Will Hart / NBC

The Blacklist Gets A Shalhoub Job

He's a man with a very particular set of skills...and TWO Pomeranians!

This episode represents the first full episode starring Bob Liz in place of Blonde Liz. But the question remains: will the new hairstyle bring about a new attitude as well? Will the change from blonde to brown represent a step up or merely a lateral move? To distract us from that answer, the show offers up the lovable Tony Shalhoub as an eccentric with two Pomeranians. He plays Alistair Pitt, also known as The Promnestria, a word the ancient Greeks used to describe a negotiator, according to Red. Fittingly, this Promnestria is a high-level negotiator who specializes in uniting crime syndicates. Hey, you know what they say: do what you love and the money will follow. The Promnestria has an interest in uniting two very powerful crime families, who if they combined would rival the Mexican cartel. All I can really say about the Promnestria is that no one on the show can agree on how to pronounce it. Red says "prom-NEST-ree-ah," Bob Liz says "PROM-nes-tree-ah," and Cooper says "prom-nes-TREE-ah." Guys, this is exactly why you shouldn't skip rehearsals!

There's a lot on Bob Liz's adoption storyline, but I'll be honest: almost any time spent on Bob Liz's baby is too much for me, unless...hang on, something just occurred to me. Look, if the people who are "interested" in adopting Bob Liz's baby turn out to be assassins coming after her, then I'm fully on board with this storyline. But if there's no switcheroo here other than "I've decided to keep the baby," I think this is a waste of precious time that could be spent on much-needed badassery. Sadly, the storyline concludes with the prospective parents bowing out because they put together that Bob Liz is that Elizabeth Keen. And I say "Boo" to that. A prolonged and loud "Booooooooo!"

So, ultimately, what level of Blacklist-iness was this episode? Let's check the numbers!

Blacklist-y Element Present?
Does Liz, essentially, do nothing to help herself or her situation? Bob Liz really only occupies her time with concerns about adoption. Although somehow she's able to go into the field with Ressler twice, including the Red Wedding-esque Crime Syndicate Family Engagement Party. Ahhh, so that's how the show plans to get around Bob Liz not actually being an agent: by just letting her act like an agent anyway. Got it.
Red tells a charming personal story before killing some profusely sweaty dirtbag Red regales the engagement party guests with the plot of a telenovela he once watched, before he foments them all into violence. Several sweaty dirtbags are killed in a hail of gunfire.
Stupid government agents! Always ruining everything! The government agent who ruins everything isn't Ressler, for once, or even someone else on the Task Force. It's a guy named Agent Tucker, whose compendium of anti-Keen zingers is limited to calling her "Comrade Rostova" over and over again.
Red is one step ahead of everyone at all times! Once again, Red orchestrates a grand drama for purely personal reasons. You'd think someone would start catching on, or at least asking him, "Is this just going to turn out to be some sort of vendetta again? You know, like the last three or four cases?"
This Blacklist-er should totally be on Red's list! On Red's personal list? Definitely. Would the FBI generally give one non-flying fuck about this guy? Probably not.
Coincidence? Schmoincidence! The two rival crime syndicate families, whose merger would rival the size of the Mexican cartel, both happen to be based in D.C. Man, it's no wonder the property values have gone to shit there! They've got more villains than Gotham City.
Red's hat symbolizes his cool mastery of his surroundings! Red's hat sits confindently on the kitchen island in Mads Errikson's house, while Red helps himself to milk and cookies. Even though he doesn't wear the hat in the scene, the hat still pulls its weight. Also, the scene really represents the perfect storm of "Red mastering his surroundings," because it features his hat and Red enjoying food, a classic Double Whammy.
Dialog by ClichéBot 3000 "You're questioning my intel, but you didn't even know your partner was a Russian spy?" says Agent Tucker. "That's because I'm not," Bob Liz says. To which Tucker replies, "You're not an agent either, COMRADE." Oh no he di'n't!
Something deadly/dangerous is given a name equally suited to an improv theater or troupe You really should check out The Promnestria, it's a totally improvised high school prom, done in the style of a Greek tragedy! Trust me, you've NEVER seen anything like it.
8 / 9
Final Score
Freshly prepared Blacklist
Re-heated Parenthood leftovers
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