The Blacklist 2.06 Review: Poaching the Poachersby Mel BiJeaux / October 28, 2014
It is getting close to Halloween and The Blacklist definitely went in a weird direction last night. We had skinned bodies grinning liplessly at the camera, Lurch getting the creepy taxidermy award of the year, and we even found out who Lizzie was keeping in that room! (and I called it weeks ago!)
It was interesting that in the opening we almost unwittingly get a little back story on one of the shows more enigmatic characters, Dembe. The sole survivor of a massacre of his family by Mombasa Cartel members, Dembe survived horrible torture and exploitation when Red found him. And that explains their profound connection a bit better. Dembe gets the award fro most noble human being by the end of the episode and it’s why, even though he doesn’t have to say much, he’s still one of my favorite characters.
I don’t know if the show is pulling out more stops as the plot moves along into darker territory, but the gruesome factor when up in this episode. Skinned, eyeless bodies and taxedermied human dolls is certainly appropriate for Halloween week, it’s just a level up in squick for The Blacklist. Bombs, car wrecks, shootouts and executions are par for the course, however.
Liz seems to be taking a few pages out of Red’s book on sneaky, underhanded deals. If she can’t get any satisfactory answers from Red, the next best source is the guy she’s kept under lock and key since last season. That’s right, good old double agent Tom Keen is still alive and well and shackled in a boiler room. I’m not sure it’s much of a surprise since a lot of the fans already called this weeks ago, and the foreshadowing int he show was pretty spot on. But still, it’s nice to see Liz get a little of her own back from the guy who married, tricked and tried to kill her. Whether or not Tom has been giving her any answers that can actually be useful, I guess we’ll find out by the Fall finale.
But how awesome was Liz’s idea to set up her protective shadow before he could tell Red who she’s been hiding? That was cold, Liz! And lovely! Red definitely wasn’t impressed, but honestly, I don’t think Liz has the same wide-eyed fascination and regard for Red as she did last season. She needs him, yes, and she’ll protect him and she might even care for him in some way. But she is most assuredly done with his secrets and double talk.
Let’s talk about Lurch and his merry band of freak show environmentalists. Casting was particularly good int his episode, with Peter Fonda playing the ex-hippie billionaire with a twist ending. At least The Blacklist utilized Fonda in an acceptable way, giving him screen time and a chunk of the plot – even if he did seem a bit stilted in his delivery. His twist ending with Red was nice – the protector of the environment turning into a profiteer from wildlife slaughter by eliminating the competition in the name of saving the environment. Nice twisted logic and Red’s monologue about Dembe was heart wrenching.
Poor Ressler needs to get clean, now! Bad enough he’s stooped to self-harm in order to get painkillers, but his addiction nearly had him end up as another of Lurch’s little fireside friends. And how creepy was that? All the skinned poachers stuffed and mounted in a little serene scene that scares the crap out of poor Ressler. It was a nice turn around once he’s saved to see Ressler in the back of the ambulance with Keen comforting him, as he did for her when the Stewmaker took her. She doesn’t chew him out about his addiction, just lets him know that she knows, and it’s enough.
Has Red found another lovely young thing to shower his affection and protection on now that Liz is pulling away? Is Zoe ( or Jennifer?) really his actual daughter? Or is it just another red herring?
And what about Tom? What will Red do when he finds out his beloved Lizzie has kept this key to Berlin to herself and god knows what she’s found out? Bring me all the angst!
The Blacklist returns Monday November 3rd at 10/9c on NBC