The Blacklist Finale Recap: Major Burns

How are you doing, Blacklist fans? Have you recovered yet from Monday’s finale? Picked your jaws up off the floor, after the NBC drama delivered one helluva conclusion to its freshman season?

To keep your head from spinning, let’s revisit the five biggest moments from The Blacklist’s final installment of the year.

Not a single agent on the FBI task force deserves the fate that Meera suffers, but watching her get her throat slit by an accomplice of Berlin’s is especially heartbreaking. (Side note: Later learning that her children are just 5 and 8 years old totally didn’t help. Thanks for the knife in the gut, Blacklist.) Meera’s death occurs as she and Ressler visit a nightclub, hoping to track down a Russian fugitive that escaped from the unmarked plane that crashed in last week’s penultimate episode. Although Ressler is able to track down the prisoner, Meera isn’t quite as lucky. Her throat is cut, Game of Thrones-style, and Liz is just seconds too late to save her life.

Unfortunately, Berlin’s accomplices are not quite able to scratch Harold Cooper’s name off the list of task force members they want eliminated. After Cooper takes a secret meeting with Special Agent Martin, who tells Cooper to track down Liz and Reddington, Cooper returns to his car and is very nearly shot to death by the same man who took Meera’s life. As we later learn, though, Cooper is clinging to life in the ICU. And at the end of the episode, he indicates he’s still hanging on with a twitch of his finger.

For much of this final hour, Liz, Red and the rest of us are still trying to figure out who the mysterious Berlin is, and why he’s so furious with Red. Liz and Ressler visit the only surviving guard from the plane crash, who is bed-ridden in the ICU, to learn who Berlin is. The answer? He is a former member of the KGB, who was notorious for sending his enemies to work camps in Siberia. After Berlin’s daughter was imprisoned for having a secret relationship with a dissident at the end of the Cold War, Berlin helped his daughter escape, causing him to then be held captive in Siberia as his daughter’s remains (and a pocket watch belonging to her) were sent to his jail cell, piece by piece. But after a time, Berlin filed one of his daughter’s bones into a knife — how, uh, sweet? — and escaped prison using the newly fashioned weapon. Later, Fitch believes he has tracked down Berlin, and Red meets him face-to-face…. before shooting him dead not long into their conversation.

But wait. There’s more! Before episode’s end, it is revealed that the man Red shot was, in fact, not Berlin. Rather, the one they seek is the “guard” that Liz and Ressler spoke to earlier, who has escaped the hospital by the time the agents return to arrest him. (Of course.) Berlin’s most distinguishing feature? His lack of a left hand, which he himself cut off before jumping out of the unmarked plane. Red tells Liz that he knows Berlin is still on the loose, but he hopes the convict will soon come out of the woodwork once more.

During Red’s face-to-face with The Man Who Is Not Berlin, Tom enters the room with Liz at gunpoint. Quite the scuffle ensues: Tom shoots Red, Liz shoots Tom, Red flees the scene, and before Liz leaves Tom to bleed out and die — which we later learn he doesn’t — Tom whispers something in Liz’s ear: “Your father is alive.”

Quick show of hands: Who assumed from Day 1 that Red was Liz’s real father? (I expect to see lots of hands up, TVLine readers!) As revealed in the final seconds of tonight’s finale, that popular theory was proven correct. After Liz relays to Red that her father may still be alive, he reassures her that her real father — whose identity she must not know, for her own protection — died the day he saved her from that house fire. But just before the screen fades to black, Red is seen at home, revealing a back full of burns as he takes off his shirt.