Now for something completely different. Ever since late September last year we have wowed by James Spader’s diabolical performance of master criminal Raymond Reddington on The Blacklist. The show appears in many ways rather conventional. FBI Special Agent Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone) is tasked to extract information from Raymond Reddington after he has turned himself in. Instead he gives her leads on the most dangerous criminals he has worked with ever since fall to the dark-side some 20 years back. Raymond Reddington sold classified information and is being hunted ever since. The series get interesting because of its uncompromising attitude towards killing off those that the main characters are close. Viewers are captive to the question of why Raymond started his criminal career and what his connection to agent Keen is.
The show has its procedural aspects such as the FBI hunt for a criminal of the week. In this case their names appear on the The Blacklist which has been provided by Raymond. This weeks plot focuses on the Pavlovich Brothers who are hired by the Chinese government to fetch a dissident from the United States who is willing the reveal their germ warfare program. The FBI have little luck tracking them down after they have snatched away the dissident. Raymond Reddington gives them a lead but knows they will come far too late to find the dissident, instead he hires The Pavlovich Brothers himself to track Keen’s wife Tom and bring him back to her.
Since a few episodes Elizabeth is convinced that her husband Tom has arranged the marriage to spy on her. He knows she knows but they still play their cat and mouse game. In this episode she and Reddington track Tom to the national archives but she is spotted by her husband. He returns home once more and they have a revealing conversation before he disappears for good. After The Pavlovich Brothers track down Tom and kill his guards they leave him at Elizabeth’s as a present from Mr. Reddington. Elizabeth tries to illicit a response from Tom about his deception but does not get the answers he wants and brakes his thumb. Tom manages to slip out of his handcuffs and locks up Elizabeth. He tells her the key she took from him will reveal a secret about Reddington.
The FBI eventually manage to track The Pavlovich Brothers and save the dissident. However, Assistant Director Cooper is starting to become concerned with her continued absence. As the season will last for only three more episodes it becomes clear that the matter of Tom, the people he works for and the relationship between Reddington and Elizabeth will come to a head before long.
This week’s episode of The Blacklist was good. It wasn’t brilliant as this show can be, but it was a lot better than episode 13 The Cyprus Agency (No. 64) which was boring as hell. From my summary of the plot you can make out that the procedural aspects of this episode weren’t too exciting, their only interesting thing was the way the plot with the dissident was interwoven with that of Elizabeth and Tom. The latter is where all the meat is and though it was good the revelation between Elizabeth and Tom did come too soon in my opinion. It ultimately did not manage to produce the highs that such a anticipated confrontation should have. James Spader was as brilliant as ever though I never realized that Reddington talked so much.
Score; 8.1 / 10. Not the best of The Blacklist but it does not disappoint.