Tonight, “The Blacklist” brought us a story that was about many different things. We saw what was effectively “The Hot Zone,” and also a combination between Poison Ivy from the Batman comics and Rogue from the X-Men.
Most of these comparisons that we’re making here are a means to describe Natalie Luca (actress Elizabeth Lail, who played Anna on “Once Upon a Time”), a woman who was the Blacklister at the center of the episode. She had a Bonnie & Clyde sort of relationship with the man who loved her, but also an extraordinary ability (and a terrifying one, as well) to be able to infect people using only her breath / her kisses. It was certainly creepy, but what made her story interesting was that there was a certain degree of fear in her, as well. She wasn’t some confident psycho-killer, and she cried when her love was killed.
In the end, Natalie was a tragic character more so than a nefarious or a wicked one. She was effectively just a scared young woman on the run from a powerful organization that was using her to potentially make her into a biological weapon.
A little bit of Samar / Aram – The relationship between these two has certainly been evolving over time, and right after Samar discussed the most romantic moment that she’d ever seen with Natalie crying over her lost lover, she revealed that Aram had done something rather special for her: Ensuring that she received equal pay for her efforts with the team. Maybe they’re not at the right place for a relationship to blossom just yet, but they are getting closer.
Tom’s undercover mission – Red sent our resident operative overseas, where he got his first real taste of action in some time. Basically, he scratched an itch that seems to always be with him. It’s not entirely clear that Tom got everything he wanted to out of being a hero, and the biggest reason for that is largely because of the fact that the mission was so short. Liz is concerned that she will not like the true Tom, but they’re going to work through this to the best of their ability.
The thing is, this relationship gets frustrating sometimes given that at this point, shouldn’t Tom and Liz understand each other better than anyone? So long as they’re honest, there’s no need to shy away from the truth.
Red gets to the truth – If you think back to the start of the episode, you’ll remember that Natalie did kill someone at the massage table who wasn’t threatening her — i.e., she’s not exactly innocent. In a pretty cool twist, she revealed to Red while at her makeshift prison in the closing minutes that she was hired by someone to kill one of Red’s associates — and that someone is Isabella Stone who he clearly knows.
In getting down to the heart of the episode, the twist, plus interestingly the story of Natalie, were the saving graces of an hour that needed a little bit more of Liz and Red, and probably bounced around a little more than we needed to. This is a show that’s been a tad rudderless as of late, so we hope the Stone twist offers up a further sense of direction. Grade: B-.
Next week – Who’s targeting Red? We have a few more details about that now over at the link here! Be sure to take a look at it and enjoy. (Photo: NBC.)