The Blacklist :: Television Review


The Blacklist (2013)
Mondays on NBC
Pilot, September 23


Though I know it is too early to call, as I still have more pilots to review, if I had to say today this would be my favorite new show of the season. Pilots are tough, you have to cram in introductory plots, characters and somehow have enough action and emotional punch to hook a viewer in. I have a list of pilots that I have seen that have done that, but it is not a long list – the Blacklist pilot belongs on the list, for certain.

Reminiscent of Alias and Silent of the Lambs, we are introduced first to Raymond “Red” Reddington (so comic book alliterative villain of a name, isn’t it?) who turns himself in to the FBI, suited up with a dapper hat and a coy, raised eyebrow bravado, and demands that he speak to Elizabeth Keene. Let me just say here that “Red” is a role that James Spader was born to play. In the first few moments he made it his, to me.


We are then introduced to Elizabeth (Megan Boone), who has overslept on her first day as an FBI profiler. She has a bespeckled, geek cute husband who has also overslept on his not first day as a teacher. He is off to a field trip to the zoo, and later Elizabeth and husband Tom (Ryan Eggold) are to meet with someone about their pending adoption. They are the picture of a typical young married couple, pet dog bounding about the apartment, and a warmth and understanding passed between them. All this “normality” is shaken up as soon as helicopters and official government vehicles come to pick her up for work.

A lot happens in the pilot – a lot. It nearly feels like a movie’s worth of plot and by the end I knew I was hooked. I have a list of questions and a pocket of theories, and I cannot wait until the next episode.


99 Problems :: Hugo

The song was used brilliantly to end the pilot episode.

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