- Special Features
Blogs & Columns
- Fun & Games
In the premiere episode, a criminal mastermind surrenders to the FBI with a stunning offer - but he'll talk only to a rookie profiler. Their relationship is established as they search for a vindictive terrorist.
The episode begins with Raymond Reddington (portrayed by James Spader) entering the FBI headquarters and asking for the Assistant Director Harold Cooper. He surrenders himself. We find out that Reddington is a career criminal that has work with other criminals worldwide. Reddington offers to tell the FBI where wanted terrorist, Ranko Zamani, is before he strikes. Zamani was involved in a chemical accident in his native country that killed his family and he wants revenge on an American General that may have been responsible.
Reddington agrees to help the FBI, but he only wants to talk to Elizabeth Keen (portrayed by Megan Boone). Then we see Keen in bed with her husband. She wakes up late on her first day of the job. From this scene, we learn that the two are adopting a kid. Just before the couple prepare to leave their stoop, two FBI vehicles appear and a helicopter. One of the agents gets out and asks for her.
Harold Cooper asks Mrs. Keen to profile herself. From this we learn that she was orphaned and that her subordinates called her “sir” because was a tough-nosed superior. Then Keen decides to sit down with Reddington in a high security bunker.
From their conversation, we learn that he knows about her childhood and that her father was a career criminal. It is safe to assume that Reddington is her father or a friend of her father. Keen also gathers that Zamani is trying to kidnap a General’s daughter, so she gathers a team to protect the daughter.
They get the kid from a ballet studio but the daughter’s barricade is hindered by a chemical spill crew. The crew is really Zamani’s men. They ram the jeep where the daughter was and a gunfight ensued. The crew kidnapped the General’s daughter and Keen gets out of the situation barely unscathed.
To wrap up the episode, Reddington helps them out more by telling them where some of Zamani’s cohorts are. Then he asks for a hotel suite. At the same time Keen, returns home to see that Tom (her Husband) is tied up and bloodied. Zamani is in her house. Keen returns to the hotel and stabs Reddington in the neck because she wanted to know why Zamani was in her house.
Reddington escapes his hospital room and talks with Zamani. He also plants his tracer on Zamani so that the FBI follows him. Reddington and Keen discovers that Zamani plans on bombing the D.C. zoo. Keen gets to the zoo and discover the girl with a bomb in her bag pack. Reddington tells Keen that one his associates will be there to dismantle the bomb. He comes and does just that. Zamani is shot by a FBI agent on a rooftop.
In the final moments of the show, Keen discovers Tom’s passports and secret stash of cash under the floor. That prompts her to ask Reddington more questions. Also the FBI is interested in Reddington helping them after he tells them that there are worst criminals out there on the blacklist.
Overall, this is the best pilot I have seen all year. James Spader is fantastic at playing the gentleman villain role. He is the smartest man in the room and everyone is his puppets. He also seems to balance being creepy with being charming all at once. This role may be the best role Spader has played since Alan Shore. Meagan Boone’s Elizabeth Keen is also a very powerful character that takes nothing from no one. She is tough but also nurturing especially when it came to the General’s daughter. This show is a cinematic tour-de-force wrapped up in a one hour show. I can’t wait for the next episode.
The Blacklist airs on NBC Mondays at 10 p.m.