The Blacklist Season Premiere Review: Roanoke
Park nailed when she opined that Liz, Red, Katarina, and Dom need family therapy, not jail time.
Yet it was Family Feud all over again on The Blacklist Season 8 Episode 1.
This premiere felt like the beginning of the end. The powers that be appear to be running out of ideas, and after dropping hints about the series’ mythology over the past couple of seasons, it’s definitely time for some answers instead of more questions.
It’s one of the signs that a series has been around too long when storylines start repeating.
Just like on The Blacklist Season 3, Liz the Fugitive has now resurfaced.
But instead of partnering with Red, she’s joined with Katarina against him. So that’s a twist, I guess.
Why trust a woman who disappeared for a good portion of her life rather than Raymond, who’s been there for her more often than not?
Well, it’s safe to say that Liz is more than a little screwed up. But that’s understandable, since she’s been lied to her entire life about who she is and from where she came.
So her latest plan was to help Katarina abduct her ailing grandfather, who had the bad luck to come out of his coma at just the wrong time.
After Brian Dennehy’s death in April, the simple route would have been to write off Dominic. But it seems that what’s locked up inside his memories will be key to Liz learning the truth about who she is.
If abducting Dom wasn’t a bad enough decision, she double-crossed her teammates on the task force, who have forgiven her time and time again.
Talk about your bad life choices.
And who’s watching Agnes now that Liz has opted to go on the lam? Tom remains dead for now, and the nice lady across the hall isn’t available any more.
Boarding nursery school?
Liz is correct to want answers. She hasn’t gotten them from Red or from Dom. So maybe Katarina is her last chance to get some.
But Katarina is a trained liar who will do what is necessary to get the results she seeks. So why would Liz believe anything that comes out of her mouth?
Of course, the same could be said about Red, as Liz has learned the hard way.
Raymond is an absolutely charming character, who arranged for an inexperienced profiler to join a high-powered task force that tracks those unknown criminals who commit their crimes in the shadows.
But was Katarina right when she explained that Red was using Liz in order to access classified information? It does fit.
Over eight seasons, James Spader has made Raymond Reddington into one of the most complex anti-heroes on TV. It’s easy to see why Liz would have fallen under Red’s spell.
But Harold nailed it when describing the corrosive effect Red has had on Liz. The formerly naive agent has become the picture of disillusionment, which certainly grates on many viewers.
Raymond obviously has paternal feelings for Liz. But every decision he makes is viewed through a prism of self-interest, and many don’t pan out well for her.
It’s not a particularly nurturing relationship that would allow Liz to flourish.
Still, like many of the good-hearted people around Raymond such as Dembe, she continues to be drawn to him, and not just because she feels he has the information she craves.
Yet Katarina has managed to turn her. She’s the maternal figure that Liz had never had.
But does Katarina have Liz’s best interest at heart? No more than Red does, which Liz will eventually discover. If she did, she wouldn’t have had her law-enforcing daughter take part in such a caper.
Katarina too has an end game, for which she needs Dom.
Hopefully this season, we’ll find out who the mole M-13 is and what the value of the Sikorsky Archive is.
The whole Roanoke case seemed a little off from early on.
Why rescue a wealthy Russian oligarch only to shoot him and leave him to receive medical treatment? Roanoke makes people disappear, not leave them to be found.
Instead the whole distraction was Katarina taking advantage of a criminal legend in order to abduct Dominic for her own purposes, no matter what she was telling Liz.
It was all simply a slight of hand, creating a bugaboo to keep the task force busy and to put Dominic in a position where he could easily be taken.
Make that supereasy, with Liz at the heart of the relocation scheme.
All Liz had to do was betray everyone who believed in her.
The task force is generally a most forgiving lot. After all, they’ve got their own skeletons in their closets. Even Harold.
The most hurt by Liz’s action was Ressler. It was great to see the two of them act on the sexual tension that’s been slowly building between them, only to have her spoil it by stealing his gun.
No one was too thrilled about the idea of tracking down fugitive Liz, so I can’t imagine they’ll be that strenuous about it.
But let’s try to keep Liz being on the run to a third of the season tops.
To revisit Liz’s checkered past, watch The Blacklist online.
In a question that promises to recur this season, what is Liz thinking?
Who has more genuine feelings for Liz, Red or Katarina?
Will Ressler be Liz’s mole on the task force?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.