Tom Jacob Christopher Jingleheimer Schmidt-KeenMannheimPhelpsWainwrightBuckleyHargrave


Keith said...

7:40 pm November 13, 2013
Keith wrote:
RE: Tom being in a hurry to fly to Nebraska…

I did think it was odd that “we” never saw Tom get a phone call from ANYONE that LIz’s dad was ill. Instead, we saw Tom call Liz and TELL her that her aunt called him – an aunt that is known for talking too much. He is already half-packed when he calls Liz,and if he called her as soon as he got off the phone with the aunt, when did he have time to get the suitcase down and neatly pack his stuff? I felt like Tom knew he needed to be in Nebraska because her dad might tell her something she shouldn’t know and Tom Bond might have to ensure that “Dad” did not say anything. The timing of the phone call, the packing, and the flight seemed very suspicious to me.

Fergy said...

10:08 am November 15, 2013
Fergy wrote:
Some people touched on the “Tom didn’t want Lizzie to go to the hospital thing” but what I picked up was when he told her that her fathers cancer had spread and he was dying she said “I am going to call him right now” and Tom told her he was in surgery. He was never in surgery and I believe he went to the hospital to kill Sam so he would not tell Lizzie on his death bed the truth about her first 4 years of life and biological family. However Red beat him to it. The meeting of the two of them appears to be that they did not know each other but I believe they did and Red sat down in order to warn Tom.

Basil said...

OK..I have to admit it, I kind of like old Tom Bond.

I mean I know he has his dark side...using people as human shields or what have you.

I say, let the man do his job (lol)


So..if Tom now has orders to kill we think he'll pull that trigger?

I haven't a clue. I think he has feelings for her and, if put in such a situation, will be sorely put to the test. One can only tune in...sigh.....

KN said...

I kind of like Tom Bond too! If he just would have never taken his glasses off!! Then none of this would have happened!! Hahaha!

Basil said...

I KNEW it was the glasses....KN, you're a first class sleuth!

Rori said...

"If he just would have never taken his glasses off!! Then none of this would have happened!! Hahaha!"


Chompstick said...

Yeah but he became HOT when he took those glasses off! Do I ever fit the stereotype... the moment you turn him into a bad boy, take the glasses off, give him a car to drive recklessly, a mustang no less, I'm drooling. It wasn't that I didn't notice his appearance before, it was that I actually found him UNattractive. Nope, I don't want a bespectacled 4th grade teacher. Yeah, I know, he murders, lies, cheats, and steals...but he's HOT now.

Basil said...

Would appear, Chomps, that you are not alone in your sentiments. What is it with this guy, huh? He has a supposed wife, Nikki, in Chicago...and then there's Gina and whatever relationship was there and then Megan for whom he appears to have at least some sort of feelings.

So women just fall for him (bespectled or not) and he has no feeling for them? That doesn't appear to be the case. So what...???...he's a cold hearted killer who wears his sensitive heart on his sleeve.

I can only go so far...and this seems too far.

UNLESS! There is more to his story. I'd love to know more about why he chose to work for Berlin. I keep hoping there is something compelling in his background that kind of forced him to take this job and forced him to do it well even though it repulsed him to do it. I'm thinking your basic sick kid no money scenario.

Chompstick said...

Wait, I missed hearing about nikki. What's that all about!?

Basil said...

Was/Craig talked about this before he and his chair went flying. Tom (not his real name) has a wife and a whole separate life in Chicago. Ryan E. has noted Tom's wife name Nikki and admits to a Tom life in Chicago "potentially". Milton Bobbit, I think.

Charmed said...

The whole Nikki situation just gives me the need to re-watch that episode. I thought it was somebody close to Tom for a long while. Well a wife would certainly be close, Basil. Thanks for the reason to watch and pay attention this time. Lol

Charmed said...

The violence was all because of those Warby Parker glasses he removed. Then he removed Jolene and the Cowboy, permanently.

Basil said...

Hey Charmed! But remember he removed the glasses and only THEN did he remove the people. It was the glasses!

Please fill us in on what you glean from re-watching the episode and thanks for doing was on my to do list....but I can't even find my to do list anymore!

I read something on another site that intrigued me, but I have no idea as to the authenticity. Verifying it will be on my to do list once I find it!

This is what I read: that Tom bough 3 fake passports "one year ago" while saying that Berlinhad not reached out to him in "two years". These newer fake passports were apparently newer than those already available to hm. This suggests he was preparing another go box that Berlin would not know that would get him away with Liz and maybe with the baby.

Seriously, I'll see what I can find on this, but if anyone has any info I'd love to hear!

Chompstick said...

Basil, that really sounds like speculation, particularly whisking away Liz and the baby. I can't imagine that would really happen.

But this other wife, that is interesting. I hope they answer that this season.

Chompstick said...

You might note that the picture of Tom at the top of the page is without glasses. That's no accident.

Charmed said...

The violence was all because of those Warby Parker glasses he removed. Then he removed Jolene and the Cowboy, permanently.

Yes, he removed his glasses and then removed Jolene and the Cowboy. Warby Parker's are cool Ryan and perfect for the blacklist. I noticed you weren't wearing them for driving the mustang.

WasCraig said Tom had a brother in Chicago and something about a Nikki. It I didn't pick up that they were married.

Basil said...

Summarizing some discussion from the Berlin Part 1 thread....Did Berlin infect Tom with the Cullen virus, thus forcing him to do...hmmm...spidery things?

Evidence for this: his bloody nose which is bloody without prior injury that we can see.

Owners of the observations and apologize for stealing any thunder.....just wanted to get this great idea over here to this thread.

Because, as we all know Basil always obeys the rules and never runs in the hallways.

Chompstick said...

Basil are you poking fun at anyone?

Basil said...

What? Huh? Oh hi, Chomps! (she said breathing hard and wiping the sweat off her bright red face). Didn't see you there. How ya doing?

Psst...I think this conversation belongs over in the off-topic room.

Race you there!

Redhead said...

I'm guessing that Tom is hot because he has big feet. LOL

ziji said...

Basil, we put spoilers in this spot Kris spoilers?

Honestly, bc it's tom, I can totally understand you putting it here. But there are people are really really really don't want to know any spoilers. I think we are trying to accommodate them.

You might want to love this one....

Ha ha oh my god, now I'm a hall monitor....when the heck did that happen. Oh, I feel like my old principle at school yucky!

Basil said...

Ooops....thansks, Ziji for the reminder. Sorry! From now on will keep spoilers on spoilers page.

Chompstick said...

Miss Basil, have you failed to read the FAQ page???? What kind of mod are you? I moved your post over.

Basil said...

Does this mean I'm on the Blacklist? (queries Basil as she hangs her head in shame)

Chompstick said...

Worse than the Blacklist. Your on the ((shudder)) Chartreuse List!

Basil said...

I have to be a nightclub singer?

KN said...

It's definitely the glasses! Maybe I like the nerdy look...could explain why I'm such a fan of Aram?! Plus I'm afraid of PsychoTom when he's not wearing his glasses. That tattoo thing??? Yiiiiikes.

Charmed said...

It seems most women love the bad boy image of Tom Keen. His Twitter account went completely bonkers after he removed his glasses. Maybe he reminded them of bad boys from their own life in deeds, if not looks?

Carolina Girl said...

Just thinking out loud or I guess in print .... I wish they would continue with the Tom Bond car ads. They could be giving us hints all through the summer. Just say'in and he's not bad eye candy either : D

Charmed said...

Since it is the 50th Anniversary of the Mustang, we
will probably have more really good commercials. Using The Blacklist and Tom Keen were perfect for the series and the 2015 Mustang.

Did you know that the 1964 Mustang was first used in "Goldfinger" (3rd in the James Bond series)?

Chompstick said...

Hmm, I definitely look forward to more of that eye candy, uh I mean Mustang commercials.

Evey Edge said...

@Basil On the three passports theory. I had the exact same thought about those passports! The writers don't throw details like that out there for no reason. I think originally Tom was waiting for the adoption to come through before telling Liz the truth, because the baby would have cemented their bond.

I think Red's arriving on the day of the final adoption meeting was no coincidence. I think he knew about the faces on the passports and guessed Tom's plan. He was trying to sabotage the adoption so Liz wouldn't run off with Tom.

During Anslo Garrick Tom proposes that they "Go. Anywhere." I think he wanted to tell her then, but then realizes she is in too deep with Red.

Charmed said...

Every Edge- I just love your name du jour. I agree that Red knew their adoption plans and arrived to sabotage not only the adoption, but also to "out" Tom to Liz using the passports and everything in the box. He had Zamani stab and beat Tom for a reason, to allow Liz to find the box.

I still am uncomfortable with the fact that Tom called Liz during the Anslo Garrick episode. But maybe at that point Tom really did want to take Liz and "Go. anywhere."

Basil said...

Ah, Evey Edge...great minds think alike, yes? :)

Evey Edge said...

If you're uncomfortable with the fact Tom called Liz during Anslo Garrick because you think he was somehow involved I can assure you that he was not. In Mako Tanika Tom asks Jolene who put the cameras in his house, so he apparently does not know Fitch's group, who planned the attack.

Evey Edge said...

Since the pilot I've had a very firm idea about where I've wanted the writers to take the character of Tom Keen, specifically I wanted Tom to be a spy, who has genuinely fallen in love with Liz. As a result of that desire I tend to see The Blacklist through a Tom Friendly lens. The Pavlovich Brothers in particular seemed to support my theory/desire for the Tom/Liz relationship because:

1) He is is staring at a photo of them as a happy couple when she returns home. That’s pretty sentimental of him, for someone who supposedly doesn’t give a damn.

2) He comes after seeing her at the National Archives, rather then immediately requesting evacuation. He pulls the music box out of the basement and asks her about it, just like he asks her about the National Archives. He knows she’s knows, he’s known since ‘Milton Bobbit’ (because of the key). He is trying to get her to confront him, to have this conversation as a husband and wife. When Liz continues to lie to him, it confirms that she no longer regards him as her husband, and then and only then does he leave.

3) He pauses at the door and looks at her, looking conflicted. If he doesn’t love her, what exactly is he so conflicted about?

4) He leaves the dog, rather than taking it with him, which would have bought him more time.

5) He is still wearing his wedding ring when he is caught. It’s been hours since he left house. He’s managed to ditch his glasses and get some contacts, but what he forgot he was wearing his wedding ring?

6) He avoids looking at Liz when she is telling him how much he’s hurt her.

7) Once he has the upper hand, he repeats that he wasn’t there to hurt her and tells her he is “one of the good guys”.

Tom loves Liz? Agree or disagree?

Carolina Girl said...

Evey Edge ... I didn't realize you are new since I am fairly new myself, so welcome !!!! I absolutely , no doubt , agree with you that Tom is in love, love, love with Liz! My husband and I were watching The Alchemist on Hulu the other night and both came to the same conclusion. I mean really, how could he have not fallen in love with her. That is why they sent Jolene, because he wasn't checking in and they sent her to test him. That is why he killed her!

Charmed said...

Evey Edge, I believe that Tom loves Liz. I've never felt a need for a Donald/Liz relationship, other than as just co-workers and friends. I'll feel better once Tom's old relationships are outed and we know the truth of the supposed lover, etc.

I like knowing, but I love anticipation.

My earlier comment was made with a mindset, that evidently didn't go away after I supposedly learned more.

CES2 said...

Regarding Tom

I do not think TPTB will kill him- from the Blacklist point of view I'm sure his character has a lot to offer - he is a real deal agent/spy , someone who lives his cover. It would take time and effort to establish his and his fake!brother’s personas.

Who is he working for ? present day KGB? Is he a double agent as Viktor Fokin’s redacted file would suggest?

….”The false-identity or legend assumed by a USSR-born illegal spy was elaborate, using the life of either a "live double" (participant to the fabrications) or a "dead double" (whose identity is tailored to the spy). The agent then substantiated his or her legend by living it in a foreign country, before emigrating to the target country, thus the sending of US-bound illegal residents via the Soviet embassy in Ottawa, Canada… (they would)…. arrange kidnappings and assassinations ( Wikipedia).

Here is a link to an article “How Russian spies infiltrated suburban America”

Come to think of it , maybe Liz was originally intended to be groomed as a sleeper? That would answer the question why Berlin had no intentions to harm or kill her?

I wonder how many years we would have to wait for some answers?

Harry said...

As far as I'm concerned, they can't snuff out Tom soon enough. He was a dweeb as a husband, a
lame as a spy, and boring as a prisoner. Besides, after getting carved up by Ranko Zamani and then getting

Basil said...

OK…on a slightly more serious note, regarding Tom….
What I find interesting about Tom is his tendency to develop feelings for Liz. Very problematic given his choice of vocation. He struggles with this and was called on the carpet for it more than once as it compromised his mission….a mission that is important to him.
So it is the same theme for me, once again. If Tom is just “a bad guy”, he becomes a flat, boring stereotyped character. But when the writers open that little window to something deeper within him, that small window that shows he struggles with himself to avoid developing affection for Liz, he becomes, to me anyway, more interesting. Now there is a human struggle going on, not just a “the good guys where the white hats and the bad guys where the black hats” stereotype.. To see someone as hardened as Tom struggle with his vulnerable feelings deepens the character for me and complex characters are what draw me into the show.
I also wonder what motivates Tom to be so loyal to Berlin….to think he is a good guy wearing the white hat. Tom is not just a thug for hire. He points out that you don’t choose Berlin, Berlin chooses you. I hear personal pride and adulation toward Berlin there. The writers showed us a character who felt what he was doing had some “rightness” to it. Like some other fans, I am looking forward to seeing what Tom does when he learns that Berlin was wrong about his daughter and Red. I want to see where the writers go with that.

Harry said...

Basil (#41): Tom "develop[ed] feelings for Liz??? Didn't he whack her in the head and knock her out when she found his hideout ? I say snuff him out already.

Basil said...

Harry (42)..

Harry, you do have a way with words! I love how you get right to the point!

I can totally understand snuffing Tom out already! But yeah, I think he has feelings for Liz....feelings that are annoying and troublesome for him....feelings that he denies and tries very hard to eliminate. I hardly think he loves Liz, whatever that means. I'm not shipping Tom and Liz....or re-shipping them. I think the way he is trying to manipulate her from his sorry present state is disgusting and I'm glad she isn't falling for any of it.

I think the writers put the emergence of those feelings into the script to further heighten last season's Tom and Liz drama. But Tom has done nothing with those feelings....that hasn't been developed. And if that side of him is not develped, then I'm with you...snuff him out....and I don't care how well he drives!

Tabasko said...

Oh, my. I don't think Tom has feelings for Liz At ALL. Maybe I missed it. I think that lamp they had he hid the lockbox key in exhibited more emotion.

Harry said...

Re: #44 (Tabasko): I don't think he has genuine feelings either. He's a remorseless killer*, a fraud, and an operative for a raging lunatic. Plus, marriage and carnal relations with a woman under such grossly false pretenses are akin to assault and battery.

* Incidentally, how was Mr. Kaplan able to find the graves where Tom buried the bodies of Jolene and The Cowboy? I think Red commended her for being "a bloodhound", but that doesn't explain how anyone could find two buried bodies in the middle of nowhere.

Anonymous said...

Personally, Tom is the only reason I'm watching. I got started because of Red. Red now bores me, and I am staying for Tom.

Anonymous said...

I mean really....Red is nothing more than a vicious, murdering thug himself, who also murders women. I've seen far more violence out of Red than I have Tom, and Red doesn't get called out on the carpet for all his crap. I think there is far, far more to the eye about both of them.

JBiltz said...

As opposed to Tom killing that harbormaster who had nothing to do with what was going on aside from wandering into it. Tom killed him because he was there and an inconvenience. Its not a question of whether Tom is better than Red. Why would any one with a lick of sense associate with either of them? Being better the the #4 on the FBI Most Wanted List is not really a recommendation. Besides, I don't think its true and I've said in the past if Liz had a lick of sense she would put a bullet in Red's brain.

I can't stand Tom. He went through most of the first season whining about how everything evil in their lives was Liz's fault and how she kept secrets and he did not keep secrets. He's painful to watch when I watch my BlueRays of the first season.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anonymous. Tom is the center draw for the show at this point. As for him killing the Harbormaster, it had to be done and he manned up so Liz would not need to get her hands dirty.

Chompstick said...

This is a gentle reminder that we don't permit anonymous commenters on BSG. We are glad to have the presence of and input from both of the Anonymous visitors above, but obviously it gets confusing! :-)

Please read through the Frequently Asked Questions page which discusses the reasons for this policy, as well as our other policies. It will explain how to post with a user name.


Harry said...

#48 JBiltz: I'm with you. I can't stand Tom either, and agree he's "painful to watch."

Harry said...

#49 (Anonymous) said "Tom is the center draw for the show at this point." I respectfully disagree. I think he is an albatross on the back of the show at this point, and from the outset. My distaste for his character is no secret. Please, won't someone get rid of this dweeb before he drags the show down ?

I had more venom to spew at Tom, but Not-a-Robot is acting up again, making it difficult to post comments.

Chompstick said...

A few weeks ago I was on the Tom train, but the last two episodes have reminded me of why I loathe the character so much. The transformation from his milquetoast undercover persona to the Mustang driving, contact wearing, suddenly sexy bad guy fooled me into forgetting who he really was over the summer. Now I could kick myself for saying he's a character viewers love to hate. The way he speaks in staccato

(Harry, you and I have to stop calling Tom a dweeb ... it's an insult to dweebs).

Harry said...

Chompstick #53: Okay, we'll dispense with "dweeb" to describe Tom. How about " milquetoast"?

CES2 said...

I'm with you

#42 Harry and
#53 Chompstick

I have been greatly troubled by what John Eisendrath said in Behind the Blacklist

..." It would be great if Tom and Liz, despite everything end up loving each other. I have no idea if that’s possible, but I think that would be great, if in the end they could be together".

It’s John Eisendrath in Behind the Blacklist from the Blacklist DVD.

Do we have here the usual showrunners - “say anything whether it’s likely or not just to beat up publicity “

If TPTB decided to use this story arc then the direction the show is taking would not be for me ,

No matter if Tom turns up portrayed as a good guy, for me there is no coming back from what has transpired between him and Liz in the first 30 episodes of the series.

I have been mulling over this ever since I first saw it few months ago.

Harry said...

It's bad enough that after a season and a half of Red warning Liz to beware of her husband, the last five minutes of the fall finale implies that there's done vague arrangement between Red and Tom, but if the showrunners' end game involves Tom getting back together with Liz, that would really suck. From the very first episode, the Tom-Liz scenes have been unbearable to watch. I know I'm not alone. The show runners must know that viewers tune in to see JS as Red (and his coterie of eccentric associates like Mr. Kaplan, Mr. Vargas, and the interrogator guy who wanted a tuba on rye and coleslaw if they had it), and NOT the Tom and Liz nonsense.

Harry said...

I don't know if my post #40 got censored or somehow part of the last sentence vanished into alphabet heaven, but what I was trying to impart was that after getting carved up by Ranko Zamani and then taking two or three bullets to the guy at close range , Tom should be dead or at least severely disabled, and not prancing around town and cruising in Mustangs.

Oh, and in my last post, I meant "tuna" not "tuba."

Chompstick said...


Harry re #40 - I don't censor any comments for content other than profanity, or for violations to our rules regarding trolls, flaming, etc. Fortunately, I've never had a problem with either. I don't know if #40 is one of the comments I copied and pasted from another page; if so, I guess I accidentally cut it off. My greatest apologies.

Basil said...

One of the things I like about the character of Tom…not Tom, but the character of Tom….is the ability of his character to elicit strong feelings in the viewers. This is a character who elicits not only strong feelings, but strong divergent feels…people love him or people hate him and the feelings seem strong on both sides. I think that is one indication of a “good” character, that ability to elicit things from us.

I myself don’t feel that strong emotional pull with Tom, but he does elicit something from me. What I find interesting about Tom are those feelings he has for Liz. I’m not talking here about shipping or re-shipping Tom and Liz (to use current vernacular)…I’m not looking for a romantic relationship between those two crazy kids…lol!! I agree with CES2 and others that this directions would be “lame” choice on the part of the writers. I certainly have no interest in going there, but at the same time, I don’t think my feelings would be so strong that I would stop watching the show. I just wouldn’t find it interesting or satisfying.

What interests me about the character of Tom is the emergence of these “feelings” he has for Liz. Is it possible for someone like Tom to have feelings like this and have them be genuine? I think that is a deep philosophical question and probably way too serious for a TV show, but those are the kinds of questions I bring to it…so that’s what pulls me in. I admit I am a sucker for the power of love and I admit love goes way beyond my understanding….it amazes me all the time and suprises me with it’s power to create change in people I might have long given up on. So it is less about a relationship and more about the character of Tom. I want to see what Tom does with these feelings that so obviously compromise his dedication to his mission(s), that so rattle his conception of himself. But that probably says more about me than it does about Tom. Yet, what I love about the character of Tom is that it has the capacity to elicit these reactions in me.

I love watching reactions to this character! Most interesting! I think all reactions are valid and I love that we can come to this place and share them.

Chompstick said...

**** For Tom Fans Only ****

Fair warning for those who don't like Ryan or Tom - this could cause considerable stomach unease and projectile vomiting.

Continuing our discussion from The Cranky Page #88,89 -

Tabasko, here is today's Today Show interview with Ryan with minimal hair. He seems like quite a nice guy. If only I wasn't old enough to be his mother. And wasn't married. And didn't have a child. And had any contacts in Hollywood...sigh.

I found this adorable "Today" interview of Ryan from May 2014. He sings and plays the guitar, and he has hair.

An interview with Australian TV from December. He talks a little about Spader. And he has long hair.

Tabasko said...

Chompstick #60: He is for certain easy on the eyes. Thanks for the several links!

Interesting to know they have not filmed the last 2 episodes yet.

He is on the edge of my age range, too. (Divide your age in half and add 7....that's the youngest age person you can date, haha) Also married with a child here, and no free pass list.

I'm happy for his success. His agent is doing a great job of getting him out there.

I think he adds a valuable element to the show in story and bad guy/conflicted guy options if TPTB handle it right.

Chompstick said...

«« Smirk »»

To the month, Ryan is at the very lowest age in my range !! Phew, can you let him know for me?

It sounds like he's the male lead in the movie Lovesong they previewed. Don't you find him to be personable and relatable in every interview?

Harry said...

Oh God! I found myself on this page by mistake. Let me out!!!! Arg!!!!

Tabasko said...

Ha! I'll try and work my Today Show connections. Of which there are zero exactly.

He is very engaging as a person.

Chompstick said...

Harry, you're so funny.

Chompstick said...

Tom looked pretty good in that gun fight, no?

Tabasko said...

Chompstick #66: I was fine with him sticking around for that!

Showrunners: Please just "accidentally" forget to stencil on his SS?

I thought Ryan E's acting was great, yet again.

He is not going anywhere, so I hope they use him wisely. I know it has to be a story and have some conflict, but for a minute, I would love to see Tom team up with Red.

Chompstick said...

He did team up with Red's team last night, but I know what you mean. I want more of that you. He's really trying to redeem himself. I loved the scenes between Red and Tom.

Tabasko said...

#68 Chomp: I know. That's how I watch things. I want everything to be my way even if the show would be over if it was. Lol. It would be quite a team.

I wasn't sure about Tom. But he seems sincere now. In the real world, people can change, so why not on BL?

I loved that they took time to explain it, how he and Red were connected. Honestly, they are paying attention to smoothing that out, so they are listening to viewers on that at least some. I dug it.

Tabasko said...

Brief interview with Ryan Eggold that came out right before "Quon Zhang" aired.

No spoilers, just some speculation. No video, either. *frown*

The guy works hard promoting the show.

Ryan E interview

He's a good actor. He completely changed his physical presence when he was the dweeby husband with a secret. Entirely different now.

Chompstick said...

NO VIDEO???!!!

Tabasko said...

I know, did I just unmake your day?

You can always watch this 3 or more times.......

Ryan E Mustang Commercial

Marie said...

There's a nice photo of Tom in a suit in one of the Getty photos, from my link in the spoilers for next week's episode.

Tabasko said...

Thumbs up to the new page name!!

Tabasko said...

Anyone for a Monday picture to cheer up your day?

RE and DK

Magz said...

Thanks for that Tabs.. Always enjoy seeing RE. 😍

Chompstick said...

What do y'all think of the new name Jacob? I like it. It's more ... sympathetic. Kinder. Or am I imagining that because I see him that way now? I loved when he introduced himself to Liz as Jacob Phelps in the last episode.

Tabasko said...

He can call himself whatever he wants...Tom Keen, Jacob Phelps, Michael Phelps, The Artist Formerly Known as Prince......I'm in!

I loved that scene. I felt bad for him waiting for Liz in that restaurant. I liked the jacket look....putting forth some extra effort.

The history of the name is a little odd, "holder of the heel," but I think they just picked it because it sounds nice. I like it.

Magz said...

I would love Tom even if his name was Turd Fergeuson. Lol (SNL REFERENCE THERE)

Jacob is nice but I guess it's not one of my favorites because i hated Twilight so much!

Tabasko said...

New Ryan Eggold brief interview....with video!

RE NBC Upfronts

No real spoilers, but maybe some speculation to be discussed over there.

Peidi Mu said...

Revisited S1E18, I thought Tom's fake brother only gave away that Tom had a brother in Chicago and "talked about a woman, Nikki"... No clear indication that Nikki is the wife, except for a comment Ryan Eggold made during an interview saying that Nikki was the wife. Was I watching a different version of the episode or did I miss it somewhere in the show?

Don't wanna believe Tom Keen has a secret wife (special girl) in Chicago after season 2 finale. That could mean what he has done for Liz in the entire season 2 might just be another well-staged play, some meticulously calculated manipulation.

Plus, I can't imagine how a deep-covered spy like Tom could live a double life and still have a real family somewhere else. What kind of marriage would it be if he never gets to see this Nikki girl (while having a full fake marriage with Liz)?What kind of wife can be OK with the fact that her husband is running for his life without her (at the end of season 2 Tom bought a boat and supposedly drove off for a new life after Liz's situation stopped her going with him)?

Anyways, might got too caught up in the show after the season finale. Wish there would be more romantic and genuine Tom/Liz moments in season 3. Otherwise, with all the running, conspiracy, identity mysteries, this show could become too heavy to be entertaining for me.

Tabasko said...

Peidu Mu: Yes, I agree with you on that. Tom's fake brother said Tom (now Jacob) had a brother in Chicago. He meant an actual brother. And just that Tom talked about a woman named Nikki (spelling, not sure.) No mention of her location in that conversation or that she was anyone's wife.

I had thought maybe that was one of Gina Zanetakos' aliases or something, but it's not come back up so far.

I would have to say in any case, I doubt Jacob is in touch with whoever Nikki is. Between his trip to Germany, time stuck on the boat, etc., If Nkki was Gina Z. or someone like that, it would explain why she's not out looking for Tom.

I think Jacob's caring about Liz only became apparent to him on the inside after he went off with Red's envelope. The Major says something at this point. So. he may have been involved with someone else before he met Liz. Honestly, the fake brother never even said what connection Nikki had to Tom at all. Just that he talked about a woman.

Peidi Mu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peidi Mu said...

Honestly, so far I'm not a big fan of how the writers make Liz appear on the show. Somehow they make her look like this ungrateful and immature girl that always needs somebody to clean up after her. Sometimes it's Red sometimes it's Tom or her colleagues. No matter how much Red has done for her, when he refuses to answer her questions or make her problems the priority, she just lashes out and calls off the partnership or just simply calls him a monster.

Same thing with Tom. After Tom risking his life turned himself in to clear her name she just still couldn't give the passports back to him, no matter how urgent it was to him. I know, I know, the writers might want to make more scenes of them together so they wrote the story like that. But seriously? There must be a better way to tell the story than making Liz a self centered bitch. Despite the fact that I love the steamy scene of Liz and Tom on the boat in the season finale, I couldn't help to feel that she was using him again. One second she told him she wanted to run with him, the next second she found a lead and abandoned him on the boat. I understand it's a very stressful, even more than stressful, time for her so she was weak and not thinking straight. But still, she's a former FBI profiler. Aren't those people supposed to have higher IQ/EQ and stronger will than us normal ones?

Now she kind of figured out how hard Red has been trying to protect her, I wish season 3 could be more about her teaming up with Red and Tom and using her badass profiling skills to take down the Cabal. Please, no more 3rd grade Liz in the next season.

Peidi Mu said...

Tabasko: It makes sense if Nikki is another covert operative that had former relations with Tom. Or she could even be Tom's real sister who was also recruited by the Major when they were young. I feel the writers just wanted to lay down the Nikki line in season 1 in case there's need to further exploit the Tom character in the future, which means they probably hadn't decided who this Nikki woman really is by then.

I agree that Tom's feeling for Liz became clear after he realized that he was forever forbidden to see her again. Like the old saying, you only realize how much you love something (someone) when you lose it. By then, he started trying to figure out what his emotion really is to Liz. It's interesting to see the character began to take actions by following his heart instead of the orders from his superiors.

After the whole season 2 is completed, I feel that the writers sorta want to develop more about the Liz/Tom(Jacob) line than the Liz/Ressler one. Considering Liz's complicated and mysterious background and her identity problems, Tom would be the one that truly understands what she has been through. It's just easier for those two to resonate with each other.

I was watching S2E19 for probably the 100th time (good way to enjoy the long weekend), and all out of the blue I got this idea that Liz, no matter how hard she tries, will always inherit a thrilling and eventful life from her parents. My clue -- she turned down the marriage proposal of Nick's. We only get to see Nick for half minute or even less but it seems that this guy has a squeaky clean history. He's a good man, the kind of guy Liz could start and share a peaceful life together. However, somehow Liz chose Tom. The cover of Tom is also a nice, gentle, sweet, thoughtful, responsible person. It should be quite the similar type to Nick. But Liz married to Tom and never went back to Nick. Probably unconsciously Liz was attracted to the dangerous person under the Prince Charming cover. Well this theory doesn't get a lot of evidence to back up. She might rejected Nick just because she was not ready for marriage or he was too busy working as a doctor and couldn't spend quality time with her

Tabasko said...

Piedi Mu #84: I would agree with you on Liz's character and how she's been written. It has been hard to be on her side at times and I know I've complained about it.

I think her character the last few episodes of the season was written much better, though. She was much more competent and on a more even level with Red and Jacob/Tom.

Liz has somewhat of an addiction to her job and discovered something quite important on the drive from Andropov. I think Jacob really showed he understood Liz, finally, and that she would be going to finish things out. I think he will be done waiting around for her. He will be around for her in one way or another.

I think you will get your wish for Season 3. Ponytail Liz has replaced Wig Liz and Ponytail Liz is bound to be more exciting. I, too, would love to see Red, Liz and Jacob as a Cabal-fighting team.

Certainly see how you feel.

Tabasko said...

Peidi Mu #85: I like your thoughts about Nikki and the possibilities.

And your thoughts about the direction for the Jacob/Tom character with Liz. Jacob might indeed be the only person who understands Liz right now. I wonder if he has found out she shot Tom Connolly.

That's a take on Dr. Nick I hadn't thought of. Liz apparently took up with Tom and chose him over Nick, so it's very possible she was inherently attracted to some dangerous element of his character.

Peidi Mu said...

Tabasko #86: I believe Liz will become more competent and emotionally stable in season 3 after she found out why Red tried to block her memories. One major reason that she was so capricious in the first 2 seasons was because she didn't know the true intention of Red intervening her life. She hasn't fully figured out her bond with Red yet but at least now she has got very big chunk of the puzzle found. Really excited to see how the writers will develop her character in the next season.

About the future of Tom-- somehow I have this idea that the call Red made in his car saying he needed to travel was in fact to Tom. I assume Red's jet attracts a lot of attention and he needs a more low-key and mobile tool for transportation considering their current situation. Tom's boat would be a perfect option. Red said goodbye to Dembe and now the Red/Liz team can really use another help. Tom could fill in that hole perfectly. He's a well trained spy who cares about Liz and, at the same time, has several off-the-radar identities.
However, on the other hand, with the Major looking for Tom and the whole world searching for Liz, those three (Red, Tom, Liz) bonding together might not be too wise a choice. It totally depends on how the writers want to build the dynamic of the show. Maybe Red just called Mr. Kaplan for some get away arrangements. One way or another, we'll get the answer in fall.

Tabasko said...

#88 Peidi Mu: That's a good observation on Liz's development. As she's learned more about details of her past and things have begun to make more sense for her, her character has become less erratic.

That is an interesting possibility that Red might have called Jacob to travel on the boat. A couple of people have mentioned it around here and it would be a cool surprise. Quite true that an awful lot of people are looking for Jacob/Tom, too, though.

I kind of assumed Red called Mr. Kaplan, as you suggest, or some other associate, only because he said "I need to travel" and not "we" which I think he would have said if he were calling Jacob. Jacob would want to know Liz was there, too. I get overly hung up on semantics, though!

We have a Summer Discussion Page going if you would like to join us there. I think some of your thoughts would be good for general discussion.

Summer Discussion Page

Tessa Bisolli said...
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Iowa Watcher said...

Just thinking out loud:

At the end of the second season, Tom/Jacob, who can't swim, seems to have gotten a boat from somewhere. Did he buy it? Steal it? Rent it? Maybe he sold that car he had?
Maybe he stole that car to begin with?

There's also the scene where Red gave him an envelope. Was there a receipt in there that showed Red had transferred some money for him into an account?

I'm just unclear as to whom is paying Tom/Jacob. I would think that his former boss is very unhappy with him after that fiasco in Germany, so Tom/Jacob is no longer on that payroll. Maybe he receives some cash up front before he starts a job? Maybe he steals credit cards?

So, he leaves on his boat, and we think we've seen the last of him for awhile, but he turns up, wearing a hoodie and looking exhausted, and confronts Ressler.

I have some questions:

- Who is he really working for at this point? Would he really approach Ressler on his own? Is it "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" sort of deal? or is he still on Red's payroll? Or on the Cabal's payroll?

- If he's not on anyone's payroll, he is extremely dumb to reappear. Red told him to get lost. Is he dumb enough to mess with Red? That's why I suspect someone is paying him.

- If he is acting on his own, is Liz pregnant? Does he plan on stealing the baby?
I so hope the writers don't go there!

I wasn't going to spend much time on where the show is going, but these are some questions that bother me a little.

Tabasko said...

Iowa Watcher #91: Good questions : ) Well, let's see, I figured Jacob ( I can't type both Jacob and Tom so many times, and Chompstick has made an excellent case for Jacob) bought the boat. But I guess we don't know what, if anything, he has done with his money. Did the Major pay him before the German endeavor? I have no idea how that stuff works or what jobs like that pay, LOL. He probably thought ahead enough to have money in some different places. If the subject doesn't come back, I think we can assume he bought them. As in if he is on a redemption path with no bumps in the road.

I actually think it would add to his story to have a few bumps, because it would be pretty hard to give up that way of doing things if it was so ingrained from childhood and make his redemption more emotionally significant. That's just to me. It's a similar reason to why I was wanting more from Ressler's drug problem story. It was kind of like a missed opportunity to show some complicated character stuff, although he is getting better story now (yay!!)

I have no idea what was in that envelope from Red, but I also assumed money. Lots of it. But it could have been something for proof to an account.

I think we can safely assume it wasn't a reference letter!

I think Jacob's statement to Red at the hospital bed was sincere. That he was out, at least for then, and was not working for anyone. So I think the boat and his trying to get Liz to join him was real. I think Red would be happy to have him gone if Liz was happy with that. She isn't, though, which influences Red tremendously. But, since Red has refrained from killing Jacob thus far, he probably will stay that way unless he gives Red a new reason, for Liz's sake alone.

I think Jacob is showing up to Ressler thinking he has no place else to go to help Liz. He wants her away from Red. I think that's more risky in a way. Ressler is not a fan.

The idea that Liz would be pregnant has been floated around. It honestly never occurred to me that she would be, because I think it would be such a bad fit for the show. As fangirl said elsewhere, that's a last resort move when you are out of writing ideas. Anyway, it would be pretty hard to pull off as the show in structured and Liz just drank a huge glass of brandy or something in the last episode. So I hope not. I doubt that will be in the plans.

I could be wrong, but I don't think there will be much to worry about here. I think the new direction of the show and the characters is going to be interesting, seeing where all the side characters go and make decisions. I don't think any of them are under the influence of anyone else or The Cabal and have their own stories to tell. Except Samar, who may have some outside influences from Mossad, etc. Well, she has had those.

Chompstick said...

Ohhh, I see I'll have to jump in here later. I don't have time to even read the comments. Wednesdays are a busy day for me - 3.5 hours on the road driving to doctors appointments in Baltimore.

One Paul said...

Tabasko #92

I think you have done a great job of running down the list for Jacob and where the character is.

Is there any character on this show that hasn't committed a crime, lol? Maybe Reven Wright.

I know we have discussed this point over the summer and not all your posters were here, but I feel fairly sure all the task force characters and Jacob are under their own motivation regarding their behavior and Liz. I don't think Jacob was working or will be for the Cabal. In fact, I will predict he will be very anti-Cabal as they are after Liz.

In my view, he left on his boat because he didn't want to get in the way of Liz doing what was necessary. It was a moment of doing what's good for someone else. There was no way he could convince Liz to go and he figured that out.

I didn't think he looked that bad for a guy probably trying not to be seen and who probably did at least break into Ressler's apartment building. ;)

I do agree changing ways is typically hard. He will either have some struggles, which could be good show. Or he is one of those people who just come to a revelation and he hit it.

Iowa Watcher #91

There are a couple of things that have been said off the show that provide some perspective on Jacob from TPTB. The S2 Bluray commentary is one, and a recent interview with Daniel Knauf, a very open and interesting guy, that was conducted by the people that a operate a podcast called "The Blacklist Exposed" is another. I realize that those things are time investments, but they do provide some insight into the writers' view on this. I think they have felt there is some story to tell here.

I am glad you brought it up.

I hope no one minds my jumping in. I haven't been posting long here.

Iowa Watcher said...

Ha! I'm sure it wasn't a reference letter that Red gave Tom/Jacob. That comment made me smile!

You may be right about all that. I haven't thought about it for that long. I'm just getting back into the discussion.

One Paul, of course you are always welcome to jump in!

I will check out the podcast when I get a little more free time. Thanks for the recommendation.

I know there were discussions that went on this summer. I got through several pages and will finish those in the fullness of time. You folks wrote a lot! (:

Tabasko said...

Iowa Watcher #95: Ha! I'm glad my goofiness comes across!

That's good to remember, many are just getting back into it like you. I think everyone here at present would be happy to talk about any of the subjects if anyone feels like the have questions. That's a good thing and I'm glad you posted yours. I think everyone has questions roaming around.

There were a lot of discussions in the summer, more than I expected!

One Paul #94: Thanks! Good points. And Iowa is right---- you are welcome to jump in anytime!

Charmed said...

Iowa Watcher #91, Thanks for introducing such interesting topics for conversation. Tabasko and One Paul pretty much covered the answers any viewer might have. So I'm just reading and enjoying everything, as usual. Thanks y'all!

James Cherry said...

My prediction regarding the "love triangle" plot that the writers have alluded to is that we'll see more of the same love triangle we've already seen 2+ seasons : Liz being pulled in two different directions by Tom and Red. The season two finale established that Liz still has strong feelings for Tom, Tom came back for Liz this season despite not having any obvious motive apart from to redeem himself and now he's tracking Karakurt with Cooper's help. After Tom "clears" Liz after finding Karakurt, I predict he'll pick up clues pointing to Katarina Rastova, Liz will have serious doubts about what happened the night of the fire, and Tom and Liz will go awol looking for answers, over Red's disapproval. There's a host of possible directions it could go after that.

Tabasko said...

Hey, James Cherry! Nice to see a comment from you! I hope you are enjoying Season 3!

Thanks, you have put that very well! Tom/Jacob and Red definitely represent two different roads for Liz.

I love your idea that Jacob could start to look into Katrina Rostova. He definitely knows that's a big question for Liz and did approach that man in the gym over it on her behalf last season. He pointed out the Russian ring Liz's mother wore in the photo on the swing.

That would be an interesting story as the next step.

James Cherry said...

Possible endgames for Tom:
1) Pinocchio becomes a real boy, redeems himself, clears Liz, then rides off into the sunset to learn how to swim
2) Pinocchio becomes a real boy, redeems himself, clears Liz and then winds up back with Liz - possibly back to being a mild-mannered husband and confidant, possibly as a CI spy partner - maybe both. It would be pretty cool to see the nice guy school teacher raising their adopted kid, then morph into a killer bad arse when needed, his glasses placed carefully on the desk
3) Pinochio becomes a real boy, redeems himself, clears Liz and then dies heroically helping Liz
4) Pinochio runs out to be long-con lying genius, pulls Liz away from Red and turns out to be a bad guy - dies a miserable, well-justified death

Any other ideas?

I wonder also if they'll ever pick back up in the Gina Zanetakos/Nikki from Chicago story lines

Tabasko said...

James Cherry #100: I think my favorite is #2. The glasses are a nice touch.

#3 is very tragic/heroic, though!

5. Pinocchio clears Liz, eventually discovers Red is up to no good, and he and Liz defeat Red and Cabal.
6. Pinocchio clears Liz, eventually discovers Red is up to all good, and he and Liz help Red defeat Cabal.

Whoever's left. to the sunset and ship-captaining!

I have to think they will get back into those stories, at least the background info for Pinocchio (love that!) if they go past Season 3, especially! Hoping for many more than 3 here.

BL Mom said...

James Cherry #98 #100, Hi, I really like your posts! Tom definitely came back for Liz only. His motivation is only to help her. I see gratitude in him for what she's done for his own life.

I will have to say #2, too! What a great idea!

Tabs #101, a good and bad Red, right? Let them all team up!

James Cherry said...

Thanks Tabasko! I really appreciate your posts.

One Paul said...

James Cherry #98 Tabasko #99

Well put! I see the same things in Tom/Jacob. Liz has tough choices here.

James #100

I see him going off into the sunset after a heroic run. But who know how things could change between him and Liz coming up.

Tabs #101

Red is going to turn out to be good, with a bad side forced out, right? Like most real people, haha. Liz has the task of saving them both.

James Cherry said...

Last night's episode revealed a lot about where the writers are going with the show, specifically the Tom/Liz arc. It seems pretty clear that Tom and Liz are committed to one another and that Tom is a clearly a good guy now. Red seems to be begrudgingly learning to like Tom as well - his objection to Liz calling Tom was all about Liz not getting caught, not Tom's influence being bad for her or whatnot. I took the Tom/Liz conversation last night to imply Liz didn't go with Tom on his boat last season because she knew he wanted out of the risk and lies (i.e. a self-less act). Tom and Cooper's working relationship may set the stage for Tom to work directly with the FBI in the future, perhaps as a CI or contract spy or something, after Liz is cleared. I really liked the interaction between those characters.

Ryan Eggold's acting was simply phenomenal. I think last night showed why the writers didn't kill him off in seasons 1 or 2.

Tabasko said...

James Cherry #105: Well said!! I really like how you break this down and completely agree! Thanks!

James Cherry said...

Following Mr Wainright's I love you conversation with Liz, it seems likely the writers are going to stick with "Tom Keen" as his name in lieu of Jacob Phelps. It makes sense: in general, it's a poor idea to rename a major character two+ seasons into a series. So far this season Red, Ressler, Aram, Cooper, and most importantly Liz, still call him "Tom."

Tabasko said...

James Cherry #107: That is a valid point. The show is not changing it. Chompstick has a bit of a dislike for old Tom and a real like for new Tom aka Jacob. So we have honored her choice. But, you raise a good point. And Tom is easier to type.

They probably won't rename him, but maybe someday Liz will go for it, as he did ask her to use Jacob. : ))

Chompstick said...

I don't care. Hahaha

Tabasko said...

Well, we can all call him as we wish. I am sticking with Jacob. It's Chomptick's blog and I am her minion. James, use whatever you are happy with!

James Cherry said...

After this latest episode and TJ's lightning fast gun grab, I think we can safely say that he got shot in season 1 in part because he never intended to harm Liz (if that wasn't already obvious before). Re-watching that scene again, Red's dialogue seems to show he didn't think TJ was going to harm Liz either...

Hopefully the writers are going to start giving us real explanations soon for why all the men in this series treat Liz so uncritically. I can kinda, sorta buy it that TJ could develop a real conscience; people with sociopathic tendencies really can develop greater empathy under certain circumstances. Ryan Eggold's fine acting helps pull that off and the character was well portrayed to be conflicted even back when we all thought he was an irredeemable villain. But why would he still be so in love with someone who tortured him, shot him, imprisoned him, etc? TJ never intended to harm Liz, but she sure did harm him. If the story is to be believable, there's got to be something there beyond normal romantic love, especially as the writers so often make a point to remind us that female characters are attracted to TJ (Gina and Nikki in season 1, the waitress in season three).

A big loose end is the TJ's go box from season 1 that had an engraving on it resembling Liz's scar. I think it's possible that TJ's (for now) unbelievable devotion to Liz may predate Reddington hiring him and it may have little to to do with romantic love. But that's just my speculation... I think the writers have done a marvelous job with his character and the whole Red/Liz relationship thing would have become insufferable by now if there weren't other compelling plot points.

Chompstick said...

Holy Moo Moo! I have some major catching up to do on this page. I had no idea there has been so much discussion of my man. I'll be back...

Rori said...

Tom Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt-KeenPhelpsWainwrightBuckley

...and what was his German under cover name??
I laughed when he identified himself as Matt Buckley, since Buckley is as WASPy a faux name as Wainwright! But Asher missed the joke.

BL Mom said...

Lol Kristoff Mannheim

Chompstick said...

BL Mom, I'm impressed if you knew that without looking it up. The title has been changed to reflect the additional alias. We could make bets on the number of aliases he accrues, also.

BL Mom said...

Chompstick, that one was kind of sexy. I liked it most! It stuck with me.

I have to add he had another, too: Bobby. The woman in the wheelchair with the shelf corporations and all the phones, I forget the episode, she knew him as Bobby. ☺

Tabasko said...

James Cherry #111: Thanks for bringing that up about Tom and his reflexes. Those are great points!

Sometimes I have to admit, I fail to see all of Liz's charms in that regard. : ) There was an extra in the Blu-rays that talked about how Red, Tom, and Ressler each loved Liz in a fatherly, romantic, and brotherly way, respectively, and I thought, do they?

Sometimes, she is a bit of a pill and she has lied to each of these guys more then once! But love is complicated! There are a few people with spouses in real life where I question the attraction, LOL.

I agree that the other plot points were totally necessary and add to the show.

Chompstick said...

*Ahem* Tabs #117..your fourth word after the colon *Ahem*

Tabasko said...

Chompy Halloween #118: LOL, do you mean "that'? Or the "Tom"?

Charmed said...

BL Mom, I liked the name Kristoff Mannheim too. Strong, manly... and sexy.

As another of Chomp's minions, I remember when no one was "originally" interested in this page on Tom Keen, but me. So thanks y'all for all the Jacob/Tom love. 'Bout Time since it's season 3'.

Tom Bond, Not Tom, etc.

Chompstick said...

Psst ... Tabaroo, I trying not to make a scene and embarrass you for using the T word. Yes I meant the seventh word. I won't tell anyone if you don't.

Chompstick said...

Hi Charmed!! {{Big huge Chompy wave}}

Chompstick said...

Hi James Cherry,

Thank you for your continued posts on this discussion page, a favorite among many of us, including myself.

Although your latest comments regarded Jacob, they contained spoilers so I moved the last post to the Spoilers Page which is the only location on BSG where spoilers are permitted. Having a dedicated page for spoilers is one thing that we are very proud of because it offers a service that is considerate and accommodates our friends trying to avoid them. I think this may be unique to our site.

I realize this was a simple oversight on your part, so no worries. I do it myself from time to time!

Tabasko said...

Just for fun, here are some things about Tom JJSKMPWB's backstory. Thanks, Kodiak, for noticing he mentioned it this week.

Episode 3.5
"Raised by a single mom.
Used to clean dorms at Bronx College.
Uh, I got a brother in prison.
I'm nobody."

Episode 2.15
In New York in 1994, the Major picks him up from the street. He knows Jacob has stolen some things like credit cards and a purse. And has a bad foster home situation.

Did something happen to his mom?

Episode 1.18
From fake bother Craig
"He's got a brother in Chicago.
I've heard him talk about a woman, Niki."

Not much, but there it is!

Kodiak said...

Tabasko #124 lol thanks!

I am interested in that story if they ever have time to get into it.

If it was true from this week, it would seem something happened to his mother.

Chompstick said...

#124-125, I personally don't consider any of what Jacob told Sutton to be the truth. His entire relationship with Sutton is a ruse, so there's no reason to expect that any of his backstory is realistic. It might be, might not.

Tabby Cat - Tom JJSKMPWB!! hahaha

Tabasko said...

Chompbompalooba #126: Whot???? I think there was a tiny bit of real coming out in Tom JJSKMPWB there. Just a smidge making it's way while he is turning into this new person, who doesn't even have a full identity, hence "I'm nobody."

If he was in foster, he didn't have present parents, anyway. And the brother part could be true. Fake Craig,mentioned the brother.

If I am wrong, so be it. They probably won't get to much more soon. I more or less made a short list to refer back to in case more comes out. I think those lines were there for a reason, but who knows, LOL.

James Cherry said...

At this point in Season 3, it seems clear to me that Tom Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt-KeenMannheimPhelpsWainwrightBuckley (let’s call him “TJ”) is not only is trying to redeem himself in Liz’s eyes related to his earlier betrayal and he also wants to get back with Liz romantically, but that he actually in fact sees himself as Liz’s husband, and her his wife, right now. In the last episode he unequivocally referred to her as his “wife;” the narrative purpose of the waitress at their diner flirting with him and TJ showing no interest seems to be to demonstrate that TJ is still committed to Liz, as a husband should be and not as simply an ex who wants to get back together someday. Forgetting for a bit all the shipper nonsense - I doubt the writers will give Liz, or anyone else, a definitive happy ending until near the series conclusion - and let’s also forget whether or not a resumed relationship between these two actually makes realistic sense. And let’s ignore for a moment the question of whether or not such a relationship would be toxic or something more; that’s a question for the future, if the writer’s go that route. Given that we don’t know Liz’s feelings on the subject at this point, this seems to give us one of three basic possibilities as the story progresses as of right now:
1) Liz feels the same way as TJ
2) Liz hasn’t made up her mind one way or another
3) Liz doesn’t feel the same way as TJ

In my own opinion, not based on anything in particular, is the writers won’t go with option 1, at least not in the short-term, certainly not by the next episode. My guess is Ressler will show up before Tom and Liz have a chance to discuss much more than Karakurt and next steps on clearing Liz.

If the writers do eventually go with option 1 – which in a typical Blacklist sort of way, would likely be drawn out with a lot of twists as the story progresses - we’d have the completion of a very interesting story arc: the fake husband, liar and betrayer - the homme fatale - who become the real husband, partner and confidant and a credible sidekick for Liz as she veers further into the ethical gray area of doing whatever is necessary to stop the bad guys. TJ makes a lot of sense as Liz’s partner in uncovering her past, given that she’s Russian, her mother is Russian and TJ just captured a Russian agent following infiltrating a Russian mob. It’s quite possible that there’s some sort of a connection there between Karakurt and Katarina Rostova, and willingly or not, TJ will play a bigger part in helping Liz to uncover this connection.

Option 2 would only be temporary – and given how long the Red/Liz arc has played out, the writers could prolong the big reveal on this for quite some time – at some point Liz will reach a decision one way or another, barring unforeseen events such as TJ being killed off (which I for one don’t see happening – his character is too important to the show, as is Ryan Eggold).

Option 3 opens up a lot of possibilities – does TJ go back to being a bad guy, possibly recruited by the Cabal? If so, is he just infiltrating them while remaining loyal to Liz & the good guys? How do the writers come up with a plausible reason to keep TJ in the narrative if there’s no realistic possibility of a reunion with Liz, given that TJ’s only motivation that has been shown so far this season is TJ’s hope for a reunion? Does TJ’s love for Liz evolve into something unselfish and remain willing to help in the fight against the Cabal? How does Pinocchio, who became a “real boy” for Liz’s sake, handle rejection from the only person he’s ever cared about, the only person who’s ever cared about him? Does he wizen and becom an ethical sociopath more like Reddington? Does he become determined to not become more like Reddington and to become the “real” version of Tom Keen? The writers could do a lot things to amp up the tension here, if they do go this route. One way or another, I imagine we’ll see a lot of bumps and twists along the way and plenty of misdirection.

James Cherry said...

My wild-arsed hypothesis is that TJ is on a mission to protect Liz at all costs, no matter how much it hurts her in the short term, or exposes himself to mortal peril or harms innocent bystanders such as the harbor master or the late Mr Sutton. This could be self-imposed it he could be working for a third party, such as K Rostova.

Tabasko said...

James Cherry #127 and #128: Thanks for more great insight on TJ. Yes, that works better LOL.

I completely agree with you that the subject is outside of what anyone opines about it. To me, TJ is not meant to be representative of men as a whole, but just of himself on his own story. The story is what's going on in his mind as far as Liz goes. It may not be realistic or happen soon, if at all. End of series is a good point.

That's a great point on how TJ referred to Liz to Karakurt.

His turning point really began when he came back to admit for Liz he killed Eugene Ames, the DC Harbormaster. He had left then, and left again at the end of "Tom Connolly." So I think he's acting on his own only, out of love for Liz or as much as he can experience that right now.

I agree that in TV land, particularly Blacklist land, they will not simply be together. There will be road blocks. Liz may be upset if she finds out what has happened leading up to TJ returning.

I think Liz still has feelings for him, hence her reaction when she heard from him. Is it love? It may take a long time for that to be created. Definitely possible.

That's a great question, how does TJ stay in the narrative? I agree he will not be killed off, unless Ryan Eggold wants to leave. And I can't think why he would. Maybe he will go off again for a bit and return.

I think he and Liz might spend some time running. I wouldn't mind seeing TJ, Liz and Red together.

I definitely think he could help Liz find out more about her mother. And it would be fun to see him as some kind of unsanctioned agent. He would be fantastic at it.

In any case, I see continued discord between him and Red over Liz's courses of action.

Thanks, again, for great posts on this page!

James Cherry said...

Thanks Tabasko!

Just thinking out loud here... Ive been rewatching some of the season one episodes. Certain scenes play way differently now that we have a better understanding of TJ's motivations. For example when TJ takes Liz hostage to rescue the fake Berlin and Red, buying none of it, calls his bluff. The TJ who missed reddington at close range seems a stark contrast with th TOm Bond killing machine we saw in the last episode; we also know now TJ never had any intention of harming Liz, as red knew. Red's reaction then was a far cry from his reaction recently in the hanger with Solomon. Reddington also played up the "Gina Zanatakos is his lover" angle, which doesn't fit at all with what we now know about TJ - it seems to me Red was playing cynically in Liz's fear of abandonment, which she told us about in the pilot - which also seems to violate the usual assumption that Ref never lies to Liz (I think he does lie when it serves his purposes). Red also knew TJ would come back for Liz in episode Tom Keen last season, despite there being no obvious reason for him to to so.

I thin we'll find out that Red is much less of a "good guy" than we've come to believe. Altering Liz's memories doesn't smack of honesty; he likely had more motives than simply to keep Liz from knowing she shot her father. It seems we've learned virtually nothing new about Reddingtin's own background in quite some time. My guess is, he knows TJ knows more than he's revealed so far, and that is why he is so insistent upon Liz not talking to him.

A quick point regarding the previews: the powers that be have always been adept at cutting these so as to give viewers no clue as to how these scenes will actually play out. I doubt that Liz is dumb enough to just show up in public like that without good reason; TJ's phone shouldn't be that traceable either. My guess is a mole rats them out.

Tabasko said...

James Cherry #131: I completely agree it changes the whole dynamic of the Season 1 scenes with you look at them again knowing what we know now about TJ. The scenes you are referring to take on a completely different meaning and are totally consistent when you look back. Thanks for bringing it up, we haven't talked about it lately and keep learning more about TJ.

Well, I can see your point about Red, absolutely. Some of how I feel about his not lying to Liz comes from remarks off the show made by TPTB.

I think he is a complicated mix of bad and good. I wrote a little bit of this on another page earlier, but he does stand up for things that are human issues, like the situation with The Djinn, or way back to Floriana Campo in Season 1 (Isabella Rossellini's character) or other exploitation issues, like Geoff Pearl ( Mombasa Cartel).

Then we have things like Dembe's loyalty and I do suspect Dembe knows the whole story.

The thing is, I think both TJ and Red and a mixture, and either one can go wither way in the story in the end. I think both have what they think are the right intentions, in a weird way.

I absolutely agree that TJ knows some things, and Red does not want Liz to know them. He wanted TJ out of the picture, but couldn't ultimately kill him.

Those are good points about the preview. I should hope neither of them would think it's OK to meet there. TJ knows Cooper could find him there, right? It's either a mole, a bad decision, or a set-up of some kind.

Interesting discussion points! Thanks!

James Cherry said...

Excellent points Tobasko. Regarding TPTB view on Red never lying to Liz, I think they're using a pretty narrow definition of the word "lying," but I do agree he never tells blatant lies. For instance, I don't doubt that Gina Z was TJ's lover at some point in the past, but Red says it in such a way as to imply she was his *current* lover, which is how Liz seems to have taken it. He also lies through omission all the time - failing to tell Liz he was the one who hired TJ for two entire seasons, etc. Liz can come off as whiny/ungrateful regarding Red's own background, but failing to tell her about TJ was just an inexcusable lie of omission. Reddington also let Liz think TJ had something to do with the cameras being placed in their bedroom, when it was actually Fitch's Cabal faction that did that and they were spying on TJ as much as they were Liz.

I don’t think TJ makes sense as sociopath, as Reddington called him, who has learned a bit of empathy for Liz’s sake quite so much is he seems to be a person who has been trained/conditioned to help Liz at all costs who’s never had a normal family/friend/spousal type relationship before, and who consequently *thinks* he’s a sociopath because that’s what he’s been told. For starters, Liz should have detected a real sociopath, given her psychological background – actual sociopaths are glib and very superficial in a romantic relationship - a point that a lot of fans have focused on to suggest she’s stupid. I think rather Red wanted Liz to doubt her own abilities, and TJ was actually convincing because he’s not really a sociopath. The “fake” relationship was substantially real all along, minus of course the fraudulent details about TJ’s personal background.

James Cherry said...

(continued from previous post)

TJ’s behavior at times doesn’t seem to make much sense, to me at least, if we assume he’s actually a sociopath with perhaps a few ethical/empathetic qualities. For instance, after months of being held captive, tortured, etc, while on the verge of being rescued, he immediately kills his would-be rescuer while still chained up, knowing perfectly well Liz could have then killed him, had him killed, etc. A real sociopath (or any normal person) would have gotten free first. TJ did this to protect Liz from the legal consequences of her own actions, which were pretty horrible; this isn’t normal human behavior, much less the self-interested actions of a sociopath. Later in season two, TJ came back for Liz and turned himself in fully expecting to go to prison for her for crimes he committed because he was protecting Liz while trying to free himself from her kidnapping and false imprisonment. And notably Reddington, who knows a great deal about TJ’s psychology, knew he’d do it – despite TJ having no apparent logical or even emotional motive to do so, especially if we conceive of him as fundamentally a sociopath with a bit of a heart. I love my wife more than anyone else in the world, probably more than a few hundred people put together, but after four months chained up to a bulkhead following three bullets to the gut, I would probably change my mind… TJ also seemed genuinely hurt over Liz reneging on the adoption – also an idea Red put into her head - as evidenced by TJ keeping the ultrasound through his apparent betrayal of Liz at the end of season 2, his subsequent imprisonment for 4+ months by Liz and his new cover as in Germany. That’s definitely not the move of a sociopath.

TJ’s killing of Jolene also doesn’t make much sense to me in retrospect, at least not when we assume he’s a sociopath: she’s supposed to be working for the same organization as TJ, and at this point, the dude needed some serious help given that Red and the Cabal were all over him like a cheap suit. Jolene was checking in on him to verify that he was still loyal to Berlin; she figured out pretty quickly that he “gave the wrong answer” and was compromised regarding Liz and reminded him the Liz is his target, not his wife. When Jolene wouldn’t stand down, TJ killed Jolene after Jolene has started to infiltrate Liz’s life herself. It seems to me that TJ knew Jolene was putting herself into a position to assassinate Liz – and so he took Jolene out to protect Liz.

James Cherry said...

When Liz was onto TJ in season 1 (thanks mostly to Reddington), in lieu of leaving and giving himself some lead time, we instead saw him gazing at a picture of Liz, waiting to talk to her, followed by an attempt to at one last dinner together; then says good bye and left. It was then Reddington who provided the resources and egged Liz on to violently pursue him – odd, given that Reddington claims not to be motivated by revenge - after he’d left peacefully , and then shooting at him, etc. With Red’s encouragement, Liz then tortured TJ, breaking his thumb. He breaks free, subdues her and does her no further harm – he says something about being one of the good guys again, and then proves it by again leaving her peacefully. Once again, these are not the actions of a sociopath, and they’re also not the actions of a normal love interest either, even an extremely committed one.
We’ve seen The Blacklist veer into X-Files/Fringe territory before, such as with Liz’s altered memories. I think it’s possible that somehow his own free will has somehow been compromised, almost as if he’s been programmed to help Liz no matter the cost to Liz, himself and anyone else. It seems to me that every time he’s starting to develop a sense of agency of his own, he comes running back to help Liz, almost like a compulsion. He had a very elaborate life reboot plan complete with a new boat – and he dropped it in a flash to help Liz and he delayed putting his plans into action at the end of season two, again to help Liz. He put himself in considerable danger going after Karakurt, hurting innocents in the process, when he has no idea if Liz even cares about him the same way he cares about her. Again, this doesn’t seem to fit with the sociopath with a shred of conscious hypothesis that Redding pushes, or even normal romantic love & commitment.
We know TJ has some sort of arrangement with Reddington, with TJ having kept this relationship secret despite months of interrogation. Reddington also gave TJ an envelope, the contents of which we still don’t know (the assumption is money, but that’s not what was shown). TJ helped save Reddington’s life, when the obvious move would have been to let Reddington die. Reddington, to his credit, then finally revealed the truth to Liz along with his “deepest commitment” monologue, which I take as Red’s “sin eater” role coming out, assuming perhaps more than his share of the blame for TJ’s apparent betrayal. In any case, there’s clearly a lot more to the Red/TJ relationship than what has been revealed thus far.

I for one hope Red and TJ can stop playing games and work together with Liz to stop the Cabal. If that’s going to happen, though, I suspect that Liz is going to have to be the one to tell that to Red and TJ alike.

One Paul said...

James Cherry, your Tom/Jacob posts are really insightful. I'm enjoying them!

I agree with your idea TJ sees himself as still with Liz.

I actually think Red even knew it before TJ was ready to admit it to himself.

Your options about Liz's feelings are probably going to end up all being true, if the show runs long enough, haha. Nah, I think Liz still has feelings, but will be very conflicted about him.

How to keep him in the narrative.....he becomes valuable to the FBI, he becomes valuable to Red, or he and Liz end up together for a time, and he dies heroically. (probably not ) but I could see somehow him and Liz on the run, not necessarily against Red, but maybe by necessity.

Tabasko, I agree there is a mix of traits for TJ and Red. I don't think either of them is predictable for sure, but I lean toward both coming to grips with their realties, neither of which are great for a average living. Tom hasn't had many selfless acts yet except in regard to Liz. If he has one upcoming, that will be telling.

Tabasko said...

James Cherry, BL Mom wrote a response to your post accidentally on the episode page:

BL Mom said..."James Cherry, wow! What a well-written analysis of Tom Keen!!! I have really gotten over my old doubts about him as a character, but if I hadn't, you have convinced this gal!

I'm so happy you took the time to write this.

I believe Tom's love and seemingly strange commitment to Liz comes, in part at least, from his very troubling youth and lack of any real previous connections. She may be the first person who even tried to get to know him. I think she fell for him in spite of his false persona because she saw through it subconsciously somehow. I don't know if that makes sense, but that's my guess.

Maybe his commitment to her is so deep because that's all he has. I agree, my SO would be long gone if he locked me in a boat!! But, I have a huge network of support. Maybe he has his own issues of abandonment and they connect there.

I really like your posts!! Excellent detail and you make your points so clearly."

James Cherry said...

Thanks Tabasko!

James Cherry said...

After the last few episodes, The Director I & II, I'm leaning towards Tom/Jacob being Liz's sidekick going forward, but not necessarily being involved with her romantically. With Liz now a convicted killer, on probation and out of the FBI (at least for now), she's going to need a sidekick who has a similar shady, extra-legal background. Red, being the mastermind, is unlikely to fill that role.

Megan Boone is already showing quite a bit and it's doubtful Liz Keen could credibly be hiding a pregnancy at this point. So I'm leaning towards the pregnancy not being written in; I think they'll reduce her screen-time in the near future, possibly by having her go off looking for K Rostova on her own, hiding from Red, etc - possibly even fake her death - and we'll see the supporting cast pick up the slack. Next season, she's back ready to kick butt.

Tabasko said...

James Cherry #139: Thanks for another nice contribution to the page. You make some great points. Like your ideas! Makes good sense.

Tatiana said...

Yes, James Cherry, I think those are all very likely scenario, especially TK being the side kick. He's loyal to her but he seems to only want her well-being, one of the few times he's shown any real virtue.

Although we do have an upcoming episode that might point to something different... but that's a discussion for the spoiler page :-D

James Cherry said...

Well, we have yet another name to add to the list, this time the real one - Mr Hargrave

Charmed said...

James Cherry #142
You beat me to it James. :))
Christopher Hargrave.

I know we pooh-poohed the idea that Tom Keen was Scottie's child. But now Red has told Tom he was Scottie's 3 year old kidnapped child.
But we don't know the whole story yet...

DZ731 said...

Who's his daddy? I'm thinking there's going to be at least one more name here.

BL Mom said...

Lol, James Cherry #142, Is it? Because we were sure before it was Jacob Phelps! Because Charmed #143 is right, we don't know the whole story. Where Red got that info, was he being honest.........

I can't wait to see what happens with Tom next week because we know he is still here. I think I will wait for that episode to see, because they are going to need a very good reason for him to be gone....if Liz comes back from the dead....and he is gone with his "mother" that may or may not really be.

lara1 said...

DZ731 #144: I get that sense as well. Nothing is as it seems on this show. This story is going to have some twists and turns and I think that more than one "father" may emerge in due course!