All That Glistens ~ The Blacklist The Harem S4:E11

Subtle tradecraft from Ressler and Liz

All That Glistens ~ The Blacklist The Harem S4:E11


A Liz-centric episode with a little Red sauce on the side. From a diamond heist (well they are a girl’s best friend) to the WITSEC list, from horses of a golden hue to bitcoin transactions that go horribly wrong leading to both disappointment and deflation.

What’s in a name? 

So what exactly is it about the name Craig that means the guy will end up dead? First we had Tom’s ‘brother’ ‘Craig’ (or should that be ‘Tom’s’ ‘brother’ ‘Craig’)  who leapt to his death from a tall building rather than suffer a fate worse than death in the Milton Bobbit episode… messy… but not so messy that you should forget the yogurt covered pretzels from the minibar. Now we have another poor soul named Craig Gaynier who ends up beaten up whilst tied to a wheelchair (I guess for easy removal of the body) and then shot. My advice: if you have a son don’t call him Craig, if you are a Craig, or you know someone called Craig…consider changing your name.

Bye Craig, it was nice knowing you.

Emma Knightly is the ex-MI6 (British Intelligence Service) officer. It is no coincidence, I am sure, that Emma Knightley is the main character in Jane Austen’s novel Emma, although she starts the novel as a Woodhouse (cabin) and only becomes a Knightley upon marrying George Knightley.

Girl’s just wanna have fun!

Maureen Rowan, Kate Kaplan’s sister, is a name to have some fun with. Rowan is a familiar name to The Blacklist as she was the twin who was murdered by her sister who then adopted her identity in the Lord Baltimore episode. Rowan as a name means: RED. Maureen is an Irish name (so maybe Kate is a Katherine or Kathleen) which is a form of Mary, as is of course, Masha.

Baldur Magnusson is a new, possible big bad, lurking in the shadows (or maybe the shallows, cue Jaws music). It is an interesting name as Baldur means: ‘good’, ‘shining one’ or ‘white’. Baldur was the second son of the Norse gods Odin and Frigg; he was a twin and his twin brother, Hödr, was blind. He was protected by Frigg going to every thing in the cosmos and getting oaths not to harm him. They then threw this enormous party (Norse gods just loved parties) where they literally threw everything but the kitchen sink (probably that as well) at Baldur, with no ill-effects. Unfortunately Frigg had missed out getting an oath from the mistletoe which the cunning god Loki (god of mischief with a penchant for horses, logs and rocks- don’t ask…) made into a shaft and got the blind (and apparently easily duped) Hödr to throw at his twin. It pierced Baldur straight through (which must have stung a bit) and he fell down dead on the spot. You see, even amongst the Norse gods there were party poopers. Magnus means ‘great’ and would have been the first name of an ancestor with ‘son’ an obvious add-on (unless he’s Icelandic, in which case his own father’s name was Magnus- it’s an Icelandic thing).

Golden Horses

A Golden horse in all its shining glory

Red has a passion for many things. Amongst his passions we can now add that of the marvellous Akhel-Teke horses. Originating from Turkmenistan they are famed for their spectacular metallic coats and are known as the ‘Golden horses’. Turkmenistan is part of the former Soviet Union.

Another horse which has an honorary mention is a racehorse named Fool’s Gold which was stolen to order. Whilst there really is an Irish race horse of that name it hasn’t been stolen…yet. Of course Fool’s Gold is not real gold, although it glistens. Real gold is, of course, found in a crock at the end of the rainbow.

The most famous racehorse theft/disappearance/horsenapping is that of Shergar back in 1983. Never found again, this horse was owned by HH Aga Khan lV (link to Persia).

As a complete aside but one which I think Red would appreciate, many years ago someone asked me the question: how do you make a small fortune in horses? The answer: start with a large fortune.


Yes Red, that’s definitely a cruise ship

We see Red studying a cruise ship of the Whistler Cruise Line. He intends to rescue the failing company. Why? Ships are always useful for holding prisoners, conducting dodgy, illegal experiments on people or holding your husband captive (as you do). In this case it is for the ships to be used to transport cargo for Red

‘It could be Dutch tulip bulbs from New York or ghost guns from Danao. But instead of hypotheticals, allow me to assure you that plausible deniability’s the best option. I save your business, you don’t look too closely at mine.’

The other peculiar thing is the very name of the cruise company. To choose Whistler is odd as whistling on board a ship or boat is seen by sailors as very bad luck. Superstition says that whistling conjures up the wind, extreme wind that threatens the ship. Even a bosun’s whistle is called a ‘call’ rather than a whistle; it is sometimes used to give commands around a ship, rather than using the voice.

What’s the other ship then (the sub-title is ‘ships’ after all)? Remember Anna Knightly, the ex-MI6 officer that was mesmerised and beguiled so much by Reddington years ago she left HMSS and joined his team? When Red forgives her transgression- were you surprised that he didn’t just kill her? Seems our Reddington is undergoing something of a change in tidal direction here, since popping Mr Kaplan- he arranges for her to relocate to a cabin (gosh they are popular) in Vermont on Lake Champlain. Three ships of the United States Navy have been named USS Lake Champlain, after the battle of Lake Champlain in the War of 1812. The latest is a guided missile cruiser which was commissioned in 1988 and is still currently in active service.

USS Lake Champlain (CG-57)


Final few words:

I don’t believe in coincidences


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