‘Blacklist’ hits stride in season 3

NBC’s “The Blacklist” is the show sweeping the binge-Netflix-watchers world. It is action packed, fast, furious and, most importantly, unpredictable. Creator, executive producer and writer Jon Bokenkamp has managed to create a show that is both thrilling and intriguing. Warning, spoilers follow.

The show begins its first of two complete seasons with FBI’s-most-wanted criminal Raymond Reddington turning himself in on the same day that agent Elizabeth Keen begins her job with the agency. As the plot begins to unfold, this seemingly inexplicable coincidence begins to be explained in tidbits of information that challenge the viewer to try to put together the pieces of the puzzle.

The show is organized into seemingly unrelated episodes, consisting of Reddington providing information to a secret task force Keen is in, led by Director Harold Cooper. The task force uses Reddington’s sensitive information to apprehend criminals that fly under the radar, criminals Reddington claims are the individuals that society should truly fear. These individuals commit crimes ranging from shipping high value materials across the ocean to trying to create a new disease to clear the planet of humans who are destroying the earth’s natural resources. All of these seemingly unrelated criminals seem to all be leading to one man, Berlin. Berlin and Reddington share a contentious past that ends how you might guess, gruesomely – but I will let you discover the details for yourself. With Berlin, shall we say, eliminated, in middle of the second season, the show seems to be coming to a short end.

However, we are then introduced to a new group of criminals, the Cabal. The Cabal is comprised of the most powerful criminals in the world, who use their power, prestige and wealth to determine the events of world history. Among the most evil and corrupt individuals in the world, the members of the Cabal just so happen to also be high-ranking U.S. government officials. With all criminals identified, Reddington and Keen set about beginning a war to bring down the Cabal. The only weapon that Reddington and Keen seem to possess against the Cabal is a mysterious device known as “the fulcrum.” This perplexing device is said to contain information about the identities of the members of the Cabal and was once the only thing keeping Reddington alive. However, in a series of rather dramatic events, the Cabal decides to call Reddington’s bluff – that he possesses the device – and attempts to eliminate him. After surviving this literal near death experience, Reddington begins to plan his revenge. At the same time that Reddington was fighting for his life, Keen makes herself the Cabal’s number one enemy by revealing that she possesses the fulcrum and the ability to reveal the information it contains. Unwilling to allow such a dangerous threat to persist, the Cabal carries out an elaborate plot to eliminate Keen, which ends with Keen and Reddington fleeing from the FBI and each landing themself with a place on the FBI’s top-ten most-wanted list. While this is where the main plot ends at the conclusion of season two, there are several secondary plot lines that will entertain all types of viewers.

As Keen is attempting to bring the Cabal to justice, she is also attempting to find out the truth about her past. After having her memory blocked by a convoluted psychology technique, she only has a scar from a fire and Reddington to uncover details of her life. Now if you aren’t into the thrilling chase scenes and elaborate investigations, don’t fret, “The Blacklist” can still be for you.

Beneath the adventure and old-fashioned shootouts, Keen is also trying to discover the true identify of her husband, Tom Keen. At one time, Tom was just a simple elementary school teacher, but Agent Keen discovers her husband is far from who she thought he was. Tom is really an undercover agent who claimed allegiance to Berlin, but, in reality, was always working for Reddington. As Agent Keen attempts to uncover both the true identity of her husband and her feelings for him, she is also attempting to bring down the most powerful group of individuals in the world. Only time will tell how things play out.

Overall, I would give “The Blacklist” a 9.5/10 stars. The interweaving plot lines make it truly a wonderful mix of thrill, enjoyment, and romance that are unparalleled, and will leave you wanting more.