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.

Anslo Garrick Review

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+.

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