The events of the comic story take place after the conclusion of the Berlin storyline and before the end of season 2.
Liz talks to Ressler about her finally taking the FBI field agent test while boxing. Liz is nervous, but Ressler is confident she can handle it since she has had nearly 2 years of experience taking down blacklisters.
Liz takes the field test.
In Grand Rapids, Michigan Ryan DuPont holds a rally against Big Brother and police. A mysterious man watches the event on TV screens. DuPont is taken away by an officer and put into a police van. Inside, a large man injects DuPont with something and shoves him out of the van. DuPont pleads for help, but he is shot repeatedly. The rally breaks out into a riot, as they believe the police shot him to silence him.
Red then has Dembe contact Liz for a meeting at the Lincoln Memorial. There, Red gives Liz a new Blacklister by the name of Leon Kiklinski. Red tells her that he was responsible for DuPont’s murder. He explains that Kiklinski is a terrorist-for-hire that manipulates the media.
Liz returns to the Post Office to fill in the rest of the taskforce. They put together that Kiklinski is trying to frame the FBI, but they don’t know why. Liz and Ressler are then sent to look at DuPont’s autopsy results. Once at the morgue, they find that the body was cremated.
Reddington then calls Keen and asked how their search was going. Keen replied that they were at the morgue, at which point Red filled in that the body was cremated. Liz asked how he knew, to which he replied that Kiklinski bet that the FBI would destroy evidence that would make them look guilty rather than finding evidence of the real killer.
Red and Kathryn Nemec then have a conversation at a horse track. They discuss the procedures that are in place upon Red’s death. Red said he wanted to revise his will and make a new tape, now that he and Agent Keen had a relationship.
Meanwhile in Druid Heights, Baltimore, Maryland, Kiklinski talks to his employer over a radio. He then readies a bomb and approaches an apartment building.
Back at the Post Office, the taskforce had no luck finding a witness. However, Aram was able to gather footage from security cameras and internet videos. Aram found one video that that never turned towards DuPont’s shooting, and instead stayed focused on the FBI agents in the crowed. Aram traced the video back to Jake Francis Donovan, a junior at Johns Hopkins. Cooper orders the taskforce to mobilize. Cooper then leaves for a party at the Governor’s mansion. Before he could leave Keen surrendered her firearm, as she had failed her field test.
Once the FBI reached the apartment building, they cleared it out except for Donovan’s apartment. As they opened the door, the room exploded. Once the smoke cleared, they found the dead body of Jake Donovan.
As the FBI investigated, they found that the explosives were more for show than for destruction. Liz then calls Red to inform him what they had found. She noted that Kiklinski seemed to have knowledge of FBI protocol. She then asked Red what the odds were that he knew how the FBI would react. Red then picks up on something that Keen said, but they were interrupted by an FBI investigator that found something. He found a note that said there was a bomb at the Governor’s Mansion. Keen then finds a small camera on the wall.
Red then realizes who hired Kiklinski.
Keen, Ressler, and Navabi race to the Governor’s Mansion to stop Kiklinski and find the bomb. Aram notifies the team that Kiklinski used a jamming device at the Governor’s Mansion, so Cooper could not be notified. He also explains that this bomb was going to be deadlier than the last one.
- Sebastian Royce A.K.A. “The Gambler” - waging a war against the FBI. He orchestrates crimes and has rich and powerful people gamble on the outcome. He is an old friend of Reddington's. Red claims he is more dangerous than any blacklister.
- Leon Kiklinski A.K.A. "The Lobbyist" (No. 148)- a terrorist-for-hire. He specialized in media manipulation. He was hired by “The Gambler” to frame the FBI for the “assassination” of Ryan Dupont, an activist that spoke out against the police and other attacks against the FBI. He was later killed by John X on The Gambler's orders.
- John X - an assassin with a 100% success rate. He was hired by “The Gambler“ to rescue Leon Kiklinski and to kill him if he failed a bet, which he did.
- Director Hackett- FBI Director that wanted the blacklist task force to stop investigating Leon due to their lack of progress.
- Magnus Dixon - wealthy Southerner that gambled on crime through the Gambler.
- “The Decembrist“
- Gambler story arc
- “Luther Braxton“
- “Arioch Cain“
- Arsonist story arc
- “Sir Crispin Crandall“
- “The Blacklist - The Beekeeper No. 159“
- “The Blacklist: The Dead Ring No. 166“
- Gambler story arc
- 1 - 5
- Arsonist story arc
- 6 - 10
- On the cover of the first issue there is the partial name of The Gambler and part of an as of now unknown blacklister.
- The Gambler could have influenced or been influenced by the TV show The Player, a show created by the executive producers of the Blacklist. The House in The Player operates much like the Gambler, rich and powerful people gamble on crime.
- At the end of “The Gambler Part 3,” the date of 1992 was a misprint. The flashback was meant to be from 1994. It was caught during publication, but it was left alone thinking no one would catch it.
- On the cover of the first issue, both Gina Zanatakos and The Freelancer are numbered 145. The Freelancer is 145 and Gina's number is 152.
- Harold Cooper doesn't use a cane during the events in the comic books. He needed a cane most of season 2.
- In the first issue Leon Kiklinski's name is misspelled as Leon Kiklinksi when it shows his name and blacklist number.
- "TV Guide" -- May 4 - 17, 2015
- Page: 8 - 9