‘The Blacklist’: 4×19 Review: ‘Dr. Bogdan Krilov’

So, those of you who regularly read my reviews will know that I love Ressler more than almost anything in this world, and I have so many feelings about what happened to him in “Dr. Bogdan Krilov” last night. I was really excited to see him get so much more screen time, but I guess I should be careful for what I wish for, because Ressler is in a world of pain right now.

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“Dr. Bogdan Krilov” started off relatively innocently, with Ressler getting a phone call from an agent about a lead on the Reven Wright case. He goes to question a witness who, for all he knows, is a woman in Wright’s apartment building who had seen her body being carried out and put into a van by her killers. While questioning her, the apartment is attacked and the witness is dragged away, with Ressler being left unconscious on the floor. After he wakes up, he runs outside only to be met by Laurel Hitchen who confesses to Reven Wright’s murder and threatens to have Ressler taken out.

However, in a pretty crazy plot twist that I actually didn’t see coming, nothing that happened after Ressler was knocked unconscious was real. The agent he had first talked to on the phone and the woman he had gone to question were both working with Dr. Bogdan Krilov. It was all a set up put into play by Kaplan to take Ressler out, the first step in dismantling the task force and leaving Red vulnerable. Dr. Krilov kidnapped Ressler from the apartment, took away some of his memories and replaced them with the fake ones of Hitchen’s confessing to Reven Wright’s murder. Once that process was complete, they put Ressler in a car outside Lauren Hitchen’s house with a gun in his hand. With Hitchen’s confession that he thought was real burned into his mind, what else would he do but go inside to confront her?

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The brilliance of Kate’s plan was how cruel it was. She knows how important solving Reven Wright’s murder is to Ressler. It’s all he’s been able to think about lately, so she gives Ressler exactly what he desperately wants, Lauren Hitchen’s confession on a silver platter. By taking away his agency, and his control of his own mind, it leaves him in the perfectly vulnerable position that she needs. Because Laurel Hitchen didn’t actually confess, it makes Ressler look like an unstable madman, breaking into her house unprovoked.

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The fallout from this is that Ressler gets arrested, his gun taken away, and is now under investigation by the FBI. The situation could have been even worse if Liz hadn’t been there to talk him down. He was on the verge of shooting Hitchen, the woman whom he had just seen confess to murder, but Liz was able to convince him that what he had seen wasn’t real. His vulnerability in this scene just broke my heart. Everything that he has depends on his ability as an agent, and he was terrified that he couldn’t even trust his own mind. She calmed him down in the most gentle and loving way saying:

“You need to trust me. It’s not your fault, you’re the victim here.”

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My Keenler heart just melted.

And that was only one of many Keenler moments that we got in this episode. After Liz and Samar found out that Ressler had been kidnapped, Liz almost killed Krilov, just to get him to tell her where Ressler had been taken, after punching him in the face for describing what he had done to Ressler of course.

Liz: Where’s Agent Ressler?
Samar: We know you were contracted to, what, erase some kind of memory, embed one?
Dr Krilov: I want my lawyer.
[ Liz grabs Krilov’s chin, turns his face toward her ]
Liz: I’m not gonna ask again.
Dr Krilov: already told you, Princess, I’m not talking to you until my lawyer’s present.
[ Liz takes a syringe and fills it with Propofol ]
Samar: What are you doing?
Liz: I told him I’m not gonna ask again.
Samar: Liz, hang on.
Dr Krilov: Are you serious? Come on. You are FBI. You think I actually believe you are going to inject that needle?
Liz: You know, unfortunately, I don’t know much about Propofol. [ Bottle clatters ] I think it’s a general anesthetic? Can you even inject this directly into the arm?
Dr Krilov: Stop it.
Liz: I don’t know. You tell me. You’re the doctor, Princess.
Samar: Agent Keen.
[ Liz jabs the needle into Krilov’s arm ]
Dr Krilov: Hey.
Liz: Would mainlining this cause long-term damage to the heart?
Samar: Liz.
Liz: The lungs, the kidneys – would it kill an old man?
Dr Krilov: Okay, okay, stop it. I tell you.
Liz: Keep talking.
Dr Krilov: There is a house on the Potomac.

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I could watch this scene over and over again. If you mess with Ressler, you get a side of Liz that you don’t want to see. She loves him so much that she’s willing to murder a man just to help him.

And that still wasn’t the only other Keenler scene that we got. After Ressler was arrested, Liz gave a little speech to Laurel Hitchen about what a good man Ressler is:

Hitchen: “I really wanna thank you, Agent Keen.”
“I genuinely believe he would’ve shot me if you hadn’t shown up.”
Liz: “I didn’t do it for you.”
“I did it for him.”
Hitchen: “Fair enough, but you did it, and for that, I’m grateful.”
Liz: “Donald Ressler represents what’s best about this country.
He’s loyal and honest, and he believes that no one-no one is above the law.
And I believe that one day, you’ll be the one being dragged off in handcuffs.
And he’ll be walking into his lake house to watch the sunset.”

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Finally, finally, Ressler gets the recognition he deserves, and it comes from the person that we wanted to hear it from the most, Liz who loves him.

My elation over this aside however, Hitchen’s response to this really worried me:

Hitchen: “Yeah. Never gonna happen.”

This could just be her arrogance and cockiness talking, but it also sounds extremely ominous. Just the way she said it made it sound like something really bad is going to happen to Ressler in the future, and if it does, I swear I’m done.

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But that STILL wasn’t the only other Keenler scene in “Dr. Bogdan Krilov”. Once Ressler had been arrested, Dr. Krilov was brought into FBI custody, and Liz went to interrogate him:

I want every detail-what you did, how you did it, what memories you implanted in Agent Ressler’s consciousness, and what you took away.
You’re going to give me everything we need to exonerate him.”

This is definitely a parallel to when Liz had been arrested for shooting the attorney general, and Ressler did everything he needed to do to get her exonerated. Now it’s Liz’s turn, and I am so here for it.

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I want to conclude by saying a few finals things about Ressler. Kate’s plan to sideline him first was brilliant. She recognizes that Ressler is the backbone of the task force. He is their moral center, the one who will stop at nothing to make sure justice is done. As Liz said, to him, no one is above the law, and that makes him the most dangerous to Kate’s vendetta of destruction against Red. If he goes down, they all go down with him. If the task force goes down, that leaves Red completely exposed.

And sorry Kate, I was on your side 100%, but once you mess with Ressler we’re done.

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Hopefully, the task force is able to exonerate Ressler ASAP and get him out of this completely unharmed, something they shouldn’t even have to be doing. Why does it make sense to the FBI to arrest one of their agents who was kidnapped, drugged, and manipulated instead of helping him? Nice example of blaming the victim there FBI.

There’s only three episodes left this season, and Kate is ramping up the fight against Red. Things are bound to come to an explosive conclusion any minute.

Next week though, it looks like things are taking a little bit of a detour as Red and Kate have to put their feud aside and team up to help Liz. Watch the trailer for “The Debt Collector” below and let me know in the comments, do you think something bad is about to happen to Ressler? Or was that just an overly confident remark from Laurel Hitchen?

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

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