The Blacklist Fall Finale Review: More Questions Than Answers

The Blacklist S01E10: "Anslo Garrick (No. 16) Part 2"


If there's one thing I know in this world, it's that the people who produce promos and teasers for television networks are completely full of crap. The Blacklist has been a massive success for NBC, and thus it's no surprise that the network would be hyping its fall finale to high heaven. This, of course, was the episode that was supposed to change everything. But wouldn't you know it? The second part of "Anslo Garrick" did not, in fact, change much of anything for The Blacklist. Instead, it was the kind of mostly entertaining, sometimes thrilling hour that the show has been turning in on the reg for about six weeks now. There's absolutely nothing wrong that, especially since the show's producers aren't the ones who are putting together those booming commercials that air during The Voice and the test pattern that NBC runs in the second half of the week. But it's challenging not to be a little disappointed with this episode's so-called revelations. 

I guess the BIG ones here are that Anslo was nothing more than a hired gun, working under the very mysterious auspices of Alan Alda's Crowley, who suggested that he himself was working for—or at least representing—an even more mysterious cabal of evil-doers and blacklist types. Part one built up Anslo so much that it sure seemed as though he was going to be a long-term problem for Red, but this episode sure changed that. Though Ritchie Coster still got to do his cool insane British villain guy thing as Anslo tortured Red physically and psychologically, especially about Liz, but ultimately, Red emerged (violently) triumphant over his latest foe. Dispatching Anslo would've been slightly less of a bummer had Alda's Crowley spoken in a language other than Vague Serial Conspiracy Drama Villain, but Crowley's introduction did bring us a few little tidbits: Red seemingly eschewed his larger criminal ties to surrender himself to the FBI, presumably for Liz, and because of that, he's on the outs with the people he used to run with. 


"Anslo Garrick Part 2" also provided some half-answers on the surveillance detail across the street from the Keen household. Unsurprisingly, there's a mole involved, and that mole was tied to the surveillance, which was seemingly tied to what Anslo and Crowley wanted with Red. Crowley's unidentified crew has been watching Red, Liz, and the detail since the beginning, and they're getting inside information. Although Liz took care of someone at the surveillance HQ, there's no guarantee that that particular older gentleman was the apple-eater. There was an apple on the table, but that doesn't confirm his identity. I sound like a crazy person just typing that out, but the point is, I guess, that Red isn't directly involved with the surveillance of Liz's home, which is a possibility we've probably all considered at one point or another. This episode went out of its way to not provide clarity about who's running the surveillance and who the detail's mole could be, though there was a suggestion that it could be Ressler. 

And of course, the evening's festivities concluded with a conversation you may have been waiting for since the pilot: Liz asked Red if she was his daughter, and he said no. BUT he also did that James Spader-y long pause thing before answering, and then immediately changed the subject to "Hey, your husband's probably a murderer." Their little chat was pretty representative of this fall finale as a whole, in that it started to ask important questions or reveal interesting information, but then quickly retreated before any real truth or substantial information could come to light. Is it a big moment that Liz actually asked Red the question, indicating that she's thinking about it as a possibility? Of course; it's huge. But it's not like Red saying he isn't Liz's father means he's telling the truth. In fact, Red's lying most of the time, and it's probably going to be quite a while before the truth about that particular tidbit comes out. 


Episodes like this one emphasize the kind of tightrope The Blacklist is walking, and reveal that it's not always easy to do so. The show is still primarily a high-concept procedural, and when it returns from the holiday break, that episodic engine will almost certainly still be there, regardless of the fact that Red capped off this episode by fleeing the scene after murdering Anslo and rediscovering his love for hats. That means it's unlikely that we'll learn anything substantial in the next few episodes. But at the same time, the show has these central mysteries that are really important to a certain segment of the audience (perhaps most of them, who knows) and mid-season finales are all about so-called game changers, whether they're hyperbolically promoted by the network or not. Ultimately, that results in episodes where we learn something, but not really much at all. More questions than answers. At this point, The Blacklist's premise is still simple enough that it can get away unveiling just a little bit while hinting at a lot more. However, I'm always a little wary of shows that introduce multiple levels of nefarious conspiracies, and I'm especially wary when they do so by bringing in reputable actors to say stuff like "The people I represent..." and "There's no one you can trust to keep you from us." Still, I'm nowhere near worried about The Blacklist yet, and this episode accomplished what it was supposed to accomplish: It convinced me to keep watching after Christmas and New Year's. Until 2014.



NOTES


– The biggest revelation in this episode? Dembe survived! The moment he and Red shared last week was pretty great. We need a Dembe-centric episode in the second half of Season 1, please. 

– Ressler's ex has moved on and now she's engaged to someone else, but she's still willing to visit Ressler in the hospital. At this point, I don't trust anyone. She's probably KGB or Illuminati, or both. 

– I noticed that Joe Carnahan, who directed the pilot, returned to the camera last week and co-wrote the first half of the two-parter. I wonder if it was his idea to return to Red's Glass Case of Emotion (and Blood)? Maybe the show had that planned from the pilot onward?

– If the two-parter accomplished anything, it was that Liz is a fairly capable field agent. She almost took down Anslo's operation (with Aram's help; I love Aram) and then handled the dude at the surveillance spot as well. 

– Okay, so who's the mole: Ressler, Cooper, Malik, or (gasp) Aram? And did this episode give you any better idea of Tom's status?


What are your thoughts on The Blacklist fall finale? Enough to keep you coming back next year?


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Jan 10, 2015
it is something...
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Jan 12, 2014
In the first episode Red said "Everything about me is a lie." I think Allen Alda's character will lead us to the truth bout what happened so many years ago. So this for me isn't the normal "we are the bad guy's to fear conspiracy we are all so bored with. I think she is his daughter, Garrick even mentioned her by name, saying he would hunt her down and make her suffer. I think she may not be the daughter he had by his wife, I think the girl he looked up in the FBI data base may be that daughter or vice verse, but a troubled sister I see in the future. Tom isn't an agent, I think he is a killer. I think the money traced to Red was not money planted, but money paid,maybe to be certain Tom was who or what Red thought. Tom knew it had been discovered so had to put on a show. The mole could be any of the 26 people that know, but it would have to be someone there from the beginning, they said from the moment he turned himself in, Malik was not there. Love the show.
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Dec 18, 2013
only get the episode 8
like most characters so far
especially Malik and Ressler, they both really grow on me

sadly my least favouite characters is, in fact, Elizabeth Keen (oops)
i thought she was suppose to be really smart and clam under pressures
maybe i'm not compassion enough, i don't know..
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Dec 11, 2013
Did anyone else notice that Malik has the hots for Ressler? It's interesting, for sure...
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Dec 08, 2013
Did anyone catch what Alan Alda said to Red, was it 'what have you told Red' or 'what have you told her Red'..Red replies 'nothing' Alda followed with 'well why are you here'...ummm interesting!!
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Dec 08, 2013
Ok, so who's the woman Lizzie called "Caplan" and what is that all about?
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Dec 07, 2013
My assessment of the action sequences!
Good Scene (1) When Keen gets kicked out of the ambulance and then is still trying to chase Red down with the civilian car!
Bad Scene (1) In the house across the street bad guy try's to "sneak up" on Keen instead of shooting her !! WTF?!?
Bonus WTFs?!? (1) Non descript hit team going in and shooting unknown hostiles guarding servers!
(2) When Anslo had Red out of the box.. Shouldn't his team have executed everybody in that room except Red and Elizabeth? He killed everybody when they entered the facility! Just my thoughts..till Jan
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Dec 06, 2013
Still going with my God theory. Hence the hesitation, not her father, but the Father.
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Dec 06, 2013
What if Red's her uncle and her biological father is a blacklister
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Dec 05, 2013
Good commentary, but little on the music. The first thing I did when the show was over was search online for the name of the closing song; I knew it was Pearl Jam, and it is "Pendulum"...suggesting that the show's writers never do anything without a purpose. You have "Pendulum" Playing while Lizzie calls Red to ask the big question of fatherhood, and while Tom is watching her drive away, etc etc. Pendulum going back and forth I think means show wants us to think that Lizzie has swung back more to Red, and her asking the father question shows she has (for now) regained her full trust in him...and not in Tom or Nebraska. Really too--not a tropical island or San Fran or Rio, but Nebraska?? No offense to Cornhusker readers, but do you think Lizzie was going to jump at that option?
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Dec 07, 2013
Nebraska is her home state. That is where Sam was in the hospital and died. Lots of people move closer to family when contemplating starting a family.
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Dec 05, 2013
"Anslo, what are you doing here?"
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Dec 05, 2013
BTW - regarding Ressler's leg; I'm no doctor, but I'm sort of assuming they put a bunch of pins and screws in, and when you do that you often don't need as big a cast as you would otherwise, as the bone is mostly stabilized from within.
Also, they may put on a cast when they let him out of bed - if he had a nicked artery and a lot of surgery, they may have to wait for the swelling to go down/make sure he doesn't start bleeding again before they put a ton of plaster on top of it.

Or it may be the kind of television wound which heals at the speed of plot. ;)
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Dec 05, 2013
"She's probably KGB or Illuminati, or both." LOL
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Dec 04, 2013
There is no mole. They figured his movements out by when she left her house. They made that fairly clear.
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Dec 04, 2013
Malik is the mole, and Tom is everything Red has been saying or pointing to. Good show. Is one of my favorites of the week, I just like how Red will screw them all in the end. Evilly screwed characters are the best. :D
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Dec 04, 2013
Excellent two-part finale with a good balance of plot development, action and 'some' carnage... but I had to roll my eyes however at the sudden reveal of the all powerful association of evil doers that Alan Alda represents. Ugh! Has that empty cliche device not be overused to death? The all too convenient Blake Association in The Mentalist, the uberlame 'Initiative' in Revenge... Maybe The Blacklist will do this better but geez I hate that they now have this completely mysterious organisation to blame for anything that can't happen organically...
Still, The Blacklist is head and shoulders above any other new network show this season and it is staying strong both creatively and in the ratings. I like the cast enough even if the secondary characters could do with a bit of fleshing out esp the FBI pod people. They all seem a bit two dimensional except for Aram (3> Aram!). Even though he's a man of few words, Lembe appears to have more of a personality....

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Dec 04, 2013
Not a fan of procedural's but if people like the Blacklist they may not have seen The Shadow Line, its very dark, one season seven episodes BBC show, no chance they put something like this on after The Voice.

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Dec 09, 2013
I am gonna check it out.. Thanks :)
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Dec 09, 2013
I hope you like it, very different than whats normally on. The guy who'l probably win the best actor oscar this year is the lead.
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Dec 04, 2013
Just...awesome. Great episode, great season. I don't really care "who the daddy is" at this point. Does it even matter? I just want to see more James Spader awesomeness.
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Dec 04, 2013
Mole is Liz's husband.
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Dec 04, 2013
Red is now one of my favorite TV characters... he's right up there with Jack Bauer. this dude kicks a** ...he's always steps ahead of the rest of us...I mean some super crazy top tier world class secret organization of criminal geniuses that masterminded the infiltration of a super secret black site are actually afraid to kill him... because they don't know exactly what contingency he has setup...they can't think that far ahead they have no idea... this dude!
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Dec 04, 2013
Ritchie Coster has made a living playing that same character for a looong time now - since 'Guiding Light'. He's still pretty cool. Its sort of comforting that NBC has found a successful hour long drama that isn't straight procedural. They've found an impressive supporting cast as well. I'll never quit Harry Lennix. Really awesome Whedonverse vet. Interesting giving some meat to Ressler's story cause making him the mole could be great. Always appreciate a show that brings great and legitimate tv veterans to the story. Alan Alda was a welcome sight. This show cast Hawkeye Pierce! Hopefully this show can continue getting better cause its been the most fun on NBC in ages. Great news on Season 2 order. Dembe lives and everyone wants the episode showing how that partnership came to be. Luli took one to the head though and there had/has to be so much more story there. Wonder if Keifer would have been a better 'Red' than James Spader? I don't think so. I think getting James Spader instead worked out perfectly. I bet Keifer is kicking himself for letting this one go. He got canceled pretty soon after turning this role down.

Just gotta remember this show returns the Monday after the Friday premiere of 'Banshee' and its getting closer and closer.
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Feb 11, 2014
Keifer might have carried it, but he's more action-man. The Red character is very layered, intellectual, deep and Spader nails that. I love him in this role, it's his mature "coming out" (I was not a fan for many years). Spader as Red is a triumph.
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Dec 04, 2013
I am appalled that I almost didn't watch this show. I recorded the first episode simply because I could, but I didn't feel motivated to watch it. Then I did one afternoon and have been absolutely hooked ever since. Just to think I almost didn't watch this show kills me. (I was the same way with Sleepy Hollow, and I am so glad I'm watching that one too. Incredible.) I love the cast, I love the underlying plot, and I thought it was a good fall finale. I don't need all the answers. The show is progressing naturally. I thought it was such a strong moment when Lizzie asked if Red was her father. On one hand, I want Red to be her father. On the other, I almost don't want him to be because it seems too predictable to us viewers. Either way, I'll enjoy whatever happens. I can't wait to see the next new episode.

NBC has a gem of a show. Finally.
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Dec 04, 2013
Wait, this was the finale?
Disappointing...I mean it was a good episode, but I hoped some of the questions would at least be partially answered!
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Dec 04, 2013
fall finale. It'll be back in January.
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Dec 04, 2013
The first 10 episodes were very good, and I'm happy there's 12 more to look forward to...followed by 22 more. At this point, the show has enough ongoing mysteries to at least sustain 2 full seasons of TV, and it's been a while since there was a full season of quality drama that wasn't on cable.

Also a lot of things in this 2 parter that reminded me of 24. The mole plot, the greater conspiracy plot, the action scenes and how they're directed, how Aram and his technical mumbo-jumbo is remarkably similar to Chloe ("Dammit Chloe!"), and of course the fact that the entire episode was basically Liz and Aram working AGAINST the FBI's orders - much how Jack and Chloe used to do things under the radar of CTU.

I'll definitely be there in 2014, and I hope the show proves it can be successful without The Voice lead in. My prediction: It absolutely will be. Last night's ratings held exactly 100% of The Voice's lead in audience. I wouldn't be surprised if we start seeing Blacklist perform even better than The Voice next spring.
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Dec 03, 2013
A truly entertaining show that I am loving. I think they are going for the long con approach (I hope they are) and we don't need all the answers right away....let them play out "naturally" and then have more questions develop as we learn more.
Fantastic acting by Spader and such a fun show.
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Dec 03, 2013
This episode was ok, but only so-so compared to last weeks hard-hitting and fast-punching episode.

High point was "Mr. Caplan" - I loved the no nonsense, strict businesswoman who cut out bullets and put together rescue ops at the drop of a hat.
And confirmed that Red's priority is to keep Lizzie safe, no matter what.
Outside confirmation always helps. ;)

Toms is so shady it isn't even funny. He gives off iffy, icky vibes so hard I'm amazed Liz can even stand to be in the same room as him, much less snuggle up. And what's with the boxes - is she seriously leaving the taskforce and moving out of town? Not buying it!

Is it wrong of me to imagine that it was Red who called up Ressler's ex and told her he was in the hospital? In my headcanon, Red feels a twinge of pity for the hapless agent, and decided to play Cupid for a moment. ;)

I have no idea who the mole is. I'll admit that I'm more comfortable if it's Cooper, mostly because I kind of have a soft spot for Ressler, I like Malik (and want to keep her around because they need more female agents), and Aram is sweet and innocent and PLEASE let him be! (For one thing, why would he find and report the phonecalls from the blacksite to Lizzie if he's the one making them?)

Also: Red as Lizzie's father.
The jury is still out. He might not even be lying, outright - he's never been there for her while she was growing up; he may not feel he deserves to call himself "father".
Or he may be lying - he's already stated that 1) "Everything about me is a lie" and 2) "All criminals lie" - or was that "Criminals lie all the time".
Who cares - we all get what he means.
I'm not saying he IS her father, I'm just saying I'm not giving up on that theory yet anyway.

Not the smashing mid-season finale I was hoping for, but not a waste of time either. I'll be tuning in come January! :)

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Dec 07, 2013
OMG! I thought that Red called Audrey too. He was in surgery when Liz was talking to Meera and discovered where he was at. So Red escapes and calls Audrey and notifies her that he was shot so they could possibly re-kindle their relationship that he felt responsible for breaking up, indirectly.

Here is how the conversation went in the pilot:
Red: That is what I know
Liz: And I am supposed to just believe you?
Red: Laughs and says Of course not I am a criminal. Criminals are notorious liars.

I believed because of his dramatic pause before answering NO means YES. Remember he told Sam just before he smothered him "You will always be her father, I can only hope to love her and protect her as well as you did". I think Liz will eventually get curious enough that she will get her DNA tested and see if Red is a match.

What do you think about the call that she got from Mr. Kaplan saying "It's done"? I think it has something to do with Liz asking her to find out about Tom. Either tailing him or background check or something.

By the way the boxes in the living room does not mean they are moving, they are the boxes of stuff she got from her Dad after he died.
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Dec 04, 2013
So true Mr Caplan was the best
And definitely Ressler's ex-fiancee reappearing smells of conspiracy whether by Red or some other dark meddler
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Dec 04, 2013
Mr Kaplan's awesome. And heh... the cutting out of bullets - that reminded me of POI's Samantha Shaw, right there.

Re: Red as Liz's father. Tbh I'm quite sick of that storyline. I think the showrunners haven't quite made up their mind about that either and are just stringing us along. Its been drawn out long enough without any real development (except for the episode with Sam, her adopted father) and I'm not sure how they will make the reveal satisfying. I'm happy if they just fill in the gaps of the 'history' between them, but I don't need the 'Is he/isn't he her father' question every singe week. It'll also be more interesting if the showrunners started fleshing out the other characters. We've had Ressler, so how about Cooper, Meera Malik, Aram, etc
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Dec 03, 2013
Ressler: If he was the mole, why did he try to save Red in the first part of the finale (when Anslo's team first showed up)?
Cooper: Possible, but then again: he stood in front of his people and told the guy who was supposed to shoot them that he was a coward. And then Ressler shot that guy and (it looked like he) saved Cooper's life.
Malik: Don't know if she actually shot anyone, but she was shooting at the assault team.
Aram: He would be the worst (best?) mole ever, because after helping Liz almost single-handedly taking down Anslo's team and calling in reinforcements no one would ever suspect him. At least I don't.

So I guess unless the mole wasn't supposed to survive the abduction of Red (since all of these characters' lives were in danger at some point during the episode) it's none of the above?
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Dec 04, 2013
Yes, this is what I'm struggling with. Ressler and Cooper are so straight laced and they seem to so genuinely believe in the system that it's hard to imagine either of them being the mole, unless either their characters are very good actors (although acting straight-laced and genuine is one of the hardest things to pretend, so I don't see that happening), and I really hope NBC is not going to chuck existing character interactions and dialogue out the window for the sake of a twist. (When Cooper was like, I lost a dozen men today, with such emotion, that was the first time I really, really liked Cooper) Not to mention both Cooper and Ressler had been fruitlessly chasing Red for awhile before he turned himself in and seemed to be genuinely irritated with working with Red, especially at the beginning, and I just don't think a mole would waste all that energy and emotion on what he/she knows to be a fruitless task since the antagonist hadn't wanted to snatch Red until now.

There hasn't been very much development with Malik, so it's possible that she's the mole. She's a transfer from the CIA, so nobody else on the team really knows her that well. She was the one who had the contacts with some false information of an attempt on Red's life that forced him back to the site. I hope she isn't, because I like her, but there's really no way of telling one way or the other?

Aram, I agree, would be the worst/best mole ever. Everything he's done has gone against him being the mole, with calling for FBI reinforcements and giving Liz the location of the house across the street was actually a surveillance spot, and he was such a nervous wreck when he shot the guy, but what better way to make sure nobody suspects you?

It would be cheap for the mole to be a yet unintroduced side character, but I also don't want the mole to be any of the main characters, so I don't know.?
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Dec 03, 2013
Alda's Crowley represents a bunch of high-powered, nefarious grey- or blackhats who stay off Red's case because Red has some rather powerful ammunition against them - some information safely tucked away, possibly set to be exposed should he ever go down.
Interesting, and probably tied in with his mysterious disappearance 23 years ago (Crowley hasn't seen him in 20 years), we can't begin to speculate on the nature of the dirty secrets he became party to back then.

I wonder if THEY know more about Lizzie and who she is to Red.
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Dec 03, 2013
The question Lizzie should ask was "Who is my father?".

So many questions
1) Who is her father?
2)Who is the guy Red was talking to?
3)Who put spy cameras in Lizzie's house?
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Dec 03, 2013
James Spader carries this show, the lead is boring as for the rest of the cast I just don't care about any of them except the husband who I find to be unbearable :)
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Dec 03, 2013
I love the show and James Spader is just soo good even if you have no idea if he's lying or telling the truth most of the time. But that's what making him so interesting.
And I'm so glad that his bodyguard wasn't killed. He's badass.
So I'm looking forward to the next episode in the new year.
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Dec 03, 2013
This show has just gotten better and better and for me it's now a "must watch." Spader is wonderful and Lizzie has become much more believable. Look forward to what happens next, cause I have no idea where it's going.
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Dec 03, 2013
first time I watched this show, because it's on at the same time as Castle, and DVR's are against my religion. It looks like a lot of fun and I will probably watch the DVD next season. James Spader is in his own class at chewing up the scenery. And Lizzie is very good at covering up how cute she is - other than that I got nothing, so don't waste your time reading this.
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Dec 03, 2013
What religion is that? :D

If I followed those rules I'd be totally screwed.... to much stuff and to little time to watch it all.
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Dec 04, 2013
The religion is Freedom - I refuse to pay for video content. I get 13 good channels of over-the-air free broadcast TV in Phoenix on an indoor antenna; if nothing is on broadcast TV that I want to watch, I read a book; or watch movies and TV series recommended by friends. I get to watch what I want to watch, when I want to watch it, and free from the library on DVD.
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Dec 04, 2013
So you are an old-school, un-informed user, who doesn't know you can get a DVR that records OTA transmissions???
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Dec 03, 2013
LOL at Ressler's ex!.. seems like no one is who they are!. Ressler is the mole but i cant say why..spidey sense??.
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Dec 03, 2013
This show had a set number of episodes before the season was picked up for a full 22 episodes, yes? I'm thniking this MIGHT have been the original series finale had NBC not picked it up. Anslo made a perfect Final Boss last episode, but revealing him just as a hired gun made the whole thing seem cheap.
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Dec 03, 2013
Before getting order for full season the episodes were 13.
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Dec 03, 2013
Oh, one thing I sort of hope the show considers for the return in January. Getting rid of the wig! I have vague hopes as they had her hair pulled back for much of the last two episodes, I know it was an effort to make her younger looking, come on she was pretty cooly badass and we loved it. We can deal with her pixie haircut.
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Dec 04, 2013
Yes! That wig drives me almost as crazy as her husband.
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Dec 04, 2013
I have a total rationalization for Tom if you are interested it actually makes sense after last night.
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Dec 04, 2013
Sure - I'd like to hear it.
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Dec 04, 2013
Thanks.... that's a good one. It might also make sense of the way he (as I see it) overplays his "love" for her. It wasn't genuine in the beginning, but is now.
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Dec 04, 2013
Okay...he is a secret agent but part of a security agency or a black ops group who has been investigating Alan Alda's group for years. The closest the group has come is Red's connection. So they imbedded Tom with Liz (because they know whatever connection is between Red and Liz and she is the only accessible person so he is of like a monitor a la Orphan Black). Red knows who he is and thinks Tom is just using Liz (and he should be but I do believe he loves Liz). He alsosuspects that Tom's existance puts a target on her back and he doesn't trust Tom and his motives. But ultimately as Alan Alda's group is a mutual enemy they will be on the same side.
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Dec 03, 2013
I'll be tuning in next year. This is an entertaining show with a lot to work with carrying forward. The only possibility aside from Red being Lizzie's Dad is that he's Lizzie's mom's lover. We've heard nothing about her mom, maybe Red made a promise to her to look after Lizzie.
Good show, keep it up to finish the season!
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Dec 03, 2013
It was a great episode. Red still might not be her father and the husband still is annoying as hell. So he is probably in on it or on something. My guess is that he is connected to Alda's character. The surveillance guys said it, he is something, but he isn't Red's something.

It is nice to see Keen competent. Her running around not seeing the obvious gets a little tedious. Especially with her husband. But I am ok with that because that reveal is going to be pretty decent.

I agree I want to know more about Dembe. Dembe's and Red's muslim prayer was pretty fantastic.

As for the Mole? I am not sure they need a Mole. Alda's character could very well be part of the Government and have knowledge of the Unit and the post office. If so then it would be rather easy for him to have knowledge about it.
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Dec 03, 2013
Yes, the prayer (which was a verse from the Koran) that Dembe shared with Red was downright moving, as was Dembe's farewell, "Salam ya akhi" = Peace be upon you, my brother.
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Dec 03, 2013
Ressler might be the mole because he gave Red the code to open the pen door, even though his chief forbade it. Red must be Lizzie's father because he's a ruthless thug, and the only way he'd feel true emotion/love is if she's his kid. Why doesn't she get a DNA test? James Spader better win the Emmy for best actor in a drama. Otherwise, why am I pulling for a ruthless thug?
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Dec 03, 2013
Unlikely the mole is Lizzie. Aram found indications of several burner phone calls right at or around the time Red entered the black site. Lizzie entered after that.

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Dec 03, 2013
I like the senator as the mole but she's so obvious she's likely to be a red herring.
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Dec 03, 2013
In my opinion, the mole has to be someone high up. If i were to guess, Diane Fowler (Jane Alexander) is the mole. They have to be able to hide in plain sight and be in a position to have security clearance and access to intelligence. Also, Alan Alda and Jane Alexander are of the same generation. That could be where the connection started.

Speaking of Alan Alda, he must have a deal with his agent that states he will only take parts where he's a prick. For someone like me who remembers him as Hawkeye Pierce from M*A*S*H, that's hard to take. He was known as the nicest guy in Hollywood when I was growing up.

After watching these first ten episodes, I have arrived at the conclusion that this whole story revolves around Lizzy Keen. That's why Red gave himself up, Tom is the mystery man lurking on the perimeter and Crowley has arrived on the scene. I can't think of any other reason why Red, who's a total narcissist, would put himself in harm's way. Can you?

It's an intriguing story and I look forward to viewing new episodes in 2014.
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Dec 03, 2013
i think you're dead right about Alan wanting to play baddies - he's probably tired of nice guys; it's always more fun to play against type.
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Dec 03, 2013
Like I said, it's just weird for me because MASH is one of my favourite shows of all time. When I saw him in The Aviator it was difficult for me to watch even though he was very good.
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Dec 03, 2013
Just because Arnold Vinick was a Republican it doesn't automatically make him a prick.
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Dec 03, 2013
Sen. Arnold Vinick: If you can't drink their booze, take their money and then vote against them, then you're in the wrong business.

sounds like a professional prick to me.
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Dec 03, 2013
You might want to get that sarcasm detection meter fixed
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Dec 04, 2013
some of the BBC series now use (!) for a sarcastic statement and (?) for a sarcastic question in their subtitles. We should all adopt that protocol; don't you think (?) Because I'm just a Man(!)
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Dec 03, 2013
I have no idea who that is. I was referring to his characters in The Aviator, Tower Heist and The Big C. They were all unlikable.
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Dec 03, 2013
Arnie Vinick, possibly the last honest Republician in the West Wing :
Leo - "You ever see Arnie Vinick campaign up close? He'll go into those high school gymnasiums in Iowa and New Hampshire and blow them all away. He'll shake every hand in the joint, kiss every baby, hug every widow on Social Security, and sound smarter and more honest than any Republican they've ever seen. Because he is."
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Dec 03, 2013
I think the husband is feeding information and is the mole but it also might be someone in the organization working with her husband. I don't like her husband and remember what Red said to Lizzie on the phone. Watch out for your husband. Also he doesn't want her to know that he's her father because I believe he's a little ashamed. Her adoptive father wanted to tell her and he wouldn't let him. As a matter of fact he killed him so he wouldn't tell Lizzie and also because her adoptive dad was in pain from cancer. I love this show! I knew Dembe was alive. I really like him He is too bad ass to be killed like someone said.
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Dec 03, 2013
I like this show but it's getting kind of boring. It would be nice if Red is Lizzies fatheraa, or maybe her husband is not the nice guy he tries to be. I don't know....it's just a bit meh.
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Dec 03, 2013
My spidey senses went off when Liz said, "The only person above suspicion is Ressler because he got shot". And speaking of ol' Donald...

When he was in the box with Red, he explained how his relationship with his ex fell apart because of his 5 year mission and singular focus to catch Red the first time around. She comes back and Red is on the loose again with the task force assigning him as the only target. I'm seeing perhaps a rekindling romance for Ressler only to have what got in the way the first time get in the way again and it wouldn't surprise me if that added personal touch is the motivation for Ressler being revealed as the mole in the season finale.

Dembe's alive, no shock. I wasn't falling for that fade to black gunshot move...again. That dude's badass factor is WAY too high to be killed off screen by some mope, regardless of how cool his villain voice is...err...was.

From the original promo, I thought this series had promise, but I was concerned it would just fall flat. As good as James Spader is, he has on occasion mailed it in and I wasn't sure if the supporting cast would be good enough to carry their own weight. And while I'm still not entirely sold on the acting chop of the rest of the cast, Spader's charisma is at the same level it was in the late 80s/early 90s. Add that to some very good chemistry with Megan Boone and I'm feeling good about this show going forward. All I can do now is hope the writers don't mess it up.

This is going to be a long con. At least, I hope it is. The worst thing I think they could do is reveal too much too soon. Sure, it's frustrating, but that's half the fun, right? The blacklist of the week target stories are plenty entertaining and there's always a pinch of greater story arc sprinkled in to keep things moving. The 2nd half though could make or break things as I'm picturing a manhunt instead of the collaboration we've been seeing so the rest of the crew is gonna have to step their game up since they won't have Spader to play off of directly...though it should be fun to watch Red pull the FBI's marionette strings as he stays one step ahead of them until he turns himself back in...presumably in the finale once he's figured out who the mole is {cough} Ressler.
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Dec 03, 2013
I should warn you, even using that conversation in the box last week as evidence that Ressler is the mole (and my contention is that he is an unwilling mole if he is), I got shot down a lot. I kind of have been liking the idea of the CIA lady being the mole. She is sort of randomly there and they have been building up Ressler's backstory a bit and she has absolutely nothing to do, and hell, she's British.
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Dec 03, 2013
I would never have thought that the mole might be Ressler until they went out of their way to tell me that is "couldn't" be him. But to be fair, your theory makes a lot more sense. She's easy to write around since we know nothing about her. Easy to sacrifice since she doesn't serve much of a purpose. AND...well...you know those Brits ;)
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Dec 03, 2013
Well, I love the show. It's fun. Love Spader, he's the bomb. We all hate Tom, cause he's just so smarmy nice and warm and caring, but let's give kudos to the actor here. He's right in the pocket for his character. No one liked Nurse Ratchet in Cuckoo's Nest either, but she played her role with finesse, and thanked everyone for hating her at the academy awards. Now Tom, well he's got a second life here if the writers cough up the goods on him. Let's hope he we get to see the duplicity blossom. There's a number of pretty far fetched things here, and like the comment below with the DNA test between Red and Liz, you'd imagine that's the very first thing the FBI did when she became the 'chosen one.' Ok what's up with these two, take a blood sample. Christ they probably have their own agents full DNA profile on file. They put a chip in Red, might as well get his DNA too right? Let it go folks. Willing suspension of disbelief. It's not it's mirror of reality that makes the show shine. It's how far it stretches reality, and so far, for me, it's getting away with it. That's what Red's about, and that's what the show's about. Getting away with it. The father thing? Jeez I hope not. Looks pretty bad though. Luke...... I am your father. That old tricks like so old and tired that Dr. Evil tried to pull it on Austin Powers. I hope they somehow twist out of that cliche. But over all it's high quality entertainment.
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Dec 03, 2013
Oh, while I don't like Tom when he gets like he was last night (that reeked of job going sideways to me), I find Tom fascinating. First, though, I kind of believe he is not an evil guy. I actually wonder if he is working for the government or some other private agency looking into the group that was threatening Red and they know about Liz, and imbedded Tom in early on (kind of like monitors on Orphan Black). And Red knows he works for this organization, but perhaps doesn't realize that ultimately, they will have common goals in mind. All Red suspects right now is that Tom is putting Liz in the cross hairs of the Alan Alda group.
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Dec 03, 2013
I don't understand why they haven't just done a DNA test between Red and Liz yet. That would answer the question once and for all and they have the resources and means to do it.
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Dec 03, 2013
Hm, I wouldn't be surprised if they already did, but didn't feel the need to mention the result – whatever it was – to (us or) Lizzie...
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Dec 03, 2013
I liked part 1 of Anslo Garrick better. It was exciting and a real teaser. Part 2 was good but a let down after all the build up. Crowley was a surprise and also that there is someone who is probably Red's equal somewhere out there. Red has done everything including giving up valuable assets and killing a friend to protect Liz. She is his weak spot and he is lying, he's her father.
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Dec 03, 2013
The only reason Red turned himself in to the FBI on the first episode was because that was the first day Lizzie went to work. He has to say no to her paternity question, because he will protect her to the day he dies. She is all he has left.
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Dec 03, 2013
Whoever this Crowely character is, he is connected in a way that scares even Red, with eyes and agents everywhere. The Mole could be anyone, even the senator herself is a suspect at this point.

While he might keep things from Liz and side step the issue, Red has never lied to her when she has asked a direct question. If he says he is not her father, than I think he is telling the truth and this means that her real father is someone else, possibly someone who Red is trying to protect Liz from.

I am thinking that Liz's father might be Crowely himself. Tom could be part of this cabal and sent by Crowely to romance Liz and keep her out of his affairs. This would explain why he is pressing so hard for Liz to quit and leave town with him.
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Dec 03, 2013
Don't know who the mole is, don't care. I find mole searching boring unless they are constructed really well, beyoned some slightly interesting shock value or even the idea that "it makes total sense".

No status on Tom, he is a very good spy I think. When they started this show I thought that the interesting people on Raymond's blacklist they won't be mafia types or contractors for whatever horrific skills they have or even evil cabals of unlimited resources and powers (like the new guy was representing it seems that Raymond has dirt secrets on) but actual spies. You know the type that can blend in anymore and doesn't use guns to solve problems. Hopefully we will find out more before Liz does because it's more interesting to watch people from different perspective then the typical "root for the protagonist" or whatever.

I'm glad at least one of Raymond's people survived, I had hoped that economy chick was going to survive because I would enjoyed some plot delving into the idea that she helped Raymond secure their money in a way that even smart criminals wouldn't think of but alas no more. Hopefully some personality will be put into Dembe, looking forward to it
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