Harold’s asking too many questions appears to have gotten him in trouble with the wrong people.
He did find another angle to get a line of Liz on The Blacklist Season 8 Episode 11.
Once again, Liz was nowhere to be seen or even heard from. But that didn’t mean she wasn’t right at the center of the episode.
Red found another method of possibly getting through to Liz, and Harold took the same approach later.
Their target was Captain Kidd, kind of a middleman for criminal transactions. He had done work for Townsend, so maybe he would be one way to get through to Townsend, Liz’s very dangerous partner.
To make things interesting, let’s throw the life of an abducted Saudi dissident into the mix.
After all, Kidd took her from her abductors and hid her someplace (relatively) safe until the buyer (a proxy for the Saudi ruler) came through with his payment.
Sadly, the search for Safiya seemed almost secondary, except to Aram.
(Aram offered up the most interesting tidbit in this episode about his brief time with the circus, which unfortunately was just a throwaway.)
Since a boy was dosed with hidden fentanyl, Aram scoured the dark web in search in hopes of finding drugs from the same batch to get the Task Force that little bit closer to Kidd.
That plan worked in the most roundabout of ways as a drug pickup eventually led to a thieving “dropper” whose drugs were stolen from an evidence vault, of all places.
Then the connected lab tech who sold those drugs got Ressler to Kidd.
Like I said, roundabout.
It didn’t help that, feeling guilty about enabling Liz all season, Harold finally decided to ascend to the moral high ground.
Really? Now? When a woman’s life was on the line?
Fortunately, a talk with Red helped him to rediscover that the degree of criminality is relative, and Harold was back in the deal game.
Kidd gave up the most important info, where Safiya was buried, but Harold’s dithering put Ressler and Aram behind the eight ball.
It was a good thing that Safiya largely saved herself, or at least bought some time, with that sharp piece of wood she had scavenged from her underground cell.
Sadly, it all ended up much ado about nothing. The buyer got shipped back to U.S. ally Saudi Arabia, and Kidd got taken by Townsend before he could tell whatever he knew.
I was amazed that Townsend didn’t just kill Kidd, who must be really good at his job.
So the blacklister of the week was largely a fizzle, although Safiya was rescued largely not the worse for wear physically.
What I want to know is why doesn’t anyone listen to Dembe, the wisest man on the show?
Near the end, he told Reddington to make a truce with Harold so they could hunt for Liz together.
Instead, Raymond is using the Task Force to find criminals who might lead him to Liz. At the same time, for Liz, Harold is attempting to figure out if Red is Agent M13, using the CIA analyst Rakitin to leak classified intel to Russia.
Don’t they get the concept of “The enemy of my enemy is my friend?” Or “Keep your friends close but your enemies closer?”
That Sun Tzu had a million of ’em.
No wonder Liz has been able to operate largely with impunity since Harold and Reddington are working at cross-purposes. Plus, neither of them wants to hurt her.
That’s why she can be MIA, and the show still revolves around her.
This whole Rakitin hunt can only end badly, as will be the case on The Blacklist Season 8 Episode 12 if the trailer was at all accurate.
It’s been a distraction from the primary storyline of “Recover Liz before she gets herself killed or kills Red,” either of which would be a point of no return.
But instead, Harold is chasing Reddington, who is hunting Liz using Harold’s task force. In other words, things are going in circles.
What possessed Harold to confront Red about Rakitin and him spying for the Russians? Did he really expect Raymond to say, “Yeah, you got me?”
Of course, Reddington’s defense of “Trust me, Harold” was hardly a winner either.
Harold should have the Task Force keep doing what they’d been doing, hunting down Blacklisters on Red’s say-so. If he’s going to investigate Raymond, do it on the DL. But he’s blown that option now.
Plus, Reddington is truly trying to protect Harold from himself, to keep him from looking too hard at the wrong things. But now he’s got Harold’s hackles up.
And since Red is working too slowly, his contact in Moscow has taken it upon himself to assassinate Harold. A twitchy Rakitin didn’t help any.
Maybe everyone is misreading Raymond’s role in all this. But I don’t see how that could be the case.
Now let’s see how Harold can come out the other side of this in one piece.
Maybe Liz finally returns and rescues him?
To follow the M13 saga, watch The Blacklist online.
Were you disappointed by the political ending of this week’s case?
What did Townsend do with Kidd?
How can Red head off the hit on Harold?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.