The Blacklist

You might think that crime drama is an over-saturated genre with so many doing the rounds that they all just blur into one. What that does mean, however, is that the best ones really have to be special to stand out from the crowd. 

The Blacklist, which takes a fresh spin on the familiar format of the detective show. Not just one for crime buffs, The Blacklist is a must-watch for anyone who loves classy, well-made television. 

Raymond “Red” Reddington, a former US Naval Intelligence officer who had disappeared twenty years earlier to become one of the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives, surrenders himself to FBI Assistant Director Harold Cooper at the J. Edgar Hoover Building in Washington, D.C. Taken to an FBI “black site”,

 

Reddington claims he wishes to help the FBI track down and apprehend the criminals and terrorists he spent the last twenty years associating with, individuals that are so dangerous and devious that the United States government is unaware of their very existence.

He offers Cooper his knowledge and assistance on two conditions: immunity from prosecution, and that he wants to work exclusively with Elizabeth Keen, a rookie profiler newly assigned to Cooper. Keen and Cooper are suspicious of Reddington’s interest in her, but he will only say that she is “very special”.

After Cooper tests Reddington’s offer in locating and killing a terrorist in the first episode, Reddington reveals that this man was only the first on his “blacklist” of global criminals, which he has compiled over his criminal career, and states that he and the FBI have a mutual interest in eliminating them.

The mysteries of Reddington’s and Liz’s lives, and his interest in her, are gradually revealed as the series progresses. Each episode features one of the global criminals, and Reddington assisting the team tracking and apprehending them.

One of the ongoing themes of the series is the effect that working with Reddington seemingly has on the characters of the FBI task force, as some of them start to compromise their own professional integrity, and do expedient or unprofessional things that they would never have considered at the outset of the series.