Well, we finally made it to the two-part finale of The Blacklist. My apologies for the late review, I’m sure you all have been waiting in unbearable suspense. So, here we go. Part One is focused on the drama between Keen and Reddington. After Keen discovers that Reddington is responsible for her father’s death, she refuses to work with him. However, Red brings a new case to the FBI involving a mastermind who has created a genetic strain of a deadly virus. Only he possesses the cure and begins to infect random people creating civilian puppets to do his bidding in the hopes he will continue to provide treatment. Although Keen has had enough of working with Reddington and resigns, she agrees to finish out this last case before leaving.
Additionally, after a discussion with Donald Ressler Keen decides to confront the FBI about her husband and provide them with the information she currently possesses so that they may continue searching for him.
Unfortunately for Reddington, the episode ends on a low note. Keen discovers that Red has been systematically trying to take out associates of “Berlin” through each of the individual cases he’s brought to the FBI but she finds out too late. After she had resigned, Reddington’s immunity with the US government and FBI is void and the episode ends with him surrounded by FBI agents ready to take him into permanent custody.
Things I questioned while watching this one: First, at the beginning of the episode when the security guard collapses, it was handled incredibly poorly by the authorities. Why? Who, with experience and training, yells that a virus, which has just killed a man in front of a large crowd in a confined building, “may be contagious”?
Amazed I was.
Furthermore, after one of the victims watches a blackmail video of the Doctor giving him explicit instructions, the video cuts into static. The video was clearly recorded on a digital not analog device, AND it is being viewed on a laptop. Why is there static? Dramatic suspense?
I don’t get it.
Part Two was kind of a shocker. After learning that the purpose of the virus was to manipulate civilians into performing minor tasks of a diabolical plan to emancipate an incarcerated criminal, Berlin, the plane carrying him crashes and the FBI team spends the rest of the episode trying to recover him.
This episode was rough to watch. Keen’s world is basically falling apart around her.
Before I go on I’m going to state here that this is a SPOILER ALERT.
If you haven’t seen this and want to be surprised, maybe postpone reading this.
Alright, so Reddington has been taken into FBI custody. Since Keen has chosen to resign, his immunity agreement is now void. However, Fitch sets up a transport allowing Red to escape for his own safety. Once free, Reddington contacts Keen to notify her that the task force team is in danger, but unfortunately too late. Keen tries to pull Ressler and Meera out of fieldwork but Meera becomes a casualty.
Unfortunately Meera’s death was rather anticlimactic. It does explain why there wasn’t much of a history given to her character or the viewers. It also doesn’t leave much hope for the future of Harold Cooper. Which brings me to the next victim, Cooper, who also happened to be Berlin’s next target. Attacked in his car, Cooper manages to survive, but only barely.
Finally, Reddington goes to confront a man who he is supposed to believe is Berlin. While questioning him, Tom appears with Liz at gunpoint. Red kills the man and Liz shoots Tom in self-defense. Although it appears Tom has died, later on in the episode only bloodstains and handprints remain where his body lay.
This episode was chaotic and rather difficult to follow because of the different plot lines with Keen and Reddington, Reddington and Berlin, and Berlin as an FBI case. By the end of the episode they fail to find Berlin, which leaves the second season open to an interesting start. Additionally, because they didn’t completely write off Tom Keen, he has the potential to come back as a powerful force, possibly even rogue, considering his direct supervisor is now dead.
Regarding the end of the season, as much as I hate to see Meera’s character go, it was necessary. Too many shows today have their core characters, which never alter and lead to stale plots and stale ideas. Although it isn’t fair to compare a show like this to Game of Thrones or 24, both of those series have very few constants, and most characters are fair game. It keeps the viewers in suspense and watching every week without “jumping the shark” as they say.
What amazes me in this season is that even though Keen is incessantly criticized for having some hidden alliance to Reddington, it’s never actually questioned or put to the test. The idea that Keen is somehow related to Reddington is a very real possibility that no one has ever thought to check. Although they’ve been dancing around the topic of Keen’s biological father for the last twenty-two episodes, it has become fairly obvious that Reddington is that man. The burn marks that were revealed on his back point towards this conclusion, especially after Keen’s confession that the only memory she retains of her father is that he saved her from a burning house.
The fact that no one has thought to do a DNA or paternity test on both of them to confirm any theories or assumptions is astounding. Then again I suppose if they had made it that simple they wouldn’t have been able to drag the suspense out this long.
Regardless of its faults, this was a great end to a great first season and leaves season two open to dozens of different outcomes, the most likely of which is a romance between Keen and Ressler, and others that are less predictable. With any luck they’ll throw a curveball with Tom Keen and maybe he’ll even convert to help the FBI. Who knows? This show is full of surprises.