Photo courtesy of http://www.nbc.com
I was instantly hooked after I saw my sister drooling over the first few episodes. I figured that if “The Blacklist” passed her stonewall TV critique, then it must be good enough for me. Raymond Reddington, simply known as ‘Red’ in NBC’s hit show “The Blacklist”, is a man with an endless list of contacts and an equally long list of problems. Red is played by James Spader and is the perfect combination of witty, cunning and satisfyingly terrible. After staying up past the crack up dawn watching seasons one and two on Netflix, I’ve caught up and am now watching season three as it plays on television each week.
“The Blacklist” premiered in 2013 and follows the life of FBI agent Liz Keen, played by Megan Boone. The audience watched as Keen was introduced to Reddington, and her changed drastically. In the show, Red is on the FBI’s most wanted list, but agrees to become an informant for reasons that you would hate me for revealing right now. He spends the entirety of seasons one and two ratting out his former enemies – people on his Blacklist – to Liz and putting them behind bars.
While season three is over halfway complete, it still holds true to many of the same principals that the best selling show functioned off of. Reddington is the key player in this series, and in my mind, he’s still got it. What keeps the audience coming back is his enigmatic and unpredictable behavior. It’s not uncharacteristic of him to promptly whip out a gun and kill a useless informant. Red has a dark background that comes out in bits and pieces as the series progresses. And over time, he and Liz develop a relationship that is almost as strange as he is.
Now we wait eagerly on the edge of our seats every Thursday night at 8 p.m. with the channel turned religiously to NBC. You can even find episodes you missed online. With the show being so accessible, it’s not hard to devote an hour to each week – or even more if you’re a TV binge addict like me. Once you’re caught up, it’s easy to stay in the loop and watch new episode as religiously as I do.
Season three began October 1 and dove right into some conflicts that were unsolved from season two. Liz and Red are pitted against a group known as The Cabal, who are determined to kill Red. Together, they flee cross country, using Reddington’s extensive web of criminal contacts for help.
NBC takes Red’s element of the unknown and uses it to their great advantage in “The Blacklist”. Reddington is always surprising viewers, and we never know what to expect next. Each episode ends with a cliffhanger that makes the “Play Next Episode” button on Netflix irresistible. Anyone who is drawn to other high-action crime series like “Prison Break” or “CSI” are guaranteed to be hooked.
“The Blacklist” is more than just another shoot ‘em up police show, and the characters aren’t your typical low-level police officers with no backstory. Instead, what I love about the show is the high-profile killers that Liz and Red deal with. They aren’t just fighting random scum on the street. They’re using secret connections and espionage to divulge some of the nation’s best-kept secrets. Each killer that they hunt is seemingly untouchable, and just as the task seems impossible, Red reminds the audience that nobody is immune to his skills.
As season three nears its end this winter, it will be a true test of Red’s craftiness. He continues to impress viewers at home, but he still has to do his job in the show: he and Liz are constantly in danger from Red’s enemies and he needs to use his skills and contacts to keep them safe throughout all of the episodes. This constant sense of danger provides a great way to entertain the audience, without becoming too repetitive. Throughout this season and into the future ones, Red will continue to keep us on our toes, and wondering who will be next on his Blacklist.