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The Blacklist - The Mombasa Cartel (No. 114) - Review: "You Can't Hide Me Forever"

"Run from me darlin'
Run my good wife
Run from me darlin'
You'd better run for your life"
- "Run From Me" - Timber Timbre

On Monday, we tried our first "Live Discussion" for a TV show starting with The Blacklist episode - The Mombasa Cartel. I thought it went great and, so everyone knows ahead of time, we do plan on doing it again on Monday for episode seven. I will give more information regarding the "Live Discussion" at the bottom of this post for those of you who would like to participate, which I hope is all of you because it was a lot of fun.

The episode on Monday had some very interesting elements that made it a unique hour for The Blacklist. I particularly enjoyed the flashback portion and the extra bit of backstory gifted to us regarding everyone's favorite personal bodyguard, Dembe. He is a character we only see every so often and however scant, enjoy every minute we do get of him protecting the concierge of crime and his boss, Red.

The big-bad this week is The Mombasa Cartel, number 114 on the blacklist, offering up a convoluted case for the Task Force to take on. The episode had some creepiness sprinkled throughout to give it more of a Halloween vibe, which was welcome, especially given how well the more frightening elements mingled with the investigation and the overall characteristics of some of the criminals involved. Matthew Kincaid and his 'Norman Bates-esque' taxidermy and Ressler running through the woods at night being hunted were some of the seasonal moments added to give the hour a spooky feel.

Reddington convinces a reluctant Liz to take on this case as he obviously as an ulterior motive for doing so. He identifies the group of human traffickers as the Mombasa Cartel, responsible for a large number of poaching of endangered wildlife, which is why Liz was hesitant to bring this case to the Task Force as she states the FBI protect 'people'. It is clear by the end of the episode why Red wanted The Mombasa Cartel investigated as it hit close to home with someone he (and us fans) care deeply about - Dembe. The investigation, however, becomes increasingly more complex as the Task Force realizes that someone is 'poaching the poachers', as Liz put it at one point. A family from Sitka, Alaska have decided to take it upon themselves to track and kill members of The Mombasa Cartel.

The episode was written by Daniel Knauf, who also wrote episode two from this season, "Monarch Douglas Bank". "Monarch Douglas Bank" is one of my favorite episodes this season and the creativity carried it's way over into Monday night's episode, "The Mombasa Cartel". I enjoyed the varying plot points that helped bring the first story arc of the second season to a dramatic finish including Ezra's after he discover's Liz's hiding spot. Although extremely risky, Liz calling the authorities to cart Ezra away is the perfect example of how far she has come since the first season and its finale. She is more willing to go it alone, acting increasingly rebellious and losing herself and what she once was in the process. Or, it's entirely possible, that this is Liz finding her true self; a person she could have been if Tom had never interfered with her in the first place, and her 'warrior-gene' shining through. This is definitely something The Blacklist will be exploring now that the cat is out of the bag and we head for the Midseason Finale this season.

I thought the episode was good in that it mixed varying plot points together very well. I loved that The Blacklist upped the creepiness of the hour to coincide with Halloween also. I'm sure most fans were only concerned with what Liz had behind the 'door' and the reveal, I'm afraid, was something most fans had expected anyway. I do, however, think it was perfect for the reveal to come at this point; if it had been too early it would not have had such an impact and too much later fans would have grown bored with the arc. The first story arc of the second season came to a conclusion on Monday night and now it's time to move on towards the Midseason Finale. Now that it's revealed what is behind Liz's 'door' The next set of episodes before the Winter break are going to be amazing, especially since we know that Liz can't hide the object of her secrecy forever and Red will eventually discover her reticence. I imagine it will be sooner rather than later, however, in the meantime, we will get some great story lines leading up to the break.

Red's Quotes

- "We're not buddies. I don't have buddies."

- "You plugged the hole, but the dam will fail"
Red to Liz

Music from the Episode

- "Run From Me" - Timber Timbre
Matthew Kincaid works on his newest work - Ressler wakes up in a cage, then is released for the hunt - Played a second time when Rosemary pours a bath - An injured Matthew returns to his mother as the FBI storms in.

- "Drifting Home To You" - Jody Brian Quartet
Ressler comes across the campfire with the corpses sitting around it.

- "Bang Bang (feat. Warrior Queen)" - Poirier
A guy masquerading as a room service attendant kills Joseph Batouala in the Cold Open of the episode.

- "Proud As We Are" - Daniel Martin Moore
Harold is given info on the Mombasa Cartel - Liz examines Rosemary's cabin as she finds Ressler's pill bottle - Red talks with his Zoe - Liz gives back Ressler's pills as Samar watches them from afar.

Thoughts and Discussion

- I loved that Dembe's backstory was revealed. He is such a great character and a fan favorite. Red's speech to Perl at the end was incredible as we learned about Perl's involvement in Dembe's history. You can definitely sense the bond of brotherhood Red and Dembe share, which is more evident if you were to watch the episode over again, knowing what we know about the little boy 29 years ago that we saw in the Cold Open.

- Dembe Zuma - What a great name.

- The music in The Blacklist is always top notch and this episode is more proof. I loved that the song playing during the creepy wooded scenes with the Kincaid family was "Run From Me" by Timber Timbre. I also thought the song was fitting given what Liz has behind the 'door' based on the lyrics.

- Did you notice...When Navabi was telling the Task Force about folk remedies she mentions erectile dysfunction at the same time she looks at Amar. Amar's face and body movement after that was hilarious. Lol

- Did you notice...Liz's password to the 'door' is '7323'. Some words you can spell with those numbers - SCARED, FEARS, SCAR, SCAB, REDS, RED, BAD. There are tons more, but I thought those were the most interesting considering what was inside and who she tried most to keep it from.

- What will become of Ezra now that Liz called the cops on him? Will this bring unwanted attention to Red? Will Ezra be able to get out of prison? I liked his character and imagined we would have seen more of him throughout this season.

- Will Ressler be able to kick his addiction? I really want that story to conclude and have Ressler do something heroic after what he has been through.

- Red now has the list of all The Mombasa Cartel members (if you look closely, the list repeats about two-thirds of the way down, which I think is just a production error). What will he do with it now? Will it play into future episodes? I can see Red going after each one of them and taking them out for their transgressions.

- How long has Liz had that person (I don't want to spoil what she had behind the door until the next episode airs) locked up? I would love to see flashbacks about how that happened. 'When did it happen', 'How did it happen' and 'Who helped her' are a few questions we would like to know the answer to.

Thank you for checking out my Review everyone! I hope you all have a safe and a happy Halloween! Please comment below so we can discuss the episode and the closing of the first arc of the second season some more! Have a great weekend!

About the Author - Geo N
My name is George and I am from Detroit, MI. My favorite shows are The Blacklist, Hell On Wheels, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, LOST, The Leftovers, The Strain, Sons Of Anarchy, Sleepy Hollow and countless other shows. When I'm not watching tons of TV, I enjoy reading, playing hockey, comic books, weightlifting, and writing. Thanks for checking out my post.
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