Peter Kramer / NBC

The Blacklist Goes Under The Knife

But you probably won't be happy with what they're surgically removing.

Thank goodness for small favors. Before we're even to James Spader's Executive Producer credit, Liz crashes the seaplane she's being abducted in. It might not sound like much, and certainly doesn't sound like a smart move, but it does represent an active choice Liz makes that affects her situation -- it's been a long time since we've seen something like that. And in the process, we learn something important about the Keen women: they can take a beating. At the end of last episode, Agnes survived a major car accident with no ill effects. Same for Liz this week, only sub plane crash for car accident.

So while Liz and Alexander Kirk hang out (literally) on the sinking seaplane, where the pilot has mysteriously disappeared, Red and Mr. Kaplan search for information on Mato, the pockmarked assassin. Red remains super-mad at Mr. Kaplan. Sure, it's for good reason, but it's no fun watching mommy and daddy fight like this. Certainly there's something that could help these two kids reconcile. Maybe interrogating a guy getting a lap band procedure? Nope. What about finding and questioning Mato? Still nope. Damn.

Meanwhile, Kirk takes Liz to a place called "The Summer Palace," an alleged family retreat she used to allegedly love. This seems to win Liz over right away. Good lord, she's such a softie. Stop waiting for others to define and validate you, Liz. Get okay with you. Or at the very least stop moping, for Pete's sake. Kirk gives her the hard sell on this being her home and him being her dad. Liz remembers a memory (false, maybe?) of burying a time capsule with her mom, and digs up said capsule. So, looks like this might really be her Summer Palace. Maybe she can find some peace. Of course, the FBI screws it all up by showing up, guns blazing, allowing Kirk to escape with Agnes. Red and Mr. Kaplan finally settle their differences -- more specifically, Red kills Kaplan to the strains of "If You Could Read My Mind" by Gordon Lightfoot. Or does he? We see her hand grasp the grass as the episode goes to black. Maybe she's just "transitioning" to the mid-season spinoff. Let's hope so. It'd be a damn shame if this show permanently got rid of such a great character.

So, Blacklist-y is this episode of The Blacklist? Let's check the data!

Blacklist-y Element Present?
Liz is alive, but she's totally still boring, right? Well, now it looks like instead of being mopey about who she is and who her dad might be, Liz will be mopey about her missing baby. Great. Because Mopey Liz is the best of all possible Lizzes.
Stupid government agents! Always ruining everything! Right at the moment Liz realizes this might be her childhood home (or one of them) and that Kirk might actually be her dad, the FBI shows up to ruin the moment. And also allow Kirk to escape with Agnes. Smooth move, Agent Ex-Lax.
Red is one step ahead of everyone at all times! Red deciding he has to kill Mr. Kaplan proves he's not one step ahead of anyone. If he had any foresight at all, he'd know that Mr. Kaplan wouldn't do anything to harm him. Terrible decision, Red.
This Blacklist-er should totally be on Red's list! Mato is a weirdo, but there's absolutely no reason he wouldn't be on a regular list.
Plot is immaterial! Mato and his ladyfriend sneak Agnes out of Cuba in a tiny, crowded, open boat. Sure, that's a reasonable way to transport a newborn. Of course, it takes them no time at all to make the crossing.
Red's hat symbolizes his cool mastery of his surroundings! Red's Panama/Trilby hybrid, or Panarilby, proves itself a harbinger of unfortunate consequences, especially to the fat guy getting the lap band procedure.
Dialog by ClichéBot 3000 "If you don't mind me asking," the Coast Guard guy says, "who's on the plane?" Ressler and Samar answer simultaneously: "A friend/fugitive." The Coast Guard guy says, "Sounds complicated."
Something deadly/dangerous is given a name equally suited to a weird sex move The Summer Palace is neither deadly nor dangerous -- except for all of Kirk's bodyguards who are killed there. Sorry, day players!
We get one more crumb about Red's obsession with Liz Seems like Kirk might really be Liz's dad. This would be astounding news if only I cared that much about this mystery anymore.
6 / 9
Final Score
Alexander Kirk is TOTALLY Liz's dad
Wait, do I care anymore who Liz's dad is?
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