The Blacklist Surprise
I expected to love two new shows this year: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Almost Human. I had been looking forward to them for months and couldn't keep the excitement contained. I adore the first so far, while the second premieres on November 17. But I didn't even know The Blacklist existed until I saw NBC's fall preview. I put it off for the first few weeks and I'm just now getting caught up. Still need to watch the fifth episode, but it's already very high on my list of must watch series. This James Spader-led thriller came out of nowhere and surprised me tremendously, and it reminded me why I missed him so much when Boston Legal ended.
Raymond Reddington, spy turned freelancer and traitor, and one of the government's most wanted, turned himself in to the FBI. That's just where the story begins, because Red has leverage in his blacklist of the world's worst criminals, and he will only cooperate with the FBI if he works with Elizabeth Keen, a brand-new agent. I love the mystery of who Lizzy is to Red. In just four episodes, the show has dropped a lot of hints and Spader, as usual, has been superb, giving plenty of insight into a morally murky, conflicted character who works for himself, selling secrets and brokering deals with anyone willing to pay, damn loyalty or patriotism. He's one of the government's most wanted men for a reason. I can't wait to find out what made him that way. The higher ups will tolerate and use him for now, but that won't last forever. Red is very intelligent, so he must know he may not get out of this - or an escape has been planned to be undoubtedly saved for the end of the series.
But it seems Red wants more than the satisfaction of putting away the worst of the worst or whatever other hidden agenda he may have. He requested Keen to get close to her for some reason. To make up for a wrong in his past? When Elizabeth calls him a monster, he agrees with her without hesitation. No matter how far he may have fallen, he obviously has a heart for the innocent. The evil of the world disgusts him. Spader is playing my favorite kind of bad good guy, or is it good bad guy? Either way, he's a complicated character in a very dark grey area and it's fantastic and fascinating to watch.
Catch up on Hulu Plus, NBC.com, your OnDemand channel, or Amazon Instant Video (Pilot [HD]). I already know I'm going to buy The Blacklist: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray] when it's released.