The Blacklist s3 ep 1; s3 ep 2

For UK viewers, a double-bill to start. Liz and Red are in hiding, with Ressler locking down the centre of Washington, D.C., to make sure they can’t get away. I’ve seen enough 24 to know a hard perimeter when I see one, and this one looks pretty damn hard. So Red – who, as we know, has friends everywhere – hits up an old ally, and he and Liz conceal themselves in his basement. He’s waiting for Ressler to get fed up and soften his perimeter; he’s also enlisted the help of this episode’s Blacklister, The Troll Farmer, who needs a week to do whatever it is he does.

There’s an interesting development when Liz dyes her hair blonde, and Red is plainly discomfited: is it because Liz reminds him of her mother, and/or is it because Red wants to jump her? We don’t have much time to ponder it, as Red’s friend’s gf/sister – didn’t catch it – rats them out, meaning that they have to move again, and ask The Troll Farmer – revealed to be a tech expert – to accelerate his timescale from a week to, oh, an hour should be enough. The TF’s task is to use social media to muddy the waters, so he creates lots of Lizzington sightings all over the city, meaning that it should be easier for them to get away. They split up, and while Red manages to get outside Ressler’s cordon Liz is spotted. Doubling down on the enemy-of-the-state thing she makes for the Russian Embassy and asks for asylum. Might just make getting her job back a little harder in the future, I suppose.

And meantime there’s a chilling little scene, apparently unrelated to the rest of the episode, in which a softly-spoken but terrifying kidnapper abducts a baby. It turns out he – the softly-spoken etc., not the baby – is an associate of the Director of Clandestine Services, and the baby is Dembe’s granddaughter, being used to get to Dembe, and in turn to Red. It’s a very good episode, from a show which perhaps had something to prove after the mixed bag that was its second season.

We really get lift-off, though, in the next episode, ‘Marvin Gerard’. Liz is still in the Russian Embassy, using her birth name, Masha Rostova, and claiming to be a deep cover FSB operative, throwing in a suggestion that, as her mother was also a spy, espionage is passed genetically. I’m not sure that’s how it works, and the Russians clearly aren’t buying it either. But at least she’s alive for now, and she’s going to be properly debriefed. In Moscow, mind you, which means that she’s going to be transferred to the airport. Red knows that The Cabal – honestly, I’d be quite happy if we could lose them, or at least their stupid name – is going to use this as an opportunity to kill Liz, so he tips off Ressler, who hijacks the convoy carrying Liz, meaning that she can escape.

That, in turn, leads to Liz and Red meeting in secret at a cafe; once again, though, the police are tipped off, and it leads to the customers being taken hostage. Red demands that Gerard, prisoner and former attorney, is brought to the cafe. As ever, though, Red knows more than everyone else, and he’s got something in mind.

While all of this is going on the rest of the regular cast get something to do: Cooper is downgraded to some desk job or other, Aram and Samar assist in Operation Track Liz – although Aram, at least, clearly doesn’t think she’s done anything wrong – and kidnap dude starts to beat the crap out of Dembe. And just as I was thinking that the best episodes of The Blacklist all have Tom in them, who should materialise out of the shadows? Great stuff.

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3 thoughts on “The Blacklist s3 ep 1; s3 ep 2

  1. CJ Cregg November 6, 2015 / 8:36 pm

    I thought the first ep was great, the second was absolutely terrific. Thrilling and fun, even if none of it would make any sense if thought about too deeply. I mean, Ressler ATTACKS a Russian diplomatic convoy, helps cause the death of their staff and essentially lets Liz go (again) and just gets to go back to work – never mind just disobeying orders, dude started an actual international incident!

    But I’m glad he did 🙂 I thoroughly enjoyed the Kessler shipping opportunities too, no they were not all in my head. Red saying “Think of how you feel about her,” the aforementioned convoy attack to save her, Liz kills the Russian handler to save him… Etc etc… *starts shipping Kessler again*

    In other aceness: Red was obviously top of the pops, he’s ace. Liz is Liz but much more bearable now she’s running with Red rather than being obnoxious to him like she was all last season. The “Our House” on the sea reveal was gorgeous. Marvin Gerard seems fun. I hope Tom isn’t sappy again and is back to being badass.

    PS – remind me again how an Iranian Mossad agent Red arranged to be on the FBI task force is still not only on the FBI task force but liaising between the Lead Agent and Reven and the State Dept? Can Ressler not speak to the bosses himself?

  2. CJ Cregg November 6, 2015 / 8:38 pm

    PS – I too am fed up with the stupid Cabal
    PPS – I like Dembe but I don’t think I’m going to like that storyline.

  3. Jed Bartlet November 6, 2015 / 9:38 pm

    Yeah, I had the same thought about Samar, but figured the review was more than long enough already. She was originally Red’s incredibly mysterious point woman in the task force, but everyone seems to have forgotten that.

    I’m not bothered whether it’s sappy Tom or badass Tom. MOAR TOM.

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