When The Blacklist season 4 episode 16 kicked off, the show took no time at all when it came to raising the stakes and delivering another big shocker: Dembe Zuma, fresh off of his apparent betrayal of Reddington, kidnapped Aram. Right when it looked like he and Elise were getting things back together, Aram’s life was upended.
With that said, the show also wasted little to no time when it comes to one other reveal: Dembe wasn’t actually betraying Reddington at all. He was trying to figure out who was actually responsible for infiltrating his life, and was trying to do so discreetly. He wanted to use Aram in order to find the real person responsible for hacking into his life, and it took some persuading, and also some resourcefulness, in order to get the two on the same page in order to properly make this happen.
Meanwhile, Elise ended up getting the trust of the Task Force back at the FBI, which was a good thing given that the team needed her help to try and find him. This, in turn, led to a series of very awkward conversations between her and Samar. Of course, now that she feels for Aram, there’s this divide keeping them from being together.
Eventually, the two sides re-converged, and Aram made it very clear to Cooper and everyone else that Dembe was on their side, and had a specific plan. He put his trust into Dembe, and because everyone on the Task Force trusted Aram, the arrangement worked.
Reddington and Liz’s mission
While Aram worked with Dembe, Raymond teamed up with Liz in order to do a little bit of digging of their own. They had to figure out what sort of mysterious person was on the other end of their trail. This led them a number of different mysterious places, including one of the world’s strangest beehives, as a means to track down what we really going on.
Eventually, Reddington managed to connect with Dembe via a contact, and learned that Dembe had made his way back out to the woods … those woods. The woods where Mr. Kaplan was. While there, he realized that her body wasn’t there. Mere moments later, Dembe learned that he was being watched by the same guy who brought in Mr. Kaplan and cared for her during her recovery.
Where things started to get all the more interesting was the surfacing of the name Kathryn Nemec — this was a name that clearly meant something to Reddington. This was a person he trusted deeply, and almost a vessel for his inner darkness. This was Kathryn Nemec … otherwise known as Mr. Kaplan. One of Reddington’s biggest mistakes was not checking to ensure that she was dead earlier this season, and we got an explanation for why he didn’t finish the job — a part of him didn’t want to ensure that she was really gone. Because of this weakness (though maybe his weakness was trying to eradicate her in the first place), Red now found himself in such a dark, desperate position.
In the end, Red did what he could to track down Mr. Kaplan when he realized that she was behind all of this, but he didn’t get everything that he wanted. Instead, Kaplan got an advance warning that her old friend now realized that she was alive.
For the record, we were confident that Mr. Kaplan was behind all of this, but because of the great emotional buildup over the course of the season, this was worth it. We completely bought her motivation, and how intelligent she was to protect herself. One of the best Blacklist episodes in a long time, and a great way to kick off the second part of the season. Grade: A-.
Did The Blacklist season 4 episode 16 deliver for you? Share int he comments below! Meanwhile, be sure to head over here for some further news, including a review for the second episode coming up a little bit later. (Photo: NBC.)