TV Review: ‘Blacklist’ Fizzles with ‘Wujing’

This week on “The Blacklist,” Reddington (James Spader) and Agent Keen (Megan Boone) handle deciphering encrypted messages for Wujing, a dangerous Chinese mastermind. After two episodes of plot twists and fast-paced action, last night seems like a bit of a letdown. We’re only thrown a couple of crumbs in the way of mysterious developments. Firstly, a group of men install some cameras in Keen’s apartment to put her under surveillance. The apparent ringleader is a man with an apple. The second tidbit comes when Keen asks Red why he chose her; he admits it has to do with her father.

Everything else follows a rather predictable and humdrum path. The FBI and CIA have a link to the Chinese systems through Keen, allowing them to see Wujing’s next target at the same time. There is a race by both sides to reach Henry Cho, an architect and private citizen, who passed off building plans for the CIA. Wujing drops off Keen and Red before he is arrested by the FBI. Plots revolving around spies and government secrets like these seem a bit overdone nowadays, particularly in the aftermath of WikiLeaks and Snowden headlines. Hopefully, we will see Reddington return to offering spectacular and unusual targets on his Blacklist.

To be fair, there were memorable moments. Spader always shines as Reddington and he switches from smugness to serious at the drop of a hat within a scene. We also see the extent of Red’s devotion to Keen when he kills the scapegoat Wujing mistakes as the security breach. Red explains he will do anything to keep Agent Keen alive. That brings us back to one of the central questions, whether the Blacklist is Red’s only objective.

“The Blacklist” airs Monday evenings on NBC at 10|9c.

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