The Blacklist Episode (1×19) Review – “The Pavlovich Brothers”



Red and Liz Embark on a New Beginning After This Week’s Episode of The Blacklist

After what seemed like forever, Red and Liz have finally come back! This produced so much excitement, that if you looked through my bedroom window you may have seen me dancing a jig and waving my hands. Not saying it happened, but it may have. Oh, who am I kidding? Of course it did, and for good reason. When we last saw Liz, she discovered Tom wasn’t who, or what, he claimed to be. Instead of busting her husband, Liz and Red decided to play along in order to uncover Tom’s motives and identify who he’s working for. The whole Spy vs. Spy game promised to add a new layer to this crime drama/mystery/thriller show, and I don’t think I was the only one excited to see how this all was going to play out.

This week, Liz and Red continued playing their spy games, while the Agency worked a new case. Blacklisters #119-122, “The Pavlovich Brothers,” were last seen in the pilot episode as guns for hire who kidnapped a little girl for ransom. In episode 119, the Brothers were back to their old tricks, but this time they were after a Chinese national, Xiaoping Li, who created a germ warfare program titled, “White Fog.” This week’s episode was very heavy with the spy action, and also focused on Liz’ deteriorating personal life. Now that you’re all brought up to speed, let’s talk about the episode, shall we?

The Blacklist - Season 1

Real or Not Real?

Wife. Agent. Friend. Mockingbird? Was I the only one with images of The Hunger Games running through my head when it was revealed Tom’s code name for Liz is Mockingbird? Yeah, Katniss was Mockingjay, but still… Liz is more at the top of her game when she’s being a bad-ass, than when she’s trying to be the good little rookie agent. However, the Liz we see in “The Pavlovich Brothers” wasn’t it. I expected to see the chick we saw taking out armed men in “Anslo Garrick, Pt. 1&2.” Instead we have a woman following her husband, a man who can identify her, even though Red already hired people to tail Tom. A woman who got caught, and lost her target. Not only that, but Liz stupidly broke Tom’s thumb in an attempt at torturing the truth out of him, and only managed to help him escape. I wanted to scream at my television for every rookie mistake she made, didn’t you? What reigned me in was the knowledge that Liz is being sloppy, not because she’s poorly trained, but because she’s emotionally invested in what happens. Tom isn’t just some run of the mill suspect, he’s her husband. A man who promised to “love and honor” her until death does them part. Instead, she was betrayed. Not only did she end up “losing” him, but Liz’s behavior is beginning to get noticed at work. Tom only sees Liz as business, and if Liz is going to get to the bottom of why he infiltrated her life, she’s going to have to do the same.

Tom: It was the shoes.

Liz: What do you mean?

Tom: That’s when I knew. It was those brown leather shoes. It was our third, or maybe fourth, date. You’d come over to my place on Halstead, and we ordered…uh.. take-out and rented a movie we never finished, because we ended up… And you had to get up early for work, and by the time I got up I found you gone. I remember standing in the closet, half dressed, reaching for my shoes when I saw you’d drawn this little heart in the dust on my shoe. You remember that? It was the sweetest thing. And ever since that moment I felt sorry for you. Because I knew. I knew that I had you. Part of me didn’t want it to work, but it did.

The Blacklist Episode 1x19

Burn Notice

Tom wasn’t the only one this week getting his hands dirty. Red gave the Agency information on “The Pavlovich Brothers” that helped them locate their latest kidnap victim, Xiaoping Li, but then hired the mercenaries to kidnap Tom for Liz after the dude figured out Mockingbird knew he was a dirty rotten liar. The Brothers weren’t the only element from the first episode that returned. The scene in Tom and Liz’s kitchen with the Brothers kicking back waiting for Liz to arrive as Tom sat strapped to a chair was very similar to what happened to Tom in the “Pilot.” The difference is, this time it was Liz who ended up hurting him. Red’s role in the episode was pretty passive. He rode around following up leads on Tom’s real identity while others did the dirty work, but by the end of the episode Red came up dirty. Liz may not have learned who hired Tom to spy on her, but that doesn’t mean she ended up empty handed. Before Tom walked out the door, he threw his wife a bone, by informing her the mystery key from the lamp goes to safety deposit box #3929 at Radford Bank. What was in the box looked like photos of some sort, but unfortunately we have to wait until next week to find out what they contain. Liz and Red’s relationship is one of the best things about this show, and I’m not looking forward to them being estranged.

Red: Liz, You’re chest high in filth, and you’re going to have to wade through to get to the other side.

The Blacklist Episode 1x19 03

The End is the Beginning (Is the End)

With only three episodes left this season, the series appears to be changing gears heading into season 2. Tom and Liz are now aware of the truth behind their relationship. While Liz still doesn’t know why Tom infiltrated her life, she knows she’s going to have to set her emotions aside if she’s going to unravel this mystery. And that’s not the only one. Red has become a father figure for Liz, and whatever she found inside the safety deposit box may end up changing their relationship for the worse. Everything that’s been happening to Liz seems to be happening because of her mysterious ties to Red, and hopefully we’ll explore more of that next season. Director Paul Edwards captured some great shots this week. From the nearly kaleidoscopic angles in the National Archives as viewers watched both Tom and Liz the other’s perspective to the amazing fight sequence in Tom and Liz’s apartment. Their knockdown drag out fight was very Mr. & Mrs. Smith as NBC promised it would be, and hopefully we’ll see more fights between these two in the future. Writer Elizabeth Benjamin didn’t overload the episode with tons of Red’s snarky comments, which managed to convey the charmer as very empathetic towards Liz’s situation. While Ressler and the gang investigated a crime this week, I can’t say it held my interest as much as the main story, and honestly don’t get what it was about. Maybe that’s why the Pavlovich brothers ended up crossing stories. Overall, episode 119 had me on the edge of my seat, and left me dying to know what’s in the box?

Liz: How is this all going to end?

Red: This is an end. And then something new will begin.

Liz’s Bulletin Board….

  • Tom claimed he’s “one of the good guys.” If that’s true, then could he have been sent to protect her like he claims? Who from? Red, or someone else?
  • When Tom flipped the chair he was in over the dining room table, I actually cheered. Ryan Eggold was fantastic this week and definitely left me wondering if maybe we’ve had Tom’s intentions wrong.
  • Is Red following Tom to help Liz, or himself?
  • What will Cooper do to Liz when he discovers what she’s been up to? Could all of this end up costing Liz her career?
  • Now that Tom and Liz are dunzo, could the romance door be opened for Donald and Liz? They’ve become really close, and if they hooked up, I wouldn’t complain.
  • Who does Tom work for? Up until now we’ve assumed he worked for a foreign agency, but maybe we’re wrong. Could Tom be working for the NSA, or some other branch of the US Government?