Previously on The Blacklist, ‘Kings of the Highway’
Certain he’s doing the right thing by arresting Keen, Ressler gets her ready for transport back to the Post Office. She’s doesn’t feel bad about what she’s done and it’s okay because he’s still a self-righteous dick. At the Post Office, Keen is locked into the Box—where Fitch’s head went kerplewie—to await transfer.
The Chairman is worried that with Keen being caught, she’ll get her day in court and it’s a wrap for the Cabal. The Director, ever sure of himself, is not worried. He should be since it turns out Reven Wright set up special protocol to deal with Keen. Cynthia Panabakar, the White House Counsel, is having Keen taken to a closed court session upon her arrest; and only Ressler will oversee the escort.
Red enlists Navabi to finish putting his plans to clear Keen in motion. It involves drugs, a fake crime scene, and stealing from the FBI; but that’s just another Tuesday for Red.
Tom, Karakurt, and the Coopers arrive at the cabin and Cooper is all up in his damn feelings. It’s no wonder, since they’re hiding in his wife’s secret love shack. He decides to take her to her sister’s house because the situation is too dangerous, but really, he just can’t stand to be in the same room with her.
The Blacklister(s) The Director, but The Chairman, and Mr. Solomon can be thrown in for good measure.
Red’s best line “As for consumption, I must admit to a fondness for any well-appointed opium den, and a bit of hashish goes well with just about anything. But stimulants I have no taste for. I prefer the slight curve of the small f the back, the swell of a breast, the soft nape of the neck to quicken my heartbeat.”
Tom’s best line: “Principles are a bitch, man. I avoid them at all costs.”
Tom’s second best line: (to Ressler when he wouldn’t shoot Mr. Solomon) “Did you even go to the Academy?” I’ve wondered that myself, Tom.
Mr. Solomon’s best line: “I don’t care about your friends and I hate this country.”
Number of times Ressler was a dick: 2; before transporting Liz to the Post Office; and on the phone with Red, en route to the Post Office.
Number of times someone says “cabal”: 4. Okay, does Cabal stand for something? Is it an acronym? If it isn’t, it’s a dumb thing to call a group.
Number of times Liz was annoying: Zero; she stood her ground against Ressler and the Director and talked Aram down when he would have killed some people, or been killed himself. Although, it’s annoying that she gives away too much with her facial expressions. She needs to take lessons from Ressler.
MVP: Aram. Red and Ressler turn to him to protect Keen from the Director, while they handle things on the outside. Aram steps up in several big ways. He changes the password to get into the box, to keep the Director from transferring her to CIA custody, so the Director’s team has to hack it. He figures out the Director pumps nitrogen into the chamber, in an attempt to kill Keen, then gives up the password to save her. As the Director attempts to leave with Keen, Aram pulls out a gun and threatens to cap any- and everybody.
Holy shit moments
- Gunfight at the cabin: Tom and Ressler easily dispatch the first two guys who enter the cabin, and get their guns. Seeing how outnumbered they are, they unchain Karakurt and give him a gun to join the fray. Bullets fly from both sides, but mostly the bad guys’, so Mr. Solomon sends more in to check for survivors. Karakurt and Ressler disguise themselves as dead bodies and between the three of them they kill every guy who enters the cabin. Karakurt even saves Tom’s life, but they take the gun from his quick as you please.
- Heading away from the cabin, Tom finds a ride for them to get away. Of course it’s too good to be true; Mr. Solomon is waiting behind another car, with his gun ready. Tom is gripped up, Mr. Solomon tells Ressler to drop his gun or Tom dies. Tom tells Ressler to drop Mr. Solomon instead. Weak ass, Mr. Do-gooder Ressler drops the gun. Tom’s saving grace was the big ass rock Cooper used on Mr. Solomon when he snuck up on him.
- Aram pulls a gun on the Director and his men, as they try to take away Liz. So I’m the only one who thinks it’s weird that the Chairman is not trying to stop him, but walking out with him? It’s tense, Aram is snotting everywhere, and Liz talks him down. Just when it looks like the Director is about to get away with Keen, Cynthia Panabakar rolls up and saves the day. Good thing she’s paying attention and notices those looks between the Chairman and the Director.
What did work
- Ressler can’t find Reven Wright, so he goes to the Chairman to ask after her, so they can to try to stop the Director’s power play. The Chairman admits she doesn’t know where Reven is, but the last time they spoke, she mentioned something about an associate of Reven’s—Tommy Markin. How she missed his microexpressions, is a mystery. It was only a split second, but it was clear he got the message that the Chairman told on herself.
- Red needs to meet the Venezuelan Foreign Minister ASAP. To make sure he gets his way, he surprises Rafael Gallejo and has Navabi take pictures of them together to blackmail him into setting up the meeting. Not wanting to be seen consorting with an international criminal, Rafael folds.
- Needing to get the care package from the agents sent to retrieve it from the scene, Red has his guys set up a fake a crime scene; with Navabi playing the disgruntled FBI agent stuck holding the scene. With a quick moment of distraction, she’s able to grab the package. What’s inside? Chromium plated master printing plates for the U.S. $100 bill, which Red is giving to the Venezuelan Foreign Minister in exchange for his help. (General Ludd’s plates?!)
- Ressler gets to the cabin just before Mr. Solomon and a gang of bad guys with a lot of big guns. All Tom and Ressler have is a Winchester rifle, Ressler’s service weapon, and Karakurt tied to a chair. Smart enough to know the bad guys will kill him, too, Karakurt asks for a weapon to defend himself and he gets one.
What didn’t work
- Ressler’s “transformation” or turnaround or whatever. It’s hard to believe a character that was pretty likable for two seasons, turned into a complete dick. He keeps referencing his father, as a way of explaining why it’s so important to bring Liz to justice. He was there, witnessing everything that was happening; he heard what the Attorney General did to Cooper, so how is he conveniently forgetting it? Then when he sees that Red was right about the Director, he immediately calls him for help. He was more interesting when he was getting gripped up every week.
- Trying to get the Chairman to banish the Director, Ressler tells her that Cooper has Karakurt—and gives her the exact location! Ugh, seriously, dude? Yeah, he didn’t know she was a bad guy, but still, showing those cards was a rookie mistake. He trusted her just because Reven did? #bigdummy
- Coopers extreme bitterness. Okay, his wife cheated on him with their neighbor; can he concentrate on not being killed by ruthless Cabal people? There’ll be time for bitterness and burning up clothes and love letters when they’re safe. Really, sir? A decorated FBI agent…pfft.
- The Chairman did a bad job of looking like she was not working with the Director. When Panabakar showed up, she kept trading confused glances with him. What the hell, lady? How are you a member of a clandestine organization?
The Blacklist S3E9
This was a great continuation from the midseason finale. I have to admit I was concerned they would drop the ball, but no; they went in for a smooth layup. Liz’s posse is bad ass; they proved team work makes the dream work. I wonder if there’s a way to add Mr. Solomon to the group. Nah, Dembe gon’ kill him.
It was very cool to see the Chairman rat out herself with Ressler. I’m glad the writers didn’t wait to make that happen. How everyone but Panabakar missed her guilty glances at the Director, I don’t understand.
Red has storage units in almost every state, along with people to set up elaborate fake crime scenes. How does he pay for all this? Why do people drop what they’re doing to help him? I mean, I probably would, too, but it has to be hella dangerous to associate with someone like him, for any amount of time.
Is Ressler rubbing off on Tom? First he gets gripped up then he not only talks Ressler out of killing Mr. Solomon, he doesn’t take the gun and do it himself. Is he trying to impress Liz? Don’t be like Ressler!!