Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Wrath of Red

Red is back with a bang (or more like a bang-bang), as we saw him exact wrathful vengeance on all those who dared betray him in the Anslo Garrick debacle as he searched for the identity of the mole. Victims dropped like flies, including the apple-eating man’s underling, the EMT who removed his tracking chip in the ambulance, and the doctor who drugged him during Anslo’s torture. The side story surrounding this week’s Blacklist target, the Good Samaritan, was interesting but not compelling; it was all about bad Red last night and darn if he’s not just the scariest sight around when he’s bad. Coolly evil without even a flicker of remorse as he offed people left and right; so much for thinking he’s just a poor little ole victim in a much larger and intriguing web of deceit.

You always follow the money trail which is just what Red did, ultimately leading him to the banker behind the payoffs in the failed assassination attempt. For a split second when the finger pointed to poor Aram, I bought in hook, line and sinker to the banker’s set up and thought he really was the mole, until of course his beat the clock-like face off with Red. Yikes, who can work under that kind of pressure! Heading back to the duplicitous banker, I had a good chuckle at Red’s threats to the banker’s wife as he shoved her in the closet and his parting line about the stroganoff was classic Red. I was a bit disappointed at hearing the banker’s reluctantly uttered Newton Phillips as the name behind the money. A total red herring meant to temporarily appease fans because after all that, we still don’t know the identity of the FBI’s mole.

The Phillips fake out actually redirected my cross-hairs on Tom as the mole with enough information about the blacksite’s location to provide intel to Garrick. After all, Tom had been at the blacksite during the whole Angel Station investigation during the Gina Zanetakos episode; in his confrontation with Liz, he’s the first to suggest that she call her suspicious in, I think in hopes that she would bring him to where she worked. Plus, there's got to be something to the fact that Phillips was the guy Tom readily identified as the "job interviewer" in the Boston hotel. Though given last night’s Fitch-related reveal, I would guess he’d have access to any information he wanted on blacksite locations and he could be the mole. Ugh…I don’t know (throws hands up in the air)…I’m just throwing some mud around and hoping it sticks on someone.

One thing I know is that there's got to be more behind Tom's holier than thou facade; I don't buy the innocent school teacher schtick. I think Tom’s newfound determination to relocate to Nebraska is an attempt to get Liz out of the way. I think Fitch and his cohorts (Tom being one of them, maybe?) have determined that the FBI’s draw for Red lies in Liz. With Red’s homing beacon, Liz, safely tucked away in Nebraska, they can go about their normal course of business. Speaking of Fitch, I loved the perfectly timed whaaaat?! moment as he suddenly popped onto the screen during the meeting with Chief Fowler revealing that he’s some kind of government official about to testify in front of Congress.

Now on to some spoilers, according to TVLine.com, episode 13 entitled "The Katana #99," “will introduce us to our second female Blacklister, Madeline Pope – and this gorgeous and formidable businesswoman has a bit of a (ahem) “past” with Red. In fact, one of them might end up “tied up” by episode’s end.” In addition, according to a Wall Street Journal interview with executive producer Jon Bokenkamp, there’s also more to come on the FBI's enigmatic informant saying "I will tell you that there are answers that we will be giving about... how do I delicately state this... we will be answering things about both Red's family and about his background."

Overall, it was a great way to welcome back our old friend; exciting, if a little violent and dark. Personally, I like Red when he’s at his most winsome and lighthearted; me no likey scary Red. Nonetheless, scary Red is better than no Red which is what we’ll have again soon enough as NBC breaks for their Olympics coverage but I will not linger on the negative and just bask in the splendor of any and all upcoming new episodes. ‘Til we meet again.