|Birth name||Donald Ressler|
|Agency||Federal Bureau of Investigation|
|Last Seen||"The Judge"|
Donald Ressler is a protagonist in "The Blacklist". A Special Agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, he was the lead agent on Raymond Reddington case until Elizabeth Keen was specifically requested by Reddington during the process of cooperating with Assistant Director Harold Cooper.
Ressler is a veteran field agent who has been tracking Raymond Reddington for 5 years, the bulk of his career. Ressler's greatest asset is his single-minded, almost obsessive devotion to his work. Despite his by-the-book methodology, he is always been one step behind Reddington. He was involved in a failed FBI plot to assassinate Reddington in Brussels, Belgium
He was once engaged to a women named Audrey Bidwell, but his obsession with Reddington caused them to break up.
When Reddington turns himself in, Ressler is caught off guard and is unsure of the criminal's motives. He is perhaps more troubled by Reddington’s obsession with Elizabeth Keen, a novice FBI agent and someone Ressler doesn't trust when she is appointed to his case.
Ressler is adamant that Reddington should communicate with him and not Elizabeth despite Reddington's insistence on ignoring him. Ressler is determined find out why Reddington turned himself in and the nature of his relationship to Elizabeth Keen.
As case agent he was in charge of Reddington after his surrender until his superior, Harold Cooper arrived. When Red told them about the impending abduction of Beth Riker he was reluctant to proceed but eventually acquiesced. During the abduction he saved Elizabeth's life when he killed on of the abductors.
After Reddington's escape he lead the ground unit attempting to recapture him. Using information supplied by the tracking team he cornered the man he believed to be Red on the roof of the National Museum, only to discover that it was Ranko Zamani.
When Zamani took something from his pocket he shot him, causing him to fall to his death. The item was a pill tube containing Reddington's tracking chip. He also attended the meeting where Red laid out the new terms for his cooperation.
He goes with Reddington and Liz to Montreal, where he liaises with the RCMP. When Reddington and Elizabeth are in the restaurant he is in the control vehicle monitoring their conversation and the other customers.
When Reddington goes missing, he rushes into the restaurant, and attempts to pursue him. After searching the restaurant without finding Red, he returns to the control vehicle to find Reddington inside waiting for him.
When Reddington and Elizabeth fall out of traceable range, he is very keen to storm the radio station, since Red may have escaped again or, as a secondary consideration, they may be in danger. When Henry Cho's name is received he goes with Meera Malik to try and protect him.
Once they reach the building, he finds one assassin about to kill Henry and manages to distract him and then he throws him from the building. Dealing with the other assassin is more difficult and only after a long fight does he manage to subdue him, just as Meera shoots and kills the third assassin.
Back at The Post Office he congratulates Elizabeth on a job well done and tells her that regardless of what happened in the bunker, the fact that Henry Cho is still alive is thanks to her.
Once Elizabeth has left taking her redacted copy of the ballistics report with her, he takes the unredacted version to Harold Cooper and reveals that due to his suspicions about Liz's relationship with Red he had put a flag on her and all intelligence that she requests would come to them first.
He and Cooper are again discussing Liz and the classified homicide. They decide that she will get nowhere in her investigation as she has nothing to go on. As a precaution Ressler decides that he will go to court that afternoon with Liz to keep an eye on her.
At court, after the juror has a seizure he tells Liz that the seizure was chemical, and both rush to check the witness. They are too late and only find a dead marshal.
After Elizabeth is kidnapped, he goes with Reddington to meet with Hector Lorca. At the meeting Red tells Lorca that he is an FBI agent, and one of Lorca's men holds a knife to his throat. He disarms the man and tells Lorca that he is the person that procured the false identity using FBI resources. Red implies that his fee is the release of Liz. With Meera he is able to discover that the Stewmaker's real name is Stanley R. Kornish.
He leads the FBI strike team on the Kornish family home, and using information gained from his wife organizes a search for the cabin.
At the cabin he leads the raid and calls a medic for Elizabeth. After Elizabeth is in the ambulance he asks Red about Lorca. He says to Reddington that Lorca was disrespectful and that Reddington does not like that. Reddington responds that Lorca is on his jet.
He leads the surveillance team at the Farmer's Market, directing the ground team following Hamid Soroush.
After the capture of Tommy Phelps he tries to interrogate him, but due to the Courier's inability to feel pain is unsuccessful.
When Laurence Dechambou is identified as the kidnapper of Seth Nelson he goes undercover into her nightclub to try and persuade her to return to the place she left Seth for the Courier. The ruse is unsuccessful, even though he cuts his arm with a broken champagne glass without showing pain, because Dechambou is aware that the Courier kills both parties to any failed transaction. He survives the firefight, while Dechambou is arrested by the SWAT team outside.
After Phelps escapes he and Meera Malik lead a search team to his childhood home where they discover he has taken refuge. After a short gun battle he manages to enter Phelps' house, but finds it empty. The agents pursue Phelps through the forest, but as they catch him he dies, probably through a lack of blood.
As the rescued Seth Nelson is being loaded into an ambulance, he complements Elizabeth Keen on a job well done.
He goes with Liz to the hotel room booked using the credit card of Gina Zanetakos's alias Shubie Hartwell. When they find the body, he heads downstairs in the elevator. As he is on the phone coordinating the search for Gina, he does not notice that she is hiding in the elevator, behind some innocent people. Once Gina is alone in the elevator (lift) with him she attacks him and manges to subdue him. In the struggle Gina's phone falls from her pocket and he retrieves it.
He partakes in the raid on Gina's apartment and Liz is showing him the box she found when one of the other searchers shows him the picture of Tom found next to Gina's bed.
He leads the search at the port of Houston, and when the car is discovered he drives it into an empty dock, leaping out just before it plunges into the water. The car explodes shortly afterwards underwater preventing the spread of radioactive material.
He calls Liz from outside the subway station where the victims are being removed.
He and Liz go to the hospital where they learn that the victims died from a weaponized form of Kurz disease.
At a meeting with Cooper, Liz and Meera Malik Red tells them that he has a contact for the Strontium 90 used in the gas bomb on the subway. Liz elects to accompany him to visit Anne Forrester, one of Barnes' former co-workers rather than accompany Red to Cuba. After meeting the family Liz tells him that she thinks Barnes is trying to publicize Kurz disease so that public reaction will demand a cure be found since the disease is being used for biological terrorism.
At the courthouse he pulls the fire alarm to evacuate the building, and then starts searching for Barnes. He finds the zip tied jury room, requisitions a mask and air tank from some fire fighters and enters the room finding the survivor whom he helps to safety.
He reports the fact that Liz gave up her weapon to Cooper, and tells her that while he respects her work and position on the team, she is not a trained field agent.
After Liz killed Barnes, he tells her that she made the right decision. When Liz says that Barnes' cure would probably have worked, and by the time it is properly tested it will be too late for Ethan, he replies that it is the job.
Donald Ressler is at the briefing where the suspects in the cargo plane bombing are identified as residing at the same address. Along with Liz he participates in the raid on the home.
When it is discovered that the current alias of Nathaniel Wolff has just been identified at Reagan airport, he and Liz rush to the airport to co-ordinate the search for the bomb, arriving just in time to be knocked over by the explosion.
Ressler and Liz, directed by Aram Mojtabai, attempt to intercept the armored car with Wolf on board. With the assistance of the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia (MPDC) they manage to stop the armored car, but Wolff escapes, after a gun battle, by dispersing 500 million dollars in a General Ludd protest march and joining the crowd.
At a remote airport he arrests Wolff. Wolff takes the time to mock Ressler for his loyalty to the powers-that-be.
While escorting Reddington to the box during the raid, Ressler is shot in the leg by a mercenary and Reddington uses Ressler's gun to return fire. Red grabs medical gear and retreats to the cell. While Reddington tends to his wounds, Anslo taunts Ressler about not assassinating Red in Brussels, in spite of giving him insider information in Red's whereabouts.
Sometime later, Red asks for Ressler's blood type, which coincidentally turns out to be B-negative. He questions Red's willingness to save his life, despite being aware in how much Ressler despises him and knowing about the failed assassination attempt in Brussels. While Red administers emergency blood transfusion, Anslo further taunts Ressler about his leg.
When Anslo Garrick threatens to shoot Liz, Red wakes Ressler from his faint, reloads his gun and puts it to his head telling him that he will kill him if he does not tell him the box's password. Realizing that Red is serious, Ressler tells Red the password, allowing Anslo to open the door. Red exits the box leaving Ressler's gun by his head.
In the hospital he is visited by his former fiance Audrey Bidwell, who was still listed as his emergency contact.
Along with the rest of the team he is interrogated about the incursion.
He accompanies Liz to the mortuary where Karen Brodine's husband will identify her body. While Liz supervises the identification, he talks to Michael her son.
When Liz tells the team her theory about the injuries inflicted upon the Good Samaritan's victims, he decides that they need to interview Michael Brodine.
In the interview he gets Michael to admit that he was being abused by his mother.
He and Liz visit the hospital where Karl Hoffman is employed, and learn that the only abused person recently treated by Hoffman was a woman named Melissa. When they interview Melissa they learn that her husband George is attending a support group. The facilitator of the group identifies Karl Hoffman as an attendee who left with George. He goes with Liz to Hoffman's childhood home.
During the whole episode because he is still recovering from his leg wound, Ressler uses a walking stick to walk.
- Why was Donald Ressler, an FBI agent, involved in an operation to assassinate Raymond Reddington? Even for the CIA, the chance of such an illegal operation being exposed would make it risky. Even if the foreign government approved the assassination, why include an FBI agent? Why did Harold Cooper not know of the assassination attempt?
- In "Pilot" why did Ressler contact Elizabeth Keen in public with multiple cars/agents? He could have contacted her at the local FBI office. Did he already suspect her since Red demanded her as his liaison?
- Could Ressler be the FBI double agent that is suspected in supplying insider information about Red and the FBI to the unknown faction?
- A: Highly unlikely. Meera has been revealed as the double agent in "The Alchemist".
- Will his distrust of Raymond Reddington and his bias towards taking action result in breaking Red's cover story or Ressler being removed from the team?
- This became a discussion, to partake click here.