It’s always a balancing act for a show like “The Blacklist” or “Blacklist: Redemption” to have an over-arching mythology while also maintaining cases of the week for the core characters to work on.
Like its predecessor, “Redemption” has managed, at times,to weave its procedural aspect into the serialization by having some aspect of that exact case-of-the-week aspect flowing through the storyline. Alas, that was not the case with Thursday’s (March 23) episode, which had us twiddling our thumbs throughout the entire escapade, eagerly awaiting the few brief scenes involving Tom (Ryan Eggold) and his parents (Terry O’Quinn and Famke Janssen).
Luckily, the final moments of “Borealis 301” and the previews for next week show some promise in that regard.
It turns out that Howard may be right about Scottie. She’s been sending and receiving coded messages and the latest one leads Solomon (Edi Gathegi) right to Howard’s secret apartment, where Solomon captures the supposed-to-be-dead conspiracy theorist. Tom sees all of this go down, so his trust in his mother is nearly nonexistent at this point, as evidenced by the previews for next week where he works against her to break his father out of the hospital.
So the show is setting up a final three episodes of Tom’s mother versus his father, with Tom caught in the middle. What’s a little bothersome is that “Redemption’s” first season is only eight episodes and we still have wheel-spinning episodes like “Borealis.”
It’s a bit more understandable on “The Blacklist,” where we have the luxury of 22 or 23 episodes per season. But we expected something tighter from “Redemption” with only an eight-week run.
Something more is obviously going on with Scottie than meets the eye, so why haven’t we explored that a little more in depth instead of sprinkling things in here and there? Or why haven’t we spent more time with Howard, getting more information about how he got to where he is in terms of being a paranoid conspiracy theorist?
There is so much to explore — are the writers simply saving it up for the final three episodes? They look like they’re going to be action packed, but that doesn’t make up for some of the stinkers we’ve had along the way to the big finish. Hopefully the payoff is good enough, because the potential for “Redemption” versus what has actually been delivered has been mildly disappointing. Not a complete spinoff failure, but it definitely could have had a little more oomph to it.
“The Blacklist: Redemption” airs Thursdays at 10/9c on NBC.