‘The Blacklist’ 6×13 and 14 Review: The Osterman Umbrella Company

Not a single fan of The Blacklist ever wants to see Aram hurting, but man did it make for one of the best episodes The Blacklist has had in years.

The first hour was a lighthearted treasure hunt lead by Red and his old mentor Robert Vesco played by the absolute legend Stacy Keach. It’s always a treat when we get to see James Spader flex his comedic acting muscles, but even more so when he gets to do it with another brilliant actor.

Seriously though, James Spader can do it all. Just give him an Emmy already.

After the first hour however came “The Osterman Umbrella Company,” and that’s when the tears began to flow. The love that we’ve watched blossom between Samar and Aram from an adorable crush to one of the most loving and supportive relationships I’ve seen on TV, has been one of the most understated and vital elements of The Blacklist.

The relationship between Aram and Samar adds the human element to the show that reminds us why we love these characters and this team so much. Without the Task Force, Aram and Samar would never have met and found the love of their lives.

Their love illustrates beautifully how the Task Force has given each member of the team heartbreak in some way, but also some of the best things in their lives. The Task Force has always walked the tightrope between good and evil, between chaos and peace.

Aram and Samar are the grounding force for the other members of the group. They are the moral center that shows the good that can come from the work the Task Force does, but now they are the ultimate example of heartbreak. I really didn’t realize how important their relationship was until it was all ripped away. That saying “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone” really fits this situation. I always took Aram and Samar for granted, and now I’m realizing how much I’m going to miss the two of them together.

None of this would have had such a tectonic impact if it weren’t for Amir Arison and Mozhan Marno. Every scene they had together during these two hours absolutely broke my heart.

The scene at the end of the episode when Aram was talking to Samar on the phone for the last time and realizing he would never see her again was absolutely heartwrenching and that was thanks to Amir Arison. You could see on his face that Aram was about to break down, and when his face crumbled and he burst into tears as he said “Who’s going to take care of you If I’m not there” it absolutely broke me. I don’t think I’ve ever really cried watching The Blacklist before, but I definitely did during that scene.

I’ve said in pretty much every episode review that Aram and Samar were two of the most overlooked characters on this show, and that was extremely apparent in these two episodes. I never realized how much I cared about the two of them together because they were never focused on enough.

Unfortunately now it’s time for Mozhan Marno to move on, and I can’t wait to see what she does next. She is an absolutely brilliant actress and I’m sure we’ll get to see her in so many amazing roles in the next chapter of her career.

Now that Samar is gone though, we’ll have to watch Aram deal with the fallout, and that’s going to be very painful. In “The Osterman Umbrella Company” we already saw Aram punch Red in the face for his role in Samar’s departure. It looks like next week he’s going to take that a step further by attempting to blackmail Red into telling him where Samar is.

I’m not at all excited for this, because I’ve always loved the relationship between Red and Aram. Aram has always been the one that was a friend to Red. He could see the good in him (because that’s what Aram does with everyone) and always gave him the benefit of the doubt.

Red has always had a soft spot for Aram and he really does care about him. That was extremely apparent when Red murdered Levi, not necessarily because he put the hit out on Samar, but because he manipulated Aram into causing it to happen.

You can say a lot of things about Red, but he protects fiercely anyone he cares about, and will stop at nothing to get revenge for them if he can’t help in any other way. The most heartbreaking part now is that in Aram’s eyes, Red is responsible for taking Samar away from him, even though it was Samar’s decision and Red is just doing his part to keep her safe.

Aram is understandably blinded with rage, shock, heartbreak, and loss, but I hope he comes to his senses before he does something to Red that he’ll regret and that will force Red to fight back.

During their confrontation when Red told Aram that Samar wasn’t coming to meet him, Red was on the verge of tears. He even told Dembe to back off when he stepped up to protect him from Aram. Hurting Aram was the last thing Red ever wanted to do. He doesn’t like this situation anymore than anyone else does, and he definitely won’t want to fight back against Aram. Let’s hope the Task Force can get to Aram and stop him before something catastrophic happens.

Check out the synopsis and trailer for next week’s episode below and tune in to see what happens when Aram tries to go against Red.


The task force searches for a woman who specializes in hostile takeovers of criminal organizations and may have intelligence about a conspiracy involving a presidential advisor; Aram enacts a daring plan to gain leverage over Red.

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

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