The Blacklist – The Mombasa Cartel

by Alan Rapp on October 29, 2014

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: The Blacklist – The Mombasa Cartel
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The Blacklist - The Mombasa Cartel

There’s a nice reveal in “The Mombassa Cartel,” although it has nothing to do with what is hiding behind Lizzie‘s (Megan Boone) secret door or the odd collection of characters Reddington (James Spader) sends the FBI after in the show’s latest episode. The personal reasons for which Red tasks the FBI with taking down the Mombassa Cartel responsible for animal smuggling, trafficking, and murder on a global scale isn’t revealed until late in the episode (although the pre-credit sequence does ruin the impact of the surprise a bit).

In the least well-kept and most unnecessarily drawn-out secret of the show’s season, “The Mobassa Cartel” reveals (to absolutely no one’s surprise) that Lizzie has indeed being keeping her husband Tom (Ryan Eggold) prisoner. Still alive, and with information about Berlin’s operation, the man’s role isn’t quite done yet, especially now that Red’s agent (Hal Ozsan) knows the truth (although his arrest makes it a little difficult to inform his boss of the circumstances).

Peter Fonda‘s guest-appearance of the flawed rich do-gooder doesn’t as work as well as it should, although it does allow Spader a terrific scene near the end of the episode. The episode’s B-story continues the on-and-off descent of Ressler (Diego Klattenhoff) although the circumstances involving the bizarre family in the great white north may thankfully put a kibosh on the arc which really has nowhere interesting to take the character or season. The tease of Red’s supposed daughter (Scottie Thompson) not recognizing the man she’s been hiding from for years is equally troubling foreshadowing more complicated arcs to come. More intriguing is the reveal of Dembe‘s (Hisham Tawfiq) past and decency which hasn’t been drummed out of the man despite his troubled history.

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