By Sophia Shiffman
A mixture of suspense, tension and betrayal, The Blacklist secures its spot on prime time as a new force to be reckoned with. Within the first five minutes of the pilot episode, you’re hooked, and each successive minute pulls you in more and more.
The story focuses on a former government agent-turned-criminal mastermind, Raymond “Red” Reddington, who has eluded capture for decades. With his motives still unknown, he turns himself in to the FBI, offering to help them catch some of the world’s most elusive and dangerous criminals with the exclusive condition that he only speak to Liz Keen, a young profiler barely out of Quantico. The criminals, he says, come from his blacklist, a list containing Reddington’s criminal associates that he has been compiling for the past 20 years.
According to creator Jon Bokenkamp in an interview with NBC: “To me this is Liz’s show…. It’s a ‘chosen one’ story.”
The Blacklist provides a global criminal world filled with action, secrets and manipulation. Every return from commercial break reveals new secrets that keep you engaged, especially those about how Reddington and Keen are connected and what secrets from her past are coming back to haunt her.
The lead roles of Reddington and Keen are played by James Spader and the relatively new face, Megan Boone. Spader, of Boston Legal, perfectly embodies the manipulative and mysterious nature of Reddington through his arrogance and calm yet calculating demeanor.
Spader’s intelligence adds credence to Reddington’s persona, reaching new levels and creating a new dynamic to his character. Boone’s character, Keen, is a well-educated newbie with a troubled past.
Boone’s portrayal of Keen is marked by her determination and passion to follow her instincts and have good conquer evil. The two characters form an unlikely duo that, strangely enough, works perfectly together.
Their tension and mysterious connection only contribute to the believable nature of their partnership.
After only two episodes, The Blacklist was picked up for the full first season, according to imdb.com. New episodes air Mondays at 10 p.m. on NBC.