The Blacklist: The Front Review

The Blacklist gets as contemporary as the plague. Here is our review.

Holy Ebola, Batman! I know, I know, that was in poor taste. One could make the argument that it was in poor taste of The Blacklist to air this plague-themed episode given the current panicked state of affairs. Of course, one could also argue that this is just the show accidentally having its fingers on the contemporary pulse. Either way, given the ancient origins of the made-up disease and its DaVinci Code meets 12 Monkeys vibe, it’s not exactly like the episode needed any sort of trigger warning — unless hearing James Spader give grand monologues to close the fourth act sets you off. In which case, how have you made it thus far into the series?

Monday night’s episode began to give us a fuller sense of Reddington, the father. Is he, as a person in general, still cloaked in mystery? Absolutely. And well he should be. It is, after all, only the very start of season 2 and clearly this show isn’t going anywhere soon. But an image of Red as a protector is sliding more visibly into place. We’ve seen him behave in a paternal way towards Elizabeth in the past, but his motives have always been suspect. While we still don’t know what he wants from her, his hiring a bodyguard to look after her, and being the first face she sees (and hand she takes) when she wakes up at the episode’s end aren’t actions and interactions that inspire suspicion.

If anything, Lizzie is now the one I, as an audience member, find giving the most amount of side-eye per episode. The show is trying to make a big deal out of her locked door secret — but it’s….like, clearly Tom, right? She’s got Tom held hostage, yeah? This to me is the only thing that makes sense. It’s also a nice Tell-Tale heart effect driving the breakdown that her coworkers keep pointing out that she’s having. Lizzie herself doesn’t seem that wrecked to me — she’s seems calculating, curious, but fairly together. I blame that on the acting. If anyone on the show is going to break it’s going to be Lizzie, but to what end?

Red spends time, money, and effort (three resources of which he seems to be in endless supply) this week trying to find, presumably, his daughter. He does. It’s not anticlimactic, as it were, but it’s not the epic reveal we’ve been expecting. Frankly, nothing involving a food truck could ever be described as epic unless we’re talking about really, really good cheese fries. Though it’s nice to see this storyline (as well as Samar’s) move forward, it only serves as a momentary distraction from whatever secret is brewing within Red about Lizzie. Conclusion: Needs more Berlin, is Lizzie playing Mr. Rochester to Tom’s crazy-Bertha? ONLY TIME WILL TELL!

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4 out of 5