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THE BLACKLIST Review: Why Red Still is, And Always Will Be, A Villain

By on November 6, 2015
Pictured: James Spader as Red Reddington -- (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)

Pictured: James Spader as Red Reddington -- (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)

By Kai Greenwell

Ressler works alongside Red and Lizzie to find an abducted financier who is one the Director’s closest advisors on this week’s episode of The Blacklist.

Red links this abduction to others, always one man and one woman, always the brightest minds in their prospective fields, presuming that someone is building an ark of sorts.

Meanwhile Ressler and team have to work around the Director, who is not only prying but has formed an uneasy alliance with Solomon in his efforts to take down Red and Liz. The Director takes some drastic measures to distract Ressler while he sends Solomon in for the kill. They fail and Red and Liz escape with what they needed, using it to steal the Director’s personal slush fund and Ressler finally gets proof that the Director is working with the Cabal.

Additionally, Tom’s plan to provoke the Russians works a little too well and he and Asher Sutton are kidnapped and forced to fight to the death. Tom survives and gets a face to face with who he thinks is Karakurt, but Harold Cooper is disturbed by Tom’s actions, and fears what chain of events he has set in motion.

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This week we saw Mr Solomon and The Director collaborating to eliminate Red, with both parties thinking they are in control of their working relationship. Solomon’s jovial attitude contrasted against the Director’s increasingly desperate actions (such as blatantly misleading the FBI) suggest that not only is it Solomon who is in charge, but that the Director’s days are numbered.

The Ocean’s Eleven vibe from last week was long gone for Tom, as he was forced to abandon his smooth criminal act and take a page straight out of Gladiator. While earlier in the episode Tom believably said he didn’t care if Asher Sutton was killed as a result of him goading the Russians, being forced to kill him himself did some damage.

The moment ‘Radar Love’ started playing though that Ocean’s Eleven vibe was back, helping us massively to suspend our disbelief and turning what was a relatively standard and under-explained bank heist into a stylish montage.

This week’s blacklister, Sir Crispin Crandall, has clearly been watching Wayward Pines and sees both the imminent demise of the human race and the need to abduct brilliant male and female minds with the aim of repopulating the earth post-apocalypse with geniuses.

Red’s line “now trumps later every time, the future is a sucker’s bet… the only thing that is real is the present” was jarring to hear. Lizzie, sitting a few feet behind him, has been told over and over again that her freedom is the most important thing and even if she despises her actions they can be somewhat justified by this. This is the first time any spotlight has been shone directly on the present. It seems like a tragically pessimistic slip from the silver tongued Red to say such a thing in front of Lizzie.

While Red swiftly put Sir Crispin down, his statement ominously echoes his own situation.

“The world in which you awaken will be one incapable of sustaining human life, and why? Because at the critical tipping point, one tragically quixotic megalomaniac cannibalized humanity of the very minds that might have been its salvation. Congratulations, you’ve doubled down on extinction.”

The writers are doing a fantastic job this season and while this at first seems to be a brilliantly sharp put-down, it itches to be a foreshadowing statement that will come to haunt Red in the future.

NEXT | THE BLACKLIST CONT’D: NATURAL BORN KILLERS

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