It's Aram's time to shine with a trippy episode of The Blacklist.
The Blacklist - Season 2

I'm going to be honest — I'm a little disappointed with this episode. Not that I thought it was bad; it was a very good episode. But my hopes for Mr. Kaplan's (Susan Blommaert) return were shattered — even though a part of me knew that wasn't Kaplan in the window. It still hurts.

But we did get a good Aram (Amir Arison) storyline, with him confronting his demons and insecurities and finally dealing with his past trauma. We've seen Red (James Spader) and Ressler's (Diego Klattenhoff) grief throughout the season when it came to Liz (Megan Boone), but Aram has always remained strong and steady in his own awkward yet endearing way. It's about time we had our tech genius-turned-boss tackle this major life change.

Let's begin the recap.

Credit: Will Hart/NBC

The Bear Mask

The episode begins with Aram on the phone with Cooper (Harry Lennix) while he gets ready for the day. As Aram is discussing his plans and assignments for the Task Force, he notices his apartment is in complete disarray, which is very unusual for the OCD neat freak. He realizes something needs to change and takes Red up on the previous offer for professional psychotherapy services using controlled psychedelics. Dr. Idigbe (Montego Glover) offers him a legal, yet experimental, drug that should help with his anxiety and depression. He is put under at the office. 

We next see Aram riding his bike to work feeling more upbeat. As he steps off the elevator, he sees Park (Laura Sohn) spill her coffee, but continues with his day to review files in his office and finds a box on his desk. Inside the box are account statements folded into airplanes. Ressler interrupts Aram to tell him that Red is on the way to the Post Office. Just then, the office alarm goes off. The Post Office is under attack. There are multiple teams attacking their agents. A man in a 3D-printed symmetrical bear mask arrives and shoots the camera feed the team is watching. Dembe (Hisham Tawfiq) tries to call for back up, but the lines are cut. Aram tells them there's a phone that isn't connected to their communications system on a different level. Ressler and Aram head to the phone. Everyone else prepares to defend themselves. Aram gets to the phone and hears Red tell him, "if you want it to stop, you have to get everyone out." Ressler takes down some of the men, and they head back to the main room where Dembe and Park are. Park is shot in the chest and dies in Aram's arms. Just then, the elevator opens.

Aram finds himself back where he was that morning. It was all a dream. We find out that Aram is still passed out in a dream-like state at the doctor's office. Dream Aram, who is unaware he's unconscious, tells them about his dream of them being attacked and how real it felt, but decides to continue with his day. He finds the box on his desk again, but this time, it's filled with avocados and Samar's (Mozhan Marnò) engagement ring. Just then, Ressler enters to tell him Red is on his way. Aram realizes what's about to happen — but he's too late to stop it. The gunmen arrive. Aram turns to instruct the agents to escape, but finds himself with only Ressler, Dembe, and Park. They rush down the stairwell, but are attacked. Ressler is shot, but the team fights off the gunmen. They get to the exit door, but the code to leave doesn't work. Aram is confused because the security system is military grade. The only way to hack into that system… is through GreyLock. The team is ambushed — resulting in Park, Dembe, and Ressler getting gunned down. Aram sees the masked man and shoots him, but it does not affect him. The masked man leaves in the elevator while Aram chases after, but it results in Aram experiencing déjà vu all over again. 

Aram arrives back at the beginning of the day, exits the elevator and sees Park spill her coffee. He brings the team together and warns them of the pending attack. Remembering where the gunmen shot from, Aram takes them down. They arrive at the exit point with Park, Dembe, and Ressler safely getting out. Aram sees the masked man again and tells him, "sorry, Bear Face. Not this time."

Again, Aram arrives back where he started — exiting the elevator with Park spilling her coffee. He thought he got everyone out and it would be over. Aram suddenly hears Red's voice and turns to see a bloodied Park working at her desk. Suddenly, he sees Agnes as a little girl playing with paper airplanes. He flashes to Dr. Idigbe explaining the drugs. Then he flashes to Liz coming out of the elevator to hug Agnes. Suddenly Aram is holding Dr. Idigbe's fishbowl and sees his friends gunned down. Aram tells himself this isn't real. He opens his eyes to find himself back at the Post Office in the dark. He draws out his gun and opens the door to find himself in his apartment with the masked man. The masked man shoots Aram and reveals himself to be — Aram. 

But this Aram — who we will call Evil Aram — calls him out for his weakness as the reason Liz died and Samar left. Just when Evil Aram is about to shoot, he's shot by Samar. She tells Aram that he's been self-sabotaging himself with these thoughts of failing as leader of the Task Force. She tells him none of what happened to Samar, Liz, Agnes, and GreyLock is his fault. Aram breaks down in tears. She tells him he's always been enough, and Aram wakes up.

Aram arrives at the Post Office to find Park drinking her coffee — without spilling it. He asks Park to slap him, which she does without hesitating. Aram smiles, realizing it's real. Aram tells Cooper about his psychedelic experience and how it connected to his guilt about Samar and Liz. Cooper advises to just make the best choices he can and find a way to forgive himself to move forward. Aram returns home and puts everything in order the Aram OCD way. As he sits in his dining room, he imagines Evil Aram and Samar next to him.

I don't think this will be the last time we see Evil Aram and Samar. I feel like they're going to act like the angel and devil on Aram's shoulders. Even though I feel Aram has accepted himself as the leader of the Task Force, there are going to be moments for him when he'll need Evil Aram or Samar. Also, it was honestly just nice to see Marnò again.

Mozhan Marnò as Samar Navabi
| Credit: Will Hart/NBC

The Mystery is Closer Than You Think

Weecha (Diany Rodriguez) has been in a coma for the past four days, and wakes to find Red next to her. She cannot confirm with Red if it was Kaplan that she saw. Red tells her to rest and then meets with Cooper, who has a report from forensics. The body was badly burned, and it's unclear if it was a 100 percent match with Kaplan, but the DNA was close enough. Red wants to have his people examine the body. Red visits the morgue where "Kaplan's" body is. He's able to talk his way into getting access to it. He gives the body to his forensic man, Vlad (Vlad Cvetko), who in turn discovers that the body is not Mr. Kaplan's, but her sister Maureen's (Susan Pellegrino).

Red brings Weecha to rest at the trailer. Mierce (Karina Arroyave) arrives to take care of her sister. Red leaves the trailer to give Weecha and Mierce some space. Mierce tells her she's not angry with Red, she's just sad for him.

THE BLACKLIST -- "The Bear Mask" Episode 919 -- Pictured: James Spader as Raymond "Red" Reddington -- (Photo by: Will Hart /NBC)
Credit: Will Hart /NBC

Ressler tells Cooper what he found on LaCroix. LaCroix has several shell companies and a small fortune from his blackmailing business with Cole. They believe LaCroix's wife may know more than she's letting on. Ressler and Cooper go to her office, but find her dead in her car. They're able to catch the culprit and take him in. The man won't talk, but they find a down payment from a Lebanese bank account on the hitman's phone. Cooper brings the account information to Red to see if he can identify the account information. Red does — it's his own bank account. 

I'm so confused. I need to know why Maureen was pretending to be Mr. Kaplan. Could Mr. Kaplan be alive and have used her sister to get Red? It doesn't make sense. We only have two more episodes left in the season, and I have no idea in what direction this could go. Only Mr. Kaplan had access to Red's accounts. She knows everything about him. The only other person I could think of is Marvin, but he's too scared of Red to do anything. This whole thing is throwing me into a loop fortunately, though, not a loop like Aram's.

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The Blacklist - Season 2
The Blacklist

James Spader is Raymond "Red" Reddington, a mastermind criminal who teams up with the FBI.

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