‘The Blacklist’ Postmortem: Mozhan Marnò Talks Samar’s Big Admission About Aram and Her Feelings About Liz’s Big News

Amar Arison as Aram Mojtabai, Mozhan Marno as Samar Navabi (Credit: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)
Amir Arison as Aram Mojtabai, Mozhan Marnò as Samar Navabi. (Photo: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)

Warning: This interview for the “Lipet’s Seafood Company” episode of The Blacklist contains spoilers.

The Blacklist returned Thursday night, and while there was no further movement on the Liz/Red front — Liz, seriously, who’s your daddy? — it was a big episode for Samar, professionally and personally and the space where those two meet.

After Aram was cleared of any wrongdoing in the case of his spy girlfriend, Elise, he and Samar made plans to celebrate with a dinner she labeled a “date.” But not so fast, Samararam ’shippers. Later in the episode, Samar’s colleagues learned she had been deeply involved in a covert operation with her old Mossad pals, without letting anyone on the task force know about it.

Cooper questioned her loyalty to her job, but for Aram, who, again, is coming off his own drama with his employers questioning his commitment to the FBI, Samar’s Mossad op felt like both a professional and personal betrayal. He doesn’t even know that she’s admitted to former love Levi that she’s now in love with Aram, but Aram told her he can’t be with someone he loves — someone he once considered a person he could marry and have a family with — if he can’t trust her.

Crushing? Yes. But Samar portrayer Mozhan Marnò talked to Yahoo TV about these new developments, and, bottom line: She tells us Samararam fans have every reason to hang in there.

Related: Mozhan Marnò Talks Everyone’s Favorite Would-Be Couple

This is a big, emotional episode for Samar. What is she feeling at the end of all of this?
Mozhan Marnò: Yeah, it’s pretty massive, because things seem to conclude definitively with Levi [Oded Fehr], and they appear to, in a way, with Aram. I think at the end of the episode, she’s disappointed, but I also think Samar’s the sort of person who truly understands consequence. She’s always talking about, “Liz needs to accept the consequences for what she’s done,” and she always seems to be harder on people, but I think really it’s just that she’s not judging. She’s like, “That person did this thing, and now they have to accept responsibility for it, period.” I think for her, it’s that she knows that she’s participated in this covert operation and lied to her colleagues, and she can’t argue with Aram.

Samar is never harder on anyone else than she is on herself, so she does appear to be willing to accept whatever happens.
Yes. That’s exactly right, which is why I think even though she’s disappointed, she understands. She made her bed and now she will lie in it. It’s a deal breaker for Aram, and maybe she didn’t know that at the time, but maybe she should have.

Which do you think is more upsetting to her, that Aram now questions her loyalties, or that her boss, Cooper, does?
I think that’s a great question. I guess the personal [Aram]. I think it’s unusual for her to care about somebody deeply, and I think that, yeah, that vulnerability is not something she exhibits or cares to experience all that often. When she puts herself in a position like that, I think she feels that more deeply, her personal connection.

(Credit: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)
(Photo: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)

She seems to have accepted that she and Aram may not have a chance to be together after her collaboration with her Mossad friends. But she had been waiting for Levi for so long, and now that he’s free to be with her, she tells him she’s in love with someone else, who we know is Aram. Do you think that means she’s leaving the door open a bit to the possibility that she and Aram can get close again and get past this?
Yes. I think she’s hopeful, but it doesn’t look good [right now].

Samar and Aram also seem to be victims of a lot of really bad timing, which is common, especially when friends are contemplating turning a relationship into something romantic. Is that overall a theme for them, that they just keep hitting these bad timing walls?
I think it’s timing, but I also think that it’s because it’s, by nature, so delicate. There’s so much to lose, and on top of that, they work together, and I think nobody really makes big, bold moves all that often. I think you inch towards each other, and then you inch away, and something happens and there’s the wrong look or the wrong moment, and then it takes another month before you take another inch towards somebody again. I think that it’s about the delicate nature of it, of precisely what you said about being friends and navigating through that territory. And then, of course, this particular relationship exists in the context of a criminal underworld. There’s always some plot or some criminal or some sting op that we are involved in, and that will invariably affect or throw a wrench into the romantic story.

Samar lost her whole family, in very painful, heartbreaking ways. Does that lead her to think of her colleagues as a surrogate family, making all of these situations even more difficult for her?
I think probably she’s careful about that. She’s more careful than to just blindly depend on other people. I don’t think that’s something that comes very easily to her. I think that she has grown fond of and attached to certain people in the task force. I don’t know that she would easily call them a surrogate family. I just don’t think she allows herself to get that close to people.

How do you think she’s evolved since we first met her in Season 2?
I think she’s become a little softer. I think, as you said, she’s had an extremely traumatic life that has resulted in her being this impenetrable persona. I think she has just seemed extremely strong and smart and worldly and impenetrable. Nothing fazes her. Now, I think we’ve just seen that a lot fazes her. You see the cracks in the façade, I think, is how she’s evolved, and I think that’s more interesting.

Megan Boone as Elizabeth Keen, Diego Klattenhoff as Donald Ressler, Marno, Harry Lennix as Harold Cooper (Credit: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)
Megan Boone as Elizabeth Keen, Diego Klattenhoff as Donald Ressler, Marnò, Harry Lennix as Harold Cooper. (Photo: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)

What are your favorite moments to play with Samar? Do you like the more physical stories, the more personal relationships?
I think it’s always very fun for us to have opportunities to explore our interpersonal dynamics. I think that the show is a thriller, and it’s a connection show with a personal storyline, but that is mainly surrounding Red and Liz. So I think it’s fun for us to be able to have either very strong points of view about something or arguments or even… I’ve got a thing coming up in another episode where Samar just sees something that really moves her, and she talks about it. It’s really very, very simple and very beautiful. I think that’s always pretty fun [to play].

We don’t get to see Samar’s reaction to the news that Liz is being reinstated as an agent on the task force. Will she be happy that Liz is an agent again?
I think that Samar’s perspective on that is just going to be her own. What I mean by that is, Cooper or the FBI or whoever can do whatever they want, and Samar is still going to think she’s not trustworthy. I’ll work with her, that’s fine. When I say “not trustworthy,” I just mean Samar let her guard down, she was close to Liz, she loves and cares about her, and Liz did this thing that was so manipulative, that truly manipulated all of our emotions. Really, I think, made fools of us. I think Samar, for some reason more than everyone else, feels that way, probably because it’s harder for her to care about people. So when she does, it’s more costly when they seemingly betray her.

What can you tease about the second half of this season? What will we see for Samar?
I don’t think I can say a whole lot… That’s not the end of Aram and Samar. There’s more. I don’t know exactly that they come together, but there’s more development.

The Blacklist airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on NBC.