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Tom Connolly” is the twenty second episode of Season 2 of The Blacklist, the forty fourth episode overall and the Season 2 finale. It aired on May 14, 2015 on NBC.


Press Release[]

In the season finale, Liz realizes she is being framed by The Cabal, forcing Red to use his connections to help her clear her name. As Cooper receives shocking news, Ressler, Samar and Aram must decide who on the task force can still be trusted.

Number on The Blacklist[]

  • 11

Unanswered Questions[]

  1. Similarities with “Anna McMahon” and ”Tom Connolly”
    1. A government official is a target for assassination.
    2. Elizabeth Keen and Raymond Reddington are the only members of the Task Force that can stop the conspiracy.
    3. Keen is the only task force member to escape immediate arrest.
    4. Red and Keen are talking on the phone when the arrests are made.
    5. The conspiracy is being directed by a member of the government.
    6. The task force is arrested and/or hunted.
  2. Why was the title “Masha Rostova”, the blacklister was Thomas Connolly.
    1. A: It was to reveal who Elizabeth's real name is. She was not a blacklister, that was Connolly due to his involvement with the Cabal.
    2. A: Prior to its airing, the episode was titled “Masha Rostova”, Liz's birthname, in promotional media. Since then, it has been renamed “Tom Connolly” on NBC's website listing the episode.
  3. How can the Blacklist be continued since Red and Keen are being hunted? If Red sends them information then the task force will be shut down. If Keen and Red operate by themselves then they will damage their credibility on the black market.
    1. A: Whilst hunting Red various criminals are caught beause Red leads the FBI to them.
      1. Q: Red and Keen need the Blacklist to survive the FBI manhunt.
      2. A: The actual Blacklist exists only in Red's head.
    2. A: Reven Wright believes the Cabal information and sanctions the team's cooperation with Red.
      1. Q: Wright could be removed by the Cabal. Connolly said that if he was killed then another Cabal loyalist would replace him as Attorney General.
      2. A: Senate conformation takes time, and if the process is foreshortened this will increase the credibility of any Cabal stories written by the journalists.
    3. A: Proof of Liz's innocence and Connolly's complicty in the Senator's murder is provided.
      1. Q: The fugitive storyline was implied to be a major arc.
      2. Q: The Cabal will protect themselves by publishing the evidence against Liz and destroying any evidence that implicates the Cabal's existence.
        1. A: Red has released the fulcrum.
        2. A: The Cabal can fabricate and release information to discredit the evidence.
        3. A: Red can't just release the Fulcrum. Should he do that, the Cabal could conjure up convincing excuses and retaliate. Red needed the help of the mass media to expose the Cabal using the Fulcrum as reference.
      3. Q: Keen did murder Connolly. The Cabal's leverage will allow them to create convincing evidence that will convict her of the other charges. They will certainly find a way to link her to Red during her escape with him.
        1. A: Justifiable homicide.
        2. A: In “The Director: Conclusion” Liz pleads guilty to involuntary manslaughter. She is pardoned in “Lipet's Seafood Company”.
  4. Threatened charges against the Post Office task force
    1. Aram Mojtabai --
    2. Donald Ressler -- fired for his Oxycodone addiction
    3. Elizabeth Keen -- murder of Senator Clifford Hawkins, bombing of the Office of Russian and European Analysis (OREA) substation
    4. Harold Cooper -- perjury, revealing a grand jury indictment
    5. Raymond Reddington -- murder, treason
    6. Samar Navabi -- extradited to Iran for the murder of Kian Nouri
  5. Invoked charges against The Post Office task force
    1. Aram Mojtabai --
    2. Donald Ressler --
    3. Elizabeth Keen -- murder of Senator Clifford Hawkins, murder of Thomas Connolly, bombing of the Office of Russian and European Analysis (OREA) substation, several other charges
    4. Harold Cooper -- perjury, aiding and abetting
    5. Raymond Reddington -- murder, treason
    6. Samar Navabi --
  6. Status of the Post Office task force
    1. Aram Mojtabai -- active
    2. Donald Ressler -- active
    3. Elizabeth Keen -- rogue
    4. Harold Cooper -- relieved of command
    5. Raymond Reddington -- rogue
    6. Samar Navabi -- active
  7. Cabal
    1. What will happen now that the Cabal has been exposed? The headline read ”Documents Indicate Existence of Shadow Government”. Even if they sacrifice a front organization, mere exposure is enough to invite independent investigation and/or encourage internal rivals.
    2. Will the Cabal replace Connolly with another loyalist? Reven Wright does not have the authority to stop them.
    3. Will Reven Wright be removed from her position? Peter Kotsiopulos may decide that she will oppose the Cabal.
    4. Why did the Cabal not shut down the task force after Keen killed Connolly?
      1. A: To close down the task force would need the approval of the Attorney General. Reven Wright by changing the task force's objective has attempted to pre-empt this, before a new AG can be appointed.
    5. Were agents Colby and Suarez part of the Cabal?
      1. A: Probably not, they are too low ranking to be in the direct employ of the Cabal, although their superiors may be members.
    6. Will the Cabal shut down the task force and follow through on Connolly's threat? Keen's fugitive status and Cooper's arrest will support the accusation of a “rogue“ task force.
    7. Will the Cabal/Department of Justice/FBI face a senate investigation since Keen is being hunted? There will be accusations against the FBI for failing to discover Keen's ”disloyalty“, the FBI poster listed her Russian name.
    8. What is the official reason that Keen killed Connolly? They will need a motive for the mass media. FBI agents do not commit felonies without a reason.
      1. A: Liz is now a known enemy of the state, a terrorist bomber, and assassin, Connolly's death will just be rolled into that as further proof she was a sleeper agent.
  8. Thomas Connolly
    1. How would Connolly have survived the ensuring investigation into the arrest of a “rogue“ task force? The senate would have demanded that the FBI and Department of Justice provide a reason for having failed to discover such a security failure.
    2. How did Connolly learn of Ressler’s Oxycodone addiction?
    3. Why did Connolly decide against using Ressler's rogue actions in “Mako Tanida”? Those were more damaging to Ressler's credibility than a drug addiction. There were witnesses to Ressler's illegal arrest.
    4. Who will replace Connolly?
    5. Would Reven Wright have been implicated along with the task force?
    6. How would Connolly have justified sending Keen to a black site after making her arrest a major news story?
  9. Elizabeth Keen
    1. Why did killing Connolly place Keen on the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list? Did Peter Kotsiopulos arrange it as revenge?
      1. A: Liz killed the US Attorney General, a senator, and multiple CIA operatives, 3 acts of terrorism back to back, that earned her a place on the list.
    2. Will Keen gain a level of credibility on the black market because of the accusations against her? Traveling with Red will increase her guilt since Red's immunity deal has been kept top secret.
    3. What is Keen’s number on the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list?
    4. Who did Keen replace on the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list?
    5. Why did Keen kill Connolly? Did the threats push her over the edge?
      1. A: Connolly pushed Keen over the edge by not only threatening Cooper, but also threatened the lives of her co-workers that lead to her killing him.
    6. Will Keen be implicated and/or linked to Red as an accomplice?
    7. Will Keen be charged with the murder of Senator Clifford Hawkins?
      1. A: She was, after the blood test came back that she was infected she was blamed for both the bombing, and the senators death.
    8. How has Keen become like Red?
    9. What happened to Katarina Rostova? Is she still alive?
      1. A: Keen's birth father abused her during their fight. He wanted the Fulcrum from Katarina and she shot him to protect her mother.
      2. Q: We know what happened to Liz's father, but not what happened to her mother.
    10. What started the fire at Keen’s house?
    11. How did the Cabal plant Keen's fingerprints at the Office of Russian and European Analysis (OREA) substation?
    12. Does Keen love Tom?
      1. A: Tom and Liz recognize that they did in fact love one another.
  10. Raymond Reddington
    1. Why did Red state that he was “atop” the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list? He is number 4.
      1. A: The Cabal changed the number since Red has been attacking them.
    2. Why did Red need the help of the mass media? Why not just release the Fulcrum?
      1. A: Red can't just release the Fulcrum. Should he do that, the Cabal could conjure up convincing excuses and retaliate. Red needed the help of the mass media to expose the Cabal using the Fulcrum as reference.
    3. Which journalists accepted the assignment?
    4. Why did Red need a communications blackout for his meeting with the media?
      1. A: He stated to Kathryn Nemec and Dembe that they only had one chance to attack the Cabal from behind and needed an inconspicuous site to avoid being detected.
    5. Why did Red’s agents invoke his name during the kidnappings?
      1. A: To get instant cooperation. Raymond Reddington is one of the FBI's most wanted, any journalist of good standing would know who and what Red was.
    6. How did Red learn of Connolly’s death?
      1. A: Keen told him about shooting Connolly and how she regained her memory.
      2. Q: After Liz said “I killed Connolly“, Red said “I know“. That implies he knew before the phone call.
    7. Why did Dembe Zuma not leave with Red?
      1. A: He did, but Red asked Dembe to get a better mode of transportation for him and Liz to leave in.
      2. A: In “The Troll Farmer”, he was captured by Matias Solomon who used both his daughter and granddaughter as collateral. When Red found out he did not arrive in Iowa to meet them in Eli Matchett, he called in Glen Carter to locate Dembe and learns about his capture, via Glen's phone call to Red. Therefore, Red recruited Leonard Caul to help locate Dembe and find Solomon.
  11. Harold Cooper
    1. Why did Cooper have the seizure in “Tom Keen”? The cancer was false.
      1. A: The drugs were mimicking the effects of the tumor.
    2. Why did Cooper state that killing Connolly would kill Keen’s morals?
    3. What would Cooper have done about Connolly if Keen had not killed him?
    4. What was Cooper's plan if Connolly had lived? Was he going to warn the task force and aid their escape?
    5. Why did Cooper and Keen threaten Connolly with exposure? They knew that his position gave him the advantage and Connolly's retaliation would have destroyed the task force.
      1. A: The knowledge in how Keen found out that Connolly falsified Cooper's medical condition thanks to a phone conversation with him blackmailing his doctor, revealed in Karakurt's hard drive, gave them a temporary advantage over him. That plus the other crimes including the Kuwait incident, forced a confession from Connolly.
    6. Did Cooper confess to Connolly’s murder?
      1. A: Somewhat, but Cooper will still be charged for perjury and aiding Keen.
    7. Who is Simpson?
    8. Why did Cooper tell Keen that he could not help after Charlene was arrested?
      1. A: Connolly was blackmailing Cooper into cooperation to help avoid Charlene being arrested.
      2. Q: Cooper later aided Keen. Why did he change his position?
      3. A: Because the whole tumor that led to both Cooper, and his wife betraying their morals was a lie and fabrication made by Connolly to gain their cooperation.
    9. What will happen to Charlene?
    10. Will Cooper aid Keen and Red?
  12. Samar Navabi
    1. Why would Mossad not have protected Samar from the extradition?
    2. Why would the United States approve of the extradition? Extradition would have aided a declared enemy (Iran) and enraged a declared ally (Israel).
    3. Did Iran know that Samar killed Kian Nouri or did Connolly plan to tell the Iranians before arresting her?
      1. A: Connolly was planning to arrest Samar and tell the Iranian government about her involvement in Kian Nouri's murder.
    4. Will Samar aid Keen and Red?
  13. Donald Ressler
    1. Why did Ressler tell Keen to fight the system from the inside?
    2. Why did Ressler tell Keen to surrender? How could he have aided her?
    3. How did Ressler know Keen’s escape route?
    4. Why did Ressler let Keen escape?
    5. Will Ressler aid Keen and Red?
  14. Aram Mojtabai
    1. What was Aram supposed to be charged with when Connolly shut down the task force?
    2. Will Aram aid Keen and Red?
  15. Tom Keen
    1. Will Tom be contacted for help?
    2. Why did Tom not leave with Keen and Red?
    3. Was the deer story to cover-up an assassination? Tom said that the blood on the windshield/windscreen was not deer blood.
  16. Reven Wright
    1. What will Wright do in the future? She told Ressler that Cooper’s removal had raised shadows of doubt about Keen. Even if she believes Keen is guilty, she may be wary of relying on the Department of Justice.
      1. A: Unknown, but it’s likely that Wright is starting to realize that most of the members of the Department of Justice have allied with the Cabal.
      2. A: Wright came to terms that most of the Department of Justice are members of the Cabal and with Cooper being removed from the Task Force commander, she now must rely on Ressler and the FBI to investigate.
  17. What will happen to Karakurt?
  18. Was the murder of Leo Andropov planned in advance or was he killed because he had been exposed?
    1. A: Likely killed on the orders of Peter Kotsiopulos, once Andropov was perceived to be a liability.
  19. Why did Anton Velov know the location of the safe house?

Slanders on the FBI[]

  1. Why is the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives poster of Red still using the old photograph? His current appearance was broadcast in “Luther Braxton”.


Main star[]

Guest star[]


  • Daniel Keith as Head of Security
  • Paul Cosentino as Mr. Hastings
  • Steve Beauchamp as Trucker
  • Doug Yasuda as Mr. Chin
  • Lyman Chen as Phlebotomist
  • Barbara Thomas as CDC Agent
  • Baylen Thomas as Senator
  • Jasmin Walker as Aide
  • Mia Caress as America Reporter
  • Bazzel Baz as Baz
  • Curt James as GEN Reporter
  • Jillian Lebling as Young Liz
  • Berto Colon as Guard


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  ·