TV Show Review

TV Review: THE BLACKLIST: Season 5, Episode 7: The Kilgannon Corporation (No. 48) [NBC]

James Spader Hisham Tawfiq The Blacklist

The Blacklist: The Kilgannon Corporation (No. 48) Review

The Blacklist: Season 5, Episode 7: The Kilgannon Corporation (No. 48) finally gets it right and treats us to this season’s first Blacklister worthy of taking on Red.

While Season 5 isn’t exactly what I would describe as poor, it’s line-up of antagonists has left quite a bit to be desired so far. Some, like Nirah Ahmad of The Endling, feel like they had potential that was never realized, and others like Miss Rebecca Thrall feel almost as if they were tacked on as a formality to the episodes they were attached to. Neither of these is the case with this week’s villains, a continent-spanning group of smugglers who help migrants make their way into Europe – for a price of course.

Naturally, there are many figures involved with an operation of this magnitude, but the leaders and only real ones of especial interest are Arthur (Nick Tate) and Colin Kilgannon (Kevin Ryan), the father and son team that runs the network. Indeed, a good deal of the drama derives from the tension between the two, with the younger Kilgannon’s careless and trigger-happy ways frustrating the more pragmatic-minded elder and leading to heated arguments between the two. As far as guest stars this season go, both Tate and Ryan have to be right up there with Poorna Jagannathan as two of the best, more than making up for such lackluster Blacklisters as Greyson Blaise.

The Kilgannons’ are not the only thing to watch for however. Dembe (Hisham Tawfiq) also features very nicely – well, at least as much you can use the word “nicely” in reference to the show – in the program, infiltrating the corporation’s smuggling operations by posing as a migrant. It’s weird to say, but Dembe is shaping up to be the moral center of The Blacklist, a fact that Red (James Spader) himself acknowledges when he says that Dembe stays around not because he feels obligated to him but because he worries about what would become of Red if he were to leave him.

This is conveyed not just through dialogue but through action as well, with a single, purposeful look from Dembe at a young girl brought along for the smuggling trip conveying the soft spot he feels for her and his silent, stone-cold glares at some of the more violent migrants communicating his concern about what they may do. Dembe does his fair share of talking in the episode, but it’s his body language that tells the most about what he is thinking and feeling. If we’re lucky, we’ll get more characterizations like this in upcoming episodes of The Blacklist.

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About the author

Reggie Peralta

An aspiring writer, longtime film junkie, and former 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 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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