The Blacklist
Dr. Adrian Shaw: Conclusion
Season 4, Episode 8 Recap


James Spader | Image copyright NBC

"She's nothing to you. A distant, confused memory. I'm the one you want... You set the terms. However you want, I'll do it. My life for hers."
—Red to Kirk

That smile. Red is genuinely happy here. He doesn't get to experience that often. No flashes of sadness or regret or fear. He's just in that moment, holding Liz tightly, holding Agnes gently, letting his heart swell.

Project Intro: Well, things have not gone to plan. I gave myself a project for the 2016-2017 TV season. I was going to tweet every episode of my five favorite dramas and then gather those tweets into post form, sprinkling in more commentary here and there. The only one I managed to finish was The Walking Dead S7E8, which took weeks, as is the usual for me when I get hung up on one amazing episode. So, the whole summer passed me by and I had nothing to show for it. But I'm not giving up on this project. I'm just turning it in past due, and making sure I don't have a two-season pile up by next May. Good luck to me.

I forgot that "Dr. Adrian Shaw" was one of the two-parters or else I wouldn't have interrupted the first and the second with three posts about Supernatural. I'm just trying to get too many things done and my brain is a bit scattered.

Now I'm wondering what the series would have been if it had followed Kirk's search for his long-lost daughter instead. This is only the second time I've ever thought about something like that. The first was when Chris Hardwick wondered how we would feel the Saviors if they'd been our introduction to The Walking Dead.

But still she might not be. He has to have doubts in the back of his mind and hopes that those doubts aren't right.

Still illegal, though, before anyone starts thinking I approve. I just like to give Leon Rippy some slack.

First family comedy. Now buddy comedy. I mean, I love the drama, but if this were a comedy we could be pretty sure everyone we love is safe, and cracking wise, until the series end.

Strange way to start a friendship, but so what?

Unerringly by-the-book, upstanding Boy Scout Ressler doing the bad cop routine gives me chills, and I love it.

James Spader | Image copyright NBC

With everything we know about Red, with all he's done to protect Liz, there's no doubt he would give up his life for hers. If she needed a heart, he would offer his own. (Watch "The Endling," s5e4, for words from Red to that effect. When I heard him say that last night, I remembered I hadn't published this one yet. So much I have to catch up on.)

James Spader and Hisham Tawfiq | Images copyright NBC

Susan Blommaert and Leon Rippy | Image copyright NBC

"This man is very dangerous and absolutely relentless. If he even suspects I survived, there will be no place I can be safe. The reason I didn't tell you the truth was not to protect him, but to protect you."
—Kate to the Hunter

I love when a series shows the "villain" as a complicated person rather than a collection of personality defects.

Ulrich Thomsen and James Spader | Image copyright NBC

And that moment Red whispered and got Garrick to lean in so he could stab him. The word on his lips then? "Regret."

"You always thought I was the interloper. The truth is that I was an assignment. I'm sure you were, too."
—Red to Kirk

Meanwhile... Okay, so you know how Kirk made that heartfelt speech to Liz about loving too much? That was a beautiful moment that showed he really did care, that he and Red were two sides of the same coin. Then he told Odette to hold Liz for an hour and then let her go? Yeah, that's not happening.

"He was a good man when I met him. And then he saw you, a fugitive on television. Finding you, that changed him. He did things that I didn't think he was capable of. Terrible things. Awful. I blame you for that."
—Odette to Liz

Yup, it's totally Liz's fault just for existing. Kirk's Luli is such a bitch.

At least, that's my hope. With the way Spader has always played the part, though, there's little doubt in my mind what the answer will be if he ever gathers the courage to speak the truth. I have always been open to other viewpoints and possibilities, but this is the one that makes the most sense emotionally.

James Spader | Image copyright NBC

"What do you want me to say? Yes... Is that what you want me to say? Yes, Elizabeth is my daughter."
—Red to Kirk

Ulrich Thomsen | Image copyright NBC

Oh my goodness, look at the devastated look on Kirk's face. If anyone still hates this man then I don't get you. I mean, hate him for what he did, but love him for why he did it, just like Red.

I didn't tweet this because, d'uh, huge spoiler. But, agonizingly and true to form, we still don't know at this point if Red is really telling the truth. He's under duress, being tortured by his (current) greatest enemy and we can't rely on that.

James Spader and Ulrich Thomsen | Image copyright NBC

"She was more alive than anyone I knew. When I heard she killed herself...I didn't believe it. I still don't.
I didn't see what she wanted me to see of her; I saw her. And despite what happened, I know she loved me."
—Kirk to Red

It's moments like this that make me feel for an adversary. Thank you, Blacklist Writers, for not being black and white, but all the colors of the rainbow.

I would certainly love to know the answer to that, but it looks like that's for another time. My guess is something about Katarina and how she died.

James Spader and Megan Boone | Image copyright NBC
"I really wanted my dad here to see her grow up."
"He would have wanted that, too."

That smile. Red is genuinely happy here. He doesn't get to experience that often. No flashes of sadness or regret or fear. He's just in that moment, holding Liz tightly, holding Agnes gently, letting his heart swell.



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