The Blacklist Review: “Quon Zhang” (Season 2, Episode 20)

The Blacklist

But really, romance with anyone should be the least of Liz’s concern because naturally, her revelation of the Fulcrum to the Director last week didn’t reinstate the detente so much as give the signal for all out war to begin. Liz is now known as an enemy to the Cabal, and they will discredit her and destroy her if they must. The Director has also chosen to move up his timetable from 2017, and in one week, the attack will begin on a major American defensive target. I don’t know about you, but I smell a two-part season finale.

That’s where this week’s Blacklister, Quon Zhong, comes in. Along with his main job of digging up attractive young Chinese women to serve as “ghost brides” to men that die unmarried and are cursed to wander the afterlife alone with nothing better to do than make it rain bad luck on their living family, his side job is to smuggle stuff, like a Cabal agent named Karakurt who’s going to be the one to enact the group’s plans. Sons of Anarchy’s Ron Yuan plays Zhang, but sadly making a less than permanent impression on the show since he mostly serves as a placeholder till we get to the main event, which will begin next week in the season’s penultimate hour.

On the bright side, it didn’t take Red long to get the upper hand on the Cabal again. He kidnapped his betrayer in the group, Jasper, and with the help of Agent Navabi he was able to get the information needed to start working against the plan. On top of it all, he had Jasper’s tongue sent to the Director, and although Red says he meant it as a metaphor for Jasper not being able to “hold his tongue,” I’d like to thing that Red was also, in his way, giving the Director the raspberry. And he wasn’t the only one to be embarrassed by a revelation this week.

Elsewhere, Connolly was finally sworn in as the new Attorney General, but not before coming clean with Cooper about how the Cabal basically owns Cooper in a trifecta that includes his health, committing perjury for Agent Keen and “leaking a classified document” (that last one he was framed for). Cooper was shocked – shocked – that his old friend would betray him, which is odd because Cooper definitely suspected before that Connolly was pulling his strings in return for favors. Are we to believe now that Cooper is caught so totally off-guard by his friend’s back stabbing? Apparently. Hopefully that smile is going to be wiped off Connolly’s face in the short term.

So The Blacklist mostly took it easy this week, and promised lots of cool stuff ahead. With two episodes left in the season, there’s still a lot of mysteries left to explore, including more concrete answers about Liz’s life, how it intersects with Red and the Fulcrum, and what role she plays in the doings transpiring in the present day. Perhaps she’s Rambaldi’s Chosen One, and with Kevin Weisman returning as Dr. Maynard and being more Marshall from Alias like than before, you can’t blame us for making an analogy between Liz and CIA agent Sydney Bristow, especially since we now know they both have Russian moms who were in the KGB. If the season ends with a glowing red ball, then The Blacklist might be on to something.