The Blacklist Season 8 Episode 14 Review: Misere

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Well, that explains a lot.

It was illustrated on The Blacklist Season 8 Episode 14 that Liz wasn't as far away as it seemed over the past few months.

In fact, she was just out of sight this whole time. 

Liz Has a Gun -- Tall - The Blacklist Season 8 Episode 14

This episode also covered a lot of the weird happenings that have occurred since Liz was last seen on-screen months ago back on The Blacklist Season 8 Episode 4.

And much of what has happened was Mr. Kaplan's fault.

Still in the Crosshairs - The Blacklist Season 8 Episode 14

Has anyone else missed Mr. Kaplan, who died back on The Blacklist Season 4 Episode 22?

She was always Red's other conscience, beside Dembe. That's ultimately what led to her death.

And she's still haunting Raymond from the grave, currently as the personification of Liz's psychosis. 

Yes, Kate obviously made a lasting impression on Liz. She attempted to protect Liz from Reddington when she was alive.

Now, she's providing sound advice to a waffling Liz. That explains why Liz has become more ruthless this season. Mr. Kaplan is Liz's dark side.

Liz is Back - The Blacklist Season 8 Episode 14

So when did Liz suffer this psychotic break? Likely when Raymond shot Katarina back on The Blacklist Season 8 Episode 2.

Why didn't we notice this before? Part of it was that what Liz was doing just seemed like a woman seeking vengeance. Nothing out of the ordinary about that.

Reddington had trained Liz to become his heir apparent and it had just come back to bite him in the ass. Simple enough, right?

Then there was the angle of Liz attempting to prove that Red was N13. That was something a well-meaning FBI agent should be doing. So that wasn't out of the ordinary.

But teaming up with Neville Townsend ... that was a bad idea no matter how you slice it. There was no controlling Townsend when Liz set him on Raymond's tail.

Liz's Tempermental Ally - The Blacklist Season 8 Episode 14

As Townsend preaches, again and again, this episode, "There can be no space between what you want to happen and what you're willing to do to make it happen."

If that meant torturing the series' most sympathetic character in Dembe, or abducting a facilitator who knows too much, or shooting up a small-town police station, so be it.

Looking at the events of the past three months from Liz's perspective made it apparent how events have slipped out of her control.

Early on, she just had to displace Marvin then financially seduce his replacement, Skip, to steal a good chunk of Reddington's fortune, to fund her vengeance operation.

Only Skip by himself hardly stacked up against Raymond's army of associates and underlings, none of whom would turn against him. So Liz had to find new people who could help her.

Liz's Helper - The Blacklist Season 8 Episode 14

She logically tried to look up an acquaintance of her mother's, Mr. French. Only Red was back to being a step ahead of her, taking him out of the picture.

Mrs. French was a gem, willing to help Liz and Agnes despite having a missing husband. She was also good for pep talks.

Liz also was aided by the ghost of Mr. Kaplan. Why then? Probably because that's when things were darkest for her, with no obvious direction to turn.

Once Kate suggested Neville Townsend as a possible ally, Liz got herself back on track, plotting out the steps that lead to the events which happened over the past nine episodes.

So she was behind the theft of Raymond's encrypted flash drive, the freeing of The Freelancer, and the "saving" of Chemical Mary, all of which facilitated her alliance with Townsend.

Agnes's Nanny - The Blacklist Season 8 Episode 14

Only that was when the wheels fell off. Liz couldn't realistically expect Townsend to follow her lead or even to be her partner. Once she turned him loose, havoc was sure to follow. And she certainly couldn't call him off, as she discovered in Kansas.

And the worst thing was that when Liz tried to assert control again, the most innocent person got hurt (killed?). And while Red was contemplating escaping to a simpler life, he won't be now.

Here's hoping the ambulance got there in time for Anne and she and Red can go back to their separate, normal lives.

But the big question now is what's next for Liz?

She's burnt her bridges with the FBI, with Raymond, and now with Townsend. And her being mentally ill isn't likely to carry much weight with any of them.

Liz's Captive - The Blacklist Season 8 Episode 14

First, has she overcome her psychotic break? She didn't shoot Red when she had the chance, so maybe Good Liz has resurfaced.

If so, the smart move would be to forget about revenge and take some of those millions to set up a new life in a country without an extradition treaty with the U.S.

Certainly, have Mrs. French take Agnes someplace safe. However, maybe Mrs. French is too nice, and she shouldn't be trusted either.

But Liz hasn't been making many smart moves this season. Taking on Raymond surely wasn't one. So maybe she could coordinate with Cooper and/or Ressler to take down Townsend and then work things out with Reddington afterward.
I missed the Task Force this episode. Well, at least Cooper and Aram. 
Coming Up With a Plan - The Blacklist Season 8 Episode 14

To follow Liz's dubious choices, watch The Blacklist online.

Does this season make more sense to you now?

How much did you miss the Task Force?

What's Liz's next move?

Comment below.

Misere Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.2 / 5.0 (180 Votes)

Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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The Blacklist Season 8 Episode 14 Quotes

Skip: How do we recruit [Mary]?
Liz: With the help of criminals. And I know a lot of criminals.

You know what you have to do. Listen to your heart. The enemy of your enemy is your friend.

Mr. Kaplan [to Liz]