Red must be playing the long game.
Liz still came out largely unscathed even though Raymond had flipped her private eye on The Blacklist Season 7 Episode 16.
He just dropped enough hints to let Liz know he was onto her and let it go, with Ilya safely spirited away out of town.
So the big explosion that seemed to be coming at the end of The Blacklist Season 7 Episode 15 hasn’t happened … yet.
Sorry about that to all the Liz haters out there. And with The Blacklist season being cut short, who knows if that showdown will even happen this spring?
Instead, they both just went their own way with their own investigations.
Liz and the Task Force got the more immediately intriguing case of the so-called Boneyard Killer, who would have been a good fit on Criminal Minds.
It wasn’t enough that Nyle Hatcher, a creepy mortician (I know, oxymoron), was burying sex workers alive in existing gravesites.
No, he also convinced the prostitutes to serve as surrogate mothers for his bouncing baby paternity suits, promising them a payoff but giving them death instead.
Not only that but he chose rich victims who couldn’t defend themselves because they were dead before they gave up a sperm sample to Nyle.
And the kids he manufactured went on to be adopted by good families.
It was a win-win situation for everyone except the poor sex workers, even though Nyle considered it a victimless crime.
And Nyle’s crimes, a cold case during which Liz had profiled the killer, would have stayed buried if flooding hadn’t unearthed a recent victim.
Liz and the Task Force were able to crack the case because too many things weren’t adding up.
One wife who agreed to a paternity settlement just didn’t believe her husband would have cheated on her.
A pro that Nyle had approached laid out the deal that he had offered after Aram showed her autopsy shots of some of her predecessors.
Once they discovered Nyle had worked on a mass-casualty team and Liz and Ressler found sperm in his office icebox, they were able to identify his soon-to-be victim and rescue her, arresting him at the same time.
Nyle was an eerie piece of work as he laid out his scam, explaining how he made money out of his chosen profession of death by producing new life and profiting from it.
He made victims out of the dead rich men twice.
At least the families of the sex workers ultimately were given the chance to gain a new member as kind of a remembrance.
Raymond and Dembe’s search for Dembe’s imam Sadiq certainly took a strange turn, didn’t it?
Red was simply doing Dembe a solid by checking into why the FBI’s Counterterrorism Unit was sniffing around Sadiq.
Then Sadiq was abducted.
Harold’s research revealed that that CTU was suspicious of the seemingly smuggling activities of a couple of the worshippers at the mosque.
So Sadiq was taken to keep him quiet, right?
Only Red knew smuggling and none of this rang true to him. Something else was going on.
This led him to track down a local smuggler that he knew did business in Syria, to come up with a lead on the mosque smugglers.
The Greek attempted to act tough to Raymond, up until the point that Red threatened to ruin his precious Japanese beef, at which point he folded like a cheap suit.
That got Red a name and a location and, after a quick skirmish, he had the upper hand.
He soon discovered that he had the picture all wrong, that the smugglers were humanitarians bringing refugees into the country in shipping containers.
And these humanitarians had absolutely nothing to do with Sadiq’s abduction, which sent Raymond and Dembe back to the drawing board.
But first, they did the right thing, rescuing the refugees before the feds arrived and serving them a meal of, not surprisingly, smuggled Japanese beef.
That’s when Red did some second-level thinking, realizing that the imam was taken because he was important to Dembe, who was important to Raymond. It was a maneuver designed to put pressure of him.
Yes, it was a surprise that Katarina had grabbed Sadiq. Since Red had succeeded in getting Ilya out of the town, Katarina is going to need a different approach to find out whatever she wants to know about Raymond.
Thinking she’s protecting her mother, Liz also hasn’t learned to back the hell off, despite Red telling her to in code.
Nope, instead she’s going to take the clue about some archives that her turncoat P.I. had given her and run with it, to see where it leads. Somewhere, I suspect, or it wouldn’t have been mentioned.
Don’t expect any progress on the Katarina front on The Blacklist Season 1 Episode 17. That’s a Ressler-centric episode in which he goes home to do something with the brother that he has been ducking.
Also, don’t expect every storyline to be tied up with a bow as there’s only two more episodes after that one in this coronavirus-shortened season.
To follow Katarina’s journey, watch The Blacklist online.
What did you think of creepy Nyle?
Did Red let Liz off light, at least so far?
Were you surprised by Sadiq’s captor?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.