"The Blacklist" Season Five Talkback (Spoilers)

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The Penguin

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#1

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
Jan 19, 2004
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#2
The Blacklist "The Kilgannon Corporation"

I love Aram calling Dembe his role model.

Red's description of Dembe leads me to understand exactly why he had the disbelief he did last season over the idea of Dembe ever betraying him. It's because he challenged Red's perception about the world being a terrible place. He wasn't with Red because he owed him, but rather because he could make him better. And Red tells him that if he had died he would have known Dembe was wrong. And as Dembe says "But here I am."

I love that Red and Dembe managed to get the little girl back to her father. I hope her parents feel foolish now for initially fearing Dembe.

Kilgannon Junior selling out his mother while she listened was so shocking that even Red was taken aback. It was clearly a total bluff, but it was one of those threats that you never risk it on the off-chance that it's not. The fact that it didn't work, and Junior tells Red he wanted to kill his mother himself, leaves Red dumbfounded. The only thing he can do is tell her "I'm sorry" in sympathy. Which is why she decides to help him. I do not blame Red for instantly putting a bullet in Junior after all that.

The one weak spot of the episode was the stuff with Tom. The woman he was working with getting shot in the back left a sour taste in my mouth. We'll see what happens with it next week.

Mostly good episode. ****.

The Blacklist "Ian Garvey"

This episode was so sad. The Sound Of Silence was a perfect song for the end. I can't write an extended review for this because I don't know what else I could add. But that was amazing. *****.
 
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Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
Jan 19, 2004
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#3
The Blacklist "Ruin"

Are they trying to play it as if Liz is going to a dark place? Because newsflash, all of those deaths she caused were justified. She says it doesn't matter that they were bad guys and that it was them or her. In reality, that's all that mattered.

I just loved her taking out those guys. They never knew what hit them. You might think that poison is dirty pool, but's it precisely that they never saw that coming which is why they were never going to win. I could tell anyone that if four men show up inside your house unannounced, they have ill-intentions, no matter what unlikely story they give you. The fact that they believed Liz bought it for as long as they did meant they never saw her coming. Because she never bought it.

They seemed a little nervous when they found out she used to be FBI. They would have crapped their pants if they found out she was Red Reddington's daughter. Because even if they wound up killing her, they would be on Red's hit-list next.

I love that she named the dog Kate. And it's the fact that they killed the dog which is why I'm a little upset the writers think she should lose sleep over that. Personally? I think she should be proud.

A little wrap-up with The Blacklist: Redemption was better than none at all. Just based on the series finale, you were led to believe Tom mistakenly sided with his crooked father, and it's good he DID realize pretty early on that his mother was innocent.

I can't believe Ethan from Lost thought he was going to win, and didn't surmise that there was probably a larger reason WHY he was doused in gasoline. I am amazed it never occurred to him that she planned to light him up. Sucks to be him.

Ryan Eggold is no longer in the credits. So unlike Megan Boone still being credited every episode after she "died" two seasons ago, I think he's actually dead.

And yes, Grace is a ghost. Perfect ending. I loved her erasing all traces of her. Personally, I think she's part Kaplan's daughter too.

Pretty good episode, I think. It was a lot more fun than the premise and episode title would have you believe. ****.
 

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
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#4
The Blacklist "The Informant"

I'm glad Ressler tried to take responsibility for his actions but I am less glad that he still got away with it.

Red bribing the hacker with an appointment with a premiere tattoo artist is another example that Red uses more carrots than sticks.

Glad Aram and Navabi are still together.

Decent week. ***1/2.
 

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
Jan 19, 2004
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#5
The Blacklist "Abraham Stern"

Elizabeth Keene is getting good at killing people. She is still a amateur about covering it up. I could have told her the mistake immediately. She left the apartment TOO clean. Noticeably so for a criminal. And so she just gave the authorities a big fat reason to search it. And she forget to get rid of the rag. I'd take Liz to protect me in a fight? But to cover up a crime? I'd look elsewhere.

I love Red's wonderful scene with Dembe at the beginning. He's so happy, and extolling the virtues of treasure, mysteries, and The Gold Bug, and then CRASH! He's robbed by Nathan Lane. GUEST Star Nathan Lane, NOT Special Guest Star. If I were Lane, I'd be ticked. He's too fabulous for this show to not be considered a special guest.

I love that Red is trying to get Harold to see this adventure as fun. And Aram is totally on-board that idea. Harold could learn from him.

Red is quite the Luddite. He says he misses rotary phones. Can I just say how much I hated rotary phones, and for the precise reason Red hated the 0? They take forever to dial, and if you mess up the 11th number on a long distance call you have to start all over again. And if those numbers had a bunch of 8's, 9's, and 0's that was a chore. Using those things was less like using a communication device, and more like being forced to take piano lessons. Except with the rotary phone, you have nothing to show for it. Nobody is going to applaud a recital for people who dial the correct phone number on the first try.

I love Stern saying the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, and then us cutting to Liz plunging a body down the tub. I had the same WTF reaction as her to the electronic eyeball.

Stern telling his story to Red was amazing because you got the sense Red was the one person on the show who could fully appreciate it. His father left him the coins so he wouldn't become a criminal. And yet here we are. I love the notion that he spent them on candy. And off course, he the remembers the specific candy: Fireballs. I love that the show always has details like that when characters like Red and Stern are spinning their various yarns. It makes it like you're almost in the room with Red and Stern.

I'd like to think that Red would not have betrayed Stern if Stern had not betrayed him first. But that is JUST a crazy theory, and one I'll keep believing so I can sleep at night. If you did not feel bad for Stern after that money got sucked from the room, you are a monster. He was right about one thing. This WAS his father's legacy, and Red had no right to horn in it. Except Red acknowledges no-one else's rights but his own.

I love that after Glenn has the heart attack and Liz has stolen the penny, she repeatedly asks the EMT's if he needs the aspirin. That was actually clever. She just committed a major crime. And deflected suspicion precisely by drawing far too much attention to herself. I think Liz is pretty dumb at crime if you go by her covering up the murder (at least at first) but that was smart.

Speaking of which, I did love how she fixed it. She used the entire investigation towards her own ends, which is precisely what Red always used to do to her. Can he be mad? Nope, but he's also the only one smart enough to figure out the truth and call her on it. I am impressed Harold believed Red's (true) claims of innocence of taking that evidence at the end. Were I him, I might not have, or at least suspected something larger was going on.

I love that Red warns the nurses on the get-well card that Glenn is a "licentious cad". And he is. Good for Red.

And the ultimate treasure is, of course, Winston Churchill's hat that he wore during the Blitz. I think it looks totally goofy on Red, but he'll take amazing from Liz and like it.

This was pretty much the perfect episode. I was nonstop smiles during the entire thing. *****.
 

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
Jan 19, 2004
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#6
The Blacklist "The Cook"

Let me get this straight. A serial killing arsonist priest who murders women who tempt him lustfully? This show has pretty much the best random villains of the week of any show on television. There are a ton of shows with better villains than this. But none with better one-and-done villains.

Culture snob Red opines that Yoda seems far too short to be effective at swordfighting. The sad thing is, it's true. Somebody as tiny as Yoda being a Jedi master is actually ludicrous. Lucas should be ashamed.

I love that the mother dislikes Red so much. But I really like her.

Navabi is right. Aram is cute. I love Harold being jarred into agreeing with that essentially just to stop things from being even weirder. That is not an opinion he'd ever offer unasked.

One of my favorite things about Red is that he hates lying to Liz, and bends over backwards not to. I cannot imagine another person just straight up telling someone they loved "I have a secret, and I can't tell it to you." They'd lie about it. But he won't do that. Which is refreshing, and also tells me that Liz can at least trust HIM. He would be outright lying to her if she couldn't.

For the record, it's pretty obvious the secret is that he killed Liz's mother. Why else would things have gotten quite so personal on Mr. Kaplan's end last season? Which begs two questions. 1. Can Liz forgive this? Would she even care since she didn't know her mother? 2. How long does Red think he can keep a secret like that? It would probably be less damaging just to tell Liz that specific thing than have her find out on her own. This is what Dembe has been advising recently, and I have yet to see a Blacklist episode where that guy was wrong about anything.

We'll see. The mythology of this show can be all over the map. But their "Blacklisters Of The Week" are always great. ****.
 

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
Jan 19, 2004
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#7
The Blacklist "The Invisible Hand"

This episode mostly contained criminals in way over their heads. The stuff with Liz and Oleander and The Invisible Hand stuff didn't interest me too much. But the stuff with Red and Anthony was great.

I love's Red's quip that a person must be extremely confident in their genitals to name themselves Big Willie. I kept wondering why Red was trying to teach this guy good leadership after he accidentally killed the wrong guy. It's because he wants to hire him.

And even if he's technically using Anthony, it not like he didn't pay for the procedure. Anthony is dumb though to get involved with something like that when he has no idea what he's doing. Next thing you know he's looking at severed body parts and puking in the corner.

The notion that the cop investigating Liz for murder being in on Tom's death annoys me. Did they HAVE to make him a bad guy? Liz DID kill a guy and cover it up. I would actually like to see the drama of that played out, but if the cops investigating it are dirty, it's almost as if the murder was justified. And I'm not cool with that.

See you after the Olympics, Red. ***1/2.
 

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
Jan 19, 2004
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#8
The Blacklist “Mr. Raleigh Sinclair III”

Interesting, to say the least, but I wouldn’t go so far as to call it good.

I don’t like Red letting the Blacklister go at the end. Harold seems happy enough with the evidence to convict all of his clients, but I’m not. The Alibi is a total scumbag, and deserved to serve time for every innocent person he killed. Red did very wrong here. I’m supposed to be moved that Red recovered Kahlil’s body and paid for a funeral, but he let his killer go free. I love the fact that Red sticks around after the funeral to comfort the woman, and I love that he’s the kind of guy who would ask her out for a fancy dinner at his house earlier to get her to talk, but he still did wrong by Kahlil.

The thing I hate most about the Alibi is that he is one of those people who makes life better for no-one. He contributes nothing to society, and makes everything worse for everyone. There are Blacklisters that I think are horrible, but the horrible things they do sometimes make sense and seem necessary. They break the law, but some of their crimes strike me as a counterbalance to the corrupt way the world works. That is not Sinclair. At all. And it’s not just that he gets paid top-dollar for his buttmunchery which is why I resent him. It’s also the fact that he puts so much thought and care into his efforts, and he is truly invested in the horrible thing he is doing. I don’t care if he suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. He sucks. Even John Noble can’t get me to think this guy is anything by a turd.

I like the idea that the cop investigating Liz is clean after all. I objected to him seeming dirty last episode, and I like that instead Liz decides to trust him and let him into the crazy-sounding club. Unfortunately, because he is good (and also black) there is now a fictional target on his back. He will not survive the season.

I like that when Dolores offers Red raisin bread at the shelter he doesn’t, “Another time, perhaps,” her. He’s all, “I would be delighted.” Which show why Red does as well as he does. He takes the time to not only make friends, but to work at the friendship. I don’t think it’s plausible he can possibly do this for the amount of friends it’s hinted he does this with, but there’s no logic to Santa either. I am willing “Just believe” this one thing because it strikes me as magical.

I hate the therapist. She basically tells Red to his face how much he sucks right when she meets him, which tells me she is terrible at her job. Not only because therapists are supposed to have a bit of diplomacy ingrained into them (by nature). But also because she didn’t realize that Liz actually LOVES her father, and isn’t interested in making excuses for that love, so she’s basically being rude to someone Liz actually cares about. And if the therapist actually has to be told at the end that Red has treated his own daughter decently, she needs to be in a different profession. She strikes me as a total quack.

Suffice it to say, that held my interest. But that doesn’t mean I like what I just saw. **1/2.
 

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
Jan 19, 2004
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#9
The Blacklist "Pattie Sue Edwards"

I knew because he was black and noble Singleton wasn't going to survive the season. Called it last week. What I didn't expect was that he'd only last another episode. But once he starts talking about his young kids, I was like "Yup, he dies this week. Because television sucks."

I don't know who Garvey thinks he's kidding. Once that phone rang, it was all over. Killing Singleton just cinched it. It was stupid and sloppy, and was bound to get him spotted by the witness herself, Liv. I don't know whether to be annoyed at Garvey for being this dumb, or annoyed at Liz and the task force for not having not caught somebody this stupid yet. Were I him, after I killed Singleton, I'd be gone. In the wind. Different country without an extradition treaty, and under a false identity just to be safe. But he acts like it's still business as usual. Garvey is dumb enough to think he can still get away with this. But it was all over when the phone rang, and he's too dumb to realize it.

Speaking of things I predicted last week, I noted that sometimes the Blacklister of the week, if not a good person, does things that are necessary, and a counterbalance to the problems and corruption of the world, that cannot be solved through legal means. That's Edwards. Completely. What is ironic is that not only are Edwards' goals righteous, but even if her tactics are deplorable, she never planned for anyone to get killed, and in fact pulled that trick off. Which is more than I can usually say for even the most otherwise well-intentioned seeming Blacklisters that are also a necessary counterbalance to corruption.

I hated the IRS guy. After all Red did for him, he screws him over, and expects his son to still get into the school. I thought the principle rejecting that offer at first was being unreasonable. But he's obviously dealt with this guy before, and this seems to be classic behavior. Suddenly it makes complete sense.

The worst thing is that I'm unaware if Red was able to keep the rest of his bargains he made to secure that position for the kid, or rather if he just dropped everything and screwed over everyone, because the IRS screwed him and it was no longer his problem. The IRS guy didn't just betray Red. He betrayed everyone Red befriended and blackmailed to help him out.

I love that Red's a little bit terrified of the arsonist played by C. Thomas Howell. To be honest, I am too.

Garvey's gonna get it next week. ****.
 

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
Jan 19, 2004
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#10
The Blacklist "The Capricorn Killer"

Yeah, that sucked. I suspected Diamondback was the killer, but was pleasantly surprised to be wrong. I suspected the therapist was a killer, and was pleasantly surprised to be right. But the last ten minutes of the episode pissed me off like few other endings.

Graves being killed was disgusting. You can almost excuse Singleton last week as the black sacrifice, because it gave Liz stopping Garvey stakes. This was just genre at its worst.

Liz letting the therapist go at the end was disgusting too. She says she's doing it for the same reason Red does stuff like that. Except Red is a criminal and is expected to do stuff like that. Liz is an FBI agent and is expected to put people like this away.

But I called it last week when I said she was a quack. I was just underselling it.

For the record, I suspect she's actually the Sandman too. It's possible the reason the girl trusted her enough to put on her shoes is because she was a woman. Or more likely, they are actually related.

And finally I hate this episode because this was the first one we saw Red outright lie to Liz, with no plausible deniability. While it's nice he saved that poor kid's life, the fact that he is still covering for Garvey means I hate him in a way I haven't since he left Mr. Kaplan for dead.

I pretty much hated every single character during this. *.
 

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
Jan 19, 2004
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#11
The Blacklist "Anna Gracia-Duerte"

Technically, this kid is not a Blacklister. But she shares something in common with many of them. Many Blacklisters do evil deeds that NEED to be done. Some of them are because of righteousness, some of them are not, but a lot of Blacklisters kill the people they do because those specific people need killing. A balance needs to be set in the world that the legal system cannot adequately cover.

And can you argue with that here? Yeah, murder is illegal. But this forced slavery and child-rape that's perfectly legal. Murder is literally these girls' ONLY way out. When Navabi says to Harold that they should just move on and let the killer be on her merry, that was the right answer. And I don't think her not going to an adult prison and having her whole life ahead of her is a happy ending. Because those specific people still needed defending in that specific way, and now they won't be. Navabi's original idea to just drop the matter was what they should have done.

Speaking of Navabi, Aram is a fool for the ring. Liz got in his head. And while Dessler's notion was frightening in that it might mean unforeseen commitment, Liz's notion was even worse because it meant possible unforeseen loss. And I think she would have accepted the ring as a proposal if he hadn't stated over and over again that it was nothing and barely his idea. He ultimately offered the ring to see if she'd reject the idea of marrying him. But he completely tainted the test results by telling her the answer ahead of time. He should not read into her reaction any further than that, even if Liz's notion is correct. And Liz's notion sounds correct and makes more sense than Dessler's. My problem with Liz's theory is that she is too sure. Not every woman everywhere sees that specific subject entirely the same way, and the way she said it to Aram was her giving him the impression that they all did. And maybe even if Aram hadn't screwed up the test results, Liz could have been wrong. People are complicated. I do not presume to speak for every man who ever existed. Perhaps Liz should not do the same for every woman.

This was an outright great episode. *****.
 

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
Jan 19, 2004
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#12
The Blacklist "Zarak Mosadek"

Great episode. I did not expect the sister revelation. It concerns me. I am no longer worried the remains are Liz's mother. They probably aren't. They are probably this woman's mother. And she describes Red as an abusive father. Maybe Red wants the duffel bag because he's ashamed of that part of his past, and doesn't want Liz to know about it. But the remains being Liz's mom are no longer a sure thing. It's 60/40 this chick's mom.

Aram is an idiot for the reasons Navabi stated. He should not be taking relationship advice from two people as bad at relationships as Liz and Dessler. What's weird is that Aram always seems to be a great boyfriend whenever he hooks up with someone. If anything, those two morons should be coming to him to figure out how to do it. That's probably why Navabi is so disappointed. Aram is totally unaware of how awesome he is. And that just makes him a little less awesome to her.

Frankly, I personally don't see that as a bad character trait on Aram's behalf at all. But I get why a woman would be annoyed with it. I do. It's an admirable trait in the guy friend you tell everything, but are never going to get with. For your actual boyfriend? Not so much.

I love Liz saying that if she was wrong and Aram died that she would be very, very sorry. Are we sure she's Red's daughter? Because unlike him, she offers pretty some lousy carrots.

I love Red. He unwittingly finds himself in the middle of a kidnapping situation. and he prefers it. It makes his freaking day. Trying to force people to talk is not Red's favorite thing. He likes befriending people and them WANTING to talk. And now that this guy has a specific thing that Red knows he wants and can deliver, Red is happy he's back in his comfort zone. And yeah, unlike Liz, he offers some tempting carrots. He's much better with them than the stick.

I love how much he was enjoying that operation, and sort of rubbing how awesome he was back in Dessler's face. And he is awesome. Because he employs Dembe who made sure to save all three security guards lives despite Dessler, an actual FBI agent in charge of protecting people, telling him there wasn't time. And yeah, it's because Red has Dembe which is why he's superior to Donald. And doesn't mind throwing that all up in his grill.

The reason Red actually knew the correct catacomb exit was in the Church defies believability, but that's kind of this show. It's not as bad as Prison Break or Blindspot as far as convoluted plot twists go. But it's not a believable, straight procedural either. There is a certain amount of belief suspension required for the audience to accept everything Red seems to be able to do.

The Asian women with the translator app on the phone scares and intrigues me. I want to know this spooky chick's entire deal. Now.

I love that as recompense, Red give the Church lady the diamonds. I love that. He doesn't need them, and he turns what should be the suckiest and most traumatic day possible for those Churchgoers, and turns it into a net positive. I would not like to be in Church with gunfire where several criminals were killed. But I might have tolerated the experience in hindsight for a bag of diamonds. Because when Red says they are to fix up any damages incurred, he is underselling how valuable they are. Because that IS a lot of diamonds.

I love that Harold insightfully throws the non-denialism thing back in his boss' face at the end. And she smiles. It means he read the entire thing correctly. It was a bluff on a pair of threes. She can be furious all she wants, but she will NEVER report him up the chain of command for it, because she'd have to admit things. And her entire thing was deniability. And Harold correctly interpreted that to mean he could do whatever he wanted, and she wouldn't be able to retaliate. And it's to her credit she respected him for it instead of resenting him. The smirk said, "Well played." I can't ever picture Christine Lahti's character ever losing so gracefully. That probably why Dessler wound up killing her.

What a great episode. This season is knocking it out of the park. *****.
 

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
Jan 19, 2004
24,104
Ratings
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#13
The Blacklist "Ian Garvey"

That raised a ton of questions and answered none of them. I have no idea what the series is planning to do next. I have zero guesses left.

I like that Red used the Alibi twin on Garvey. What a great and unexpected twist. And yet it was the smartest move to keep Red's people alive. Tony did not seem happy about the plan at all. I'm glad he survived, although I'm sure part of him wishes he didn't.

I would have liked to have gotten a better reaction from Red about Jennifer. I don't think the episode exactly played unfair with the audience. But I DO feel like we could have gotten some more reactions and answers than we DID get without actually spoiling anything. I like set-up episodes as much as anybody. But good set-up episodes for the next arc of the series at least pay SOMETHING off. The episode was titled "Ian Garvey: Conclusion". But other than the fact that Garvey probably died there was nothing conclusive about it.

Red's idea that Liz is not automatically entitled to answers about the briefcase is provocative. Because he's right. If it's his business and not hers, she should respect that. And I'd definitely think that if Dembe hadn't been urging Red to tell her the truth about the briefcase. Dembe doing that hints it was Liz's business all along.

I love Liz mirroring Jennifer's "I think we both know it's a little late for that." That was like perfect dialogue. It wasn't unpredictable, and I knew she was gonna say it. But it was absolutely the RIGHT dialogue, which is just as important as surprising dialogue.

If this episode was a little more forthcoming with its answers, I'd like it more. ***.
 

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
Jan 19, 2004
24,104
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#14
The Blacklist "Lawrence Dane Devlin"

That last scene with Amar at Samar's bedside was so sweet. I love that guy.

Speaking of, I like Red asking that thug if it had been his experience if steroids had made his penis shrink. The fact that he doesn't step back upon that guy's fierce look at all says Red is fearless.

A Blacklist first: The bad guy was eaten by a bear. More deaths like that, please.

A good week. Please wake up, Navabi! ****.
 

The Penguin

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#15
The Blacklist season five finale was tonight. Season six is expected midseason 2019 on NBC.

"Sutton Ross" - Season Finale
Wednesday, May 16, 2018 @ 8 p.m. ET/7 CT on NBC
Liz and Red race to find a Blacklister in possession of the duffel bag of bones.
 

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
Jan 19, 2004
24,104
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#16
The Blaclist "Sutton Ross"

That was good.

First off, I'm not surprised Tom is alive. I'm annoyed that the show thinks I should be. But they already pulled that trick with Liz two seasons ago. They have already let me know they ARE that shameless and terrible of storytellers. So I'm less pleasantly shocked, and more disappointed that that twist is this show not even passing my lowest of expectations.

The whole "He's not Red Reddington" thing is more of a surprise. Those bones belonging to the real Red was legit guess by some people, and I would have accepted it. Except it turns out the real Red IS Liz's father after all, and the Red we know killed him. I do not accept that idea at face value. The fact that Our Red did that, whoever he may be, did it to protect Liz. Her father, if that's who the real Red actually was, was a mortal threat to her, and that's why he killed him. But he still doesn't want her to know for obvious reasons.

It's the fact that Dembe has suggested Red tell her the truth several times which leads me to believe that this is not the whole story. I doubt even Dembe would recommend that if it were. On some very real level Dembe believes that if Liz learned the truth, she'd forgive Our Red. And as seen in the episode, Red does not contain Dembe's level of faith. Also as seen in the episode, Dembe is usually right, and has a better track record of that kind of thing than his boss.

I love that Red's a John Waters' nerd. Honestly, Waters' films are headaches, and bad taste, and just plain hard to watch. But Waters himself has the coolest persona and demeanor of a director possible. He is just so subversive and lovable in real life that I can love him while thinking most of his films are majorly gross. There is a reason The Simpsons essentially had him play himself in Season 8. He is just that great of character. If that guy didn't exist, someone would have to make him up.

I love Red's randomly loud torturer. Red has the most colorful people working for him.

I appreciated Navabi waking up because this was a dark episode, and that was this show reminding me to appreciate the small moments. Sure, Tom's life is in imminent danger if anyone learns he's alive, and Liz's faith in the man she believed to be her father is destroyed. But just take the small victories wherever you can get them.

This would be a five star episode if the show didn't bring back Tom and act like it was the most genius twist ever, instead of the lamest and most cliched. I'm knocking a star off for the show acting like a five year old smearing crap on the wall, and beaming at us, because he thinks we should be proud of him for it. ****.