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The Blacklist – S3E8 – Kings of the Highway (No. 108)

Previously on The Blacklist, ‘Zal Bin Hasaan’

While in a gas station restroom, freshening up and collecting herself, Liz loses Red. He’s carjacked by a quartet, going by the moniker, “Kings of the Highway”. With an assist from Navabi, she traces Red’s phone to a tow yard and gets the name of the tow truck driver who left it. Liz finds Jasper, the tow truck driver working with the Kings, and works him to get Red back. Hardly the hapless victim, Red plays with the Kings, pitting them against each other, so he can make his getaway.

Images: NBC

Images: NBC

Back in D.C., Ressler ain’t nobody’s fool; he knows Navabi used his laptop, but she deleted the search history and he doesn’t know why. He gets Aram on the task to see what he can find. Navabi asks Aram about his task and tells him she helped Liz, and asks him to not tell Ressler. She lies to him about the circumstances of her using Ressler’s laptop, because you can’t manipulate someone’s feelings for you if they find out you’re sleeping with someone else. But bros will be bros and broken hearts don’t really mend; realizing Navabi lied to him, Aram tells Ressler that she used his computer to locate Liz and Red, and Ressler kicks her off the task force.

The Blacklist

Tom, Karakurt, and the Coopers are attacked at the brownstone, and decide to head out of the city, to a cabin in Lake Yvonne. The bad guys keep popping up, thanks to the tracker buried in Karakurt’s chest. They ditch the car, go underground, and get rid of the tracker so they can get to a cabin at Lake Yvonne without Mr. Solomon and his henchman tagging along.

The Blacklist

The Blacklister(s)

The Kings of the Highway. Okay, they’re not really Blacklisters, but several others weren’t either, so just go with it. The Kings are highwaymen who operate in West Virginia; they kidnap and rob motorists, then dump them. That is, until they hit the mother lode with Red. Thinking about all the money they can get for him, they begin to turn on each other—with a little needling from Red.

Red’s Best Line

See, this is why I don’t go to family reunions. Aunt Lucille is always arguing with Buddy, Uncle Scott is drunk by noon, and someone’s hand is always in the wrong cookie jar.”

Ressler’s Best Line

“Don’t be late; I hear the boss is a real prick.”

Number of times Ressler was a dick

Three: his condescending explanation to Aram about the logistics of Liz being brought in if she’s captured; when Reven Wright asks him if going after Cooper and Navabi is a bit much; and when he catches up with Liz to arrest her –  he trains his gun on her as she struggles, then warns her he’ll shoot her. Who put a bee in his bonnet?

Number of times someone says “cabal”

1; finally, they don’t say it so much. Not to worry, they’ll pick it right back up when the show returns.

Number of times Liz was annoying

Zero; not only was she not annoying, she was aces. She formulated a good plan to rescue Red. And when Jasper tried to get the drop on her, she handled his ass like a pro. She fought him, stabbed him, and shot him. She called the Kings to work out a trade for Red; all by her lonesome.

Holy shit moments

  • Cooper distracts Charlene by asking about the cabin she’s leading them to and she confesses that she would go there to cheat on him with their neighbor. But she stopped once she found out Harold was sick; that makes it okay, right?
  • Reven goes to see Laurel (the Chairman), to ask about Operation Backslide and the fact that Solomon had cover as an attache from her office; all of her questions lead up to the fact that Laurel should probably know him. Laurel asks if Ressler sent her and Reven says he didn’t, she was just digging and Laurel shoots her. I knew she was dirty.

What did work

  • Ressler tells Reven Wright about Cooper and Navabi. He says his reason for not cutting them any slack for their duplicity is because of Tommy Markin, a dirty cop who had his dad killed because he wouldn’t play dirty, too. When Reven is shot by Laurel, her last words are “Tommy Markin”; this has to get back to Ressler so he’ll know she was murdered.
  • Tom, Karakurt, and the Coopers escape all the bad guys, but head underground because Karakurt has a tracking device in his chest. In the tunnel, Tom finds a can top, and fashions a blade to cut chip out of Karakurt. At least he sterilizes it! Spy life is too damn hard. The leave the chip on a dog’s collar and are able to leave Mr. Solomon in the dust.
  • Red kept his wits about him while with the Kings and got them to turn on each other. He knew how to work each guy to get them to do exactly what he wanted. He seemed to have a long term plan, because he told Liz to not give them the care package.

What didn’t work

  • Navabi tells Aram that Ressler left his laptop at her workstation and that’s how she came about using it. If she doesn’t think sleeping with Ressler was wrong, why lie about it? Which begs the question: were she and Aram dating? The picture on his refrigerator, of them boo’d up, hints at yes. Aram is pissed because he realizes she must have slept with Ressler, so he flips on her.
  • When Ressler confronts Navabi—at work!—she confesses to tipping off Tom and Liz about Wing Yee. That seemed like a lie, so why would Ressler believe it? Aram’s snitching ass asks Navabi if she’s okay. He admits he only told because she lied about where she was. What is this, high school? This is why it’s important to know if they were dating. Should I be mad at her for hurting him or mad at him for being a jealous jackass? And why are they having these conversations in the middle of their workspace? Reason number 432 you don’t shit where you eat.
  • At the brownstone and on the street, Tom and Cooper kill or grievously injure five people, yet no cops show up. Who cleans up the bodies??
  • Jasper drags Liz all over and through his kitchen, and then dunks her head in the stagnant dishwater in his sink. This is the second time I’ve seen such a thing on TV. Who just leaves water in their sink??

The Blacklist

The Blacklist S3E8
  • 9/10
    Plot - 9/10
  • 8/10
    Dialogue - 8/10
  • 10/10
    Action - 10/10
  • 9/10
    Performances - 9/10
9/10

Summary

This is the episode I’ve been waiting for all season. Not necessarily what happens, but the level of commitment from the writers. So many questions are answered, many new questions were presented; the writing was tight. I don’t care for the tendency to make the episode baddie the Blacklister, because it cheapens the entire premise. But I do like how Red and Liz found their way around these bad guys.

Liz stepped up in this episode. I was eager to see what she would do next. She saved herself and Red, all by herself, and didn’t look inept. I would like to see more of this Liz; confident and thinking ahead.

Reven getting killed was a shock and hit wasn’t. I didn’t trust Laurel because Christine Lahti played the character. Not that I have anything against Christine Lahti, but you don’t the likes of her on The Blacklist and not make it count. If she wasn’t there to help, she had to be there to hinder. I wonder how Reven’s disappearance or murder will be explained. Surely she asked for her last words so Ressler will hear them and find out the truth. The previews for the back end of this season look good. I hope they’re not lulling me into believing it’ll be good, just for them to be mediocre.

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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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