NBC’s The Blacklist: A Series in Review  

On NBC’s highly anticipated pilot of The Blacklist, James Spader plays the criminal mastermind Raymond “Red” Reddington who toys with the FBI while offering up information on the world’s most wanted high-level criminals.

Copyright NBCUniversal

Copyright NBCUniversal

By Tara Moore

Raymond Red Reddington (James Spader, Lincoln) is kind of an annoying grandpa, except for the fact that he’s dangerously skilled at crime, manipulation, espionage and selling to the highest bidder. So when Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone, Blue Bloods)  is summoned, the air in the room is that she knows something–or at least that she knows Red.

Mixing a little child abduction and a gun fight on a bridge complete with gas bombs to disorient Keen, the show’s apparent hero, was a nice touch. Giving credit where credit’s due, we appreciate NBC’s leave-them-wanting-more approach, ending the episode with Red’s proclamation that he has a whole list of criminals to share with the FBI. (Could this be the next generation of Neal Caffrey on White Collar?) There’s a chance this show has some staying power, but we can’t ignore the fact that there were several moments that just didn’t seem to make logical sense, in the fictional sense but also in reality. Giving up the girl when Keen was trapped in the car seemed like an irrational action, if only for Keen to be hell bent on saving her.

Oh! Did we mention that Homeland’s Mike Faber played by Diego Klattenhoff co-stars as FBI agent Donald Ressler? It’s encouraging to know we’ll be seeing him weekly beyond Showtime. It might be too soon to tell, but now that Keen has discovered her husband’s life is a lie (after discovering a hidden box with passports, a gun, and stacks of paper, perhaps the future involves a little spark between Ressler and her. Because let’s face it. Every new drama needs some sexual tension, especially if there are really good looking people involved. Of course, Keen has some reflecting to do. Her apparent fake husband is still dying in the hospital, so it might be a while before anything more exciting happens between her and any other man on this show. Unless it’s another neck stabbing of Red, of course.

We’re waiting to see what’s on deck for the weeks to come, but expect The Blacklist to get a full first season. We’re curious where this is going, so we’ll keep you posted.