The Blacklist: (S04E01) "Esteban"

Following the events of the season 3 finale, Raymond goes on the offensive in an all out war to get Elizabeth back from her captor and self proclaimed father, Alexander Kirk. Meanwhile back in the states, the team at the FBI try to find out what happened to Liz, Tom, and Agnes all while dealing with Liz betraying them.
Red is back and you do not want to be on his bad side. The season 4 opener is 100% pure Blacklist. There’s murder, dark revelations, and of course, a severed head. As a long time fan, I loved seeing Reddington unleash hell on the Cuban police unlucky enough to have any connections to Alexander Kirk. Between a creepy as all get-out villain, and a CIA sanctioned torture house, this was a great way to start the season.
The two main noteworthy parts of this episode were the parallels between Kirk and Red, and seeing the team deal with the big news about Liz.
Starting off with Red vs. Kirk; I am really excited for what I think Bokenkamp and co. are setting up. After all, the differences are what make the similarities all the more terrifying. Yes, both men want to protect Liz in their own interesting ways, but the way either man goes about it shows who really cares for Liz and Agnes. For instance: Mr. Kaplan and Dembe (I’d watch the hell out of a mini series featuring these two) are focused on the safe return of sweet Agnes, while their counter parts clearly have no real desire to see either safe, just alive. That along with that insane car crash at the end that leads me to believe it is simply just a job for nega-Kaplan and nega-Dembe. I genuinely look forward to the next altercation between the two henchpeople.
When it comes to our FBI friends back in the states, there is some serious tension  in the team, especially between Aram and Samar. Their cold war like romance seems to hit snag when Aram tells Samar how bad she’ll feel if she doesn’t help the team in bringing Liz & friends back home. As much as I can appreciate Ressler going to Cuba and Cooper going toe-to-toe with the backstabbing Marshall Cynthia Panabaker, it felt like Aram and Samar felt the brunt of the news, while the other part of the team were focused on the mission. While on the subject of Cuba, I gotta say that Esteban (our Blacklister) was one of the creepier villains in the series. While evil, sure, I wouldn’t say he was the worst in terms of crimes, but he was giving me some serious wiggins while removing his prosthetic eyes. :shudder:
All in all, it was an excellent way to start off the season, and I for one am really looking forward to seeing how this all plays out.