I had originally planned on just posting what I wrote on my author blog about the season 2 finale, but instead, I decided to make it a complete rewatch post.
I was one of those who caught wind of The Blacklist before it premiered, so I’ve been in since S01E01. I bullied people into watching the show. “YOU WILL LOVE IT, DAMMIT!” I’ve successfully converted, like, twenty people to being die hard fans, so I’m calling that shit a win.
Part of what triggered this rewatch was another addiction of mine – Funko Pop figures. I just became a member of Pop In A Box, a monthly Pop figure subscription run by Funko themselves. I was window shopping their new arrivals the other night when I stumbled across this handsome little devil currently on PREORDER:
THE FRIKKIN FEDORA!!!
Oh, and that’s not all. Lizzy’s available too. 🙂
Although I think Lizzy is awesome, I really would have preferred Red, Dembe, and Mr. Kaplan, but that’s just my opinion…… I can just picture them on my shelf….. Red in the middle, Dembe standing stoically, hands folded in front of him, and Mr. Kaplan on the other side, her Mary Poppins-esque bag in one hand, and that giant fucking hand cannon of a gun she totes around in the other. *stares dreamily at the empty space on bookshelf* (Funko???? NBC???? Get on this, please????)
Oh, and yes, that was me admitting that a toy triggered a complete series rewatch. lol
And these Pop figures are not available until January 2017 so I wont be seeing them in my stocking this Christmas. *pouty face*
BEST S01e01 CHARACTER INTRO SCENE EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Okay, here’s the full official trailer for the season:
As you can see, the audience is introduced to Red with quite the display. He walks into the FBI HQ, announces himself to the guard, and proceeds to remove his hat and jacket, placing them neatly on his briefcase. He then gets down on his knees and assumes the position (that sounded dirtier than I meant it). Within seconds, he’s staring down the barrels of some twenty automatic weapons…..and he’s cool as a cucumber. Not even a hint of nervousness.
The premise of the show is Raymond Reddington is a bad dude. Once upon a time, he was a big time muckity muck high up in the military, and one night, he up and decided to become a black hat. He disappeared and later turned back up selling the United States military secrets to the highest bidder. Ever since then, he’s been nothing more than a ghost to the FBI. They know he’s there, but they just haven’t been able to lay hands on him.
Until he walks through their front door.
He then strikes a deal with them. The fibbies let him go about his business, and he serves them up bad guys on a silver platter. The baddest of baddies. Baddies so good at what they do that the fibbies dont even know they exist.
The catch is he’ll only deal with one agent – Lizzy Keen, an agent who was just starting that day.
And Reddington delivers on his word.
He’s got a list. The Blacklist. Just about each episode of the show is dedicated to one Blacklister. However, some Blacklisters span a several episode ARC. Some stick around all season long as part of the overall story arc.
James Spader is THE MAN. He’s brought this character to life who makes me simultaneously desperate to know him (as a person and biblically *insert eyebrow wiggle here*) and thanking the gods of old that there isn’t a chance in hell we’d ever cross paths. He’s………………………..UGH! He’s just Red.
(Fan Video Credited to: Monique Martin)
The character is one of the more complex I’ve ever run across. In all reality, he’s a monster. This is a man who was a traitor to his country (we still dont really know what happened there), he has flat-out murdered Odin only knows how many people, and he rubs elbows with some of the most horrific human beings in the history of mankind.
Every episode I smile like a moron as I watch him outwit the other baddies, the fibbies, or anyone who has the misfortune of coming up against him, really. He’s spectacularly smart and devilishly charming. You cant help but respect him simply because you know there *has* to be redeeming quality in there. Otherwise, those who are loyal to him (i.e. Dembe and Mr. Kaplan) wouldn’t have that kind of devotion to him. There is a reason the saying ‘there is no honor among thieves’ exists. But then here we are, watching a group of characters who, while so clearly ruthless, possess this element of true honor you just wouldn’t expect. It goes far beyond the desire for a fat pay day. These people love and cherish each other fiercely, and you cant help but love them for it.
The casting of all the roles is great all around. Normally, in a show with a male/female main character dynamic, I end up not being able to stand the actress playing lead. Meghan Boone is awesome. She reaaaaaaaaaaaally proves it in S02, but more about that later.
My fan theory from episode 1 has been that Red is Elizabeth’s biological father. This show is great at giving you just enough info to answer three questions but turn around and leave you with sixteen new ones. Regarding that particular subject, every time I think I have the answer nailed, another plot wrench gets thrown in the gears, and makes me question whether or not I really have any fucking clue what’s going on at all.
I love every minute of it.
The priceless moment when you realize you really get a story in exactly the way the creator intended.
During my rewatch, I made this note in my Google Keep app:
“Blacklist LOL Moment S01E11 – approx 16:00 in”
As a hardcore fan of this show, this moment was hugely significant for me. Not because it drops some crazy tidbit of info we’d been waiting on. Not because someone the fans hold dear dies. It’s nothing quite that…..expected.
This moment made me fall over laughing. Like I said, it was significant enough that I wanted to remember exactly where it was. And then I may or may not have made my father watch it. And my daughter. And my daughter’s boyfriend. *shifty eyes*
This moment is part of why I love Raymond Reddington so much. The moment is just so wrong, but you cant help yourself. You laugh maniacally, and for a split second, you feel your own moral compass go a little bit sideways. This is a moment where we get a glimpse behind the curtain, a front row seat to the exact reason Reddington’s enemies shit their pants if they happen to land on his naughty list. He is fiercely loyal to those who are loyal to him. However, should you be one of the unfortunate souls to end up on his bad side, you mean little more to him than a bad joke.
So anyway, just the other day, ET Online ran a story where they are talking to show creators about the moment that the show reached another level for them, and Jon Bokenkamp’s moment was the one I had added to my Google Keep. And his explanation of why is dead on with mine.
Everyone experiences art (of any kind) in their own way. It makes them feel different things. It was kind of a cool moment knowing that I’m seeing Bokenkamp’s story the same way he does.
I went into S02 a little skeptical, I admit. I was so blown away by S01, I thought this is where it’s going to crap out on me and be a big disappointment.
Not so much.
Somehow, this show just keeps getting better with every episode.
S02 has a much larger overall story arc. It continues from S01 giving us breadcrumbs that will hopefully lead us to the answers we’ve been waiting for. Who is Lizzy really? Is Red her father? Is Tom that bumpy-bellied in real life? Does he really look that amazing half-naked? And how is it possible he looks that good with a shaved head?
I may have gotten sidetracked there for a moment. AHEM! Back to the show.
My absolute favorite part of S02 were the two Luther Braxton episodes. First, the scene when Red comes out swinging at the fibbie black site prison. We finally get a glimpse of what Red the Soldier must have been like. Methodical, calculated, efficient, and scary as fuck when armed. lol
Then there is the scene with them recovering Lizzy’s memories. Holy shit.
There is another moment in this season that was so striking, just reading the quote made me tear up all over again. In the course of going after the Mombasa Cartel, Red has to obtain information from someone who has played a key role in allowing the Mombasa Cartel to traffic children. This is one of those moments where we see why people like Dembe and Mr. Kaplan are soooooo loyal to him, and it’s tragically beautiful.
Seriously. Tears. *reaches for tissues*
When I originally watched the S02 finale, these were my thoughts (Originally posted on my author website blog):
The Blacklist Season 2 Finale
I have been less than quiet about it, so I am sure some of you have heard I am a RAGING fan of the show The Blacklist. As a writer, the show blows me away on a weekly basis. The writing is tight and complex and all plot lines are covered from every possible angle leaving no plot holes ANYWHERE.
Bottom line – if you haven’t watched the show, you totally need to! Oh, and you also probably shouldn’t read any further because I am going to spoil the shit out of it in 3……….2……….1…………
Right off the bat, we need to talk about Red Reddington, quite possibly my favorite character in television history. Hands down. Best character ever.
I’ve had a theory about Red since S01E01: Red is Lizzy’s father. Now, my reasoning for this has been compounded by several things over the two seasons (probably on purpose by the writers), but the biggest reason was during the Luther Braxton episodes, when Braxton had the head shrinker digging into Lizzy’s memories. At the end of the episode, two things happen:
- First, the head shrinker told her that her memories had previously been suppressed and that although the events may be correct, the roles of the individuals in the memory may not.
- Second, Red made a comment to her about how the memories of a child cannot be trusted…….and he said as much as he looked on her with an emotional, pained expression.
Thursday’s finale gave us Blacklisters a fucking heart attack. Well, this Blacklister anyway. Lizzy remembered…… We learned that Lizzy was in fact that one that killed her father by shooting him while he was hitting her mom, and Red had been her “sin eater” and made it go away. He had her memories of that night buried. He cleaned up the mess and sheltered her from the fallout. He protected her.
Holy shitpops! My heart MELTED during the scene where Lizzy told Red that she remembered. Between Megan Boone and James Spader’s performances, my……heart…….melted. I have been DYING for the moment when Lizzy realized what Red was. The only thing that would have made it better is if it turned out HE WAS HER FATHER. lol But, no, that is not what came out. Of course, I am 100% sure we still don’t know everything, but I loved that she finally gave in and realized he actually cares about her beyond the existence and preservation of the Fulcrum. The relief in Lizzy’s face from finally knowing a major piece of the truth warred with the haunted despair in Red’s eyes knowing that she finally understood and that he couldn’t protect her from it anymore. Stunning moment.
Speaking of the Fulcrum. Red pulled the damn trigger! He showed the Fulcrum to key journalists in the global press! I was absolutely shocked. And, once again, in perfect Red fashion, he revealed everything to them with eloquence and just the sweetest touch of horror. It was amazing. The writers on this show are just absofuckinlutely brilliant. I tried Googling this morning to see who the writers are and was unable to locate names in my quick search, but you better believe I will be tracking that information down.
And James Spader. OMG, James Spader. Did I mention how much I love Red Reddington? I’m just a little bit in love with him. Okay, a lot. Spader is handed stellar writing and his delivery is simply perfection. I don’t think another soul on this planet could possibly come close to owning that role the way he does. I am such a fangirl for both him and the character. I spend every episode waiting for that one Reddington speech that is almost guaranteed to be in the show, and in last night’s finale, during the scene with him unveiling the Fulcrum, he was on point. Charming and positively frightening at the same time. Loved it!
Also, the brief goodbye that Red and Dembe had was so sad. It was super-quick but the genuine show of emotion from Red was what was so striking about it. Watching, you just knew it was a goodbye and not a see you later moment..
Tom Keen was back in this episode and she TOTALLY BONED HIM! Now, I fully admit it. Ryan Eggold is hot. Like, beyond reason. But, every time they get close, I get a pit in my stomach. I really do think he wants to change, but something just doesn’t sit right. It may just be residual red flags. I dont know. *shrug* Funniest moment in the entire episode: “That was not deer blood on the windshield.”
I could have reached in the TV and killed Tom Connolly. He’s such a raging dick. Now, he’s a dead raging dick.
And finally, the episode ended with this:
One of my favorite songs from this season of The Blacklist: Featured in the episode The Major – Heist by X Ambassadors
OH! Season 2 also features a guest star I adore. Peter Stormare, who once again plays a Russain despite being from Sweden in real life . Whatever. He pulls it off convincingly. I thought the dude was Russain until very recently. So, props, man. lol
Ladies and gentlemen, this season will KILL YOU. Her FBI career now technically over, the season opens with Lizzy on the run with Reddington, viewed by her fellow fibbies as a Russain spy who killed a whole mess of people. This whole season is a frikkin emotional rollercoaster, people.
Again with the question of Lizzy’s paternity! I’m getting whiplash over this. For the record, when I watched the original airing, I was still (AND AM STILL) convinced that Red is Lizzy’s father. We’ll get into that more a bit later. *wink wink nudge nudge*
As a side note, you will notice S03E22 has a different feel to it. We’re introduced to a clandestine organization with its own privatized military called Halcyon. Halcyon is the agency starring at the center of a Blacklist spin-off series called The Blacklist: Redemption. It stars Famke Jenssen (one of my all time favorite actresses!!!!!) as Susan Hargrave and Ryan Eggold as Tom Keen (same actor as on The Blacklist). This episode was ordered by NBC to intro the series. According to IMDB, it’s slated to premiere in 2017, but not further info is available at this time. I kind of hope it moves forward. S03E22 was a bad ass episode. 🙂 Plus, it would be awesome to see Ryan Eggold playing the part of spy dude full time. I love him on The Blacklist when he opens up a can of whoopass and lets the crazy out, but the kindergarten teacher can go pound sand. lol Bad ass fits him so much better. I disliked him enough as the kindergarten teacher that I thought Eggold was just a bad actor. lol
Then he let the crazy out. Turns out, when he takes off the glasses, he’s a fucking ninja!
Okay, not a ninja, but you get the point.
Cape May was a HEARTBREAKING episode. I know we warn of spoilers and all that, but I feel like the spoiler for the end of this season is so big, that if you’ve never watched, it would really kill something for you. So, I wont get into why it’s so heartbreaking, but keep the Kleenex box handy…….for, like, four episodes in a row. Emotional roller coaster, just sayin’.
SEASON 4 – EPISODES 1-8
The season thus far has left me with some very complicated feelings regarding Mr. Reddington. (*you cant hear it, but that was said with a very disapproving tone*) THIS SECTION HAS MAJOR SPOILERS, SO IF YOU’RE BEHIND ON WATCHING, STOP READING!!!!!
What in the actual FUCK?!?!?!?!?!
Okay, right out of the gate, we need to talk about Mr. Kaplan. At the end of S03, we learned that Kaplan assisted Lizzy in deceiving Red. In a big way. So he does what any rational thinking human being would do.
He takes her out into the middle of nowhere. Like, literally. Nowhere. AND SHOOTS HER IN THE FUCKING HEAD.
Remember back at S01 when I was all loyalty and honor and blah blah blah blah blah BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH? Yeah, what the deuce, Red?! Like, I get that he felt betrayed, BUT SHE WAS RIGHT. lol
THEN, if that shit pie wasn’t wonderful enough, she lives. In the middle of nowhere. With no one around.
Oh wait. It gets better.
She’s rescued! By a creepy mountain man who has her chained to the bed.
Up until episode eight aired, my dad and I (we watch the show together….he’s one of the bullied twenty) were throwing around theories on how this would pan out. There are two angles to consider.
The first angle was Red’s intention. Did Red do this on purpose? This is Raymond Reddington we’re talking about. You guys saw the clips of him going banana sandwiches with the pewpewpew during the Luther Braxton clip. He really missed a headshot from less than twenty feet away? Standing still? Really? My thinking was maybe he knew about creepy mountain guy, and creepy mountain guy was her actual punishment. Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww…………….. This theory has since been shot down because of how things panned out in the most recent episode, but for a while there, I wasn’t sure I could ever forgive Red.
The other angle is her return from the dead. What’s going to happen when she turns back up? She knows everything about Red. How he moves, how he makes every decision, who every single person he works with is, where he stays, where he hides……….everything. AND SHE’S HIS CLEANER! lol She could kill him and no one would ever find any evidence that anything happened. lol
She could come back to Reddington and say, “Look fucker, you shot me, in the head, left me for dead only to get found by the frikkin Hills Have Eyes guy, and I’m still here, still loyal to you. And you owe me and apology.”
In that case, she risks him just finishing the job, but coming back to him after what he did to her, I doubt he’d ever question where her loyalties lie again. OR she could play it safe, stay in the shadows, and burn his house to the ground when he’s not looking, metaphorically speaking. She’s the one person who could ruin him without him ever suspecting a thing. He thinks she’s dead. He knows it. He shot her himself. She could easily be Red’s undoing. I would HATE to see it go that way because I kind of love her (there is no ‘kind of’ about it, Kaplan is the bomb), but, man, she has every reason in the world at this point. I dont think anyone could blame her for going berserker on his ass.
Theeeeeeeeen there is Lizzy and Tom and the bambino. What a hot mess that situation is. BUT, if the spin-off is moving forward, it would make sense that Lizzy and Tom would part ways. This may be the beginning of that story arc. We shall see how it plays out.
And finally, the moment I’ve been waiting soooooooooooooooooo long for. Raymond ‘Red’ Reddington stated he was Lizzy’s father. Of course, he was under extreme duress and trying to outwit Kirk in a pain-inducing drug haze, so it may have been bullshit. BUT, I dont think it is. They dropped the bomb in an almost nonchalant way, and then never touched on it again for the rest of the episode.
And now we wait until January 5th…………. *tick tock, bitches*
A few of my favorite Red Reddington quotes from the series thus far:
“Allies today, enemies tomorrow… the world is a complex place.”
“A farmer comes home one day to find that everything that gives meaning to his life is gone. Crops are burned, animals slaughtered, bodies and broken pieces of his life strewn about. Everything that he loved taken from him – his children. One can only imagine the pit of despair, the hours of Job-like lamentations, the burden of existence. He makes a promise to himself in those dark hours. A life’s work erupts from his knotted mind. Years go by. His suffering becomes complicated. One day he stops – the farmer who is no longer a farmer – sees the wreckage he’s left in his wake. It is now he who burns, he who slaughters, and he knows in his heart he must pay.”
“In Mexico, there are these fish that have colonized the freshwater caves along Sierra del Abra. They were lost. They found themselves living in complete darkness. But they didn’t die. Instead, they thrived. They adapted. They lost their pigmentation, their sight, eventually even their eyes. With survival, they became hideous. I’ve rarely thought about what I once was. But I wonder if a ray of light were to make it into the cave, would I be able to see it? Or feel it? Would I gravitate to its warmth? And if I did, would I become less hideous?”
“I never thought I’d enjoy having *any*thing in my mouth as much as Petty Officer Virginia Sherman. But, this… [laughing] My God! It tastes so good! I hesitate to swallow and I certainly don’t wanna spit it out. Oh, what the hell? [calmly, after a pause] I told you so.”
“I’m a violent man. I’ve taken on a life that requires it. I hurt people. I kill people. And each time I do, in that moment, another part of me dies along with them.”
“Revenge isn’t a passion. It’s a disease. It eats at your mind, and poisons your soul.”
Elizabeth Keen: He’s a myth.
Raymond ‘Red’ Reddington: That’s what they said about Deep Throat, and the G-spot.
I hope you enjoyed my assessment of the series thus far. I’m a fan (obvi), but I want to know what you think of the show. Drop a comment. 🙂