Monday, October 25, 2021

The Blacklist - The Skinner

The Blacklist returns for its first season without central character Elizabeth Keen who was killed off in last season's finale. While Raymond Reddington (James Spader) has always been the show's star, Keen was the character at the center of the story. How well the show can move forward without her looms large over the show's Ninth Season. Set two years after her death, "The Skinner" focuses on Harold Cooper (Harry Lennix) putting the band back together after after Dembe (Hisham Tawfiq), now working for the FBI, is injured while attempting to stop the theft with global repercussions.

One episode in to a multi-episode premiere is too early to judge whether or not the show can move on from Megan Boone's departure, but if "The Skinner" is any indication it is going to be a struggle. We get Reddington living with witches, Aram (Amir Arison) struggling to balance his post-Blacklist life with requests from his old boss, both Alina (Laura Sohn) and a scruffy Ressler (Diego Klattenhoff) reluctant to return to the fold, and a kidnapping involving a family from Taiwan. The premiere also offers up the premise by Cooper, one that Ressler later parrots to the man he still blames for Elizabeth's death, that the world is safer with Reddingon in it and continuing what they started. Sounds like it's time to get back to work.

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