Red's Emotions Beyond The Cyprus Agency
To those who stumbled across this who haven't watched The Blacklist yet but want to, SPOILERS follow. If you're not a fan because you don't get it, and you're wondering why it was renewed for a second season after just nine episodes, just look at that face. James Spader plays a man who lost his family years ago and has s deep-rooted desire to find out what happened. Those images are from one of the many significant moments. If you hate the show and Spader for some baffling reason, I will politely ask that you do something more constructive than rant about it here.
What's wonderful about The Blacklist is that it has given me a complete, multi-faceted character that I can get behind and love even when he gets chillingly dark. Ostentatious, superior, snarky, warm, ice cold, fiercely protective, flawed, and vengeful, Red is above all else just a broken man. My favorite scenes bring out the emotional side, because there is a pain and rage in his chest that he has difficulty hiding. These moments are delicately handled and beautifully acted. This scene in "The Cyprus Agency," where Red confronts Diane Fowler, is another impeccable acting moment. The shake of the head after he shot her, as though he hates what he's had to do, what he's been turned into. Years of what-ifs, years of searching for answers, years of frustration and turning into someone he probably never imagined being.
Spader conveys all of that anguish in subtle expressions, tears in his eyes, a clench of the jaw, ever so slightly breaking voice. It's these little details that have meant so much throughout the series. Spader brings such accuracy and humanity to these moments that it's difficult to watch without getting choked up or to realize that it's extraordinary because so few actors really get it. That's why I love the scene in "The Cyprus Agency" so much. After Diane says she knows what happened, after the words "more than anything in the world" and that jaw clench, there is another facial expression that is so important to conveying a true feeling of a person dealing with pain: the slightly trembling chin and wavering voice when he said, "But if you know the truth, Diane, then somebody else does, too." Being that emotional in front of an enemy really got to me. The sound of his voice, trying to keep back the tears, the weight of his decision, maybe even feeling betrayed again - it was all brilliant. It should be a given by now, years after I first noticed this gifted actor, but Spader just keeps surprising me.