The Blacklist Opened The 'Floodgates' For One Character With Tragic Twist, But The Emotional Story Isn't Done Yet

laura sohn as alina park the blacklist nbc
(Image credit: NBC)

Spoilers ahead for Episode 5 of The Blacklist Season 9, called “Benjamin T. Okara.”

The Blacklist tackled a case in “Benjamin T. Okara” that required all hands on deck, but more than one character had a lot on their mind beyond chasing the newest bad guys. Park in particular was trying to deal with the test results that indicated she had cancer, but that she only received because she’d let Ressler use her own urine sample to pass a drug test. Meanwhile, she was keeping husband Peter in the dark about her returning to the field, and Cooper in the dark about seemingly having cancer. Everything was turned upside down with a new tragic twist toward the end, and that doesn’t mean Park’s emotional arc is over. 

Park had to get a separate test from her doctor due to the fact that she only found out about the abnormal cells thanks to Ressler’s test results, confusing Peter as to why the FBI couldn’t just send “her” results over. She obviously couldn’t tell him that she got the news after what she did for Ressler, and found it easier to just keep letting him think she was still an instructor. She sustained a bad enough injury in the field later on, however, that Dembe pulled out all the stops to get her help as soon as possible, and it was this hospitalization that resulted in some big reveals. 

Not all of the news was bad, but there was an element of tragedy for both Park and her husband. And not just because Peter evidently didn’t take it well when she finally admitted that she was working in the field again. Ressler certainly didn’t get the warmest welcome from Peter when he introduced himself. 

So, the good news about Park’s condition? The abnormalities in the test results would have been a big deal for Ressler as a man because they could indicate testicular cancer, but definitely don’t indicate any kind of cancer in Park. The bad news that came along with the relief of clearing her of cancer was that the cells revealed that she was pregnant… with the key word there being “was.” 

Peter’s reaction was a combination of shock and joy, but his wife caught the doctor’s choice of phrase and realized that she’d had a miscarriage, or at least not been very far along in her pregnancy before something went wrong. Her immediate reaction was hard to read, but Peter was upset. What should have been great news about her being cleared of cancer was given a tragic twist for the couple. They had more of a conversation off-screen before he left her room fast enough that Ressler, sitting outside, clocked that something was off and went in to check on her, and she finally broke, saying:

Want to know what the logic is? Why I keep secrets? I do it because I’m terrified… The floodgates. And no, they’re not tears. I’m afraid of losing control. Of what happens to me when I do. So I just hold everything in, until I can’t hold it anymore.

Park began to sob when Ressler told her she could let it out, and really, kudos to Ressler for stepping up for her in this episode. He tried to support her and nudge her toward telling the truth without pushing too hard or getting overly sentimental, and he was there for her when she needed somebody to tell her it was okay to feel everything and cry. I’d 100% be down to see more of their bond being explored in Season 9 in this new era of The Blacklist, but it’s probably safe to say that this arc wasn’t just to set up more of Park and Ressler’s dynamic. 

The Blacklist cast Colby Lewis to play Peter in a recurring role, which presumably means that he’ll have a notable presence in the show moving forward, and not just done with screen time after this episode. It’s not clear how the story will continue, what kind of reaction Peter will have to her field work in the FBI again, or whether he’s interested in having kids sooner rather than later, but I think it’s safe to say that the emotional story between Park and her husband isn’t over. 

The Blacklist is taking a few weeks off, but will return with the fall finale of Season 9 on Thursday, December 9 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. The show will return to the Thursday 8 p.m. time slot when it comes back in January, but eventually move back to its former home on Fridays to make room for the original Law & Order returning in February. 

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).