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The Mombasa Cartel
Season 2, Episode 6
Mombassa Red
Air date October 27, 2014
Directed by David Platt
Written by Daniel Knauf
Guest Stars Hisham Tawfiq as Dembe Zuma
Scottie Thompson as Zoe D'Antonio
Peter Fonda as Geoff Perl
Hal Ozsan as Ezra
Dante Nero as Samuel Aleko
Season 2
previous
The Front
next
The Scimitar

   

"The Mombasa Cartel" is the sixth episode of Season 2 of The Blacklist and the twenty eighth episode overall. It aired on October 27, 2014 on NBC.

SynopsisEdit

The action begins 29 years ago at a family farm in Koidu, Sierra Leone. A Land Rover careens to a halt, and 6 armed men debark in search of patriarch Samwel Zuma. After ruthlessly slaughtering Zuma’s family, the men grab the only survivor, a 6 year old boy, and speed off.

Cut to the present day, a luxury hotel suite in Paris, France. American Peter Kincaid presents a room service cart to Joseph Batoula. With deft grace, Kincaid chokes Batoula into unconsciousness, then reaches under the cart past a kennel to grab a livestock tag applicator, which he uses to affix a tag to Batoula’s ear. Cut to the barren coastline of Kamchatka, Russia, where days, or weeks, later, an old man and a boy discover Batoula’s flayed carcass on the beach.

Elizabeth Keen finds Raymond Reddington watching “Wild Kingdom”, and tells Liz of the Mombasa Cartel, not mere poachers, but traffickers who have operated behind a veil of impenetrable secrecy since the 19th century. Liz thinks the FBI will be tough to convince until Red explains the Mombasa Cartel is responsible for billions in blood money. Liz realizes taking down the Cartel is personal to Red.

Liz goes to Harold Cooper, explaining the Mombasa Cartel is killing its own leaders, starting with Joseph Batoula. Liz ducks out to take a call, then proceeds to a rusty ship where a man know as “The Samoan” is knocked out cold. Ezra emerges from Liz’s secret door with an offer, “Do you want to tell Reddington? Or shall I?” Meanwhile, Donald Ressler is trying and failing to get a refill on his medication, and the pain is kicking in. The scene cuts to the Igaluk Ranch in remote Alaska, where Skye Kincaid congratulates Matthew, whom is unusually tall, even sitting down. He’s created his most beautiful work to date, a perfect taxidermy of Joseph Batoula.

Red arranges for Liz to have a drink with billionaire Geoff Perl, CEO of Deckerd Capital. Red explains the connection: he and Perl share interests, including the protection of endangered animals, and Red bundles Perl’s charities. Red tells Liz to dress down, but doesn’t tell her the meet is taking place at a thrash club, and Perl is the band’s drummer. Perl claims his organization has set their sights on the Mombasa Cartel, but they’ve never been able to crack the firewalls that surround the leadership. He offers 1 lead: Lee Chung at Emerson-Concorde Imports. After Ressler threatens to arrest him if he doesn’t cooperate, Chung admits to importing animal parts from endangered species, but swears he knows nothing about the Mombasa Cartel. That’s when the FBI discovers another flayed corpse; Alejandro Gomez has washed up in Hokkaido. Having broken Chung, Samar Navabi updates that both dead poachers actually worked for Mombasa and offers a new theory, someone’s poaching the poachers.

Liz calls Ezra to thank him for the 24 hour reprieve, then uses her binoculars to spy on his motel room, just across from hers. She didn’t tell Red about what was behind her secret door, and as Ezra has left her no choice. Liz watches as a SWAT team breaks into Ezra’s room and arrests him.

Back in Alaska, Peter Kincaid meets Skye, who informs him that his father called, he’s found another “friend” for Matthew. Peter is angry. He takes all the risks, performs all the abductions, while everyone else sits around. Skye slaps him to drive home her point, they’re a family, and everyone does their part. Peter should be proud to take down the poachers his father identifies. Skye softens, Peter’s her rock. Meanwhile, Red introduces himself to food truck owner Zoe, as Kenneth.

Aram Mojtabai and Samar have been busy analyzing currents and deducing both flayed corpses were dropped near Sitka, Alaska, former home of the Animal Underground Network, a militant animal rights organization. In 1971, their leader Timothy Carlyle and 6 others were convicted of killing grizzly poachers, becoming known as The Sitka Seven. Cooper orders Ressler to go to Sitka and dumps Chung on the street.

Liz is in Red’s living room when news of Ezra’s arrest is broadcast, featuring his connection to Red. Red insists Liz is hiding something, why else risk his capture? Back on the Igaluk Ranch, Skye helps towering Matthew out of the bathtub, just as Ressler shows up in Sitka. Ressler breaks his thumb in a car door to get the drugs he needs, then takes a call from Liz to learn Chung has disappeared. She sends Ressler to the Igaluk Ranch, owned by Wendigo LLC, which may be connected to the poachers, while Aram looks for a connection in flight. Both flayed men must have been transported to Sitka while they were still alive. Skye answers Ressler’s knock, claiming only she and Peter live on the property, just as Peter drives up. When Ressler peeks at the human cargo covered over in the back of Peter’s quad all-terrain vehicle, Peter knocks him out.

Aram finds a loose connection to Wendigo LLC, so Liz calls Red, since Ressler isn’t answering. That’s because he’s just woken up in a kennel, facing Chung, both of them sporting animal tags on their ears. There’s music blaring, and what they can’t see is Peter is letting Matthew go “happy hunting.” Suddenly the cage doors open, and Chung runs for it. Ressler stops him so they can figure out where they are, then reaches for his medication, which is missing. Chung recognizes Ressler as a junkie, just before dying by Matthew’s arrow. Matthew starts howling like a wolf, so Ressler arms himself with the arrowhead that killed Chung and runs.

Skye calls Perl and tells him about Ressler. Perl orders that Ressler disappear without a trace, unlike the others. He regrets not having given Matthew to the police when he started his “hobby”, and we learn he’s Matthew’s father. After hanging up, Perl goes downstairs to find Red standing in the middle of his Zen decorated living room.

Liz and Samar arrive at the ranch with a local SWAT team, unaware that Matthew is tracking Ressler through the woods. They learn from SWAT that Skye was an associate of the Animal Underground who became pregnant by a member named “Ace”. There are rumors of there being a second son.

It’s dark by the time Ressler happens upon a campfire, populated by Matthew’s human taxidermies.

Red and Perl look at an old picture, where Red identifies a younger Perl as Sean Salter, also known as “Ace” in those days. Perl left the Animal Underground 2 years before the Sitka Seven happened. Before Red invested with Perl, he ran a comprehensive background check and knew about Wendigo LLC, which via front companies is a front for the Mombasa Cartel. He accuses Perl of both running the Mombasa Cartel, killing off the competition, as well as the deadwood in his own organization.

Perl claims he’s still the same conservationist he’s always been and isn’t motivated by profit, but understands business. The law of supply and demand means there’ll always be people feeding the demand. It can’t be stopped, but it can be controlled. He’s trying to create a natural monopoly by destroying the other cartels, to feed short-term demand without threatening the long-term survival of species. Red offers a choice, either Perl surrenders a list of everyone and everything connected with the Mombasa Cartel, or else Red kills him.

Back in the Alaska woods, Matthew joins the campfire, where Ressler is masquerading as one of the dead. Noticing Ressler’s shaking hand, Matthew attacks, pulling out his buck knife. Ressler stabs Matthew in the gut with the arrowhead. Ressler runs into the woods.

Skye is already preparing his bath, as Liz, Samar, and the SWAT team descend upon the family home. Dying, a bleeding Matthew appears before Skye’s bathtub, and her screams bring the SWAT team running. Peter fights back and is killed by SWAT. Liz makes it to the bathroom in time to see Skye knock a turntable into the bathtub, electrocuting her and her son.

Red takes a thumb drive from Perl, then tells him the story of Samuel Zuma, the man in the opening scene, whose family was slaughtered when he identified low-level Mombasa Cartel operatives to the police. The Cartel took his son and sold him to slavers, where he beat the odds and survived for 8 years. Red found him at the age of 14, chained in a basement of a Nairobi brothel and left to die. Red freed him, helped him, and now Dembe has a degree in English Literature and can speak 4 languages. Red calls him “splendid”. Dembe tries to prevent Red from shooting Perl, telling him it won’t make any difference now. Red tells Perl that Dembe is a good man, which is what separates him from men like them, and kills Perl.

Red repairs to Zoe’s food truck; Liz finds Ressler’s missing medication, then finds him sobbing in the back of an ambulance. Later, Liz is outside her secret room, which she enters and reveals that she is keeping Tom Keen as her prisoner.

Press ReleaseEdit

THE HUNTERS BECOME THE HUNTED - When a mutilated corpse washes ashore, Agent Liz Keen consults Red over what he knows about the deadly underworld of wildlife poachers. Meanwhile, Agent Donald Ressler develops a dangerous habit.

Number on The BlacklistEdit

  • 114

Unanswered QuestionsEdit

  1. References to Wendigo.
    1. Arioch Cain” -- the name of the assassin
    2. ”The Mombasa Cartel” -- the name of the front company
  2. The official NBC site lists 2 spellings for the title.
    1. http://www.nbc.com/the-blacklist/episode-guide/season-2/the-mombasa-cartel/206
    2. http://www.nbc.com/the-blacklist/photos/the-mambasa-cartel/1983146
  3. Keen and Red seem to be balancing each other. Keen is sliding towards illegal actions and circumventing the FBI. Red is showing his emotional and moral side.
  4. Elizabeth Keen
    1. What deal did Keen make with Ezra for the 14 hour reprieve?
      1. A: Liz had to tell Red where she went, and what she was hiding, or Ezra will tell him.
    2. How will Keen explain Ezra's arrest to Harold Cooper?
      1. A: She probably called in an anonymous tip, so nothing to explain.
      2. Q: More than an anonymous tip is needed for an arrest. Red stated that Ezra was being held under no-contact conditions. That implies Liz demanded strict security as a message to Red.
      3. A: Swatting is a known and ongoing problem for law enforcement, but someone with Liz's knowledge could easily achieve her aim, a photograph of his rifle sent anonymously would cause the response.
    3. How did Keen arrange for Ezra's arrest? What crime was on the warrant?
      1. A: He had an arsenal in his room.
    4. Will Cooper lecture Keen on risking the task force's secrecy by alerting the media to the arrest?
      1. A: The arrest enhances the task force's security since the media are still reporting Red being wanted and using the old photograph.
      2. Q: Cooper will still be annoyed at her rogue action.
      3. A: It is not certain that he is aware of her behavior.
  5. Raymond Reddington
    1. Why is Red still a major news story?
      1. A: He isn't, but it was rekindled after Ezra's arrest.
      2. A: He is still on the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list (possibly still at number 4).
    2. How could Red have failed to discover Geoff Perl's link to the Mombasa Cartel?
      1. A: When Red checked Perl's allegiances he may not have been running the Cartel.
      2. A: Red said it himself, he didn't look closely enough.
  6. The task force has come under Red's control.
    1. Aram Mojtabai has no influence, and is terrified of Red since "The Good Samaritan".
    2. Donald Ressler's painkiller addiction is a weak point for blackmail and/or official action.
    3. Elizabeth Keen had adopted Red's tactics and criminal viewpoint. Exposure of her questionable actions will destroy her career.
    4. Harold Cooper is compromised, may be questioning his future with the FBI, and could be terminally ill.
    5. Samar Navabi was sent by Red.
  7. Donald Ressler
    1. Why did Ressler says “always 7“ when referring to the criminal organizations?
    2. What will happen to Ressler now that Liz knows of the painkiller addiction?
      1. A: He might face suspension from the FBI if Cooper finds out about this from Liz.
    3. Why has Ressler failed to seek professional help from the FBI?
      1. A: Because it would mean the end of his career.
      2. A: Many people struggling with grief, PTSD, or other mental/emotional problems refuse to seek help, either because they're embarrassed or because they think they have their situation under control.
    4. Why did Ressler choose to hide at the fire? Was it an ambush tactic?
      1. A: Yes.
    5. What did Ressler stab Matthew with?
      1. A: The arrow head he broke and pulled from Lee Chung.
  8. Tom Keen
    1. How was Tom captured by Liz?
      1. A: In the room where she shot him there was no body found by SWAT.
    2. Why has Tom been unable to escape?
      1. A: We actually don't know what happened then or if actually he tried to.
  9. How many of the Mombasa Cartel agents will be arrested? Red stated that they have an extensive network of government contacts and have surivived for over 100 years.
    1. A: The FBI have a full list of the members, they will be investigated and if enough evidence is found they will be prosecuted. Red also has the list and he will (presumably) deal with those whom the government can't prosecute.
  10. Why did the Cartel members kill Dembe Zuma's sisters? They could also have been sold into slavery.
  11. What will happen to Ezra? Will he be indicted for killing Linus Creel?
    1. A: I expect he will return.
  12. Why did Skye Kincaid commit suicide?
    1. A: She was mentally unstable.
    2. A: She was also very upset at the possibility of Matthew being put in a mental institution. She chose to kill them both rather than allow that to happen.

Slanders on the FBIEdit

  1. Why did the FBI SWAT team shoot Peter Kincaid at the cabin?
    1. A: He grabbed some kind of weapon and was begining to point it at them. Suicide by cop.
  2. Why was Ressler sent by himself to investigate the Alaska compound? FBI Agents are supposed to work in pairs at all times.

GalleryEdit

External LinksEdit


Season 2 Episodes
 · Lord Baltimore  · Monarch Douglas Bank  · Dr. James Covington  · Dr. Linus Creel  · The Front  · The Mombasa Cartel  · The Scimitar  · The Decembrist  · Luther Braxton  · Luther Braxton Conclusion  · Ruslan Denisov  · The Kenyon Family  · The Deer Hunter  · T. Earl King VI  · The Major  · Tom Keen  · The Longevity Initiative  · Vanessa Cruz  · Leonard Caul  · Quon Zhang  · Karakurt  · Tom Connolly  ·

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