TV Review: ‘The Blacklist: The Judge (No. 73)’


Season 1, Episode 15: “The Judge (No. 73)” | Original air date: March 3, 2014

The Blacklist” is still my favorite scripted drama on the networks, but it remains deeply flawed.

The series’ downfall is a direct result of the subplots being more interesting the plot of each episode.

This week offered a moderately interesting case. A woman kidnaps cops, judges and prosecutors who wrongly convict innocents and imprison them as punishment.

The woman’s target is the interminably dull Special Agent Harold Cooper (Harry Lennix), who beat up a suspected traitor during the war in Afghanistan.

This is solved with a last-minute assist from Red (James Spader) and the usual fumbling, mostly useless contribution by Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone).

But this was all filler. The meat of the story was forced around the edges. Keen’s husband, Tom (Ryan Eggold), is off at a teacher’s conference being seduced by the saucy Lucy Brooks (Rachel Brosnahan), who also goes by “Jolene” and a handful of other alias. 

Red hires a man in a cowboy hat (Lance Reddick). Red reveals he knows Brooks and she’s evaded him in the past. He believes she’s on a mission that involves Tom, whom Red has said was sketchy from the start.

And low and behold, Tom reveals that his marriage to Keen is a sham, part of some two-year deep cover experiment.

This is the stuff I want to watch, not the weirdo-of-the-week distractions that bog down good story.

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