‘The Blacklist’ 5×02 Review: ‘Greyson Blaise’

Wednesday’s new episode “Greyson Blaise” proved once again that The Blacklist is at its best when it focuses on blacklisters and the task force, not family drama. Pretty much everyone had equal screen time, and the entire task force even got to go to the party that Red decided to throw to catch a blacklister. I’m so used to Liz being the only one to get to join in on Red’s plans that this was a very welcome surprise. I just hope they stick with this trend for the rest of the season instead of going back into the drama filled mythology of the show that they’ve been so fond of lately. I’m all for mythology heavy episodes when they revolve around a new and interesting plot, but The Blacklist has been rehashing the “Is Red Liz’s father?” question for four seasons now, and it doesn’t need to be done any more.

“Greyson Blaise” returned to the style of the original Blacklist, and reminded me why I loved the show so much when it first started. The exchanges of dialogue between the characters were witty and fun like they used to be instead of dark, dramatic, and angry. Don’t get me wrong, some of the best episodes of The Blacklist have dealt with extremely dark and emotional material, but it was nice to see the show’s  old charm return at least for an episode.

The most delightful part of the episode was when Red got Cooper to use the FBI’s extensive funds to throw an expensive party at a lake house so he could get Greyson Blaise to notice him. Everyone thought that Red was trying to get Blaise to help rebuild his network as a financial asset (Blaise is a wealthy illegal art collector) but he really just wanted a way to catch him. After the party, Red set Greyson Blaise up to be captured by the Italian police for stealing a Rembrandt painting. It wasn’t actually a Rembrandt, Red had a friend create a forgery, but it allowed Red to completely destroy Blaise’s estate and turn over everything he had stolen to the FBI, giving them enough evidence to arrest him. Cooper was understandably upset at first, because he thought Red had just thrown an expensive party with FBI money for no reason, but when he turned over the evidence against Greyson Blaise, the tension was once again smoothed over.

Red and the task force are in the middle of an interesting dynamic to say the least. Red is still almost completely broke, but at the same time, he’s still in control. He does have a plan to rebuild his empire, but the task force has to help him get there which puts them all in a difficult position. They don’t want to help a criminal rebuild his empire, but they need Red to keep giving them blacklisters, so they go along with it. I also think that each of them have become sort of fond of Red in their own way. If they haven’t abandoned him after everything he’s done up to this point, I don’t know if they ever will.

Another plot point that re-surfaced in “Greyson Blaise” was the suitcase that Tom has. Red will stop at nothing to find it, even going so far as to shoot a man who wouldn’t tell him where it was (this isn’t strange for Red anymore, he kills people with hardly an provocation all the time). All of this is going to lead to a dangerous confrontation between Tom and Red, as Red will find out eventually that Tom is the one who has it. They already had an extremely awkward encounter at dinner in Liz and Tom’s apartment when Tom invited him over. They exchanged a number of loaded looks and verbal exchanges, each one showing that they are suspicious of the other. They’ve never liked each other, but I think the outcome this time is going to be drastically different and possibly fatal for one of them, as the suitcase holds a secret that will tear Red’s world apart if it’s discovered.

Next week looks to be another exciting case of the week episode, as Red has the task force go after a group of killer cops for hire.

Check out the trailer below and I’ll see you all back here next week!

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

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