The Blacklist Season Finale Review: Mr. Kaplan

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I want to say that The Blacklist finally confirmed Red is Liz’s father, yet Dembe’s comments about Red not “denying it” make me hesitant about the whole reveal.

It’s like we were given the answer we’ve been dying to just have so we could move on, something that seemed obvious, but a truth which was nice to finally lay to rest. And yet the show has played with perception and altered the truth from time to time, so having those seeds of doubt wouldn’t be too off base.

Either way, it will be interesting seeing Liz and Red’s relationship change and probably grow on The Blacklist Season 5 now that their familial connection is out in the open.

That is until it all comes crashing down with the reveal of whatever secrets that suitcase and the skeleton hold.

Red and Dembe on the run - The Blacklist Season 4 Episode 21

How awesome was it for The Blacklist Season 4 Episode 22 to close everything out like that giving all the characters teases for what’s to come for them including some closure, as well as offering some questions that’ll have us coming back for more?

That’s how you do a finale.

And certainly, The Blacklist Season 4 Episode 21 and The Blacklist Season 4 Episode 22 played back to back was a benefit because the two really were connected in the story.

Where one was a setup to Red’s immunity and the grand jury and Mr. Kaplan’s way out, the other was Red finding a way to dismantle the trap Mr. Kaplan had set and get control of the situation.

Or so he thought.

Mr. Kaplan’s death was obvious considering they were on a bridge. I knew she was going to jump, especially when she talked about her contingency.

Additionally, she refused Red’s offer for the paradise island, which seemed like a pretty sweet deal.

So there really was only one ending for Mr. Kaplan, and that was her death. It just so happened to set off a chain of events.

Mr. Kaplan has something to say - The Blacklist Season 4 Episode 22

It’s easy to assume that the skeleton is Katarina. And maybe Red is the one who killed her?

But what if it’s someone else? What if the Red we know is an imposter and the real Red is the skeleton? Or the skeleton is some other family member? A brother?

It’s exciting knowing there’s that deeper truth lying in wait that will surely dismantle the relationship that will be built up next season with Liz believing Red is her father.

Plus, with Tom in possession of it, it will create a curious predicament, especially if he finds out some truths behind it before Liz does.

Honestly, it was great to see Tom back, even if for a quick moment. It certainly means he’ll have a decent role to play in the future.

It will be interesting to see the change in the task force, as well.

Liz and Harold lie in wait - The Blacklist Season 4 Episode 22

Considering Ressler made a deal with Hitchin and then accidentally killed her later, that’s going to weigh heavy on his conscience. He didn’t mean to, but there’s going to be guilt that builds in on him, including the fact that he can’t bring her to justice now.

And who else was thrilled that Samar and Adam are finally together?

It was a bummer that Janet ratted him out, but it was great that Samar didn't say anything because she didn’t want to mess with Aram and his relationship.

It’s going to be fun seeing them navigate the work life if the two continue their relationship when the show returns. That will be a fresh dynamic.

Talk about another “finally” moment!

As for Julian, I hope that’s not the last we’ve seen from him. He clearly wanted to get Red, and he almost did, but I expect him not to give up quite so easily. And with Hitchin getting killed, that may play into it.

It was funny, too, when Red tried to remember where they had last seen each other. Something about Red’s delight at the chase and Julian dealing with not being able to do anything was humorous.

Red finds a new ride - The Blacklist Season 4 Episode 21

James Spader continues to be the shining force on this show, and that heartfelt conversation between him and Liz at the end really stood out.

That little smile he did when she hugged him was such a nice moment. You could tell that scene captured the emotions the two were feeling.

And I do feel that Red cares for Liz. It’s clear there’s more to it than that. But it’s great to see those other sides to Red, beyond the ones where he quips and gets the better of everyone.

Sure, that can be enjoyable, too, especially when taking down the smug thief who thought he had managed to get a deal, but making Red a three-dimensional character is what makes him so interesting and engaging to watch.

And I can’t wait to see even more depth’s uncovered with him.

Red goes digging - The Blacklist Season 4 Episode 21

But what this season has also shown is the growth in those side characters. The likes of Harold, Ressler, Aram, Samar, Dembe and even Mr. Kaplan are more than just minor players in the game.

We’ve gotten to know more about them. We’ve gotten focused stories that include them. It’s made them much more integral and connected to the show.

Just take Harold taking the initiative to find out if Red is Liz’s father. He wants to protect his team. They are part of his family.

Or look at Aram not wanting to give up the task force. Even the fact that he has a turtle adds so much to his character.

The Blacklist has really managed to pull itself up from just a one-man show and allowed the ensemble to stand out, as well.

Harold uncovers a package - The Blacklist Season 4 Episode 22

Though, it is sad to see Mr. Kaplan go, as she, too, was a bad ass and a formidable foe for Red. Having that personal connection made their fight so much more intense and emotional.

She will certainly be missed, but her actions have definitely gotten things moving that will affect the story and characters going forward.

Red is going to be in some big trouble when that suitcase does find its way to Liz.

It was a cool reveal that Liz had bothered to try to get Red's DNA way back when they first met. That always seemed like something she would have tried, and yet, because she never did, it just seemed a little ridiculous.

So the fact that she had the DNA but just never looked made so much more sense. It captured that fear from Liz about what she might find.

Sometimes answers to the truth aren't going to be happy ones.

Red burns documents - The Blacklist Season 4 Episode 22

This was a well-paced two-part finale that kept things engaging, provided some solid twists, some reveals, and the fantastic teases that have you wanting more.

The Blacklist knocked it out of the park, and it’s clear there’s still plenty of stories left to tell. Soon, all the truths will be revealed.

It may just not be the ones Liz was hoping to find.

Whose skeleton is that? Do you believe Red is really her father? Are you glad Aram and Samar kissed? Are you excited for what's next?

Sound off below, and be sure to watch The Blacklist online now!

Mr. Kaplan Review

Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (36 Votes)

Sean McKenna was a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. He retired in May of 2017. Follow him on Twitter.

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