Thomas “Tom” Connolly was formerly the United States Attorney General and United States Assistant Attorney. He is also a member of The Blacklist.
- 1 Background
- 2 Season 1
- 3 Season 2
- 4 Season 3
- 5 Season 4
- 6 Unanswered Questions
- 7 Gallery
- 8 External Links
Thomas “Tom” Connolly was a good friend and colleague of FBI Assistant Director Harold Cooper.
They met prior to 2003 when Cooper was leading an FBI task force in the Middle East, and Connolly was the US Attorney that worked alongside the group. During this time, an American soldier named Alan Ray Rifkin defected to the Taliban, and assisted them in massacring a village in Afghanistan. Rifkin was captured, but refused to confess to his crimes. FBI and military interrogators, on Cooper and Connolly's orders, brutally beat Rifkin until he confessed. With this confession, he was sent back to the United States, where he was sentenced to death for treason and murder.
Connolly went on to become a prominent member of the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., and stayed good friends with Harold Cooper over the years.
Connolly and Cooper, 11 years after getting a confession from him, observe as Alan Ray Rifkin is executed for his crimes in Afghanistan. After the execution is over, both men agree that, while they did the right thing getting him to confess, they didn't do it the right way. Connolly asks Cooper about the special task force at the Post Office he's heard about, saying it's gained the interest of many important people in Washington. He wants to know about the “secret weapon” his friend is using to catch so many high-priority criminals. Cooper dodges the question. Laughing, Connolly tells his friend that when he becomes Attorney General, and he gets Harold confirmed as Director of the FBI, he'll want to know all about it.
The men head back to the FBI cars waiting outside the prison, only to find the agents inside them dead. They are then captured at gunpoint by men working for The Judge, a sadistic woman who punishes corrupt or incompetent law officers and forces them to undergo the same punishment given to the criminals they prosecuted.
Cooper and Connolly are taken the The Judge's makeshift prison, where she berates them for having Alan Ray Rifkin executed. They try to reason with her, reminding her that Rifkin was guilty of massacring a village, and not innocent like the cases other “prisoners” held by the Judge, who wrongfully convicted people to further their careers. She says it doesn't matter, as they coerced a confession, and that she has proof it was a US drone that destroyed that village and not Rifkin.
Connolly watched helplessly as Cooper is dragged away and locked in a makeshift electric chair, to suffer the same fate as Rifkin had. Thankfully, Raymond Reddington arrives and proves that a US drone had not destroyed the village, and that Rifkin was indeed a murderer. The Judge, forced to stick to her “justice” mentality, spares Cooper. Shortly after, the FBI storms the place, freeing the other prisoners and Connolly, who is relieved to see Cooper is safe. He asks how he managed to convince The Judge to let him go, and Cooper tells him it was his “secret weapon”.
During the events revolving around Justin Kenyon and a bomb plot, Connolly visits Cooper at the Post Office, telling him that he is about to be confirmed as the next Attorney General of the United States. He wants Cooper to join him in the administration as Director of the FBI. Cooper, though very thankful, declines. Saying he won't take “no” for an answer, Connolly asks why Cooper won't take the job. Cooper tells his friend about his serious health issues (it is implied to be some sort of cancer) and that the prognosis is quite bad. He also tells him about the trial group he had recently been declined for, and how it was pretty much his only hope. Obviously saddened by this news, Connolly leaves, still insisting that Cooper will take the job.
After Kenyon's followers have been handled, Connolly again visits Cooper. He's brought a bottle of Cooper's favorite single malt scotch , and tells him that he's pulled some strings to get him into the trial. Cooper, shocked, asks if his place in the trial has resulted in someone else getting denied. Connolly, admiring Cooper being “noble to the end,” tells him that no one was denied, and the trial will have an additional spot just for him. Connolly once again asks Cooper to accept the Director's position, and the 2 share a glass of liquor.
“T. Earl King VI”
A wealthy friend of Connolly's is about to be arrested for fraud. Wanting to give the man a chance to move some money into a trust fund for his children, he has his friend notified of the indictment the day before it will happen. Rather than looking after his family, he takes the opportunity to flee the country.
After his friend, Harold Cooper has a seizure and is hospitalized, Connolly hears about Elizabeth Keen's impending indictment for the murder of harbour master Eugene Ames from Reven Wright. Having been briefed about the task force and Reddington due to his upcoming appointment as Attorney General, Connolly is aware of all the good work Cooper and his agents have done bringing the people on the Blacklist to justice. Connolly immediately sets out to save Keen, as well as Cooper, from any criminal charges. He threatens Richard Denner, the judge in charge of the case, with arrest unless Denner ends the inquiry, as the judge had used his position to learn a great deal about the task force and about Raymond Reddington. Since everything he learned was classified and Denner had no authority or clearance to ask the questions he had asked, Connolly told him to drop the case, or he would have Denner arrested for compromising national security, as well as make sure his career would be destroyed in the process. Denner drops the case, but makes it clear to the court that federal abuses of power are a threat to the constitution.
After the hearing, Keen confronts him about making the case disappear. He tells her that the prosecution never really had a chance anyway with their lack of evidence, and he only needed to step in because of Denner's bias against the government, which Denner despised for hiding their actions behind national security. Liz asks him what will happen to her ex-husband, Tom Keen, who had turned himself in to exonerate her from the murder charge. Connolly acts as if he does not know who that is, and that there is no one by that name in Federal custody. He gives her a knowing smile as he leaves the courtroom.
Connolly later visits Cooper in his office at The Post Office, wishing him a speedy recovery. He tells Cooper that he greatly admires his willingness to commit perjury to protect Keen. He also tells him that he knows how important the task force is and all its does for the greater good, and that making the case disappear was the price needed to pay to keep it going. Before leaving, he wished Cooper a speedy recovery, and says that despite his illness, Harold is at the top of his game.
Connolly is revealed to be a new member the Cabal. Peter Kotsiopulos states that betraying Cooper was the price of a “seat at the table”. Connolly is visibly shaken by having to betray his friend, and seems to be wondering if his new position is really worth the cost it demands.
Connolly reveals his involvement with the Cabal to Cooper and that he is part of the Cabal. He then admits that he has been gaining leverage from Cooper and the Cabal now owns him. He threatens to shut down the task force since he is aware of the laws Cooper broke. Later, Connolly is appointed Attorney General.
Connolly is confronted by Liz and Cooper at a banquet room where Connolly will give a keynote address later. They threaten to give evidence proving his corruption to the FBI unless Liz is cleared of her charges, Karakurt is charged for the crimes, Cooper is reinstated, Charlene is released, and Reddington is left alone. Connolly ignores them, pointing out that his affiliation with the Cabal allows him control of the FBI and the Department of Justice, meaning no Federal judge will oppose him. Connolly tells them that the Post Office team will be painted out as a rogue unit and its members prosecuted. Liz will be arrested, Ressler will be fired on account of his Oxycodone addiction, Samar will be extradited to Iran to face murder charges, Charlene Cooper will be charged for leaking information, Aram will face some sort of unspecified treatment, and Reddington will get the death penalty for murder and treason. When Liz points her gun at him, he tells her that killing him will accomplish nothing since he will only be replaced. Despite Cooper's pleas for her not to pull the trigger, Liz shoots and kills Connolly.
Red is able to force Laurel Hitchin to exonerate Liz for the crimes she was framed for. However, Laurel demands that Liz plead guilty to the charge of involuntary manslaughter and serve 3 years probation in Connolly's murder. Hitchin states that this is because Liz did murder Connolly in front of witnesses and it wasn't in self-defense. Liz reluctantly accepts the deal as it will keep her from being able to return to the FBI. However, it sets her free and Red ensures she will remain on the task force as an asset like him as her taking the deal keeps her from being an agent. At the same time, when Laurel exonerates Liz, she is forced to inform the public about the Cabal and Connolly's role in it.
Red secures a Presidential pardon for Liz for killing Connolly, enabling her to be reinstated as an FBI agent.
- Why was Tom Connolly a Blacklister? Red never gave a reason.
- A: He could have been a corrupt federal prosecutor. Ruth Kipling seemed to think he was.
- A: Through his membership of the Cabal he was Red's enemy and open to corruption.
- A: He has most likely been corrupt for years, even prior to joining the Cabal. In “T. Earl King VI” Connolly, through Cooper, warned a wealthy friend of his before he could be arrested for fraud.