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General Ludd
Season 1, Episode 8
Ludd Red
Air date November 11, 2013
Written by Amanda Kate Shuman
Directed by Steven Surjik
Guest Stars Justin Kirk as
Nathaniel Wolff
Hisham Tawfiq as Dembe
Deborah S Craig as
Luli Zeng
Amir Arison as
Aram Mojtabai
Andrew Dice Clay as Abraham Maltz
William Sadler as
Sam Scott
Season 1
previous
Frederick Barnes
next
Anslo Garrick

"General Ludd" is the eighth episode of Season 1 of The Blacklist and the eighth episode overall. It first aired on November 11, 2013 on NBC.

SynopsisEdit

A cargo plane is brought down by a bomb 90 seconds into its flight. An anti-capitalist group led by General Ludd claims responsibility.

Elizabeth Keen gets a call from her father telling her that he is in hospital for more cancer tests. She is concerned, but he reassures her that there is nothing to worry about.

Harold Cooper and Raymond Reddington are negotiating. Red wants access to the FBI's ViCAP (Violent Criminal Apprehension Program) system in return for information on the bomber, since he is not a consultant. With prompting from Liz, Cooper agrees.

Red tells them that the General Ludd group, named after the Luddite movement, is responsible. The founder and leader is called Nathaniel Wolff. The FBI find the names of two suspects for the bombing, Arthur Denning and Roger Guard. Comparing the photographs shows them to be the same person, but not Wolff.

Meanwhile Wolff's group have inserted a bomb into a laptop computer, and hand it to him as he confirms flight details with them. Wolff states that it was an honor to work with them.

Liz and Donald Ressler raid the Denning/Guard home and find evidence that he is Wolff and deduce that he has had cosmetic surgery to change his face.

Luli Zeng is trying to convince Red's counterfeiter, Mary, to move to Malaysia when Liz arrives having tracked Red through his chip. Red takes Liz outside where she tells him that he was right about Wolff, and that Wolff had changed his face. Red tells Liz that her father is sicker than she thought, as his cancer has returned. Red then tells her that Dr. Abraham Maltz is the cosmetic surgeon that Wolff would have used.

Red and Liz go to Dr. Maltz's office and Red asks him about Wolff. When he is not forthcoming with information, Liz says that she is an FBI agent and threatens to have his office raided. Maltz folds under the pressure and reveals Wolff's new name, Bradley Holland. Red then lambastes Maltz, complaining about the fact that he gave Wolff up so easily. Elizabeth Keen had not shown her badge, she had only made forceful threats. Red asks what else Maltz has confessed and leaves stating that Maltz has damaged his credibility.

Meanwhile Wolff, dressed as an airline pilot, has made his way to the first class lounge of an airport where he arms his laptop bomb. While there he converses with an investment banker who sees the General Ludd group as a social movement for anti-social losers. When informed that a first class seat is available, Wolff asks the staff member to load his luggage while he retrieves his airline logs from another terminal.

The FBI learn that Bradley Holland's pass has just been swiped at Reagan International airport, and Meera Malik orders all planes grounded and evacuated at Reagan airport. While Liz and Ressler rush to the airport Tom calls Liz to say that Aunt June has called, and that her father's cancer has spread to his liver and he is in surgery. Aunt June thinks that they should be there. Tom is flying to Nebraska, from Dulles, immediately, and as Liz can't get away he'll book her on a flight the next morning. Ressler and Liz and arrive just in time to be knocked over by the blast wave from the explosion.

After the return to The Post Office, Cooper shows a video message where Ludd declares war on corporate America. Cooper states that all commercial flights have been grounded.

Meanwhile, back at the hospital, Red pays a visit to Sam, Sam and Red talk about memories for a while, before Sam states that he needs to tell Liz the truth. Red tells him that that is not a good idea.

While searching the Holland address Liz and Ressler discover another name: John Horlbeck.

Meera presents her research to Cooper, it shows that Wolff's whole plan involved him becoming John Horlbeck, a truck driver who works for a trucking company sub-contracted by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. With all commercial aircraft grounded he will be moving 500 million dollars today. They decide that it was all about the theft.

When Liz and Ressler are following Wolff's van, Liz receives a call from her father, where he tells her the true state of his illness. After he hangs up, Red smothers him with a pillow.

Tom arrives at the hospital to be told that Liz's father is dead. Outside whilst having a coffee, a stranger consoles him and says that Liz's father will always be watching over her and that she is stronger than she thinks. The stranger was Red.

Liz and Ressler, with the assistance of the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia, intercept Wolff's armored car. The car backs into alley and there is a gunfight, which allows Wolf to unload a pallet of money. Wolf detonates an explosive charge in the middle of the pallet dispersing it over a demonstration by the General Ludd group to cover his escape.

Back at The Post Office the team determine that the purpose of the theft was to cover the removal of a hard drive containing the program for the new 100 dollar banknote design. They decide that they stopped Wolff before he could steal the drive. Liz calls Red to enquire about which airport Wolff could use, since all commercial flights are grounded. Red hangs up the phone and instructes Dembe to tell the pilot they are making an unscheduled stop.

At a remote airstrip, Wolff is stopped by Red who steals the real hard drive. Red states that he wants capitalism to survive. As they leave Red tells Dembe to send the plane's tail number to Keen.

When he walks to the hanger to get to his plane, Nathaniel Wolff is arrested by the FBI. Wolff mocks Donald Ressler and his loyalty to the powers that be.

While Liz attends Sam's funeral with Tom, Cooper allows Red access to ViCAP where he enters the numbers given to him by Wujing. The numbers refer to a young woman called Lucy Brooks.

Liz goes to Mary's house to tell Red that the FBI know about the hard drive, but Red changes the subject to Sam, and gets Liz to talk about him.

Press ReleaseEdit

Liz uncovers an elaborate plot to destroy the country’s financial system when a new name on The Blacklist is revealed by Red. Meanwhile Tom supports Liz when a family member falls ill.

Number on The BlacklistEdit

  • 109

Unanswered QuestionsEdit

  1. Raymond Reddington and the banknote design hard drive.
    1. What was Nathaniel Wolff's plan for the hard drive?
    2. Assuming that Red can keep the original, will he use it or sell it?
    3. Did Red suspect that the FBI would blame him for the theft regardless of witnesses?
    4. Why did Red conduct such an open theft?
    5. Will Nathaniel Wolff tell the FBI that Red took the real hard drive?
    6. Will Red be forced to surrender the hard drive?
    7. Why steal the hard drive? Once the theft is discovered, the Federal Reserve System and the United States Department of the Treasury will create a new design to prevent counterfeiting.
      1. A: By having possession of the hard drive for a short period of time, Red ensures that the new design will not be implemented, as the officials at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing will believe that he made a copy. The B.E.P. will, therefore, have to completely restart the re-design process. This means that Red's current counterfeiting operation can continue to operate.
      2. Q: A re-design will not halt counterfeiting operations. The counterfeiters can use the old designs that remain in circulation.
      3. A: Red can use the hard drive for counterfieting outside the United States.
      4. A: Mere possession of the hard drive gives Red information on the government's current currency programs. In "Before the Storm", the retrieval of the Order of Battle aboard the Gnisnal is seen as an intelligence victory despite being 10 years old.
  2. Nathaniel Wolff's escape
    1. Why did Red allow Wolff to leave after stealing the hard drive? He should have killed him to cover up the theft. Wolff's death could have been blamed on a rival terrorist group.
    2. Why did Wolff attempt to escape using his planned route? He should have anticipated that Red's interception meant that the FBI could locate him. During the arrest he did not resist and seemed to realize his escape route had been destroyed. Did the theft of the hard drive undermine his resolve since his plan had failed?
    3. Did Wolff walk into the arrest so the other members of General Ludd could escape?
    4. How did Red learn where Wolff was going to escape from?
      1. A: Red went to where he would have flown from. Remember the FBI went to the same place without information from Red, so it was an obvious location.
      2. Q. Red told Dembe to send the tail number to Elizabeth Keen.
  3. Who was the woman that Red found on the FBI's ViCAP (Violent Criminal Apprehension Program) system using the numbers that Wujing gave him?
    1. A: Lucy Brooks
  4. Is Harold Cooper starting to waver in his immunity deal with Reddington? He initially refused to grant access to ViCAP.
    1. A: According to Cooper, ViCAP was not in the deal. Red claimed that General Ludd was not on The Blacklist, and so not covered by the agreement.
    2. Q: Red demanded access in exchange for information on General Ludd. While Cooper did agree, he should have known that Red would demand something extra in exchange for a non-Blacklister. Cooper's resistance could be based on the fear that Red is attempting an absolute infiltration of the FBI's systems.
    3. A: Cooper could suspect that Red is pursuing his own agenda, by using the FBI to destroy his rivals.
  5. If General Ludd was not on the blacklist as Red claimed, why did he have a number in the credits?
    1. A: Red could have heard rumors of the counterfeiting scheme. In Red's view that would make Ludd a Blacklist target. Red can always re-number the list if needed.
    2. Q: Red never said that General Ludd is a non-blacklist target. Red tells Cooper that the agreement is for Red to bring cases to the FBI, not the other way around.
  6. How was Red able to fly? What was required to evade the no-fly directive?
    1. A: Cooper clearly says that commercial flights are grounded. Red has a private aircraft, and those were not subject to the ban. Wolff was also aware of this, which is why he planned to escape by air.
    2. Q: Then why did Elizabeth Keen ask Red why he was able to fly after Cooper stated that commercial flights were grounded?
  7. What will happen to the "General Ludd" movement now that Wolff has been arrested? Will the movement fracture into splinter groups or become more extreme?
  8. Why did Nathaniel Wolff risk activating the bomb in the airport? Somebody could have seen him doing it.
    1. A: By activating it there, he could ensure that it reached his target. If someone had seen him, he could have explained that he was playing a game.
  9. Will Mary be arrested?
  10. Will Abraham Maltz be used as an informant by the FBI?
    1. A: No, he does not even know that he gave up information to the FBI. They succeeded in tricking him into thinking that it was all just a test.
  11. Why did Elizabeth Keen and Donald Ressler avoid any injuries from the explosion? They were close enough to get hit with shrapnel.
  12. Will an investigation be conducted into the murder that places Red at the hospital? Tom Keen can place Red in the vicinity.
    1. A: Liz's father had cancer that had spread through his body. The doctors did give him six weeks to live, but people often die before the time their given is up. None would suspect that the bedridden cancer patient was smothered. The hospital did not seem to think he was murdered, and Tom Keen did not know the man he talked to was Red.
    2. Q: Somebody probably saw Red going into the room. Red spent at least several hours in there. Did nobody notice?
    3. A: Much like Red said in "Wujing", Red has avoided detection by every major law enforcement and intelligence agency in the world for over 20 years. If Red does not want to be found, seen, or noticed; he will not be. 
  13. What is the connection between Keen's adoptive father, real father, and Red?
  14. Why did Red kill Sam Scott, Elizabeth's adoptive father?
    1. A: To ensure that he did not tell Elizabeth their secret.
    2. A: Because Sam did not wish to die in agony over a period of time.

Slanders on the FBI and TSAEdit

  1. Why did only Keen and Ressler raid the apartment? They could have found a few more agents as a backup team.
  2. Considering the degree of force seen with other criminals, why did the FBI never use a SWAT team?
  3. How did Nathaniel Wolff get the bomb past airport security?
    1. A: By using the aircrew entrance which did not have all the Transportation Security Administration security measures.

GalleryEdit

External LinksEdit


Season 1 Episodes
 · Pilot · The Freelancer · Wujing · The Stewmaker · The Courier · Gina Zanetakos · Frederick Barnes ·
 · General Ludd · Anslo Garrick · Anslo Garrick Conclusion · The Good Samaritan · The Alchemist ·
 · The Cyprus Agency · Madeline Pratt · The Judge · Mako Tanida · Ivan · Milton Bobbit · The Pavlovich Brothers ·
 · The Kingmaker · Berlin · Berlin Conclusion ·

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