It started with the assumed premise that Reddington has some sort of blood relationship with Liz and that he may want to play by two different rules: he can hide from his past by offering his service to FBI, he can run from FBI by resorting to his past practices.
The Season premiere started with Reddington turning himself in – after eluding capture for over a decade – and requesting to talk to Elizabeth “Liz” Keen (Megan Boone) only, something that puzzled the bureau chief Harold Cooper (Harry Lennix). Liz just graduated and got transferred from Quantico with no experience in the field. Since they could not get anywhere with Reddington, the bureau was forced to send for Liz right away. With both hands and feet chained, placed in a closed bullet-proof bunker style partition, flanked by two heavily armed special agents inside the bunker, Reddington talked like someone who was in control of the situation. Go figure! Conversing with Liz, he talked his way into a more relaxed room – although still handcuffed – by revealing that a certain general’s daughter will be kidnapped by a notorious criminal. Some FBI agents are quickly dispatched to advise the general of the situation while other agents are sent to retrieve the general’s daughter from a ballet school.
Once the daughter is secure by FBI, they thought she was safe. They were wrong. They were ambushed en route and the daughter was abducted. Nowhere else to turn – Reddington wants it that way – the bureau turns to Reddington for help finding the general’s daughter. Reddington delivered. FBI found the general’s daughter sitting alone with a timed bomb backpack strapped on her. Reddington came to the rescue once again; he sent an explosive expert to take care of the matter. Once that was over, the bureau was preparing to send Reddington back “to the slammer” but that couldn’t happen; Reddington dropped a bomb of his own, the criminal who kidnapped the general’s daughter was just one of a long list of very dangerous criminals, unknown to the bureau, The Blacklist.
Reddington quickly established himself as an important asset FBI can use; he is able to point to criminals FBI didn’t even know existed and help the bureau catch or kill them. He is very good at negotiating; he managed to free himself from those chains and cuffs, lay out conditions for him to help the bureau, one of which was to place a tracking chip in his neck. How thoughtful! Reddington was now free to roam around at FBI expense of course.
Liz is a profiler. No other credential beyond that; that’s the reason the FBI bureau chief (along with others) was puzzled by Reddington’s request to speak to her and her only. She is a goofball; she is clumsy; she doesn’t deserve the attention. The writers must have something in mind. Stay tuned!
As far as the FBI bureau chief, one cannot but ask as to why he is even in the show; he doesn’t contribute much; he is not really in charge. He adds very little to the conversations. You would not miss him a bit if he weren’t in the show or taken off. Watch Harry Lenix in “Commander in Chief” as Jim Gardner; he is brilliant. How about James Spader in Boston Legal? So, whose fault is it those great actors suck in The Blacklist? The producer, of course.
What made the show interesting, until episode 10 that is, is Reddington’s amazing knowledge about the world of bad guys and the ability to quickly get the info he needs. He can be in and out of any situation without being seen; you can only catch him if he wants you to. All that ended after episode 10, which was the last time Reddington was able to provide accurate information to FBI; that was also the last time you would see Reddington in control of situations around him. In other words, episode ten should have been the finale for the season, or even for the show. Instead, the producer dragged the audience to watch mediocrity in every episode thereafter. To make matters worse, one would expect that the season finale would be at the point where Liz’s husband walked. Nope, NBC wants to continue the mediocrity streak.
It is easy to see that the first 10 episodes were produced prior to The Blacklist series debut. Most TV series that fall into that category (Scandal comes to mind) have one thing in common: the episodes that come after the first few before the premiering are created as time goes by, on the fly so to speak. There was never any discussion on what the ending should be. So, what you watch is a collection of disconnected scenes, unbridled creativity with no purpose I call it. The secret to a good series (however many seasons long) is to already have an ending in the beginning. The approach forces the script writers to conceive scenes that fit nicely within the story line; it’s guaranteed to grab and keep your attention for a while such as in Nikita, the next review.
Judging by the latest episodes, “The Blacklist” is running out of names of dangerous criminals. It’s time to pull the plug on this show, unless…
What would you do to bring the original Reddington back to The Blacklist?
Follow Mike Ducheine on Twitter: @mducheiney
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