Episode PremiereMarch 03, 2014
Show Period2013 - Now
Production CompanySony Pictures Television
A confused, gaunt man shuffles down a snowy country highway. Turns out he's Assistant US Attorney Hastings, who disappeared after prosecuting a falsely accused armed robber 12 years ago. Red thinks Hastings is a victim of "The Judge," an anonymous avenging angel who finds "justice" for wrongly imprisoned innocents, meting out eye-for-an-eye punishment to those who have done them wrong. Liz quickly puts together a lengthy list of potential victims, prominent lawyers and judges who've gone missing. Aram IDs former inmate Frank Gordon, who works with the Virginia Prison Literary Project and seems to be the guy smuggling inmates' written appeal requests to The Judge.
Meanwhile, Red takes a meeting with The Cowboy, a man with a predilection for Cadillacs, black Stetsons and few words. The Cowboy agrees to find Jolene, but he doesn't want Red telling him how to do it. Red already knows Jolene is at a teachers' conference with Tom in Orlando; he wants to know where she's been. It's not long before The Cowboy reports back: seems like Jolene has been following Red's every move. Thinking Jolene is coming to the end of a long operation, Red prefers to watch and wait rather than pick her up. Down in Orlando, Jolene seduces Tom into a passionate groping session in the bathroom of their hotel bar. When Tom pulls away, Jolene slips her room key into this pocket, refusing to take no for an answer.
Liz and Ressler proceed to the Virginia Book Depository, where it turns out Gordon lives in a storage closet. When he lunges at Ressler, Liz shoots, but Gordon gets away, leaving behind a treasure trove of handwritten appeals addressed to The Judge. Liz focuses on Alan Ray Rifkin. Convicted of killing hundreds of civilians in Afghanistan with the Taliban, Rifkin now sits on death row. Aram discovers that the senior FBI agent in Afghanistan at the time was Cooper, which suggests he might be next on The Judge's list. Cooper dismisses this notion, convinced of Rifkin's guilt. Liz visits Rifkin in prison, where he's attended by his "spiritual advisor" Ruth Kipling of The Amnesty Collective. Rifkin claims it was all friendly fire and that Cooper beat a confession out of him at the express request of ambitious Assistant US Attorney Thomas Connolly.
Unbeknownst to the FBI, Gordon has made arrangements for the abduction of Connolly and Cooper if the execution of Rifkin goes down as planned. He reports back to Kipling, aka The Judge, who runs her ramshackle prison out of converted country barn. Gordon and Kipling know the FBI's on their trail, but they're determined to continue their work. After some investigation, Liz discovers that what Rifkin is saying is true: hoping to further his career, Connolly gave Cooper the order to beat a confession out of Rifkin. Meanwhile, Cooper meets with Connolly, ordering him to "contain" the problem. Liz crashes the meeting to confront Cooper, who admits to beating Rifkin. Liz wants to stop Rifkin's execution, but both men refuse, warning her to worry about her own career. Everyone's on hand for the execution. Rifkin maintains his innocence until the end, saying "Goodnight, Mother," to Kipling just before his lethal injection. Immediately afterwards, Connolly and Cooper are abducted by Gordon's men and brought to Kipling's farm.
Knowing The Judge intends to execute Cooper in retribution for Kipling's death, Liz calls Red in a panic. Red drops in on his old Naval Academy roommate, Admiral Richard Abraham, who was disgraced when Red disappeared. Nevertheless, he's able to give Red hard evidence of Rifkin's guilt. Meanwhile, Liz visits Hastings, hoping to learn The Judge's location. When all Hastings will say is "Goodnight, Mother," Liz realizes Kipling is The Judge and tracks down her farm in the nick of time, since she already has Cooper wired into a dangerous-looking electric chair. That's when Red jets in to show Kipling his file condemning Rifkin and talk her into surrendering in the name of true justice.
Tom considers his options over a glass of whiskey. Finally, he uses the key to enter Jolene's room. When she starts kissing him, he pushes her away, explaining that he loves his wife. "Wrong answer!" Jolene barks, as her face turns hard. "Elizabeth Keen is not your wife, she's your target." Tom gets serious too. He's in love with his wife because that's exactly what he's supposed to be - it's his job...