‘The Blacklist’ 5×17 Review: ‘Anna Gracia Duerte’

In “Anna Gracia Duerte” The Blacklist tackled the sensitive topic of child brides and arranged marriages. “Anna Gracia Duerte” a 17 year old girl, was the target the Task Force was after. She had been a child bride, forced by her parents to marry the man who raped her in order to not bring shame on her family. Once she couldn’t take living with him anymore, she took matters into her own hands and killed him. To stop other child brides from having to go through what she did, she set up a system in which she would kill their husbands for them if they asked.

This story line gave Samar a rare turn in the spotlight, as one of her best friends as a child was forced into an arranged marriage with a much older man and Samar never saw her again. Samar was able to talk Anna down by relaying this story to her, and it lead to a touching moment between them. Samara and the Task Force were also able to convince the U.S. Attorney to try Anna as a minor for her crimes instead of an adult, so she would not have to go to an adult prison, and would be out by the time she was 21 instead of spending most of her life in jail.

“Anna Gracia Duerte” also focused on Liz finding out that Red had stolen the key witness for bringing down Ian Garvey, and she finally confronted him. She was understandably angry at first and told him that what he had done was unforgivable. Later in the episode Red and his team saved her and Aram from an ambush by Ian Garvey’s people, and Liz thanked him for saving her life and more or less decided to let forgive him for stealing the witness. I was really pleased with how this turned out as it was an example of a more mature and level-headed dialogue between the two. Usually Liz ends up yelling at Red and telling him that he’s the reason her life was ruined, but this time she recognized everything he has done to keep her safe while letting him know why she was upset in a rational way.

I still think Red should just tell everyone what his secret is before Garvey breaks their deal and all hell breaks loose, but again whatever his secret is, it must be something so integral to his identity that he absolutely can’t risk anyone finding out. Red wasn’t just going to sit back and let Garvey control him however. Anna Gracia Duerte happened to have robbed a member of the Nash Syndicate before she was apprehended by the Task Force, and had thrown a ledger that the man owned away. This ledger was full of drug routes for the Nash Syndicate, and Red managed to retrieve it from the garbage with the help of Liz and Dembe. Red is taking aim at Garvey’s business, aiming to bring down all of his protection so he can no longer hide behind his network of criminals.

Next week, the Task Force is following a lead that Red has on Garvey, and it’s taking them to Paris. It’s always fun to see the Task Force in new settings outside of D.C. or other states on the East coast, so I absolutely can’t wait for “Zarak Mosadek” next week. Not to mention we get to see the Task Force in civilian clothes as they try to keep a low profile.

Read the synopsis and check out the trailer for “Zarak Mosadek” below.


In an attempt to apply pressure to Ian Garvey, Red and the Task Force head to Paris to track down a prominent heroin supplier for the Nash Syndicate. Distrustful of Red’s agenda, Liz takes her own path in going after Garvey.

The Blacklist airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on NBC.

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