The Blacklist Season 2 Episode 20 Review: “Quon Zhang (No. 87)”

The Blacklist

Well, we’ve reached that time of year when seasons of shows are rapidly ending. After this episode of The Blacklist, we only have two more left before the long, long summer hiatus. Luckily for us, these episodes are action-packed enough to keep our appetites whet for some time.

This week on The Blacklist: The task force uncovers an operation that smuggles bodies of Chinese-American women out of the country. Reddington works to stop the imminent threat detailed in the fulcrum. Liz is finally given some answers about the picture she found in Reddington’s “secret flat.” The conflict between Cooper and the new Attorney General comes to a head.

This was one of those episodes that did a lot of setting up. There are only two episodes left in the season, so this episode gave us a lot of plot so that we can be prepared for lots of shooting and explosions for the next couple of weeks. Not that I am EVER opposed to shooting and explosions (I am a male, after all), but I quite enjoy the episodes that do a lot of character and plot development, especially on shows that are usually action-heavy. I very much enjoyed this installment of The Blacklist, because it has compelling characters.

I find Elizabeth’s journey absolutely fascinating. I’m not sure how I’d react in her shoes. Her ex-husband is back in the picture, and it turns out that he truly cares for her. The man she has been helping (Reddington) has information about her upbringing that he admits he is withholding. She works for an FBI task force that brings down people that are all kinds of crazy, which means, among other things, that she is constantly being shot at. I honestly don’t know how anyone could keep their composure in a situation like that. I think that Megan Boone is wonderful because she plays Keen stoic, but isn’t afraid to show emotion when the situation calls for it. It just goes to show the strength of the character that she’s tough in most of those situations, but can be broken down (like the scene at the end with Tom in the rain).

Even if the rest of the show was terrible, I would continue to watch The Blacklist because of James Spader. I mean, this guy is just fantastic. He’s a scary villain. He’s a kind hearted middle-aged man. He’s everything in between. You never know which shade of Red is going to show up in any given episode, but I’m always excited to find out. While this episode yet again showcased his gravitas and his brilliant performance, it also allowed him to be FUNNY. Almost every other sentence out of Reddington’s mouth made me laugh. I love that element because it is a realistic portrayal. Someone like Reddington in real life would be larger than life, and therefore always cracking jokes. Whether you think that it’s realistic or not (I know you all always agree with me), I think we can agree that it’s entertaining.

There has been a lot of good work done by the other characters, too. I love Harry Lennix and the morality he brings to Harold Cooper. Mozhan Marno has been doing some fabulous work. Ryan Eggold pulls eyes to the screen every time he is on it. The supporting cast isn’t always utilized well, but since we know so little about some of them, there will be plenty of material to draw from in future episodes.

This week’s episode of The Blacklist was a strong, character-driven hour for our heroes. With only two episodes left, I can’t wait to see where they take things from here. The show’s elements are really working together in Season 2 to turn out a fantastic product.

What did you guys think? Are you as compelled as I am? Are you excited or sad that the season is almost over? Let us know!

The Blacklist airs Thursdays at 9/8c on NBC

[Photo via NBC]

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