red had other plans.
      4. Q: That qualifies as an execution.
    6. Why were there nails in Keen's arm under the cast?
      1. A: A recently broken arm is painful even while in a plaster cast. Also the nails would have restricted the movement of her wrist to give credence to the story that her arm was broken.
    7. How did Cooper know that Ressler suffered a head injury (“the neurology team at Bethesda is one if the best”), when all Elizabeth told him was that Ressler was hurt?
  2. Samar Navabi
    1. Samar's help with Ali Hassan runs the risk of destroying her Mossad career. She is starting to resemble Keen's actions with her FBI career.
    2. What will Mossad do to Samar when they learn of her actions? Will the execution of the Scimitar counterbalance the anger?
      1. A: Preventing the kidnap for interrogation of Amalia Collins will also aid her case against any repercussions.
    3. Why has Samar become so attached to the task force?
  3. Scimitar
    1. Killing the Scimitar was not murder, the Israeli government will certainly approve of the death as an official assassination. Why did the Scimitar use the argument?
    2. Why did the Scimitar state the Amalia Collins' knowledge would create a weapon that would devastate the United States? Amalia Collins would not have complete knowledge of Cloud Top and the United States could develop a counter weapon and/or order a first strike.
      1. A: Missile guidance technology in Iran is not as advanced as in the US, and this is a limiting factor for any attack on the US from foreign soil.
      2. Q: The Scimitar would not make an empty threat.
      3. A: Amalia Collins was working on the guidance system.
    3. Who was the Scimitar talking to on the phone about the escape route? He went to Ali Hassan's house for help.
      1. A: Either another black market facilitator or the Iranian embassy.
    4. Why did the Scimitar have a tattoo? Assassins and spies are supposed to be forgettable.
    5. What was the significance of the tattoo on his hand? It appeared to be temporary ink.
      1. A: The tattoo was not temporary, he was covering it with makeup to hide it from view when posing as the doctor. This is the substance that is on the phone he hands Keen. The tattoo is of 2 crossed scimitars, which would raise warning flags for a FBI agent hunting someone named the Scimitar.
  4. Scimitar's men
    1. Why did the Scimitar's men risk a car accident that could have killed Keen and Ressler?
      1. A: SUV's are tough and a roll cage could have been fitted to the vehicle as a standard upgrade.
    2. How many of the Scimitar's men, such as Jonathan Reese, were arrested?
  5. Iran
    1. Why did Iran decide to kidnap Amalia Collins? That increases the risk of direct American retaliation. A more pragmatic option would have been to retaliate against Israel. That would be more politically acceptable.
    2. Iran can determine the identity of Amalia Collins since the abduction failed in public and the media will report the shooting incident.
      1. A: The Scimitar (or one of his men) would have reported her identity to the Iranian authorities.
    3. What will the Iranian government do in the aftermath of the Scimitar's failure? Will they make another attempt?
    4. How did Iran learn of Cloud Top?
  6. What will happen to Ali Hassan?
  7. Will Donald Ressler continue his denial about his addiction?
    1. A: No, Ressler finally admitted to Liz about his addiction to painkiller medication and later poured the medications down the sink drain.

Slanders on the FBI, CIA, and Mossad[]

  1. Why did the CIA and Mossad assassinate Kian Nouri? There was a high risk for retaliation. Iran did not believe the suicide story. Was Kian Nouri that great a threat?
  2. Why did the CIA and Mossad not kidnap Kian Nouri? The Scimitar was ordered to kidnap Amalia Collins for Cloud Top.
    1. A: Iranian nuclear research is not as advanced as US nuclear research, so the Israeli's had no need of his knowledge.
    2. Q: He could have given Mossad information on how advanced the Iranian nuclear program was.
    3. A: They already knew the current position, hence the assassination.
  3. Keen should have ordered the Scimitar/bellboy to stop because he was walking away from a FBI lockdown. She did not need to make the tattoo ink connection.
  4. Why did Keen use Amalia Collins' name and state her upcoming speech? Even panicked, she should have observed security regulations while on the phone.
    1. A: Liz thought that she was in Bethesda National, which is located on a US Navy base, and using a secure line in the presence of security cleared people.
    2. Q: She should have known better. No public line can be secure.
  5. Why was it dangerous for Vice Admiral Evan Mullen to place Amalia Collins in protective custody when the threat was known? Duke University could have created several realistic excuses for a professor.
    1. A: They hoped that her identity would remain secret, cancelling the event could have tipped the Iranians off that she was one of the scientists.
  6. How did the Scimitar place the camera at the Defense Security Service Annapolis field office? How did Jonathan Reese appear at the Defense Security Service Annapolis field office if he was a non-employee? The camera was placed there to prove his credentials for the fake file.
    1. A: There are many ways to place a camera that you want to be found, just as there are inumerable reasons for a citizen to visit a government office.
  7. All Federal vehicles are fitted with LoJack or a similar vehicle tracking system, why did it take an hour to realise that Elizabeth Keen and Donald Ressler were in trouble, they had called in to report where they were going and what they were intending to do?


Main star[]

Guest star[]


  • Ryan Shams as Kian Nouri
  • Dante Nero as Samuel Aleko
  • Jason Alan Carvell as Owen Doherty
  • Anne Carney as Nurse
  • David Adams as Team Leader
  • Michael Elian as Guard/Iranian
  • Samuel Smith as FBI Agent


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  ·