If you, like me, watched The Blacklist tonight, you yawned your way through the entire affair. Oh sure, they tried to keep things interesting what with a fake kidnapping and a giant, elaborate faux-hospital, but all of the terrible shenanigans Liz got up to this week paled in comparison to Red’s quiet, deliberate, and active plan to take down Berlin. You can show us Tom playing mind games with Liz as he’s locked in a boat dungeon all you want: Red will always, always, always be more interesting. I understand that just because this is so that it doesn’t mean you want to strip him of his allure—overly utilizing him on a weekly basis. But the fact remains: we aren’t watching to see what happens to Liz; we want to know what’s going to happen to Red.
This week’s episode focused on the Scimitar, a horribly named Iranian terrorist. As far as villains of the week go, he didn’t have an exceptional amount to offer. Outside the elaborate machinations of the fake hospital, his other primary function was to pull agent Navabi into the central action. Given her murder of the dude, I guess you could argue that this was successful. But I’m not sure. The only thing Liz has going for her is her wavering about whether or not she should kill Tom.
Navabi has officially no moral conundrums, killing absolutely anyone she sees fit. The real question is why Red delivered her enemy to her on a silver platter. What are his plans for Navabi in the future? This question was the biggest takeaway I derived from this subplot. That seems like an awful weak one in light of the amount of money it must have cost to blow up that black SUV and flip it over roughly 80 times. Especially given what we know about Red: We clock his every interaction, looking for his motives in every exchange. We would have questioned his plans for Navabi regardless.
The meat of the episode was delivered in the final moments of the hour. After allowing us to believe that Red had been quietly meeting with his long-lost daughter, we learn that the chick in question is actually Berlin’s child, the one he has long believed Red murdered. What’s Red’s game now? That’s the real question. I would have preferred that we strayed from formula a bit this week to explore what’s coming up next in Red’s master plan. Liz and company take his assistance for granted in a major way that could clearly bite them in the ass. Aren’t they overdue to take some time and do what work they can on trying to suss out Red’s motives? I’m more interested in that outcome than I am about Tom’s fate, which at this point (everyone already believing Liz to have killed him) seems beyond superfluous.