The Blacklist: Silence of the lambs 2.0?


Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Steve Perotti, TSV Staff Writer

The Archetype set by Anthony Hopkins’ portrayal as “Hannibal Lecter” in 1991’s “The Silence Of The Lambs” has been re-imagined, albeit not on purpose, in the pilot episode of the new series, “The Blacklist”.

The show debuted Sept. 23, 2013 and from the beginning we are introduced to a very interesting character, played by one of the most dynamic American actors still in the business. James Spader, rumored to be playing villain “Ultron” in “The Avengers 2”, is introduced in the opening of the show as disgraced former government agent “Raymond ‘Red’ Reddington”. Reddington surrenders to the FBI in the very beginning of the show, and early on we’re led to believe that he is playing the bureau for a bunch of fools. His calm demeanor and relaxed approach to dealing with his “imprisonment” sets a powerful tone for his character and was, in all honesty, what intrigued me and kept me watching.

Opposite Spader’s Reddington character, we have “Elizabeth Keen”, played by relative unknown Megan Boone. This is where the similarities between Hannibal Lecter and Clarice Starling start to come into play. Reddington refuses to work with any agent other then Keen, and when he initially meets her he asks questions relating to her childhood and overall past. As the show progresses we learn, bit by bit, more about Keen’s childhood and back story. Abandoned by her criminal father, who burned and scarred her hand for reasons unknown, she is a character very much reserved. As the episode continues we find out Reddington is infatuated with Keen, and that he knows more about her life then she does. Does Reddington see himself as her father? Is there a connection between Reddington and Keen’s past? Is she, in fact, the child that is referenced as being abandoned by Reddington in the beginning of the show? Is he simply messing with her mind because he can?

All in all, for a pilot, I was very impressed. Spader is amazing as the main character, and for him I’ll be returning to this show weekly. As or the remainder of the characters, I’m less convinced of their worth. The plot twist in the ending surprised me, and I’m curious to see what is coming next.