Will Hart / NBC

The Blacklist Goes Analog

Because there's no better way to combat super-hackers than with a well-choreographed slide show.

This week's tale begins with an underworld financier named Rene LeBron, who bankrolls evil-doers whose assets have been frozen. Red kidnaps him before the opening credits and offers him to the Task Force as a way to get to Alexander Kirk, since Kirk is one of LeBron's clients. Liz, once again, is so over Red. Because of the lies, you know. Not that they're new lies, or even worse lies than before. Just because, oh I don't know, she won't grow up maybe? Who even knows why Red and Liz can't get along once again? Things don't seem fundamentally different than they did a few episodes ago. But here we are again.

Or are we? Whoops, turns out Liz and Red's "public disagreement" was staged for Kirk's benefit, because there's a mole in the Post Office. And when LeBron gets killed by a sniper while in FBI custody, Liz and Red bring the whole Task Force to a tech-free temp HQ to let them know the Task Force has been hacked by this week's Blacklist-ers, The Thrushes, a group who "hack the unhackable." Aram takes the hacking VERY personally. And so, if you've been wondering why there's been such a focus on Aram's new blonde girlfriend, I bet you can guess whom she's been working for all along.

Aram helps turn the tables on his blonde fake girlfriend and capture her, but that puts Liz's meeting with Kirk in jeopardy. And THAT makes Liz angry, because, as she tells Ressler, the act of pretending to be mad at Red wasn't an act after all. She's only putting up with Red until she gets Agnes back. Ugh. Really? Pick. A. Lane. Also, get over it. We all love Red, and no one joins you in your belief that Red's a danger to you. Sorry.

In the end, Kirk threatens to jump off a building with Agnes in his arms but reconsiders, because of course the show wouldn't kill the baby. Kirk ends up in the glass box that used to be Red's home. Liz and Red reach a détente. And everyone is happy again. Oh, except for Mr. Kaplan, who remains a captive/patient in the weirdo's cabin in the woods. Naturally, the weirdo's contemplating what to do with her, because he fears people will come looking and he doesn't like visitors. Seems like they're really selling out Mr. Kaplan's character by making her so helpless. Yes, I know she was shot in the face, but she used to be the coolest customer in the show and more resourceful than anyone. And now she's a timid, wounded bird? I don't buy it. And I'm not going to be happy until the show restores Mr. Kaplan to full Mr. Kaplan-hood.

So, is this episode of The Blacklist Blacklist-y enough? Let's find out.

Blacklist-y Element Present?
Liz is alive, but she's totally still boring, right? This flip-flopping on how she feels about Red and his part in her life is giving me motion sickness. The most boring motion sickness possible.
Stupid government agents! Always ruining everything! Um, they kind of ruin Aram's love life. First by finding out that his new hot girlfriend is a member of The Thrushes. But then, when Aram finds out they know about her, no one in the room tells him they JUST FOUND OUT. And they let him feel crappy that they maybe knew for a long time. Not cool, bros. Not cool.
Red is one step ahead of everyone at all times! It seems as though everything happens exactly as Red wanted it to. So, he's back on track. For the time being.
This Blacklist-er should totally be on Red's list! Sure. Super-hackers who hack the unhackable? Why not.
Plot is immaterial! Would you rather spend your evening trying to sort through all of the feints and double-backs and fakeouts Liz and Red played on each other and everyone else (the audience included), or would that time be better spent mixing another margarita? I think you know the answer.
Red's hat symbolizes his cool mastery of his surroundings! Red debriefs the Task Force sans hat -- his sporty Season 4 Panarilby (the Panama/Trilby hybrid) -- but re-doffs it as a point of emphasis before exiting. Because Task Force, Red just owned you.
Dialog by ClichéBot 3000 "You didn't tell her anything, did you?" Ressler asks. "No," Aram replies. "I may be dumb, but I'm not stupid."
Something deadly/dangerous is given a name equally suited to an improv theater or troupe Though groundbreaking in many ways, The Thrushes ultimately called it quits because the public never seemed to get fully on board with improvised comedy done entirely in bird calls.
We get one more crumb about Red's obsession with Liz Still, no. But again, isn't the bigger question how much we still care about that?
8 / 9
Final Score
89%
Glad Baby Agnes is back home, safe.
11%
Certain someone else will kidnap the baby in the coming weeks.
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