Raymond can sure cram a lot into a weekend, can't he?
What should have been a bracing getaway topped by profit went downhill fast for him on The Blacklist Season 7 Episode 12.
This episode was originally set to air last week after The Blacklist Season 7 Episode 11, in which Raymond reclaimed the original nesting caskets from art forger Victoria Feinberg.
That would have been a rare double episode that made sense, instead of sticking two together just to get the schedule back on track.
But with coronavirus cutting seasons short, the networks will be doling out new episodes with an eyedropper, to be finishing up the broadcast season in May as usual.
It was refreshing that the nesting-casket storyline wasn't just dropped but was instead deepened.
It was also a change-of-pace episode, with just Raymond interacting with a selection of new characters -- the other sellers and dealer Cassandra.
An Agatha Christie locked-room mystery should have been anticipated with all the above characters stranded on an island in the Baltic Sea amid a snowstorm.
It was a shame that all those colorful characters got disposed of so quickly.
Margo the safecracker, Annika the researcher, Mahmoud the demolitions expert, even Joko the goon, gone within the first half-hour.
That's why such a mystery requires the length of a book or at least a movie. A 45-minute TV episode doesn't do it justice.
Still, Raymond and Cassandra found time to work on the issues that had torn their relationship asunder.
It sounded like there was plenty of blame to go around.
Cassandra genuinely didn't appear to know what had gone wrong between them.
Raymond attempted to shift the blame onto her for cheating him on the proceeds from their last job together.
She countered that he had already checked out of the relationship even before she shorted him.
He finally admitted he went back because he was concerned about Elizabeth's marriage with Tom, which certainly did have its ups and down, his hiding his true identity from her tops among them.
Their clearing the air then definitely helped to open the lines of communication on which their lives would later depend.
That being said, once it was down to the two of them, Cassandra had no choice but to admit to Raymond that the sale was a ruse, to fulfill a deal she had made with an FBI agent after being arrested.
After she fessed up, Raymond did the logical thing trying to locate the microdot with the list.
It was a sweet moment when he described how his father had taught him to build a microscope as he MacGyver-ed together such a device to hunt for the microdot.
It didn't take a criminal genius such as Raymond to realize that Cassandra had been set up, and certainty not by the FBI, which wouldn't be dropping all those bodies, especially in a foreign country.
No, instead it was a team of mercenaries, hired by the Turks to protect their assets planted within the U.S. government.
Yeah, that made a whole lot more sense.
What didn't ring true is that Raymond quickly determined who the leader of the mercenaries was. Sure, he hears a lot of rumors through the criminal grapevine, but to be aware of Cornelius Ruck?
That just seemed like a stretch.
I'm betting Raymond was sure sorry that he had sent away Dembe for the weekend at that point.
Any episode loses points for having little screentime for Dembe. He's the best of all the supporting characters.
Still, Raymond knows how to set up a guerilla attack.
Cassandra evened the odds by cutting the power. Then she set up booby traps while he took out Ruck's men one or two at a time, to create a distraction.
It would have strained credibility for the two of them to have taken out all dozen of Ruck's men. But at least they had a couple of tricks up their sleeves after Ruck captured Raymond.
Of course, the sun broke through the storm clouds after Ruck's death.
I liked Raymond and Cassandra as a couple. She knows what he is and vice versa, and they were good together.
And would a quick trip to the south of France been a bad thing for them?
It was good to see Cynthia again, as she gave Raymond good news this time. It appeared his trip to the Baltic was worth all the aggravation.
The scene at Agnes's dance recital was wicked cute, watching the reaction from Elizabeth and the task force members.
But the most important shot was Raymond, the proud grandpa, watching Agnes and Cassandra watching him. He was beaming while her expression said that she saw him slipping away from her.
Elizabeth may not need Raymond to protect her any longer but he needs to be in the lives of Elizabeth and Agnes.
Cassandra realized that their carefree days in Marseilles were but a snapshot in time now, and that time had passed.
Cassandra walked away and frankly Raymond didn't try that hard to change her mind. He understood that she belonged in his past, not his present or his future.
Between his family life and the task force, does Raymond have time for another relationship?
To follow Raymond's past paramours, watch The Blacklist online.
How did you enjoy a Raymond-only episode?
How did you like Cassandra?
Are you disappointed she left?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.