Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Friday, March 23, 2018

“The Blacklist” season three episode one review

“The Blacklist” returned to NBC primetime this week with the new slogan, “It’s good to be wanted.” I’m not so sure if Liz agrees, but it is quite entertaining to watch how she is coping with her newfound “fugitive” status.

Season three picked up quite flawlessly just where season two left off. The usual mild-mannered and disciplined FBI Special Agent Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone) is now number one on the FBI’s most wanted list after shooting Attorney General Tom Connolly, who, in her defense, was not a good guy. Now Red (James Spader) and Liz are on the run, and Special Agent Donald Ressler (Diego Klattenhoff) is out to find them.  

One thing that surprised me about the episode was Liz’s handle on the situation. For someone who just killed the U.S. Attorney General, she did not freak out the way I expected her to. Besides one or two moments of panic, she seemed pretty calm and collected. Maybe that’s just her personality or maybe it’s FBI agent instincts kicking in, but I expected her to explode in a rush of craziness or something, anything.

On another note, I strongly disliked FBI agent Samar Navabi’s role in this episode. I felt like she was more of an annoying, distant, nagging aunt rather than an FBI agent. She spent most of her on-screen time either nagging Ressler about his instincts or whining about whatever it was that came to mind. It was unnecessary. Of course Ressler is screwed up by this whole ordeal. He let Liz escape FBI custody, then she went off and killed the Attorney General. No need to remind him. Let him deal with those issues on his own time. Focus on doing your job please.

Now I would not be doing the episode justice if I did not address the Dembe subplot. All I have to say on this matter is, finally. Dembe is such an amazing character and, in my opinion, sometimes the only voice of reason on this show. To see him in his own element, out of Red’s shadow, is quite spectacular and I am very excited to see where the writers take his plot.

For me, the star of this episode was Liz’s mom, Katarina Rostova. She was a recurring element in the episode. She was mentioned when Liz dyed her hair blonde (I liked it better brunette), when Liz and Red were waiting to escape, and when Red called Liz to tell her she was not going to make it out of D.C. I think it was refreshing to see Red be 100 percent honest and truthful with Liz about her mother for once. Okay, maybe it was 80 percent. But it was better than the half-assed answers that Red usually provides. To see Red be (almost) emotional was refreshing for his character and brilliant acting on James Spader’s part. 

Overall, the episode was, quite truthfully, better than I expected it to be. The writers could have gone in so many directions but I think they handled the situation well and addressed it with their usual dosage of cliffhangers and a new outlook on certain characters and relationships. I look forward to this new season with optimism and my usual giddiness, and quite frankly, I just can’t wait for Tom Keen to come back.

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