A whole episode without an appearance by Liz, and it was better for it.
That doesn’t mean she didn’t hover over The Blacklist Season 8 Episode 5.
Liz still managed to cause headaches not just for Red but also for the Task Force as part of her master plan to bring down Raymond.
She has been strategizing like Reddington, so naturally, it took him to determine what she was up to.
It really did appear to be a coincidence that Red’s safe-deposit box was broken into by a trio of robbers around the same time that the conviction of the first Blacklister, The Freelancer, was being appealed by a new attorney.
It was just bad timing that the task force was being pulled in a couple of different directions.
Or was it?
No, it turned out that there was just a whole lot of misdirection by Liz going on to keep everyone from putting together the pieces of this puzzle.
She left just enough clues to keep everybody going in the direction she wanted. The note the crew left was bound to have everyone chasing after them in the hopes that they could get their hands on Liz.
The Freelancer’s appeal only added to the urgency that the Task Force finds her. If only she wanted to be located.
Boy, that 35 million Euros that Skip stole for Liz on The Blacklist Season 8 Episode 4 has sure been coming in handy.
To further her scheme, she can go out and hire a robbery crew or a capable attorney whenever she feels the need.
She’s also counting on everyone’s affection for her to keep them distracted.
Harold and the Task Force members keep hoping that she’s work through this murdery phase and come back where she belongs. Let’s just set aside the multitude of crimes she’s committed so far this season. After all, that’s what happened in the past.
Although, now that Harold has filled in Panabaker about Liz’s extracurricular activities, that’s going to be a whole lot harder. She isn’t nearly as sentimental about Liz.
It was interesting to see that Esy was still around and hadn’t left town. She at least has thrown in with Liz, unlike the bulk of Reddington’s associates.
Whoever else Liz needs, she’ll just buy them. Or get them released from prison. The Task Force’s arrests have left her with a huge talent pool, many of whom want vengeance against Red (and also Liz, for that matter).
Liz is also picking at the relationship at the center of the Task Force’s activities. One judge was appalled by the idea of using Red as a confidential informant. Wouldn’t most of them react that same way if only they knew?
The Task Force wants to keep Liz safe from Red (and herself). Now, even more than in the past, Harold and Raymond keep secrets from each other, as they’re often working at cross purposes.
Red wanted his stolen property recovered, but heaven forbid that he admit what that was to the task force.
The whole setup of the Blacklist Task Force has always seemed predestined to implode. The Task Force takes important criminals off the street. But at the same time, they’re removing criminals that are in Reddington’s way.
So it’s one big debate of whether the ends justify the means. Everyone aware of the mechanics of the Task Force can hold their noses and live with it. But once the judiciary gets involved, all hell can definitely break loose.
Solving the case of the Fribourg Confidence depended on a rather dubious connection. Red had a handwriting expert who was able to locate a matching note from a robbery in 1994? Yeah, that seems likely.
So this meant that Red could be at Abe’s house perfectly positioned to see the photo of Jennifer just after Ressler sent a photo of a suspicious woman from bank surveillance.
And, oh, by the way, Abe’s nurse was also part of the robbery crew.
Abe just appeared so proud that his daughter had a natural talent for thievery that he could nurture.
Does that sound familiar, Red? How could he possibly be upset with Abe when he’s been doing the same thing with Liz, his heir apparent?
Raymond’s misstep was killing Katarina since he had lost Liz to her. Did he really think Liz would just get over that, as she has so many of her losses in the past?
And now she’s using all she has learned from him against him. She’s also familiar with most of his associates and can predict how all are going to react. After all, she is reputedly a profiler.
Aram asked the most salient question at the end: Is Agent Keen truly gone?
That’s too early to say. Did she give the flash drive to Harold to help bring down Red? Or, since Reddington has all the experts, such as Tadashi, locked up, is she relying on Aram to crack the drive? Is it good intentions or strictly self-interest?
Another question is how the Task Force’s efforts will be divided between continuing to bust Blacklisters and chasing down Liz.
To follow Liz’s machinations, watch The Blacklist online.
How soon did you decide the two storylines were connected?
Did you miss Liz’s physical presence?
How can the Task Force treat her as a target?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.