the-blacklist-james-spader-jan-13-2014-NBC.JPGRaymond Reddington is no longer working with Lizzie and the FBI on “The Blacklist” (at least for right now) but that doesn’t mean he’s not still around.

Red’s Kidnapping

Reddington is bent on figuring out who was behind his kidnapping and torture in the fall finale. He first takes out everyone remotely connected to it, then in order to find the big fish behind the incident, he does what one should always do in situations like these — he follows the money.

Aram, the nice programmer we met last fall, appears to be the FBI mole at first, but it’s a frame-up. Red actually discovers that the person behind the kidnapping is Newton Phillips (Charles Baker).

You won’t remember Newton Phillips by that name. He’s been referred to as “Grey” and seen acting as a sort of butler-like person to Red. Most notably, Grey was the man who interviewed Liz’s husband Tom for that fake teaching position. Hmm.

Meanwhile, Mr. Fitch meets with Diane Fowler, who assures him that the mole has been found and the threat to national security eliminated. But she won’t tell him to whom she is referring.

In the end, Red ties up all his loose ends and comes back to Lizzie, saying he’s ready to give her another name on the blacklist.

Case of the Week

There’s no person on “the blacklist” this week, because obviously Red is not there giving the FBI names to hunt down. Instead, Karl Hoffman, a.k.a. the Good Samaritan Killer, resurfaces and Lizzie wants the case because she worked his crimes the first time. When the latest killing hits the news, Red calls Lizzie up to give her a piece of advice — look at the victims, not the killer.

The FBI realizes that the latest victim has all the injuries that her son had sustained the last year and put it together that the Good Samaritan killer goes after abusers. It turns out Hoffman had an abusive mother and now he kills abusers and makes his wheelchair-bound mother watch.

Thoughts & Tidbits

  • The case of the week felt a little boring for us. It wasn’t a particularly complicated mystery, plus Reddington wasn’t involved, so we were mostly just chomping at the bit to get him back on screen. The final showdown between Hoffman and Liz was particularly heavy-handed. Thumbs up to Frank Whaley as the killer, though. We always like him, mostly recently seen on “Ray Donovan.”
  • What exactly do you suppose is going on with Diane Fowler and Newton Phillips? Not even Assistant Director Cooper knew who he was. Why was he out to get Reddington? We’re betting Phillips is not the highest man on the chain in regards to Red’s kidnapping.
  • Also, the last we knew, Fowler wanted Red out. Was she talking about him when she met with Fitch?
  • It was nice that Raymond took care of Luli’s ashes, even if we barely knew her as a character.

Best Lines:

Red: “This is a Colt .45 1911. I can strip and reassemble it in well under two minutes. Once I’ve reassembled it, I’m going to reload the mag and if at that time your task remains incomplete, I’m going to empty the mag into your head.”
Aram: “That’s really messed up.”
Red: “Don’t look so stricken, the first shot will kill you.”

Red: “Janice, my sincerest apologies. I’ll take a rain check on that stroganoff, it smells delicious.”

Liz: “If you touch her again, if you so much as look at her sideways, I will find you and I will do to you what I probably should have let Karl Hoffman do to you in that garage.”

What did you think of “The Blacklist’s” return?
Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."