‘The Blacklist’ Asks What Side Liz Is Really On in Season 8 Premiere (RECAP)
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 8, Episode 1 of The Blacklist, “Roanoke (No. 139).”]
The Blacklist returned for its eighth season and there were betrayals aplenty as Liz (Megan Boone) was set to task once again by Reddington (James Spader). This time, he asks her to focus on a man known as Roanoke that Reddington believes could be a threat.
When Liz fills the task force in on the mission at hand, the team points out that by helping track down Roanoke, it means interfering on a potential escape for her mother and spy Katarina Rostova (Laila Robins). Liz claims she understands and promises not to double cross the team in their task, but as fans have come to know, such promises are to be taken with a grain of salt.
Roanoke was believed to have been responsible for the freeing of a Russian oligarch who was being held under U.S. Marshall custody. While Liz and the team learn that the escape was made with the help of an armored ambulance, Red does a little of his own investigating of his own to uncover the alias Roanoke is using currently.
Once Red has a name, he puts Heddie (Aida Turturro) on the case, leaving her to track down the mystery man. When Liz and Agent Ressler (Diego Klattenhoff) believe they’ve found the last-known location of Roanoke, she uncovers some mysteries of her own.
When Liz visits her mother Katarina, she accuses her of lying and questions her behavior and motivation, which Liz has determined is to go after her own father Dom (Ron Raines) who is being cared for under Reddington’s watch. Katarina explains that her own father forced her into horrible situations as a spy, which included sleeping with enemies at just 15 years old.
Katarina also claims that Dom framed her by telling others she was N-13, a KGB mole known by many even though that isn’t the case. In order to get answers and attempt to clear her name, Katarina wants to speak with Dom and seeks Liz’s help to achieve her goal.
But will Liz follow through? It doesn’t seem so as she sits and looks at a photo of herself and her grandfather, weighing her options. When she faces the task force, Liz makes it clear that she can’t lose her grandfather and promises to help them move Dom from the safe house he’s currently in by using an armored ambulance.
As the rescue mission for Dom moves forward, things begin to feel fishy and we learn that Liz is actually wearing a wire so her mother can listen in. Red is tipped off when Heddie reports back that Roanoke is a sick and senile man living in Puerto Rico which means that someone else was orchestrating the chaos Red believed was caused by Roanoke.
By then it’s too late — on route to Dom’s next location, Liz initiates a road block that takes out the tires of the task force’s vehicles and she keeps driving. So, has she completely turned on them? As Harold Cooper (Harry Lennix) chats with the force, he chides Red for his behavior, claiming that he’s to blame for Liz’s turn.
Ressler in the meantime receives a text from Liz asking to meet up, and he later connects with her in a parking garage. She tells him that the plan isn’t to hurt Dom, but instead get him to talk, and after snagging his gun she asks Ressler to keep his faith in her.
Is Liz lost to the team? She seems to have remorse when she catches up with her mother but becomes daunted when she learns that she’s being tasked with getting her grandfather to open up and potentially free Katarina from the cloud he’s hung over her. Can Liz come back from a betrayal like this? Tune into Season 8 of The Blacklist to find out as new episodes air each week on NBC.
The Blacklist, Fridays, 8/7c, NBC