(Major spoiler ahead … you were warned.)
In a recent episode of The Blacklist, (Mombasa Cartel (No. 114)), the minds behind the show really flip the script. It was simultaneously surprising and a perfect way to keep the show fresh.
We’ve seen Lizzy (Megan Boone) in a previous episode enter a sparse basement, where a lone, enormous, intimidating man sits in a metal folding chair facing an empty folding chair. Lizzy stops, sits, and listens as the man tells her, “He’s not going to be happy to see you.” Unconcerned, Lizzy enters through another door, where we lose sight of her. Who is the wizard behind the curtain? Is it someone who is feeding her info on Red? On her ex-husband, the spy who ruined her life? Is she doing something self-destructive out of the way of prying eyes, considering how her life fell to pieces in Season 1? It’s the great unknown.
However, Raymond Reddington’s man who is tailing Lizzy finds her hidey hole, despite her efforts to keep her secret. He knows what Lizzy is hiding, and he gives her the opportunity to tell Red (James Spader) what she’s been up to in her free time. Lizzy acts as if she might come clean … then calls in the feds on Red’s tail and has him put in a cell under charges that keep him from seeing anyone, even a lawyer. Red is mad, knowing something is being kept from him, something that could help him protect Lizzy. But she’s not telling, and the one man who knows is locked in a hole so deep he can’t be of any assistance.
That should have been the hint that this wasn’t our Lizzy from Season 1. But the big kick in the cookies comes at the end of the episode, when Lizzy returns to the basement, enters the room, and her ex-hubby and outed spy, Tom, sits chained to the wall and not looking so good.
KABLOW! That action changes everything we know about Lizzy to this point. She spent the entire first season reacting to the situation – Red, Tom, work, etc. – always behind, never knowing what everyone else knew, lost in the woods with no clue where to go. She cried, she stressed, she fretted, but most of her action was job-related, not Red- or Tom-related. She really looked like an intelligent, competent person who just was in over her head in world of deceit and false fronts.
Up to this point in Season 2, little appeared to be different. She’s been trying to dig something up on why Red is focused on her, to no avail. She couldn’t get anything from Red’s ex-wife. Lizzy has been moving from hotel room to hotel room, fearing for her life, seeming to enjoy alcohol a bit more than she had previously. Except now that we know about Tom … was Lizzy really scared, fraying at the seams, waiting for the next moment that upends her life? Was it an effort to force Red to tip his hand, hoping he might let something leak in an effort to comfort her and set her right? Was it just an act to keep everyone from the truth about her secret meetings with chained basement hubby? Is it something else? We don’t know, and that’s awesome.
Moving forward, we now can’t trust what we knew about Lizzy, our heroine, the smart, beautiful, all-American girl. She has now stepped in to the thick of this murky world of intelligence and intimidation, smarter, wiser and ready to get her petite, well-manicured hands dirty.
Me, I can’t wait to see what she does next.