Netflix has sabotaged my time again. This time with the drama “Blacklist)”, a show about a US Naval Officer who dropped off the grid, going rogue and criminal, and then becoming a high value informer for the government.
Spoiler alert: if you haven’t watched, and are interested, you might want to stop here and move along.
The Pilot was fairly compelling, but a bit cheesy. Raymond (Red) Reddington turns himself in at FBI Headquarters, and offers to assist in the capture of some seriously bad dudes (and dudettes), but there is a catch. He will work only through a new agent, a profiler who just joined the force, Elizabeth Keen.
In the first episode, the story is about halting a public, high impact bombing using a General’s daughter who was kidnapped from the custody of said agent Keen.
But as with all drama’s there is the main thread, but a few side threads all intertwined into the tapestry of the show. In the pilot, there is a subtext of a connection between Red and Agent Keen that is telegraphing a long term plot line. Additionally, one of the methods the “bad dude” employs to affect agent Keen’s motivation is the restraint and stabbing of her husband, a goofy 4th grade teacher that balances her serious job at the FBI.
The show ends with agent Keen cleaning up the blood, removing the ruined carpet, and discovering a hidden cubbyhole containing a box with lots of cash, several passports with her husband’s picture but aliases, and a gun (looks to be a H&K 9mm).
Shit, I am hooked. Yes, the bad dudes getting nailed is a positive feeling, but now I want to know about the connection between Keen and Reddington, and what douchebaggery is her husband up to?
Megan Boone plays agent Keen, and this will likely be a breakout role for her. She does a great job, and you quickly empathize with her.
Red Reddington is played by James Spader. I have long been a fan, and his acting is spectacular. In fact, without his presence, I doubt the pilot would have been picked up. However, time has not been kind to James Spader. Definitely not aging well, but he pulls off the character.
The plot holes
As I have mentioned the show is a good watch, and the writers/producers do a great job with adding a hook near the end on one of the subplots that keeps you waiting for the next installment.
But looking at the higher level, the premise that this rogue criminal returns to the fold, and they allow him to remain free, as long as he helps them catch seriously bad dudes. Yeah, that is going to happen.
Still it is a good story as long as you can overlook that hole.