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The Blacklist, Ep. 1.10, “Anslo Garrick, Part 2”

The Blacklist, Ep. 1.10, “Anslo Garrick, Part 2”

The Blacklist - Season 1

The Blacklist, Season 1, Episode 10: “Anslo Garrick, Part 2”
Written by Lukas Reiter and J.R. Orci
Directed by Michael Watkins and Joe Carnahan
Airs Mondays at 10pm ET on NBC

“Anslo Garrick, Part 2” picks up directly after its first part with Red (James Spader) forced between coming out of his box of protection or allowing his bodyguard, Dembe (Hisham Tawfiq), to be shot by Anslo Garrick (Ritchie Coster). A tough decision made even more difficult when Keen (Megan Boone) and tech wizard Aram (Amir Arason) are captured by Garrick and used as additional leverage to get Red to open the box. Once opened, Garrick takes Red but doesn’t kill him. Red has some questions to answer, asked, course, by a very dangerous person (Alan Alda).

This episode is a perfect example of how The Blacklist could lay it all out on the table, explaining a few of the show’s lingering secrets, but willfully chooses not to. Although it’s not as if the episode has multiple opportunities to do this; no, wait, yes it does. Time and time again it could make things plain, but is more content to tease its mysteries and lay in vague obscurity. It’s nothing other than frustrating and does the show no favors.

One such encompassing mystery is what exactly Red is doing and, in connection, what the importance of Keen is to him. Red himself has admitted that he is not Keen’s father, which, unless he is lying (which is probable), leaves the audience nowhere in their assumptions. Two different characters (ones that aren’t Keen) throughout the episode ask Red what his involvement with Keen is and what he’s doing with the FBI. Both get answers that mean squat. Misdirection and allusions are the only answers the show gives for anything.

A resounding theme throughout the episode is that, despite anything that might prove otherwise, Red is a vicious killer who is willing to do almost anything to achieve his goals, short of letting Keen come to harm. In two separate instances, Red lets Ressler (Diego Klattenhoff) suffer (granted, it’s in the pursuit of keeping Keen safe), and switches from deathlike weariness to a swift killing machine. Even if he proves to the FBI that he can be trusted, which is doubtful, he’ll always be this horrible person inside.

This first half of The Blacklist‘s first season has been, at best, rough. It’s had some ups, it’s had a lot of downs, but by the end, the best that can be said is: It’s growing on me. Growing like a piece of fungus, but growing, nonetheless.