‘The Blacklist’ 5×11 Review: ‘Abraham Stern’

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Last night in “Abraham Stern” The Blacklist celebrated 100 episodes. The tone of the episode reflected the celebration and happiness of the occasion, as we were treated to a much more light-hearted episode than is the norm for the series. Red got to participate in an old fashioned treasure hunt/robbery generally having the time of his life.

Nathan Lane made a special guest appearance as “Abraham Stern” a former rival of Red’s who becomes his partner so they could work together to find the treasure. Abraham Stern turns on Red of course, in order to take all of the treasure for himself, but Red was prepared. He got the upper hand, stealing all of the treasure out from Stern’s nose and delivering him into the hands of The Task Force for arrest. Perhaps the most enjoyable part of the episode was how Red and his team managed to steal the treasure. When Abraham Stern and Red broke into the Denver Reserve to steal the Federal Treasury notes, Stern betrayed Red and then opened the safe, removing all of the money. Red however, set up with his team outside and sucked all of the bank notes out of the room through an air duct using a giant high powered hose hooked up to a van.

It just goes to show that you can never get the upper hand on Red, whether you think you you successfully betrayed him without his noticing or not. He always has a contingency plan in place, and this one worked extremely well.

Meanwhile, Liz disposed of Navarro’s body, stealing the file on “The Stewmaker” from The Task Force file room. The Stewmaker was one of the most notorious and disturbing Blacklisters from season one. He disposed of his victim’s bodies by putting them in a chemical bath that completely dissolved them, not leaving a single trace of evidence. To cover up Navarro’s murder, Liz followed in his footsteps. Using the file on The Stewmaker she replicated his process, leaving not a single trace of Navarro’s body except for a glass eye that she kept with her.

This seems to have worked for now, but I can’t help thinking that it won’t turn out well for her if Detective Singleton finds any evidence connecting her to Navarro’s death. She did leave a bloody rag in his apartment that Singleton found and is currently doing lab tests on. Once they find out that it’s her blood on the rag, it will look pretty suspicious since they know Navarro is missing. Granted, she did kill him out of self defense, but there were no witnesses to back up her story, and disposing of a body is the number one way to look extremely guilty.

I was disappointed with the lack of the other members of The Task Force in “Abraham Stern”. Since it was the 100th episode, they should have been celebrating the whole group with the majority of the episode involving the entire Task Force. Ressler, Aram, Samar, and Cooper had about two scenes per piece in the whole episode, hardly saying any lines. I did enjoy seeing Red’s lighter side, but it would have been even better and more fitting if the whole Task Force had joined in with him. Not that it wasn’t enjoyable, but it felt extremely unbalanced for such a milestone episode in the series.

Next week’s episode “Tommy Wattles” promises to be a particularly disturbing installment, as the tagline of the episode in the trailer is, “A Blacklister you’ll never forget”. It looks to involve some sort of violent religious cult, and those types of stories are always terrifying to me.

Read the synopsis and check out the trailer for yourself below!

Synopsis:

As Liz works with Red to hunt for Tom’s killers, she begins to questions his motives. Meanwhile, The Task Force enlists the help of one arsonist to catch another.

The Blacklist airs Wednesdays at 8/9c on NBC.

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