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The Blacklist - Anna McMahon - Review

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6.21 - "Anna McMahon"
Written by Taylor Martin and Kelli Johnson
Directed by Michael Caracciolo
Reviewed by KathM

As soon as I realized that the family who inadvertently got the Dossier from Bastien Moreau was called Grimm I knew things would not end well for them. As we speed to the ending of the season we get a lot of action and more than a little confusion in “Anna McMahon.” We are (thankfully) given a respite from the endless “Is Red really Ilya (Relya)/where is Katerina/ Elizabeth is okay with everything? ” we’ve been caught up in lately, but at least that made sense.

This episode finally tells us that the Dossier contains information about how the President is planning on assassinating himself. I’m sorry, what? No, it’s okay, you read right. And they (Anna and a few others, including the First Lady) are in on it. They’re going to use the Third Estate as a fall organization because they’ve been protesting at the presidential debates President Diaz has been having and where the assassination is planned to occur. So that slots nicely into place. Sam (most likely RIP), a friend of the Grimm’s who was able to open and decode the dossier Mr. G found under his son’s bed also mentioned Germany, too, so it looks like there may be some blame shifting overseas, too. The Fifth Estate is named after the plan to assassinate Archduke Ferdinand, after all, so I’m guessing that we may be looking at potential World War. But why? I’m hoping we find out tomorrow.

“Anna McMahon” introduced us to the current/potential widow FLOTUS, and she and the President are frosty toward one another to say the least. You get more than a feeling that she’s all over the plan and even reminds Diaz that before he announces that he’s going to run for reelection that he has “something to do first.” He hasn’t done it, but she says that she will if he won’t. I get the feeling that she’s excited about it, whatever “it” is. Someone may want to remind her that if the President dies, his wife doesn’t get to complete his term.

I was really pleased with how well Relya and the Post Office kids worked together. Rel also got to tell Harold how much he means to him, how he’s a true friend. He risked his own job to stop Relya’s execution, and Rel doesn’t know many people who would do that. It was nice but not too mushy, which made it more real. I won’t say that watching the episode unfold wasn’t tiring, though: with hiding Grimm’s and dastardly Presidential bodyguards and Secret Service agents and missing tech guys and shootouts and kidnapping and lies and running and the hijacking of a postal employee and his truck it sometimes boggled the mind. But in a good way. I haven’t been this interested in a Blacklist finale in a long time.

The end of the episode allows Anna McMahon to have one of her dreams come true: she gets to arrest the Task Force and lock them up for murder. The narrative, as they say, has changed: the Task Force are now the ones who are planning to assassinate the president.

Liz, who happens to be talking to Relya on the phone manages to hide from the jailers who are marching Harold, Ressler and Aram away in cuffs. I’m really hoping we see Liz use her mind again to stay safe, help set the team free, and stop the plot. I want her to be smart and cunning and kick every available evil ass and work with Relya toward a common goal without all the baggage.

Oh, and I think Anna could be Katerina. Relya’s not the only one who can have plastic surgery, after all.


The best thing I’ve heard on this show in awhile was Relya talking to Liz about bringing Agnes home. That it’s safe for Agnes now, that the Katerina of legend (a murdering traitor) had been built up over time into more than she was. “If she were here, I’m sure she’d tell you she made so many mistakes. She was scared and uncertain and just trying to do the best she could.” After all of this Who is Who/Where is Who/Who’s dead?, it was what Liz and I both really needed to hear.

See you tomorrow.

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