Pony Tail and Muscle Shakes~ Isabella Stone S4:E13

Pony Tail and Muscle Shakes

The ‘Stolen’ Car

Honestly one of the funniest Raymond Reddington scenes for ages. If you did not at least giggle at this… well GSOH will never go on your Tinder profile.  When we started with a mother with agoraphobia and then onto the words ‘pony tail’ I just knew that this was Baz and the ‘muscle shakes’ just about finished me off. Rounding up with ‘the audacity to wave’ and the tortuous attempt to spell out the number plate was just hilarious- even more so when you consider that Raymond was in US Naval Intelligence where the phonetic alphabet is somewhat essential.

Red: License plate “B” as in boy. “A” as in apple-

Long suffering Monaco policeman: Please, just say the letters. 

Yeah, That Name Thing Again

No Craig this week (breathe a brief sigh of relief) but Stratos and Corina Serantos and Justin Sperry make an appearance. As per usual their names are perhaps of relevance and well-chosen.

Stratos meaning ‘army’ in Greek which, considering he first met Red 20 years previously as a gun runner for the Cypriot resistance fighters, seems appropriate.

Serantos is also Greek from the personal name Sarantis which was bestowed in honour of the ‘Holy Forty’, forty Christian martyred in the city of Sebastia, Armenia around 320 A.D.

Stratos’s soul mate Corina’s name means maiden…poor Corina, poor Stratos.

Goodbye Stratos

That Red trusts this man explicitly, that Stratos will not break and tell his secrets but that Red fears what will be done to him tells us much. He knows that Stratos is being used as bait to reel him in (much as he is going to try and use ‘Isabella Stone’ to reel in his, as yet unknown, adversary or adversaries). He knows Stratos is completely loyal and in return he will do anything to get up him out of the ‘very deep, dark hole.’ When everything ‘goes to rats’ Reddington not only shows his grief at leaving Stratos behind but also promises to look after his children (yes, children are always, always sacrosanct and deserving of protection to Raymond).

Saint Justin Sperry

Another of Red’s innocent associates is Justin Sperry. He clearly, very clearly, is not guilty, nor is he an evil person. Reddington has been making anonymous donations to his charity for its wonderful work with: prosthetic limbs (!) and facial reconstruction (!) etc. Reddington considers Justin Sperry to be a saint, ‘or at least as close to a saint as one can be in this world.’

St. Justin is patron saint of philosophers, which considering Red’s fondness for Nietzsche is apt. The name Justin itself means: ‘just, upright and righteous’, again totally appropriate for what we know of this man. Sperry is a well-known make of boating shoes (for messing about in boats). As an aside, it was so great to see Liz rescuing him from drowning in the pool. As a further aside even greater to see Edward Baker-Duly who ‘more mature’ British viewers may know from the long-running BBC school drama Grange Hill, where he played Chris Malachay, amongst other shows.

Isabella Stone: People will believe the most awful things

Red: The truth will out. It always does.

Legless in Paris

Having done some legwork (pun fully intended) researching the use of prosthetic limbs and smuggling it would appear that they are, in fact, an important tool of the trade of smugglers. In 2013 a man was caught at Madrid airport with more than a kilo of cocaine stashed in his false leg.

Legless in Madrid

Reeling Him In

Dembe: Maybe we shouldn’t have gone there, Raymond. You keep putting yourself in more and more danger every year. Every day. And people are dying all around you.

Red: I don’t know how to respond to that. 

It would appear that having anything to do with Raymond Reddington’s activities is not likely to increase your life expectancy. At the moment, and for some time, it is clear that Raymond Reddington’s empire is under attack. We have had The Harem with the threat to Kaplan’s sister, Natalie Luca and the death of Zach Smoll and now Isabella Stone (or whatever her real name is) and the arrest of Stratos, the callous murder of his wife to achieve that, and the discrediting of Justin Sperry and his charity and what would have been his ultimate death.

We have also had ships featuring: Whistler Cruise Lines, 3 cargo ships in the Mediterranean. ‘Chip’ was ex-NCIS as well. That cannot be a coincidence! Remember, we do not believe in them.

Oh, Isabella. We need to talk.

Isabella Stone’s speciality is in discrediting people, but these people she is discrediting are not really guiltily, except by their association with Reddington. She will not make a deal with the FBI. We should ask ourselves, why not? Is it that she fears the person she has been working for so greatly, meaning that she cannot do so, or is it because they are so powerful, she anticipates getting off lightly?

Mr Greedy with two guns!

The aim here is not to discredit Raymond Reddington. The very premise is ridiculous, the man is a criminal! The aim, rather, seems to be two-fold: to take funds away from him and to make anyone who is associated with him in any way fearful for their lives and reputation. A very long time ago Red and Liz were discussing what criminals use instead of loyalty and the answer was fear. Whoever the ‘big bad’ is (or the big baddies are) they seem to be applying the pressure of greater fear than that which Reddington can exert, should loyalty fail. Can we see now why Mr Kaplan’s perceived failure with regard to loyalty to Raymond can be seen as deserving of a death sentence?

Final words are ostensibly about the beautiful cuckoo clock that Reddington rebuilds and presents to Liz as a present for Agnes (note: there was one just like this behind Mato, when Red was telling the story of the sundance prior to killing him). In reality though, they are far more telling of Red’s desire to continue to live to hear the birds sing.

Red: I don’t really care what time it is. I just want to hear the birds sing.

One Comment:

  1. Love it, sister! Especially when you add the symbolism of things; it adds a whole other layer and texture to the experience.

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