This week’s installment of NBC’s The Blacklist brings the team and the audience to that moment we have all been both dreading and waiting for: Elizabeth Keen’s funeral. After Red’s adventure into the past last week, this week we find the team preparing for Liz’s funeral and whatever life will follow.
Everybody Needs Somebody Sometimes
In a montage before the funeral, we see how the rest of our characters have been holding up since Liz’s death. In short, they are not holding up well. Tom has Agnes, Cooper (maybe) has his wife, and Red, it seems, has no one. Aram comforts Samar, but it looks like Ressler is doing what he does best: throwing himself into his work to avoid his feelings.
During the church service, Cooper gives a beautiful eulogy on Liz, her personality, and her work ethic. He comments on her beautiful spirit and her brilliance when it came to profiling with the FBI. Cooper also notes, “We know exactly where she is,” gesturing to his heart (I may be reading a lot into this, but I’m with the conspiracy theory that Liz is maybe still alive somewhere!).
On the way to the burial, Aram lights up a joint in the back of the FBI’s Escalade, and Ressler rolls his eyes while Samar takes a hit. Hey, in the words of Samar, “It’s legal in D.C.” At the cemetery, we see Liz’s lovely casket bedecked with flowers. When everyone is ready to leave, Aram speaks up. He has a few words to say, and this is where it gets emotional. Aram starts with a quote from Shakespeare, because Liz loved Shakespeare – and Dr. Seuss. He spoke of Agent Keen’s likes and loves, and how he misses her. Perhaps the most beautiful and heartbreaking part of the entire episode was the following few lines that Aram spoke through his tears: “I know what she loved because we were friends. Even though I called her Agent Keen, that was out of the respect I had for her. Her friends also called her Liz. I miss you, Liz.”
At a House in the Woods
Red is noticeably absent from Liz’s funeral services, even though Mr. Kaplan and the rest of his team attend. Instead, we see him pull up to a cabin in the woods where he knocks on the door. A man answers the door and he does not look happy to see Reddington. When the man asks what Red wants, Red says, “Your granddaughter… I’m sorry.” Then the man slams the door in his face.
Later on, the man, Dom, finds Red in the garage. Dom demands that Red stop torturing him. He says that just because Mosha is dead, does not mean that Red understands his pain. Red insists that he is devastated, just like Dom. However, Dom drops a truth bomb when he tells Red that both Katarina and Mosha are dead because of choices that he made – Red has essentially killed his whole family. Dom gave up Mosha/Liz to protect her, and he is pretty pissed that Red couldn’t stay away. Now his granddaughter has died without ever knowing he existed.
Following a Lead
Samar and Ressler track down their lead, a Mr. Stalder. Hotel security has eyes on Stalder and his security detail, and assure Samar they will keep him in the building. As they await his elevator on the ground floor, we see the men in masks we’d recognize anywhere at this point. They mention that “acid” is on site. As the men enter the elevator, a woman waiting inside smiles at them. Halfway down, though, she pulls out needles and takes out the security detail. She and Stalder get off on the seventh floor, and, when they don’t make it to the lobby, Ressler and Samar go after them. A fight breaks out between the woman and Samar, and eventually the woman gets away. Ressler gets to her at the alley exit until he is plowed down by the woman’s crew’s Escalade.
The After Effects
Back at the post office, Cooper, Ressler, and Samar find that the woman from the hotel is Rowan, a woman that they had already arrested and sent away. Cooper agrees to look into the situation – she should be rotting in a cell – since Aram is taking a personal day.
Mr. Stalder from earlier is cooperating with the FBI, but was simply in town to give a speech at an energy convention. While his office has sent over everything the FBI needs, the man insists he needs to catch a flight to Dubai.
Despite his earlier insistence that Tom stay with his daughter, Cooper finally calls upon Tom for some assistance with the case. Tom is more than eager to comply with the request.
Collecting a Debt
During his personal day, Aram visits the house in the woods to find a distraught Reddington. He pleads with Red to come back to the post office; he can’t work and the team has made no progress on Liz’s case. Red refuses, but Aram appeals to his emotional side, as it seems that everyone is about three seconds away from a breakdown. Aram brings up Liz’s several near death experiences, and how Aram played a key part in saving her during the Cabal situation. He came to collect a debt – he wants Reddington back on the team.
Dom overhears the conversation and has a discussion with Red about his life after Katarina’s death. He encourages Red to go after Aram; Red has a reason to walk out that door and help with the case. Red stays behind and tries his hand at woodworking to fix Dom’s missing C-sharp key on his piano.
The Artax Network
Aram is back at work and finds the needle in the haystack: The Artax Network. It’s an abandoned network of 73 satellites that operate globally, and Aram suspects this group of criminals is using the network. After some hacking, the team finds that they have control of the Artax Network and they used it to kill Liz.
When Samar and Ressler take the building, the men in the control room destroy any and all semblance of evidence and somehow escape. Meanwhile at the post office, Aram finds some peculiar evidence in the hotel security footage: not only did Stalder leave his hotel suite during the day, but he met with a woman who looks very familiar.
At the close of the episode, we see how the few days following Liz’s death have affected the team members. Red visits Liz’s grave; Tom finally learns how to swaddle Agnes; Harold is on the path to reuniting with his wife. In the post office, Ressler spends a few solitary minutes in his and Liz’s shared office. Aram is doing… not well. Someone give him a hug.
Tom and Harold meet at the post office to go over the case. Tom has a picture of Panabaker (the one who “didn’t know” who let out Rowan) with the same woman Stalder met earlier in the day. The men come to the same conclusion: they believe they are looking at Katarina Rostova.
Aram is having a rough night when Raymond Reddington shows up at his door – the real Reddington. Three-piece suit, hat, and all, Red is back in action and ready to pay off his debt. “Strap on your bike helmet. We’re going to work.”
This show makes me so emotional and so frustrated sometimes! Overall, this was a great episode and is beginning to wrap up the season in a way that will also set up the soon-to-come spinoff. Do you believe we saw Katarina Rostova tonight, or is she just another pretty brunette assassin? Leave your thoughts below!
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