‘The Blacklist’ season 4, episode 9 review: A mole, a pardon, and Samar’s confession

The Blacklist logo any seasonWe’re not sure that we have heard the question in the title for this particular “Blacklist” review ever since we finished covering “The Mole” during its days on ABC. That show was fun! Ah, we miss that show…

Thursday night’s new episode was, at its core, about a hunt for a potential traitor that was at the center of an international terrorist plot. Maybe “traitor” is actually the wrong word here, since we’d really look more at what Samar did as a little bit of a double-agent act. She was doing whatever that she could in order to protect the interests of both the FBI and also Mossad, and that meant lying about the identity of an old colleague. The problem is that feelings get in the way, and when people came to trust Samar, they didn’t want to feel hurt.

When she was eventually captured, what the team found themselves up against was a difficult task to find her and then rescue her using what was a fairly limited amount of information, and not necessarily some of the same resources that they are accustomed to having. Samar is one of their better operatives in the field, and it felt like for much of this episode Reddington was off chilling in the car with Dembe before an important meeting that we’ll talk about a little later in the episode.

At the conclusion of the mission, Samar had to do her part in order to defend her actions, and said that she made her moves in order to ensure that both of her countries could she be safe. Cooper made it clear to her that she should wait to figure out whose side she is on in the morning; this had to hurt Samar, but what may have hurt even worse was Aram basically shutting her down at the end of the episode. He’d just gotten the courage to ask her out to dinner, but after her betrayal, he didn’t want it anymore. That’s a bummer, given that Samar indirectly made her feelings for him clear to an old connection at the episode’s end. We still enjoyed the spotlight on her, given that she proved to be even more fascinating through this than we previously knew.

Also, we’re not giving up hope for Aram and Samar. If Liz can earn the trust of people back, so can she.

Could Liz Keen be an agent again? – We have to admit that for most of the episode, we started to think that the show was going to be moving in a direction that put her back into collaboration with the Task Force again. Effectively, we wondered if we were going to be getting back to a position that felt a little bit more like season 1.

However, Cooper told her just past the halfway point of the episode that such a re-hiring would be possible … or at least we thought so. This brings us to our next order of business.

Red and … the President? – Who knew that Red was such a political man? He managed to arrange a brief meeting with the President-elect by the end of the episode, one that certainly felt as though Red had a role to play during the election — and he also wants more favors from him moving into the future. We admit that we were ready to come into this review and complain about this story not really going anywhere other than to remind us that we just had an election; however, Red actually used his political connections to ensure that Liz got a pardon. Therefore, she’s an agent once more! Clever way for the show to go about making this move.

All in all, we consider this a very good “Blacklist” episode, even if it feels standalone in nature. We sort of bridged the gap between the Kirk saga and what is to come next. Grade: B+.

(Photo: NBC.)

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