Spoiler Alert: Do not read if you haven’t seen The Blacklist Season 2, Ep. 6 – “The Mombasa Cartel.”
Leave it to The Blacklist to give us the most haunting image of this Halloween season. This may only be the start of Halloween episodes for the week, but I can’t imagine much can top a campfire of stuffed humans.
Last season the criminals ticked off The Blacklist remained resolutely in the evil mastermind realm, but this season there is a noticeable shift towards evil organizations. It feels a lot more realistic, because there are far more corrupt and terrifying groups than there are cartoonishly villainous individuals. But realism isn’t exactly one of The Blacklist’s draws. Maintaining that level of camp can wear thin and The Blacklist is smart to at least attempt to vary its villains.
This week they worked the best of both worlds; a despicable poacher gang being targeted by the creepiest taxidermy enthusiasts (and that is a high bar) you’ve ever seen. And in case the weirdoes abducting, hunting and stuffing humans were too sympathetic there was a millionaire mogul behind it all. It was like if Dexter had a soft spot for wild animals. Only scarier, if that makes any sense.
So Ressler got to save the day even through his brutal withdrawal, mother and son got a fitting end and we got the Dembe backstory we never knew we wanted. I kept waiting for the 29-year flashback to come into play within the poacher storyline and never even thought the boy could be Dembe or that that was why Red was so adamant about going after the gang. I also couldn’t have predicted how effected I was by that reveal. I credit that completely to James Spader’s performance. Get this man an Emmy already! Or at least a nomination.
This episode did the impossible, it was so engaging I didn’t even mind that we barely learned anything about the dual ongoing mysteries. But we did get two new nuggets of truth. One, I think we can rule out the possibility that Zoe is Red’s daughter. No matter how long its been since she’s seen him, I’m pretty sure she would have recognized him if she knew him.
And two, even though Liz went so far as to arrest Ezra and risk Red’s arrest, her secret behind door number one was revealed, at least to us, and it was Tom! That would have been a whole lot more shocking if wasn’t made clear three episodes ago.
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