The Blacklist Gaia Review
The Blacklist: Season 4, Episode 4: Gaia is humorous at times and involving at others, but above all it feels tired and cliched.
Perhaps after the creative success of the program’s previous episode Thursday’s show was doomed to not stack up quite as neatly, but at least we could hope that there would be an interesting Blacklister and an impressive guest performance to go along with it. After all, what’s The Blacklist without a Blacklister? Granted, Cape May turned out to be one of the show’s finest episodes without so much as a secondary antagonist, but that’s the exception to the rule. Unfortunately, if Gaia is anything to go by, it seems that the writers are beginning to confuse this exception for the rule itself.
Gaia (Louis Cancelmi), of course, is an utterly forgettable Ted Kaczynski-type malcontent, whose rants about mankind destroying the planet are nothing we’ve never heard before and whose delivery of said rants is even less to write home about. Although the episode goes out of its way to humanize this very one-note character by explaining that he was one of the many to be afflicted with radiation poisoning after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, it goes too far in this attempt by adding that his son was also affected by the accident, turning whatever credibility our villain accrued into the stuff of TV dramas far below the caliber of The Blacklist.
On the bright side, there is plenty to like about the show. Red (James Spader) gets in some especially funny banter with Glen (Clark Middleton), coaxing the mealy-mouthed snooper away from his bowling “break” and towards tracking down Gaia. Aram (Amir Arison) and Samar (Mozhan Marno), meanwhile, enjoy a very welcome moment in the spotlight. Well, perhaps enjoy is not the right word: upset that Aram has moved on from their relationship, Samar treats her former lover with a level of passive-aggression that would make the case of Mean Girls blush. But Aram overcomes his natural timidity and lets her know that no, he doesn’t mind that she requested a transfer from the task force, in fact he is quite happy to know she might be leaving soon. The episode will go down in The Blacklist‘s history for this moment alone, but I must admit that unlike Aram, I’m not looking forward to seeing Samar go.
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