Holy mackerel, Batman!
Now that's how you do a finale.
The Blacklist Season 1 Episode 22 was near perfection. The hour flew by quickly without a moment wasted, the Berlin story made sense, answers were revealed and the conclusion set up season 2 without a major cliffhanger. Brilliant.
The chase to find Berlin was tragic and ultimately unsuccessful. He proved to be at or above Red's level of cunning and manipulation. From the moment the plane went out of control, he set up an elaborate ruse to escape and he had proxies to do his dirty work. His business had been hampered by the task force, so he targeted them first.
Meera Malik had her throat slit and Harold Cooper nearly died. That's a high cost for the operation, but it only make the task force more determined than ever to find Berlin. By cutting off his own hand, he bought himself time by passing himself off as a guard. It was mesmerizing to watch the fake cover play out and then unravel.
Since Tom showed up at the fake Berlin's place, it's possible that even he didn't know that wasn't the real Berlin. If I have a disappointment from the hour, it's that Tom was shot and presumably killed. His story didn't feel like it reached its conclusion. I hope that since his body was missing that maybe he survived the bullet wounds. It would take a miracle, but it's possible.
The main mystery that's been explored throughout the season was touched upon, but not entirely answered in the finale. Who is Elizabeth Keen? I was satisfied with both the extent of the information revealed, as well as, what remains a secret. There will likely be a debate about how to interpret some of the clues too.
What seems to be undeniable truth is that Liz was saved from a fire, she was taken to Sam by a man, and then her rescuer left. Her father was in house during the fire as well. What remains unclear is who her father is and what happened to him. Red said her father died in the fire, but Tom whispered to Liz that her father is still alive.
Further complicating the issue is that Liz believes that her father saved her from the fire. It's possible he saved her and then went back into the fire for some reason and died. I'm not going to speculate on whether he's alive or dead, because we don't have enough information to really answer that.
While some will undoubtedly claim that Red is Liz's biological father, I still hold firm that he's not. It just doesn't jive with the story of his wife and daughter. His burned back would instead support that he's the one who took Liz from her home and left her with Sam. Those two men have a connection that's still to be revealed and it likely involves Liz's biological father as well.
Red saved Liz and now he's responsible for her as the proverb goes. I was happy to see Liz show up to see Red before he left. She made the tough choice to stay and not run away. She may never trust him, but he holds the answers that she needs and he's also the best asset she has to get payback for Malik and Cooper.
Berlin remains on the loose and he'll likely continue to target the task force and Red. He wants revenge for his daughter's death and payback for getting her remains sent to him piece by piece. Whether Red was involved in her death or not remains unknown, but he did at least know of her.
On The Blacklist Season 1 Episode 4, Red took the #79 photograph out of the Stewmaker's trophy book. The face on the photograph matches that in Berlin's pocket watch. Berlin's daughter was killed by the Stewmaker. What remains a mystery is why and at who's behest?
Red and Liz have the advantage of knowing that Berlin is still out there while their adversary believes they think he's dead. That may just be enough to make Berlin slip up and give the FBI a lead on finding him and taking him out before he gets them.
There are lots of great questions to think about over the summer. It's also a good time to watch The Blacklist online from the beginning to look for more clues and answers.
Is Red Liz's father?