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

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Why? Because in the end, the people behind The Blacklist just can’t help themselves. To wit, Liz’s tryst with Tom, which the show has been circling around since Tom came back into the picture in a full-time basis. One minute Liz is pressing Tom to help her find Andropov, and in the next minute she’s giving into temptation for some dimly lit, network rated erotica. “Is she really that stupid?” I thought. Of course, we all know the answer.

The frustration with Liz’s lack of judgment so far as Tom’s concerned is that she can just take it in stride all the years he lied to her, but Red’s lies to protect her are unforgivable. Forget the fact that Red was honest about his lying from the start. She asked the day they met why she should trust him, and Red said she shouldn’t. He’s a criminal after all. Tom though, well, it would take a while to list all his lies, starting from his name and the reasons he started dating Liz in the first place. Why would she feel compelled to literally sail into the sunset with him? There are a lot of couples out there who never speak again for less than lying about their life together. But I digress.

In the end though, Liz called the only man that matters in her life, Red. After shooting Connelly, it’s Red she phones, and it’s Red that comes to her rescue, and it’s with Red she leaves with for the next phase, her head gently resting on his shoulder. Liz remembers that she shot her father when he was roughing up her mother on the night of the fire, which immediately negates Red as said father since he’s alive. He was sparing her the memory of shooting her father when she was barely a school girl, which is rough. A simple secret that should have been more profoundly hit, but the editing and the sound design of the flashback scene seemed to let down the narrative. Still, thanks for the reveal.

That just leaves the Cabal, which ends up exposed in the final montage set to Elton John’s “Rocket Man” thanks to Red’s forced recruitment of 11 investigative journalists. He warned them that they may not have live to see the fruits of their labor, but they will have died for the right cause after a lot of tedious back-breaking work to uncover the truth about the Cabal. It turns out that going to press with proof of the Cabal and sparking a senate investigation was much easier than Red thought. Are we seriously supposed to believe, with all the country’s media basically owned by five people, that none of them were in the Cabal and could have put a pin in the story before it got on the front page of the Director’s morning paper? I guess so.

Looking forward, will the Cabal still be a threat? The whole point of the gambit with Red was to keep their plans a secret, and if they’re not a secret anymore, are they still a threat? Personally, I’m more invested in the new threat: the criminal dynamic duo of Liz and Red. If next season is about Ressler trying to bring in Liz and Red Fugitive-style as Liz struggles with her new criminal status, then I’m all ears. Will The Blacklist be so brazen as to make that the new normal? I guess we’ll see.

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