The Blacklist Review: Mommy Issues, Anyone?

The Blacklist Review: Mommy Issues, Anyone?

The Blacklist

If the people on The Blacklist were real, this world would be maddeningly terrifying. As someone who is about to experience fatherhood for the first time, this episode was even more so. “Lady Ambroisa (No. 77) had convinced herself that she was helping these children who were unwanted. She didn’t want to let anyone grow up to be what her son had become. As warped and terrifying as that mindset is, perhaps the worst thought out of all of them was the fact that she could easily be real, as children go missing all the time.

This week on The Blacklist: Tom becomes very self assured right before things on his mission go horribly wrong. Reddington tells Liz about a woman who is likely kidnapping children, after a boy long thought dead turned up alive and well. Elizabeth meets a couple interested in adopting her baby, and they agree to let her be a part of the child’s life. Reddington uses the case to get something he wants.

This episode was disappointing on one front. Mostly, I was disappointed because it was exactly like the regular Blacklist episodes. I don’t think this is a bad thing at all. The worst episodes of this series are very, very good. But, I was disappointed to see what felt largely like a return to the previous status quo this week. Obviously, the plot advanced and interesting things happened, but they weren’t necessarily in service of the story at hand. I think The Blacklist could do with straying farther from its original procedural format and strengthen their serialized story.

The most interesting story (for the second week in a row) had to do with Tom Keen. He was injured in the line of duty, and now it seems that his life hangs in the balance. THIS is the departure we all desperately want to see. I love the character, but I wouldn’t be mad if they killed him off, either. No matter how they handle the Tom story, it’s a high stakes show and should continue to be. Unapologetically killing off characters is one of my favorite devices. Ryan Eggold is excellent in this role, isn’t he?

All this talk raises the question, is Liz trying to keep her child away from Tom? Will she change her mind if he dies? I can’t imagine her actually going through with the adoption, but I think the whole situation with Tom could cause some changes, for sure.

Can we talk about James Spader for a few? It would bug me if we couldn’t. Each week I am blown away at the depth Reddington captures. He can be emotional, he can be funny, and he change his emotional state at the drop of a hat. Each scene with him in it has me riveted and totally unable to look anywhere else. He’s got such a captivating presence. All of those traits really moved to the forefront of this episode.

Ultimately, this episode was fine. It wasn’t their best of the season, but it was still a strong episode on most counts. I would be less optimistic, but when Samar defended Liz to Ressler (unbeknownst to him), I caught that small character moment peeking through. If  they continue to develop the other characters and develop their stories in a slightly more serial way, it would be my favorite show. Really, it’s quite good.

What did you guys think? Did you enjoy the episode? Let us know in the comments!

The Blacklist airs Thursdays at 9/8c on NBC

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