THE BLACKLIST Review: “Djinn in a Bottle”
BY The Screen Spy Team
Published 8 years ago
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.
Everybody Loves/Hates Lizzie
A major theme that is continuing to build this season is Lizzie’s decaying moral character. It was addressed by many characters this week giving the audience lots of lenses through which to judge Lizzie and decide whether or not she is right, wrong or just lost. Many of the things the characters said this week Lizzie has thought herself and it was interesting to hear all these conflicting thoughts said out loud one after another.
Ressler has softened, probably seeing similarities between how hopeless Lizzie’s situation is and how bad his situation once was, feeling for Lizzie instead of the victim when she accidentally shot an undercover policeman last week. In contrast, Agent Navabi seems to care less about her after the shooting, feeling that no one forced her to do it. Aram is still essentially in denial to any of Liz’s wrongdoing and is happy to help as much as he can.
Reddington keeps trying to help Lizzie build walls around her morality, explaining that the world they are in will constantly throw them into morally grey situations. While he needs her focused, his need for Lizzie to shut down her morality temporarily stems from his desire for her to come out the other side of the Cabal’s plans as the same person. He wants her fantasy of being with her child in the park to survive, and we can little glimpses on Red’s face each week that he is worried it’s too late.
Given Tom’s background its no surprise that he is willing to accept Lizzie for whoever she is and whatever she has done. He is fiercely loyal to her in an almost psychopathic manner, being able to justify any actions as long as the result is her being ok.
Lastly is Lizzie’s relationship with herself. She is very much caught between mind and body – the body reacts instinctively to survive a situation and her mind harshly judges her actions in hindsight. This episode has seen more compartmentalization from Lizzie, only breaking down when talking to Tom made her feel the need to confess. Maybe Red’s influence is helping her slowly build those all important mental barriers, or maybe we really are witnessing the origin story of a much darker Elizabeth Keen.