‘The Blacklist’ Season 9 Episode 2, Recap – ‘The Skinner: Conclusion’ – Getting the Band Back Together

The Blacklist Season 9 Episode 2 resumes the former task force’s quest to catch The Skinner (Patrick Murney) and rescue chief tech officer Chen Yu-Lan (Fernando Chien) and his family. Dembe (Hisham Tawfiq) is released from the hospital and joins his friends, but the whole crew finds themselves in danger. Red comes out of hiding to help.

[Spoiler warning: This article contains spoilers for The Blacklist Season 9 Episode 2.]

Diego Klattenhoff as Donald Ressler, Laura Sohn as Alina Parkand Hisham Tawfiq as Dembe Zuma in 'The Blacklist' Season 9 Episode 2. The three characters stand with their backs to the wall.
Diego Klattenhoff as Donald Ressler, Laura Sohn as Alina Park, and Hisham Tawfiq as Dembe Zuma in ‘The Blacklist’ Season 9 | Will Hart/NBC

The former task force work together to rescue Chen

Dembe is out of the hospital and working with the former task force to rescue the kidnapped Chen and his family. Red (James Spader) also returns to help catch the current Skinner, Graham Anderson (Patrick Murney). Red states that he is helping the task force because it’s what Liz would have wanted.

The Skinner instructs Chen to go into his office and download the software for the microchips. Aram (Amir Arison) and Alina (Laura Sohn) are confused to see Chen returning to work. Unaware that Chen only enters his office because the Skinner is holding his family hostage, the duo engages in a car chase with him.

Red sets out to invoke the charter in ‘The Blacklist’ Season 9 Episode 1

Red meets with the Skinner’s predecessor, Vincent (Matt Malloy), again. He suggests that Vincent invoke the charter to remove the current Skinner. Vincent explains that this can’t be done without consulting with his predecessor, Alberta (Kathleen Chalfant). Vincent and Red find Alberta in a nursing home and finagle the staff to let her out. Alberta asks for a kiss from Red in exchange for invoking the charter.

Things go awry when the team try to trick The Skinner

Aram and Alina convince Chen to give the Skinner a fake software so they can track his location and rescue his family. Unfortunately, the Skinner brings on a professor in the field of information technology to make sure the program is real. Chen cracks and confesses that it’s a fake and the FBI is waiting outside.

James Spader as Red in The Blacklist Season 9. Red is wearing a hat and sunglasses.
James Spader as Red in ‘The Blacklist’ Season 9 | Will Hart/NBC

The Skinner shoots Chen’s wife in the leg to convince Dembe, Ressler, and Alina to show themselves and give up their weapons. When all seems lost, Red shows up with Vincent and Alberta. The former Skinners vote the current one out. Anderson laughs them off, but his henchmen respect the organization and turn their guns on Anderson, shooting and killing him. Red tells Vincent that he will find someone to become the new Skinner.

‘The Blacklist’ Season 9 Episode 2 ending explained

Later, the team regroups. Alina remarks that she misses being a field agent, and Aram doesn’t deny that he misses the task force as well. Red shows up at Senator Panabaker’s (Deirdre Lovejoy) house and arranges some kind of deal. He later announces to the team that his immunity deal has been reinstated and that Panabaker will allow them to reinstate the task force. “Be careful what you wish for,” Aram tells Alina.

Ressler steps into Liz’s old office. Dembe finds him and tells Ressler that he is the reason he became an agent. The final scene shows Red getting an “S” tattoo, confirming that he will take Anderson’s place as the new Skinner.

New episodes of The Blacklist premiere Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

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