Lizzie, Red, Cooper, Ressler, Berlin—the gang is back and, excluding a few, everyone seems to have gone to the hair salon in between seasons and said, “One shade darker, please!” Because, you guys, The Blacklist is dark, and don’t you forget it. Fingers are getting cut off; targets have dissociative personalities to work around; Liz is wearing HOODIES. Add on an expert digi-stalker, and it’s all starting off very Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. So, buckle up because it’s gonna be a bumpy, likely terrifying ride with your 11-year-old rifle-wielding drivers.
Coming off a wild go of a first season—which encountered minimal growing pains while learning to move between an episodic procedural, and a serialized drama about a magnetic nut his maybe-daughter—The Blacklist is back to prove it can do it all over again, with perhaps even more guns, fake hair, and severed limbs this time. But there will be the exact same amount of fedoras, because there just simply could not be any more fedoras. Season 1 ended on a plot high, answering quite a few burning questions without really having to cap any of the juiciest points off just yet: Berlin is still at large, Liz still doesn’t know who her father is (or her mother, but who’s counting? I am… I’m counting. Who is her mother?), and Tom’s body had mysteriously, but not surprisingly, disappeared the last we saw.
The premiere opens shortly after the big reveals of the first season’s finale, but Raymond Reddington has already made his way across enemy lines a few continents over; we find him barreling down a dirt road in Camaroon, on his way to see a warlord who he knows Berlin hired bounty hunters from to find him after he broke out of prison—you know, that time he cut his hand off while in an airplane full of prisoners, plummeting to the ground. Red’s intentional capture comes along with $3 million in cash for the warlord and three friendly hellfire missiles in hand to try and persuade him to give him the names of the other people Berlin has hired to hunt him down. The hellfire missiles are particularly persuasive, and the money, apparently, expendable, as it goes up in flames.
LORD BALTIMORE, NO. 104
Over at the Post Office, the Deputy Attorney General has caught wind that leadership might be a little shaky on this special task force—Agent Gary “The Worst” Martin has stepped in as interim director while Agent Cooper heals up from that time he was strangled with a wire by an assassin—and she wants to talk to Reddington. Don’t we all, unnamed Deputy Attorney General, don’t we all? Ressler helpfully informs her that they have a bit of a saying around these parts: Reddington only talks to Elizabeth Keen.
Speaking of Elizabeth Keen, she just so happens to be in a shady hotel room playing full John Nash, laying on her bed staring at a bunch of pictures and newspaper clippings stapled to the ceiling like someone whose life has recently fallen apart, evidenced even further by a montage of her eating salads while standing. But she’s also adopted a new power ponytail to show that she’s finding strength in her newly jaded attitude after finding out that her husband was a contract spy and the bulk of her life has probably been a lie, including, potentially, this very moment… so everything kind of balances out. Red returns and pulls Lizzie away from her ceiling-staring to tell her that Lord Baltimore, a cyber-tracker of sorts is after him, and in order to find Berlin, they’ll need to get to Lord Baltimore first.
**It’s important to note that there’s not a single time that anyone says Lord Baltimore that it doesn’t sound like Lord Voldemort, and I’ll have to assume this was done on purpose, as it really ups the fear factor quite substantially.**
According to Aram, still the Post Office’s most endearingly valuable player, Lord Baltimore is an all-star data miner with his very own urban legend who uses a person’s internet presence to create a dossier for his clients to track down their targets. Taking a look at staff irregularities in the nation’s top data firms leads the team to Rowan Mills, played by a suspiciously talented Krysten Ritter. Surely she wasn’t brought in just to play this confused researcher who found an extra $250,000 in her IRA and immediately reported it. (Spoiler Alert: She’s wasn’t.) After Liz and Ressler leave her, Rowan gets a voicemail from a computerized voice saying someone knows about her little chat with the FBI, and she better lay off the chats, or else.
NEXT: It’s kind of like a really twisted Mary Kate and Ashley movie…