Samar Navabi is a Mossad operative who has had past interactions with Raymond Reddington. After the death of CIA Agent Meera Malik, she is assigned by Assistant Director Harold Cooper to the task force as an investigative agent and Mossad liaison.
She is an Iranian Jew (possible Muslim, during her interview for the Katai fellowship in ”Philomena”) who was radicalized and, one assumes, recruited by Mossad because of the mistreatment and killing of her parents by the Iranian regime.
Samar extracts Raymond Reddington from a hotel with a squad and an attack helicopter. The FBI later arranges for him to be released. She explains to Reddington before he's released that she tracked him by analyzing his patterns and determining he had a very specific taste in high-end ties. Knowing this, they laced the dye at the manufacturer's end, which allowed them to track everybody who owned one. Reddington is impressed. On release, Reddington offers to tell her who killed her brother, but she already knows the name. However, that person has been missing for many years.
Samar shows up to cover Elizabeth Keen and Donald Ressler escape from a tactical team with Kaja, an important witness. Later, she meets with Harold Cooper to show him the intel she had on Reddington, which impresses him. He asks her what he has to do to get her on his team. She later calls Reddington to tell him she's in and that she's looking forward to working with him.
Harold Cooper introduces Samar to the team. She is on indefinite loan. Elizabeth reveals her mistrust regarding Samar to Ressler, while Aram Mojtabai is visibly smitten with her, and it's revealed she only took 74 days to find Reddington, as opposed to Ressler's unsuccessful 5 years. She listens in as the case progresses but doesn't take an active role.
Working through redacted documentation on black ops budgets, she informs the team of the existence of an asset called The Polyglot, who can give meaning to otherwise indecipherable documentation. She also assists with identifying Linus Creel's victims and chasing down the last triggered victim. Later, she provides Elizabeth with the results of genetic testing done by Creel.
Samar becomes frustrated and confronts Liz about letting Maddox Beck escape with the DNA, storming off, stating “This is unbelievable”. She assists in decoding an Ancient Cyrillic cipher left at a burial site that tells where the body was reburied. She later helps chase down a plague carrier, who infects her before shooting her in the side. She struggles to shut the door so no one else will get infected, but Elizabeth manages to convince her to open it so she can treat Samar's wound. Elizabeth is infected and they're quarantined together. This scene serves to prove that Liz has started to trust Samar and vice versa. Later, Aram sits with her in the hospital while she receives treatment.
Samar goes with Liz and Ressler to “The Factory” in order to extract Reddington from the prison. Samar is shot in the lower calf and taken hostage along with Ressler by men operating under Luther Braxton. They are taken to a prison torture room, where they are placed on raised platforms with chain nooses around their necks. There is another hostage with an abdominal wound on one platform. Samar is in pain and expresses to Ressler that she cannot put weight on her foot.
Luther Braxton calls Harold Cooper and uses Samar as leverage to get what he wants, threatening to kill her. He raises her noose so that her neck begins to break and she begins to choke. Cooper hesitates but gives the code to Braxton, who lowers Samar back down. Samar begins speaking Farsi to one of Braxton's men and convinces him to let the dying man next to her down.
When the missiles ordered by The Director strike the prison, the room collapses and Samar's noose tightens, choking her once again. Ressler climbs a fallen beam in order to cut her loose, before assisting her in walking to find Reddington.
Samar works with Ressler to find the medical professional who Braxton hired to retrieve Liz's lost memories. Samar is with Cooper and Ressler in Cooper's office when Aram walks in, astounded to see her safe. He hugs her, relieved then quickly realises the others are staring and briefly hugs Ressler too.
The task force receives footage of a van being detonated. Later, Samar is sent to investigate a van similar to the one that exploded earlier. She is instructed by the bomb squad to remain behind the FBI line for safety reasons. Samar ignores this and upon approaching the van, realises that the person set to detonate the bomb is a child. She coaxes the child out of the van calmly, leading him safely away and allowing the bomb squad to move in.
Red calls Samar to use enhanced interrogation techniques on Kenneth Jasper. After he leaves she helps Jasper escape, giving the impression that she is working for the Director. However, she then drives Jasper to another house where Reddington is waiting for them.
Samar reunites with her ex-boyfriend; Levi Shur, a Mossad operative; while hunting with Ressler for Zal Bin Hasaan. While freeing hostages from a power plant, Samar recognize her brother, who she thought to be dead, by a tattoo on his wrist. Ressler leaves, but Samar opts to stay with Mossad and her brother.
There is an explosion, and Samar learns Hasaan is in the building. She is forced to hide. When she overhears one of the men refer to her brother as Hasaan, it is revealed that he is Zal Bin Hasaan. She finds the computer server room looking for classified documents, where she shoots a man threatening Levi's life. They burn the top secret documents Hasaan's men are looking for. Levi kisses her, but she does not kiss him back and seems uncomfortable. Levi is shot in the chest by Hasaan's men. Samar tries to save him but is taken hostage.
While being taken by Hasaan/Shahin, she discovers that he was responsible for the Pishin bombing. Reddington arrives, effectively saving Samar's life and capturing Hasaan/Shahin. Reddington tells Samar she can either turn her brother in to the FBI or give him to Reddington. Samar gives him to Reddington, who promises it will help exonerate Elizabeth. Ressler finds Samar near-crying in her office that evening. Both vulnerable, they end up sleeping together.
After spending the Ressler, Samar is awoken to a phone call from Liz, who asks her to track Reddington's number because he is in danger. Samar runs the trace on Ressler's laptop, and Samar promises to keep it a secret. Ressler finds out she betrayed him, and she reveals that she also tipped Liz off earlier so she could escape a restaurant before the FBI raided it. Samar explains that she protected her because if she was brought into custody, Liz would be killed. Ressler fires her.
Of the members of the task force, Samar appears to take the first news of Liz' death the hardest, breaking down into uncharacteristic sobs when Ressler tells her, leaning on him for support as she struggles to stand.
Following Liz' death, Samar visits Tom in the hospital to help with Agnes. She attends Liz' funeral and is 1 of 6 people who carry her coffin to the hearse. Aram finds Samar standing alone afterwards and embraces her supportively. She silently accepts his empathy and smiles appreciatively. In the car to the ceremony, she notices Aram smoking due to stress and reaches out so he can pass her the cigarette. Distraught about Liz, she takes a drag, before sighing and stating “I feel horrible.”
Samar takes the lead on a case in Liz's absence, investigating Silas Gouldsberry, a man who kills amateur scientists in order to thieve their inventions. As she is rolling out, Samar receives a phone call from Aram's girlfriend, Janet Sutherland, who asks her for advice on how to plan the perfect date for Aram. Samar is understandably taken aback but helps out nonetheless.
Gouldsberry takes hostages in a server room, attempting to open-source his file of inventions. When Ressler releases fire suppression gas into the room, Samar breaches and shoots Gouldsberry, effectively killing him. She then follows Aram's instructions to stop the upload he was attempting to complete, giving the files to Laurel Hitchin shortly after.
Samar meets with a contact from the British Embassy, who shows her a case file on the Jaipur Centrifuge Hack. She recognises one of the engineers who was thought to have died, under the alias Kate Lord, identifying her as Elise, Aram's current girlfriend. She realizes that Elise is duping Aram, by pretending to be in love with him and using him to gain classified information. Samar wants to tell him and Cooper insists they keep it a secret, but Aram already knows.
Aram has to pretend he is not suspicious and have dinner with Janet so he can hack her computer, so Samar helps him prepare. Samar tells him not to worry, and that if anything goes wrong, the marines “better get there before I do because I will mess that bitch up”. Before he leaves, she kisses him on the cheek, and he realizes that Elise's date the previous night was actually planned by Samar.
Samar carries out a classified Mossad operation without informing the FBI or task force. The task force is set on investigating the attack that Cooper refers to as a “terrorist attack on U.S. soil”, and finding the people responsible. Samar investigates the case with Ressler while trying not to implicate herself. She tells Aram that she will look into one of the suspects, but omits the fact that he is her colleague.
She falsely informs Aram that the suspect is clean. He then tells her that he is no longer a person of interest. She hugs him and he asks her to dinner that night, which she accepts. Later, Samar is taken hostage for her betrayal and is saved by her ex-boyfriend Levi Shur. He informs her that he is single, and tells her to think about being with him.
The task force finds about Cooper asks to speak to Samar, and reprimands her for her strayed loyalty, warning her not to lie to the task force again. She stands by her actions but does not argue with him. Samar approaches Aram and asks for a rain-check on dinner because she is exhausted, but he tells her he can't be with a person who lies to him and cancels. Samar is visibly hurt, but understanding. She meets Levi and tells him that she cannot be with him because she is in love with someone else.
Samar is mistakenly given Aram's pay-check, subsequently finding out that he is paid 32 percent more than her. She discusses this with Aram, revealing her anger. She is later offered a raise of 16 percent by Cooper, which she turns down because it is still unequal. Samar states that Natalie Luca and her partner's relationship is romantic based the felonies they committed for one another, including his dying in her arms.
This reveals Samar's views on romance and the felony. It is later revealed that Samar was offered her raise because Aram offered to transfer 16 percent of his wage to hers, making their wages equal. Samar thanks him for the gesture, but turns it down, both feeling undeserving of it and not wanting to take Aram's money. Aram tells her he would “do anything for [her]”.
Samar finds Keen's desperate need to avenge Tom's death by committing felonies as romantic, stating how she would do “whatever it takes” to find her husband's killer. This again reveals the connection Samar draws between romance and the felony.
After being kidnapped by Lawrence Dane Devlin, Samar manages to briefly escape before being recaptured. While loose she is able to grab a sharp stick, and she stabs Devlin in the abdomen when he tries to load her into a van. Devlin's injuries eventually cause him to crash the van, further injuring Samar as she is impaled by debris. When Devlin gets out, he is eaten by a bear which then knocks the van into a nearby river. Trapped in the rear of the flooding van, Samar reaches Devlin's phone and calls Aram Mojtabai to tell him that she would've said yes if he'd proposed. She then hangs up, apparently resigned to her fate.
Having located Devlin's farm, Aram is able to use a few clues Samar gave him over the phone to locate the sinking van. By the time he reaches Samar, she has already drowned. Aram rescues Samar from the vehicle and performs CPR. Samar is rushed to the hospital where doctors revive her but she is unable to breathe on her own, requiring life support. According to Donald Ressler, the doctors say that Samar was without oxygen for a long time (Samar later reveals it was 6 minutes) and it has damaged her badly, perhaps irreparably. They don't know if she ever will be able to breathe on her own again. Aram refuses to give up on the comatose Samar, playing her favourite playlist and officially proposing to her before slipping his grandmother's ring onto her finger.
After rescuing Liz from Sutton Ross, Aram rushes to the hospital after getting a phone call to find Samar awake. Samar tells Aram that she had said “yes” to him: she will marry him. The two embrace.
Samar is cleared by her doctor to return to the task force but is warned that if she experiences any symptoms such as forgetting words or phrases, seeing bright lights or having migraines, she should not return to work. She officially returns as a field agent and is put straight on the case.
Samar goes undercover in the black market, pretending to buy a hard-drive containing classified U.S. information on behalf of Mossad in order to prevent the Chinese from getting it. She successfully convinces The Pawnbrokers of her fake intentions and makes the purchase. The FBI track her whereabouts and breach, just as the Chinese arrive and attempt to seize the drive. Samar attempts to call an ambulance, but keys in 1-1-9 rather than 9-1-1 as a result of her medical condition.
Samar is seen playing 'Word Splurge', a mobile game similar in style to scrabble while watching an informational video on aphasia, a medical condition where a person cannot remember words or phrases. It is assumed this is an attempt to remedy her forgetting of words. Aram notices her playing and tries to get her to play with him. She refuses but won't tell him why. Samar visits Alter Ego, where she talks to the CEO about what it is the company does. Later, Samar is seen smiling at her phone, before inviting Aram to a game of Word Splurge, apparently having resolved her reservations.
Aram finds Samar sitting alone in her office with all the lights off, and she reveals to him she has been getting migraines since the accident. At the end of the episode, she lays with her head on his lap with another apparent migraine, while he reassures her that everything will be okay.
It is revealed that Samar's mysterious brain injury is Vascular Dementia. Samar is targeted by the Osterman Umbrella Company. Levi Shur contracted the assassination after learning of Samar's medical condition, which could compromise the information she knows. Samar knows that the company will stop at no bounds to assassinate her and tells Aram this, saying she has to leave forever.
Aram eventually convinces her to let him come with her, despite her protest. They split paths, agreeing to meet later when everything was prepared. Samar does not show up to the meeting place, instead enlisting Reddington's help to escape without him. Red gives Aram a burner to call Samar on.
She apologizes and explains that she couldn't put him through the suffering of leaving his life and his family just for her. She tells Aram she loves him, and that she will never forget him before hanging up. Her plane flies to an undisclosed location, where no one will be able to track her, including the task force.
- Samar views felonies as a symbol of romance. In her view, committing a felony for someone you love is a romantic gesture. (“Natalie Luca”, “The Informant”, “Tom Keen”)
- Samar has a tattoo of a falcon on her upper left arm, honouring her brother Shahin, whose name means falcon in Farsi. He had the same tattoo on his left wrist.
- Samar used to be a smoker, but she quit in 2013. She has since shown the occasional tendency to smoke when stressed. (“The Artax Network”, “Bastien Moreau: Conclusion”)
- Samar was taught how to be a “Jewish Mother” as part of her Mossad training. (“Alistair Pitt”)
- Samar's medical condition; Vascular Dementia, was caused by a lack of oxygen to her brain.
- Samar was underwater and drowning for 6 minutes before being pulled to the surface.
- Samar was engaged to Aram Mojtabai before going on the run.
- Samar is a political refugee of her home country Iran.
- Samar fluently speaks Arabic, English, Farsi, French, German, Hebrew, and Spanish.
- Mozhan Marnò, the actress who plays Samar, speaks 5 of these languages.
- Samar lived with her uncle's family after her parents died and became very close to her elder cousin Yana.
- Samar was, at one time, on a Mossad task force devoted to killing Zal Bin Hasaan.