TV Show Review

TV Review: THE BLACKLIST: Season 5, Episode 12: The Cook (No. 56) [NBC]

C Thomas Howell The Blacklist

The Blacklist The Cook (No. 56) Review

The Blacklist: Season 5, Episode 12: The Cook (No. 56). This The Blacklist The Cook (No. 56) review argues that while it is engaging and even disturbing at times, Wednesday night’s episode ends up as nothing to write home about.

With a name like The Cook, it almost feels like the writers have finally run out of ideas and are grasping at anything they can to keep the show afloat. Indeed, with the title character (Michael Rogers) being a defrocked priest who simply happens to have a penchant for setting his victims aflame rather than a Blacklister with any background in the culinary arts, the name strikes me more as an afterthought or placeholder that they intended to replace before deciding they couldn’t come up with anything else.

As for The Cook (or Tommy Wattles, should you prefer to go by his real identity) himself, Rogers’ is not quite as enjoyable to watch as Nathan Lane in the previous week’s Abraham Stern, but he does get in some moments of real menace. The best example of this is when he wins the trust of his next victim (Jenna Williams), taking advantage of his appearance as a clergyman and her emotional distress to get very handsy with her as she leans in for a supportive hug. It would have been unsettling enough to watch on its own, but amidst the increased attention paid to such misconduct in Hollywood and society as a whole, there’s an additional layer of unpleasant timeliness to it.

On a lighter note, it’s nice to see Navabi (Mozhan Marno) enjoy a renewed level of attention in the program. For sure, it’s mainly in the context of the “Blacklister of the week” plot rather than any overarching story of her own, but she still gets in some choice words with her costars. One relatively inconsequential but nevertheless fun moment is when she tells Aram (Amir Arison) that he’s cute as he struggles to explain the intricacies of the investigation to the team.

But the show is most subversive when it portrays Red (James Spader) as oblivious to not only the perceived slight he has made when he gives a Japanese woman four spiders (four being the number of death in her culture, you see) but also of the Star Wars franchise. For someone who has as much to say about as much as he does, it’s strange but refreshing to see Red confused and out of his element, even if it’s probably only for once.

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About the author

Reggie Peralta

An aspiring writer, longtime film junkie, and former UCLARadio.com disc jockey (where I graduated with a BA in Political Science), I've made the jump from penning book reviews and current events editorials for HonorSociety.org to writing movie and TV news and reviews.

When I'm not working towards my certificate in Radio and Television/Video Production at Fullerton College, I enjoy reading (horror, science fiction, and historical/political nonfiction are particular favorites), participating in my school's TV and theatre clubs, attending movie screenings, plays, concerts, and other events, and trying to come up with pithy things to say on social media. Believe it or not, there are occasions where I find time to write for my own leisure.

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