The Blacklist 1.09 "Anslo Garrick Part One"

A tv review article by: Natalie Amato

I hate two-parters. I’m not a patient person and I hate having to wait an entire week for resolution. This episode didn’t resolve anything and per usual even after we all have the opportunity to see the second half next week it’s likely we’ll have more questions than answers.

This episode (and the next one) is about Anslo Garrick (Ritchie Coster), a former partner of Raymond Reddington’s. They don’t specify what exactly they were partners of, but one can assume it was of the illegal variety.

Garrick sends false intel to the CIA and FBI making them believe his life is in danger. Donald Ressler flies to Munich to bring Reddington back to the Secret FBI building where he is placed in protective custody. Unfortunately this is exactly what Garrick had intended, and shortly after Reddington arrives, the building is under siege. This episode bounces between the different main characters in different parts of the building. Elizabeth Keen takes out a couple of Garrick’s comrades while trying to destroy their jamming signal before she is captured. Assistant Director Harold Cooper makes it to the Armory before he too is captured. Donald Ressler, who is charged with protecting Reddington, is shot in the leg in an altercation with two of Garrick’s men. Reddington protects him by dragging him off and locking both of them in that bizarre metal box which I had formerly criticized. My apologies to the writers, apparently they had a plan for it all along.

What did I like about this episode? For once Harry Lennix had more than one or two scenes. We actually get to see him in action, if only for a few moments while he makes his way to the armory. Still, we could be seeing more of his character. I find it odd that he’s been in every episode and yet his talents have barely been used, considering his on-camera time has been relatively short and sparse. This episode at least gave him more face time to develop his character.

Additionally, we also find out more about Ressler. While trapped with Reddington in that large metal box Garrick talks about Ressler’s time in Brussels. Apparently Ressler dedicated five years of his life to tracking down and apprehending Reddington. Reddington also asks what happened to Audrey, a woman Ressler had formerly been engaged to. Although this information is brief and not exceptionally detailed it feeds the viewers some insight into Ressler's past and helps develop his character.

Finally, Elizabeth Keen. Despite the fact that the episode begins with Keen grieving the loss of her father, she performs exceptionally well under the stressful circumstances of the building takeover. In the last episode Reddington tells Keen’s father Sam that Keen doesn’t know how strong she is, clearly he was right. Her character doesn’t blink or pause for a second. She is calm, collected and performs better than expected until she is taken out by Garrick’s men.

As for what I didn’t like, I feel like Meera Malik hasn’t had her fair share of face time either in this episode. She comes to the group with the intel about the threat on Reddington and although we see her suiting up with Cooper, we don’t really see much of her participating in the fight against Garrick and his men. When we do see her again she’s part of the group that’s already been captured. In the past she’s performed well as a field agent with Ressler and Keen, and it doesn’t make sense to me that her skills would be either completely ignored or absolutely useless in this type of situation.

Also, I feel like a broken record saying this but again, what about the guys watching Keen’s house?? Next week is the conclusion of the fall finale and there have been no answers or insights into these creepy men hidden in the shadows behind the cameras. Are they really going to make us wait until the spring before we find out who these me are? Am I bitter? Slightly.

Until next week.

Natalie Amato is a ninja cappuccino-slinging barista by day, undercover freelancing graphic designer, photographer, and writer by night (...and sometimes during the day). 

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