‘The Blacklist’ 6×04 Review: “The Pawnbrokers”

Never has it been more apparent than in The Blacklist episode “The Pawnbrokers” that James Spader is the driving force behind the show.

It was an incredibly engaging episode and that’s all thanks to him. There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing an actor absolutely command a room and that’s what James Spader did in every scene of “The Pawnbrokers.”

Even when Red is getting beaten up by a former enemy on the prison cafeteria floor you know he has a plan that’s going to absolutely destroy this guy.

Red always has a plan which makes his antics all the more fun to watch.

If James Spader didn’t handle playing the character with such nuance, his cocky speeches and insults towards his enemies would just seem arrogant and whiny, but when James Spader does it, you are completely engrossed.

You just can’t wait for him to implement his plan and tear down all these people who deserve it. That’s why Liz’s fake concern over Red’s well being is all the more infuriating.

She pretends to be worried about him after seeing that he got beat up in prison, even though she’s the one who put him in that situation, and she’s insulting him at the same time by suggesting that he can’t take care of himself in prison.

It’s so funny to me that Liz is supposed to be the person who is closest to him in the world, but Ressler understands him way better than she does. His first reaction when Liz puts on her show of fake concern is to say that there’s nothing to worry about, Red can handle himself.

And Ressler is right. Red can handle literally any situation he’s put in, eventually making it a comfortable place to be for himself. This is where the difference between Liz and Ressler comes in and why I like Ressler so much better as a character.

Ressler and Red have had their differences, but Ressler respects Red and his ability to excel in tough situations. He knows that Red is tough and as formidable of a person as he’ll ever know.

Liz on the other hand doesn’t give Red this respect. She acts like he’s some feeble old man who needs her to come to his rescue at every turn.

First of all, it’s the other way around, Red has been the one protecting Liz at every turn, but she’s too dense and self absorbed to see that. Second of all, She’s the one who put him in most of the situations that have gotten him in trouble, and I’m going to keep mentioning that until Red finds that out for himself, which if the new promo is any indication, could be as early as the new episode on February 1st.

I just hope that the reveal doesn’t lead to Red making some speech about difficult choices and second chances and eventually forgiving her, because Liz doesn’t deserve that.

Personally I think the show would be way better if Liz just disappeared and we got to watch James Spader as Red taking over prisons and mouthing off to people all the time.

If Liz was gone, we could avoid all of the family drama that no one wants and get back to Red helping the rest of the Task Force hunt down criminals. Seriously, Liz has become so irritating that I roll my eyes every time she enters a scene. I absolutely can’t wait for Red to find out she betrayed him so he can move on with his life and stop wasting his time on her.

Check out the promo and synopsis for the next episode below. We’re skipping one week and episode 5 will air on February 1st. It looks like the hammer is about to come down and Liz is going to face the music of Red knowing she betrayed him.


While Red argues in court to uphold the validity of his immunity agreement, Liz and the Task Force question a man whose recent inheritance seems too good to be true and Dembe offers Red some advice.

The Blacklist airs February 1st, at 9/8c on NBC.

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