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The Blacklist “The Front” 

Photo Credit: Michael Parmelee/NBC
Photo Credit: Michael Parmelee/NBC

Previously, on The Blacklist: Red’s ex-wife, now named Naomi Hyland (Mary-Louise Parker: Weeds, Angels in America) accepts his offer of protection after her cheating dog of a husband, Frank (Lee Tergesen: OZ; Desperate Houswives) acquiesces to Red’s ever-so-polite request that he think about what’s best for Naomi. Lizzie tries to get some of that elusive truth she’s so fond of chasing from Naomi, but, sadly, no go. She seems inordinately pissed at Red this season, I dunno why, and she’s hanging out in front of a locked door in some warehouse. I think we’ll discover what’s behind that door sometime when ratings are important. What can I say? I’m jaded.

The Front #74

This week’s story-line was either an example of really unfortunate timing, or just brilliant coincidence. This is not the time the general populace needs to see the gross realities the  potential threat of a world-wide pandemic brings on what is supposed to be their entertainment. I’m a jerk, so I just thought, “Ooooooooh. This is funny.” I mean the odds of anyone watching The Blacklist, or even reading this, of getting Ebola or any other deadly virus is pretty frakking small. But that doesn’t stop my Facebook feed from freaking out about it. Well played, Gods of ironic timing. Well played.

Sadly, that was pretty much the most interesting thing about “The Front,” which focused on an environmental cult who even Red thinks is too radical. Red. Try and digest that. First of all: Cults. Really? Cult story lines, no matter what the show, are always so boring and predictable. Megalomaniacal leader influences weak people to carry out some insidious task and then probably die. How novel.

This time, it’s activist, Maddox Beck (Michael Laurence: The Heart, She Holler; Damages) who causes his pregnant wife, Carrie-Anne, (Katrina Lenk) to be hospitalized and left brain-dead when she dares try to leave him, probably because of his crazy, or maybe because he’s a little too close to his associate, Pepper (Amber Skye Noyes: Beauty and the Beast; One Life to Live), with whom he chooses to survive the Black Death apocalypse (personal spoiler for Mr. Beck: You don’t survive Red Reddington. Should have taken your chances with the virus).

Photo Credit: Virginia Sherwood/NBC
Photo Credit: Virginia Sherwood/NBC

Beck sending his minions off to spread the 500-year-old virus had one benefit, Lizzie (Megan Boone, I haven’t forgotten about her) and Samar (Mozhan Marnò) get to bond a little at the airport when they both get exposed.

During the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pandemic, Lizzie talks about the baby she was expecting to have, and the life she had planned that didn’t include getting bamboozled by her liar husband. She also admits to being jealous of Red’s attention being focused on a young woman other than herself. It sucks when the person you’ve spent the better part of two seasons telling to get bent, actually puts you on a shelf and picks up another toy, doesn’t it? Man, thinking you’re going to die horribly really encourages  opening up to co-workers.

There seemed to be a lot of focus on babies this week. Beck’s wife being pregnant and kept artificially alive to save her baby; Liz opening up about the baby she feels she lost, even though she never had actually had her; Red watching the old home movies of, presumably, his daughter as a toddler; Liz going to visit the nursery at the hospital and watching the babies behind the glass and the choice of music (killing it, as usual) by Cloud Cult, “The Baby,” which was so beautiful it actually caused me to choke up a little bit. The music team at The Blacklist is really embracing its role this season, which is great, because good music can help smooth out the rough edges of a sub-par episode.

The highlight of the episode had to be Red’s buddy Glenn from the DMV, of course, whose complete lack of concern in the face of Red’s frustrated fury was breathtakingly awesome. It does not matter who you are, Red, you cannot rush the DMV.

Red has charged the diminutive Glenn (hey, I’m not the one who made the short joke, Reddington. Maybe if you were nicer, your number would get called sooner) with finding, “The Girl.” With the mention of his daughter (I think?) Jenny in last week’s episode, we’re probably supposed to assume he meant her. But, he also says “The Girl” is key to his battle with Berlin (Peter Storemare: Arrow; Longmire) so then are we to assume he means Glenn is tracking Berlin’s daughter? Simply some really cool girl with a food truck? Keep me guessing, show. Because that isn’t aggravating at all.

Next Week: I don’t know. My DVR cut out. Dammit.

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

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