The Blacklist 1.11 "The Good Samaritan"

A tv review article by: Natalie Amato

Welcome to 2014… and this week’s The Blacklist. This week’s plot bifurcates into two storylines. The first is about a man dubbed “The Good Samaritan” (Frank Whaley) because he always gives rescue services a chance to save his victims before they die. Elizabeth Keen is asked to aid with the case because she has a history with it. 

The other storyline involves Raymond Reddington. He is determined to find the mole who divulged the location of the FBI black site to Anslo Garrick. Through the course of this episode Reddington systematically begins taking out the men and women on his blacklist and anyone who had any involvement with his capture. While all this is happening, Keen and colleagues are forced to undergo an internal investigation to discover the internal mole. 

Over the course of the episode, and with some help from Reddington, Keen discovers that The Good Samaritan is Karl Hoffman, a substitute nurse who carefully chooses his victims, and inflicts the same injuries upon those who abuse their children or spouses. As for Reddington, through his efforts he eventually discovers that his personal aid, Grey (Charles Baker) was in fact the culprit who exposed the location of Reddington and the black site.

I enjoyed this episode. There was character development on Aram Mojtabai, (Amir Arison) the FBI tech who it seems will be playing a bigger role during the rest of the season. While Reddington is on his rampage he kidnaps Aram and forces him at gunpoint to discretely transfer money. Through this event Red discovers that Aram was not part of the Garrick operation but rather simply being framed to look like he was. Aram proves himself by using his technical abilities. Additionally, during the interrogations Aram is asked why he feels guilty about shooting a terrorist. His response, “Because he’s human?” is so innocent that it becomes apparent he will be a valuable character that Keen is able to trust and rely on.

This episode provides no insight to whether or not Reddington’s claims about Tom Keen are valid. The only time we see Tom in this episode is at the beginning when he and Keen are discussing his intentions to go to Lincoln Nebraska for a job interview. Although this seems completely innocent it’s entirely possible this brief departure was actually for other undisclosed reasons.

Also, whilst Reddington is on his killing spree he questions who “the man with the apple” is, and although his line of questioning leads him to Grey, it does not in fact give specifics to the audience who is still left in the dark. 

This was a good comeback episode for the New Year. My only criticism would be regarding the unfortunate medical staff paid to operate on Reddington by Garrick and men in the last episode. While Reddington is interrogating them it took some time for me to recognize who they were and how they related to the storyline. Otherwise, it’s good to see Reddington back.

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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