The Blacklist Season 1 Review “The Good Samaritan Killer”

The Blacklist Episode 11 The Good Samaritan Killer (9)

For those that may have missed it last fall, The Blacklist became one of the fall’s top-rated new dramas. Thanks to The Voice (to what degree we’ll soon find out), The Blacklist took an absurd premise, dared to make it more absurd, and hitched their wagon to James Spader to bring it home. It worked. The show did not appear on anybody’s top ten list, but it was entertaining from week to week. As it turned out, there’s still a market for entertaining procedurals in 2013.

However, this week’s episode seems to have forgotten what made the show so watchable in the first place. By mostly removing Red from the procedural aspect of the show, the story becomes a drab slog through society’s most sad and psychotic with fairly wooden investigators. While the material isn’t exactly light when Red is around, James Spader’s particular acting gifts allow for the various situations to have some levity. He busts chops, wears ridiculous suits and sunglasses, and in general does the work of a super detective. Without him, the procedural aspect becomes the Megan Boone and Diego Klatenhoff show. No offensive to either actor, but I don’t have any interest in that show.

For his part, Red reenacting The Punisher comic book series works in a vacuum because a revenge saga starring James Spader is interesting to watch, but it doesn’t fit within the current scope of the show. Red “works” for the FBI. He may provide them with information, but I’m sure it’s not allowed for him to go around icing large amounts of people. I’m fine with suspending disbelief for The Blacklist, for crying out loud it’s a TV show, but Lizzy asking Red for souvenirs when he appears in her apartment post killing spree seems like a bridge too far.

Red Reddington Fashion Rating: 11 out of 10

I know you’re surprised, but think about it. Red is one of the most wanted criminals in the world, and he’s on the lam. It would obviously serve him well to be inconspicuous. What does Red do? He dresses in all black including a giant parka, a ski cap, and his ridiculous sunglasses. I love that guy.

Elizabeth Keen Trauma Watch: Yellow

A favorite muted episode. Heck, she even shot some dude without blinking. I’m not sure if we’re supposed to perceive the ice-water in her veins developing, but that woman will now put you down without thinking about it. Next week promises to be more terrible for Mrs. Keen, but I’m starting to think she’ll handle it like a pro.

Dembe Watch

Dembe didn’t say a single word. He hung out in a bathroom and drove a car while looking pissed. In other words, classic Dembe.

Alan Alda Excitement Rating: 8/10

I like Alda as the shadowy figure we know absolutely nothing about. Now that I know he’s a congressman, I’m a little less enthused. Plus, I kind of like the idea of him floating in and out every few episodes. The character has a lot of mystery, and the man has a lot of cachet. You have parcel that mix out.