A The Blacklist Community
Thursday 9:00 PM on NBC (Returning April 20, 2017)
The one with all the glaring plotholes, which was still well worth watching

I'm really enjoying this show so far, but it's clearly carried by the actors/characters and not the plot.

Yes, I'm looking forward to learning more about Keen's husband and just what the relationship between Reddington and her are, but the plot moves at, well, the speed of plot. :p

In the first episode, it was revealed that Keen was actually the daughter of a career criminal, something that was clearly not included in her file (which had been through the usual background checks and is clearly undergoing a more thorough vetting now), and yet it was conveniently ignored and dropped.

In this episode, Reddington was asked - under polygraph - if he had been convicted of a crime, and he DID NOT ANSWER. According to the background presented during the pilot, he was a promising career military man with a clean record before he suddenly disappeared.
At the end of that episode, he stated that "everything about me is a lie" or some such.

It is clear the show is trying to tease us with the idea that Red is Keen's father, while still leaving it open - I'm kind of hoping they won't go there (as it's too obvious), but they are certainly setting the scene:

It is possible that Reddington is NOT the paragon naval officer who suddenly went over to the dark side, but instead a criminal who took a new identity when he disappeared; with his extensive contacts it is not inconceivable that he had fingerprints and such on file substituted.
In which case yes, he may well have been convicted of a crime in the past.

As for why Keen doesn't recognize/remember him - there is clearly trauma in her past, there was talk of a fire (or at least something which gave her the burnt scar), and it's not impossible that she believes her father died decades ago and is unable to connect her childish memories (perhaps suppressed by trauma) with the reality of Reddington today.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out - is he her father, are they related in some other way, was he perhaps involved in the fire/accident/attack which gave her the scar, and was there something in that event which sent him over to the dark side?

So many questions!
And I am honestly looking forward to seeing some of them answered, in due time. :)
For now, I'll stick around to watch Spader be suave and snarky, and anything else is a bonus. :D

Other high/low points in today's episode:

Why would her husband walk around with a file containing JUST his interview about her in his pocket? Why would the agency give him a copy of their tape? Made NO SENSE; I understand the desire to keep us guessing about him, but the way they introduced the "evidence" of how he feels about her was contrived and felt fake.

The Freelancer, for once dropping his usual methods of faking an accident. COULD be attributed to direct/specific orders from Reddington, but still seems strange that he would TAKE such a mission, going COMPLETELY against his usual M.O.

The twist with the human rights activist - nicely done! I honestly didn't see that one coming.

Running away from the FBI just to show up in the van, just because he could? Classy, Reddington, classy!

Hard-ass CIA bitch - yes ma'am, can we have some more, please?

Taking out TWO people on his list at the same time? Nicely done!

New bodyguards? Intriguing - looking forward to learning more about them!
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Did no one else make the connection between Keens scar and the scars featured on the human trafficking slaves, as well as Red's bodyguard, AS WELL AS Keens Husband's wooden box of cash guns and secrets? Just wondering..
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Hmm, interesting thought! No, I hadn't actually connected the scar and the box to the brands, but you may be on to something.
I connected the slave-brands to Red's bodyguard, the "kind" interpretation being that he rescued the man from slavery/brought him along because he hates human trafficking, but it MIGHT be Red's own mark, his way of marking "his" people - what do we know.
And it could be a continuation of the way Keen was "marked" as a child - was it accidental or deliberate? Was it done by her father, by Red, or by Red-her-father?

All I know is that as far as I could tell, Keen's hand and her husbands stashbox carries the same mark, while the slave-brands were different (from each other as well).
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Yeah that's how I made the connection initially, when I took a look at the box again, which indeed looked like Keens mark (which is odd because I am not even sure if SHE notices...seems a bit more preoccupied with what's in the box over the box itself....even though she IS an FBI agent trained to solve crimes and find clues....). And yeah if I recall they had a box scene right about when they highlighted that other people, like Reds bodyguard, also have brands.
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I am lovin' this show cause of Red & Lizzie! Lots of action, James Spader, decent plots, James Spader... (Did I say, James Spader)? I am forgiving everything in the plots that are all wrong - due to, you guessed it, James Spader... I now get my fix on Monday's. Thanks, NBC.
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Red is officially my favorite new creepy good guy (and yes I think he good) probably got framed by the government .
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The only good thing about this show, so far, is Spader's stellar performance. The script was *more* than inspired from Hannibal's character and I don't think they should carry on like that... just sayin'...
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The pilot was kind of exciting, this episode not so much. Or maybe it was really good and I should stop comparing shows like this to 24 and Alias. I do like it when shows bring in ER vets though. I always wonder what they're up to. Also, is Spader purposely impersonating John Lithgow?
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Freelancer was number 145, ins't it?
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I like James Spader a lot but this plot is almost identical to White Collar (give or Take). Think about it: the Ankle bracelet, The way he dresses, His father issues, Sometimes he helps the FBI sometimes he's doing his own thing... lots of similarities!!
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Yeah but White Collar is severely lacking in James Spader...crucial difference.
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See I don't care about boring and irrelevant stuff like who is who's dad.
It just isn't relevant to the story line in a thriller. That sorta garbage belongs on the afternoon soaps.
Weird relationship drama such as that is put in shows to distract the drongos when the writers just cannot come up with original plot ideas. The missing reprobate father and the prodigal child has been done to death on garbage TV- why would anyone mess up a show they want to be considered AAA with such a cliched storyline? The only reason I can think of is desperation.
Real people don't have lives that complicated & full of coincidences.
Mind you this show is only getting one more view from me unless it actually gets on with something credible.
The convulted mystery assassin no one knew - except when it came to denouement, then it transpired everyone knew, that plot is strictly for mental midgets about to buy a used NY bridge.
A storyline full of plot holes and boringly predictable - must be network TV - Television by the numbers.

This show is emulating "the following" displaying the same contempt for its viewers ability to reason.
I'm surprised Spader is anywhere near it if this how the whole season is gonna be.

He must be desperate - mind you as an actor his range seems limited - he has the 'languid thinks he's the smartest guy in the room' act down pat but I can't remember seeing him play any other role since he moved to the small screen.
The act was amusing in boston legal & that other lawyer show which preceded it, but now its getting old- very old. True, it isn't helped by the lack of humour in "the blacklist". Spader's boston legal personality was amusingly self deprecating - in this one he just comes off as pompous & smarmy -Yuk.

Has Spader allowed himself to be typecast or is talking down to everyone else the only role he can play?
We shall see next week.
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So fa so good, i am enjoying the shady performance of the lead James Spader as he brings so much to Redington with little material to work with, i think he kind of figures the FBI wont give him the immunity he is clamoring for so may be manipulating them into eliminating his competition ( as illustrated in the episode).

i hope they spoil the relationship of Keen/Redington by going the father route.
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Loved The Freelancer ( but not because of the obvious twist with the trafficker) I like the cat and mouse game the justice department is playing with Reddington add on the Jedi mind trick with Elizabeth Keen and i'm ready for episode 3. Can the writers keep up the( Luke am I your father?? storyline) Don't make it too obvious and continue to make me question at least until the end of the season!!
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I enjoyed this second episode though I kinda figured Isabella Rosellini's character was a bad guy because she has a habit of playing villains or dark characters. As for Reddington being Keen's father, I really don't think they will go that route especially after he made that crack about her being his daughter in the restaurant. Usually when a character makes an audience "wink-wink" remark like this it ends up eliminating that conspiracy theory.
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About the Freelancer's M.O. did everyone think it was just a blunder of the plot. Because I was left with the vague impression that Red just invented the Freelancer and the guy who was caught was just a guy, who Red paid. This means either the Freelancer does not exist, or he is somebody else completely and Red just used a regular thug to impersonate for the sake of this case.
Am I giving to much credit to the writers. How do you think?
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Good thinking. This show (and James Spader himself, surely) is presenting itself as quite clever, after all, and it is possible, even probable, that nothing we've learned this far is what it seems. Certainly not the father/daughter thing, that would be way too obvious, and I'm pretty sure they have something a bit more sophisticated cooked up for us, to be revealed as the season progresses...
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Interesting theory! :D I actually assumed that he somehow talked/tricked the guy into dropping his usual M.O. and get up close and personal, but you may be right - perhaps it WAS just a clever backstory and some poor patsy! :D
Either way, it makes for interesting speculation - how far IS Red willing to go to get to the people on his list?
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He may have tricked the Freelancer by changing making them change all the plans at the last minute. It's pretty hard to plan a "fatal accident" in less than 24 hours, so the Freelancer may have gone with option 2?
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So, I became a bit more convinced he was in fact her father than I talked myself out of last week. We are likely to know it before she actually likely ever will because he knows he loses his definite in at the FBI because she will feel the need to tell the FBI. I am guessing the fire that caused the scar was likely set by someone who was trying to get to her father, or at least that is what I surmised since she told Beth her father left it for her but didn't seem to blame him. But I got the impression with the lie detector, and this was new, that she didn't know her parents at all.

I am still going to hold out that Tom is a CIA agent or something and that Red knows this and is leaving it up to Elizabeth to find out and decide for herself. It may make her trust Red more either way.
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Well, Red disappeared/left his family in 1990. If we're going with the idea that he may be her father - that was 23 years ago. How old is Keen - in her late 20ies?
I don't know how well I knew/would remember my parents from when I was 5 or 6.
If there was trauma of some sort involved in the loss as well (a fire, her mother dying from "weakness"), that could exacerbate the problem.

I too would prefer it if Tom is some sort of good/shady guy rather than an outright bad guy.
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I know she said she graduated from Quantico a month before? And she had been working at the FBI for four years, so I would guess she is at most thirty (I have a vague memory she said she was eight when she last saw her father at least), I am not sure how long FBI training is but since she is a forensic psychologist, she had to go to four years of college, likely get both her masters and her ph.d, so the youngest I think she could be is 28.
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Although the fire - where she got the scar - apparently happened when she was 14, and since she also states that her father gave her the scar so that she wouldn't be scared, this confuses the timeline again... (Went back to check a few facts in episode 2x01).
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I went back and checked too because I originally thought she said 4, well she said 14 but she lied to someone because later on when she is talking to beth while the bomb is being deactivated she tells her she was scared when she was her age but she had a secret weapon - The scar that her dad gave her, so she couldn't have had it at beth's age and got it at 14 so she lied to one of them, probably to throw us off that too. Maybe Reddington knows where she got it and how and was testing her to see if she would tell the truth!
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I'd been thinking about the way she told Beth about it and I almost think it was not actually her father and maybe like someone who was looking for him maybe...I don't know I sense she is a good liar and twists certain facts about herself to fit the situation. I guess more evidence Red is her father.
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The story was definitely sub-par this week. The acting of Boone and Spader plus the twist of the human rights chick were pretty much all that saved it. Harry Lennix is pretty good too, although he is just a minor player right now. I still enjoyed it. Spader's acting is just awesome. I love how snarky and cocky he is. But I really do hope that he is NOT her father. They are hammering us with that point and it's just too obvious. Hopefully the stories improve. It is still a freshman show and just like Sleepy Hollow will suffer through some down points. But also like Sleepy Hollow, I'm still gonna be watching.
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I think Spader is so good here because he's having a good time with the character. It's like how Jonny Lee Miller is having a blast playing Sherlock because he can be his British self and not have to cover his tattoos.
I usually loathe "master manipulator" type characters...but in Blacklist it's hard not to like the brilliance of Spader's Reddington.
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Ya you can tell he's definitely enjoying the role. Just dominating every scene he's in.
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Somehow, this episode bored me a little. The girl is so damn pretty, I can watch the whole hour just with her on my Tv, but hope the plot gets better in future episodes. And the end was rushed. 42 minutes, and then... Nothing interesting. And a lot of commercials.
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I completely agree that the show is resting on the talents of the actors and not the quality of the plot. All the characters have good chemistry together, so it annoys me that the writing isn't better.

I plan to keep watching the show. There's nothing else on in that timeslot that I want to watch, so no competition. I just wish they'd get it together and make a slightly more realistic show.
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True about the adoption tape, I didn't even think about it much. Well, maybe now that he's awake, we will get some explanation. Although I also think this was just a bad excuse to make him look more loveable, since we didn't see him for a while. I think the decision of putting back his stuff where she found it under the carpet and all, it is a strange one. What will be accomplished by that?

There are too many things that we don't know about, and the show premise seems to be "nothing is what it seemed to be", like it happened with the activist in this episode. I think it is a bit overwhelming. I wonder if they will do the same trick every week, and follow a certain black list criminal to end up capturing another. Or will this twist be unique of this week's episode? Because it was surprising this once, but obviously it would not work anymore as an element of surprise.
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Putting the stuff back was pretty simple - she's choosing the "third option", which is to keep quiet and observe rather than turn him in/confront him.
If he DID place the stuff there (which I'm assuming he did), it's likely he will check up on it fairly soon to make sure the hiding place is undisturbed. Taking it out would tell him the game is up.
Also, if she took it out - where would she put it? Most of the hiding places in the house are equally accessible and known to her husband, and she couldn't risk it being found by anyone else.
For now, leaving it under the floorboards is the best option from her point of view.
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Totally agree, She would have been an idiot to tell her bosses, or confront her husband. Better to act like she never found it at all and wait to see if anyone tries to force her to acknowledge it.
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