‘The Blacklist’ recap: 5×09 “Ruin”

The Blacklist recap: Season 5 Episode 9, ‘Ruin,’ Aired Jan. 3, 2018

“Who are you people?”

Well, we did it! We made it through The Blacklist winter hiatus and I am so happy that this show is back. Tom’s death left so much up in the air. Let’s check out the fallout.

New Life

Will Hart/NBC

Liz is living in a secluded cabin in the woods of Alaska. She’s also going by a new name, Grace, and she has a dog. Her dog starts going crazy and leads her to the body of a man. He appears dead, but when Liz checks for a pulse he grabs her wrist and appears to ask for help. Liz gets the man all stitched and bandaged up, but can’t get her vehicle started to take him into town. She also can’t raise anyone on the radio. Liz treks to the nearest rangers station. Colin, who has gotten to know her a bit, is stationed there, but he isn’t in at the moment.


Liz leaves Colin a note that there’s been an emergency at her place and to come when he can. When she returns to her cabin, the door is open. She finds the injured man, still in bed, surrounded by three other men. She holds them at gunpoint as a fourth man enters. The men give Liz a story that they survived a plane crash, along with the guy in her bed (Mike), but she is obviously skeptical. None of them have much in the way of injuries. She starts patching up one of the men, Billy (William Mapother), and he tries to find out her story, but she stays closed off.

The storm is getting worse and Liz tries her radio again. Nothing. When she gets back to the cabin, Colin is there. It’s decided that he will leave with one of the men to try and find the plane’s wreckage and try to get its radio working. Liz wants to go, but Billy begs her to stay so that he doesn’t have to tell Mike’s wife that he died on his watch. Liz asks Colin if he believes the men and he does. He tells her she’s being paranoid.

When Liz goes back into the bedroom, Mike is awake. He can barely talk as he’s bleeding out internally, but he tells her those men aren’t his friends. He is in witness protection and they are members of the Carlucci crime family. Liz leaves her gun with him.

Big Trouble In Little Cabin

Will Hart/NBC

Billy keeps quizzing Liz, including about why she’s still wearing her wedding ring. She realizes her dog is gone. Just then, the member of the group that went looking for the plane wreckage returns, but Colin isn’t with him. He explains that another ranger showed up on a four-wheeler and he and Colin headed back to town. Liz keeps looking for her dog and takes her gun back from Mike. She purposely blows the generator so she can go out to the barn and try the radio again, but the mic cord has been cut. Liz checks her gun, but the bullets have been removed. Then she finds her dog and Colin, both dead.

Liz calls Billy on the walkies they had on them when they showed up. She tells him that the lights are still out because they killed her dog and her friend, Colin. Billy tells her the truth. It was a car crash, not a plane crash. The trunk popped open and Mike escaped. They haven’t bothered her because they need her to keep Mike alive so they can find out what he told the feds. Then, they will kill him very slowly. Liz tells Billy that his habit of eating ice is a bad one. Earlier, she broke a glass and, when no one was looking, she slipped shards of it into the ice she was freezing. Every time Billy breaths, small shards of glass are going into his lungs. Liz tells them who she really is and that the four of them versus her in the snow…it’s going to be practice.


Will Hart/NBC

While Liz is preparing in the barn, one of the four drops dead inside. He had been constantly eating peanut butter and Liz must’ve slipped some poison into it earlier. Billy is still coughing. The cold air won’t do those lungs any good. He says that they need to surround Liz and tighten the noose. They enter the barn and see a flashlight. They turn a corner only to find the flashlight suspended by a rope…and no Liz. Billy approaches the flashlight to pull it down and steps in a bear trap. After his buddies free him, they go back to the cabin and find that Mike is gone. As they spread out to find her, one of them ventures into a cellar. All he finds is an old gas can. Suddenly, the doors close above him and Liz drops a lighter in, burning him alive.

As she’s pulling Mike through the snow, one of the men jumps Liz. They scuffle for a while, but she puts an axe through his chest to shut him down. Afterward, Liz finishes her trek to the rangers station. She starts putting some supplies together, but Billy shoots the lock off of the back door. Liz splashes him with lighter fluid and takes off while Billy grabs his eyes and screams in pain. After a ways, she drops to her knees and pulls something out of her backpack. Billy tells her she has nowhere left to run, but she says she told him she was there to fight and fires a flare gun at him and he bursts into flames. A small smile of satisfaction plays on Liz’s face.


The FBI is documenting the crime scene. They can’t find the woman responsible for the carnage though. Everyone they talk to in town just gives them the same basic info. We see Liz trying to hitch a ride, then pouring over case files. She shows up at Red’s and thanks him for keeping his promise to not follow her, but apologizes for not keeping hers. She tells him that she tried, but trouble found her and she killed some men. Plus, she didn’t lose any sleep over it. Red tells her that she will, one day. Liz says that she’s ready to find Tom’s killers. Since she couldn’t keep her promise, she asks if Red will be able to forgive her. He kisses her cheek and says that he can, but then asks her if she’ll be able to forgive herself.


Scott Gries/NBC

We were treated to a serious of flashbacks in the episode. They included Liz’s time in physical therapy, her visits to Tom’s grave, and her asking Tom’s mother, Scottie, to keep Agnes for her. The big flashbacks involved Red. In the first one, Liz asks Red to keep working with the task force on the blacklist while she’s away. He doesn’t want to, but she makes him promise. She also makes him promise not to follow her.

In the second Liz/Red flashback, Red finds out that Liz has entrusted Agnes to Tom’s mother. He asks her to promise him that she’ll grieve. She assures him that she will. He tells her that while it may feel like she’s staring into an abyss now, she won’t be able to cross it until she grieves. She asks him what’s on the other side of the abyss? Peace? Red replies, ‘some.’ Liz goes on to tell him that thinking about what she’ll do to the people that killed Tom is what gets her out of bed in the morning.


What an amazing episode! Megan Boone gave a great performance and took Liz to a darker place than ever before. Now, Liz has found that she can kill in creative ways, that she’s very good at it, and that it doesn’t bother her as much as she thought it would. How will this affect her upon returning to the task force? Will Red be able to help her keep things under control? What will she do when she catches up to Tom’s killers? How will all of this affect her relationship with her daughter? The second half of this season is going to be very interesting.

(Image via Will Hart/NBC)


Chris Rivers

Chris is a writer, podcaster, and YouTuber for and also a contributing writer for Pure Fandom, covering 'The Blacklist' and 'Blindspot.' In his free time, he enjoys reading, opening sub-boxes, adding to his already too large DVD/Blu-ray collection, and listening to amazing music.

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