The promotional photos and trailer for Lipet’s Seafood Company heavily focused on the fact that there was a mole inside the team, but it turns out that it wasn’t the kind of mole we were expecting. Samar was revealed as the spy, but she was working with another intelligence agency from her home country, not enemies of the FBI or terrorists as the previews made it seem. There was no big reveal of a member of the team who has been secretly working against the FBI since the beginning. Personally I was hoping for something exciting like that to happen, but it turns out that Samar being a mole wasn’t a big deal at all.
I have a problem with this for one main reason. Whether she was working with an agency that is allies with the FBI or not, she would not be allowed to keep her job if she gave FBI information to a foreign intelligence agency. Cooper tells her to go home and think about where her loyalties lie, but this comes off as a father scolding a child who has behaved badly, not the director of an FBI task force reprimanding one of their agents, with the eventual result of that agent being removed from the agency. We all know that shows aren’t always accurate in regards to real life protocol for these types of agencies, but this seems a little far fetched even for the Blacklist.
Another moment that I took issue with in Lipet’s Seafood Company was when Ressler and Samar were sent to obtain a list of suspects from the company who manufactured the technology that was stolen by the terrorists, and were handed a suspect right away on a silver platter by this company. It was immediately apparent that the company wanted the FBI to take the bait and get rid of the man they were putting forward, but neither Ressler or Samar realized this. It was only after Liz questioned the suspect and said that she didn’t believe he was part of the crime that everyone agreed and removed him from suspicion.
Ressler and Samar should have realized that the company had a personal vendetta against the man and wanted the FBI to investigate him. Liz isn’t the only one who can point out these obvious signs. Ressler and Samar are both incredibly talented agents who are just as good at profiling as Liz, and they wouldn’t need her to point out something that was so obvious from the start. I know that Liz is the focus of the show, but a lot of the time the other agents on the team (especially Ressler) are made to seem less capable in order to make Liz seem like a better agent.
Probably the biggest event of Lipet’s Seafood Company came at the end of the episode when Red called in a favor from the President Elect to finally issue Liz a full pardon and reinstate her as an FBI agent. Ultimately I am happy that Liz will be a part of the task force again, but the situation that returned her to this position also seemed far-fetched. Liz shot the Attorney General. Yes, he was part of the Kabal and incredibly corrupt, but she still completely abandoned FBI protocol, and any sort of legal protocol for that matter and shot him instead of providing evidence for his guilt and bringing him in for trial.
Any agent who operated this way would never be allowed to return to the FBI. You can’t shoot someone, especially the Attorney General, and return to your previous position in the government. This pardon did come about because Red blackmailed the President Elect, and Red always has a way of working his magic with people, but I still don’t believe that the the President would be able to single-handedly pardon an FBI agent who had committed a crime and was as controversial as Liz, considering she was a fugitive for a long time, even though she was pardoned in that capacity as well.
Overall however, the case in this episode was more entertaining and enjoyable than the cases have been in a long time. Ressler got a fair amount of screen time, most of them action sequences, which I’m not complaining about, but I still hope that his character and the other members of the task force are focused on more in the future. No one except Liz has really been through character development in a couple seasons. The show used to focus on the other members of the task force, their personal lives, and their emotional and moral development, but lately all of those types of scenes have been given to Liz and Red.
More and more it seems that Ressler is just there to tackle and questions suspects without any time being spent on his development as a character. The only dialogue that Ressler really gets is questioning those involved in cases, suspects, or otherwise. I can’t be the only fan who’s dying to see more of his personal life, like the story line he had a couple of seasons ago when he was addicted to pain medication. That was a riveting and deeply emotional story line that really showed another side of Ressler and added to the show as a whole. I know I’m restating these wishes for character development from previous articles, but I’m going to keep doing it until something changes.
Next week’s episode looks to be returning to the “case of the week” format rather than focusing on the lore of the Blacklist, and seems promisingly creepy.
Here’s the trailer for the episode next Thursday:
The Blacklist airs Thursdays at 10/9c on NBC.