Dear The Blacklist producers,
after this week’s episode (which we, in all honesty, didn’t even bother to watch, because we’ve already had this dreadful feeling, you know the kind of dark foreboding that punches you in the gut and goes all LMAO watching to crumble, that it would only lead to disappointment … just as the whole rest seasons 4A and 3B, and seriously our time is too precious to be wasted like that without even getting paid for it – anyway back to the actual point), there are quite a few things that we need to address:
Back in the “earlier” seasons (when the show was actually worth watching), Red assured Liz that he has never lied to her, he might not tell her everything but he has never lied to her, and we as fans believed in Red being honest with Liz. In fact, it turned out that this would become THE rule of The Blacklist, and at the same time made the series even more exciting for fans, since (almost) everybody wondered about the same thing: “If he is not her father, then who is he?” Based on this question, fans started developing several theories on who Red is, from being a family member to being a friend of the family and even to being in love with Liz. Recently, there have also been theories about neither Red nor Kirk being Liz’s father. These theories imply that her biological sperm donor was a friend of Red’s or even someone he knew from the Naval Academy, someone who might have been higher up in the chain of command. So far, everything seemed pretty good … (Well, except for the total disregard of Sam’s role in raising Liz.)
Now, let’s get back to Thursday’s episode and the first thing that comes to our mind: Are you f*cking kidding me??? After four years of “I have never lied to you, Lizzie”, you disappoint your fans by telling us that Red is Liz’s father and therefore broke the one rule the show followed? What were the past four years about, if it now turns out that he is her dad? Thank you for ruining the show with this story line!
Let’s take a step back here, from last night’s episode and take a look at the whole puzzle that is The Blacklist. After last season’s finale several executives, including Daniel Cerone and Daniel Knauf, were quite exaggerated if not downright annoyed about fans still asking if Red was her father, because apparently the question had already been answered about a million times. In case you are wondering, the answer we are talking about back then was NO to the daddy issue… sorry, daddygaters… but don’t you guys have a field day now! We don’t know how you guys feel about all this, but the TBL Writing Room strongly reminds us of one Gilderoy Lockhart, you know the dude who got hit by his own forgetting spell (Idiot. Duh. – But maybe we should tweet JKR to find out what happened to him? Wonder if he is still in that asylum? #onthetodolistforlater).
Your story, dear writers and producers, makes as much sense as Liz telling Red in the Pilot she got her (magically disappearing) scar when she was fourteen and not four, or even and even better example, Tom’s and his “German friends’” brutally awful German. It simply makes your skin crawl! Or what about the total disregard of detail when it comes to faking passports? Really, Tom’s passports from Season 1 … a joke! … They look nothing like the originals! And while one might argue Red wanted him to be caught with them … just don’t! It’s simply bad research and saving costs. But what does this have to do with last night’s episode? A LOT. Continuity and consistency are two things that are so obviously important, it almost hurts. And – especially with regard to this week’s episode – it hurts all the more that there are so many things that just don’t add up. We know a lot of you will say “You just have to keep watching” or “why make the fuss, if you don’t like it then don’t watch”. But that’s exactly the point, we used to love The Blacklist, which is not really a big thing here in Europe, and couldn’t wait to get our hands on new episodes. After so many times of being promised new revelations and answers that never came, we are (once again) left with more questions than answers, and this time they are shaking the very base construction of the series. All in all, it’s simply exhausting. However, the writers made decisions that did not only alter the storyline but the whole character of the show. Like writing a baby into the story – don’t get us wrong, Agnes is heart-meltingly sweet and adorable, you can’t not love her! So, just to get this off our chests: WHY did you have to write that baby into the story? Despite the fact that it totally doesn’t fit … previous seasons… season 4… previous seasons …. Season 4…. Do we really need to get further into this? (*lifted eyebrows moment*) This is nothing against sweet, sweet baby Agnes, her existence simply set things into motion that makes us feel like we’re watching a completely different show all of a sudden that some people honesty struggle to identify with.
An example: If Red is Caesar than Kaplan is Brutus, and that notion alone is sickening enough. A character referred to as “Red’s better half” suddenly discovers her conscience cannot take the burn of her occupation anymore? After twenty years of infinite loyalty?! Not convincing! Her sympathy for Liz is absolutely relatable; the young woman is lost and wants to protect her child, her family and just wished to have a normal life. Kaplan wanted to help. Who wouldn’t? But destroying a bond that had lasted for so long, in order to help a young woman who behaved like a five-year-old throwing a tantrum most of the time, doing a complete 180, only one episode after Red saved her ass. HELLO?!
But let’s not go too deep into character analysis, otherwise this would end up becoming a novel or dissertation (in case any Media/ Film students are still looking for something to write about).
Now, back to the matter at hand; as a reaction to several tweets by disappointed fans, writer and executive producer Daniel Cerone tweeted that fans had to wait and watch as “another large piece will fall into place late this season”. Well, first of all: If the plot goes on like this, we feel like there won’t be many people left to wait and watch. And secondly: What could this “large piece” be? May it turn out that Red only said what Kirk wanted to hear and … surprise surprise … you changed your mind and Red isn’t her father in the end? Or will there be another, new, story line disappointing the fans? Who knows, they might even bring in this new theory about Red not being the real Raymond Reddington – wait, doesn’t this sound familiar somehow? – but a post-surgery Katarina Rostova. Oh, that does it, doesn’t it? However, with regard to everything that has happened, should that be the case, we’d strongly recommend watching that particular episode of the Russian family arch in the company of fellow Blacklisters, Mr Gorbatschow and a couple of shot glasses.
But on the note of theories, let us just add this: The Blacklist desperately (as well as pathetically) tries to generate theories. However, except for the theories that have already been mentioned, the only thing that has recently been achieved is open comparisons between your female lead and Cersei Lannister. And while Lena Heady is brilliant, that is certainly no compliment to your writing – I repeat NO compliment – especially when Cersei Lannister comes out of it as the more relatable character. So please, save your “the dialogue is so important”, “watch out for the wording”, and “pieces of the puzzle”! Leave these elements of suspense to people who actually know how to use them … Like George R. R. Martin. It’s like sarcasm; if you don’t know how to do it, leave it. Or, is this maybe a new trend? Screw character growth? Let them just wither, backstab, betray & decline? And all that because why? – Oh yes, so she could hold on to that “I’m trying to mend my childhood issues by having a family”- notion, with a character that was supposed to die in the first season, because he was a spying cockroach with the fake name, but no, our bad, now he’s the super dad, still has the fake name, but is suddenly on 90% of the redemption path after your own lead actress said it would be a step backwards to keep those two together. (ATTENTION: this “nasty” wording is simply and only (!) a provocative style device to elaborate a point, there is no character hate or ship hate or all this other nonsense here!).
To be honest, personally, we just don’t care anymore, there are better shows that are worth watching.
Before the midseason finale aired Thursday night, Daniel Cerone responded to one of our tweets in which we stated that it would be better to not expect anything from advertisement, as it only leads to disappointment (See below). We all know how that kind of advertisement works, the people involved try to get you all excited at prospect of an incredibly good episode … Well, indeed the episode was incredible … incredibly disappointing. The puppeteers behind The Blacklist have the tendency to advertise all kinds of things and then do something else all together. They literally throw out bites to all groups in the fandom from Keenler, to Lizzington, Keen2, Daddygate and so on. Well, maybe less to Keen2 since this ship is canon. It is absolute legitimate to try to reach out to a huge audience, but The Blacklist fails to provide a clear path to follow and fails to deliver what was promised (or at least something you didn’t see coming like about a mile down the road).
Generally, it is quite interesting to look up the writers’ and producers’ tweets and comments every now and then because these are sometimes very similar, but other times quite different on the verge of schizophrenic (since they are working on the same show?). Also, the most entertaining development though is how their views change over the course of only a few months. But in case anybody wants to fact check this, you might want to be quick, just earlier today, we’ve been tipped that the official Blacklist account (@NBCBlacklist) has been busy deleting posts saying Reddington is not Liz’s biological father. I guess this speaks for itself.
Anyway, congratulations, dear producers, for disappointing your fans, well done! All that remains left to say is: If you want to know what real suspense looks like, take notes from Martin Gero’s “Blindspot” … you know that other show on NBC that shares some striking similarities with TBL but is a treasure to watch since it is relatable, consistent, emotionally captivating, addictive and above all watchable!! Sure, we can surely all agree that you will never be able to please everyone, some things will always not sit quite well with some fans, but that’s the business. You, dear producers, have been massacring your fans’ devotion for the two seasons now! Our final verdict: The Blacklist has lost its unique character, as well as its appeal! Red’s Blacklist has moved into the shadows of the present storyline, just as much as the show has become a shadow of itself. It might be a lot of things now, but certainly not worth our time … or yours.