The Blacklist Season 9 Episode 17 Review: El Conejo

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Aram must feel better now about leaving behind his baby, the Greylock code. 

One primary thread left dangling from the hiatus years got tied up on The Blacklist Season 9 Episode 17.

When the Task Force was reconstituted two years after Elizabeth's death, it seemed that Aram had given up the most to return.

Taken Hostage -- Tall - The Blacklist Season 9 Episode 17

He'd walked away from the private sector just as the big tech dollars were starting to flow in for his Greylock code.

But when Aram got rewarded with a promotion, Greylock drew him back in.

Cartel Target - The Blacklist Season 9 Episode 17

Whatever got Aram thinking about the origins of Greylock on his big day? Was it a premonition? Or was he attempting to convince himself that he'd made the right choice?

Based on what happened to him, it was probably the latter. Greylock turned out to be dangerous for Aram.

Instead of getting his chance to shine at a National Intelligence meeting, Aram found himself in the grasp of a murderous avocado tycoon.

Who knew that avocados were such hot commodities that a cartel jefe would switch to those from cocaine?

Agent Cooper - The Blacklist Season 9 Episode 17

The good thing about being a computer geek is that no one else knows what they're looking at in coding.

That's why a stupified Aram could convince a macho killer such as El Conejo to turn over his laptop. Binary was a foreign language to Don Marquez.

This weakness allowed Aram to determine how he had unintentionally been set up by the real hijacker of Marquez's shipment.

One geeky gringo amid a band of desperadoes doesn't stand much of an escape chance. So it was a good thing that his Task Force was searching for their new leader.

Surprised Mom - The Blacklist Season 9 Episode 17

The voicemail of Aram's mother captured the whole abduction and helped pinpoint that El Conejo had taken him.

Once his kidnapper's identity was established, Dembe was able to knowledgeably fill in the squad on Marquez and his past and current activities.

Next, Red was able to assist from half a world away, giving up the names of the brothers who had built El Conejo's servers.

The Scripps brothers became very helpful once Park started smashing their seized and expensive equipment, pinpointing where Aram was being held.

Drawing on Experience - The Blacklist Season 9 Episode 17

Since Marquez had taken most of his thugs with him for the ransom drop, that left a minimal few for the Task Force to go through to rescue Aram.

Considering what Aram had gone through, Harold gently suggested that perhaps Aram should handle investigating who weaponized the Greylock code. At the same time, the rest of the team chased down Marquez and his avocado cartel.

It wasn't much of a surprise when the "good" younger brother Antonio was revealed to be the person who had stolen the avocado shipment to prove himself to his father. Why else would he have been hanging so much where the gang didn't want him?

So the blacklister, El Conejo, got sidelined reasonably early, all for not taking Antonio seriously.

The Outsider - The Blacklist Season 9 Episode 17

What should have been blacklisted was the Greylock code, specifically after Aram's old business partner Nick turned it loose without allowing Aram to make sure it was safe to use.

If a computer science major in a dorm weapon could weaponize it as an exercise, what could a terrorist do with it?

Aram also discovered how little Nick could be trusted since he'd hidden information about the code's flaws from Aram.

After Nick refused to do the right thing and pull Greylock for further testing, Aram did the hard thing, locking up his creation before someone could further exploit it.

Helping Harold - The Blacklist Season 9 Episode 17

It would be just like Aram to continue tinkering with Greylock until he's able to work out the flaws so that he can contribute something beneficial to the world.

Red was also wrestling with his past coming back to haunt him. Now it's more understandable why he was freaking out about that box of DVDs being inside Cole's vault. It was supposed to be securely stashed inside a unique safe halfway around the globe.

It was easy to feel sympathy for Kosta. He had been living a solitary existence as caretaker of Raymond's safehouse for all these years. Now Reddington, with no other leads, decided to introduce him to Teddy.

Once again, Weecha offered sage wisdom to Red in so few words. Imagine what she'd have to say if she ever decided to get chatty. She's been a great addition to the series, especially since it didn't mean having to lose Dembe.

Aram Missing - The Blacklist Season 9 Episode 17

When the always hilarious Teddy cleared Kosta, Weecha suggested that Red watch the DVDs that he had recorded for Liz in the hopes that that would spark some ideas for him.

That was exactly what happened, as it led him to dig into the wall to find out that the original safe had been swapped out for a duplicate.

When Raymond checked with his ancient safe maker, he reached another dead end: Mr. Kaplan.

She's deceased, isn't she? Well, you can't assume anything on The Blacklist. Except maybe Liz remaining dead. For now, anyway.

New Role - The Blacklist Season 9 Episode 17

To revisit Mr. Kaplan, watch The Blacklist online.

After this rocky start, can Aram become an effective leader? Or won't that matter, since Harold will be back soon?

Is Harold adjusting to being a subordinate?

Can Mr. Kaplan be alive?

Comment below.

El Conejo Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (15 Votes)

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

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The Blacklist Season 9 Episode 17 Quotes

I hope you slept well, Kosta. It's going to be a long day.

Red [to Kosta]

Kosta: Raymond? How? The last time I saw you, you said you were going to meet your fate.
Red: You may very well be about to meet yours.