The Blacklist s4 ep 8

The extraction of Alexander Kirk from the hospital is under way, which as promised means lots of guns being fired. Kirk is successfully freed, but Liz is taken as well, as Kirk is still convinced that she’s his daughter; Red must, he asserts, have falsified the DNA tests which proved that she isn’t. So the two of them are taken to a Kirk safe house, and on we go. I’m starting to think that rising property prices in the US and UK are being driven solely by the demand, among super-criminals and governments, for safe houses. There seem to be thousands of them.

Meantime Red is demanding that Dr Shaw – who is, once again, the notional Blacklister, although she’s more or less irrelevant – has to find “Patient Zero”. This will turn out to be Lucille Bockes, cured by Dr Shaw of the same sort of blood disorder that Kirk has, which means she’s no sort of a Patient Zero in the generally-accepted meaning of the phrase. What she is, though, is proof of Shaw’s success with using CRISPR, a technique for manipulating DNA, to treat Kirk’s Syndrome, or whatever it’s called.

But why does Red now want to save Kirk? Well… he knows that Liz will be in mortal danger just as soon as Kirk is finally convinced that he’s not Liz’s father, so he offers himself to Kirk in exchange for Liz’s freedom; and, when Kirk bites, he tells Kirk that the therapy is available, in the hope of saving himself. Kirk, though, would much sooner torture Red in the hope of getting answers to some questions, with “Are you the daddy?” right at the top of the list. And, rather unfortunately, after some equivocating Red completely blows the plot out of the water. “It doesn’t matter”, he correctly suggests to Kirk. He then says that he, Red, is Liz’s father, but since he’s being tortured we can discount that, or not, as we prefer.

Meantime, Mr. Kaplan, whose first name (Kate) isn’t a million miles from Katarina, the name of Liz’s mother, which might be significant or it might not, is still being held in a shack in the woods by Mr Shack-In-The-Woods-Dweller. But you don’t get to be Red’s cleaner without developing some game, so she fashions a weapon which she holds to Mr SITWD’s neck. Then he frees her and they sit down for soup together; then she leaves. Honestly, I think I’ve missed the point of all of this. Was Susan Blommaert being allowed to recuperate from an operation which affected her mobility, or something?

Back with the final two contestants in Who’s Your Daddy?, and Kirk is about to kill Red, having turned down the chance of life-saving gene therapy. Kirk is all, there is nothing – nothing! – you can say to me which will change my mind. Nothing, do you hear me? Whereupon Red pulls him close and mutters something in his ear which, apparently, totally changes his mind. Not that we get to find out what it is, because we’re just viewers, and because (I think) the writers are under the misapprehension that Who’s Your Daddy? is driving the show, rather than some spicy and gruesome Blacklisters of the Week with a morsel of judiciously-deployed backstory to keep us watching.

So Red is freed by Kirk, for an as yet unspecified reason; and since Liz is talking to Red this week – hard to keep up – he gets to do some bonding with Agnes. Mr. Kaplan is on the road, when she’s picked up by a truck being driven by an unseen driver. She seems happy enough to get in, though, so I might stick some money on Dembe. And Kirk is “gone”, according to Red, which in this context is meaningless, unless the writers are telling us that we can forget about him. Which would be something, although I fear we might not yet be done with the vexed question of Liz’s biological father: this wasn’t a terrible episode by any means, but The Blacklist really has got itself bogged down in that arc. With any luck, when it returns from hiatus it’ll go in a different direction.


One thought on “The Blacklist s4 ep 8

  1. CJ Cregg February 8, 2017 / 10:34 pm

    I realised when I read your PSA that I hadn’t actually commented on this ep so I’d better do it before I see the next one. I remember thinking this one was really annoying but then I found most of the season till then pretty annoying as well. “Who’s Your Daddy?” has been awful on every level. However, I fear things are just going to get worse – I can’t be the only one who thinks Red whispered “Katarina’s still alive, I can help you find her” or something along those lines to Kirk? I have a horrible fear that the other direction the series will now go in is “Where’s Your Mummy?”

    Point of clarification before we get there, though: how come Kirk was still alive long enough to do the prisoner swap the next day and threaten to kill Red and then escape? The hospital doctor was quite clear he wouldn’t live through the night without a transfusion. And he didn’t get one….

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