The Blacklist Season Finale Review: “Masha Rostova” (Season 2, Episode 22)

The Blacklist - Season 2

For two long (sometimes really long) years, there’s been one nagging question of concern about The Blacklist: just what is the deal with Raymond Reddington and Elizabeth Keen? From the criminal and cop dichotomy, to the are they or aren’t they father/daughter relationship, it always seemed like they were made for each other, like peanut butter and jam. And now, at the end of the second season of The Blacklist, it turns out that they truly are peas in a pod. The finale firmly answered the question of Red’s potential paternity to Liz, and it set up a fascinating new dynamic for next season that will likely see Liz becoming more like Red in a way she never thought she would.

As per usual with The Blacklist, we had to swim though an awful lot of bull crap to get there, starting with Liz’s stubborn refusal to accept the obvious, that the Cabal is setting her up and she needs to get out of the Post Office if she has any hope of proving that she’s not the one that poisoned the senator in last week’s episode. Also as per usual, Liz had to learn the hard way that you don’t doubt Red when he tells you you have to run. Fortunately, Liz gets a do-over with the help of a now suspended Cooper.

There are times when Harry Lennix is woefully underused on the show, but this week wasn’t one of them. Cooper, the fine, upstanding typical FBI G-Man goes rogue by helping Red bust Keen out of custody and then helping Keen get security footage at Union Station to learn the true face of Karakurt aka the virologist Andropov. Then the real bombshell: Cooper learns that the Cabal was using Andropov and his own doctor to fake a tumor so that a circumstance would be created to put Cooper in Connelly’s debt. Talk about your elaborate plans. I could have sworn that Cooper for sure was going to end up dead anyway by the end of the hour, but in some ways, disgraced is much worse.

In the meantime, Ressler becomes the acting head of the unit, naively trying to convince Liz to just turn herself in and let the process take its course, almost as if he weren’t paying attention to what’s going on. Also, he was doing so without the knowledge that Connelly was looking to take down the entire unit by using the actions of Ressler, Navabi and even poor old Aram in the course of their work to hang them with. And Connolly was just so smug about it, too. There was almost a cheer to be had when Liz shot him dead, although Cooper had probably earned the privilege more.

There was something delightfully fatalistic about the moment when Liz shot Connolly. First it was like she came full circle, since the show sometimes likes to dangle the possibility that there’s more criminality to Liz then she’d like to admit. At the same time, it’s going to be harder for the writers to walk back Liz shooting the Attorney General dead than it would have been to just explain away that she was framed for the murder of a senator. It’ll be really hard to re-establish the status quo now, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the writers will try.