TV Show Review

TV Review: THE BLACKLIST: Season 3, Episode 20: The Artax Network [NBC]

Amir Arison The Blacklist

NBC‘s The Blacklist The Artax Network TV Show Review. The Blacklist: Season 3, Episode 20: The Artax Network is a serviceable, if understandably disappointing, follow-up to last week’s episode.

After the high mark set by Cape May, one couldn’t help but hope that the next installment of the show would reach comparable heights. With Raymond Reddington (James Spader) getting one of his most intimate episodes, it was anticipated that the rest of the cast would receive similar treatment. While last night’s show attempted to do just that, it didn’t quite pull it off as well as last week’s did.

Obviously, exploring the ways several characters cope with the death of another is a more difficult task than just exploring the ways one does, but perhaps this necessitates spreading out such exploration over the course of several episodes. Instead, the task force deals with all the grief that comes with losing a loved one within the span of a forty-minute episode.

Not that the show handles their reactions poorly. Tom (Ryan Eggold) struggles to acclimate himself with the challenges of being a father, one of the few things his underworld training didn’t prepare him for, and urges Harold Cooper (Harry Lennix) to let him in on the investigation into who killed Liz (Megan Boone), a request Cooper resolutely denies. Aram (Amir Arison) delivers a moving eulogy to Liz when her body is finally laid to rest and tracks down the still-missing Red  to plead with him to help the FBI find her killers. As for Cooper, he gives remarks of his own at Liz’s funeral and plans to resume the force’s investigation when the shady Cynthia Panabaker (Deirdre Lovejoy) stalls his efforts, forcing him to go behind her back and let Tom in on the case.

Even as they juggle their grief and regrets, the force is able to determine how the perpetrators – whoever they are – were able to learn Liz’s whereabouts: a defunct series of satellites dubbed the Artax Network. They also discover someone linked to the network: a tall, dark-haired woman (Famke Janssen) who is spotted speaking with Panabaker. Is this woman a member of the Cabal, or is she, as the force members murmur amongst themselves, Liz’s long-lost mother, Katerina Rostova?

Although the episode doesn’t manage to strike a fine balance between it’s two objectives – that is, depicting the task force’s mourning and carrying the plot forward – it is exciting to watch and does make you wonder what will happen next. It may not be Cape May, but it’s another competent entry in the Blacklist‘s impressive canon.

Leave your thoughts on this review and this episode of The Blacklist in the comments section below. For more The Blacklist reviews, photos, videos, and information, visit our The Blacklist Page, subscribe to us by Email, “follow” us on Twitter, Tumblr, Google+ or “like” us on Facebook. The Blacklist airs on NBC.

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About the author

Reggie Peralta

An aspiring writer, longtime film junkie, and former disc jockey (where I graduated with a BA in Political Science), I've made the jump from penning book reviews and current events editorials for to writing movie and TV news and reviews.

When I'm not working towards my certificate in Radio and Television/Video Production at Fullerton College, I enjoy reading (horror, science fiction, and historical/political nonfiction are particular favorites), participating in my school's TV and theatre clubs, attending movie screenings, plays, concerts, and other events, and trying to come up with pithy things to say on social media. Believe it or not, there are occasions where I find time to write for my own leisure.

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