Caution: This review contains spoilers.
Despite the mounting troubles for Agent Liz Keen (Megan Boone), last night’s episode of “The Blacklist” was rather disappointing. It seems nearly every television show throws away an entire installment in dedicating an hour to flashbacks to earlier episodes. We have yet to encounter the deus ex machina of “It was just a dream.” Liz’s secret (holding Tom Keen as prisoner) is catching up to her, as Judge Denner (John Finn) interviews her in his chamber about Reddington and later her involvement in the death of the DC Habormaster. She digs a deeper hole for herself with further lies, that she killed Tom months before the incident. Ballistic evidence emerges as well to poke holes in her testimony.
I’ve always found extended recaps to be tiresome. This one was particularly trying, as we don’t really uncover anything new on her end. We hear more about how she lost her “perfect life.” Denner is also boring, as it’s already well-established in the beginning that he is a staunch advocate of government transparency. Most of his interview sequence could have been posted on the NBC site as a webisode instead of aired on television. The most compelling aspect of “The Blacklist” has always been Raymond Reddington (James Spader), whose charisma and dangerous side do much to keep viewers both amused and on the edge of their seats all at once.
One would hope that things will get more exciting next week, as Reddington’s activities yesterday set him in a good position to get to Tom Keen (Ryan Eggold). Tom, the one man who can get Lizzie out of her bind, is busy in Germany trying to infiltrate a group focused on the weapons market. Last night we also discovered a little more about Tom, whose real name is Jacob. He was found by the “Major,” a man who cultivates young delinquents into agent-material available to do dirty work for high-paying clients. Tom was originally contracted to Reddington by the Major (Lance Henriksen), who changed gears when Berlin offered double the money. As we know full well, Red always collects from those who cross him.
Moving forward this season, two main threads are being unraveled here. The first is the story of Tom Keen and what sort of threat he still poses to Red, as his name seems to be next on the Blacklist. It’s interesting that Red hasn’t already killed Tom, given his possessive streak with Liz Keen. The other item of business is whether Denner is worth our concern, or is a threat that will be dealt with swiftly by Red’s blackmail or tactics of making “mutual arrangements.”
“The Blacklist” airs Thursday evenings on NBC at 9|8c.