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THE BLACKLIST Review: “Djinn in a Bottle”

By on October 23, 2015

Pictured: Megan Boone as Liz Keen -- (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)

By Kai Greenwell

Red and Liz continue the offensive against the cabal by seeking out this week’s blacklister The Djinn, who runs a Make a Wish Foundation for those who seek revenge of the murdery persuasion. They may have the means to clear Lizzie’s name and have worked with Cabal members before.

Reddington approaches Aram at his home, asking him to pass on the message to Ressler that they are chasing the Djinn and may need his help. Reddington and Ressler chase the Djinn from different angles. Red and Lizzie locate her and recover a journal containing all of her clients taking one page for themselves and giving the rest to Ressler who arrives moments behind them.

Dembe escapes his confinement with another tortured man, killing their guards and stealing a car in order to escape. Dembe scrambles to secure a means of contact with Reddington, but the moment he shares these details with his fellow escapee he is betrayed, shot and left for dead.

Meanwhile, Cooper helps Tom begin crafting an undercover identity in order to get close to Cabal assassin Karakurt.

Hope Dies, Tom Lies, Red flies

In the end, Mr Solomon outsmarted Dembe with hope. While his breakout was thought out extremely well, once he and his accomplice had escaped capture he let his guard down, wanting to regroup with Reddington as quickly as possible. However, Dembe’s escape and subsequent betrayal were rather predictable, with almost exactly the same thing happening to Jack Bauer some years back. Having his hope used against him took something away from Jack that he didn’t really ever gain back, becoming a major part of why his character was so ruthlessly pragmatic. But with Dembe not being a main cast member, not to mention an already stoic and seemingly emotionless man, it is unlikely we will see much character development as a result of this betrayal.

Meanwhile, Reddington continues to demonstrate why he is still alive and sort of free. Last week Ressler was less than a step behind him at every turn, eventually forcing him to abandon his plans. This week, Red sees Ressler’s increasing ability to track him down and flips that dynamic, directly asking for his help and essentially telling him his plans. In doing so, he puts Ressler and the team on his radar, knowing where they will begin their investigation and therefore being better able to predict their moves while simultaneously limiting their avenues of investigation by focusing them on the information provided.

Tom Keen is undercover again. Last season saw him infiltrate a neo-Nazi group, his preparation presented to us through a physical transformation including tattoos and a shaved head. Tom’s physical transformation was a way to quickly show how he truly is a different person when he takes on a new persona. In comparison to the stark image of Tom shaving his head and getting Nazi tattoos, this time we get to see that all he needs is a good story, refining it over and over until he believes it. Once he believes it, he is that character. Last season saw that Tom was lost without a mission and a handler, and this storyline is a great way to keep both he and Cooper relevant to the show.

The Djinn, this week’s blacklister, charges fortunes to allow people to fulfill their revenge fantasies in order to fund her own mission for revenge. Born a gay man, her father forced her to undergo gender reassignment surgery when he found out about her sexuality. She has saved all the money from every revenge fantasy she has fulfilled in order to steal her father’s company from him via a hostile takeover. Whilst definitely an interesting motive for a villain, it worked to showcase more of Reddington’s bipolar levels of moral judgement. A man lay nailed to a cross trying to explain why he is there while Red, unfazed by the crucifixion, is instead genuinely disgusted with the man’s homophobic views.

NEXT: Everybody Loves/Hates Lizzie

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