Most Wanted | The Blacklist “Masha Rostova” Review
The Blacklist delivers the one-two punch in “Masha Rostova,” the season two finale. Even if at first Liz doesn’t want to admit it, it is clear that the Cabal have successfully framed Liz for the murder of Senator Hawkins. She refuses to run even with Raymond Reddington’s help. By the end of the episode, we were promised that Liz would remember everything from the night of the fire, everything that Red wanted her to forget.
Tom Connolly, the US Attorney General, goes to the Post Office to bring in Elizabeth Keen. She still believes that she can fight this without running. It isn’t until she overhears a conversation between Connolly and Harold Cooper that she realizes she has to run. Connolly immediately goes to Cooper since Cooper has been under Connolly’s thumb since his tumor diagnosis. Connolly explains the extent of the Cabal’s plot to frame Liz. This is the first time that we see Cooper stand up to Connolly. He refuses to go along with framing one of his agents. Sadly, Connolly has too much power over him and puts Cooper on Administrative Leave.
Now, it’s too late; Liz must run for her life if she has any hope of clearing her name. Liz immediately calls Reddington to get her out of the Post Office. As she heads up the elevator, the doors open to reveal Tom Connolly along with multiple agents and what looks like a mini SWAT team. I guess they need that many people to take in Liz. During her interrogation, one of the men reveals that Liz’s birth name is Masha Rostova. She tries to explain that she’s been framed, but no one is buying it. Even the Deputy Attorney General isn’t sure of Liz’s conspiracy theory, but she knows who is willing to get to the truth. She puts Agent Ressler in charge of the task force and the investigation of Liz. Then, Aram brings down the hammer; Liz tested positive for the virus that killed Senator Hawkins.
After being forced to go on Administrative Leave, Harold Cooper turns to Reddington. Red assures Cooper that they are going to walk Liz right out the front door by revealing that he has a man on the inside that will help Liz escape. Sure enough, Red has the power cut at the Post Office giving Liz exactly 90 seconds to escape. Just as she is about to exit, Ressler finds her. He assures her that they can fight this from the right side of the law. Liz reminds him that he only has a few seconds to either take her back or let her go before the cameras catch them talking. In the end, he lets her go.
Liz runs right into the arms of Tom Keen. After she finds out that the scientist, Andropov, infected her with the virus at Union Station, she’s not sure how to fight the Cabal. She goes to Tom for comfort. She wants to leave with him and never look back, but he knows that Liz deserves answers. After a night with Tom, Liz is ready to fight the Cabal. She finds records from Cooper’s doctor on a flash drive found in Andropov’s apartment. Before she leaves, she promises to come back to Tom, but he knows that this may very well be the end of them.
Cooper interrogates his doctor who he now realizes is working for the Cabal. Cooper confirms with the doctor that there never was a clinical trial. The drugs were all generated by Andropov. Cooper thinks that he is not getting better. His doctor lets him know that Cooper was never sick in the first place. Everything was faked from the brain scans to the symptoms to the clinical trial. It was all staged by Andropov. Cooper is perfectly healthy.
Meanwhile, Reddington is rounding up the finest investigative journalists in the world. He shows them the Fulcrum and tells them the story of the Cabal. Reddington wants them to do their job and investigate the Cabal and the stories contained in the Fulcrum. Then, they are to report it. Red does at least warn them that by doing this they have exposed themselves as enemies of the Cabal and can be in grave danger.
It turns out that Cooper’s doctor recorded all of his conversations with Tom Connolly, which will expose his blackmail and involvement with the Cabal. Cooper and Liz take this information directly to Connolly to get him to drop all charges against Liz. Connolly is not easily swayed. He actually seems to laugh off their accusations. Even when Liz points her gun at him, Connolly does not falter. He explains that there is a plan for everyone on the task force; some sort of criminal charges will be brought against all of them. Connolly knows that he is only a cog in the machine and killing him won’t do anything but hurt Elizabeth Keen. She doesn’t seem to care and kills Connolly on the spot.
Now, it’s time for Liz to run. She calls Reddington who vows to get her far away from the Cabal. When Red comes to pick her up, she tells him that she remembers everything. The memories came back when she killed Connolly. When she pulled the trigger, she got flashes of pulling a trigger the night of the fire when she was a child. She remembers her parents fighting and her dad hurting her mom. Liz was the one who pulled the trigger and killed her father. Red blocked her memory not to protect him but to protect her.