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The Blacklist - Lipet's Seafood Company - Review: "Welcome Back"

12 Jan 2017

Although The Blacklist was not on winter hiatus for too long it was still a welcome relief to have it back on our screens after that great mid-winter finale. I enjoyed how they tied up the Alexander Kirk storyline, leaving us with just a whisper from Red and a big question as to what exactly was said (something to look forward to for the season finale, I suppose). One of my favorite elements of this amazing series is the way they answer questions in one scene only to dredge up even more in the next, making the show much more complex, however still able to be understood and followed with ease.

The Blacklist is at its best when the blacklister of the week is a fun and clever criminal (or, ally to Red, but still a criminal) with somewhat of a 'six-degrees-of-separation' factor going on with Red. 'Lipet's Seafood Company' was last episode's big bad, however, they barely existed as nothing more than a vehicle to propel the characters forward and not much more heard of after their initial appearance. I'm not suggesting the hour was poorly executed. Actually, it's the opposite; I feel the episode was a fun way to introduce a midseason premiere. Some shows would attempt a reboot of sorts at this point in their show's existence. Instead of a reboot, I believe we were treated to a soft reset where the writers wanted to slow things down a bit from the chase scenes and kidnappings happening every other episode in the first half of the season.

One big reveal from the hour was Navabi being part of the team that infiltrated the seafood company to get the computer chips hidden inside the belly of some of the fish. She is not necessarily a double agent, but she is performing missions for both the Mossad and the FBI. I could see why Agent Cooper appeared so upset when he found out and I wonder if this will be an issue moving forward. It seemed that Navabi thought that what she was doing was harmless and wanted to continue helping out her old team until Cooper gave her an ultimatum. From what we witnessed in the final musical montage, Navabi will choose to stay on with the FBI Task Force after we see her turn down the affections of her old Mossad partener, Levi, claiming she is in love with someone else (*cough* Aram *cough*).

As usual, Red was his cryptic self throughout the episode. I'm sure I am not the only fan that wondered why Red was so eager to speak to the incoming president so badly. The final reveal to that query is exactly the reason I say this episode is considered a soft reset. The part of Liz's story that began with her shooting and killing the Attorney General, and losing her 'Agent' status with the FBI, at the end of season two comes full circle with Red's selfless deed. His motives were once again brought into question when he set Kirk free at the end of the midwinter finale only to learn that he was doing it all for his love of Liz.

I thought the episode last Thursday was a great chapter in The Blacklist as it continued the story a little from last December's finale. Red confessed that he was truly Liz's father, but how much can we really believe him when he was questioned under duress. However, who else but a father would use a favor from the president to make their little girl happy again? Liz wanted nothing more than to be pardoned and be reinstated into the FBI and become an Agent again with the Task Force. Red made her wish come true by doing what he does best. Whether he did that for his daughter or someone else we have yet to learn, but it was definitely done out of kindness and love for Liz. Whatever the case may be I am sure I speak for everyone when I say I am glad it happened the way it did and when it did; Welcome back, Agent Keen.

Music from the Episode

- 'Fishin' Blues' by 'The Lovin' Spoonful'
At Lipet's Seafood Company a special shipment of fish is delivered where several employees work with Hassan Arkani; a device is extracted from a fish's belly when the building is attacked.

- 'Vanishing Act' by 'Early Winters'
Levi informs Samar that he broke off his engagement; Harold tells Samar she can't lie to him or act without his authority; Amar tells Samar he can't be with someone whose allegiance he can't trust.

- 'All Your Secrets' by 'Yo La Tengo'
Liz and Tom rejoice in the new she's been pardoned; Red listens to a news story about Liz's FBI reinstatement; Samar tells Levi that she's in love with someone else; Harold returns Liz's FBI badge.

Thoughts and Discussion

- I loved the opening scene where Liz is shooting a home video of her temporary home with Agnes and Tom

- I really enjoyed the scene where Aram stood up for what he believes and recognized his past mistakes by telling Navabi they should not see each other outside of work. I am looking forward to what happens with their relationship going forward, especially after Navabi confessed her love to Aram to her old partner, Levi.

- Are you happy that Liz received her FBI Agent status back? Is it too soon or something that should never have happened? I would love to know all your thoughts on this.

- Navabi being a part of that team that infiltrated the seafood company in the beginning of the episode was something I did not see coming. I wonder if her performing missions for the Mossad and for the Task Force will continue to be an issue or not.

- Like I mentioned, Red's 'mission' in last week's episode appeared patriarchal when you look at the big picture. Can what he confessed to Kirk in the midwinter finale be believed? Is he Liz's father for sure? Or was it just something he had to say to save his own skin?

- What exactly did Red whisper to Kirk at the end of the midwinter finale to make Kirk stop his attempt on Red's life? Perhaps we won't find out until the end of this season. What do you all think was said?

Thank you for checking out my Review! I will do my best to get them out in a more timely manner moving forward. Have a great weekend everyone and enjoy tonight's episode!