The Blacklist 4×02 Review: ‘Mato’

There’s a lot to talk about from last night’s episode “Mato”, so let’s break it down into a few key moments.

We all knew that Red would become completely unhinged in the hunt for Liz, but I for one didn’t think he would go as far as he did in this episode. The need to get information out of someone in order to find Liz is one thing, but having Tom torture Mr. Kaplan’s friend in order to find Mato (who has Agnes and knows where Kirk was taking Liz) went entirely too far. Mr. Kaplan has been by his side acting as his most trusted confidant for years, and Red is acting like her involvement in helping Liz fake her death completely erased all of that.

He didn’t even want to let Mr. Kaplan talk to her friend first, to see if she could get him to give up Mato without any harm coming to him. Red had the poor man woken up in the middle of surgery, and only let Kaplan try to convince him to give up the information for about a minute before pulling her out of the room and bringing Tom in to torture him. After Tom got the contact information for Mato, Red even had the audacity to say to Kaplan that he wished he hadn’t needed to hurt her friend. I thought that Kaplan’s response really put Red in his place.

It only means something if there’s some truth to it.”

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She knows that Red didn’t really care that he tortured her friend because he will do whatever he needs to to help Liz, and doesn’t care about the consequences.

I loved how Kaplan stood up for herself in this episode and pushed back against everyone taking her for granted. While waiting in the car with her for Mato to show up, Tom tried to apologize for what he had done and justify his torture of her friend, and Kaplan was having none of it. I absolutely loved what she said to Tom:

I’m not here to make Red feel better, and I’m not here to make you feel better.”

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Tom was trying to clear his conscience, and Kaplan didn’t give him the satisfaction. Red and Tom have been walking all over Kaplan without thinking about her well being at all, and she finally had enough.

However abhorrent Red’s means of getting information, his methods always work. Mato gives them Liz’s location and Ressler and a team of FBI agents finally go to find Liz and bring her home. Liz is being held by Kirk at “The Summer Palace” supposedly the vacation home that she, Kirk, and her mom used to go to.

All of this seems a little too perfectly set up to me. After seeing the house and her old bedroom and finding a time capsule that she remembers putting together with her mother, it seems like Liz is beginning to trust Kirk. I think everything about this situation seems extremely suspicious. If he really was her father and wanted to keep her safe and have her in his life, why would he have done all of the things he has done to her? Why would he kidnap her and separate her from her child and attempt to kill Tom?

None of those things seem to be what a father who wanted their daughter back would do. Then there’s the matter of the house. Everything is set up to look exactly as it was when Liz was a child, but how does she know that nothing in the house has been planted? How does she know that Kirk is telling the truth? She knows nothing about him, and all he has done is harm her and her family. And what about the memory she has of herself as a child shooting someone in a burning house while her parents were fighting? Kirk is acting like Red stole Liz from him, and that he is the victim, but what happened the night of the fire? Their lives weren’t pristine and happy like the vacation home.

If he really is her father, something horrible happened the night of that fire, and he is choosing to withhold information and only show Liz the good memories.

All of this aside, the FBI team headed by Ressler arrives at “The Summer Palace” and finally rescues Liz from Kirk. This was the moment Keenler fans had been waiting for. Ressler finally sees Liz for the first time since her “death”.

Just look at the emotion on his face, the pain and the relief.

Then we finally got the long awaited hug.

The way that Liz just broke down when she saw him, and he immediately pulled her in and wrapped her in his harms. My heart may have stopped for a second.

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Once Liz was found safe, Red decided it was time to deal with Kaplan’s betrayal once and for all. He took Kaplan to a secluded forest and shot her. This is something that I will never be able to forgive him for. It was a horrible, drastic, and unnecessary way to deal with her after everything she had done for him. She has cleaned up all of his messes, kept him safe, done everything he has ever asked of her, and went above and beyond the call of duty to try and give Liz and her family a normal and safe life, and this is how Red repays her.

Yes, Red is a violent criminal and a terrorist, but there has always been an underlying morality and a certain kindness to him. He has risked his life to help those in need, and he protects those close to him with a fierceness that is unmatched. Never would I have thought that Red was capable of such a cold-hearted and brutal act as shooting one of his closest friends and confidants.

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Now, we know that Kaplan isn’t dead because her hand moved on the ground where she had fallen, and she is shown being taken to a hospital in next week’s promo, but this doesn’t change the fact that what Red did was horrible.

Here’s a look at what to expect in the next episode. Hopefully Kaplan makes a full recovery and Red does something to redeem himself, because right now I don’t want anything to do with him.

The Blacklist airs Thursday at 10/9c on NBC.

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