How a “Sea Change” Could Be in the Cards for The Blacklist Season 4


How a “Sea Change” Could Be in the Cards for The Blacklist Season 4


In revealing the contents of the Fulcrum to a group of journalists Red referred to a “sea change.” It is a phrase from Shakespeare that refers to a broad transformation. Sailors, especially before powered vessels had to be very aware of issues like tide, wave height, weather and direction of the wind. This was so that they were not caught in a bad situation by nature or their enemies.

I am thinking that we will see a sea change in the direction of The Blacklist in Season Four. Story and script writers have a plot device or unexpected power or event that can change the direction of a story in a heartbeat. It is called Deux Ex Machina, literally “god in the machine.” Well, hang on Mateys and hold onto your hats, it’s gonna get rough.


Let’s look at just a few of the plot devices that could, in some way, be useful in an unexpected change for the characters of The Blacklist.


  1. The Stewmaker – Using his methods, it is easy to make bodies vanish without a trace, or at least appear to as in the picture of Berlin’s daughter in Stanley’s book of memories.
  2. Nathaniel Wolfe – Using both his ability to imitate any number of occupations and also the work of Dr. Maltz in changing his appearance with plastic surgery, it would be easier to succeed at imitating someone else. Tom Keen does this minus the surgery. Liz used it several times to fool people like Dr. Maltz, Wujing and Madeline Pratt also. Red apparently took advantage of the good doctor’s services himself.
  3. The Alchemist – Not satisfied with using acting and surgery to change appearance, Eric Trettel devised a method to allow people to disappear by using victims to not only have the appearance of the person disappearing, but also to impart enough DNA to fool all but the deepest DNA scans.
  4. Dr. Linus Creel – Part of a psychological operation for the government, Creel figured out who had the Warrior Gene and how to use psychological methods to trigger anger and rage in certain specific situations. Smells like a means of setting someone up for a frame job, I would say.
  5. Luther Braxton 2 – Remember how Braxton first tried to torture information out of Liz and then resorted to blackmailing Dr. Orchard into trying to recover Liz’s memories? Not only is there the potential for discovering hidden memories, but also block, alter and plant false memories. It should be interesting to see what memories access to Katarina’s personal journal will trigger.
  6. Quon Zhang – The smuggler and procurer of ghost wives shows us that in some circumstances altered bodies and sometimes live ones can be smuggled in and out of the country.
  7. Tom Connolly – The season finale of Season 2 showed how much power there is in framing people and in telling lies. Of course, it is more commonly known as propaganda. The media is a powerful tool and can spread falsehoods as well as truth.
  8. The Artax Network – This episode shows us two things. First, the value of good surveillance and data and two, a look at an offhand remark that can trigger valuable data. How did Aram think to check the inactive orbital satellites? Ressler made a remark about “around the world” that triggered his investigation into the Artax satellite system.
  9. Finally, Susan Hargrave points to the power of clandestine assets that can accomplish things that, in the words of The Dukes of Hazzard are: a little bit more than the law allows.


There are more, no doubt. But just these make it apparent that any time the writers want they can spin the entire plot on a dime. The term used is retcon, a mash-up of retroactive continuity. Well, about nine more days and then we will again fall into the Blacklist version of the rabbit hole for another season. Hang onto your hats.

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