The Blacklist Review: "Berlin"

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<em>The Blacklist</em> Review: "Berlin"

As The Blacklist’s first season is coming to a close, the show is trying to piece every fragment they’ve thrown into it show so far in hopes that it’ll all actually make sense. The Blacklist has been so bad it’s almost funny at dodging the questions that make up its own plot, but when they to give us answers, they’re just as ridiculous. “Berlin” is proof that The Blacklist wants to wrap things up nicely, but it’s more of an attempt to pull things together in a shoddy and incredibly rough way.

In “Berlin,” it is revealed that the people on The Blacklist are actually tied together. The increasingly stupid FBI hasn’t been able to figure this out over the last year, nor have they even bothered to figure out what all these cases brought by the deceptive Reddington have to do with each other. Give Elizabeth Keen a day or so, a stack of papers and a living room floor, and she’ll get you the answers you need!

Evidence that this is all thrown together in the name of closure comes when Elizabeth presents her evidence to the FBI. She makes it very clear that some, not all, of these people are tied together, offering leniency in the story’s last ditch effort at cohesion. If Homeland’s Carrie Mathison had presented evidence like this, people would question her sanity, yet the FBI basically takes Keen’s word for it and goes with these findings.

In other breaking news, Reddington has been prepping for a war with a man named Berlin, who Tom works for, and Berlin is more careful and ruthless than Reddington, so he wants the FBI on his side. But over this season, we’ve seen just how ineffective the FBI can be, so why would Reddington want them as his defense? Just look how easily Anslo Garrick and his men got access to him. If Berlin is supposedly the toughest foe to Reddington we’ve seen yet, ol Red doesn’t stand a chance.

As least Berlin presents himself as a potentially interesting villain, who is willing to kill as many people as he can as long as Reddington is one of them. Berlin has started extorting people by injecting them with a virus so dangerous it can’t even be studied, then giving them the antivirus once they’ve done what he’s told them to do. First, we’re told it’s too dangerous, and then we learn it’s been studied by one of Red’s friends? Hrm.

Liz has also decided to quit the FBI, which is probably a smart idea since all this crazy crap started literally on her first day. Once she’s done with with the Berlin case, she’s done. Or at least she says she is, since she still plans on helping find Tom for the sake of tearing him apart. Yet as soon as Liz quits, Reddington will lose all immunity and go into custody. By the end of the episode, the FBI is ready to take Reddington in, with Liz coming to Red’s rescue after having a change of heart, but it’s all too late. As Reddington once again gives himself up, a flaming plane passes over Liz and Reddington, with Red stating that “now it begins.”

At this point, I think it’s fair to call The Blacklist’s first season pretty much a failure. As the show strives to make sense of everything, it’s only making things worse. There still is potential in this show, yet after next week’s finale, The Blacklist needs to go back to the drawing board and make an actual plan for its second season. This show could still be interesting, but right now, it still hasn’t shown that it plans on turning things around.