Monday, February 2, 2015

The Blacklist - Luther Braxton

The Blacklist's mid-season premiere begins with the public arrest of Reddington (James Spader) and his detention in a secret CIA black site. Far from being taken unaware, Red knows exactly what he's doing although the arrival of Lizzie (Megan Boone), Ressler (Diego Klattenhoff), and Navabi (Mozhan MarnĂ²) throws some unexpected obstacles in his way of preventing a prison break by his old rival Luther Braxton (Ron Perlman) who uses the situation to go hunting for the infamous Fulcrum.

Over the show's two seasons The Blacklist has been aloof about the half-remembered fire from Lizzie's childhood and how it all ties back to a relationship with Reddington she doesn't understand. "Luther Braxton" teases an answer to that question with the reveal that the secret to finding the missing Fulcrum (files on the secret cabal who control from the shadows) doesn't lie with Red but with Ms. Keen. Eventually the cabal decides to cut their loses and order the destruction of the facility and any and all who might stumble across their secrets, but they are too late to stop Braxton from tipping over the first domino and guessing Reddington's interest in Lizzie.

Perlman is terrific as the cold-blooded killer out for leverage and power although Braxton certainly has a weakness in not realizing how much of a threat Reddington is to him, especially where Lizzie in concerned. Returning to its weekly airings on its new night this Thursday with Lizzie under Braxton's control, the show teases more answers and, given its track record, likely far more questions as well. I have doubt as to how much we'll actually learn about Lizzie's past (and how it ties back to Red), but the fact that she's tied to a secret file that Reddington has been holding over the cabal for two seasons is an interesting twist and I'm curious to see where the show plans to lead the characters from here.

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