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The Blacklist “The Kingmaker” 

Photo Credit: Nicole Rivelli/NBC
Photo Credit: Nicole Rivelli/NBC

Our Blacklister this week, The Kingmaker (Linus Roache, Vikings, Titanic) is my favorite Bad Guy of the Week so far. He’s ambitious; he sees the big picture; he’s a snappy dresser. He really should get his own show. You know, if he wasn’t so dead. He’s like the anti-Olivia Pope; he’s fixer for evil. You want to be a senator? Sure. He’ll just arrange to have someone crash your car off a bridge, killing your wife and making you look like a hero for trying to save her. Easy-peasy. The contractor who drove the van that crashed into you gets cold feet because killing an innocent woman and injuring a little girl is weighing heavily on his conscience? The Kingmaker will make his death look like a suicide. Cake.

I know it’s a terrible thing to say, but the Kingmaker is awesome. As long as he’s fictional. In real life, that’s abhorrent and he’d be terrifying. But on my television, I’d watch a season of that. Too bad Ressler had to kill him, which vexed not only me, but also Red, who then couldn’t get out of him whatever it was he wanted to get out of him, since Red treats the FBI like his own group of personal bounty hunters. This is why you have no friends, Red.

This week, The Blacklist goes out of its way, really out of its way, to let us know that Red Reddington has no friends. Lizzie mentioned it twice, once to his face, and he said it himself. It was like the network television version of, “You’re ugly and your mother dresses you funny.”

Photo Credit: Nicole Rivelli/NBC
Photo Credit: Nicole Rivelli/NBC

And while Red certainly has people he cares about (he killed the human trafficker responsible for Dembe’s sexual enslavement, way back in episode two, ‘The Freelancer.’ If that doesn’t say, “Hey, buddy. I got your back,” nothing does) and he has a myriad of acquaintances with whom he has shared experiences and memories (some fogged by hashish and grappa. I feel ya, Red) and ‘work’ colleagues he can turn to for aid and women he sometimes sleeps with, Red really doesn’t have ‘friends’.

A friend of mine likes to bandy around a saying, “There’s friends that’ll help you move, and there’s friends that’ll help you move a body.” In Red’s world, it’s the opposite. He has plenty of people to help him move bodies, but I highly doubt anyone on his contact list will show up on a Sunday afternoon for pizza and beer to help him drag his stuff across town in a borrowed truck.

And the only friend he did have, he killed. And now that Lizzie’s found out that Red murdered her dad, thanks to the photos in Tom’s safety deposit box, ostensibly because he was suffering and delusional and about to spill the Great Lizzie Secret that he otherwise would never tell, Red’s lost the closest thing he had to a friend, Liz, since Elizabeth hates his guts now.

Photo Credit: Nicole Rivelli/NBC
Photo Credit: Nicole Rivelli/NBC

Elizabeth, in turn, is still grieving the loss of what she thought was a loving marriage and husband, and that is now compounded by the knowledge her father was murdered by a man she was starting to trust and like. She can’t turn to any of her friends, because they’re also Tom’s friends, so she ends up at Ressler’s apartment, choosing him over being alone in her wrecked apartment filled with broken belongings, a physical representation of her wrecked life and broken heart.

The Blacklist airs Mondays at 10/9c on NBC.

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