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The Blacklist's Ressler Made A Powerful Confession About Visiting Liz's Grave, So What Does It Mean For Park?

the blacklist ressler nbc
(Image credit: NBC)

Spoilers ahead for the January 13 episode of The Blacklist Season 9, called “Dr. Razmik Maier.” 

The Blacklist tackled a case involving professional athletes, a doping conspiracy, and a killer trying to cover his tracks, but the biggest twists of the episode involved Cooper trying to discover who framed him, Red discovering the depths of what he views as Dembe’s betrayal, and a powerful confession from Ressler to Park after his visit to Liz’s grave that could set up a different dynamic as Season 9 moves forward… for better or worse.

Ressler had seemed like he found some closure and catharsis in the previous episode when he visited Liz’s grave after flashing back to how he fell off the wagon due to her death. He even told Park as much at the beginning of the episode to allay her fears that the visit would make it worse. When Park caught him pocketing a prescription pad from a crime scene, however, she knew that he had lied in a big way and decided she was done covering for him, with her own problems to deal with. Ressler ultimately realized that he’d have to tell her the truth and shared:

Going to the cemetery only made things harder, not easier. At the end of the tunnel, visiting Liz only made it harder to see. When I put back the prescription pad, I had already torn off a page. I used it to get these [pills]. … I know you’re going through a lot and I don’t want to add to your burdens, but it’s just – I’m asking you, please, don’t give up on me. Okay?

It was a big speech from Ressler, especially considering that their first exchange of the episode was him lying about how visiting the cemetery affected him. He handed over the pills that he’d gotten from the stolen prescription pad page. She insisted that he needed assistance, because weaning himself off clearly wasn’t working and is “like handcuffing yourself to your desk at night.” She wouldn’t commit to helping him, saying that she was just making him worse when she tried.

Her reaction clearly had an affect on Ressler, and he took steps based on what she said… quite literally, as he ended the episode by handcuffing himself to a desk with pills just out of reach. He called her and left a message that was at least hopeful:

First of all, you don’t make things worse. You can call me out, hold me responsible. I need that. I also need you to try to get to work early tomorrow. Doesn’t matter what time. I’ll be here. Thank you.

Now, Ressler taking a big step forward in accepting help by reaching out to Park is a good sign for his recovery, as he seems both sincere and willing to do more than just try to wean himself off the pills. It’s a good thing for him, but what about Park? As she reminded Ressler in this episode, her marriage is hanging on by a thread, she was injured seriously enough that she’s still suffering from headaches, and she had a miscarriage

Unless Ressler really steps up in his own recovery, it’s possible that adding this responsibility onto what she’s already carrying could be too much for her. He clearly doesn’t want to make anything worse for her, which is a good sign, but I’m just hoping that he rounded a corner in his recovery in this episode so that he doesn’t risk taking both of them down. As for Park… well, I’m guessing that she’ll help him again, and not just stop at uncuffing him from his desk. I just hope that it’s not at the expense of her own health. 

See what’s next for Ressler, Park, and the rest with new episodes of The Blacklist on Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC, until the show moves back to Fridays in February. I’m all-in on Ressler and Park continuing to build a friendship as long as Park doesn’t suffer for it, and kudos to The Blacklist for developing a new pairing for Ressler after killing off Liz. His relationship with Park isn’t romantic, but definitely one of the most intriguing parts of Season 9 so far for me. For more viewing options now and in the coming weeks, check out our 2022 winter and spring premiere schedule.

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