The Blacklist Season 9 Episode 11 Review: The Conglomerate
It was time for the grumpy task force member to get her turn in the spotlight.
Yes, The Blacklist Season 9 Episode 11 spotlighted Agent Alina Park.
So far, it had emerged that Park passed on her knowledge to a group of other agents as a trainer during the two years the Task Force was disbanded.
Now, it has been revealed that this position, and that she was a newlywed living happily in the suburbs, was a more recent development.
Instead, she was part of an assassination team with her former beau slayer of despots for God and country.
It sounds pretty straightforward when it’s described that way. It doesn’t matter how many international laws have been violated by doing so.
How has this never happened before? It must have been because Harold was so excited about getting the band back together that he didn’t ask too many questions.
It would explain how a drug addict, an assassin, an international criminal’s former bodyguard, and an almost tech mogul ended up driving criminals off the grid once again.
Based on Park’s dark past behavior, should anyone be shocked that she could rationalize her ass about her time as a government-sanctioned assassin? All that anger has to go somewhere.
And after meeting John Richter, it was easy to understand how Alina had fallen under his spell. All those sweet words that came out of her pretty mouth helped her justify her violence as a way to do something good for the world.
As history has proven, there are plenty of murderous tyrants out there that need to be killed. And you can’t count on their oppressed citizens to do it.
Enter wet work specialists like Park and Richter. They serve a useful purpose in a global society.
But Alina also has a kind-hearted side. And after resisting a friend settling in with Peter, she finally met him and decided she needed more humor in her life, leaving darkness and Richter behind.
But, as always on The Blacklist, her past has come back to haunt her, powered in large part by the all-seeing and all-knowing Reddington.
In one such televised coincidence, Richter invites Park to join The Conglomerate just minutes before Dembe brings the same blacklister back to the task force.
Not wanting her latest dirty secret to come out, Alina initially denied hearing about it so she could instead complain about Raymond, who was more concerned about his current obsession, Liz’s death.
After this false start, the narrative settled as expected, as Park went undercover as a Conglomerate candidate.
It was a fascinating setup, as Richter explained, a chance for assassins to have job security and benefits instead of just a hole in the ground after being burned.
And, yes, it was basically a pyramid scheme, as Park said.
The series of flashbacks helped highlight why Alina did what she did, becoming an assassin and then choosing to leave that behind for love and laughter.
Thanks to Richter’s confrontation in front of Peter, Park finally had to open up about what she did and does and who she is if she was to have any chance of saving her marriage.
Peter may not have recognized the violent monster that took out Richter, but he still saw his Alina underneath.
As usual, after launching the Conglomerate investigation, Reddington went his own way, determined to find out who was behind Liz’s death.
Following that bizarre scene with Teddie and the camel, he soon had potential evidence but no way to access it. He therefore integrated Aram into his crusade since his young technician was linked to Pledge Week.
Yeah, that’s kidding, since Red’s consultants are usually very young or very old.
There was also this education about the value of camel milk, bizarre as it is. Sheer weirdness was what made Helen talk.
This laptop led to the discovery that Liz was somehow being followed by whoever worked with Vandyck.
Poor Aram felt like he was disturbing the dead when he searched Liz’s clothes for a tracking device.
Raymond had a motivation to bring the Conglomerate to the task force. He sincerely believed that they would attract Park, and he couldn’t accept that.
As she proved, she found the unique method of locating the tracker by establishing when it was last used.
So the tracker was sort of built into Liz. Then comes the exhumation of his remains for recovery, the next step in Red’s treasure hunt.
Is anyone else losing their enthusiasm for this particular storyline? Dembe certainly seemed to be in that first scene.
There’s a lot of blame to be had in his death. How will knowing all the details change things? She left. She doesn’t come back. How much closure does Reddington still need?
How about moving on to Harold soon? This story about him being accused of murdering his wife’s ex-lover is still unresolved. It has to be someone reasonably powerful to do that.
To follow Red’s obsession, watch The Blacklist online.
Were you surprised that Park was an assassin?
Can her marriage to Peter survive?
Do you want to know all the details of Liz’s death?
Dale McGarrigle is an editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.