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The Blacklist - The Director (No. 24) Part 1 - Review: "Gamble Everything For Love"

"Love me with an open heart tell me anything
We can find a place to start to gamble everything
We can set this thing apart, 'cause we're gonna, gonna
Gamble everything for love"
- "Gamble Everything For Love" - Ben Lee

The Blacklist episode last Thursday was one of the best in a long time, which was reflected in the higher than normal ratings it received. 'The Director - Part 1' definitely renewed my faith in how incredible The Blacklist could be and how great both the procedural and serial portions of the show are portrayed in each episode. I have always stated that what makes this series so amazing is how it harmoniously balances those two aspects of its story.

Since season 1, episode 1, we have seen Liz's life slowly begin to mimic that of Red's in very subtle ways, but enough to know that there is a definite connection between the two. This past episode is a perfect example, as we see Liz escorted to the containment 'Box' inside the Post Office that has held Red several times prior. Seeing her life parallel Red's in recent episodes is a payoff fans have been expecting since we first noticed back in Season One and now I wonder what exactly will happen to Liz next and if she will, in fact, be exonerated of all wrongdoing. This will prove exceptionally difficult given she did shoot and kill the Attorney General, Tom Connolly, back in the Season Two finale.

My favorite part of the episode, by far, had to be Aram with all of his heroics on full display. We always knew he had it in him and when Liz and Red needed him most, he stepped up and was willing to risk his career, and quite possibly his life, for the sake of Liz's as well as her fair treatment. The subtext of the episode could be, 'gamble everything for love', much like the song for the final music montage urges us to. There are a few examples of this throughout the episode, but the one that stuck out most prominently to me was Aram gambling his life for the sake of Liz and the friendship type of love he holds for her and the task force, his surrogate family.

Gambling everything for love is prevalent in a few scenes this episode and another example of this could be Red gambling a lot for Liz. Red and Samar managed to retrieve the 'care package' the FBI took in the midseason finale last episode. The case, containing state-of-the-art printing plates for money, created from the software upgrades General Ludd stole from the U.S. Treasury, is Red's leverage to get Venezuela to agree to help him and Liz and help take down the Cabal. I'm sure Red would have loved to keep those plates, but his love for Liz and her freedom heavily outweighs any monetary gain he could have made.

Perhaps the most obvious gamble for love came not only from this episode, but a journey that began at the beginning of this season. Tom has been all over in an attempt to track down Karakurt hoping to make him admit responsibility for framing Liz (for the assassination of a US Senator) and help exonerate her. It is obvious he still has feelings for her and would jump at the chance to be with her again, but until that time he is willing to gamble more than anyone else for the love he has for Liz. He was able to fight off, with the help of Ressler and Karakurt, Solomon and his men at the cabin all just make sure Karakurt remained alive and well enough to help Liz out when the time came.

The episode was, by far, my favorite of the season and one of the best episodes of the series. It had everything you could want in a Blacklist episode and more. Ressler coming to the aid of Tom and Karakurt and them working together was something I thought we would never see. Aram risking his life and freedom, only to preserve Liz's was extremely unexpected, but worthy of 'scene of the week'. And, of course, Red working diligently and tirelessly in the background, all for the love he has for Liz. All these people that care so much for Liz and they all 'gambled' what they could to help her. Red said it best when he was speaking to Aram above the empty grave at the end of the episode, "There are foundational elements in our lives. People that form the brick and mortar of who we are. People that are so deeply embedded that we take their existence for granted until suddenly, they're not there. And we collapse into rubble." To Ressler, Tom, Aram and Red, who gambled everything for love, Liz is currently their foundation.

Music from the Episode

- 'Sour Cherry' - The Kills
Ressler escorts Liz into the containment box

- 'The Lamb' - Little Scream
Ressler, Tom and Karakurt hold get into a gunfight at the cabin against Solomon and his men

- 'Gamble Everything for Love' - Ben Lee
Ressler escorts Liz downtown; Dembe is released; Solomon is jailed; Tom receives a text notifying him that Liz is alive; Aram rides his bike to meet Red at a cemetery

Thoughts and Discussion

- What will happen to Navabi now that she is off the task force? I really liked her character and cannot see her not being a part of this series.

- Will Karakurt confessing be enough to exonerate Liz of everything she is being accused of? She did kill the Attorney General after all.

- Did you notice...The Director mentions Red's "Prima Ballerina" referring to Liz at one point. This coincides with the episode, "Mako Tanida", where Red, at the end of the hour, enjoys a private viewing of Swan Lake.

- How great was that when we heard what Aram put as his secret code? N-A-V-A-B-I

- Charlene having an affair with her and Agent Cooper's neighbor was a complete shock to me, although it did offer up a solution for their predicament.

- Will Ressler be able to prove Hitchin killed Wright? If so, how does he plan on doing that?

- Did you notice...There is a reference to another past episode of The Blacklist when Red explains and shows the 'care package' to the foreign minister, Diaz. He explains he received the contents during the time "General Ludd" (S1E8) was the blacklister.

- Aram riding his bike through the cemetery to meet up with Red was hilarious. Alternatively, Red telling Aram to gather his team because it's time to take down the Cabal was awesome.

- What does Red want with Venezuela? why does he need them specifically to be on their side? Is it just a hideout or a 'backup' plan in case things don't go according to plan?

Thank you for checking out my review! Please comment below so we can discuss the episode and the series some more. Have a great week everyone! Also, don't forget we are conducting a "Live Discussion" this, and every, Thursday night during The Blacklist. If you would like to participate, just check SpoilerTV's Homepage and click on the "Live Discussion" link for The Blacklist that will be posted a few minutes before the episode begins to air. I have not been able to participate the past few weeks, but this week is looking very good so please join in. Should be a great episode with the conclusion of 'The Director'.

About the Author - Geo N
Geo N is from Detroit, MI. His favorite shows include The Blacklist, Hell On Wheels, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, LOST, The Leftovers, The Strain, Sons Of Anarchy, Sleepy Hollow and countless others. When he's not watching tons of TV, he enjoys reading, playing hockey, comic books, weightlifting, and writing. Thanks for checking out my post.
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