The Blacklist (2013) TV Pilot Review

Plot: Former government agent Raymond “Red” Reddington (James Spader) has eluded capture for decades. But he suddenly surrenders to the FBI with an offer to help catch a terrorist under the condition that he speaks only to Elizabeth “Liz” Keen (Megan Boone), a young FBI profiler who’s just barely out of Quantico.

Review: The Blacklist was one of the most anticipated new Fall shows, but does it live up to expectations? Well, yes and no. As expected James Spader is fantastic as a criminal mastermind who is essentially exactly the same as Hannibal Lecter; working with an FBI agent to bring rogue terrorists, hackers, etc to justice.

It’s incredibly tense and I will definitely be tuning in next week to see how the story progresses. My main gripe though is that I felt I had seen it all before with shows like 24, Covert Affairs and the like. There’s very little that hasn’t already been done in the spy/espionage genre so trying to come up with something fresh is tough.

There was plenty of action though and it all looked pretty authentic with little noticeable CGI. Directed by Joe Carnahan (The Grey, Smokin’ Aces) it shouldn’t be a surprise how well executed it is.

Megan Boone’s Elizabeth is a sympathetic lead with a mysterious past which Spader’s Reddington uses to his advantage to manipulate her. As the show progresses we will no doubt find out more tidbits about her past and where she got that scar from.

Questions are raised like how does Reddington know so much about our Heroine and why does she know so little about her own husband? I guess we’ll just have to stay tuned to see how the story unfolds.

Overall, despite feeling like a few other shows, The Blacklist is taut and thrilling and worth tuning in for next Monday at 10pm.