Why The Blacklist Season Two Episode Four is Awesome

Questions, questions, questions!”

If you've been following my previous episode reviews of this season, you'll know that I think it's fantastic; this episode is no different. Once again, I was mesmerised by Spader's Reddington, but the episode as a whole had me hooked. In typical Blacklist fashion, it asked more questions than it answered, but in such a salivating way as to be the opposite of frustrating.

From here on out, there are spoilers for this episode.

This the villain-of-the-week plot in this episode centres around the titular Dr. Linus Creel, a psychologist formerly working in a Government black box experiment on mind control, who has continued the work and is triggering innocent folk into murderous rampages. It's a neat, intriguing and more than a little creepy plot that riffs off conspiracy theories about Government programs, and works excellently as a framework for the meta plots going on. Like, for instance, Elizabeth Keene's own struggle with paranoia and psychosis; this was most apparent in the scene where Keene is pretending to be a potential candidate for Creel's work, and is interviewed by him. Whilst it is, obviously, undercover, there were strong hints and implications that she was weaving her fake story at least partly from her very real one. It'll be interesting to see whether Keene reaches the edge and manages to reign herself/get reigned back in just before she falls, or whether she does, indeed, go flying over. Either of those plots would serve to revitalise the character and strengthen her position amongst the rest, and these early indications are very interesting.

There were more hints as to an ulterior motive for newcomer Mossad Agent Navabi, who asks some gentle probing questions of Keene at the end, before pretending that she lost the bet to Aram – that, to me, hints that she's trying to get information, and she's willing to manipulate Aram's obvious attraction to her to do so. Is she working for Reddington? Mossad? Herself? Someone else? There's enough fertile soil there for an interesting story, but as of yet, Navabi hasn't had enough time to really develop; still, I look forward to them doing something with her character in the future.

There was little for Ressler and Cooper to do in this episode, though Cooper did get a nice reaffirming heart to heart with Keene about some of the evils that they witness or hear about, including those perpetuated by their own Government.

We got more development on Reddington and his ex-wife, with some wonderful drama between him, her and her new husband, Frank Hyland. We got to see more of the sinister, deadly Reddington, but this time slanted more towards the protective. His busting of Frank's affair and subsequent threatening of his life if he doesn't become the proper husband to Naomi is engrossing stuff, to say the least. I honestly can't praise James Spader highly enough, and if he keeps this up, he's my shoe-in for the Emmy.

Over all, this was another fantastic episode, continuing the trend of 8+ scores from me; let's hope that keeps up for the rest of the season!

Final Score: 9/10

This has been Blacksmith, writing for The Awesome Update.

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