That was a weird one, even by Blacklist standards.
Liz appeared without actually appearing on The Blacklist Season 8 Episode 9.
So everyone who thought they were finally going to see Liz again was disappointed.
Instead, we got to hear Liz almost nonstop.
Thanks for that go to The Commissioner, the leader of the Cyranoids.
Didn’t you love how Red knew exactly what was going on? He explained that Liz’s avatar was a Cyranoid, who would serve as the eyes, ears, and mouth of a criminal in a dangerous situation.
Of course. Talk about your specialty item.
He didn’t even bother to explain how that works. Probably because it was basically science fiction, and there was no believable explanation.
Sometimes suspension of disbelief has to take over. This wasn’t the first such time on The Blacklist, and it certainly won’t be the last.
It was your basic red herring. Everyone thought they had Liz, and no one did.
Here’s the thing, though. Raymond appears to be back on his game.
Liz had been out ahead of him as he kept hoping she would just come to her senses on her own. Harold has been making that same mistake.
They both keep thinking the old Liz is going to get over herself and resurface.
But that’s just not happening, and they both need to take her more seriously, especially now that she’s decided to throw in with Neville Townsend.
That’s Neville Towsend of Townsend Directive fame, who thought Katarina was Agent M13 and blamed her for his family’s death and who thought he had had her killed.
So he wouldn’t have been a natural ally for Liz. But to take down Reddington, she needed someone with Townsend’s resources and had to convince him that Red is actually M13.
Liz wanted to get in Chemical Mary’s good graces for one reason and one reason only. Mary is Townsend’s brother, and Liz needed an in.
Mary made a call, and that set off the chaos outside of what was thought to be Liz’s hideout.
Mary was expendable (in more ways than one, it turned out), so Liz allowed the Task Force to take her safely (or so it seemed) off the board.
She had served her purpose in getting Liz’s Cyranoid “captured” by Townsend’s forces — captured so that Liz could make her pitch to Townsend: Join up with her and go after Reddington.
Neville was certainly correct to be dubious of Liz since she was a) an FBI agent and b) Katarina’s daughter. Neither of those would seem to indicate that she meant him well.
As a side note, Townsend doesn’t appear to be all that healthy, so why does Liz think he’s the partner she needs? Then again, Neville remains a man of mystery who we’re likely to learn more about over the course of the season.
Also, Red appears to be at death’s door about every fourth episode, then he rebounds. So maybe we shouldn’t read too much into Townsend’s infirmities.
Raymond seems to fear Townsend, and there are few people that he does fear. So it will be interesting to find out more about who Neville is.
Townsend’s test for Liz was certainly unexpected. The obvious reason for Liz’s doppelganger turning herself into the Task Force was that she wanted to bust out Mary.
I’m guessing that Neville and Mary aren’t all that close, however. She was treated like a loose end.
As Liz’s avatar pointed out to Aram, Mary really wasn’t a great loss to humanity.
Hearing Liz’s words coming out of another woman’s mouth just threw off the Task Force members, which is probably why she was able to outmaneuver them so easily.
Especially Ressler, who was off-balance enough that Faux Liz could use him to escape. Aram didn’t fare much better, getting locked in a room with Mary’s corpse.
Panabaker was wise to keep a closer watch on the Task Force since they keep seeing Liz as their fellow agent rather than the evil mastermind into which she’s been transforming.
As she mentioned, their results have kept most officials from looking too closely at their methods.
But now that one of their own is targeting their biggest asset, that’s harder to ignore.
Also, killing Mary might be a bridge too far for Liz’s former teammates. That’s likely why Harold finally gave in and agreed to request an arrest warrant on Liz.
Even Red was still reining himself in, relatively speaking.
He blackmailed The Commissioner into giving up the location of Liz’s doppelganger.
Then he faked Russian roulette with Faux Liz in the hopes of meeting with Liz and so that Dembe could trace from where Liz was broadcasting.
He even tried the direct approach of calling Townsend. But Neville was already on Team Liz at the point, ready to hunt Raymond.
Now it appears that they are next targeting Dembe, which is becoming a too-regular occurrence. When is Dembe going to pull a Roger Murtaugh and say, “I’m too old for this shit.”
Since he is the most good-hearted character on this show, let’s hope this trend passes, and soon.
To hunt for Liz, watch The Blacklist online.
Anyone believe Liz is still on the side of right?
Will Red and Harold start to take her vendetta seriously?
Will her teammates smarten up? Comment below.
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.