The Blacklist
Pilot

Episode Report Card
Mr. Sobell: B- | 207 USERS: B+
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Silence of the Hams
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Our story begins outside what looks like an officious government building, as a man with unfortunate skin hands over a briefcase to another man dressed like a black-clad Truman Capote. "It must be good to be home again, sir," the before shot in the Stridex ad says to black-clad Truman Capote, who half-heartedly agrees. "Well, we’ll see about that," he says, as he heads into the building, which just so happens to be FBI headquarters. Truman Capote Noire identifies himself as Raymond Reddington, though savvy TV viewers like you and me will recognize him as James Spader; he asks to meet with Assistant Director Harold Cooper, though he does not have an appointment. I suspect Mr. Cooper will clear out his calendar, though, as a cursory check of the Web reveals that Raymond "Red" Reddington is on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List. A multitude of armed guards soon have Reddington surrounded, which is a shame, as the tour of the FBI building was one of my favorite parts of my eighth grade class’s trip to Washington.

Because it’s easier just to tell us these things as opposed to showing them, Ressler -- the FBI agent working the Reddington case -- exposits that Reddington graduated top of his class at the Naval Academy and was being groomed to be an admiral when in 1990, he disappeared on his way home to visit his wife and daughter. Four years later, he became a dirty tattletale, selling intelligence to whomever handed him the largest check. His nickname is The Concierge of Crime, which, as far as crime nicknames go, is no Teflon Don or Pretty Boy Floyd. Anyhow, the FBI has Reddington safely stashed in a high-tech warehouse, where he’s been fitted with a tracking chip and chained up with the kind of restraints normally reserved for our most monstrous criminals or our most ingenious magicians. Or for our monstrous criminal magicians, for that matter. Anyhow, Reddington is offering the FBI information on notorious terrorist and nogoodnik Ranko Zamani, whom the FBI assumed was dead but who turns out to be very much alive and arriving at Dulles International, which is only sort of like death. Reddington will help the FBI find Zamani, but only if he gets to talk to Elizabeth Keen.

And who is Elizabeth Keen, you might ask? Well, she’s an FBI profiler and right now, she’s overslept for her first day at work as a criminal profiler for the FBI in Washington. Anyhow, there’s a lot of frantic hustling between her and her almost too-tweedy husband to get out of bed and out the door and a timely and sensible fashion, but they needn’t have bothered, really, because about five dozen black SUVs pull up in front of their flat, with Ressler leading the charge. The FBI does not fuck around with its "Show Up to Work On Time Policy," people.

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The Blacklist

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