The Blacklist Review: Lies and Manipulations

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It's tough to know what's accurate on The Blacklist. It seems like there are more lies being told than truths.

On The Blacklist Season 1 Episode 14, Madeline Pratt draws Red out by stealing $10 million from his safe deposit box in Istanbul.

In response, he goes to Liz for help and that's the beginning of conflicting ruses and antics.

Red's continued manipulation of Liz is becoming more suspect as their relationship continues. When he was trying to get her to help him whenever she would ask him a question, he would deflect it by bringing up her personal life. For example, when Liz questioned his motives and he brought up the baby. 

Red gets results, but at what cost? How much manipulation will Liz and the FBI withstand before they've had enough and decide to lock Red up as the criminal he is? When Red returned to the Post Office before the mole was officially captured, Harold believed that Diane's disappearance could be attributed to Red. Even with the suspicions, Harold allowed Liz to go into the Syrian Embassy on the heist.

Red is usually the one doing the manipulation, but this time he was played by Madeline. I was surprised to see that Red was willing to put Liz at risk for a woman that shouldn't have been trusted. Madeline double-crossed Red and Liz. She wanted Liz to attempt to steal the statue to deflect attention from her. While Liz set off an alarm and was captured, Madeline stole and escaped with the statue.

In the end, Red got his payback. After rescuing Liz, Red met up with Madeline and the two of them were captured and held behind bars. Red explained his absence years before to her by telling the story about how his family was killed. Red sold the tale brilliantly and it brought tears to her eyes. When he was pulled out of the cell, she was willing to give up the statue's location to protect him.

Sucker! I didn't see it coming either. Red set up their capture in order to get the truth from her. Brilliant move. It worked and Red got a bargaining chip to use with the FBI.

Was the story about his family true? I don't know. I wouldn't bet a penny that anything Red says is true, but there probably was a bit of truth to the story. This story just heightened my irritation over the lack of answers about Red and Liz's pasts. At this point in the season, we should have more answers.

We don't really know Red, Liz, Tom or Jolene. Their pasts are clouded in mystery and somehow intertwined. With only 8 episodes left in The Blacklist season 1, I really hope that answers are coming. At this point, the weekly takedowns (or not in this case) aren't enough to hold my interest.

It's becoming more difficult to believe the FBI would put up with Red's behavior. He retrieved the location of the suitcase nukes and would only turn them over in exchange for the statue. Why would the FBI agree to that? It's frustrating. Plus, Madeline, got away and not empty-handed. She took the $40 million painting from the home where Red was staying.

Meanwhile, Liz's marriage continued to fall apart. Tom walked out on her and then went to Orlando early without her. If that wasn't bad enough, he ran into the mysterious, flirtatious Jolene at the hotel.

Liz is too smart to not see that Red is manipulating her both personally and professionally. Something has to give in regards to Red for it to remain believable. Now that Harold has been called off the investigation into Diane disappearance, perhaps he'll become more suspicious of Red.

Should the FBI arrest Red?

Madeline Pratt Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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Carla Day is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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