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'The Blacklist' 1.6: Truth And Enigma

October 29th, 2013 9:23am EDT

The Blacklist A really good Blacklist 1.6 tonight, in which Elizabeth thinks she clears Tom, walks away from Red because she's sure he framed Tom, and we find out at the end that Tom is indeed up to more than he seems to be, so Red may be right after all.

The series continues with pretty good standalone stories, and a better infrastructure which has the potential to be riveting, and sometimes is. James Spader's intensity as Red makes what he says to Elizabeth - and to us, the audience, with his facial expressions when he's alone - pretty much believable. But if that's true, then Elizabeth has a problem on her hands with Tom, after he played the innocent part just perfectly tonight.

In many ways, Tom is as much an enigma as Red. Indeed, Tom is even more of an enigma, because all that he has presented to us is his story of innocence - that is, a story that he is just a social studies teacher, and nothing more - which, as we saw at the end of tonight's episode, and knew all along, is just not true. In contrast, Red has taken great pains to be truthful, at least to Elizabeth. Or, to be more precise, Red takes great pains not to commit any overt lies, or lies of commission. But it's likely and almost definite that he's leaving lots of things out - lies of omission - if only to protect Elizabeth.

Red's interest in protecting Elizabeth seems genuine. If we learn somewhere down the line that this is an act, that would be inconsistent with the complex web the series has constructed. Therefore, if we believe that Red has Elizabeth's best interests at heart, we have to accept that he's right about Tom being a liar.

Meanwhile, we don't know who Tom might be working for, if not for Red or for the Feds we've seen. But, who, then? Good guys or bad guys? Another black ops US agency, the Israel Mossad - or some agency serving an interest that's out to get the United States?

Should be some interesting viewing ahead.

See also The Blacklist Debuts: Alias Meets Jay Z ... The Blacklist 1.2: Mysteries ... The Blacklist 1.3: Construction Site Heights

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