‘The Blacklist’ 6×11 Review: “Bastien Moreau (No. 20)”

I’ve tried to keep the intensity of my personal feelings about the events of this season out of these posts, but I can’t do it anymore. This episode was the final nail in the coffin. I am absolutely furious with the writing this season and Liz Keen’s character. This whole storyline of Liz turning Red in to the police never should have been written, but it has and it’s absolutely sinking this show. The only saving grace that The Blacklist has is James Spader’s incredible ability to command the spotlight in every scene in which he appears. Seriously just give him an Emmy already.

Liz Keen’s character has become so unbearable that I now pretend she’s not in a scene whenever she’s talking to another character. Frankly (I’m not pulling my punches now) Megan Boone’s wooden acting isn’t helping the situation at all. The lines written for her are terrible, but her delivery of them is emotionless and phony as well. Liz Keen is supposed to be the protagonist that the fans root for, but she hasn’t been that character for multiple seasons now. Instead of the protagonist, she’s become the worst part of the show.

First off, as an FBI agent her job is to protect people, especially informants. She turns the Task Force’s most vital informant into the police because of her personal issues, completely going against FBI conduct. She then has the audacity to tell the man she turned in to the police that she loves him, right before he’s about to die by lethal injection, completely because of her. How can she look him in the eye and say that to him knowing that his death is on her hands?

I know that it was supposed to be some moving movement between the two of them, but it just felt like a slap in the face. There is absolutely no way that you can love someone after turning them in to the police knowing they could face the death penalty, and ultimately being the cause of their death by lethal injection.

You can argue all day that Red ruined her life so he deserves to die by her hand, but that would be removing all of Liz’s agency as a person. At the end of the day she’s a grown woman who made her own choices, and those choices got her to where she is today. She decided to pursue Red’s past and so did Tom. Red warned both of them to leave it alone but they didn’t listen. Everything that has happened since then has come from that decision and that is not on Red.

The real hero of this story is Harold Cooper. In this episode he did everything he possibly could to save Red’s life. He put the FBI first, he put the Task Force first, he put his job and his duty first. He recognizes how vital Red is to saving lives, and most of all he cares about him. Red said himself that Harold is his friend and he’s a good man. Red is absolutely right. Harold Cooper has been the understated moral compass of this show since the beginning, and that became extremely apparent in tonight’s episode.

Why I feel so angry about Liz Keen’s character now is that the fans deserved so much better. The Blacklist started out with Liz as a strong, badass, inspiring woman protagonist. Now, the writers have turned her into a shallow, phony, unbearable villain. It’s infuriating for women viewers to see a strong female character like this turned into someone a lot of us don’t even want to see on screen anymore.

This brings me to a topic that I haven’t wanted to touch since the beginning of the show, and that’s the Lizzington ship. Generally I don’t like to comment on other people’s ships, but this one is different. I’ve always been uncomfortable with it because there is a 24 year age gap between Megan Boone and James Spader. That in itself is problematic.

In the show he is a father figure to her, and a romantic relationship between the two should not happen, and no one should want it to happen. The obsession with relationships between older men and younger women in films and TV shows is already a problem in Hollywood and doesn’t need to be further perpetuated by any fan base.

Second, after everything that has happened between the two of them in the show why would anyone still want them to be together? Liz turning Red in to the police knowing that he could face the death penalty is not love. Red is now seconds away from dying by lethal injection because of her. That is not love. In no dark or twisted definition of the word is that love.

Liz decided that the only thing that mattered was finding out the truth about his past. She decided she didn’t care about Red and she didn’t care about Dembe. If you love someone, you do everything you can to find out what you need to know without putting them in danger.

Red is Dembe’s whole world and that didn’t matter one bit to Liz when she made the decision to turn Red in. Why Dembe still supports here knowing what she did is beyond me, another infuriating decision from the writers.

Needless to say, I’m less than thrilled with the season 7 renewal at the moment, considering the direction the show has taken. No one wants to remember a favorite show for what it became after it jumped the shark. I want The Blacklist to go out on a high note, not what’s happening to it now.

This episode of course left us with the cliffhanger of Red being seconds away from death by lethal injection, so we’ll have to wait till next week to see if our heroes, Harold Cooper, Ressler, Dembe, Samar, and Aram can pull off one last miracle to save Red’s life. Without Red and James Spader season 7 would be pointless, so it seems pretty certain that Red will survive somehow, but you never know. Some shows are willing to try anything these days, even if it means destroying everything that made viewers want to watch in the first place.

I know that not everyone watching the Blacklist feels the same way about what’s happening to the show and I’m not trying to hurt anyone’s feelings. I just feel that after 6 seasons of the series with a season 7 on the horizon I should really be brutally honest about how I’m feeling from here on out. Feel free to sound off in the comments! How are you feeling about Liz, Red’s possible death, and the storylines this season?

Tune in next week to see Red’s fate!

Check out the synopsis and trailer for next week’s The Blacklist titled “Bastien Moreau: Conclusion (No. 20):

Cooper puts his reputation on the line to appeal to the White House on Red’s behalf, as Liz and the task force resume their search for The Corsican, a Blacklister with ties to an international conspiracy. Samar’s abilities in the field are tested.

The Blacklist airs Fridays at 9/8c on NBC.

Journalism student.Aspiring fan studies researcher. Dreams of writing for Entertainment Weekly. Loves all things fandom. The Blacklist blogger. Coldplay fanatic.