NBC's The Blacklist is one of the undeniable hits of the fall season, and this week's episode dived deeper than the show has ever gone into the backstories of the characters ... but depth is not this show's strong suit.
When The Blacklist premiered, we noted how it seemed to be a network's attempt at doing a Homeland type show. Of course, despite monster ratings (for scripted broadcast dramas, of course), The Blacklist hasn't been nearly as good as Homeland was in its now-so-long-ago first season. Where it has succeeded, however, has been in being so blatantly outlandish that it's hard to argue with it. Unlike Homeland at present, the crazy is what you're signing up for.
The show stars James Spader as Red Reddington, a master criminal who surrenders himself to the FBI so that he might dole out precious information — on his own terms — via Elizabeth Keen, an agent who is probably his daughter. What makes The Blacklist fun is its true dedication to making each of the people on Reddington's titular "blacklist" Bond-villain level ridiculous. There was Isabella Rossellini as a sex trafficking humanitarian. Tom Noonan played The Stewmaker, a guy who literally dissolves human bodies. Robert Sean Leonard was mad scientist Frederick Barnes, infecting (and killing people) with a disease to help his own son. Last night, Justin Kirk turned up as the leader of an Anonymous-like collective that is blowing up planes. Andrew Dice Clay played a plastic surgeon!