The Blacklist Season 7 Episode 18 Review: Roy Cain

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Dembe got saved from making the hard choice once again.

He did actually choose on The Blacklist Season 7 Episode 18.

Red's timely intervention just stopped Dembe from having to follow through.

Investigating an Abduction -- Tall - The Blacklist Season 7 Episode 18

Yes, after a side trip with the Ressler Brothers to Detroit on The Blacklist Season 7 Episode 17, it was a return to the Raymond-Liz-Katarina triangle on this 150th episode.

And, as often happens, poor, loyal Dembe got caught right in the middle of everything.

In a Bind - The Blacklist Season 7 Episode 18

He really deserves better. He's too righteous a man to keep protecting someone such as Raymond.

Perhaps he's insane, saving Red over and over and expecting him to change.

It was a disappointment that Raymond's medical condition got glossed over at the beginning after his dramatic collapse at the end of The Blacklist Season 7 Episode 16.

His fainting, following by the doctor's warning, did have an effect.

But instead of him changing his lifestyle, Red chose to accelerate his succession plans.

On the Hunt - The Blacklist Season 7 Episode 18

That makes sense since death could be right around the corner for Raymond. So watching his salt intake probably needn't be a concern.

But when he told Liz about his plans, it knocked her for a loop.

Since she was investigating Red and he knew about it, Liz was correct that it didn't make much sense.

Ressler, who was somewhat familiar with Raymond's health, was able to supply why he was worried about succession now.

After Liz protected Ressler from his darkest secret on The Blacklist Season 7 Episode 17, it was the least he could do for her.

Ethical Dilemma - The Blacklist Season 7 Episode 18

But think about it.

Who does Red have that's family? There are Dembe, Liz, and Agnes. Agnes is the only one of those three who hasn't let him down yet, but she's a little young to run a multimillion-dollar criminal enterprise.

And let's face, Liz is as morally flexible as Raymond, however much she tries to kid herself otherwise.

Once Red put his health scare aside, to his credit, he immediately went back to attempting to solve Sadiq's abduction.

And this episode did turn out to be an enjoyable locked-room mystery.

Old Lawyer - The Blacklist Season 7 Episode 18

The only clue was DNA at the abduction scene belonging to a prisoner who was locked in isolation.

When talking to Liz and Ressler, Warden Roy Cain (Tom Wopat, no longer playing a good ol' boy) didn't even have the decency to look baffled by the circumstances.

It was evident the warden was up to something shady with his prisoners.

Especially after their prisoner interviews, why couldn't Ressler and Liz figure out that Cain was stashing specialists in isolation to be utilized in some manner?

But then we would have been robbed of the wonderful Red and Marvin scenes and the surprising Al Roker cameo.

Celebrity Help - The Blacklist Season 7 Episode 18

Could you think of a worse place for Marvin to work than a toy store, a shelf stocker grousing at customers who hoped for a little help?

Unfortunately, he was Raymond's only way to gain insight into that particular prison.

It was great listening to Al riffing with Red about their past adventures. Then Al blackmailed his lawyer to get Marvin back his law license.

It definitely showed a side of Al we don't see on Today.

Fortunately, Marvin had heard just enough prison gossip that he and Raymond were able to piece together Cain's scheme.

In Trouble - The Blacklist Season 7 Episode 18

That allowed Liz and Park to trail the dirty guard as he drove inmates out of the prison to commit their next job.

I wonder how long it's going to be before Alina gets accustomed to the odd cases that Red brings to the Task Force.

Fortunately, they stopped the killing of the protected witness, although they somehow only captured one of the four inmates afterward, leaving the other three to be sacrificed by Cain.

That one prisoner knew what the Task Force needed, giving up the entire operation.

That meant another case of Red sitting in a dark room, ready to intimidate the unsuspecting person coming through the door.

Taking Chances - The Blacklist Season 7 Episode 18

In this case, that was Cain. Once he explained his family's legacy of exploiting prisoners, it was impossible to have much sympathy for him.

He ended up doing more good dead than alive, as Park was able to recover his ledger, and the Task Force could arrest those who had employed Cain's services.

Also, Cain sent Red on his way to rescue Dembe and Sadiq, although Katarina escaped yet again. But now she's fully back on his radar.

Sadiq was at the heart of the best scenes in the episode.

First came when he helped Dembe wrestle with his difficult decision of who he would betray.

Difficult Choice - The Blacklist Season 7 Episode 18

Then was the scene when he and Red debated binary versus situational ethics. That may have saved Dembe's life.

For a brief second, I was afraid that Raymond had killed Dembe for his decision, up until the time Dembe walked into the kitchen.

Now Liz faces an equally tough choice, choosing between the mother who abandoned her decades ago and the surrogate father who has been there for her, no matter how often she strays.

This decision should be a no-brainer.

To revisit Red and Liz's complicated relationship, watch The Blacklist online.

Will Red have to change his succession plan?

Did Dembe make the right choice?

Will Liz?

Comment below.

Roy Cain Review

Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.9 / 5.0 (22 Votes)

Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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The Blacklist Season 7 Episode 18 Quotes

Doctor: Maybe you can get him to listen to reason.
Dembe: It's unlikely but I'll try.
Doctor: Try hard. His life depends on it.

Clearly the prospect of my death doesn't shake your faith. How about we see if the prospect of yours shakes [Dembe's]? Why don't you pray on that?

Katarina [to Sadiq]