The Blacklist recap: Time to bring out the tissues
- TV Show
I did not expect tonight's episode of The Blacklist to be an emotional one. Yet here I am, in tears at the thought of the Task Force coming together to remember Liz (Megan Boone).
Although "The Chairman" focused on the task at hand, there were so many sweet moments that made you realize how much of an impact Liz still has on everyone. They're all yearning for some sort of closure, and I don't blame them. I'm ready for this Liz mystery to be solved so we can focus on the bigger question since season 1: Who is Raymond Reddington?
Tonight we were brought slightly closer to finding Liz's murderer, with Red (James Spader) determined to exhume Liz's body from the grave. Of course, he runs into a few roadblocks as both Cooper (Harry Lennix) and Ressler (Diego Klattenhoff) refuse to allow this to happen. We'll get more into that later. But, first, we should talk about our Blacklister of the week.
The Chairman (No. 171)
The episode opens with the Chairman (Craig Bierko) telling three business associates who have been scamming investors that they must be punished for their actions, per the terms of their agreement for being part of their stock market for criminals, The Night Market. Instead of killing them, he requests the money back — along with their fingers — as a form of payment to set an example to those who dare betray him.
Red's company is part of The Night Market, so he warns the Task Force about the Chairman, who sent the photo of the punished businesspeople to all those participating in the market. No one but the Chairman knows which investors and companies are involved. The only company Red recognizes is BKRC, an Albanian group known for money laundering and extortion through Tremont Casinos, led by Dreyton Abazi (Matthew Jayson Cwern). The State Division of Gaming Enforcement caught wind of BKRC, causing Tremont Casinos' public stocks to go down. Despite that, BKRC's black market stocks went up, which means the criminals know something that the public doesn't.
Dembe (Hisham Tawfiq) and Park (Laura Sohn) visit the lead investigators at Gaming Enforcement, Agents King (Tom O'Keefe) and McVay (Tiffany Rachelle Stewart), who reveal their source in the investigation against Abazi is his girlfriend, Tsiona Stern (Meredith Travers). She is later caught and killed for her betrayal by the Chairman. The task force find that Abazi conducts his business in a suite at the casino where his other girlfriend, Felicia (Lucy Walters), lives with her young daughter, who clearly hates Abazi.
Aram (Amir Arison), dresses as a room service attendant and places a bug underneath the table in the suite — but he's seen by Felicia's daughter, who's hiding under the table. Aram tells her the device is a magic trick that will make Abazi disappear. She heartbreakingly pleads to the bug to make Abazi disappear.
Thanks to Aram's bit of undercover work, the team discovers Abazi made Felicia set up a meeting with King and McVay and plans to assassinate them. Abazi stays behind to watch Felicia's daughter as she meets with the agents. Dembe and Ressler go to alert King and McVay, showing up right as the hit is about to take place. Dembe shoots the sniper and arrests Felicia, who is willing to talk to save her daughter. The team has Felicia call Abazi to bring her daughter and pick her up. Once the girl and mother are safe, Dembe and Ressler arrest Abazi, who fearfully refuses to say a word. To now draw out the Chairman, Cooper lies to the media, saying that they are now investigating the Night Market, so that its stocks drop.
But the Chairman knows it's a trap to crash the market. He calls a meeting with the heads of all the companies in the black market, including Red. The Chairman assures the companies that the FBI investigation is merely a rumor. Red offers $35 million to invest, but only if the Chairman reveals who the lead investor is in Red's company. The Chairman declines the offer. Red leaves, and reveals the meeting's location to the Task Force, leading to the Chairman's arrest.
Dembe interrogates the Chairman, who refuses to reveal anything about the Night Market. Instead, he calls out the crimes of Wall Street, noting that no one is arresting the bankers and investors there. Honestly, he's not wrong.
We also find out why Red wanted the team to investigate the Chairman. While mourning during the two-year break, Red was pushed out of his company by an unknown investor. He believes whoever it was is somehow involved with Liz's death.
Cooper is still dealing with his blackmailer and receives a call demanding that he make MIT grad student Andrew Kenison (Joe Carroll) go away by giving him a new identity and new life. Cooper finds Andrew and tells him his life is in danger and he must go into Witness Protection. Rightfully confused, Andrew has no idea who would want to hurt him, or why. I instantly thought to investigate who Andrew's competition is at the university, because they wouldn't want him dead, just gone.
In the middle of all this chaos, Agnes lost her bunny doll, "Mimi," that belonged to Liz (and the bunny that once contained the fulcrum). Cooper finds the doll and decides to tell Agnes the truth about her mother and family, including that Red is her grandfather.
The Liz Situation
Here we are. The section that almost everyone has been waiting for: what about Liz?
Cooper initially wanted Liz to have some peace, but decides Agnes deserves to know the truth behind her mother's death. So, he gets a court order to exhume the body to find the tracking device. They succeed in finding it. The tracker is extremely advanced and is only activated when it encounters digestive enzymes. Aram could not find any other information on it, but continues in his search.
Ressler is enraged when he finds out what happened, with Cooper insisting this is what Liz would have wanted. Clearly triggered, Ressler puts a bottle of pills into his pocket and leaves.
Fearful that Ressler fell off the wagon, Park finds him at Liz's grave. He shows her the pills, telling her he didn't take them, but he's hurting inside. Park says they're there for him, bringing along Aram and Dembe, who now know everything, as support for Ressler. They all have their demons — Aram lost his life savings, Park lied to her husband, and Dembe sold Park out to Red. Ressler tells them that he wakes up in strange rooms naked covered in vomit. Clearly, Ressler is the winner here. But, regardless of their demons, they let Ressler know he's not alone; they'll battle them together.
In a heartwarming moment, with Cooper's voiceover telling Agnes about her mother, we see Red looking out toward Liz's grave as Aram, Park, Ressler, and Dembe wrap their arms around each other and remember Liz.
This episode left me feeling emotional, especially Spader's performance. His comments regarding Liz and being in the darkness and finding some sort of light really hit me hard, knowing how much pain he is in. Hopefully, we get some more answers from the tracking device and the secret investor of Red's company so this case can finally come to a close... maybe. You just never know with this show.
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