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What Disorder Did Samar Navabi Suffer From On The Blacklist?

Agent Samar Navabi (Mozhan Marnò) showed up in "The Blacklist" is Season 2 as an Mossad agent who begins working with the FBI and later the FBI, assigned to the task force with Raymond Reddington (James Spader) and Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone) and later forming a romantic relationship with Aram Motabai (Amir Arison). A very intelligent and skilled agent, she was on the show through Season 6, when her character disappeared.

In Season 5, Episode 21 ("Lawrence Dane Devlin"), Samar was kidnapped by Lawrence Dane Devlin (Pruitt Taylor Vince). After they struggle and he drives them off the road, she's hurt and stuck in the van when a bear comes along and pushes the van into a small pond. Aram ends up finding her, but she's been submerged in the water for several minutes by the time she's revived, doing extensive damage to her brain. While the doctors say she can't breathe on her own and they don't know if she ever will, Aram refuses to leave her side, playing music to try to reach her.

Eventually Samar awakens, but she soon starts having trouble with her speech and language, such as calling 119 when she meant to call 911, and forgetting words. Viewers may have missed the text message Aram sees on her phone that signals the disorder her drowning has brought on.

Samar suffered from aphasia after drowning

In Season 6, Episode 11 ("Bastien Moreau") of "The Blacklist," Aram accidentally comes across a message on Samar's phone that states: "This is Dan with NAA. Found speech pathologist for impairment therapy. When can you start?" The acronym stands for the National Aphasia Association, which means that Samar has reached out to them for help with her speech and language difficulties. According to the NAA's website, "Aphasia is an impairment of language, affecting the production or comprehension of speech and the ability to read or write. Aphasia is always due to injury to the brain."

While aphasia isn't a very well-known disorder, more people have been searching out what it means after Bruce Willis announced he was retiring this year due, in part, to having aphasia. It can be a scary diagnosis, which Emilia Clarke chronicled in an essay for The New Yorker, recalling that a nurse asked her what her name was, and "couldn't remember it. Instead, nonsense words tumbled out of my mouth and I went into a blind panic. I'd never experienced fear like that—a sense of doom closing in."

In the fictional world of "The Blacklist," Mossad put a hit on Samar after becoming aware of her memory issues, and she voluntarily left Aram and her life to go into hiding. In reality, Marnò was just ready to move on, writing on her Instagram that she was "ready for my next chapter, and the producers very graciously granted my request to move on from the show."