The Blacklist

  • Title: The Blacklist – Dembe Zuma / Requiem
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The Blacklist - Dembe Zuma / Requiem television review

The Blacklist‘s two-episode mid-season premiere sets up the next big threat to Raymond Reddington (James Spader). While the first episode deals primarily with the red herring that is Dembe‘s (Hisham Tawfiq) apparent disloyalty, the second episode features on the back story of Mr. Kaplan (Susan Blommaert), including the events which led her into the lives of all the show’s major players. There’s quite a bit of history rewriting here which I’m not 100% certain would hold up if you went back an re-watched the show’s First Season. That said, events here do help explain how Kaplan (played in the flashbacks by Joanna Adler) got her chosen name and profession, and why she was so willing to betray Red for Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone), who she has apparently known for quite some time.

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  • Title: The Blacklist: Redemption – Whitehall
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The Blacklist: Redemption - Whitehall television review

The Blacklist: Redemption wraps up its First Season with a two-part episode. We open with Scottie (Famke Janssen) confronting her son about his true identity… and then breaking any potential trust between the pair by having him tortured and chased around the city, cementing whose side he’ll choose throughout the events of the finale. Putting all cards on the table, Howard (Terry O’Quinn) reveals himself to the world forcing a board meeting and providing Tom (Ryan Eggold) and Nez (Tawny Cypress), who like Tom chooses Mr. Hargraves over Mrs. Hargraves, the necessary distraction to sneak into Halcyon and smuggle out Richard Whitehall (Clarke Peters). The episode features a couple of cameos from The Blacklist including Liz (Megan Boone) and Harold (Harry Lennix), but the main focus remains Tom and his choice to help Howard stop his mother.

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  • Title: The Blacklist: Redemption – Hostages
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The Blacklist: Redemption - Hostages TV review

Two big secrets are revealed in the penultimate episode of The Blacklist: Redemption. First, Scottie (Famke Janssen) discovers that Tom (Ryan Eggold) is the inside man working for her not-so-dead husband Howard (Terry O’Quinn). Second, to prevent Scottie from killing Tom, Howard is forced to reveal their familial relationship to the man who calls himself Tom Keen. As for just what this means for Scottie’s larger plans, Howard’s conspiracy theories, and the future of Tom, it will all likely be determined in next week’s finale where apparently more of the The Blacklist cast will finally make an appearance.

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  • Title: The Blacklist: Redemption – Kevin Jensen
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The Blacklist: Redemption - Kevin Jensen TV review

The second episode of The Blacklist: Redemption pushes the theme of mothers and lost sons with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer. When the son of an old friend is detained and tortured in Kyrkistan by government officials who believe the journalist is actually a CIA spy, Scottie Hargrave (Famke Janssen) mounts a rescue mission despite the United States Government explicitly ordering her not to. The plan has more than a few kinks to work out, although Tom (Ryan Eggold), Solomon (Edi Gathegi), and Nez (Tawny Cypress) are able to extract the man from a maximum-security prison with few resources at their disposal.

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  • Title: The Blacklist: Redemption – Leland Bray
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The Blacklist: Redemption - Leland Bray TV review

The first episode of the new spin-of throws Tom Keen (Ryan Eggold) together with the woman he believes to be his mother Susan Hargrave (Famke Janssen). Tom has several reasons for accepting the job at the covert mercenary organization, including attempting to learn more about himself while keeping his true identity secret. A meeting with the biological father (Terry O’Quinn) who recently faked his own death, along with the warnings from Reddington (James Spader), force Tom to keep quiet about his true identity while suspecting that his mother is up to something.

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