The Blacklist: Greyson Blaise (No. 37) Review
Fans looking for a formidable addition to the Concierge of Crime’s ever-growing rogues’ gallery will likely be disappointed by the program’s Blacklister. A master thief with a passion for art, the British-accented Greyson Blaise (Owain Yeoman) is little more than a device of convenience, part MacGuffin and part foil for Red, to tie the story together. In that sense, he’s akin to such past antagonists as the Troll Farmer and Mato who figured in only the most minute ways within the show’s central plot.
On the bright side, making Blaise such a bland opponent gives the show the chance to remind us why we liked Red in the first place. Impeccably self-possessed and not a little smug, he manages to talk his way into wherever he needs to go and get whatever he needs or wants. In this case, it’s a rare coin from Blaise’s collection, but the lengths Red goes to obtain said coin would be laughable if he didn’t go about it so confidently. Talking the FBI into underwriting a sham party to get Blaise in his clutches is only the tip of the iceberg, with Red easily topping it that by convincing his rival’s staff that the police are on their way and they have to clear his house before they arrive.
On a technical level, there is not much that stands out about the episode. True, The Blacklist has always been more about the story it tells than the editing or form it takes, but it’s moments like the opening police chase in the previous episode that stand out moreso than the expository scenes that make up so much of any given episode. Musically, the program is slightly more successful, with Bizet’s Carmen being heard for a brief moment when Red makes arrangements for his party, but it’s nothing like the ingenious combination of “New York Groove” and the sight of one cop car catapulting over another.
One thing that does worry me as the series go on is that Liz (Megan Boone) seems to be getting less and less interesting as time goes on. The writers, seeming to have realized this, tacked on a short exchange between her and Red after his plan succeeds wherein she surprises him with the admission that she enjoyed working with him on it. Perhaps this is the show’s way of telling us that Liz is flirting with the idea of crossing to the other side of the law, but we’ll just have to see in next Wednesday.
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