The Blacklist: The Decembrist Review

This episode of The Blacklist has some explosive changes, but it leaves us just thinking about who Liz's father might be...

If you still have doubts that Red is Liz’s dad, please go sit on the other side of the room and write a 1000-word essay in defense of this belief. I’m serious. Convince me. Because I’m dying to be made to think otherwise, especially after a season and a half of The Blacklist with me looking for any other reason for him to continue to insert himself into her life in the way he has from go. I guess maybe he could be…a very involved uncle? But let’s be real, even that seems like a stress.

I’ve got a lot of uncles, and I think I can say with 100 percent confidence that the most they would do if they discovered that my boyfriend or husband was a lying spy is look vaguely uncomfortable and ask me about work. Because it would be weird for them to reveal that they are somehow embroiled in an intrigue with your now-ex lover and have paid them off to be sure they never mess with you again. Dear any of my uncles reading this: If this has ever occurred, now is the hour to step forth and admit it.

In addition to converting me solidly to the church of Red Is Totally Liz’s Dad, this episode also contained several other grim splendors. The death count was high this week, sadly though, none of them were Tom. Berlin went out (yes, with a full bottle of vodka in him) with less of a bang and more of a whimper. While it will never not be jaw-dropping and harrowing to explode Alan Alda’s head by way of a neck-bomb, doesn’t our boy the big bad Berline deserve that sort of epic and gory farewell? I know they’d been setting up Alda as the Decembrist since the fourth episode of the last season, but he’s hardly cast the same shadow over the show as Berlin.

Tom’s eventual release and escape aided by Red didn’t sit well with me, and not for the obvious reasons, like that I, as a viewer, should be worried about information of value being kept from a protagonist. Sure, Red’s parental care of Liz was explored yet again, but to what end? He is never not there to clean up her messes. You’d think even she would be suspicious of this by now. Their relationship is unique and not without a level of trust, but if Liz doesn’t smarten up soon, it’s impossible to think that Red’s interest in her is anything other than the semi-blind love of a parent. This show continues to be exceptionally smart — here’s hoping that when they return in February it will be with a plan of action to strengthen their central mystery, or resolve it and move on to something even better.

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4 out of 5