'The Blacklist' and 'Reign' Maintain Their Momentum

The Blacklist
The NBC drama wasted no time capitalizing on the momentum of last week’s tremendous episode. Red and Liz teamed up to take down another blacklister, Red finally realized Dembe was missing, Red’s scene stealing cohort Glen made a spectacular return to the series and Harold enlisted Tom for help in finding the elusive assassin, Karakurt. “Eli Meatchett (No. 72)” moved at a strong pace and had terrific moments of comic relief.

The only technical problem with the episode was when Red and Liz did not switch cars after almost being caught at the apartment. Red would’ve covered his tracks better than that, unless there was some purpose to his choice that has yet to be explained.

Liz’s struggle with her eroding morality continues to provide the emotional underpinnings of the series. She is being written into a very shadowy corner. She almost killed a cop and there’s no way when everything is over, she can possibly get away with that. As the realization that her status as a “good guy” is slipping further and further away sets in, one can only wonder what the writers have up their sleeve to redeem her or whether they’re actually planning to.

Meanwhile, Ressler was hot on her and Red’s trail, as Tom spent time at his and Liz's old haunt hoping she'd call asking for his help. Unfortunately that call never came. The good news is that by episode’s end, he wound up headed in a direction that could lead him to her. As for Tom's face off with Ressler, it was clear Tom let Ressler rough him up. There’s no way a guy capable of doing what Tom has been shown to be, wouldn’t be able to take down Ressler. That point was made all the more clear when Ressler wasn’t even able take on seed man. I rest my case.

Side Notes/Burning Questions: Will Liz go to prison? Why isn’t Red more alarmed by Dembe’s disappearance? Again: how much longer until Dembe can kick some tail? When Liz told Red that she "used" to have a husband that loved her, she must’ve forgotten she was using the past tense.

Filling an exciting hour of “Reign” were power plays for the allegiance of Prince Charles, Narcisse’s successful pursuit of Lola and Elizabeth’s shaky love life. Catherine and Mary: bitter enemies, in-laws and epic rivals dueled for control of Charles, the soon-to-be King and the Scotswoman won the first round. Catherine’s manipulations were to be expected and despite her wicked ways, she managed to share some harsh truths.

When it came to her summation of Mary, who only last season cheated on Francis and brought her entire country to the brink of war, Catherine’s words pricked with brutal honesty. Mary is not the ideal royal she once was and Catherine was correct in reminding her son of his wife’s failings. Clearly a bit blinded by love and filled with a desire to live out the rest of his days fully committed to Mary, he’s whitewashed her sins or perhaps more nobly, forgiven them.

For her part, Mary’s smug disposition towards Catherine was disconcerting. She should be wracked with guilt and unrelenting remorse for what she did to Francis and if she was, she wasn’t showing any of that to Catherine. If she would show a shred of repentance for her behavior it could go a long way with her resentful mother-in-law. Mary’s character is in a tricky predicament.

With the end of Francis’ life drawing near, it only serves to tarnish her further given she was the mechanism of his sickness. Once his death comes to fruition she will become a sort of killer by proxy. The question becomes how she can possibly be redeemed afterwards or if she can.

Mary and Catherine haven’t been the only queens acting out. Back in England, Elizabeth worked to keep her married lover close by, while also scheming to have a friend take the fall for harboring Catherine. Thus far the portrayal of Henry VIII’s daughter has been that of a lovelorn and desperate romantic.

An interesting angle that has yet to be really explored is how Elizabeth theoretically felt about being the daughter of a despot, who had her own mother executed on trumped up charges and how people within the realm might have felt about her. The psychological impact of her parents’ legacy, the toll of Lady Jane Grey's being deposed, Elizabeth's own imprisonment and the fallout from her half-sister Bloody Mary’s vengeful reign are much more interesting plot points to explore than a pedestrian love triangle.

Side Notes/Burning Questions: Francis’ death is happening much quicker than expected. Claude and Leith’s scenes provided a much needed dose of lighthearted romance. Where is Kenna? Lola and Narcisse finally got together but for how long? How disturbing was Catherine using her head as a battering ram on her cell door? Meagan Fellow’s performance whilst doing so was outstanding though.

Photo Credit: Reign/ The CW