The Blacklist: The Good Samaritan Killer

Season 1 Episode 11

Uncle! I give! I give!

I'm squeamish. There! I said it.

I don't like blood. I don't like gore. I don't like my shows getting into the nitty gritty of that sort of thing.

I've given the show a pass previously, but it's just too much. At what point do we as a society say enough with the copious amounts of blood and guts?

Speaking of copious amounts of things... vengeance.

I suppose it is fitting that The Blacklist (and by The Blacklist I mean Red, because, let's face it, he's carrying the show still) returned with a vengeance after the massive attack in the last two episodes before the holiday season. Vengeance was on the menu, and it was served with apocalyptic flair.

Personally, I thought the apocalyptic thing with the Johnny Cash and the Revelation quotation, "and behold a pale horse and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him" was a bit excessive, but by the end of the episode, Red truly was Death and the bringer of Hell.

Two Things I Mentioned Earlier

  1. Red is carrying the show. In case you have lost your mind, let me spell out the type of scene that makes this show enjoyable. Red sitting across from a man he's interrogating. The conversation is playful yet with serious undertones. The contrasting emotions are nuanced ever so delicately. Red gets everything he wants, feigns two distinct ways of killing the man, and then with the man doused in alcohol and a lit cigar in mouth simply laughs, "Oh my god. The suspense is killing me." BANG I could list two or three other scenes in this episode alone that show James Spader's masterful portrayal of Red. Spader carries this show. That should never be forgotten.
  2. The blood and gore is excessive, but Red's violence was surprisingly understated. I'm not sure if this was intentional, but it definitely bears monitoring in future episodes. Red was certainly in all of his criminally violent glory, but the violence felt different then the serial killer's violence. Everything was much more graphic with the serial killer. Me no likey dat.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that this episode focused on abuse. I try and be witty, clever, and humorous in this space, and nothing about abuse (physical, mental, or emotional) fits those modifiers. Abuse is always just a horrible wrong.