The Blacklist season 6 episode 13 review: Are Aram, Samar over?

SamarTonight, The Blacklist season 6 episode 13 kicked off a two-part spectacular with “Robert Vesco,” a story that dove deeply into the past of one Raymond Reddington. How so? We got to dive back into Reddington’s past, and spend some time along the way with someone in Vesco who has a very specific history with the man. Without Vesco, there may not be a Raymond Reddington quite like we know. He was a mentor of sorts, but also someone who previously screwed them over.

This is why Reddington, newly out of prison, made capturing him a top priority at the start of this episode. Following that, he wanted to embark on a treasure hunt in order to get everything that he wanted: Gold. He needed Vesco to help him, but the problem that he ran into along the way was that Robert wasn’t the same Robert that he’d come to know for so many years. He was out of the game and because of that, it took a great deal of convincing on Reddington’s part in order to ensure that he got on board.

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How did Reddington and Vesco find it? This was, in a word, fun. They were able to find clues within a poem and then head off to New Orleans in order to properly begin the proper next phase of the operation. They prepared to make it happen but soon after, we learned just how grand the scale of Raymond’s operation these days is in comparison to Vesco’s — that includes everyone from Vontae to Glen to Dembe taking part in it to ensure that he can successfully pull this off — but then also that he can manage to do it in a way that makes complete sense for him.

Of course while Reddington was in the process of doing this, Liz and Ressler were in the process of trying to track him down. This led eventually to a trip to the New Orleans opera, where both sides of the operation closed in on each other — while we heard plenty of strong singing along the way. This entire sequence was ridiculous, mostly because we ended up seeing a ton of little snags in the plan to the point where Glen had to go into complete create-a-diversion mode. His mission was eventually a success! Reddington got his long-awaited gold, and following that, he had a chance to turn the tables on Vesco and get the very revenge he’s long sought.

Yet, Reddington opted to not turn in Vesco following some of what happened. Instead, he just wanted to sit around and have a conversation with the guy instead. He thought that he’d won, but in the end, he’d lost again. Vesco actually did play him through the entirety of the episode and for the second straight time, Reddington left with nothing.

The journey for Samar

After she announced her decision to leave the Task Force, tonight she tried to tie up some of her loose ends — including undergoing a rigorous exit interview with Mossad (remember that she’s a part of them!) where she proclaimed that she was actually pregnant. That’s not something that she’s shared with Aram; instead, she just wanted to talk with him about potentially starting a family.

As it turns out, Samar did fail her polygraph and that led to Aram being interrogated about what she was keeping from them. She didn’t want anyone to know about her vascular dementia, but she told them about a pregnancy … which Aram was blindsided with. (It’s not often that the subplot is actually significantly more important than what you see in the actual main episode.) He confronted her with that news at the end of the episode, only to then reveal that she’s not pregnant. That was 100% a lie; it wasn’t a “telling Mossad that but not the whole truth” sort of thing. It was a complete lie, and she actually can’t raise a child because of her diagnosis.

Will Aram be okay with never being a dad? That’s the big thing that he has to figure out, but Samar seems to be making that decision for him. At the end of the episode, she threw her engagement ring on the table and proclaimed that he “deserved more.” He didn’t agree — he had everything that he wanted in Samar and in his words, they’re “not breaking up … ever.”

CarterMatt Verdict

The Blacklist season 6 episode 13 was strange. After so much craziness and insanity the past few weeks, this was a completely different sort of pace and it felt a little more like an excuse to just have James Spader run wild with a great guest star in Stacy Keach. Like we said, the Aram / Samar story had a lot of seriousness to it — you just didn’t see that most of anywhere else.

The irony here is that Ressler called this entire Vesco romp a “waste of time” at the end of the episode and you watch the show for the mystery, you probably agree. Luckily, we do enjoy the show for a little bit more than that.

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