The Blacklist s4 ep 2

Final scene spoilers

What a strange episode. Alexander Kirk and a redshirt are in a plane with Liz, who overpowers them both and then crashes into the sea. Liz and Kirk are both rescued after a period of time – ten minutes? four days? – spent clinging to the wreckage. Meantime, the consequence of the car smash at the end of last week’s instalment is that poor little Agnes, who must be hoping for a quiet day or two so that she can get a bit of sleep, has been captured by Mato. He’s a sort of bounty hunter-cum-“finder”, and is our Blacklister of the Week.

Red – still insisting that he’s the protector of the Liz/Tom/Agnes family unit, and perhaps in denial about how his presence in their lives actually puts them all in more danger – tracks Mato down, with help from Mr. Kaplan, Tom, and a sprinkling of torture porn. Whereupon Mato – who gets about three seconds of screentime, suggesting that he isn’t much of an international megavillain after all – gets killed, but not before handing the presumably exhausted Agnes off to Alexander Kirk. Who, in turn, has taken Liz to a house he calls the Summer Palace, which turns out to be her childhood home. But just as Liz is starting to come to terms with Kirk maybe being her daddy after all, and perhaps enjoy a few hours of not being abducted, Ressler and the Task Force come busting in. She is “rescued”; Kirk gets away (of course) with Agnes (of course).

And so to the finale, in which Red – for reasons which seem just a little spurious – executes Mr. Kaplan; he can’t trust her any more, but she knows all his secrets, etc. etc. I’ve said before that I like The Blacklist’s occasional reminders that Red isn’t just a cuddly, hat-wearing, monologuing copper’s nark; but is, in fact, a thoroughly nasty piece of work. I’d prefer it, though, not to involve the death of characters I like. But… is she actually dead? As Red walks away we see Mr. Kaplan’s hand move; either it’s her final, despairing movements, or she’s alive. Unfortunately, I’m not happy about either possibility. I don’t want to see her killed, but it isn’t that long since the show pulled off the resurrection of an apparently dead character, and doing it twice in a few episodes really is pushing it.

More than that, though, this episode wasn’t very good at all; I watched the first half, in particular, with mounting incredulity that a show which we know to be capable of being sharp and fast-paced was offering up something as pedestrian as this. Given the way in which viewing numbers have fallen, The Blacklist really can’t afford to be boring, and this was.


One thought on “The Blacklist s4 ep 2

  1. CJ Cregg November 17, 2016 / 11:35 pm

    Yeah, I found this really dull too – within minutes, I started messing about with my phone to give myself something to do while it was on, it was so uninteresting. I know I’ve said it before but I genuinely don’t care who Liz’s dad is and this week’s snoozefest didn’t change my mind.

    The only scene I actually liked was when Ressler and Keen were reunited – they looked at each other for a second; she was silently very clearly forgiven for the fake death business in that second; and then they had a proper, meaningful hug which I thought was quite poignant even though it only lasted a few seconds. I know there’s no point shipping them any more, but they are characters who’ve had a long, complicated, close relationship and who do really care about each other – in that scene, that depth of feeling and connection came across without any dialogue, and I thought it was the only scene in the whole ep which felt like it was based on genuine human feeling as opposed to terrible plotting or stupid power plays.

    Re Mr Kaplan, I understood why Red shot her, but I agree with you – since he shot her at point-blank range in the head, she should be dead. Resurrecting her would be very, very cheap.

    Something else I wanted to mention, though – There was also some really jarring dialogue about Mato that startled me. Did I imagine it or did Aram say something along the lines of Mato being *extra-scary* because he was “part Native American,” had some form of special ability as a result and was “practically a Shaman?” I thought it was both random and racist, tbh.

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