The Blacklist
The Judge

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | 54 USERS: A
YOU GRADE IT
To Mr. Goodbar, With Love
Red: "I am not the guy to talk to about that, but I see your point. In any case, you should probably just do what I am telling you to do, since for some reason I suddenly care about this. Please don't inquire as to why."

POST OFFICE

The team discusses everything Red just said, and Cooper doesn't seem nervous yet. But I will tell you that this case is all about Cooper, which makes it more interesting. Not that a crazy horse lady keeping lawyers prisoner in a Cracker Barrel isn't already interesting, but it does raise the stakes for the team, considering all the guys she's keeping prisoner are misusers of power, and this whole show is usually about kind of the opposite.

That is, this show is usually about people outside the system controlling the system, and we have to take them down, but this week it's about a person doing Red kinds of retribution, a meta-Reddington supervillain, so the only way to make the concept work is if it's personal. Otherwise it's a hall of mirrors that becomes about whether or not Red's vigilantism is a good thing, a pet monster, an "ends justify the means," or whatever other interesting questions the show likes to ask. This week, it can't be like that, so it has to be about Cooper.

My best friend is a PD, and when she took the bar she told me something that forever changed the way I look at justice, defense, criminal law, the whole thing: She explained that, as an Officer of the Court, you are held up to a higher standard legally, which runs parallel to your powers as a human person. Basically that by entering into the system -- of law, governance, war, whatever it is -- you give up the right to be a shitheel in return for the power to operate as a superhero.

If a lawyer on one side of a criminal case goes to the guys on the other side of a criminal case and says, "Yeah yeah, but just trust me on this," they can come to an agreement: They are working in a liminal space above us, ethically. And that carries weight and responsibilities that the rest of us don't carry, which is why crimes in those arenas carry a greater weight. It's the same thing as how killing a person is murder if you're a civilian, but casualties in war are not murder. In both cases, you're taking a vow to stand apart from the normal civil give-and-take. That resonates profoundly with me, great powers meaning great responsibility and so on, and it plays into this episode in a major way: If nobody's watching the watchmen, then we're all fucked.

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The Blacklist

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