The Blacklist mid-season finale review
The Blacklist has just aired its mid-season final and what a shocker it has been. For those who are adverse to spoilers, I have some bad news, Tom is dead. for real this time. I suppose he had been dodging too many bullets from season 1 and now one knife wound caught up with him. The departure of Ryan Eggold will change a lot of the dynamic on The Blacklist. No longer does Elizabeth have an guardian angel who can stand up to Reddington. But, whatever I feel about this situation does not come close to the frustration of watching this episode.
To put it bluntly, Ian Garvey is the new blacklister. He is powerful, knows Reddington’s secrets and is played by Jonny Coyne (the warden from Alcatraz). All that is good until you consider we are yet again not told how all this came to be. Why haven’t the authorities taken out a guy like Garvey. This time it feels like it is the Deus Ex Machina that has broken the camels back.
Just like with this season, so far, this episode has been a mixed bag. The straight treasure hunt during the first half of the episode made way for a dubious effort on Tom’s part to run away with the skeletal bones and Elizabeth. I say dubious because I lost the plot there. One minute Tom was walking through a train station and the next he was held captive by Garvey. A rather dumb Elizabeth than allows herself to be overpowered by Garvey’s men. This part was frankly excruciating to watch. It reminded me of the time fans cheered when they thought Megan Boone had been written out of the show.
The last straw
In the final act of the episode we see Garvey slowly torturing Tom in order to get him to call Red. I didn’t get that, surely Garvey could have just looked up the phone number in Lizzie’s rolodex. While Garvey vanishes Tom manages to overpower some of his men. But Tom is also slowly bleeding out. In the nick of time Red and Dembe come to the rescue. However, while both Tom and Elizabeth are taken to the hospital Tom dies. Or so Liz is told by Reddington when she wakes from a coma after 10 months. The viewer is left guessing why there was such a gap in the show and what happened during the meantime. I like to think that Reddington defeated Garvey, but the show makes more sense if the later managed to use the remains to get sway over Red.
It is difficult to say what the departure of Ryan Eggold will mean for The Blacklist. Sometimes the death of a character can rejuvenate a show. I am skeptical that that is the case with Tom’s death as well. For a lot of fans this change will mean they will quite the show. Yet, I will continue to focus on what is important, Reddington and that dammed blacklist. That said, I feel like I am tuning out of The Blacklist. It has been fun watching Red rebuild his criminal empire, but it has come at the cost of other storylines.