The Blacklist Review: “The Blacklist” feels like a de facto sequel to “The Silence of the Lambs,” which isn't necessarily a negative thing.
Few series can offer such a compelling primary personality as James Spader; even if his cryptic statements and murky motives risk giving birth to a very conventional procedural.
Despite this; unlike many of this fall's new shows; “The Blacklist” merits a second look — and possibly more if Spader's serpent-like villain can evolve into something more than Hannibal Lite.
The Blacklist Plot
To be fair, “Blacklist” is an equal-opportunity borrower when it comes to movie touchstones.
In the opening scene; for example; Spader's one-time government agent turned to master criminal; Raymond “Red” Reddington; walks into FBI headquarters; drops to his knees as cops surround him, and surrenders to authorities.
“For the time being, our interests are aligned;” he tells the dubious feds; led by Harry Lennix; before appointing an unknown young female agent as his conduit and the main point of contact, for reasons, he won't reveal.
It's not Clarice Starling, but newcomer Agent Liz Keen (Megan Boone), who is as perplexed as to her superiors by the request.
Nonetheless, she travels to interview Reddington in a cell that appears to be meant to imprison Magneto, where the suspect snarls ambiguous hints during close-ups, leading the FBI to pursue an international “24”-style baddie that Reddington wishes to see behind bars.
“I'm going to make you famous, Lizzie,” he says, this being the first in a long list of offenders he wants apprehended.
Spader has always been a fascinating performer, and he's perfect for this kind of tortured character, with so much going on behind those eyes.
That said, he's the only thing that elevates “The Blacklist” beyond the ordinary, at least at first; the format restricts his screen time, much like James Purefoy was for much of “The Following's” first season.
The Blacklist Trailer
NBC has a lot riding on this Sony-produced hour, which has been given the prime schedule following “The Voice,” the network's only truly strong lead-in.
However, as with many procedurals with built-in backstories — and the list aspect serves as the core for this — the question remains as to how well the producers can dole out aspects to raise the stakes beyond whether the next name ends up dead or in cuffs.
With that caveat in mind, “The Blacklist” is likely to be one of the more promising new network hours this fall.
But that's the effect of using a curve to grade the show and comparing it to a pretty grey list.
The Blacklist Cast and More!
Raymond ‘Red' Reddington, a criminal mastermind-turned-supergrass analyst, is still played by James Spader in The Blacklist.
However, there will be none left. After Red finished her off, Katarina Rostova (Laila Robins) appeared.
“Not only did Liz beg Red not to kill her mother,” author Jon Bokenkamp told The Wrap.
“Liz was unmistakable. Red stepped right over the line she drew in the sand.
“With that said, Reddington believed he had no alternative but to kill Katarina in his defense.
Red understood what he had to do the instant Dom ‘told her everything.' Is Liz willing to forgive him? I'm not sure.
This is a watershed moment in our narrative. Everything will be redefined as a result of it.”
Megan Boone has quit the series, which is big news. During a fight with Red in the season-eight finale, her character, Liz, was shot by one of Neville Townsend's henchmen.
Megan revealed that the scene will be her final one on Instagram, saying goodbye to her followers.
She added, “This experience has been a whole life inside of my own life for me.”
“As she set out to achieve, these eight years playing Liz Keen have helped me better define the world and myself.
“As her narrative comes to a close, I'm grateful for the individuals I got to spend this time with my fellow cast members, past and present, our great staff, and those of you who were amused.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Season 9 the Last Season of Blacklist?
NBC has renewed ‘The Blacklist' for the tenth season.
The tenth season of the network's flagship espionage series has been renewed.
During his appearance on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” on Tuesday evening, series star James Spader announced the renewal.
Was Blacklist Cancelled?
Is the Blacklist True Story?
‘The Blacklist' is based on a true story in part.
To be more exact, this crime thriller series is based on James Joseph “Whitey” Bulger, a known Boston-based supercriminal who was convicted for his role in 11 murders, among other things.