The Blacklist draws parallels between two task force members in an episode that kind of plays like a homage to Mission: Impossible.
Let’s bitch it out…
Case of the Week: Navabi (Mozhan Marnò) kinda/sorta initiates an internal incident after she murders an Iranian nuclear scientist. In retaliation, Iran hires the titular Scimitar (Waleed Zuaiter), a supposedly infallible assassin (who is taken out remarkably easily) to kill an equivalent US target. Flipped cars, fake hospitals and the usual case of the week antics result.
- Gratuitous butt shot alert! Does Lizzie (Megan Boone) really need to be half naked in the “hospital” or have the slipping ratings for the show prompted an increase in the T&A quotient?
- The moment that Lizzie makes the connection between her doctor from the faux-hospital and the Scimitar is hilariously overwrought and rendered in slow motion with flashbacks. It’s as though we didn’t just see these events fifteen minutes ago! It’s alarming how dumb and forgetful the show’s writers seem to think we are.
- Critiques aside, I did enjoy how nails were used to simulate the pain of Lizzie’s fracture injury. That’s actually clever in a gruesome kind of way.
Red Alert: My notes on the Zoe (Scottie Thompson) subplot: Food truck boring-ness. Television equivalent of a sleeping pill. Daddy issues. Ohhh…different daddy issues. Berlin (Peter Stormare) daddy issues. That’s unexpected.
- Still, isn’t it just sooooo The Blacklist to bury the lead like this. I know this will occupy the majority of next week’s Fall Finale, but it would have been nice to devote more than 2 minutes to this storyline.
Lizzie’s Wig: Lizzie (Megan Boone) is keeping Tom (Ryan Eggold) in an abandoned ship where he’s slowly freezing to death (and going full beard!). She refuses to set him free until he provides her with information about Berlin. When Red questions her motives for going outside of official channels, she lists a number of reasons why she wants to find Berlin for her own purposes, even going so far as to name-drop Meera’s death, which made me laugh hysterically. I love how The Blacklist continually tries to make the secondary characters it refuses to develop into integral parts of the show. Newsflash: Meera was a shit character and no one cared when she died.
- Clearly we’re meant to associate Navabi’s quest for vengeance and cold-blooded murder of the Scimitar with Lizzie’s intentions for Tom. I wish that it would have been done more subtly; instead Tom practically spells it out to Lizzie using nearly the exact same words. The Blacklist is nothing if not subtle <sarcasm>.
Agent Boring: Lizzie once again raises the issue of Ressler’s (Diego Klattenhoff) drug habit and he once again gives her the polite equivalent of “shove off”. After the car accident, he admits he likes being on drugs. The end. It’s quite the after school special.
Other Blacklist Business:
- Turns out the reason Red brought the case to Navabi is because the Scimitar is the man responsible for killing her brother. In response she basically destroys up her position with Mossad in order to capture him and help rescue Lizzie. As usual this exposition is delivered with absolutely zero impact, anticipation or urgency – we might as well be watching characters talk about their weekend or a new kind of quinoa bread. I find it The Blacklist‘s odd habit of completely underselling any narrative “moments” that don’t involve Lizzie or Red both strange and mildly amusing.
- Harold (Harry Lennix) is still a badass despite the cane. And yet this show can’t figure out what to do with him. So sad.
- Red (commenting on George Orwell): “But good lord are his books a downer.”
Your turn: do you care about the obvious parallels between Navabi and Lizzie’s quests for vengeance? Will Lizzie really kill Tom? Were you surprised about the Zoe reveal? And if a Ressler ODs in the forest, does anyone care? Sound off below
The Blacklist airs its Fall finale next Monday at 10pm EST on NBC. Here’s a preview: