Pros and Cons of Being a Criminal on The Blacklist

Raymond doesn't need church to confess his sins.Pros and Cons of Being a Criminal on The Blacklist


Since Raymond Reddington first walked back into the FBI headquarters and brought this task force together, we’ve know that he is many things. A criminal first and foremost, but also a lover of the finer things in life, intensely loyal to those he loves and a straight up liar (well, to everyone but Elizabeth).


Nearly every case he’s brought to the FBI has served to further his agenda one way or another. Three seasons into The Blacklist, and that has not changed. Even in the early part of this season, the first eight episodes were clearly designed to exonerate Liz and arm Red for this upcoming war he keeps talking about. The latest episode seems to continue that pattern and shows us that no one is safe on this show, whether you are a good guy, bad guy or a little bit of both.


Breaking Down the Pros and Cons of Episode 3×12


Tom (Ryan Eggold) and Liz (Megan Boone) discussing their growing family on The Blacklist 3x12.


Much like Liz, I can’t help make Pro/Con lists. Whether it’s about taking a trip, or watching an episode of The Blacklist, I always tend to find the good and bad in each decision I need to make. In this case, there was a lot about this particular episode that landed in the Pro column, but there were a few that I would consider a Con.


So, let’s take a deeper look at where this week’s episode was successful, and were it left a bit more to be desired.


PRO: I love hearing Raymond talk. Truly I do. I could listen to this man read a dissertation of Maritime Security and be riveted every second. So, his scene with Liz‘s attacker from last week was easily my favorite scene of the entire episode. Besides the beautiful speech about how a little part of him dies every time he takes a life, I was glad to see Liz’s attacker get Red’s version of justice for what he did to her.


James Spader as Raymond Reddington, The Blacklist season 3


CON: Before I go further, I want to state that I AM a fan of Tom Keen. Oddly enough, I didn’t care for him before we found out his true identity, and my affection for him has grown since his crimes have come to light (I know… what does that say about me, right?!) I’ve loved him more this season than the previous two, until this episode. There was something “off” about his early scenes with Liz where he was telling her about his teaching job and even more so when he tells Liz that they could run away and have a life together, that didn’t include Reddington. Does he NOT know who Red is? I mean, C’mon.


First, let’s just forget the logistics of how wrong it would be for any school to hire him, regardless of whatever certificates he has or not. Fact is, the man is a fraud. But this overly playful banter with Liz feels forced to me. I am all about sailing on the good ship of Mr. & Mrs. Keen, but a domesticated version just seems weird. Oh, and WHERE HAS THAT DOG BEEN FOR ALL THIS TIME?


Where has Tom been hiding the dog this whole time?


PRO: Elizabeth has made some really bad decisions since her time of meeting Red and joining the task force. She seems to waiver a lot on who to trust, and when to trust them. However, her decision to give up her baby was probably one of the best ones she’s ever made (well that, and going back to her natural hair color. Sorry Liz, blonde just doesn’t work for you). Even after hearing about her own mother’s pregnancy and struggles with the idea of having a child, she stood strong and chose to give her child a better life than she could provide – even with Reddington‘s help.


CON: The case itself was a weird one at that. I felt like I was in an alternate universe where The Blacklist took its villains from an episode of Game of Thrones, only without the charm. Again, I know that the case was brought to the FBI so Raymond could avenge his friend/business associate, and further his agenda of gaining capital to, as he says, “fight the upcoming war”. But, this was just straight up weird and a little off kilter. I’d love to know who in the writer’s room got to research those medieval torture devices though. I sure hope they cleared their browser history or they might have a little explaining to do.


Ressler and Samar may be partners, but there is no trust between them.


PRO: Samar and Aram’s friendship is turning out to be a very enjoyable part of the show to me. His obvious crush on her notwithstanding, Aram went to bat for Samar, even so far as breaking into Ressler’s computer to write a glowing recommendation to help her regain her place on the task force. Before realizing that it was infact her IT friend who helped her out, she went to Ressler to thank him. When he shot her down saying that even now, knowing what he knows, he still doesn’t think she should have the job back she gets in one last jab by saying something to the effect of, “yeah, well, you were bad in bed.” Samar, you are definitely my hero.


Will Tom Get His Way or Will Liz Stay with Red?



At the end of the episode, Raymond is found waiting in Liz’s new apartment. She had made it clear in the previous scene to Tom that she had some thinking to do and in not so many words, was looking forward to being on her own for a while; filling her life and apartment with things SHE wants. He tells her more about her mother, making it fairly obvious that he was around for Katrina while she was pregnant with Masha. Liz doesn’t budge though, and still asks him to leave. So, while she didn’t choose Tom, she didn’t exactly choose Red either. Liz, chose herself.


With the promo for next week showing the return of Gina Zanetakos, I can’t imagine that things will go well for Tom and his pursuit at a normal life with Liz. Even though I adore Mr. Keen, I am looking forward to seeing how this situation plays out. Something tells me that, pregnant or not, Liz will have a few things to say about the return of Tom’s ex-lover.


So, tell me Blacklisters, what made it on your Pro/Con list for this episode of The Blacklist? What were your highlights and lowlights? Are you rooting for Tom and Liz to raise Baby Keen together, or do you think her decision to go with adoption was the right call? Leave your thoughts in the comments below, head over to our fan forum, or come chat with us in our Facebook Group!


The Blacklist 3×13 airs Thursday, February 4 at 9/8C on NBC and will feature guest star Tony Shalhoub.


  1. The entire time Red had Liz’s attacker in the chair facing Red, I heard the theme song from the Godfather playing in my head. And from the trailer for next week’s show and the Godfather 3-style shoot-out of mafia guys, I was not far off.

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