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'The Blacklist' Season 1 Episode 16: True Colors

Paul Levinson Paul Levinson
3/19/2014 5:38pm EDT

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Well, it's been clear throughout The Blacklist that there was something wrong with Elizabeth's husband Tom.  Last week, we found that he was indeed a fake, an agent whose "target" was Elizabeth.  And this past Monday, in episode 1.16, we find out just what kind of agent:  brutal, effectively overpowering, outwitting,  and killing two people, Jolene and  Lance Reddick's formidable character - who, at a steep price, was doing's Red's bidding.

Reddick's character at least figured it out - too late to save his life, but in time to alert the audience - about the kind of agent Tom is.   And now Tom is Elizabeth's and Red's problem.

Actually, he's been Elizabeth's problem throughout this first season.   Far more interesting, as it is always, is what's going on with Red vis-a-vis Tom.   If Red had an inkling of how deadly Tom is, why would he have allowed Elizabeth to keep living with Tom?  And if Red was clueless about this, or had little more than the distrust of Tom he revealed from time to time, then why was that?   Surely, regarding anything that important about Elizabeth, Red would have been more proactive, as he's been in many other matters.

Meanwhile, while this intrigue was partially unfolding, we got a good story about the other villain in 1.16, played by Hoon Lee of Banshee renown.  In The Blacklist, unlike Banshee's Job, Hoon Lee plays Mako Tanida, who's just bad and ruthless, with no redeeming humor at all.   This is the difference between a hero - which Job is - and a villain. Tanida indeed kills Ressler's love,  and this sets Ressler off in one his best story lines in the series.  Red takes care of Tanida, but I would have liked to have seen more about how he did this, rather than Ressler just getting Tanida's head in a box.

But the overall episode was excellent, and the unmasking of Tom promises some more excellent episodes ahead, and I'm looking forward.

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Photo Credits: NBCUniversal, Inc