RECAP & REVIEW: The Blacklist “The Freelancer” S1 E2

01 Oct

I didn’t get a chance to blog about the premiere yet and unfortunately, episode was here before I had a chance to talk about it.  There are three shows so far this season that I have fallen in love with…Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, Sleepy Hollow, and this show, The Blacklist.    I’ve never been the biggest James Spader fan but this show looks right up his alley and mine.   But how would the rest of the cast be able to hold up to Spader.   Time would tell but so far most people are holding their own.  Some could use some work but I’m not sure if that’s acting related or writing related, yet.   But overall, I love the premise of this show and the mysteries surrounding its top cast members.

Last week we were introduced to Raymond “Redd” Reddington.  A former government agent turned traitor, criminal, and FBI most wanted.  So right off the bat I want to know what happened their.   Redd is a genius and doesn’t seem to hate the USA….just maybe some of the bureaucrats in Washington…so what is his side of the story?  He has turned himself in to help the FBI bring down some of the worlds biggest criminals that the US Government isn’t even aware they exist.  His catch, he will only speak to rookie profiler Elizabeth “Lizzy” Keene.  The easy assumption…she’s his daughter.  But I don’t think the show will go quite that simple.  There has to be a bigger story here.  Keene is married to Tom who is attacked by one of the men she is hunting and is almost killed.   While in the hospital she goes to Redd furious about how her husband was attacked and Redd tells her that her husband isn’t what/who he appears to be.   Later she finds a box hidden in their floor boards that contains money, guns, and more passports than the entire House of Representatives.   So who is Tom Keene?

Last night’s episode revolved around an assassin called The Freelancer, whose crimes are set up to look like accidents.  The assassin’s next target was a humanitarian, Floriana Campo (guest star Isabella Rossalini), and the FBI is working with Redd to save her life.   This is the part that drives me crazy about casting departments.   As soon as you cast a guest star that big and everyone else is no names, you know that person ends up being the Big Bad.  Otherwise, why cast them?  So as soon as I see Rossalini on-screen, I knew she was the baddie.  I wasn’t sure how because she couldn’t be the Freelancer but I knew she couldn’t be good.  Especially once Lizzy started talking about how she was so inspired by her and wrote her thesis on her works….yep, baddie.   So while Redd made the FBI think this was all about getting the Freelancer who, in his own right, is also a pretty dangerous criminal, this was about getting Campo.  Campo hides her criminal activities in plain sight.  She is a human trafficker who’s charitable works involve freeing enslaved children.  The same children she brutalizes….nice lady.   Redd hates Campo and sets her up to admit to her involvement in the sex trafficking of young girls and she proceeds to die from a poison Redd gave her, however it’s set up to look like a suicide in the press.

So right now, here are the overall questions I have:

  1. Who is Raymond Reddington?   What’s his history?
  2. Why is Redd doing all this?   Sheer revenge?  Trying to make amends?   Does he have a terminal illness and this is his swan song?
  3. What is Redd’s connection with Elizabeth Keene?   Why is he so “obsessed” with her?  Is this more about his past with Tom than with her?   Is there a family/friend connection?
  4. What is the deal with Tom?   Bad guy?    Good guy?   Does he have any ties with Redd?  Is he Redd’s end game?
  5. What is Lizzy’s history?   What happened with her family?   The fire?

So many questions!!!  I love it.   I am so enjoying this show right now.   I think Spader is spectacular at being sinister and creepy yet warm and engaging.  He’s not scary in the way that someone like Hannibal Lecter or Jigsaw would scare me.  I don’t think he’s going to eat someone’s face or lock me in a room with someone who I either have to kill or will kill me.   But his intelligence his scary.  He’s very hard to read and it’s hard to get inside his mind to see what make him tick.  He’s always 10 steps ahead of everyone else and you have no idea what his motive or end game is.   But because he’s charming and slightly aloof, he can be very disarming which can be one of the scariest things about him because you can let your guard down.  Characters like his fascinate me.

What are your thoughts on The Blacklist?  Do you love it?   Hate it?   What are some of your questions and what do you think is Redd’s end game?   I’d love to hear what you think!

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Posted by on October 1, 2013 in NBC, New Shows, Recaps and Reviews


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