The Blacklist Episode (1×14) Review – “Madeline Pratt”



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The dreaded winter hiatus is over, and Red and the gang have returned to check off another name on The Blacklist. When we last saw them, Liz had decided to put the adoption on hold, while Tom flirted with Lucy Brooks. You know, the chick Red keeps researching? She’s got Tom in her sights, and Liz remains clueless thanks to Red remaining out of custody and in the wind. Meanwhile, Agent Cooper is dealing with the aftermath of Red’s escape and Director Diane Fowler’s disappearance. Episode 114 was a doozy, so lets discuss Blacklister #73, “Madeline Pratt.”

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“Finding her is easy. Catching her is difficult.” After running around the world kidnapping, torturing and murdering his way into catching The Mole, Red returns to the Black Site to give the team a new name on his list. Madeline Pratt is “a thief and a woman of singular talents” who is using her political status to steal a Syrian effigy that will lead the buyer to a cache of hidden Russian missiles. This case was kind of fun, actually. Not only did we learn that Liz used to be a thief, but we got to see some of her moves in action. Furthermore, both Cooper and Ressler are beginning to wonder how much they don’t know about Liz. Should Liz be the next person they investigate? If these two agents put a mind to it, we may not only learn about Liz’ background, but also her tie to Reddington. Watching these Agents team up against Red and Liz may prove quite interesting and could possibly be a great way for the writers to reveal the truth about Liz’s background. At least part of it, anyway.

Liz: You can’t get into the embassy.

Red: Yes, I can. Some of my best friends are Syrian.

The Blacklist Episode 1x14

“If I was interested in having an affair, I’d find a man with hair.” Aside from getting a kick out of watching Liz pretend to be a criminal, we learned a bit more about Red as well. Not only did it turn out that Red and Madeline had a personal past relationship, but we also learned about the night Red disappeared over 20 years ago. According to Red, he ran out of gas that Christmas Eve, and by the time he made it home, his house was covered in blood. What was cool about this scene, was that like Madeline, Red suckered me in. I was so invested in his sob story, and whether or not we’d learn the truth about his interest in Liz, that it never occurred to me that it was a lie Red was telling to manipulate Madeline into handing over the stolen effigy. This in fact turned out to be the case, or did it? Could Red have been telling the truth about that night, and if so, did he find his daughter dead or was he just imagining his family’s fate? As always, every time we believe we’ve learned the truth about something, we later discover it was all a smokescreen. One thing this episode reminded me of, was that no matter how much truth they feed us, I have yet to get annoyed at them revealing that everything we think we’ve learned is just a con. Guessing whether what Red says is real or fake is part of the fun in watching this series. One thing’s for sure: it definitely keeps us on our toes!

The Blacklist - Season 1

“She’s waiting for you in Florence.” The whole episode was spent watching Liz and Red chase after a stolen artifact, and Tom’s discontentment with his marriage to Liz, that it’s almost easy to forget that Cooper is after Red for Fowler’s disappearance. In the last episode, Red discovered that Director Diane Fowler was the Mole, and killed her for using Anslo Garrick to kill people Red cared for and kidnap him from the Black Site. This storyline was so much on the back-burner, that when Special Agent Walter Gary Martin shows up from Washington, D.C. to hand Cooper his hat, it completely threw me. Much of what Cooper has let Red get away with is enough to put the Bureau’s eyes on him and his people, but if Washington determines Red is guilty of Fowler’s murder, than all hell will break loose. Could the Black Site team end up on the other side of the law, or would they throw Red under the bus just to stay in the Bureau’s good graces? This is one question we’re probably sure to find out. Then again, with this show? Probably not. LOL!

Agent Martin: You need to stop.

“Madeline Pratt” was a nice way to suck viewers back into The Blacklist after such a long hiatus, and the episode also managed to add more dimensions to Liz and Red’s characters. We may still not know what made Red disappear all those years ago and what became of his family, or much about Liz’ background, but we do know a little bit more now than we did before. This week we also were reminded of the terrible shape Tom and Liz’s relationship is, and next week we’ll see Tom betray Liz in a way that Red’s never warned her about. As we near the end of the season, hopefully the intel will keep on coming, and we’ll walk away with something tangible to tide us over the summer until the season 2 premiere.The Blacklist - Season 1

So what did you think of “Madeline Pratt?” Are you dying to know the truth about Red’s disappearance? Were you squealing with glee over Liz’s prowess at slight of hand? How much did you squee when Ressler cancelled his date with Audrey to give Liz a shoulder to lean on? Sound off your thoughts in the comments below, and be sure to tune in next Monday at 10PM for an all new episode of The Blacklist.