The Blacklist: 1.10 - Anslo Garrick part 2

There will be spoilers ahead if you haven't seen episode 10 of The Blacklist

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When did it all start going right? It certainly wasn't when Red's very obvious secret was offered up and my God it wasn't when Agent Keen swallowed her doubts to continue living with her obviously evil partner. At any point during the last 9 episodes, I was pretty unconvinced, even as much as I enjoyed Tom Noonan turning up as an evil serial killer (Manhunter fans) or Robert Sean Leonard as a bacterial terrorist (House fans). That's right, it was last episode when bodies started piling up and Raymond Reddington began to sweat and fear for himself, and hurrah it was a cliffhanger....

The second part of Anslo Garrick is in the hands of a different director and the previous claustrophobia of the assault on the FBIs secret HQ is broken up within minutes of the opening. With Agent Keen the next to bite the bullet, Red tortures the access code to his cell out of a semi comatose Kessler and Garrick beams as his prey walks into his clutches. However, the alarm is finally raised and Garricks gang spirit Keen and Red out and away. Keen escapes but not before Red gives her a contact to get him out. Red then faces Garrick's torture with his key question being what is Keen to him? imageThe principal reveal in this mid-season finale is that Red belongs to some conspiracy, here personified by Hawkeye Pierce himself, Alan Alda (you know that old bloke, he was in MASH). They have kidnapped him, alarmed at his recent actions in working with the FBI and have promised Garrick that he could finish the job once they are done grilling Red. Garrick, though, is taking his job awfully seriously with Red strung up, pumped full of sensitivity drugs and worked over. When Alda finishes with Red telling him that he has proved he has no hiding place, he tells the deeply disappointed kidnapper that he has to let Red go. Garrick begins to threaten Agent Keen, and Red swoops to finish the job he had started years before and secures his release.

Elsewhere, Keen contacts Red's cavalry - a mature woman with the air of a spinster librarian. She uncovers the listening post across from her home and a server installation that has been observing the FBI. Kessler is sped to hospital but as a series regular he, of course, survives but not before an old flame visits him and his bosses twig that there is a leak at the FBI. I do hope that this couple of new developments are not as obviously connected as they seem! With Red free, Keen receives a call from him and she asks him whether he is her father - he says not and warns her about hubby again.imageNow the series has got started and stopped relying so much on Spader, here's hoping that it knows where to go from here. Red is her father so why hasn't this been rumbled elsewhere, and why didn't the FBI do a DNA check in the very beginning when he requested her, and why, given his actions in the siege, wouldn't anyone do it now? Will Agent Keen stop being so damn gullible and develop some character, and will the introduction of more senior figures mean we are into political conspiracy and intrigue?

That I now care, is very much the work of this finale and its preceding episode. Most importantly, for the quality of the show the writers need to take the chutzpah of episode 9 and apply it to the rest of the season. Let's have more surprises and let's question the goodness of the FBI and those clean cut upstanding agents, and let's give Spader more opportunity to spar with actors of his calibre. Fulfil those three wishes and this could become a really great show...

In the UK you can watch The Blacklist on Sky Living or on SkyGo

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