[Warning: This article contains major spoilers about Thursday's episode of The Blacklist. Read at your own risk!]
As the team investigates a black ops incident with several fatalities, it becomes clear that Samar was aware of the operation ahead of time and is working with her former Mossad colleagues to protect them from prosecution.
Samar's deception is on full display when Aram (Amir Arison) flags one of Samar's former colleagues as a possible suspect, and she pretends not to know who he is and says she'll check out his credentials. She tells Aram that they check out, while instead tipping off the group so that they can flee. But in the meantime, her cover is blown because Red (James Spader) tells the task force that Samar would have known the man she just cleared, since they once worked together for the Mossad.
The realization that Samar's double-crossed the team hits Amar the most, who spends most of the episode being grilled about another girl who betrayed him — his former girlfriend Elise, who also turned out to be a traitor. Eventually, they learn that Samar's been playing both sides, working for the FBI even as she's coordinating Mossad operations.
As Cooper (Harry Lennix) reads her the riot act, Samar says she did what she did to "protect her country," but Cooper orders her to decide where her allegiance is and not return to the FBI if she's unclear about what it is. Aram tells Samar that he can't get involved with another woman he can't trust — which is a shame, since Samar turns down Levi's advances because she says she's in love with for someone else (aka Aram).
Elsewhere in the episode, Tom (Ryan Eggold) asks Liz (Megan Boone) whether she thinks Red killed Alexander Kirk or if Kirk just disappeared, and Liz is basically like "idk <shrug>." Tom also casually mentions that all the Kirk/Red business has got him wondering about his own father. (Spoiler: It's Terry O'Quinn!)
We also learn that Red has the ear of the president-elect, thanks to a blackmail scheme involving campaign contributions and a Senate hearing into Kirk's ties to terrorists (hmm... a Russian influencing the election? Inconceivable!), and uses his influence to have Liz pardoned for killing the attorney general, paving the way for her to be reinstated as an FBI agent.
But back to Samar. TVGuide.com chatted with Marno about Samar's betrayal, how Red will react to her dishonesty, and whether there's still a chance for her and Aram to get together. Here's what she had to say:
What was your reaction when you saw the script and found out about Samar's dishonesty?
Mozhan Marno: I think her allegiances have been very murky this entire time, and we know that she's come to the FBI by way of the Mossad, and she's never fully relinquished her ties to the Mossad. So for me, reading it, it made sense to me.
Are her feelings for Aram genuine?
Marno: I think they're genuine.
Did her attraction to him come as a surprise, and is it making it harder for her to deceive the task force?
Marno: I think that it was definitely a surprise to her, but it's been developing. It didn't just appear as soon as she says it out loud. And it's definitely not a play, because she's saying it to Levi. And poor Levi. What a doll. He's such a great guy, and he really goes out of his way for her. So, I think the feelings are genuine, and I think they do come as a surprise. I think it's an opposite attracts thing, but not just in style. [Aram] has certain qualities that I think [Samar] does not have that are greatly appealing, like just complete transparency and sincerity. It's sort of the antithesis of her. She's so secretive.
At the end of the episode, he says he doesn't want to pursue a relationship with her. Do you think he might change his mind?
Marno: I hope so. It's gonna be kind of a bummer if [not]. But that's what drama is all about. Even breakups don't happen in a linear way, right? [Laughs]. I think it was a surprise to Samar. And I can only hope that that's not the last we hear of that story. I somehow think it won't be.
It seems mostly like it's an issue of timing, since he's spent all day recounting all the dishonest women he's been involved with.
Marno: Yeah. I've definitely been there before when you're like, "Never again am I gonna do X." And then that exact thing that you say you're never gonna do shows up and you're like, "ugh."
So what's next for Samar? What repercussions does she face?
Marno: I don't exactly know. I think that's for the writers [to decide]. I think that what she's done is just sort of make everyone not trust her. And there have been other things that have happened that have made the team not trust her. She helped out Liz and lied to Ressler about it and his computer, all that stuff. I mean, [she got] fired over it! So, this issue of trust and allegiance, it's a theme that I think the writers are constantly exploring with all the characters. Even with Aram, even though he didn't intentionally betray anybody, he trusted the wrong person who then compromised the entire task force. So, trust is a big theme I think this season, just generally.
Samar has had a tough time trusting Liz and welcoming her back onto the team. Is that a "takes one to know one" situation?
Marno: [Samar] is a good reader of people, and also I don't think she gets attached to people easily. And so, I think she was pretty gutted like everyone else about Liz. And then she was, I think more than everyone else, humiliated by that, precisely because she doesn't allow herself to get attached to people so easily. So, I think she took that a little harder and then her response to that was excessive. I don't think it's exactly it's a takes one to know one. I don't think, in her mind, she would equate what Liz did to what she did.
We've seen how Red deals with people he thinks he can't trust. How much danger is Samar in?
Marno: I don't know. We'll have to see.
Samar says it was all to protect her country (Israel). Where does her loyalty lie? Is it a black and white issue?
Marno: I really don't think anything like that is black and white. I think that, in the end, justice is served. I think the thing about her is that she doesn't care how you get to the end result. You just get to the end result. And so she's the kind of person who's like, "Why are you getting your knickers in a twist? We got him." And somebody like Cooper, who is our administrative chief, is like, "No. There's ways you go about this and there's protocols. And those protocols exist for a reason."
I actually see both sides to this. Protocols exist for a reason; transparency exists for a reason. But [Samar] is also kind of rogue. And also, the Mossad is an entity that's a little rogue. They don't capture people and put them on trial. They capture people and murder them. That's how they roll. So it's sort of like a different mission statement. So I think she just thinks, "Well, we got him and all is well. What's the problem?"
The Blacklist airs Thursdays at 10/9c on NBC.