The Blacklist finally gives us what we’ve been waiting for: Tom (Ryan Eggold) embraces his inner killer.
Let’s bitch it out…After watching ‘Mako Tanida’, I knew I had to do a quick take review. Not because of Megan Boone’s hair piece (which shockingly looks better than usual), but because of her husband’s storyline. Yes, folks, the time has come: Tom finally reveals that he’s not just a spy, but an assassin. It’s a great development – long overdue considering how long Red (James Spader) has warned Lizzie about her husband – and unlike some story lines on this show, this one actually gets a fair amount of screen time.
Unfortunately that’s the only positive I have to say because the execution is hilarious – like hilariously bad. Watching Tom sneaking around with Jolene (House of Cards‘ Rachel Brosnahan) like they’re on Alias, knocking the Cowboy (Lance Reddick) out and acting menacing in an underground car park is just.so.silly. And then comes the moment when Tom makes his big, killer move…and he takes off his glasses. To suffocate Jolene.
Um…why? I appreciate that Tom’s mounting a physical assault and he doesn’t want to risk breaking his glasses (Side Note: admittedly the fight is kind of impressive), but wouldn’t he be better off keeping the apparel that helps him see on when engaging in a life and death battle? Also, why even bother fighting / suffocating Jolene? Tom immediately turns around and shoots the Cowboy, so why didn’t he just shoot Jolene? This whole sequence of events does not make any sense to me. It’s like the writers threw Eggold a bone by promising him a kick-ass fight scene after making him suffer like a dunce for the greater part of the season. Logistically, though, none of this makes sense. B613 this guy ain’t.
Problematically this is the best that ‘Mako Tanida’ has to offer. The writers make the unfortunate decision to focus the majority of the episode on Agent Ressler (Diego Klatenhoff), or as I’ve come to call him “Agent Bland” (Side Note: imagine if he and Agent Ward from Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. had their own show? It could cure insomnia!).
I have nothing kind to say about this attempt to give Ressler a back story. At least when the writers did the same thing for Cooper (Harry Lennix) last week, they gave him a moral grey zone to play in. Here the idea of Ressler going rogue is laughable – the guy is basically a grown up boy scout. In fact I did laugh, but only at the scene when Ressler’s ex-girlfriend Audrey gets smoked in the head during a car accident, stumbles out of the vehicle and is promptly shot and dies. I laughed partly because I’m a sick son of a bitch (obviously) and partly because on The Blacklist characters like Audrey exist solely to stand-in for things these agents can’t have. Or they’re there to be murdered / kidnapped / tortured. How can we possibly care that Ressler’s lost Audrey (but gained a head in a box!) when she didn’t exist as anything other than the one-dimensional object of his affection? Blech
Your turn: What was your take on Tom’s big reveal? Did you hope like me that it would be revealed that he doesn’t even need the dumb glasses to see? Are you sad to see the Cowboy and Jolene go? Did you care a fraction of an inch about Ressler’s back story and/or grief? And how excited are you for next week’s inevitable cop-out when Lizzie comes thisclose to discovering Tom’s real identity, but doesn’t? (Don’t lie to yourself – it took the writers 16 episodes to come clean about who he is, so there’s no way that they’re going to reveal his true identity to Lizzie one episode later). Sound off below
The Blacklist airs Mondays at 9pm EST on NBC