Goodbyes | The Blacklist “The Artax Network” Review
The Blacklist delivered a sad and yet surprising episode with “The Artax Network.” The funeral for Elizabeth Keen was heartbreaking. Red revealed a secret in this episode, and Aram started to crack the case on the people responsible for Liz’s death. It seems increasingly unlikely that Liz has faked her death, so I guess my theory is wrong. Only time will tell how our characters will move on after the loss of a crucial team member.
Ressler is highly focused on finding Liz’s killers and has to be reminded that it’s time for her funeral. Harold Cooper delivered a beautiful eulogy reminding us of Liz’s legacy with the FBI. Cooper even reminded Tom of their love by saying, “Liz followed her hearth and against all odds, it led her back to the man she loved.” Everyone was present to remember Liz, everyone except for Raymond Reddington, who was nowhere to be seen.
At her gravesight, Aram can’t hold it in any longer; he needs to say something. He talks about all of the things that Liz loved. He wanted to express how they were friends and that he only called her Agent Keen out of the respect he had for her. Aram is clearly not handling this well, and he’s truly broken after losing a dear friend. At the end of the funeral, Tom whispers something to Liz’s casket, a promise of some sort?
Since Red is absent at Liz’s funeral, where did he go? He shows up at the door of a man’s house. He apologizes to this man and tells him that his granddaughter is dead. Are you seriously telling me that Liz had a living grandfather, the father of her birth mother, this entire time?! It just goes to show how good Red is at keeping secrets. Liz’s grandfather has zero sympathy for Red. As far as he is concerned, Red is responsible for the death of his entire family. It also appears that Red is to blame for keeping Liz and her grandfather apart. He tells Red, “I loved that girl enough to let her go which is more than you can say.”
While Red is there, Aram finds him. Dembe gave Aram Red’s location. Aram asks for Red’s help to catch the men responsible for Liz’s death. He tries to appeal to Red and even calls in his favor. If you remember, Red once thanked Aram for saving Liz from the Cabal and told Aram that he owes him. When Aram tries to collect, Red says that he can’t do it. Eventually, Red relents and tells Aram to strap on his bike helmet because they are going to work. The team is back!
Aram proves his worth this episode when he traces the men responsible for Liz’s death back to The Artax Network. This network is now defunct, but at one time, it was supposed to provide 24/7 nationwide surveillance. This is how the men had up to the minute updates. Aram finds out that the group were also surveilling a man named Benjamin Stadler. Stadler works for a company who is responsible for recommending which companies get billion dollar government contracts.
Ressler and Samar foil the group’s plans to abduct Stadler. They bring him back to the Post Office, but Stadler doesn’t want to stay. They try to tell him that they are only there to protect him, but Stadler thinks his security is enough. It seems that Cynthia Panabaker, who we assumed was on the task force’s side, knows more than she is letting on. Stadler met with a mysterious woman right before his attempted kidnapping. Later, Tom photographed this woman speaking with Panabaker. What is their plan here? Does Panabaker know who the people are behind the Artax Network?
Although he didn’t do a whole lot in this episode, Tom is always a crucial character. Seeing him with Agnus is both heartbreaking and heartwarming. He is having a tough time attacking fatherhood solo. We see Tom trying to swaddle a baby doll in the hospital with little to no luck. Eventually he does get it right and has a tender moment with his newborn daughter. Agnus was born prematurely, but hopefully, she can go home soon with her father.
Throughout the episode, Tom was offering his help to catch the people responsible for Liz’s death. Tom told Cooper that they need to sink to the bad guys’ level. Tom offers to do shady things to get the job done. Cooper takes him up on the offer, and Tom snaps photos of the mysterious brunette talking with Panabaker. Since we don’t yet know who she is, Tom provides us with an interesting theory. Tom is convinced that this woman is Katarina Rostova. Could this really be Liz’s mother? If so, what is she doing working in contact with Panabaker?