The Blacklist Review: “Ruslan Denisov” (Season 2, Episode 11)

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The Blacklist

Speaking of the Fulcrum and the quest for it, Liz let Aram in on the trinket she found in the stuffed bunny. What it is, and what it means, obviously isn’t solved this week, but Aram confirmed that it is some kind of recording device from the late 80s/early 90s. An interesting time period that falls in line with what know so far in regards to Red’s disappearance, the fire that Liz survived and when Fitch set-up Red to take the blame for the “death” of Berlin’s daughter. Aram says what we’re all thinking, that Liz should take the device to Red for answers, but it’s far too soon for a course of action so sensible.

In the meantime, Liz has got all new trouble of her own as the missing harbor master that Tom killed as Liz was hiding him on the barge came back to haunt. The abnormal (for The Blacklist) quality detective work of Martin Wilcox, whose played by the ubiquitous Michael Kostroff, leads him to Liz, which leads him to the Samoan, who let’s just say folds faster than Superman on laundry day. There’s a kind of Alias tone to this development that I like, seeing our heroine being chased by the weight and consequence of her double agency, but I have a feeling that this will all just be a reason to bring back Tom Keene, whose a presence I haven’t been missing at all.

So, what’s the point? I get that the harbor master was an innocent victim and all that, but is Liz going to be taken away in handcuffs or tossed out of the FBI when all this comes to light? Come to think of it, I don’t think they ever revealed how the body of the harbor master was cleared out of the barge and disposed of on the beach and buried where he was found. Tom said Liz should call Mr. Kaplan, but if this was Mr. Kaplan, it was her sloppiest work yet. Did Red move the body? Did Liz? If it was going to be this important then why did the harbor master just disappear like it didn’t even matter back in “The Decembrist?”

Perhaps we’re meant to draw parallels between Liz’s current predicament and her past one. The death of the harbor master stemmed from her own attempt to “deal” with Tom, hiding her shame and disappointment that she couldn’t finish the job and end him, and she didn’t trust Red with the revelation of this weakness. Now, here she is again, not trusting Red, which can only end badly for her because only Red can fully appreciate what is going on at all times.

In the end though, concerns about the Fulcrum took a backseat this week as The Blacklist managed to dig out an interesting case that didn’t feel like it completely undermined the FBI characters in order to make Red seem smarter. Sure, The Blacklist is supposed to be reserved for the worst of the worst, but it’s nice to see the show play with the theme and the format for a change, and it’s perhaps a sign that the seeming fatigue in the first part of the season was a fluke created by the larger arc being told. Regardless, The Blacklist has been three for three in my book since its midseason return.

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