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The Blacklist – S3E20 -The Aratax Network (No. 41)

Previously on The Blacklist, “Cape May”

Jacob can’t concentrate enough to swaddle the baby, Aram and Navabi get lit in government cars, Ressler goes off on innocent office workers, and Red is hiding in the country being verbally abused by an old codger. In other words, no one is dealing with loss very well. Everyone except Cooper, that is. Yeah, he cries [a lot] while delivering Liz’s eulogy, but it looks like he might be getting back with Charlene. You know, because life is short and all that.

Images: NBC

Images: NBC

Even though Red doesn’t show, Liz’s funeral has a pretty decent turnout. Mr. Kaplan is there and bunch of other people. Are they coworkers? If those are friends, do they know “Tom” ain’t “Tom”? Cooper gives a touching eulogy about how special Liz was. Look, it sucks that she’s dead, but don’t make up stuff; Liz was terrible.

The Blacklist - Season 3

Everyone is feeling sad and trying to work through their emotions, but that’s hard to do around Ressler, who judges you for sparking up a doobie or saying you feel terrible about someone dying. His response is that you should feel terrible because it’s a funeral. No shit, Sherlock. That guy is such a dick. At the gravesite, Aram reads a few lines from Romeo and Juliet, because Liz loved Shakespeare. And dim sum, and Beyonce; it’s clear Aram loved her and is broken up about her death. Poor guy.

The Team learns that Liz was being watched and that’s how she was found at the church. Cooper reaches out to Panabaker about investigating who killed Liz, but she tells him to back off and worry about finding Red. They have a half-assed plan in place to figure out who was behind the church shootout, but Aram’s sadness is keeping him from doing his job. It’s weird seeing the team so disjointed and disconnected. It makes sense for Aram to be a mess, but everyone else is a bit of a surprise. Even though Cooper, Ressler, and Navabi are doing their jobs, they’re just as absent mentally as Aram.

The Blacklist

Aram does find out that another place and person were being monitored: the Warwick Hotel, where Benjamin Stalder, the president of the Energy Consortium Group, is staying. Either he’s the key to what happened to Liz or the next target. Jacob is feeling like he’s no use at the hospital with his daughter, so he calls Cooper and asks if he can help them. The last thing needed here is the “father can’t function without the mother of his newborn” trope. Sure, Jacob doesn’t know what to do and has no family to help him, but the nurses and doctors can help him. He needs to take a seat and bond with his baby.

Cooper pretty much tells him just that, but mostly he says they need to be on the up and up in their investigation; Jacob doesn’t agree. Ressler and Navabi get to the Warwick Hotel to speak to Stalder, but Rowan, the nuclear weapons specialist, already has him. She takes out his guards and grips him up, but Navabi finds her and busts out some Krav Maga or something on her ass. Rowan fights dirty though, and tries to toss Stalder down the stairs, forcing Navabi to grab him. Rowan pistol whips Navabi and gets away without Stalder. Before Ressler can get her, her getaway car swoops her up. It seems like it’s been forever since Navabi got to kick some ass. Her, in the field wrecking shit is long overdue.

Reeling from the fact that Rowan is not in police custody, Cooper goes back to Panabaker with more questions. Her response: stand down and worry about getting Red back on the team. Unhappy with that answer, Cooper calls Jacob for some dirty work. Who’s gonna watch the baby? Navabi and Ressler talk to Stalder to see if he knows why someone would want to hurt him. Apparently he gets that a lot. They ask if he knows Liz and he says he doesn’t but it seems like maybe he’s a liar liar pants on fire. He’s sick of going over the attempted kidnap and they can’t keep him, so he leaves and what can they do about it?

While everyone else was getting lied to and beat up, Aram took a trip to the country to beg Red to come back. Red just might fire Dembe for this one. He declines Aram’s polite begging, so Aram calls in his marker. He looks a bit taken aback that Aram would be this bold, but he still won’t do it. He pretty much says he can’t handle going back.

The Blacklist - Season 3

Back at the Post Office, Aram, Navabi, and Ressler finally start using their noggins instead of waiting for Red to show up with his laser pointer and flash cards. Not only do they figure out how the Eye in the Sky was watching Liz and Stalder, they find out from where. Since there’s only one way in or out of the building, Eye in the Sky sees Navabi and Ressler with their team breaching the door. He and his workmate destroy evidence then set the place to self-destruct before they bounce. At HQ, Cooper and Aram find security video footage of Stalder at his hotel, speaking to a mysterious woman. He told them he never left his suite. See, his pants were on fire. Since Stalder’s already gone, so they can’t find out who she is from him. Good thing Cooper sent Jacob to follow Panabaker. Who does he take pictures of? Panabaker and the mysterious woman. Jacob delivers pictures to Cooper and Cooper tells him about the connection between the mysterious woman and Stalder. In the absence of real information, Jacob wonders if she’s Katarina Rostova.

Red goes to the country for some fresh air and sympathy. He won’t be finding much of the latter from Liz’s grandfather, Dom. Yeah, the grandfather that no one knew she had, including Liz.

The Blacklist - Season 3

Straight off the rip, it’s obvious Dom does not like Red. Honestly, he has every reason not to. He repeatedly asks Red why he’s there and Red always has some whiny, woe is me response. He’s literally the worst houseguest ever. He goes through Katarina’s old stuff, plays in an old jar of glitter, and complains about Dom’s buttermilk. How do you force yourself into someone’s life and home for your own selfish reasons, then make snide comments about what they drink? Did he leave his manners in the city?

The Blacklist - Season 3

Red’s presence gets Dom’s back up at every turn. He blames Red for Katarina and Masha being dead and he’s not wrong. More than once, he lays into Red because he sees through him; he knows Red only showed up out of guilt and a need to have someone make him feel better. After some not so light nudging, Red finally admits he couldn’t go back with Aram because he doesn’t feel like he can survive the way he feels inside. This side of Red is interesting. He never seemed to care about anyone as much as he cared about Liz, but even then it didn’t seem like he cared at this level. More often than not his caring came across as a form of control. To see him so despondent makes him all the more human and fallible. Either his final talk with Dom got to him or he really wanted to pay his debt to Aram. He shows up on Aram’s doorstep, ready to work.

The Blacklist - Season 3

The Blacklister: The Artax Network- a defunct telecom project that used 73 satellites to provide worldwide data coverage. The project went bust, but the satellites are still hanging around. The network itself isn’t really a Blacklister, but those using it are…I guess.

Best line: “No, you come to my house with this sorry tale of loss, like you’re the only one affected by this. You’re the only one whose feelings matter. Well guess what, Raymond? Masha was my granddaughter, now she’s dead without even knowing I existed! All the sacrifices shot to hell. I could have spent the last 30 years just being her grandfather, you selfish prick.” ~Dom

Best exchange: 

Red: “I feel bereft, just like you.”

Dom: “No, not just like me. She’s gone because of choices you made for both of them; first Katarina and then Masha. As far as I’m concerned, you’ve killed my entire family.”

The Blacklist S3E20
  • 8/10
    Dialogue - 8/10
  • 8/10
    Action - 8/10
  • 10/10
    Performances - 10/10


Though better than the last two episodes, this episode was still lacking a bit. The first thing that needs to happen is find some real Blacklisters. I know, I know; the team needs Red to do that and they’re focused on finding out who attacked the wedding. But I need more than Red sullenly playing in glitter. By the way, that was a cute little diddy, but glitter sucks; it gets everywhere and you can never get rid of it. When, oh when, will they stop mentioning The Cabal? I’m so over it.

After some thinking and light discussion with friends, I have to re-think my theory about Liz. I still don’t think she’s dead, but now I don’t think Red or Cooper is involved. None of the main people can be involved, because we’ve seen them grieving too much. What would be the point of showing them grieving when they have no reason to? This needs to get wrapped up soon. All this Masha/Katarina/Red shit needs to get wrapped up now.

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About Teanna W (61 Articles)
Teanna is a self-proclaimed library goddess, who loves to talk about cataloging techniques as much as she loves to talk about her geek obsessions. She spends her leisure time painting her nails, watching too much TV, playing too many video games, and shaking it too much on the dance floor…sometimes all at the same time!
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1 Comment on The Blacklist – S3E20 -The Aratax Network (No. 41)

  1. ‘Liz was terrible’ 😂😂😂😂🙌🙌🙌

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