I’m sure everyone else is way ahead of me with this one, but Ressler is kind of an idiot, isn’t he? We left The Blacklist with Liz finally having been captured, and The Director – this week’s Lister, as it happens – trying to get to her before she can be arraigned. Ressler stashes Liz in the Red Box, and is remarkably confident that he can protect Liz and make sure she gets a fair hearing, confidence which lasts until the second that The Director and his team start trying to get in to the Box. Fortunately, someone – not Ressler, natch – had the foresight to change the entry code.
Meantime, though, Ressler also makes sure that Senator Hitchin knows that Tom and Cooper have Karakurt hidden away in Mrs Cooper’s lovenest. Which means that Solomon and a cast of thousands head into the woods to blast away at the cabin. But Tom likes those odds, and once joined by Ressler he even gives Karakurt – who has perhaps figured that his chances are better being on the same side as the good guys – a gun. They fend off the attack and capture Solomon, whereupon Ressler starts to make noises about shooting him, before everyone suddenly gets all moralistic about extra-judicial killing. Which is bizarre (although typical): by this point, after all, they’ve been gunning people down for half an hour. Hell, they’ve been killing people since the start of season 1. Tom himself is an actual bona fide Blacklister. Yet all of a sudden everyone’s squeamish about shooting the person who, above all the others, might actually deserve it? Still, the cabin is destroyed, which at least means that Mrs Cooper and her sidepiece will need to find somewhere else for their extra-curricular activities.
And Red is doing a deal with the Venezuelan government (?) using the pre-hiatus McGuffin as leverage. Fair’s fair, it’s actually quite a good McGuffin as these things go. But everyone needs to get a move on: The Director is flooding the (presumably airtight) Red Box with nitrogen, suffocating Liz in full view of the Task Force office – might there not be a little bit of blowback from that? Still, we need a hero, and Aram, God bless him, steps up. I’m delighted by any episode which allows Aram to be a hero. Which means that by the end of the episode Liz is conscious and on her way to her arraignment (a delicious turn here by Deirdre Lovejoy as White House counsel Cynthia Panabaker); Solomon is in federal custody; the Venezuelan government has its McGuffin; Red’s off to bring down The Cabal; Ressler has managed to get through the episode without someone busting his stupid head until the white meat shows; and Aram is the Man.
I suppose the crisis of early 21st century capitalism, the triumph of consumerism, and the oversupply of entertainment content leaving the public both over-stimulated and jaded, can be summed up in this question: if we’ve got Blindspot, do we need The Blacklist? On the evidence of this episode, and assuming that the show is about to bring the curtain down on The Cabal, the answer is a tentative yes. I thought this was excellent.