So, last night we had one of The Blacklist’s double episodes, and unlike some others, it’s not taking a 2-week break next week, so that’s an bonus, at least for me. Honestly, this week was lacking on content for me to watch because The Flash, Gotham, The Orville and Brooklyn Nine-nine all decided to go on hiatus this week, so I was looking forward to yesterday. Oh boy, did us Blacklist fans have a night!
So, Raymond Reddington had a mentor? It makes sense of course, very few people could get as good as he is being self-taught, but hey, he’s a smart man. The episode starts off with an extravagant party hosted by Reddington, and almost everyone in Red’s criminal circle is there; the always hilarious Glen, who is looking to redeem himself after screwing up Red’s jury selection, Teddy, Red’s interrogator for over a decade (I think for like 15 years), even the newcomer Vontae who got to talking to a waitress who had eyes on him (go enjoy your new freedom dude). The Blacklist has done well by this character. Elizabeth wasn’t there, but she came by the next morning and got the next Blacklister from Red.
Reddington’s mentor Robert Vesco is the target. He’s a retired treasure hunter, who got on the wrong side of his enemies and had to hide out in a remote country, not surrounded by the riches he desired. Oh and when I said that he was Red’s mentor… yeah, he also betrayed him which led him to Red’s trust issues and of course Red wants revenge.
He’s No. 9 on The Blacklist but he’s not a physical threat in any way, nor anything close to a terrorist, but remember, The Blacklist isn’t based on the biggest threat to the world, the placements are just where Reddington thinks they belong (for him to be above Dembe, (No. 10) proves that very point). Vesco has found a way to lost treasure, and Red “convinces” Vesco to tell him how to find it. And so, the hunt is on!
A good old-fashioned treasure hunt
I love the heist episodes in the series; The Blacklist excels at executing them, even if this one didn’t have as many moving parts. The two bandits and Dembe travel to the Library of Congress to pick up the trail again and it leads them to the opera. Meanwhile, Liz and the task force are on the trail as well, but considerably behind Red. They have no Vesco, and no clue where to even find the treasure. They get to the Library of Congress hours after the 3 fugitives, and find all the documents, but no clue how to trace the treasure trail like Vesco could. But they find out that Red has checked into the opera and head there.
Red, the man with the plan, enlists almost everyone he knows from Glen to Vontae, to provide distractions and cover while they steal the treasure, accompanied by the sounds of the opera. Side note, Glen will always be one of my favorite recurring characters on this show. Red finally allows the task force to meet up with him and instead of giving up Vesco, he offers them $100 Million in treasure, but when he opens the door, it’s all gone. Freaking Vesco took it all after pretending to be enlightened, leaving Red in an empty room, looking stupid in one of the funniest scenes I’ve seen on The Blacklist.
Taking a step back…
Now let’s back up a little. Samar has brain damage from nearly drowning in the season 5 finale and she kept it to herself, so much so that Aram, HER HUSBAND, only recently found out. After getting someone innocent killed two episodes ago, she resigned from the task force, realizing that she couldn’t be an effective agent anymore. It sucks that it took screwing up that badly to realize that, but she loves her job.
Last episode, she resigned from Mossad and had to undergo a standard polygraph where she revealed that she had a serious medical condition, but lied and said that she was pregnant instead, making her superior officer Levi, suspicious. Levi went to Aram with concern and Aram told him the truth about Samar, him Levi reassuring Aram that he would help Samar and leaving Aram his business card.
Now in the current episode, Aram books the two of them a romantic getaway to rural Pennsylvania without the burdens of modern technology. Aram is a fantastic character and is no afraid to take charge when he’s passionate about something or someone. I remember when he held a gun to the Director of the Cabal when they were trying to take away Elizabeth, and that was one of his most shining moments.
Anyway, there is a group called The Osterman Unbrella Company, and they don’t sell umbrellas; they are assassins hired by governments around the world, to kill burnt special operatives. Red puts the task force on the trail and they eventually find out that the Osterman assassins are going after Samar. Why? Because Levi is worried that one day Samar will accidentally turn against them and leak state secrets. The task force can’t reach Aram and Samar so they have to drive out there. Samar is attacked by an assassin and ends up killing her with her own poison, and the two of them flee again.
Samar tries to get Aram to leave her and save himself, but he loves her too much and refuses. After another attack, they agree to split up with Samar promising to meet him again later and Aram informs the task force. Meanwhile, Reddington has captured Levi and is disgusted by his disloyalty and kills him. This is Red’s way of getting justice.
Aram meets with the task force and says his goodbyes in a beautiful sendoff. But the moment is cut short when Red walks in and lets them know that he helped Samar get out of the country at her request. He calls Samar and she says a tearful goodbye. Aram then turns around and punches Red, promising never to forgive him. It’s one of the most shocking moments on The Blacklist’s history, seeing a good man filled with rage.
I hate it when characters in TV shows and movies keep important secrets from each other. I know it happens in real life, but it’s way overdone in media. I think literally every drama show has a character that keeps a secret unnecessarily “to protect you.” Ladies and gentlemen, that’s what we call, a trope. Samar should have told the person who loved most at the very least, maybe then they could have prepared for her exit from Mossad without the whole Osterman business.
What do I think?
These were excellent episodes, and they were some of these season’s best. The heartbreak from Aram was very real and made me feel so bad for him. He’s going after Reddington next episode and while I understand his anger, he’ll have to realize that Samar made her own choice to protect him, and I hope Reddington realizes that Aram is just a man in incredible pain and doesn’t try to deal with Aram in the usual way.
Let me know what you guys thought about this episode in the comments below!