‘The Blacklist’ 5×07 Review: ‘The Kilgannon Corporation’

Last night’s emotional tour de force “The Kilgannon Corporation” was the best episode The Blacklist has ever done, and no I’m not exaggerating. The characters were perfectly balanced, the writing was spectacular, the plot was intense and emotional, and the monologues given by Red and Dembe  no doubt brought even the strongest viewers to tears. Not to mention that the brilliant Hisham Tawfiq  was the star of the episode as Dembe, a character who usually says about one to two words every now and then.

The Blacklist is at its best when it focuses on the emotional cores of the characters and their intimate relationships with each other, and I don’t mean this is in a romantic way. The relationship between Dembe and Red is the deepest, most beautiful and loving one in the show, and focusing on that makes The Blacklist sail to new heights; heights that they have come close to hitting before–but never reached in the way that “The Kilgannon Corporation” did. When Dembe was preparing to infiltrate The Kilgannon Corporation’s human smuggling ring, Red was more worried than we have ever seen him, possibly more worried than he has ever been about Liz:

Aram: “Not if we have someone on the inside to document it for us.”
Red: “Absolutely not.”
Dembe: “I’ve already been approved for transport.”
Red: “You went in to get a name.
You got it.
Mission accomplished.”
Dembe: “People are dying.”
Red: “Which is why you mustn’t go.”
Dembe: “Or why I must.
I know what it feels like to be seen as less than human.
A thing transported for money.
You saved me from that.
Which is why I know you’ll want me to try and save others.”
Red: “I’ll fly you back to Thessaloniki, then head up to Berlin and wait for your arrival.
If we lose contact, the Task Force will track you from the point of departure.
And I can work backwards from the destination until we find you.”
Dembe: “If something goes wrong…”

Red: “It won’t.”
Dembe: “If it does-“

Red: “I’ll look after your family.”
Dembe: “I know you will.
But my concern is, who will look after you?”

Even with his life possibly about to be in grave danger, Dembe’s only concern is making sure that Red has someone to take care of him, someone to show him that light and love still exist.

When it looks like Dembe might be on the verge of death as he and and a group of other migrants were trapped inside an air tight truck, Red opens up to Liz over the phone about Dembe and how much he means to him:

Red: “Dembe didn’t stay with me because he saw me as his savior.
He stayed with me because he saw me for the man I really was, a man surrounded by darkness.
No friends who could be trusted, no faith that loyalty or love could ever truly exist.
I was Well, I was younger then.
Dembe connected his life with mine to show me, that day and every day, that the world is not what I fear it to be.
He is the light in the darkness.
Living proof that there is another way, that life can be good that people can be kind, that a man like me might one day dream of becoming a man like him.
He pledged his life, offered it up as evidence that I was wrong about this world.
Dembe guards my life because he’s determined to save my soul.”

After the danger is over and Dembe is saved, Red expresses the fear that he felt at the thought of losing him:

Red: “I thought I’d lost you.”
Dembe: “Not yet, old friend.”
Red: “The world can be such an unsparingly savage place.
One could be forgiven for believing that evil will triumph in the end.”
Dembe: “Those who believe so are wrong.”
Red: “If you’d died today, like that, it would be all the proof I needed that you are the one who is wrong.”
Dembe: “And here I am.”
Red: “And here you are.”

You bet I cried at every one of these scenes.

But these moments between Red and Dembe weren’t the only emotional ones of “The Kilgannon Corporation.”

The smile between Red and Ressler at the end of the episode when The Task Force had brought a group of ten migrants to him to safely relocate, instead of turning them over to the police to get deported, meant so much.

They both reveled in the feeling of saving innocent people looking for a better life because they have more in common than they realize. They will always have their differences of course, but in the end they are part of a team, part of something bigger, and they will always support each other.

So rarely does it happen that a show fixes the problems of its past season and returns to the quality that it first started with, but The Blacklist has done it. This season has returned to the roots and standard of the show that we all fell in love with, and all I can say is–Bravo.

Things also came to a head with Tom and the suitcase in “The Kilgannon Corporation” as the mysterious third player took Tom, the woman he was working with, and her partner captive. This third player killed both the woman and her partner, leaving Tom the only one alive, and he’s not in good shape. In the promo for the fall finale (ya I know, it’s crazy that it’s here already) Tom is repeatedly tortured, beaten, and bloodied by his captor. If Tom is going to make it out of this, Red is his only hope. My opinion though is that Tom is about to meet his maker next week. Major character deaths are always reserved for the fall finale or season finale-and the fall finale is upon us. Since the beginning of the season many conversations and flash forwards have foreshadowed Tom’s death, and it looks like they’re all about to come true.

Check out the promo for yourself below and let me know in the comments, do you think Tom is going to be killed off next week? Or do you think he’s going to continue to be the cat with nine lives?

The Blacklist fall finale airs Wednesday at 8/9c on NBC.

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