The Blacklist: Tom's Trip To Nebraska

By jennifermitch5

Apr 05, 2014

*Warning: Spoilers For Beyond The Blacklist 1x17*

Given that we're on hiatus...again...I thought it would be a good time to revisit an old mystery from 1x14, that never really got explored because we'd yet to have confirmation about Tom's spy status. Now that we do know that Tom is a spy sent to investigate Red's and Liz's relationship, Tom's trip to Nebraska for the job interview takes on new meaning.

What was Tom up to on his trip to Nebraska?

My Opinion: I think Tom was up to more in Nebraska than watching "Real Housewives" in his hotel room. Being out there without Liz would have been a great opportunity for Tom the spy to snoop into Sam's family without arousing suspicion. I think he paid a visit to Aunt June and discovered something in Sam's things that has clued him in considerably to the Red/Liz mystery.

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What did Tom find?

According to Beyond The Blacklist 1x17, Tom has discovered something about Liz that he doesn't want her to know about. Nothing that Tom told Jolene seemed like it would be earth-shattering news to Liz, so I'm guessing whatever it is hasn't been revealed yet.

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Why didn't he share this information with Jolene?

My Opinion: I think Tom has been keeping a lot of stuff about Liz to himself in order to protect her. The fact that Liz's scar wasn't up on that board, and it wasn't mentioned makes me believe that Berlin doesn't know about it. Tom deflects Jolene when she asks Liz's cases. He sees the pattern, which was how he was able to make the connection between Wuijing, The Alchemist and Jolene, but he hasn't shared what he knows to delay the next phase of this war.

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  • CriticalRemission Apr 13, 2014

    I would be disappointed from the show if it turns out that Tom somehow works for the 'good side'... he doesn't love Liz, nobody would hit the person he/she loves in the way he did. Beside I'm 100% sure he had an affair with the greek lady and the key Lizzy found probably leads to a basement/appartment where Tom (or Berlin) hides important information!

  • BelleForrest Apr 12, 2014

    Also, Tom must have told Jolene just enough during her first visit to his lair, so that she would call Berlin and tell them that Tom was on task. But he killed her after her second visit, after he realized that she wasn't there to check up on him, she was there to get closer to Liz. To protect his mission, Tom had to kill her.

  • BelleForrest Apr 12, 2014

    I don't think that Tom really went to Nebraska. He was most likely hanging out in his lair, working on his wall and trying to figure out what Red was up to. Between teaching during the day, and nights with Liz, when would he ever have time to do his “research” on all things Reddington?

    Tom went dark after Zamani almost killed him, so he did not send any information about Red to Berlin. If Tom found something out about Red and Liz, he did not want Berlin to know about it, so he stayed in dark mode. This might mean that Tom is a double agent, and has allegiance to someone else. Fitch, the Adversary, or the CIA? I agree that it would be compelling if Tom has fallen for his target, and will end up protecting Liz (but still hard to rationalize the punch in the face).

  • jennifermitch5 Apr 12, 2014

    I think Tom must have gone somewhere, because Red told Liz that Tom was "At the airport" when he came to her house at the end of 1x11.

    I also was trying to figure out when Tom was does his spying. Before when they were just dating I bet he was able to get a lot more research done. These days I can only guess that he makes the most of the crazy hours Liz works. Teachers only have to physically be in the school from say 7:30-3:30 M-F and he has summers off. Liz, works more than that. Also I'd guess Tom purchases his lesson plans from some else. He probably also used sick and personal days without Liz's knowledge when something pops up.

    In terms of split loyalty, I suppose it is possible Tom is a double agent with the CIA or Fitch. I think the Adversary and Berlin are one and the same.

    My theory on how Tom could punch Liz to keep her from seeing him and still be in love with her: If she he'd seen him his cover would have been blown and he would have to leave. Berlin would put someone else on the assignment, someone who might figure out what he knows about Liz and share it with Berlin. He could have hit her to ultimately protect her.

  • BelleForrest Apr 12, 2014

    That's right, thanks. I forgot about that scene. We found out that Red must have been watching Tom, and always knew where he was.

    And your explanation is perfectly reasonable about Tom hitting Liz, just enough to stun her momentarily, so that he could escape. It makes sense that Tom would need to do anything to protect his mission, to make sure Liz did not find out.

    Poor Lizzie. Red wants Tom to stay with Liz, for their marriage to continue so that Tom will lead Red to Berlin (or his Adversary). And Tom wants to keep Liz close, so that Red will finally reveal why she is so important to him. (Maybe involving the big secret Fitch is worried about?) But poor Lizzie is in the middle, clueless.

  • JenMo73 Apr 06, 2014

    Lizzie's scar looks like the mark on Tom's go box. Doesn't it? Whoever gave her that scar (her "dad") must work for Berlin. So why would someone mark her like that?

  • jennifermitch5 Apr 06, 2014

    You should check this discussion out to read other people's idea's about the scar:

    http://www.tv.com/shows/the-blacklist/community/post/what-is-the-significance-of-lizs-scar-1385696007/

  • jennifermitch5 Apr 06, 2014

    She told Red she got it when she was 14 and that the person who gave it to her wasn't trying to hurt her. She told Beth her "daddy" gave it to her to keep her safe. Since Sam is the "daddy " she had at fourteen I would assume it was Sam. I think the scar protects her by showing she "belongs" to the dangerous group known as Berlin. If Berlin tries to come after Red, through her the scar might keep them from hurting her. I believe Liz is biologically related to whoever is running Berlin. I don't think Sam works for Berlin, but I think he does know of their existence and he knows Liz is connected to them. I believe Sam used to work for Fitch and that is how he met Red.

  • JenMo73 Apr 06, 2014

    Thanks!!!! :)

  • KateSullivan Apr 05, 2014

    i doubted the trip was for any other reason than Sam was dying. Liz backed out like fairly last minute. he wasn't there very long and it sort of seemed like his only non hospital time was that coffee time with Red that he had. Now did he perhaps bug Sam's room and heard Sam and Red talking and knows they knew each other and there is definetely more to Red and Liz and that Red actually killed Sam. Any of that would hurt Liz and make her distrust Red.

  • jennifermitch5 Apr 06, 2014

    No, I meant the teacher interview in Nebraska he leaves for at the end of 1x13. Remember when he is trying to convince Liz to move to Lincoln.

  • KateSullivan Apr 07, 2014

    Oh yeah, I forgot about that. In retrospect, I guess I figured he didn't actually go anywhere just hung out in his lair.

    Come to think of it, I keep wondering about his cover. Really until he didn't recognize the toy, it wasn't occurring to me that he wasn't actually working all angles of his cover (by being an actual fourth grade teacher) and I am wondering if the show runners are scrambling a bit on that angle too, because, a) if he isn't actually going to school every day, shouldn't he have been suspicious of Jolene right away since that is where she claimed she knew him from and b) why bother going to the teacher's conference? I mean, it is clearly winter time on the show and school is likely in session and hasn't Liz had to go to school events?

  • jennifermitch5 Apr 07, 2014

    I think, given the amount of surveillance, and the checking up that the FBI did on Tom he must really teach in that school. Also Tom originally recognized Jolene from subbing at his school, before he knew she was from Berlin. I'd guess Tom may have taken a few more sick/personal days then Liz realizes (like the day when Liz found his "watch post", because right before then the school clock at Harrison's school was around 1:30) .

    As for his really going to Nebraska, I think it's likely. Red told Liz that Tom was at the airport when he came to her house at the end o the episode.

    As for the school events, Liz can't find time to have dinner with her husband, let alone go to a school concert. I'm really sad that we didn't even get to glimpse Tom teaching a bunch of 4th graders, because I feel like that might have been adorable, then later horriying when we realise exactly who was in charge of all those children.