Review: The Blacklist 1.12 & 1.13- “The Alchemist” & “The Cyprus Agency”

Two episodes that do not appear to be connected have a unified theme for Liz Keene. Does she really want the “normal” life with her husband and a baby?

***SPOILERS BELOW***

If that does not sound all that interesting to you then buckle up for a slow ride. The wacky science behind the “Alchemist” ability to change a person’s DNA requires a level of disbelief that is usually not needed for this show. This high level criminal gets his money and reputation by making bad guys disappear and substituting innocents in their place. The storyline is far too predictable and raise your hand if you really thought the Alchemist family was actually dead. No points for you. Especially after establishing through too much exposition how this guy replaces dead bodies and his obsession with his estranged family.

However, the strength of the Blacklist is not always the procedural aspect of the show, its Red and Lizzy. This week Raymond Reddington is on a Mole hunt and not very invested in the case. Lizzy and her newly cheating husband are fighting over how much time she will spend with their soon to be adopted baby. See the problem? Far too much time was spent on Mr. Keene and how heartbroken he is that Lizzy does not pay him or their theoretical baby enough attention. Well, Mr. Keene, you married an FBI agent. Get over it. Plus the writers have not resolved whether or not he is a spy/evil. If he is a spy this is a waste of time that could be spent on him spying slash eviling. If he is an innocent school teacher then his infidelity is just plain boring.

Blacklist - Cyprus Agency

If that’s not enough, the next episode “The Cyprus Agency” focuses on an evil adoption just when Liz and her husband are finalizing their adoption. This at least has the juicy tension of Red manipulating another aspect of Liz’s life. He obviously does not like Mr. Keene, and his timing with bringing this case to the FBI is very suspect.
Highlight of the episode was actually Red confronting Agent Malik to get to the source of the Mole that got him tortured. So no, Malik is actually working for him to save her own life since she knows that convincing Red she is not the Mole is the only way to stay alive. Malik’s evidence leads Red to Diane, or the head of the FBI section of the “Post Office,” where Red works. Best shocker was Red shooting Diane as she says “you can’t shoot me”… bang! Wow, he was not playing around! Her last ditch effort to save her life is that she knows that truth about what happened to his family. Bang again. What? Red determines that she’s just a middle-man and someone else must know the truth as well. He wants her dead more than the information. Okay then.

Both of these episodes suffered from having Lizzy and Red apart for the majority of the screen time. The writers really need to work on the balance a bit more. Strangely, the earlier episodes worked better than these later ones which is a bit counter to the normal flow of a freshman series. Get it together guys.

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Post Author: Libya El-Amin

Site editor, staff writer, reviewer, interviewer and all around TV watcher. Host of TV Campfire Podcast where we talk about all the TV shows I manage to watch each week. Sometimes the number of shows is staggering which means I have some sort of addiction. I also edit for television in real life.

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