The Blacklist Season 3 Episode 4 Review: “The Djinn (No. 43)”

The Blacklist Season 3 Episode 4 Review: “The Djinn (No. 43)”

The Blacklist

If you had told me that Season 3 would be The Blacklist‘s best yet before it started, I would not have believed you. I actually spent most of the off-season hoping that the series would only spend a few episodes doing things differently before returning to trusted and true formula. After four episodes, however, I am a believer. I’m starting to hope things never change, and that The Blacklist continues its evolution.

This week on The Blacklist: Red and Liz enlist Aram to help track down “The Djinn,” a criminal who makes revenge fantasies come true. Intentionally, they use Aram so that Ressler and Samar will find out. Meanwhile, Tom works with Agent Cooper to find an in with someone who can help them help Elizabeth. Liz makes contact with Tom. Dembe escapes and is betrayed, all before Reddington can catch up to him.

I meant what I said above. I wasn’t sure what to expect coming in to this season, but so far I have been enthralled. The Blacklist has still kept the regular formula alive by using various blacklisters to get what they need, and assist in efforts to clear Liz’s name, but there is a whole new layer that the writers have added to the show. At times during Season 2, it felt like some of the characters fell to the back-burner, and “The Djinn” combats that by actually getting every single cast member involved (and then some!).

“The Djinn”, by bringing out extra things to do for some oft-back-burner-pushed characters, created what was probably the strongest episode of the season so far. It delved a little further into the Dembe story (I can’t get enough Dembe). Ressler, Aram and Samar were all heavily involved in the suspect’s pursuit, and putting Harold Cooper and Tom Keen together was a stroke of odd couple genius. Within the framework of the show, all of these things happened organically and really enhance the experience.

Of course, still tops is Red and Liz. Megan Boone has brought so many layers to Liz, and this season’s arc really gets to see that shine. She’s a wonderfully talented actress. The Blacklist has been smart to cast aside the two-season, “Who are you to me?” Red and Liz mystery, and really delve into these characters as who they are in the present. Boone brings a real vulnerability to Liz that just grips me.

The best part of the show remains James Spader. “The Djinn” is the top of the four October episodes, but it seems as though Spader never peaks. Each moment that Reddington has with different characters peels back another layer of the man, and Spader handles it so well. His gravitas and power in each scene make the whole show more compelling. Even in a show as intense as The Blacklist, Spader constantly finds humor and heart in the middle of the action.

A few questions: Why did Mr. Vargas turn on Dembe? It made little sense, but there was an obvious mystery setup involved, so I guess I’ll wait and see. I was mad that The Blacklist paid the least attention to that story this week, and I’m hopeful to get some more Dembe action soon.

Overall, “The Djinn” was an action-packed, dramatic hour of television that made me love The Blacklist even more (if that’s possible). I hope to see the upward trajectory continue, and I’m very much looking forward to see what happens next.

What did you guys think? Did you enjoy this episode? Let us know!

The Blacklist airs Thursdays at 9/8c on NBC.

[Photo credit: Virginia Sherwood/NBC]

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