The Blacklist Review: It Begins

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It's all connected. 

That's really been a theme that's played throughout The Blacklist season 1, but it took on an entirely different meaning in The Blacklist Season 1 Episode 21. It's been clear from the beginning that Red has a connection to Liz, though the details have remained a mystery.

The viewers also have seen Red bring specific cases to the FBI in order to get something he wants, whether it was the ViCAP ID number for Lucy Brooks, access to that system, the picture from the Stewmaker, revealing Gina Zanetakos, and maybe even getting that bomb into an ally's hands.

While Red did use the cases to his advantage, there was a specific purpose behind them. 

Red's being targeted. 

When Liz went through the files and found all the connections, I think we were supposed to be shocked, but I found it anti-climatic. It's been no mystery that Red has someone on his trail. We've known that for a long time. Despite that, I was glad that Liz figured it out and took it to the FBI.

She started out the season as a fierce agent who didn't hesitate to put a pen into Red's neck. As she worked on the task force, she fell apart and turned into an incompetent agent, was whiny, too emotional, and just annoying. Okay, that might be a little harsh, but the sentiment is accurate.

Given everything she's been through, an emotional break would make sense, but not the extreme lapse in smarts. Once she dropped her Red and Tom baggage, she was able to look at the evidence and events more clearly. She was back on her game and she found the clues necessary to save lives.

Props to Liz! She decoded Dr. Sanders mystery partner, UD-4126 and brought in Dr. Vogel for questioning. She pushed the limits by poisoning the doctor with his own virus to get the names of his victims. It all led to the FBI almost apprehending the prisoners on the plane. Almost. They got there just a few minutes too early.

I liked this Agent Keen. It's when she turns into Lizzie that it's a problem. Despite pushing Red away, she went after him when she figured out his life was in danger. She has a connection to him and I don't think she even understands why. As a viewer, this ambiguity has become irritating.

Since this was the first hour of a two-part finale, it was mostly set up. As Red said, "Now it begins." The plane crashed and Berlin will be in the wind. Can they find Red's nemesis before it's too late? Maybe. I'm guessing there will be a cliffhanger going into next season and that will likely involve Red's life and/or freedom.

Before the credits roll, I'd like to see Red finally confide in Liz and tell her the truth. That's the only way I can see them continuing to work together. He needs to buy some trust with the truth. I don't want to see this wishy-washy relationship between the two of them. Liz either needs to see Red as an ally or an enemy. 

Will Liz see Red as an ally or enemy when the season ends?


Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (51 Votes)

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


What is wrong with those of you who don't like Liz? Every single character on this show is well selected for the part. As for wig haters? Some people can't find enough to complain about. Really! It's a TOP SHOW WITH ALL TOP ACTORS....including Lizzie! Red is amazing but would not be as good without his connection to Lizzie...they make a perfect pair! Stop complaining. If you don't like her, STOP WATCHING AND LET THE REAT OF US ENJOY IT!!!!

@ Mary

All of us Lizzie haters have a right to hate if we want. Actually, I don't hate her, I just think she is written poorly. She's not very smart, she absolutely isn't a good profiler. If not for Red, she wouldn't ever figure anything out. She is to emotional, cries all the time. She claims she loved her father so much, but was the only one that wasn't there when he died. Both men in life made it there but not her. Red left her two times with her husband Tom and both times he clearly escapes. Like I said, she is obviously written so that we don't like or respect her. So much more I could say, but, since I love this show, and I'm not going to stop watching as you suggest, because of the character and acting of Red/James Spader. He is perfection to watch.


i love Liz and Reds scenes the most !!!! i dont think she is winy at all i have no problem with her and the intrigue is all the clues to just who Red is to her .i love this show so much and the brilliant James Spader makes it perfect as always .Just enough to emotion with Liz yet still ruthless dangerous and mysterious all at once .


I love the show, but I am getting tired of wondering what the connection is between Lizzie and Red. Enough alread! It's starting to become a distraction. I don't have a problem with Lizzie's character, but she needs to make up her mind if she's going to continue her association with Red, search for her husband or resign from the FBI. I'm getting tired of the ambiguity. The writers need to stop keeping us hanging. It's gotten old! Spader plays Red to perfection and without him, I doubt I would have hung around this long! Let's move this story along next season please.


I am not an anti Liz. I really feel that she and Red are linked because of what the drama said. Maybe other things will be revealed next season but for the moment I wait for the cliffhanger finale.I hope it is not to terrible with all summer to wait.I think it is one of the best shows around.If not the best.


I'd just be happy if they got rid of Lizzie's wigs!

@ GlynisCR+

lol good one!


I think the show is great. Lizzie has had some
Teriffic shocks. She lost her father and her husband betrayed her. She is human, but no slouch. In spite of the fall out of her experienced she rose to the occasion to help
Red. Sure James Spader is the power of the
Show. He sets the bar and the rest including
The writers will attempt to reach it. Great TV
Look forward to each episode

Sarah silva

When Dr. Vogel realized the water he was drinking was laced with the virus, I loved what she said to him! It was fantastic!
She also put together that everyone (well even she said maybe not everyone) is connected!
Liz was ready to be transferred and be done with Red, and she go her wish. Of course she realized she made a mistake, when she found out that her transfer was approved and what was going to happen to Red once she left, she went and tried to save him by telling him he had to leave with her before the FBI came,but it was too late. They were surrounded and Red had not choice but to surrender. That surrender does not last as we see Red is free next week and will help take down Berlin.
With only 1 episode left of the season, I wonder how it will all end.


I've read a lot of reviews of this show. It seems like noone likes Megan Boone. I've read comments about her wigs, acting, etc. I do have to agree that without Spader this show wouldn't even be on the radar.......... I think we'll be left hanging with Red about to go to jail.........or left thinking he or Lizzie(or both) could be dead........... I agree too that I hope the writers will re-assess Liz and her character over the summer.........


Wow, LIzzie's character sucks. I can't stand her. If Reddington was not on the show, who would watch. What a wonderful character and his stories are just phenominal. The show is getting interesting to me, in fact, if Lizzie left the team the show would be so much better. Anywho, I love the Blacklist and will hang around til the end. Here's me hoping that whoever is writing the Lizzie character wakes up and smells the coffee.

@ Nisan

I agree. I am so sick of Liz. How did she ever get into the FBI? Do the writers want us to not like her? It seems that way. I keep hoping she gets a bullet.


Certainly the ambiguity between Liz and Red shouldn't last much longer. But I'd continue to enjoy the ride, if the big reveal was delayed to mid next season. Red had commented in a previous episode that Liz can be soft and kind, but hard when she needs to be. But that balance is not quite optimal, for the challenging circumstances she has to deal with. Perhaps when the Red connection is fully clarified and she shacks up with Ressler, that will clear up her muddled thinking, leaving her free to live up to her potential. Either way, I'm a fan of both characters, and with it to the end.

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The Blacklist Season 1 Episode 21 Quotes

Liz: Who? Who is this mysterious someone?
Red: I don't know.

Berlin. It's not a place. It's a person. And that person is coming for Red today.