The Blacklist Review: Why Me?

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The Blacklist shook things up a bit this week with a case that fell into Red's lap.

The first two investigations Red gave to the FBI were targets that he selected and presented to them. This time, the mysterious Chinese spy, "Wujing," reached out to Red for help decrypting a stolen CIA message and Red wanted Liz to go undercover to bring Wujing down.

Red's New Mission

I'm not sure if the origin of the case is the reason or not, but this investigation wasn't nearly as engaging as the previous pair. There weren't any unexpected twists in the end. Perhaps my disappointment comes from the expectation that Red would always be using the FBI to complete his own angle.

In this case, when he told Liz to leave the decryption box behind, I thought the device was being exchanged. Red made a payment with a bomb in the series premiere, so why not a decryption device? It wasn't. It was just about revealing the CIA asset's name, so the Chinese could kill him.

Red's motivations continue to be intriguing. He will only work with Liz. He's willing to put her life at risk, but he also will kill to protect her. He could have turned Wujing's request for help down, instead he brought it to the FBI. Whether or not he wanted Wujing caught or not is questionable, since it was Liz's quick thinking to leave her tracking patch on Wujing's car that led to his capture. 

The FBI took down a dangerous criminal who they didn't even know existed and Red got his payment from Wujing for a job well done. This is where the twist -- a mild one -- was revealed. Red's payment was six digits: 042983. They could mean anything, but at first glance they look like a date. April 29, 1983. They could just as easily be the combination to a locker full of cash or a password.

It's just another mystery to be added to the many that involve Raymond "Red" Reddington. The major question that both Liz and viewers have is why is Red interested in Liz. What is their connection? A telling clue was revealed.

Red: What's the question?
Liz: Why me?
Red: Because of your father. | permalink

Many viewers believe that Red is Liz's father. While I believe it's possible, I doubt the answer is that obvious or simple. And, I hope that he isn't her father for that reason, though I'm sure the writers could find a way to make even that answer shocking. My guess is that he's either a family member or someone that knew her criminal father. Or, was responsible for what happened to her father.

Liz seemed content with his response ... for now. She's not going to be patient for long, unless she becomes distracted with the other mysteries and lies in her life. She doesn't understand her connection to Red, but even more worrisome is the truth about her husband. Who is Tom? And, did he marry her out of love? Or, some hidden reason?

Tom presents himself as a teacher, but there's clearly much more to the story. Given that the gun was used in a classified homicide, it's still unclear whether he's on the right or wrong side of the law. Of course, there's always the possibility that Tom's being set up. 

Red was involved in the attack on Tom, so it wouldn't be far-fetched to believe that he put the box under the floorboards. That would be an ideal way to isolate Liz from her husband and push her closer to Red. 

The situation has become even more complicated now that an unknown person and/or entity has bugged the Keen household to watch and listen to their every move. Who's responsible for that? The FBI? Agent Ressling proved that he's suspicious of Liz, so he could have ordered it. Or, is it Red wanting to keep an eye on his beloved Liz? 

Even though the Chinese spy case wasn't all that compelling, "Wujing," overall was riveting due to the secrets, lies, and mysteries surrounding the main players. With each new answer, more questions are raised. I'm not sure there's anyone that Liz should trust right now besides herself.


Editor Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.8 / 5.0 (146 Votes)

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


@Blacklist Fan - I didn't think about that Tom beat down from the first episode, but the more I do the more it seems that Tom is a bad guy that may even have been the reason Red showed up in the first place (because of his connection to Liz and how "serious" he is about protecting her -- and maybe just didn't have him killed right off because he needs her to learn to protect herself or recognize evil when it moves in with her).


If Red planted Tom in Liz's life to protect her, why did he have the bad guy in the first episode go to their house and beat up Tom? I think Red is Liz's dad (I sure hope so -- great story there) but I have no clue as to who Tom really is. Perhaps he is innocent and was just set up to make it look like he is some sort of sinister guy.


042983 I think is the code needed to deactivate the tracking chip on Red's shoulder. I think Red also planted Tom inside Liz's life to keep her safe when he's not around.


I LOVE THIS SHOW!!! I'm completely addicted! Have not 'found' a show like this in a LOOOOOOONNNNGGGG Time! As for Red being Liz's father- I DON'T think he is. I think Red Is trying to find Liz's Dad- and SHE is the only link to him. Therefore, Red has to get Liz on HIS team. I think 'The Apple Man' may be Liz's Father.


Thank you, Jim Garner. I had been wondering about that song, but you provided the answer even before I had to ask the question. You rock!


I hope Red is Liz's father. I think the back story could be that he had to abandon his wife and daughter years before because he got set up by the government for something. He left the family in order to save them. As a backlash to the government, he became involved in crime. He's been keeping tabs on Liz all these years. He wanted to be a part of her life again and this was the way to do it all -- get immunity from the government, demonstrate to his daughter that life is not all "black and white," and let her get to know him while also taking down the criminals as a way of atonement.


042983 ... Clearly its Elizabeth Keen's birthdate. Search Megan Boone in google - born on April 29th, 1983. Maybe I'm destined to be an FBI agent one day. Ta da.


I'm not sure why, but I don't think Red is Liz's father. In three episodes, we've seen how Red easily manipulates things to get what he wants, and hes slowly bringing down the baddies... so what if everything that's going on is just one master manipulation to draw out Liz's criminal father and bring him to justice? That or the Blacklist was really compiled or helped be compiled by Liz's father, he was killed, and now Red's sought out his daughter to help finish what he and her father started. Loving this show regardless. Haven't found a show that keeps me intrigued like this in a while.


I am totally invested in this program already I love the characters and I like the way were very slowly learning small things about them but there's still so much we don't know about Liz, did she grow up in foster care? how old was she when her father left and her mother died? how did she get her scar. I think her past is more interesting then reds. I'm not sure if he's her father but it won't really matter if that's the way the show is going and everyone will say I knew it the point is we all can't wait for Liz to find out if red is her father or what the connection is. I think he knew her father maybe worked with him or for him and either was asked to take care of her by her father or he's using her to get to her father maybe bring him out of hiding I'm not sure all I know is in the car at the end when she said you didn't have to kill him he said he would do anything to keep her alive not safe just alive so if he was her father he would have said safe. I do agree that the man watching her could be her father I'm not sure about Tom yet I guess a few more episodes and we'll know more next weeks episode looks amazing can't wait to see how red reacts to Liz being taking I just hope the show keeps us wanting more but doesn't go to far off track to prolong the mystery.


042983 happens to be Megan Boone's birthday which I found clever and clearly has me wondering what it's actually meant to be in the show.

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The Blacklist Season 1 Episode 3 Quotes

Red: What's the question?
Liz: Why me?
Red: Because of your father.

I have you.