Raymond Reddington has a heart. We’ve seen that on “The Blacklist” a multitude of times. Yet, simultaneously we’ve also learned this: Red is a terrible guy to make angry. Without turning green, he does basically turn into the Hulk.
His mission tonight was simple: Find Liz Keen, and in turn ensure her safety. Yet, there was something else that he had to consider, even if there was a part of him that did not want to: Would she even want to be found? Is she done trusting him? After faking her own death to start a new life, all of these questions are valid. She was so willing to escape that she did not even tell Aram and the Task Force about it; seeing Aram in particular ask Tom if he knew about the plan at the time of the christening was pretty heartbreaking / more evidence that he is all of us as the emotional member of the team. He also found himself with Samar as to how to help Liz moving forward; he was all for lending her a helping hand, but she was more than willing to cut ties and let Liz go free.
In general we felt for the Task Force tonight, as they saw themselves torn between their personal motives with Liz and those of the higher-ups. Think of this as the group’s perpetual struggle between what they believe to be right, and what they are told is the right move to make.
Now, let’s go back to Red, given that his hunt for Liz tonight culminated in a trademark “Blacklist” stand-off, and one that eventually led to himself, Mr. Kaplan (still alive, which we were worried about at one point last season), and baby Agnes in the midst of a getaway before meeting an untimely roadblock: A car crash, to be specific. Surprisingly, we didn’t have a major cliffhanger when it came to Liz, and while seeing her in that action sequence (in particular nearly hitting someone aside the head with a log) was entertaining, we wanted more of her and Alexander Kirk, handing down a few answers while Red searched for her, desperate to do what was right regardless of whether or not was what she wanted.
Basically, the entire premiere can be summed up as this: Liz, Tom and Red all tried various things to change the course of recent history, but they all failed … at least for now.
Ultimately, the premiere tonight is a rough one to review since it’s clearly just a part of a larger whole, and our impatience for answers clouds are judgment. Still, it was tremendous to see some of these characters again, and while fleeting, the moments they shared were impactful. Grade: B+.
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