The Blacklist: A History of Honey Traps

By jennifermitch5

Apr 15, 2014

    The new promo for 1x19 makes it look like the fake marriage of Tom and Liz is about to come to a head. In anticipation of that event I thought this would be a good time to reflect on television's history of "honey traps" (relationships where one party has seduced another party with ulterior motives).

    I’ve divided the examples I could think of into three groups, the first of which is “Love Has Changed Me!” These characters all fell for their marks and changed loyalties because of that love:

    Love Has Changed Me!
    1. Cole (Charmed)
    2.The Watcher/Joshua (No Ordinary Family)
    3. Simon (Covert Affairs)
    4. Athena (Battlestar Galactica)
    5. Bill (True Blood)
    6. Jason (Revolution) (Thanks Ugmiwatogla!)
    7. Jake (Scandal) (Thanks Ugmiwatogla!)
    8. Emily (Continuum) (Thanks Ugmiwatogla!)
    9. Karen (Dirty Sexy Money)

    The next two groups are “ I Love You, But My Mission Comes First!” and “I Feel A Little Bad, But I’ll Get Over It!”.

    In “I Love You, But My Mission Comes First!” the spy does have genuine feelings for their mark, but they carry out their mission regardless.

    In “I Feel A Little Bad, But I’ll Get Over It!” there is usually a touch of remorse from the spy in the relationship, but they don't hesitate to turn on their "partner" when the mission calls for it.

    I noticed two factors that seem to allow love to NOT conquer all with these couples:

    A) The mark is not the main character
    B) There was previous relationship this “couple” was standing in the way of.

    I Love You, But My Mission Comes First!
    1. Irena (Alias) - Rule A
    2. Alison (Alias) - Rule A
    3. Lauren (Alias) - Rules A and B
    4. Alt. Olivia (Fringe) - Rule B
    5. Sean (Nikita)- Rule A (Thanks Ugmiwatogla!)
    6. Becky (Scandal)- Rule A
    7. Carrie (Homeland)-EXCEPTION
    8. Brody (Homeland)-EXCEPTION
    9. Emily (Revenge, early S1)-Rules A and B (Thanks Belleforrest!)
    10. Simon (Dirty Sexy Money)- Rules A and B

    I Feel A Little Bad, But I’ll Get Over It!
    1. Tamara (Once Upon A Time) - Rules A and B
    2. Walsh (Once Upon A Time)- Rule B
    3. Regina (w/Mirror, Once Upon A Time)- Rules A and B (Thanks Sanity-Bleeds!)
    4. Philip (The Americans) - Rule B
    5. Nikita (Nikita) - Rules A and B (Thanks Ugmiwatogla!)
    6. Michael (Nikita)- Rules A and B (Thanks Ugmiwatogla!)
    7. Casandra (Nikita)- Rules A and B (Thanks Ugmiwatogla!)
    8. Emily (Revenge, S2 and beyond)-Rules A and B (Thanks Belleforrest!)

    So my question is, given that Liz is one of the show’s two main characters (thus eliminating Rule A), and has been in her marriage since the pilot (eliminating Rule B), will The Blacklist writers make Tom completely unrepentant and devoid of any feelings for Liz? Which heading do you think he’ll end up falling under?


    Can you think of an fake TV couple I missed? I'll add them when see ones that I recognize.
    Any other thoughts on Tom and Liz or any of these other couples?
  • Comments (43)
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  • BelleForrest Apr 18, 2014

    From Revenge, the queen of ulterior motives, Emily Thorn/Amanda Clarke. Emily successfully seduced Daniel Grayson, who fell madly in love with her. (although this season, not so much!)

    Emily has never fallen in love with Daniel however, she only needed him as a means to an end, to seek revenge for the death and wrongful imprisonment of her father David Clarke.

    Her heart really belongs to Jack, Aiden... or Nolan. Anyone but Daniel.

    She of course was merely trying to get close to the Grayson family, whom she blames for framing her father, David Clarke.

  • jennifermitch5 Apr 19, 2014

    Well, she did have feelings for Daniel at one point, , although they weren't as strong as her feelings for Jack. Her feelings for him died when he learns the truth and still chooses to stick by his family. She's tough to place...I think I'll put her in two spots.,,

  • amberf222 Apr 18, 2014

    Tom is a tool. I really hope he turns out to be a jerk, because who marries such a bland, boring twerp? In real life, guys like that always turn out to be in the closet.

  • mordreut Apr 17, 2014

    This comment has been removed.

  • jennifermitch5 Apr 17, 2014

    Who started a fake relationship with who and how did it end?

  • Sanity_Bleeds Apr 17, 2014

    Kinda thought more people would have listed Hook (Once Upon a Time). That, and Rumpelstiltskin, and I suppose in a roundabout sort of way, Regina too.

  • jennifermitch5 Apr 17, 2014

    Hook uses his sexual charms to get his way but he's never entered into a fake romantic relationship with anyone, where they thought his feelings were genuine, but he had ulterior motives. The closest he'd come to the "honey trap" type of deception is what he did with Bae. Obviously the role he was playing was "father figure" rather than "lover" but he was, at the start, trying to earn Bae's trust/love in order to get the dirt on Rumple.

    Regina does honey trap the genie/Mirror, so I will throw her up there.

    I don't know who you are thinking over with Rumple, so which character did he honey trap?

  • Sanity_Bleeds Apr 18, 2014

    Also, my thought on Regina was more in line with her old relationship with Graham, the original Sheriff in Storybrooke.

  • jennifermitch5 Apr 18, 2014

    No honey trapping there. She didn't start a fake relationship with him to forward a goal. Their "relationship" was his punishment for betraying her. In Storybrooke she wasn't sleeping with him for a mission, she was looking for a little...companionship...

  • Sanity_Bleeds Apr 18, 2014

    I was going more with the list of "Love has changed me" in regards to Hook, and "I love you, but my mission comes" in regards to Rumple and getting turned all around by Belle while still trying to get back to Bae,. My thoughts on Hook were more in line with how he was initially working for Cora and trying to earn Emma and Co.'s trust, and in the process of deciding whether to betray them for Cora, ended up saving them time and time again, very much like Joshua from NOF.

  • jennifermitch5 Apr 18, 2014

    Okay, I see where you are coming from. It is true that Rumple and Hook have both struggled with choosing between love and their mission, BUT neither of them set/successfully sprung honey traps.

    Rumple didn't start a relationship with Belle to forward his goal of casting the curse, etc. Hook may have flirted with Emma, but he'd never started any kind of relationship with her under false pretenses. The relationship has to begin as a means to a mission related end to count as a honey trap.

    When Regina seduced The Mirror, and tricked him into thinking she loved him, so he would help her kill the king, that's a honey trap.

  • Ugmiwatogla Apr 16, 2014

    Jason (Revolution)
    Emily (Continuum)
    Owen (Nikita)
    "Josephine" (Nikita)
    Michael (Nikita)
    Sean (Nikita)
    Cassandra (Nikita)
    Jake (Scandal)
    Hillary (The Tomorrow People) : to be continued, this one.
    ex-wife (Intelligence)

    I would put Tom Keen in "My mission comes my head, i don't want to admit to myself that i'm totally and desperately in love with my mark".

  • jennifermitch5 Apr 16, 2014

    Who did Owen and Casandra honey trap? Its been a while since I watched Nikita I need a refresher. I don't watch Intelligence so which category does the ex-wife fall under?

  • Ugmiwatogla Apr 17, 2014

    Owen seduced and betrayed Alex... then regretted it immediately.
    Cassandra played Michael for years, when she was in fact MI6, and in fact in the end, Gogol. They even needed a full episode to bail her out of her multiple lies, with an epic fake death.
    The ex-wife in Intelligence was definetly about "mission first" : she detonated her suicide bomb in front of her hubby.

  • jennifermitch5 Apr 17, 2014

    Wait...didn't the ex-wife also sabotage her mission by telling the kid to tell them about the hospital?

  • Ugmiwatogla Apr 18, 2014

    yes you're right.

  • jennifermitch5 Apr 17, 2014


  • KateSullivan Apr 16, 2014

    Honestly, I'm not sure basically because I feel like a bit of indecision was in his part at the beginning where, unlike say Ward from Agents of Shield, where he was seeming very cardboard and now you can be like oh....Tom seemed so very milquetoast that I just wonder if after they wrote the pilot they were like, wait, why has Red appeared in Liz's life at this very moment, crap, she probably has to be in danger. While I have previously been of the he actually loves her camp, but will do his mission, I have been leaning more toward another 'honey trap' thing that happens, after the reveal, he starts to fall for her. Like, Liz clearly has been playing a part in her 'real' life, trying to be the good wife and responsible conservative do gooder, but we are starting to know that isn't the real Liz. Hell, we love it when she turns into the bad ass or plays a con, so I sort of wonder as she drops her walls of normalcy, Tom really starts to like her.

  • jennifermitch5 Apr 16, 2014

    The "real Liz" that your describing is the primary reason I've been so committed my Tom Bond and Liz theory since the pilot. From the moment Liz stuck a pen in Red's neck we all knew Liz had a dark side. The "normal, boring" life was never in the cards for her and deep down I'm not sure that she wants it. Everything that's happened to her and she hasn't quit, and she hasn't told Red to go. She is attracted to dangerous people and situations. Ultimately Tom the school teacher wasn't going to be enough to satisfy her and even if he had been, she was not going to be able to deliver him the stable life he needed. He would not have been able to accept the darkness in her, and you're right Tom Bond, might find those parts the most enticing.

  • KateSullivan Apr 16, 2014

    I kind of was late to the idea that Liz was just trying to play the role she wanted to be thinking, but it totally feels correct. I'm sorry for the total free association of my earlier comment....finish a freaking sentence Kate!

  • MichelleHood24 Apr 16, 2014

    Paul (orphan black)
    Ward (SHEILD) hasn't happened yet?
    ????????? My mind has gone blank

  • jennifermitch5 Apr 16, 2014

    I don't watch Orphan Black, so you'll have to tell me, what category does Paul fall under?

  • KateSullivan Apr 16, 2014

    Oh, we are not entirely sure. He was put in as a 'monitor' of one of the clones, Beth. Our main protagonist clone, Sarah, took over her life for various and sundry reasons after Beth died basically trying to switch lives. They figure out the truth about each other during the course of the season and it turns out the organization behind creating the clones hold some sort of evidence over him for a wartime atrocity he committed (I am suspicious that he may not have done this). He initially fights to protect Sarah, but once he learns the organization knows of her existence (her birth mother hid her) he tries to broker a peace between the organization and Sarah. She thinks he is still loyal to the organization and learns what he believes they have on him. She basically tells the organization fu, she has something happen and goes running back to the organization and runs into him, she learns something (I feel like the Sarah/Paul thing is not too spoilery if you want to watch it), and is shocked and horrified and he basically tells her they have nothing on her and she shouldn't feel obligated to the organization and I took it as supporting her fu to it. He appears to still be deeply into the organization (which is bad) in the second season but you don't know how much he is just obligated versus whether he is actually loyal solider. So, he is more into the "I love you, but I'm going to do my mission" side of things right now (Sarah doesn't actually take much in the way of any shit and I am not clear on what her feelings about Paul actually are). Delphine is another clone's monitor and she appears to fall into the screw the mission, I love you category, but I am suspicious that she might be waylaid by the science of it all. I feel kind of like we learn the truth of what they have over Paul and leave him no one to protect (Sarah has a daughter who is missing right now and I could see him staying with the organization to keep an eye on her if she is there), he is firmly on the good side of things.

  • MichelleHood24 Apr 16, 2014

    Very well put I couldn't have said it better my self thanks.

  • KateSullivan Apr 16, 2014

    Thanks.. I am weirdly obsessed with Orphan Black today.

  • KateSullivan Apr 16, 2014

    And don't forget Delphine (I'm with Felix on that one at this point).