The Blacklist Season 1 Review “Milton Bobbitt”

The Blacklist Episode 18 Milton Bobbit (8)

Procedurals like The Blacklist often find themselves in a difficult place. As overarching story lines develop over the course of a season, the show has to attempt to calibrate it’s procedural core with the audience’s thirst for plot development. With serialized cable shows getting all of the shine, some procedural shows are suffering from an identity crisis. Instead blowing out the case of the week, The Blacklist continues to invest more and more in the serialized elements of their series. While some of what they’re doing is intriguing, the final result is often an uneven episode like the one we got last night.

The case of the week did have potential. We’ve seen the murder by proxy bit before (and on NBC), but Milton Bobbitt was sufficiently creepy enough to make it work. Instead, the show paid lip service to the storyline before it could run off to Liz Keen doing her best Carrie Mathison impression (now with hand-to-hand combat skills!). The episode didn’t have any interest in developing Milton Bobbitt as a character or making us particularly interested in his story. Once again, the show tried to retrofit our interest by having his list have the word “Berlin” on it, but that single second doesn’t eclipse the moments before. At heart the show is a procedural, but it’s general lack of interest in the core of its show suggests a group of writers being seduced by their own long form narrative.

Sadly, they’re not doing a great job with that either. This aspect of the show at least gets Red more prominently involved, but the mystery of Tom Keen is hitting a little too on the nose for my tastes. Instead of building the mystery and turning it into a Mr. and Mrs. Smith situation, the show went straight into over-the-top theatrics. For a show that takes itself so seriously, I’m genuinely surprised they went at it like that. It makes them both look like bad spies. Maybe they are. Someone has to graduate at the bottom of the class.

Red Reddington Fashion Rating: 7

I liked the gray look after a long season of black. I’m still hoping Spader will pull something from his Craig Sager Collection, but this suit was cut just fine.

Shadowy Figures Watch (New Feature!)

Early in the season, we got the shadowy figures tracing Red’s every move, kidnapping him, and sitting at the highest levels of government (because government figures are JUST. THAT. GOOD). Now, the mysterious Craig shows up as one of the shadowy figures in the Berlin operation. Of course, he gets beat up by a woman who became an agent about 6 months ago before taking a header out of a hotel window, so maybe we shouldn’t be so worried about Berlin.

Dembe Watch

Dembe turned loose! This week, we got to see Dembe on his first solo mission: visiting the Keen apartment. He even got in some friendly small talk about the paint color in the kitchen. Is Dembe about to buy an apartment? Am I the only one who wants to see the reality show about Dembe’s life? I am? Okay, I’ll just stop then.