The Blacklist recap: Lies, lies, and more lies

This is one of those Blacklist episodes that makes you ask the existential questions.

For the last few episodes, the Venn diagram of who shares a common goal, who shares a common enemy, and who’s sharing which secrets has been slinging around like a bunch of hula hoops between Reddington, Liz, and the Task Force.

Reddington is highly capable but always lying about something; the Task Force is typically earnest in its intentions, but often pretty inept on the whole; and Liz is a complete wild card — unpredictable and proving to be kind of a manipulative jerk, at times.

“This is about why you came into her life in the first place,” Cooper says when he realizes that Reddington is actually begging for the FBI to get to Ivan Stepanov in order to keep him from telling Townsend a truth that would endanger Elizabeth’s life.

Listen, none of this is a new concept on The Blacklist — Reddington has always separated truth from transparency.

When the episode starts, the Post Office thinks Liz successfully extracted Stepanov as planned, Liz is hoping that the Post Office never trusted her and extracted him themselves, and Reddington only knows that Stepanov has been taken, but not who’s taken him.

Oh, did I mention that while Priya Legari is making her second tea-based attempt on Townsend’s life at the instruction of Reddington, she witnesses a brunette woman storm into his home and get angry at him about abducting some man named Stepanov? When she reports that information back to Reddington, as well as the Park Avenue location where Townsend’s residence is located, Red begs her to wait outside the building and follow Townsend if he leaves.

It’s about as desperate as we’ve ever seen Reddington.

But Priya reports to Reddington that Townsend and Liz have left the building before the FBI arrives, so Reddington tells her to follow them wherever they go, knowing it will probably be to wherever Stepanov is being held.

Priya informs Red that she steals jewels, not people, but he informs her that if she doesn’t prevent Townsend from questioning Stepanov, the answers he gives will get Elizabeth killed immediately.

Priya agrees, macing a guy in the face and then knocking him out cold, because Priya is a 5’1″ badass who seems to be scared of absolutely nothing, including the dry cleaning bill it must take to keep her entirely cream wardrobe so pristine.

When Liz leaves the room, however, Townsend asks Stepanov one more time: “Tell me, was it Katarina Rostova or Raymond Reddington?” Stepanov cracks and whispers something into Townsend’s ear.

While Priya works on rigging an electric shock for the men trying to break into their hiding place, Liz asks a wounded and dying Stepanov what he could have said to make Townsend suddenly turn on her.

At that moment, Priya’s mechanism shocks Townsend’s men, and they’re all able to rush back to the tank… which Townsend’s men have just shot a bazooka through the front of, killing the driver.

Stepanov is very emotional, telling Reddington that he let him down, and now Townsend “knows,” and he’s painted a target on Elizabeth’s back.

But he will certainly keep trying to tell them what to do, and they will certainly keep trying to play along, each party picking and choosing what constitutes honesty and protection as they move forward.

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