'The Blacklist' Premiere Recap: James Spader Stars In New NBC Crime Series
The Blacklist, starring Boston Legal’s James Spader as one of the FBI’s most wanted fugitives, premiered on Monday night on NBC. The new series tracks the relationship between Spader’s character Raymond Reddington and FBI agent Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone), with whom he's eager to work.
The premiere opens with Raymond finally deciding to turn himself into the authorities under one condition – he’ll only speak to Elizabeth. While the newlywed is leaving her brownstone with her husband (Ryan Eggold) after debating the merits of adoption, the FBI pulls up to summon her to Raymond’s holding cell. It’s made clear that it’s her first day on the job, indicating that for some reason, Raymond had been waiting for her to join the force.
Once she arrives, Raymond alerts the FBI profiler to a kidnapping plot involving the daughter of an American military leader. Claiming to have the knowledge by way of a former terrorist friend, he convinces Elizabeth and agents Harold Cooper (Harry Lennix) and Donald Ressler (Diego Klattenhoff) to heed his warning. As Raymond gets put up in a swanky hotel for his cooperation, Keen’s attempt to stop the kidnapping is foiled by the terrorists.
When Elizabeth gets back home, she discovers her husband getting tortured by the terrorist – once presumed dead – that Raymond said was behind the kidnapping. He uses the threat of further wounding her husband to learn how much she knows about their plans. Once he’s satisfied she poses no further threat to the operation, he leaves.
Fuming, Elizabeth pays Raymond a visit at his hotel room and stabs him in the neck with a pen. After being sent to the hospital, Raymond makes a getaway and winds up meeting his terrorist pal, who he discreetly gives his tracking device. Meanwhile, the kidnapping victim has a bomb strapped to her back and is ushered into the park. The FBI locate her and the terrorist before the bomb goes fof, taking out the terrorist before he can use a remote to set it off. Raymond comes to the rescue with an explosive expert to disarm the bomb before the automatic timer goes off and turns himself back in to the FBI.
After Elizabeth returns home again, she’s met with a new discovery. With her husband at the hospital, she locates a box of his that holds some suspicious items – including a gun and fraudulent passport. She figures out that he’s likely been keeping his activity in some kind of spy ring a secret from her and is determined to learn what he’s up to.
When The Blacklist returns next week, Elizabeth will be juggling uncovering her husband's double life and making her way through Raymond's "blacklist" of the world's twenty most dangerous criminals.
– Chelsea Regan