It was time for the grumpy member of the Task Force to get her turn in the spotlight.
Yes, The Blacklist Season 9 Episode 11 shone the light on Agent Alina Park.
Up until now, it had appeared that Park was imparting her knowledge to a group of other agents as a trainer during the two years that the Task Force was disbanded.
Now it was revealed that that position, and her being a newlywed living happily in the suburbs, was a more recent development.
Instead, she was in an assassin tag team with her previous beau killing despots for God and country.
It sounds pretty forthright when it’s described that way. Never mind how many international laws were being violated by doing so.
How did this never come up before? It must have been because Harold was so excited about getting the band back together that he didn’t ask too many questions.
That would explain how an addict, an assassin, an international criminal’s former bodyguard, and an almost tech magnate ended up hunting criminals once again off the grid.
Based on Park’s past dark behavior, should anybody be shocked that she could rationalize her ass off about her time as a government-sanctioned assassin? All that anger has got to go somewhere.
And after meeting John Richter, it was easy to understand how Alina fell under his sway. All those sweet words coming out of his pretty mouth helped her to justify her violence as a way to do something good for the world.
As history has proven, there are a lot of murderous tyrants that need killing. And you can’t depend on their downtrodden citizenry to do so.
Enter the wetworks specialists such as Park and Richter. They’re serving a useful purpose in a global society.
But Alina has a goodhearted side as well. And after resisting a friend’s setup with Peter, she finally met him and decided she needed more humor in her life, leaving the darkness, and Richter, behind.
But, as always happens on The Blacklist, her past came back to haunt her, propelled in no small part by Reddington, who sees and knows all.
In one of those coincidences TV traffics in, Richter invites Park to join The Conglomerate mere minutes before Dembe brings back the same blacklister to the Task Force.
Not wanting her latest dirty secret to come out, Alina first denied having heard of them so that she instead could rant at Raymond, who was more concerned with his current obsession, Liz’s death.
After that false start, the narrative settled in as expected, as Park went undercover as a Conglomerate candidate.
It was a fascinating setup, as explained by Richter, a chance for assassins to have job security and benefits instead of just a hole in the ground after they’ve gotten burned.
And, yes, it was essentially a pyramid scheme, as Park opined.
The series of flashbacks did help to highlight why Alina did what she did, becoming an assassin then choosing to leave that behind for love and laughter.
Thanks to Richter’s confronting her 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 who took out Richter, but he still saw his Alina underneath.
As usual, after he set the Conglomerate investigation in motion, Reddington went his own way, determined to discover who was behind Liz’s death.
Following that bizarro scene with Teddie and the camel, he soon had potential evidence but no way to access it. So he looped Aram into his crusade since his young tech guy was tied up with Pledge Week.
Yeah, that jibes, since Red’s consultants are usually very young or very old.
There was also that education on the value of camel milk, as bizarre as that was. The sheer strangeness was what made Helen talk.
That laptop led to the discovery that Liz was somehow being tracked by whoever was working with Vandyck.
Poor Aram felt like he was disturbing the dead when he searched Liz’s clothes for some tracking device.
Raymond did have a motivation for bringing The Conglomerate to the Task Force. He genuinely believed they would lure away Park, and he couldn’t have that.
As she proved, coming up with the unique method of locating the tracker by establishing when it was last in use.
So the tracker was somehow embedded in Liz. Next is exhuming her remains to retrieve it, the next step of Red’s treasure hunt.
Is anyone else losing enthusiasm for this particular storyline? Dembe certainly seemed to be in that early scene.
There’s plenty of blame to go around in her death. How will knowing all the details change things? She’s gone. She’s not coming back. How much more closure does Reddington need?
How about shifting to Harold soon? That storyline about him being framed for the murder of his wife’s ex-lover is still hanging. It’s got to be someone reasonably powerful to pull that off.
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 a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.