The Blacklist is brilliant! James Spader (Boston Legal) is superb as Raymond “Red” Reddington; a former top-ranking member of the U.S. Navy who has been off the grid since 1990. For years he has gained access to and brokered deals with extreme cold-blooded criminals, so subversively deadly and notorious that even the FBI is unaware of their existence.
Red is wanted, and dangerous. In the show's pilot, he stuns the agency simply, yet with great fanfare, and turns himself in.
A chilling, but highly intelligent and manipulative con man of epic proportions, Red has an agenda. Although technically a prisoner in no position to negotiate, he reveals that he has compiled a Blacklist; a dossier of dangerous and terrifying criminals who will stop at nothing, including assassinating civilians en masse in order to achieve their objectives.
Red offers to help the FBI apprehend or destroy the list's members, one by one, but only under the conditions that he has complete control and freedom, and that he negotiates solely with Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone), Quantico's newest profiler, a woman for whom he exhibits a certain obsession and almost protective affection.
Elizabeth, or Lizzy as Red boldly calls her, is an intelligent fresh grad, happily married to her loving husband Tom (Ryan Eggold). Red, who knows way too much about her, blows Lizzy out of the water. All she holds sacred and true is shattered. Lizzy is changed.
Each episode of The Blacklist focuses on one of the list's notorious members. The FBI learns to trust Red's judgement and information, and although Liz is reluctant, a certain bond forms between them. Their uncanny connection provides an interesting ever-deepening yet unfolding mystery.
The Blacklist has a well-orchestrated plot, a great cast, action, intrigue, and interesting character back stories. There is always something you don't know and definitely want to find out. Containing battles between good and evil, painted with truth, lies and deception, The Blacklist is always exciting and engrossing. It's violence and brutality is sometimes shocking and not for the faint of heart.
One opinion is that the CGIs are a bit weak, however that went unnoticed by this fan. The plot and action more than compensate for special effects.
Season One of The Blacklist is currently out on DVD, with the second season to begin on September 22. The 5 disc, 22 episode set comes with interesting commentaries, behind the scenes information, and Beyond the Blacklist. Alan Alda guest stars.
I am awaiting Season Two with great anticipation. The Blacklist is not to be missed!