The Blacklist Review: Betting on the Long Plan

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It seemed unlikely that The Blacklist would be able to come up with a criminal and case as intense and suspenseful as last Monday's the Stewmaker - but the writers managed to do it with "The Courier." 

The FBI didn't have much trouble tracking down the Iranian or the Courier, but that was just the beginning of the whirlwind ride. The Courier can't feel pain, wasn't willing to talk and had implanted multiple items into his body. He's a freaky and dangerous guy.

Million Dollar Delivery

The Courier was facilitating an exchange of $20 million for an NSA Agent. If either client reneged on the deal, they both would be killed. What? That's extreme insurance to guarantee that both parties comply with their side of the deal.  This deal went all kinds of wrong.

The Blacklist is far from the first show to use the race against time to find someone buried alive as the suspense driver. Despite that common plot device, the components surrounding the search made it unique and left me on the edge of my seat. 

This show has branded itself as one to expected the unexpected, but then be shocked anyway. A sting went bad, why? When Ressler pretended to be the Courier, he didn't kill the client immediately. He cut himself without flinching to prove he had no feeling, but that wasn't enough to satisfy her. 

Instead, it was Red that cracked her. The threat that the real Courier would find her and finish the job was enough to get her to squeal. With her information, they were able to track down the Courier and save Seth.

Everytime Red opens his month, he's playing someone. He's such a natural that it's almost impossible to determine what's true and what's not. Sometimes when he's with Liz, he lets his guard down a tiny bit. He's using her, but protecting her. The mystery regarding both his use of her and concern for her is slowly revealed each week. 

After saving Seth, Red could have used a favor for anything and he used it to "help" Liz. There's very little that is concretely proven as fact with regards to either Red or Liz. And, his motivation for getting the assassination file for her falls very much in the gray area. It will all come down to the box. Is it Tom's? Or, was it planted there to implicate him? And, what does Red know about it?

The mystery of the box looks to be answered in next week's episode, though it certainly will just bring up more. When Tom found the box, he urgently wanted to talk to Liz. At first look, that suggested to me that he didn't know anything about it. And, supports that it was placed there to divide the married couple. If it was his, wouldn't he have run if he knew she found it?

The evidence against Tom piled up when Liz got the file about the murder in Boston. It seemed to implicate Tom, but is it what it seems? It would have been easy to draw him to Boston for a job interview to set him up as a scapegoat if the need came up. The Apple Man and the survelliance just further complicate the issue.

The final moment left it up in the air. Really anything is possible at this point, which makes the story so compelling. Given Tom's reaction and Red's comment, "I'm betting on the long plan. The future," I'm leaning towards the theory that Tom's being set up. In the end, it is all about Liz and all of their actions will be directly related back to her and her history.

Do you think it is Tom's box? Or is he being set up? Did he kill the guy in Boston? And, how must does Red really know? For the case, did you find the Courier case compelling?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (121 Votes)

Carla Day is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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The Blacklist Season 1 Episode 5 Quotes

Liz: You're not telling us everything.
Red: Let me put your mind at ease. I'm never telling you everything.

Speak of the Devil, it's the Devil.

Liz