Virginia Sherwood / NBC

The Blacklist Orders Some Fish And Chips

Someone is smuggling stolen computer chips inside fresh fish, and it's never really clear why.

Recently, I read an article about Jack In The Box tacos. About how popular they are, but also how people almost universally agree that they are pretty terrible tacos. Even people who eat them regularly agree with that. They don't particularly like the tacos, but yes, they will eat them. I guess what I'm saying is, The Blacklist is back after its holiday break and I'm hungry for more tacos! I'm sure there were lots of questions left unanswered or something. It just escapes me currently what those questions might have been, or why we all might have cared so much about them.

This week, Liz and Tom and their baby are living in a warehouse made up to look like an apartment, while somewhere out there people are smuggling stolen timing chips inside fish. This is the world we live in. It's good to know right off the bat that we're re-establishing a connection with Liz being suspicious of Red and Alexander Kirk. Glad to see no one in this show knows the first thing about MOVING ON.

As the fishy chips scenario blossoms into a national security leak, Cooper informs Liz that he's going to push to reinstate her as an agent. Oh, please tell me this will drag on for the rest of the season instead of being simply resolved by episode's end! Because nothing would be more interesting than wondering whether Liz was ever going to be called an agent again, since she's still doing EVERYTHING she did when she was an agent. Eeesh.

Anyway, the defense contractor who produced the stolen fishy chips tells Ressler and Samar how happy the company will be to cooperate. They're so happy, they gladly throw a disgraced former employee under the bus. We all know that poor sap, whoever he is, won't have had anything to do with it. But that shady-looking suit with the generic East Coast accent who did the throwing? That guy's definitely up to something...like being in cahoots with the New Martyrs Brigade. During all of this, Aram deposes before Panabaker regarding his terrible choice in girlfriends. Poor Aram. Hopefully all of his lady troubles will come to an end when he and Samar finally burn up the sheets. Which should definitely happen this season, or else.

Turns out the Mossad probably executed the raid on the fish factory, and one of the operatives in that raid might have been Samar. Later, after Samar has been kidnapped by the New Martyrs Brigade, Ressler finds out that Samar not only carried out the raid, she also planned it. Obviously, this is important information she has been keeping from everyone in the FBI.

Despite all this, the FBI get the fishy chip device back, and thanks to some interference by Red, Liz gets pardoned of her murder and thus reinstated as an agent. Aram gets cleared as a person of interest, and he and Samar plan to celebrate with dinner. Great news, right? No. Because Aram has standards and getting into a relationship with someone so spy-like as Samar, especially right after being duped by a spy, might not be the most healthy choice for him. Goddamn you, Aram! Samar is in love with you. Why doesn't this show want me to be happy? Why?

How Blacklist-y is this episode of The Blacklist? Let's find out.

Blacklist-y Element Present?
Stupid government agents! Always ruining everything! After Samar is taken by the New Martyrs Brigade, Ressler and Levi, Samar's old Mossad booty call, both yell at each other, both admitting that between them they have zero intel to help find Samar. Great work, ad hoc international intelligence co-operative!
Red is one step ahead of everyone at all times! Red knows a little more than the FBI this week, but not much.
This Blacklist-er should totally be on Red's list! Everyone involved in the fishy chips scandal seems ordinary enough to be on the FBI's radar.
Does the show still have a boner for torture? Of course! Farook begins torturing Samar, but quickly gives up when he realizes she's just like him. She'll never crack. It's kind of sweet. Except for the torture part.
Plot is immaterial! Ressler ends his fight with Farook by throwing him under the wheels of an oncoming van, thus killing him. After which, he walks off, smugly. Let's all just ignore the poor fucking driver of said van who now has to deal with a vehicular manslaughter on his conscience.
Red's love of food symbolizes his cool mastery of his surroundings With a paper napkin tucked into the collar of his shirt, Red rhapsodizes about the finer points of "Ginny's Cheeseburger Chowder." All this during a tense meeting with a government stooge. I'll be honest, the way he talks about that chowder, I kind of want a bowl right now.
Dialog by ClichéBot 3000 "Take a team to the United States," the mysterious imam-like person says. "Succeed or die trying."
Something deadly/dangerous is given a name equally suited to an improv theater or troupe The New Martyrs Brigade present a reunion show this Saturday night at the Guffaw Grotto. All seventeen members of the original New Martyrs Brigade will be on hand to perform The Bat, an improvised show done entirely in the dark. Opening the show will be the New New Martyrs Brigade doing their award-winning sixty minute set made up entirely of Freeze Tag.
We get one more crumb about Red's obsession with Liz There's no movement on this front, which frankly is a relief. Let's move past it, please. The sell-by date on this mystery was early 2015.
6 / 9
Final Score
67%
Samar and Aram are finally gonna do it!
33%
Goddamn it, Aram!
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