The Blacklist Review: “T. Earl King VI” (Season 2, Episode 14)


The Blacklist

As you may imagine, being caught in the Kings’ palatial estate and being more or less on their own, it lets Liz and Red work out some things. Whereas Liz has constantly said to Red that he only cares for her so much as she’s the key to his own ends, she never denied that she cared for him. It was more than a little touching that Liz chastised Red for daring to suggest that she should have just left him behind, and that’s not what you do for people you care about, obviously. Red even allowed himself  a rare act of contrition, telling Liz “Thank you” when she tells him that that’s what you say to people that do you a favor. He followed it up by telling her not to do it again, but it’s progress just the same.

In other news, it seems that Cooper’s deal with Tom Connelly is coming back to bite him. “Deal” may be misleading, but it would also be misleading to say that Cooper doesn’t feel indebted to Connelly for helping him get into that drug trial. Cooper may have made peace with the idea that his brain tumor is going to kill them, and that may make it okay for him to make explicit threats in interrogation, but he’s probably not going to stand for any more favors that involve him tipping off criminals who are friends of Connelly. At this point I have to ask, how long till Connelly ends up on the Blacklist?

The episode would have been perfect had it not been for the show insisting on cramming more adventures of Tom Keene: “Man of Mystery” down our throats. Not that we don’t appreciate the always excellent Lance Henriksen being thrown some work as Tom’s broker, or handler, or whatever, but is it possible to care any less about Tom’s new undercover job as a German skinhead? And ew, how gross was that supposedly cute little scene where Tom called Liz and gave her a tip for going undercover? I guess Red telling Tom that he was never to see Liz again had a caveat about calling her on the telephone. Talking to her is okay, I guess, but seeing her is a no-no.

The Blacklist also conveniently put aside for the week the ongoing situation of the harbor master’s murder, which I thought (hoped?) had been resolved, but keeping Tom around also means keeping that story around for the foreseeable future. The German version of “Major Tom” that the show played as Tom underwent his “transformation” will definitely make it onto my next iTunes playlist, but frankly, at this point, I need more Tom about as much as the people of New England need more snow right now.

Much like a game of Russian Roulette that ends with the first pull of the trigger, this episode of The Blacklist was a surprisingly pleasant affair that capitalized on some of that lost momentum from the Super Bowl two-parter. It was also notable for being compelling while not offering any further insight about the Fulcrum, except to show Liz looking at it once more and hiding it when Red comes knocking. Sadly, Fulcrum stuff looks to remain on the back-burner as next week we go deeper into the “Liz might go to jail” storyline, which we already know won’t see her go to jail. Right?

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