The Blacklist The Invisible Hand (No. 63) Review
The Blacklist: Season 5, Episode 13: The Invisible Hand (No. 63). This The Blacklist The Invisible Hand (No. 63) review finds that although Wednesday night’s episode works as a standalone Red (James Spader) episode, it underwhelms as a midseason finale.
What makes this funny is that Red’s storyline isn’t of especial consequence, at least as far as the show’s main narrative is concerned. If anything, it’s a diversion from the headspin-inducing intrigue of Liz’s (Megan Boone) search for Tom’s (Ryan Eggold) killers, albeit a much-appreciated one. Revolving as it does around Red’s efforts to protect an unreliable associate of his (Lenny Venito) after the latter makes the mistake of misappropriating a drug lord’s money for personal purposes, it feels like it’s part of a larger shift in the way Red is portrayed.
Focus is decreasingly placed on the ruthless nature of the Concierge of Crime as the emphasis on his ability to help others out of tights spots as he does here and talk others out of questionable decisions as he does when he convinced Ressler (Diego Klattenhoff) to not kill his blackmailer earlier this season. You would expect this development to elicit more polarizing reactions, but somehow the primary emotion one feels with regard to it is, as perhaps is befitting the show’s themes, ambiguity.
It must be said, however, that the increased attention on Red appears to have come at the expense of that which might have been allocated to Liz. Although I don’t think shifting focus from Liz to Red is bad per se, her subplot here feels like little more than an afterthought here. Not even the presence of guest star Brian Dennehy as suspected Russian mole Dominic Wilkinson is enough to make this part of the program pop out.
Not only does it shortchange Liz’s story, but it also takes away time from the episode’s ostensible main plot. At least, with probably the most screen time out of the three stories, it’s fair to call it the main one. Yet since it’s forced to share said screen time with not one but two other plots, the task force’s race to stop the Invisible Hand from killing Anna Hopkins (Patricia Kalember) never gets the chance to build the necessary tension for it to grip viewers. It’s kind of a shame because the idea of the Invisible Hand is interesting enough, but the way it is handled here means that it will not remain in the imagination of The Blacklist fans after the episode ends.
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