The Blacklist Review: A Monster

at .  Updated at . Comments

That was quite a different Raymond "Red" Reddington that we saw on The Blacklist Season 1 Episode 20.

Instead of being confident and having people indulge his every whim, Red was afraid and failed to gain the assistance that he needed. He's being targeted by an unknown person or entity and The Kingmaker was his only lead.

He brought the criminal political strategist to the FBI's attention, but it didn't work out like he wanted.

For a political mastermind, the FBI didn't have much trouble finding and tracking down the Kingmaker. I guess if Red hadn't brought his existence to the FBI's attention, they probably wouldn't have even realized he was in town. The Kingmaker didn't cover his tracks well, but maybe he was arrogant enough to believe he would never be caught.

The concept of the Kingmaker made me wonder about our current politicians. Have any of them manipulated their way to the top? Many of them certainly did, but perhaps not through such illicit methods. This episode reminded me of House of Cards​, however the Kingmaker was no Frank Underwood. I'm not sure anyone could ever match Frank's conniving and evil ways.

The heart of the story was that Red has no friends. He has business associates, enemies, and conditional allies, but no friends. Throughout the season, there have been hints that someone has been targeting Red and it finally became clear when his Prague politician contact was framed for murder.

This person or organization has been playing the long game by planting Tom in Liz's life, assigning Jolene to trail Red and interfering with his business. Red was desperate enough to go to Alan (previously known as Fitch) for help. That mysterious organization was tired of being held hostage by Red and whatever evidence he may have against them. They refused to help. 

I'm more intrigued by Alan and his organization now than ever before. They broke into the Post Office and killed people to make a point, but then left Red alone. Now, they are willing to be compromised (still not sure how) to leave Red on his own. After they denied his request, his only lead was the Kingmaker.

Oops! Ressler shot and killed the Kingmaker to save Liz's life. I wonder if Red would have taken that shot if it meant losing his only lead on his enemy? He's gone to great lengths to protect her in the past, but he's desperate and afraid right now.

His day went from bad to worst when Liz found out the truth about her father's death. He lost his person. His connection to Liz remains unclear, but he deeply cares about her. I'd say that Red hit bottom on that day, but I fear his situation is only going to get worse.

Liz: Were you in the hospital room when he died? Did you kill my father? Did you kill him?Red: Yes.
Liz: I was right. There was something he wanted to tell me before he died and you didn't want me to know.
Red: It's not quite that simple.

James Spader has been exceptional throughout the series and that final look on Red's face was a perfect example. It was so sad. Liz said some very mean things, but they were accurate and deserved. These two will likely find their way back to each other, but I hope it only happens through honesty. Red needs to tell Liz the truth whether it's simple or not.

I feel absolutely sympathetic towards Liz. She's lost. Her husband's a liar, Red's a liar, and all she's left with is the job. She doesn't have any family and we've never seen her with any friends. At least she didn't shut down and close herself off, instead she went to Donald's place.

I don't want to see them in a romantic relationship, but she can use an honorable friend and he's a good choice. I hope she opens up and tells him what's going on. Of course, he could be another plant, but I really hope not.

With only two episodes left, The Blacklist has many unanswered questions. I'd like to see at least a few of those answered. The series has been renewed for season 2, but that doesn't mean there should only be cliffhangers and no resolutions. What would you like to be answered by season's end?

We're done. I'm done. This ends right now. You're a monster.


Will Liz make up with Red before the end of the season?


Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
  • 4.6 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (50 Votes)

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


I like Liz and remember that she has had a few kicks in the teeth just recently. Up until the death of her father she seemed able and principled.Willing to learn while dealing with a brilliant criminal man. While still grieving for her father she had Red telling her that there was something she had to watch for concerning her husband. That turned out to be true.I think that would effect most peoples work. Now she finds out that Red killed her father. He has however never lied to her however even if he has not told her the whole truth.


Really good episode. I like how this series has left the door open to almost any possibility. Red could be good or bad, Tom could be good or bad, Alan (Fitch) is probably bad but he could be good too (remember what we thought about Tom just a couple of weeks ago). I agree with the other commenters her who find Liz to be ruled by emotion rather than common sense. She is not your typical FBI agent. Clearly her character has been written this way for a reason but it is getting harder and harder to find her credible. And, as others here have asked, why on earth would you not tell your FBI colleagues about Tom? They could possibly utilize their resources to aid her in finding out who he really is. They certainly found the "Kingmaker" quick enough. Anyway, looking forward to the next couple of weeks. Can't wait to see how they wrap this season up.

Sarah silva

Such a great episode!
I can not believe there are only 2 episodes left!
I like that Liz went to Ressler's apartment.
Personally I have wanted the two of them to get together for awhile. I am sure she will tell him everything about Tom and Red. That will be great for her to have someone that is good for once.
Liz is getting beat up a lot! I know she was chocked from behind but she is and FBI agent and I would think she would have had training to get out of a situation like that! However Ressler to the rescue!
I too hope we get some answers before the finale, for me one answer is once and for all of Red is Liz's father. I have said not from the start and it seems like some say he is and some like me say no!
I was also wondering why the Kingmaker kept sniffing, there had to have been a reason for that!
How funny was Dembe and the ice cream, is it safe to assume he was testing the marijuana?

@ Mrs alex o'loughlin

FBI or not, there's not much evidence that Lizzie works at being in shape or at hand to hand techniques. She's 180 degrees from Annie on Covert Affairs who religiously works at her technique and gets tips from Augie as well.


Wonderful episode but, as usual, Liz is the weak link. When she goes into the back room with Red she has the same look at she always does when he takes her into his network -- opened mouth confusion or surprise. You would think by now she would have learned the look of disinterest and boredom that would say she belongs there instead of acting like a pathetic rookie. Furthermore, she hasn't told anyone at work about Tom? He is a threat and maybe she is finally going to tell Ressler? There are no words. Also, Red's given her certain nuggets of information that could help her figure out her life but instead of behaving like an FBI agent she gets emotional (because ruled by her emotions is all she is -- which makes for a horrible FBI agent) and says "we're through." The look on Fitch's face when Red laid it all out when (not if) Red wins this war was priceless. When the war is over I hope we get to see the systematic destruction of all of those people who refused to help him. Maybe we'll get to see that they never had the control they though they did and were where they were because HE allowed them. Red does have friends -- Dembe has called Red his brother. I'm looking forward to where the Red story goes and am rooting for (but know I will be disappointed) in the death of Liz along the way.


Ressler's kill shot seemed a tad over the top. He could have wounded and disabled the guy without killing him. In order to maintain this air of desperation and misery in Red over the Kingmaker, the writers take the easy way out, sacrificing the credibility of Ressler's character.

@ Joe

Police are trained that if they have to shoot, they shoot to kill.

Sarah silva
@ Joe

My take is that Ressler likes Liz and his first instinct was to kill the Kingmaker because he was hurting Liz. Yes I think wounding him and trying to get answers may have been a better idea. However maybe he figured they did not need to interrogate him.


I adore this show but James Spader as Red is incredible. Agree more please.


It's about time Liz steps up for Red. He has consistently supported her in all matters boy private and business. While his motives are not always noble, he does do her bidding. Love this show, more Red.

Tags: ,