‘The Blacklist’ season 4, episode 13 review: James Spader gives you another showcase in ‘Isabella Stone’

The Blacklist logo any seasonWhat makes Reddington afraid? On Thursday night’s new episode of “The Blacklist”? This Big Bad Wolf turned out to be Isabella Stone.

To be fair, it doesn’t take a whole lot of work to understand why exactly Red would be so intimidated. For one, her name sounds like the bad guy from a Bond movie. Also, her expertise is basically ruining lives. She gets to know further who you are, and infiltrates your entire world. What’s also innovative about her is HOW she goes about her path of destruction. In some cases, she does so by learning more about who you are and what makes you tick — she studies up your history, and then finds ways to discredit you and embarrass you. In some cases, she figures out how to kill you.

Reddington’s trouble started when one of his couriers was killed overseas, and he was signaled enough last week to know that she was coming. Therefore, he could start to prepare for her arrival, but not in a way that gave him a ton of time. The thing with Red is that he’s not an athlete, and he’s therefore not winning any fistfights. He wins most of his battles because of his brain, his cunning, and his understanding of what makes people tick. This case brought out how loyal certain people are to Red (at times in a rather beautiful, touching way), but also how much fear Red had that his entire operation would come crashing down. He knew that this was so much bigger than himself.

Let’s give some kudos here to Melora Hardin, who did a great job as Stone and really presented a darker, sinister side of herself. This is a woman, after all, who we know best for her performance as Jan on “The Office.” Of course, James Spader was outstanding as always, but we probably feel at this point as though we’re taking advantage of just how good he is.

Here’s the good news for Red: Liz and the FBI did their part to actually help him, and as a result of that, they were able to find Stone and arrest her before any further damage was done. That’s a big achievement for them, but there is still no clear sign that we’ve made it to the end of the road as far as Red’s problem goes. Isabella refused to say who hired her — it was pretty clear that someone did. Also, it’s pretty clear that someone doesn’t want her talking. That someone is Red, who kidnapped her in the closing minutes.

Tom’s search for his family – After hearing the news about his father and a plane crash, all of a sudden we started to see Mr. Keen become a little more curious in his family history. Remember that he knows Scottie Hargrave is his mother, but the feeling isn’t mutual. He doesn’t know his father at all, and all Red would say is that the two are acquaintances … but that hardly means that they are close by any means.

Unfortunately for Red, Tom’s not going to let that go. He’s only going to let this stew.

Overall take – Stone was a fantastic villain for this episode, and she proved valuable as a liaison between where we were before with Red and where we are now. There was also just the right amount of Tom; he doesn’t need a lot of burn given that there is a spin-off coming, but you have to set that up somehow. Grade: B+.

What did you think about this episode, and the story of Stone? Share in the comments.

(Photo: NBC.)

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