The Blacklist s4 ep 9

Spoilers

“Alexander Kirk is gone”, announces Red to Cooper. “And he won’t be back. It’s time to move on”. We’ve heard this sort of fourth-wall-breaching thing before: in The Good Wife, for example, when the appalling Kalinda’s Husband arc was ditched, or at the start of season 3 of Revenge, when The Initiative was buried. So whether this is a feint on the part of the writers, or an acknowledgement that the Who’s Your Daddy? storyline has delighted us for long enough, remains to be seen.

Meantime, though, Red has big news for the FBI: some advanced computer circuits have been stolen by the New Martyrs Brigade, a terrorist group, from a firm of defence contractors. For reasons which are never quite made clear, unless it’s to facilitate a fish and chips joke, the NMB shove them inside some fish, transport them from (somewhere) to (somewhere else) using Lipet’s Seafood Company, a, uh, seafood company, and start taking the circuits back out of the fish on the Lipet’s premises. But then Lipet’s and the NMB are, in turn, raided by an unidentified gun-toting balaclava-wearing gang, who make off with the chips.

Technology never stands still on procedurals, though, and facial recognition software has been rendered passé by a system which allows the user to see through balaclavas; something about fabric and contours, I think. This delights me, and also strikes me as a bit of a game-changer for cop shows. Anyway, when the tech is pressed into service on behalf of the NMB it reveals the raid was carried out by the Mossad; and that Samar, of all people, was on point. So the NMB abduct and half-heartedly torture her in order to recover the chips, although such is her loyalty to the Mossad and Israel that she won’t give the information up; the chips are tele-guidance circuits which would allow the NMB to fire rockets at Israel and evade its Iron Dome missile defence system.

Enter our old friend Oded Fehr as the newly-single Mossad hitman Agent Shur, determined to recover Samar and then, as he is no longer affianced, bed her. The former is achieved; but not the latter, because she’s in love with someone else (i.e. Aram). Which would have been big news for poor Aram a few months ago, but he’s been doing some soul-searching: he’s deposed by Panabaker in re her understandable suspicions about his last girlfriend; and he cops to, at least having terrible taste in women. Which gives him pause for thought about hooking up with Samar: a woman who would, while working for the FBI, lead an black-ops Mossad raid on US soil then lie about it. Cooper sacks Samar immediately and initiates a criminal investigation… actually he does neither of those things, which is a mystery, but not quite as big a mystery as the charismatic Fehr not having a regular gig somewhere.

While all this is going on – and it’s quite a lot – the rest of the show is somewhat perfunctory. Perhaps to prepare us for post-Tom life, the writers have stuck him in a converted warehouse doing little apart from hang with Liz and their baby. And Red, having set the main plot in motion, otherwise contents himself with blackmailing the President-elect, or perhaps the President, in order to get Liz reinstated as a FBI agent, possibly prompted by Cooper’s reminder that since Red entered Liz’s life all he’s given her is “pain, grief, and regret”. This episode was maybe a bit of a slow starter, maybe, but I enjoyed it.

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One thought on “The Blacklist s4 ep 9

  1. CJ Cregg February 18, 2017 / 2:08 pm

    Cooper is the worst law enforcement chief in the world. First, he *seriously* thinks that it’s appropriate and entirely reasonable to suggest that a disgraced – I don’t care what hoops the show jumps through to tell us what a special treasure Liz is – former agent-turned-fugitive who murdered the Attorney General then went on the run with a top-tier criminal then offered herself to the Russians as a potential resource then faked her own death, be reinstated as an FBI agent on a task force so sensitive it’s not meant to exist*. And then when he finds out a member of that same so-sensitive task force is devising and running an op for a foreign government’s intelligence agency on US soil and actively hindering an FBI investigation into it, putting millions of people’s lives at risk, he does little more than waggle a finger at her?

    Samar – who has behaved appallingly and obstructively for most of this season so it’s not like anyone can pretend Cooper’s loyal to her because of her sunny personality and charming social skills – has basically committed espionage, obstruction of justice, and all manner of other offences, and instead of immediately changing all the locks, having her arrested and led away in manacles, her FBI boss is all “well, young lady, I’m not too happy with this but it’s up to you if you want to come back on the super-sensitive FBI squad, or keep running Mossad ops instead”? This show has been testing my patience for ages now but I don’t even have the words for how insultingly ridiculous this is.

    As for Samar herself – considering she was threatening to leave a few weeks ago because (after the aforementioned death-faking by Liz the special treasure) she didn’t feel she could trust anyone on the task force any more and wasn’t sure they were who she’d thought they were, the words GIANT LYING HYPOCRITE are among the first to spring to mind. Aram is infinitely better off without her. But of course, there’s no way he’s going to stay away and either find someone who isn’t a GLH or just be fine being single, is there?

    (*Yes, I know Liz eventually did get re-instated, but Red arranging it is different because Red is an actual criminal who would happily kill any number of Attorney-Generals to advance his interests. I have to wonder at this point why the President doesn’t just have Red bumped off and save himself several more years of blackmail and appointing Red’s pets to positions they shouldn’t be in.)

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