The Blacklist
30 Day Challenge, Part 5
Season 1 GIFs and Thoughts


After this, I have only five more days to write, even though I should have been done by today, the day The Blacklist finally returns. I loved this challenge, but it was impossible to keep up with. I could have had I not decided to make GIFs for quite a few of these and had I noticed that it started a week earlier. Next time I say I'm doing a 30-day challenge, for the love of EVERYTHING, please help me see the crazy before it overwhelms me. So anyway...

*All screenshots property of NBC*

Day #21 Share the scene that you did not expect to happen and would you change it?

GIFs I already had! So happy about this, you don't even know.

The blog I found this question on ( mentioned Sam's death scene. I have to agree. I had ideas that Red knew Liz's biological father or was her father, but I never imagined that he was old friends with the man who adopted her. But I knew what the visit was about as soon as it started. I knew Sam wouldn't be gone before the end of the episode. The whole time they were smiling, laughing, and reminiscing, I was tense. I didn't think Sam would be insistent on telling Liz the secret he and Red shared, though I understood why he felt he had to. He wasn't going to be around much longer and couldn't leave without telling the truth. And Red couldn't leave without making sure Sam couldn't tell.

Sam didn't protest what was about to happen. He understood then how much it really meant to Red to keep this secret buried. He knew what was going to happen when Red let him say goodbye to Liz, maybe as soon as Red entered his room. It was also an end to Sam's suffering. All of this made his death that much harder to watch than if he'd been killed by some stranger, knowing he was ready, knowing it was so difficult for Red. Unexpectedly hearing that little cry from Red while he was smothering Sam, fighting against him, watching Red stroke Sam's hair, giving a long kiss goodbye to the man who was his friend, who did him an enormous favor - it was one of the most beautifully done moments ever on TV. We still don't know exactly what Red is hiding, why that was absolutely necessary in his eyes, so I could never say I wanted to change it.

Day #22 Share your favorite song that was used on the season's soundtrack.

So many songs have been fantastic choices to help underscore moments. I'm sure there will be many more by the time the series ends, but the ones that will always stay with me, the ones that will never fail to bring to mind the scenes they were used in are...

Here With Me by Robert Koch and Susie Suh: "Caught in a riptide. I was searching for the truth. There was a reason I collided into you." // Used in "Wujing," this song really got to me. Beautiful voice, lyrics, and music played during the perfect moment is a winning combination. It reminds me of another scene in another undeniably superb show to affect me greatly: Fringe. The end of "Transilience Thought Unifier Model-11" also took place in a car and was set to music, but it was a moment of devastation turned into hope.

Welcome Home by Radical Face: "Sheets are swaying from an old clothesline, like a row of captured ghosts." // This song was used in "General Ludd" to underscore a funeral, Red finding the woman in ViCAP - a moment that made his jaw drop - and Red and Liz talking on the swings. Pandora plays it quite a bit and it never fails to bring these moments to mind. After the end of "Also Garrick Conclusion," I also thought of this song and that whatever Liz is to Red, if home is where the heart it then he's home when he's with her...and he just left his heart behind.

Symphony of Sorrowful Songs by Gorecki - Opera music about a grieving parent that was used at the end of "Frederick Barnes." Red is standing at the window of his old home, lost in a happy memory of his daughter, smiling at a time before everything changed. Then a shuddering breath as the pain that that part of his life was gone came flooding back.

Pendulum by Pearl Jam - "To and fro, the pendulum throws. We are here and then we go." // The only Pearl Jam song I've ever loved, really loved. I never cared for Vedder's voice before, but, boy, was it emotional here. Even without The Blacklist, I may have eventually heard the song through Pandora or Spotify or another show, but it may not have had such significance in that case. This couldn't have been a better selection for a scene where Red is forced to leave. In fact, this is how I now see the series ending, set to a sad song while Red walks away and blends into the crowd. I would love that parallel.

Day #23: Name your favorite friendship on the show.

I saved so much time by making these previously. Good thing, because my weekend was full.

Red and Dembe. Theirs is a story that needs to be explored, Dembe having been a sex slave in the cartel in "The Freelancer." The first moment we saw them, they shared a big hug. It was obvious that they were very close, not the typical untrustworthy criminals who have a tenuous partnership. And Dembe's possible last moments, not letting Red come out of the box for him, he and Red reciting a prayer together, Red kneeling to be on Dembe's eye level - it was a powerful scene and indicative of a deep friendship between the two of them.

Day 24: Share a theory or prediction on what you believe will happen in the upcoming episodes of The Blacklist.

"We could have killed you. I don't mean today. I mean any day. I mean every day for the past two decades."
—Fitch to Red

I cannot do this challenge. There are too many ways this can go, and the excitement is in The Blacklist being unpredictable. I still have no idea what Tom is about. Don't even have a theory. All I know is Red is a broken man, Liz is important to him, Tom is up to something, and there are people behind the scenes who allow Red to breathe because he has information on them. I do have one thought: that Fitch must die. I like Alan Alda, though, so I'm conflicted. Alda and Spader together makes for tense scenes, and I want more of that.

Day #25: What was your favorite episode on The Blacklist?

This is a very difficult decision. I love, love, love every episode of this fantastic show. Each has relationship-building interactions essential to the story. Uhhhh....hmmmm...okay, I'm going to cheat a bit and pick the companion episodes "Anslo Garrick" and "Anslo Garrick Conclusion." These two were so nerve-wracking and revealing of more of Red's character: how he will others without a thought for his own life and regrets his past actions related to Garrick. There was also Lizzy growing as an agent and being a bit of a bad-ass, more adorable, funny (ie. I want to be around him) Aram, sympathy for poor Ressler, and the realization that people can get close to Red, giving him more to grieve when they are brutally dispensed with and James Spader more opportunity to be outstanding. And the ending was perfection: sort of a cliffhanger and set to a depressing song. Luckily, it was a six-week break instead of four months, but it was still so long. Can't imagine how I'm supposed to survive all summer.

But the real reason is because I got to see Spader's pulse. ;) But cropping, enlarging, and turning into a GIF does not great quality make, so trust me and watch the scene again on a big screen.


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