The Blacklist Season 8 Episode 15 Review: The Russian Knot

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So what exactly did Liz accomplish?

She competed with the Task Force to take possession of an ancient Russian cipher machine on The Blacklist Season 8 Episode 15.

Liz thought her mother's storage container full of old classified ads would prove beyond a doubt that Red was N13. All she came away with was a cryptic message for her efforts.

A Loyalty Test -- Tall - The Blacklist Season 8 Episode 15

That, and she seemed to have leveled the playing field with Townsend.

The episode was one long caper, and that's never a bad thing. Still, we're not any closer to any answers or anything resembling a conclusion.

Leaning on Partner - The Blacklist Season 8 Episode 15

There had to be a fallout from Liz's interfering with Townsend's operation to capture Red in Anne's hometown on The Blacklist Season 8 Episode 14.

And Townsend, who is wackadoodle to use a psychiatric term, had a rather graphic way to illustrate his displeasure, threatening to asphyxiate first his men who failed and Liz, who he held responsible for Reddington escaping.

That was fair because she ran off after accidentally killing Anne instead of shooting Raymond when she had the chance.

It was a shame that Anne, the only innocent in this situation, didn't survive. Red is going to have to live with that, something else on his conscience.

Under Suspicion - The Blacklist Season 8 Episode 15

Liz needs Townsend for his resources. However, she had to find a way to tame him rather than live in fear, and she did manage to accomplish that.

Unlike Red, Townsend rules through fear rather than loyalty. So it was simpler for Liz to turn his people.

Also, Neville's dreams told him that Liz was going to be helpful to him. The man needs to get better sleep or better sedatives.

It almost seems that Liz is getting the edge over Reddington.

Unexpected Visitor - The Blacklist Season 8 Episode 15

He's kept his people in line, and Park remains in his pocket. But most of the Task Force doesn't trust him, with Harold following up on Liz's theory that Raymond is N13. Ressler is definitely in her camp. Liz is also rising in Townsend's organization.

But Red's been at this for a long time and knows how to hide his tracks.

Harold doesn't even blink anymore at Reddington's outrageous requests.

Red said that Townsend and Liz were using a fortune teller's ad to communicate and that he needed an obscure Russian cipher machine to decrypt it. And Cooper has his team packing their bags to Minsk.

Red's Knowledge - The Blacklist Season 8 Episode 15

So an FBI team just swept into a Belarusian museum under the pretense of chasing an international fugitive who had just donated a priceless Cezanne painting. Could the KGB get away with doing that at the Guggenheim?

Better yet, Liz's team, without any law-enforcement authority, managed to infiltrate the museum just as simply.

What a crack security force the museum had, with two teams of robbers unimpeded while vying to steal an exhibit.

The funniest scene had to be when Ruddiger caused the floor to drop so that Liz and her former teammates were looking straight at each other.

New Tool - The Blacklist Season 8 Episode 15

After letting Ressler take the device, Liz had to find another way to use it, so she negotiated that get-together in the park.

Since Harold appears to be on Team Liz, why did he plan that elaborate effort to trap her? Just to save her from herself, I guess.

But her counter of having all those young women in red coats was genius and made it easy for her to slip away.

In the end, thanks to Ressler, Liz did crack Raymond's code, using the Cyrillic alphabet. It wasn't exactly a smoking gun, but it did indicate that Reddington has some tie to Russia for sure.

It's a good thing the Task Force was doing the heavy lifting for Red since he had a couple of other situations with which to deal.

Giving Directions - The Blacklist Season 8 Episode 15

First was taking care of Anne's family, in this case, her daughter Emma.

He was able to accomplish that in large part thanks to Paula, of all people.

Little did Raymond know that Anne told Emma everything except, apparently, what her fugitive boyfriend looked like.

Emma forced him to admit, at least to himself, that he should never have dragged Anne into his violent world, however unintentional.

How could Emma have not figured out that her mother's fugitive boyfriend was sitting right in front of her?

Testing Liz - The Blacklist Season 8 Episode 15

Then came the return of Paula, who most fans never expected to see again after Glen's death. Little wonder Reddington and Dembe were baffled by her call.

Leave it to Glenn to inconvenience Red from the beyond the grave for a second time.

It only makes sense that a person so full of himself as Glen was would have been working on a memoir, making him out as bigger than life itself.

And sweet Paula's idea of blackmailing was to hit up Raymond for a loan of $172. A couple of hundred bucks to buy the manuscript was a much more equitable arrangement.

Red didn't get where he is today by not being able to recognize talent. It would be logical to use Paula's unique set of sources and turn her into his new finder, replacing Glen. That must be the business proposition he had for her.

New Weapon - The Blacklist Season 8 Episode 15

To follow the history of Paula and Glen, watch The Blacklist online.

Were you surprised to see Paula again?

Were you saddened by Anne's fate?

Is Liz making progress?

Comment below.

The Russian Knot Review

Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
  • 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.8 / 5.0 (20 Votes)

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

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The Blacklist Season 8 Episode 15 Quotes

It's not exactly Little Orphan Annie's decoder ring.


Elizabeth, don't disappoint me again.

Townsend [to Liz]