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I love The Blacklist, but no show is perfect, and over the course of the first ten episodes the writers have definitely made choices that made no sense whatsoever.

Here are my Top Ten, in order of stupidity:

1) Nobody has done a DNA test on Liz and Red.

2) The FBI has dozens of armed guards watching Red while they are in a highly secured facility and he is in a nearly impenetrable box, but they leave him totally untended in an unsecured hospital room with a window.

3) Cooper telling Liz her actions will be taken under review, because she surrendered her weapon during a hostage situation. The fact that Liz isn't prepared to be a field agent isn't news. SHE told you herself in WUIJING and your response was "Do it for America!" When she does finally mess up (although not nearly as much as Ressler on a regular basis) your response is to reprimand her? Seriously? Where was your reprimand for sending a total of two agents to capture a bio terrorist? Where was Ressler's reprimand for charging into an the site of a bio attack without a hazmat suit, instead of going after Barnes? Also let's be real: Liz worked cases after stabbing Red in the neck with a pen and while her husband was being investigated as being a potential spy. To pretend she is anything but untouchable while Red's deal is in place is ridiculous.

4) Liz handing over her witness to a random guy who says he is a US Marshall without checking his credentials, especially after Red told her that something was going to go wrong at the trial.

5) Nobody asks Tom how he found the box in the floor.

6) Tom and Liz scheduling an adoption meeting on Liz's first day at the FBI.

7) The FBI can scramble helicopters to pick up Liz on her first day of work, but not to catch terrorists, apparently.

8) Red needs the fact he is an FBI informant to stay a secret and yet he dramatically turns himself in the crowded lobby of the Hoover Building.

9) Red gives a super long explanation about Anslo rather than immediately heading for the exits the second he hears his name.

10) Red smothers his beloved friend Sam with a pillow, rather than giving him an overdose of morphine. I get you need to protect Liz from the truth, Red, but Sam deserved better.

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Any other moments of stupidity I missed? Please share them below!
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not a fan, but decided to record the new season, a motor cycle attacks an suv and the driver just maintains a strait line instead of killing the bikers, who shoot the window and toss in a grenade, at that point I pushed stop, went into my recordings and deleted the timer, I just can't stand stupid behavior from so called tactically trained people, lends the show no credibility and completely removes any suspended disbelief
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"STOP FBI!" Great…now you just alerted the Freelancer that the FBI is after him…The inconspicuous nature of the FBI.
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i think a lot of these moments of stupidity are just opinion. like i saw number 3 is wrong she never said she wasnt able to be a field agent, the anslo one i dont think he thought garrick was coming at that moment, mr fitch didnt allow anslo to kill red, the us marshals one it was chaotic, and why would she suspect that he wasnt an us marshal till she found out the juror had been poisoned? etc...
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because she IS an FBI agent, experienced or not, who has been warned about something going wrong in a trial.. even I would not let anyone hold a key witness other than myself yet, she fell for the uniform..

plus number 3 is the best, she did actually tell and before her, there were a lot of people telling "she was not experienced enough".. everyone knows it, so if you, like the writer of this excellent piece mentioned, send just 2 agents for a bio-terrorist catch, things might go very very wrong, experienced or not..
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as for red not running when anslo was coming, i dont think red is a coward. also i dont think he thought he was coming right that moment that was kind of a coincidence. also he was handcuffed, if he tried to run the fbi wouldve stopped him
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number 3 is wrong. liz said she wasnt an undercover code breaker. she didnt have a clue how to decode the message and she didnt think she could fool wujing. she didnt say she isnt a field agent, that is supposed to be part of her job
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I know that shows tend to change things after the pilot, but she said she raised herself in the pilot but later she had an amazing family with Sam. I'm just chalking that up to a change made from Pilot to the rest of the show.
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1- Maybe they did, we don't know everything the FBI is doing
2- Agree
3- He may be passing the blame,
4- I don't really remember, but i agree
5- Maybe they did, we don't every thing the FBI has asked him
6- He told him not to kill him, and if Red is afraid of him, then Anslo is also probably afraid of him, And at the end Anslo didn't not want to kill him(i mean he sure want's to, but not if it makes the people Fitch is working for angry)
7- 50/50?
8- Mostly agree
9- I don't think he could, he was in a building full of Agent's who wants him to stay where he was, he can't just simply run
10- Different tastes i think!
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I think you've got #1 just right....In the Conclusion, Cooper tells the director that lab tests confirmed that it was Reddington's blood..not just his blood type.
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How funny would it be if, in the second half of the season Liz and Ressler have the following conversation:

Liz: You know at one point, I actually asked Red if he's my father. How insane is that?

Ressler: Ummm...yeah...that was pretty much our first thought when he told us he wanted to work with you. We ran a DNA test months ago.

Liz: What?

Ressler: Well, it was the simplest explanation, and we had both of your DNA samples on file. Don't look so surprised, we are not completely incompetent at our jobs, after all.

Liz: Since when?
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I personally find Ressler's borderline bipolar attitude towards Liz, the value of her field of work and on her competence in general to be dizzying. I know it's not as factual or obvious a semi-error as the ones on this list, but reverse-re-reverse personal development doesn't make a whole lot of sense either. Also - Ressler's continued incompetence seems completely at odds with the fact that he's supposedly led the Reddington task-force for three years or something. Red is supposed to be among the FBI's Top 10 Most Wanted. Are we seriously supposed to believe, that they would leave the job of catching him, in the hands of a guy, who's yet to make it through an entire episode without messing up one way or another?
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This really is just the tip of the iceberg, you could easily make a top 100.
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Most of these you'll find in any TV show. especially with the hidden back stories in this kind of show.

Plus calling them 'moments of stupidity' kinds of suggests you are blaming the fictional characters.

Not meaning to be mean, but I think TV.com staff should be a bit pickier what they vote up.
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I'm not making the argument that you wouldn't find these kind of moments on other TV shows. I actually say "no show is perfect" in my post. I am also not sure how "moments of stupidity" suggests I'm blaming fictional characters for their actions. The title of the post is "The Blacklist's top ten moments of Stupidity" as in the show's top moments of stupidity.

Perhaps it was my use of the word "stupidity" that has offended you. I am not, nor would I ever, call The Blacklist stupid. It is my absolute favorite show. One of the things I like best about it, is that it invites the audience to engage in critical thinking about what is happening and why. It is not a sign of pettiness, nor show disloyalty, to note when things aren't 100% perfect.
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There are those stupid imperfections that make The Blacklist so perfect ;)
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What about the part where Liz had an adoption meeting on her first day of work -- the big, important day where she only set one alarm and managed to oversleep? I think your first day with the FBI would warrant at least one backup alarm (not connected to the wall), probably make it hard to sleep, and pretty much prohibit major meetings involving the adoption of children.
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It wasn't her first day of work with the FBI. Liz has been working with the FBI for 4 years as part of a mobile psych unit. She's even had prior cases to the whole Red thing coming up. Remember in the episode about the Stew Maker? How she had to go attend the trial of that drug dealer because her psych eval of him helped put him on trial (and it was the witness for that case that got vanished by the stew maker in the beginning).

She had gone to Quantico for training (or additional training?) to become a profiler (I guess that's supposed to be a step up from the pysch eval unit and would have her more a part of the Behavioral Analysis Unit). And the first episode was her first day starting her job as a profiler.

And although I'm sure that included all the basic training and shooting at paper targets, she's never been a field agent until the whole thing with Red threw her into the deep end. I guess it takes a bit of adjusting when you expected to be at a "desk" job doing evaluations / profiles of suspects and instead find yourself periodically being kidnapped, tortured, drugged, and shot at! I did like that she was turning into more of a badass by the time of the two Anslo episodes though.

Technicalities aside, I suppose you can still argue her scheduling something on her first day with a new job position and unit though.
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Sorry, I'd forgotten the specifics. However, one would imagine she'd have waited for a day off for a big meeting, and could have stood to overprepare a bit for a big first day in a new spot.
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Both good ones!
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Speaking of reprimands, nobody in the FBI was the least bit pissed off when Red assassinated Isabella Rossolini's character, whom he misled the FBI into believing he wanted to protect. Then he killed the disappearer dude and still they're letting him run around with a pretty long leash.

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Lesser of two evils in the killing of Florianna--they had been looking for who was running the cartel, who was selling the children...and, technically, Red didn't kill her.

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how can you say technically red didnt kill her? or you mean because it was the guy he hired who gave her the drink with the drugs in it. but still, he hired the guy so i think he would still be charged with murder too?
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In the pilot episode when Liz is questioned she said she was vetted by the FBI yet Red knew about her career criminal father, death of her mother and the FBI failed to obtain her early history when they did their background checks.
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In this particular instance I am (for now) giving the FBI a pass, because I'm 99% sure someone has gone through alot of trouble to cover-up Liz's history before she was adopted by Sam. Red knows because he and Sam agreed on what Sam would tell her.
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Number 1 and 5 the DNA test should have been the first thing the FBI did when red asked only to speak with a brand new agent who is a profiler and not even a field agent. And shouldn't Liz have asked how he found the box or why he was looking for it in the first place, also why he was so defensive over the whole thing yet calm, composed and borderline cocky about it at the same time.
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Your number 1...until the Anslo episodes, Lizzie didn't really connect herself with Red, so, of course, SHE wouldn't pursue the DNA test. It seems to me, though that the military must already have DNA tests on military personnel and Red is ex-military...and in the pilot, Liz says that she is sure they were checking into her thoroughly again because Red had asked for her specifically..."And I can tell you what they'll find." COOPER: What will they find? LIZ: Nothing, I have no connection with Reddington. Yet your Number 5 has to be on everyone's mind and why it's not on Lizzie's I'll never understand. I get how SHE managed to find the box. But what made HIM look under the brand new rug? And she did not put things back the way they were, so that's how HE knew his things had been tampered with.

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For #1 I kind of gave Liz a pass until Anslo episode. She trusts Sam implicitly so I imagine she believes whatever he told her. However, it is clear that during the Anslo episode the possibility occurred to her, AND she found a chair with Red's blood all over it. Prime opportunity to swipe a sample. The FBI has no excuse, considering they are supposed to be looking into every possible explanation why Red is singling out Liz. I can only hope the test was done off camera, and we will find out about that later.
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Your number 6 does not work. Mr. Fitch Crowley did NOT allow Anslo to kill Red. Anslo says he's going to, Fitch says he cannot allow him to do that b/c he doesn't know if Red is being totally truthful, Anslo says it's not his problem. Fitch does the "excuse me" your parents give you when you about to get it. Then we see Anslo go into Red--"Just you and me now, Red." Red tells Anslo to "give it up" because Fitch was not going to allow Anslo to kill him...Anslo says maybe not...but he CAN kill Lizzie...
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Thanks! I just rewatched the scene. For some reason I couldn't her Red well and I thought he said "Why don't you finish it already?".
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Yes it may stretch belief..but this show is oh so good...
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A brilliant show. And most brilliant things have imperfections
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Couldn't agree more!
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I was thinking about writing an article myself on how we suspend disbelief when something in a show is totally stupid and defies the laws of physics and logic. And I'm not just talking about paranormal shows either. It occurred to me during the season finale of, of all things, the remarkably wonderful series Orphan Black. I'm referring to the garbage disposal death scene. You can take any residential--or probably industrial--garbage disposal and put ANY cloth item from a hankie on up into it while it is running and it will quickly stop spinning. That's because it's not designed to deal with cloth items and has very little torque. So it could not have sucked whatshername's scarf into the garbage disposal and strangled her, and yet it did. Did it ruin the episode even though it was physically impossible? The answer is a resounding NO!

Of course The Blacklist is a bit more flagrant in its lack of continuity in these matters, and it still doesn't ruin the show for most of us. TV does a lot of ridiculous stuff with plumbing, and some of it is pretty obvious. This is a great article and I have asked myself most of these questions, as well. My biggest concern was the giant helicopter on Keene's first day, but it was obviously just designed to illustrate the seriousness of Red's appearance at the FBI. Also the whole deal with Tom is pretty absurd and it's a major plot point I have to believe. And it will probably get stupider before it's resolved.


Heck, I still have a problem with why machine guns are so useless on TV...
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Other stupid moments:

-That Liz hasn't shown Red's picture to Tom at any point - much less when he was brought in for questioning - and asked, "Do you know this person"?
-What's the purpose of putting a tracking device on Red if not to find out what he is doing where he is? All those trips he makes to Cuba, Nebraska (to see Sam), etc.. why aren't people putting using this as an opportunity to gather intel, or to put two and two together?
-Until the winter finale, which sees him going on the run, Red has gotten away with murder, repeatedly. And the FBI know this and still give him a free rein.

The Blacklist has been set up in a way that the answers to any of these moments of stupidity would probably end the show. So it looks like there are more dumb moments to be had ;)
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Don't forget that other reasons Red gets away with murder is that Lizzie doesn't always tell on him, and he knows something about Cooper that could cost Cooper his upward mobility in the F.B.I. And about that tracking chip...yes, they put in one....but it was Red who insisted on the more powerful chip...Something about being on a Somali ship for three weeks...First two were terrible...third wasn't so bad, but in any case he doesn't want THAT to happen to him again!

I think one of the "stupids" that wasn't mentioned is that Red, #4 on the most wanted list, wasn't handcuffed and thrown into jail no questions asked, no explanations given. Why in the world did they entertain him at all? But, then, there would be no show...
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I'm pretty sure the Somali thing was an excuse he made up for Wujing's benefit, to explain why he had a tracker inserted. While infiltrating an organization for the FBI, it seems prudent to avoid telling head of said organization, that you've got an FBI tracker in your neck. Might tip some people off.
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I loved your thought on why they haven't used the tracking chip data to expose the visit to Nebraska. They should be working harder to try and figure out what his plan is and how he is connected to Liz. Getting leverage on this man should be a top priority, because until they know what is up, they are completely at his mercy. I sincerely hope that after the break we'll get a glimpse of an agent or two who have been off screen until now, who has been secretly working on this the entire time.

I don't think showing Red's picture to Tom would do any good, from Liz's perspective. To her mind he would say "no" no matter what. We know that Tom met Red in Nebraska, so if he'd seen the photo after that and he was really innocent (insert snort here) he would admit that he had.
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I think the dumbest "moments" are the obvious things that they haven't done. #1 on your list is a great example. #5 is a good one too. Didn't Liz move the fake passports from the box under the floor to a new hiding place outside the house? How did Tom find both? On a logical show, the obvious explanation would be that he checked his secret hiding place first, and discovered that his stuff was gone. Then he searched everywhere until he found his stuff.

A few more of those things they didn't do:

* Liz never asked her father about Red.
* Liz waited for the midseason finale to ask Red the obvious question.
* Before that, no one even talked about the possibility that Red is Liz's biological father.

Also, no one has been able to explain to me how the FBI went from "there's no way in hell that guy is ever going to get any kind of deal" to actually releasing Red. So I suspect that this isn't just a matter of me not paying attention.
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No, Liz did not hide anything outside. Liz put everything back in the box, but NOT the way she found it--things were out of order. When I first saw the pilot I thought...she's not paying attention to how things were arranged in that box. She DID go outside with the gun to get a test bullet, but put anything in a different hiding place.
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OK, thanks for clarifying.
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Agree on your suggestions. You would have thought that the first thing that FBI would do when Red asked for Liz in the pilot was to investigate any family links. Surely they would have on record where she grew up, that she had an adoptive father, etc.
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There were obviously a few things that the regular vetting process did not find out about Liz Keen. After she comes back from her first talk with Red, she asks who told Red about her family, private things, she called them. At about the same time Ressler asks her why her father's criminal past did not show up when she was vetted. So there is something about the records/life of Liz Keen that are not available on purpose. I expect as the series goes on, we'll find out more about that agreement between Red and Sam and how that agreement affects Lizzie's life records/history.
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The FBI's seeming incompetence concerning Liz' vetting irritated me a lot at the time, but now that I'm revisiting all these moments in my mind and getting re-irritated with most, I actually find myself wondering if Red had something to do with how bad the FBI was at figuring out her background. Because that could explain that particular small-scale-absurdity. I mean, it doesn't seem even a little out of character for him, to have "taken care of" all information and paperwork on her origins. Or maybe the FBI really just is that incompetent. Who knows?
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Great article! All are truly moments of stupidity but I still adore the show;-) I picked Red dramatically surrendering to the FBI despite his need to be secretively working with the FBI but they are all stupid moments....yet, it's one of my favorite new shows.
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Me too! Any other show, I might have given up already. Its the Spader effect, perhaps, but I think half the fun is also in nitpicking all these stupid moments.
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I think we, the viewers, are probably more interested to know if Red is Liz's father than Liz is. Red himself knows, of course, and the FBI doesn't really care one way or the other, I guess. At least I can't remember them raising the issue with any seriousness... Liz could always order a DNA test herself, but I get the feeling she hasn't thought about this much either...
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I agree that it is the viewer who are interested in paternity--at least until the conclusion of the Anslo Garrick epi. It seems to me that a turning point for Lizzie was when she's on her knees with the gun to her head and Red gets all tortured looking, doesn't even wait for Anslo to say anything, but quickly goes and slap-pinches Ressler for the code. She's already heard him say that he will do whatever he has to do to keep her alive...and she saw/heard it when he killed the Asian tech and the Stewmaker. It was then a natural question for her as well as the viewers at that point.
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