The Blacklist

Season 1 Episode 2

No. 145: The Freelancer

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Sep 30, 2013 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (8)

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out of 10
197 votes
  • Is FBI really that

    The Freelancer was hired by Reddington to drug Campo. It doesn't really take a genius to correlate this to the fact that Reddington could have also got the Freelancer to derail the train and influence the FBI to believe that he has special information through his network of 'intelligence '.


    Is the FBI really so dumb not to join these

    The CIA implant in the group - Mallik also looks like a setup to see to it thay she can steer the core group away from nailing Reddington in the future, rather than the Criminal justice adding value.
  • Less Sensational, A Little Less Action, & Still Good

    After the somewhat more bombastic pilot The Blacklist comes back with "The Freelancer" episode. The situation of the week this time is of the human traffic nature. Isabelli Rossilini in a rare TV appearance gives a low-key, but decent, character who is believed to be one of earth's great humanitarians, but is actually enslaving young women and using them as sex slaves.

    The blacklist had big action in the pilot and here it's slightly less, yet still quite graphic at times. Some of the "over-the-top" in the pilot was effectively traded for something grittier and possibly more believable. I'd say it came off a bit weaker overall however.

    Spader's Reddington is in full manipulation mode as he engineers the first phase of his deal ultimately seeking full-immunity. The FBI's clumsiness in hedging costs innocent lives in the initial action sequence giving Reddington the upperhand afterwards. Spader's character is the reason to watch and he drops two exceptionally telling lines: "the FBI works for me now" and "you never really know anybody, do you?". So much of what unfolds is steeped within those two statements. As in the pilot during the ending the question of who Keen's husband Tom is pops up. It's a big question and one must guess it will not be given up too soon as a slow reveal creates nice tension. Thus, overall a bit less of everything than the pilot, but more players are introduced as Spader is allowed a team of sorts and is now given more lattitude to operate.
  • NBC ups its game!

    Fighting back the "Nothing But Cancellations" tagline.

    Story Acting Music

    Oh yeah! :)

  • Enjoyed this episide

    Enjoyed this episide, but it's a little unrealistic how much freedom they are giving one of the top 10 most wanted criminals, who easily escapes anytime he choses. By now they would be thinking he has his own agenda, and when he gets what he wants he'll be off in the wind.
  • Great!

    I really enjoyed the second episode, in which we had good plot development and a great case that was investigated.

    I thought the case was really interiguing and Reddington's methods were definitely interesting to behold. He certainly has his hands in a lot of different places.

    Looking forward to more, and the show has great potential in my eyes!
  • Wow things got sloppy fast!

    Well that was interesting.. it usually takes 'Person of interest' 10 episodes for the sloppy writing to come in but Blacklist got right to it in episode 2.

    So is Spader's character a valuable prisoner or not as his captors seem to let him wander in and out of his cell at will and when out they don't do the first thing when it comes to keeping an eye on him. He says he will only talk to one person (who is surely his daughter) but regularly does otherwise and does next to nothing to prevent deaths and even murders people, while on government time, with no consequences. The writers even start the show with a premise of a skilled killer who loves to hide his kills in remote, collateral damage and yet the assassination we got was the most obvious and sloppy possible.. it made no sense at all.

    It it wasn't for Spader's likable nutcase it would have been a dead loss. I give the show 1 more episode to turn me around but otherwise i'm out.
  • I really wanted to like this ep :(

    ugh,... I really did like the first ep despite how obvious some/all the plot twists were, and I particularly liked how they made her husband the damsel and then revealed he may be a spy using her (again all painfully predictable but executed fantastically [w/bonus points for gender reversal of stereotypes]).

    This ep was all so telegraphed, even the twist of the human-itarian/trafficker. And they're now making it not definite that Reddington is really her father? thought the whole point of the 1st ep and his "interest" in her was meant to clue us into that already; we don't need more cluing in it'll just make it more lame when they reveal that. The good was we got a sense (well more so than in the pilot anyway, even though it was there too) that Reddington wants to get some kind of vengeance on all the bad-guys he's worked w/over the years, and we got some great additions to the cast introduced (esp the CIA lady and former-human-trafficking-victim-turned-bodygaurd)

    Overall this ep disappointed me, but I'll still stick with it for a bit hoping it gets better, cause again I really do like alot/all of this show's potential and the actors are great :)
  • The one with the gaping plot holes, which is still 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 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 .

    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!