‘The Blacklist’ season 3, episode 19 review: Katarina’s ghost and James Spader’s utter brilliance

RedGhosts are tricky thing. You don’t control when they leave, just as you don’t control when they arrive. They’re just there, often created in your mind for the purpose of awakening something within your soul.

That is what we took from Thursday night’s new episode of “The Blacklist,” a modern-day chiller that brought back the same seaside setting that reminded us so much of “Revenge.” Reddington was reeling from the loss of Liz Keen, and through his own delusions / trips / whatever they were, he decided to envision what you could say was his own subconscious. It was a way to wrangle his own demons, and for a time, it gave James Spader someone to share time with given that Red was not exactly in a social mood.

We’ve seen Spader in a lot of things, but this remain one of the strongest performances we have seen from him over his entire career. It was thoughtful, heartbreaking, and really fascinating from start to finish to see just what happened to this man. Ideally, this is the sort of episode you probably need to see a few times over in order to truly understand it and appreciate it for all of its little minutia, and for everything that Red was saying.

Ultimately, we’d call it an introspective story of guilt. Red was able to save Lizzie at an early age, but he lost Katarina. Meanwhile, he saved Agnes last week, but lost Lizzie. Katarina’s ghost made an appearance at the episode’s end, and that brought a rush of memories back. Maybe this was about learning to let go, or maybe this about the value of life. Reddington is not a man who cherishes much, given that he knows how easy it can be to lose what was once at your side.

The dust has settled, and what matters most is that this was a positively brilliant hour for the show, and one we will remember for some time. Grade: A.

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