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Vanessa Cruz” is the eighteenth episode of Season 2 of The Blacklist and the fortieth episode overall. It aired on April 2, 2015 on NBC.


Vanessa Cruz, a vengeful widow of a broker turned whistleblower, has been attacking businessmen by committing crimes and framing them for it under the guise of “corporate crime”. Meanwhile, Reddington attempts to sow seeds of dissent within the Cabal's ranks in order to topple Peter Kotsiopulos. Tom asks Liz for help for recovering his passports, but is initially rebuffed. Running into an obstacle in the investigation of Cruz, Liz turns to Tom for help in finding Cruz in exchange for the return of his passports. While the Task Force manages to foil Cruz's initial assassination attempt, Cruz escapes, and is approached by Nemec for recruitment into Reddington's fold. During the aftermath, Tom discloses to Liz the truth behind his relationship with Reddington. Liz approaches Reddington with the Fulcrum, attempting to sever her ties with him, only for an unknown sniper to shoot Reddington.

Press Release[]

The task force tracks a provocative female Blacklister, a frame-up artist who targets the wealthy elite. Tom pleads for Liz's help. Red pressures Liz for the Fulcrum, claiming it's now a matter of life and death.

Number on The Blacklist[]

  • 117

Unanswered Questions[]

  1. Considering the overall fraud theme of the episode, Oakside Investments seems to be a reference to Stratton Oakmont, Inc..
  2. The storylines in “Eli Matchett”, “General Ludd”, and “Vanessa Cruz” are similar. The attacks on the corporations did more damage to the common people than the direct victims.
    1. Eli Matchett’s plan would have destroyed the farmers who rely on genetically modified organisms.
      1. A: Matchett was opposed to the genetically modified foods that destroyed small farms and wanted to force people to see the dangers of relying on a very limited range of foods.
    2. Nathaniel Wolff’s plan to destroy the currency system with counterfeit money would have harmed the common people he claimed to represent.
      1. A: Wolff likely wanted the common people to revolt and overthrow the government. The actions were primarily aimed at making the 1% poorer, and any other damage is irrelevant in pursuit of the objective.
    3. Vanessa Anne Cruz’s actions harmed the 99% when she framed somebody from the 1%.
      1. A: Cruz only considered the primary result and not the overall consequences of her actions. She only considered the primary result, not any secondary or tertiary damage.
  3. Cabal
    1. What is the Cabal planning?
      1. A: In “Marvin Gerard” Keen tells the Intelligence Director at the Russian Embassy that they are planning to re-start the Cold War.
    2. Why is Red so desperate to stop them?
    3. Did Peter Kotsiopulos have Mitchum killed along with Roger Hobbs?
      1. A: Anything is a possibility with Peter Kotsiopulos. He could've seen Mitchum and Hobbs' involvement with Red as a liability to the Cabal.
    4. What was the Silverstone Peter Kotsiopulos mentioned?
  4. Vanessa Anne Cruz
    1. Why did Cruz despise the 1%? Her husband qualified as one of them.
      1. A: Because after he was framed and committed suicide, she was no longer one of them. She joined the 99%.
    2. Did Cruz select her victims based on their illegal actions? Did she limit her targets to people who had a history of illegal deals?
      1. A: Cruz targeted people who were involved with the fraud at her late husband's company; her ultimate motive was revenge for her husband's death.
    3. Did Cruz accept Red‘s offer?
    4. Why did Cruz leave Abby Issa alive?
      1. A: Aside the FBI showing up to stop Cruz, it may be possible that she had a soft spot for Abby.
    5. Where did the fingerprint on file come from? Was Cruz previously arrested?
      1. A: Many states take fingerprints as part of the driver's license application and renewal process.
    6. What did Cruz do with the currency she stole?
      1. A: When Keen interviews Cruz's ill mother, she says that Cruz had set up an insurance policy, before Cruz's "death", that helped take care of her financially, but the insurance company was later found to be a fake company. The money Cruz stole most likely went to this "insurance" to take care of her mom.
    7. How did Cruz get her start-up money? She needed money for the insurance check for her mother.
    8. Why did Cruz fake her death?
      1. A: She probably figured that being "dead" to the government would aid her in her revenge plot.
  5. Raymond Reddington
    1. What did Red mean when he said: “It’s time to go away”?
    2. Who shot Red?
      1. A: Possibly a member of the Cabal under the orders of Peter Kotsiopulos in an attempt to call off Red's bluff with the belief he did not have the Fulcrum. This later backlashed in “Leonard Caul”.
    3. Why did Red make the threat against Kenneth Jasper? He should have shown more strategic skill.
    4. What would Red have done if Cruz had been arrested?
    5. Why does Red want to employ Cruz?
      1. A: It's possible he may need Cruz to infiltrate the Cabal, knowing they're showing signs of desperation in stopping Red at all costs.
    6. How did Red know where Cruz was going?
    7. Was Red’s statement about appealing to a powerful person’s vanity based on personal experience?
  6. Elizabeth Keen
    1. Why did Keen not know the difference between a shelf corporation and a shell corporation?
      1. A: Her background and work in law enforcement has always involved physical actions, not financial machinations.
    2. Keen’s relationship with Red is becoming more warped. She gave him the Fulcrum and told him she wanted out. She then applied first aid after he was shot.
      1. A: In the past, she has proven to verbally state she is done with someone who has wronged her, even though she does genuinely care for them. For example, she has told Tom multiple times to get out of her life for their facade of a relationship, yet she continues to interact with him.
    3. Did Keen steal the passports from evidence or did Cooper allow her to take them?
      1. A: She had probably stolen them from the Evidence room to give to Tom.
      2. Q: How will she explain them missing? People must sign in/out when using the evidence room.
    4. Why did Keen use a large case for the Fulcrum?
  7. Tom Keen
    1. Tom’s story about the boat in Micronesia is similar to the story about the bar in “Ronin”.
    2. Why did Tom want the passports? The Major likely knows or can guess the cover identities. In “Ronin” a character states that all the Cold War era safehouses are known locations.
    3. Was Tom lying about not knowing how to swim?
  8. Why did Harold Cooper tell Keen they would find Cruz? The other active Blacklisters have not been mentioned.
  9. Why did the person in charge of the shelf corporations use the names of Minnesota lakes? That person should know the importance of variety and avoiding blatant trails.
  10. Lester Conway and Mason Carlton do not seem to have much leverage for a plea bargin. Conway will be cleared of the Ponzi scheme, but now has a murder charge to face.

Slanders on the FBI[]

  1. Why were not there more FBI agents at the Wolverton Hotel?


Main star[]

Guest star[]


  • Jeff Auer as Mike Carlton
  • Lonnie McCullough as Declan Salinger
  • Paul Woodburn as Clerk
  • Tom Kemnitz Jr. as Bellhop
  • Mark Hawk as Pickpocket Victim
  • Henry Lopez as ND Agent
  • Aaron Walker as Security Officer


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  ·