The Blacklist: 1.11 - The Good Samaritan
Red and Agent Keen are back after the mayhem of the mid season two parter but they are apart with Red still on the run and Keen and her agent chums being investigated to find the mole that let Anslo Garrick wreak havoc. This new episode begins with weasly nice guy Frank Whaley meeting a mum at a crèche, befriending her and then drugging her. Cut to his grisly garage and his array of power-tools and medical implements, as our kidnapper informs his victim how he will visit broken bones, collapsed lungs and the like upon her.We learn that he is a loose end of Keen's past and whilst she handles her own interrogation, Red reaches out to offer her advice. He, meanwhile, is conducting his own investigation with no habeas corpus, no right to representation and very little in the way of legality. The nurse who removed his locator chip in the ambulance and other actors from his ordeal are hunted down until he discovers the name of the man who bankrolled the operation. True to form, he befriends his quarry's wife and tortures the truth out of him over dinner.
The FBI starts to suspect one of its IT staff and Red gets to him first and finds he is a patsy for someone else. Finally, Red knows who betrayed him and deals with this underling with as much compassion as a bullet allows. Keen discovers that her target is in fact punishing perpetrators of domestic violence and connects the dots to identify that they've all been treated by the same nurse as another victim is taken. Keen finally get her man, and Red comes in from the cold.Now Frank Whaley is a terrific actor whether he's playing desperate losers, snitches or a bully hunter like here, having him available for most of the episode makes for Keen's story to be far better than usual as he hogs the focus as the quite understandable villain. Counterpointed against this is Spader being merciless and relentless and lacking forgiveness - "you have such a beautiful face...pity" he tells one of the unwitting accomplices of Garrick's plan. This very dark rampage has a pleasingly difficult contrast with Whaley the bully killer.
Intelligently written and allowing great actors to convince and compel, The Blacklist seems to have properly turned a corner. Next week offers a return to the villain of the week format with Keen and Red in tandem, so let's hope that Keen remains low profile and Red rather rogue...
In the UK you can watch The Blacklist on Sky Living or on SkyGo