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The Blacklist has, like most TV shows, expanded its storytelling focus over the years. With more episodes comes the need to give lead characters a refresh and supporting characters more essential things to do. In theory, this is a great, necessary idea; in execution, the results vary.
No matter your perspective on Red (James Spader), Liz (Megan Boone) or their relationship, it's clearly the central, most successful part of The Blacklist. Even during the show's more strained attempts to keep from answering questions about what Red is to Liz and vice versa, they have remained a compelling pair around which to build a broadcast drama. The supporting players, while solid, don't make up the deepest bench, nor has the show consistently found a way to make them interesting.
Week - Episode - Miss - Rebecca - Thrall
This week's episode, "Miss Rebecca Thrall," fully embodied that discrepancy. Despite mostly functioning as a building block for down-the-road intrigue, it was a very busy hour spent on three or four different threads. However, that approach meant that each thread was just underdeveloped enough not to work together -- particularly anything not involving Red.
Red's scheming to rebuild his criminal empire? We could all watch that every week. The Blacklist was very recently one of the most popular shows on TV because people enjoy watching Spader look cool and cunning and smart. Giving us more insight into his process through the replenishing of his resources is a great way to let Red shine without being as overtly evil as he's been at different times over the course of the prior four seasons, and as I mentioned last week, enabled Spader to let it rip even more.
Fun - Blacklist - Fun - Thrall - Return
That fun -- inasmuch as The Blacklist can have legitimate fun -- continued in "Thrall," complete with the glorious return of Glen (Clark Middleton), your favorite tracker and mine, some...
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