With it's thoroughly engaging plot, and a coolly enigmatic star-turn from James Spader, the second season of The Blacklist is even more thrilling than the first.
The Blacklist is one of the most popular and exciting crime dramas to enter the fray in recent years. Following the gleefully unpredictable exploits of master criminal, Raymond “Red” Reddington (James Spader), the show – though offering a similar “find a bad guy-catch the bad guy” format to series like CSI and Criminal Minds – is utterly magnetic to watch. The premise is simple – or at least it purports to be. Red is at the (voluntary) disposal of the FBI, as an aid and ally in the fight against some of the biggest and baddest criminals on his eponymous Blacklist. The catch? He will speak only to Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone): a rookie profiler with a troubled past.
For much of the first season, the biggest question was “why her?” and the relationship between Red and Lizzie is still something of a mystery in season 2. Though Red has (falteringly) claimed in past episodes that he is not Lizzie’s long-lost father though the atmosphere between the two characters still holds an oddly sentimental feel. Ruthless and utterly badass as he can be, Red’s seemingly loving treatment of Lizzie is one of the most compelling elements of the series. Though we think we might know what’s going on, the cold, hard and frustrating truth is that we – like Lizzie – are actually in the dark as to his true intentions.
Lizzie’s relationship with her now ex-husband Tom has also been interesting, since the devastating revelations of season one. For the first half of this season, we explored how much stronger – and strangely scary – Lizzie has become in the aftermath of her marriage. Though this has slightly dissipated as we approach mid-season, Tom – being a beacon of secrecy and deceit – is still at large, and could easily return to cause more havoc in Lizzie’s life – despite Red’s warnings to stay away.
Looking forward to Episode 9 – which marks the return of the season to UK Screens after the new year hiatus – the team must tackle one of the most formidable Blacklisters yet; Luther Braxton (played by Hellboy actor, Ron Perlman). Braxton is a dangerous convict, renowned for his ruthlessness. He is after “The Fulcrum” – a hard drive containing highly confidential information on national security – and will kill anyone that gets in his way. Considering that “The Fulcrum” is an object which the mysterious syndicate lead by Alan Fitch believes is in the hands of Red, things look set to get interesting as the hunt begins.
Though The Blacklist is a show that ultimately conceals more than it reveals, it is still intensely gripping. The questions it raises are perhaps even more thrilling than the answers that eventually begin to seep through the story. That and the deeply charismatic star turn by James Spader as Red makes this a show not to be missed.
The Blacklist will return to Sky Living, Friday 27th February at 9pm