So it appeared that Liz has been paying attention to Red through the years.
She applied what she's learned on The Blacklist Season 8 Episode 4, tricking both him and the task force members.
By episode's end, Liz ended up on more even footing with Raymond, at least financially.
That still doesn't mean her vendetta against Reddington isn't ridiculous.
Poor Marvin summed it up best, scoffing at her, defending the honor of a woman who abandoned her as a child and killed her grandfather.
There's no way Liz should be coming down on Katarina's side. But for some incomprehensible reason, she is.
I think Dembe is onto something. Something in Red's subconscious acknowledges his failing health. So he shot Katarina in front of Liz to bring her over to the dark side.
Still, he honestly seemed dumbfounded when Dembe proposed this notion.
Can this be a happy coincidence that Red has accomplished his ultimate goal when she's set her sights on killing him?
Also, everyone was conflicted, but Liz least so.
We finally got our Liz-and-Ressler moment, but it was too sad to be enjoyable -- all that sexual tension fizzled because they were too busy saying goodbye without actually expressing it.
Liz wasn't just using him. She had real feelings for him since he's always had her back. Now, for once, they were friends with benefits.
Ressler knew what they were doing was wrong, at least under the circumstances. Then again, this was the only time they could come together since they aren't likely to be co-workers again, at least in the immediate future.
And Ressler just reeked guilt. That's why he admitted, first to Aram, then to everybody, that he had been in contact with Liz.
And Liz knew that which is why she fed him so much false information, both directly and indirectly.
Without him spouting her disinformation, Liz's plan couldn't have succeeded.
Was Liz's attempted recruitment of Tadashi just a feint, knowing he would run to Raymond? Or did she honestly believe his operatives would switch from Team Red to Team Liz on just the promise of a brighter future when she was in charge?
Why hasn't Reddington cut her off at the knees by choosing someone else as his heir apparent, which is currently her biggest selling point?
Likely because he has nobody else to appoint. And as all those pill bottles attest, Red is feeling his mortality of late.
What difference does it make if disease kills him or Liz kills him? Either way, he's still dead.
At least all he's worked for throughout the decades wouldn't just collapse. Still, it seems like a pretty extreme way to accomplish his goal of getting Liz to accept she could be the queenpin of crime.
Whether Liz has the ruthlessness to do so is still to be determined. She's proven she can kill, but it's always been people that deserve it.
One could even make the argument that Red deserves it. But where would the series be without him, especially going into a ninth season?
What she was doing was mostly strategy, and she appeared to be losing the game early on, with Raymond blocking her at every turn, keeping his people from straying.
She definitely factored people's feelings about her into her campaign, starting with Ressler.
Harold wanted the task force to find and capture Liz, if for no other reason than to keep her safe from Red, who has continually said she's not to be harmed despite her threats to kill him.
It's hard to win with one hand tied behind your back.
Esi, on the other hand, was smart to disappear partly through the episode. Reddington doesn't have the same warm-and-fuzzies about her.
Liz knew how the task force functioned and could easily divert them so that she could spirit Agnes away from the warmhearted Aram.
However, her plan only took flight when she succeeded in turning Skip, who had far less loyalty to Red than any others she approached.
How did Red ever believe Liz had turned Marvin, even with the plane ticket and the reservations in his name? There's no way that fake should have fooled him.
It helped that he was distracted by his Russian ally's request to make data disappear from the House's server.
Granted, he found the weak link in Gwen and made short work of that task. But it allowed Liz to scheme while off his radar, and she took advantage of that.
All Red's trip to Moscow yielded was some more from the Sikorsky Archive for him and affirmation that he is M-13. He also got the OK from his partners in crime to handle Liz his way ... for now.
But were they aware that Liz had ripped him off for 35 million Euros? That can't improve his standing internationally, can it?
At least Harold, Ressler, and Aram reaffirmed their commitment to tracking down Liz, whatever their feelings for her. I notice they don't bother to invite Park to their meetings anymore. She's a shoot-first, emote-later kind of gal.
This storyline has improved through this short season. Katarina is gone (good riddance), and Liz now appears content to ruin Red financially instead of just attempting to kill him.
Maybe this will result in a reboot of the series. Liz becomes Red while he works closely with the task force, in part to bring Liz down.
To figure out Liz's motivation, watch The Blacklist online.
Does Red have a master plan concerning Liz?
Why did he ever doubt Marvin?
What's Liz's next move?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.