The Blacklist Review: Hunter Becomes the Hunted

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How many people will die to protect Red?

It's not easy being a criminal. It would be naive to think that Red hasn't screwed over some very dangerous people throughout his years on the Most Wanted List. Though, up until now, he's come across as omnipotent in his knowledge and ability to assist in various FBI cases and doing it without suffering the wrath of the criminals he's used.

On The Blacklist Season 1 Episode 9, Red's past came back in the form of a disgruntled, Anslo Garrick, who certainly had a reason to go after Red. However, it's probable that Anslo deserved the bullet to the head....

The Next Target

Anslo's plan to assassinate Red was quite elaborate and made the FBI look incompetent. The FBI unwittingly took the planted intelligence about a hit on Red seriously and went after him in Germany. Instead of telling Red the truth, Donald lied to him and said that Liz was in trouble. Oops.

If Donald would have told Red the truth, he would have been able to protect himself instead of being led into a trap. At the same time, I can't really fault the FBI for believing that they could protect Red. They were wrong, but it was a logical belief to have. And, if they told Red the truth, he could have taken off for good and they couldn't allow that.

When the FBI does a postmortem on this situation, they should most definitely look at the security set up of their supposed heavily secured black site. How did the garbage truck full of men take out so many FBI security agents? Seriously? They were protected and had the weapons. Plus, with the threat to Red, why didn't they increase their security? 

The FBI failed big time! And, even though the FBI security force was wiped out within minutes, Red was able to save Donald and get them to the box for protection. It didn't seem very believable, but I was caught up in the intensity of the situation in the moment and didn't mind it.

Why was Red so determined to save Donald's life? That remains a mystery. While Anslo was ranting outside the box and trying to find a way to break into it, Red did everything in his power to save Donald. A tourniquet. A blood transfusion. Cauterizing the artery. Could they be related? They have the same blood type. And, this is The Blacklist where connections and mysteries drive the story.

Given all the people that we have seen Red kill, it's definitely not that he's a humanitarian. Red may have standards and may not be willing to see an innocent person die. Since Donald spent 5 years chasing the Most Wanted Man, it's possible that Red has developed a respect and affection for Donald.

The others at the facility were secondary to the story in this hour, but they will likely play an important role in next Monday's conclusion. Harold wasn't willing to negotiate with Anslo. He hoped that either Liz or Aram would be able to call in the cavalry. Besides, if he gave up Red, then Anslo would just kill them all.

Even Red recognized that he couldn't just give up. Luli was killed and then Anslo threatened Red's associate, Dembe. The connection between Red and Dembe in those final moments showed a softer and touching side of Red. He couldn't save Dembe's life, but he was compassionate. And, stood there with him until the end.

That's if the shot fired was at Dembe. Since the screen went black, it's possible that someone else was shot. And, maybe it wasn't even Anslo's gun that went off. No matter what happened, it's going to be a dangerous and intense conclusion. With Liz captured and brought to the box, their rescue will be up to Aram. 

If Liz is threatened, Red will do anything to save her. He's proven time and time again that he's her great protector. And, he did promise his good friend and Liz's father, that he'd watch over her.

Odds and Ends

  • When Liz was going through the box of her father's belongings, she found a scorched stuffed animal. Could her family have been killed in a fire? Is that why she needed to be adopted when she was a young girl?
  • Anslo knew about Red's immunity deal. Who else knows? And, if people know could his information become less reliable?
  • Donald's resentment of Liz's involvement in the case is actually founded. He spent 5 years tracking Red and the job cost him his fiancee.
  • Red's reasons for wanting to get out of the box alive were touching, but none more palpable than he final one. "Most of all I want to sleep. Sleep like when I was a boy. Give me that. Just one time." 
  • Red and Donald were able to connect over those wishes. It was sad to see Donald's tears. The regret and the desire for a future.

As much as this situation humanized Red, the fact that he's a criminal and has killed plenty of people was never far from the surface. Red has proved every time that unless it's about Liz, everything he does is about himself and what he can gain from his actions. This situation is most likely no different.


Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (98 Votes)

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


I liked the episode but the blatant references to Die Hard were disappointing (Liz is taking off her shoes & going around barefoot, sneakung around the building taking out bad guys 1 by 1). As much as I like that movie, I prefer thinking this show is above needing to copy material.

@ sally

Yeah, because trying to be a stealthy, cautious and tactical around a dark facility with heavily armed bad guys is something only John McClane would do. I'm pretty sure she even has a gun taped on her back. :P


Wow! it was a great episode! havent been so glued to the tv since "Lost" and the promo for next monday seems an eternity!

@ Clau

Amen..this series has been awesome... we need some good shows and this blows me away...


If you watch the preview for next week, I'm pretty sure you can see Dembe still facing the box. I also think that Liz's flashbacks with the stuffed animal have something to do with the house Red blew up a few episodes ago.


I don't think Dembe's dead either….also Donald's on love with Liz

Sarah silva

This was a great episode! I can not wait until next week.
The hour went by so fast!
I can not believe they killed off Dembe and Luli!
I felt like there was a lot of important things and conversations with Anslo, Ressler and Reddington! I think I followed it all but I may have missed some things.
We all know that there was a picture of Reddington or something in the pile of photos that Liz was looking through.
She was kicking some butt up until the bad guy got her.
From day 1 I though that Harold was bad and I think he will be the mole!


Wow! Talk about an intense episode, and I was on the edge of my seat. Thankfully when I watched it on they skipped the commercials, so it was like a mini movie. I cannot wait until next Monday!


I knew from the elevator scene that Lizzy would become a pawn.Typical storyline. I just dont like that actress for some reason. Anyway the rest of the episode was very intense & nice to see a human side to Red. But why does he care so much about Lizzy??Hmmmm What was the outcome of that box Liz found in her floorboard??

@ fwitzie

This is what makes life so interesting. Opposites. I love this actress, I love her on screen presence, the way she brings the character to life and the way she looks.


I didn't want it to end the way it did.............. Seems this show is having a mid season finale too(UGH UGH UGH)--they made reference to next week being a fall finale. Carla--any word on that?? Red is too smart to be out done by this guy. He won't be killed. We all already know, as Carla mentioned, he won't let anything happen to Liz. The scene where Red was talking about getting out alive was Emmy worthy. I fully expect James Spader to take the Emmys next year by storm. He's been superb in this show. I agree that the FBI will have to re-access their security now that this has happened. Kinda of liked how they put in another piece of the puzzle when they showed Liz's flashback of the fire. Red set fire to that house he bought...............hmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Carla day
@ Terrie

Next week is the fall finale. The show will return in 2014, but no premiere date has been announced yet. The series is picked up for a full season, so there's lots more of The Blacklist to come.


Nah, that was Luli. Poor girl. But Dembe's not dead, though they did have me for a minute.


I can't watch until I have Part 2... I hate 2 parters... But so far I am loving this series.

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