With a show like The Blacklist, the series is bound to have some pretty formulaic episodes from time to time. That can’t be avoided.
But I was expecting something far more interesting coming off the heels of a massive attack in The Blacklist Season 1 Episode 10, Red eliminating the man who betrayed him in The Blacklist Season 1 Episode 11 and the continued prospect that there was a mole still on the FBI’s side.
While there were a few decent moments, The Blacklist Season 1 Episode 12 unfortunately was a rather bland adventure of the week.
The Alchemist was a creative character... in theory. Someone who “protects” the guilty, can turn them into entirely different people with his mastery of genetic manipulation and hides them from being found? He’s bound to be memorable.
Instead, he’s a guy obsessed with the lab and his family. There’s no charisma or charm involved, leaving this important blacklister as just another check mark. Even the FBI’s chase to track him down felt like something we’ve all seen before on countless procedurals. Not to mention the cliche standoff where the hero character puts themselves on the line in dramatic fashion to try and negotiate.
Liz’s actions just felt silly at that point.
And while the Alchemist was gunned down, his secret list was conveniently still available. So, you know, no big deal.
It’s tough to find interest when not even Red is willing to stick around and help out. Having his character with less screen time, and noticeably so, was definitely a negative.
I know he had his own business to deal with (just who is Lucy Brooks?) but his character really helps sell this show. I kept wondering when he would come back or when we would see him take part.
Sure, he was able to uncover the FBI’s mole, Meera, but that confrontation was saved for the last few minutes of the episode to have us eagerly looking forward to the next time. It does make me wonder why she would be the mole in the first place, though.
I did appreciate the attempts at providing some character drama outside of the case, even if that didn’t feel all that inspiring.
Sure, Tom skipped his “interview” for Liz, but those two dug themselves further into drama territory and further apart in their relationship. It all just felt so obvious with the arguments about the baby and work, not to mention the “substitute teacher” who has lured Tom to check out a photograph exhibit.
C’mon, Tom. Don’t fall for that one.
I guess it was inevitable for the couple to have some problems, but I find the issues with trusting who Tom actually is more fascinating than their arguments about dinner dates and baby shower parties.
As for Agent Ressler, it’s good he gets to have something to do outside of the office. Did his dinner with his former flame feel like a forced way to give him that something else to do? Maybe. Is it convenient that she also put her current relationship on hold? Possibly.
I like his character, though, so I’m willing to see where it goes.
However, this hour just wasn’t one I’d be rushing to watch again. With a case that should have been more than standard and a huge lack of Red, it's too bad the Alchemist couldn’t have switched this episode with a more engaging version. Hopefully, dealing with Meera as the mole turns The Blacklist back into its thrilling self.
So Meera is the mole! What should Red do with her?
Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.