Conner’s Critique: Blacklist – Season 10

Blacklist went through a lot of changes in the last years of the show, specifically due to the exit of its main character, the way they decided to handle it, and the subsequent following exits of secondary characters after the previous season. Now that the show has come to an end, it’s time to talk about how the series ended and whether it stands up to the past years of the show.

As always, our reviews breakdown the series by story, acting, and overall. So let’s jump on into it.

Story 3/10

Elizabeth Keane is still dead. Just want to make sure that’s very clear before we go into the story for this season, in case you think there’d be some surprise return. The story only continues with Raymond Reddington as he deals with the loss of his legacy and purpose, while still trying to do good and carry on Elizabeth’s mission. The season also deals with the mortality of the titular character and the realization that he is not going to live forever.

On top of the events left over from the prior season, Raymond must deal with loose ends and entities still trying to discover the truth about who Raymond Reddington is. By mid-season he has done a good job of dispatching those that would come after him. Now he is helping the task Force uncover a great spy network that appears to be able to create a corporation at a whim to shield criminals, or monitor the entire UN and Embassies at a whim. As he starts dismantling them with the help of the task force, we start to realize that these are Raymond’s own companies.

Now without the leverage that he has used in the prior seasons to keep his immunity deal, the task force must turn to bringing Raymond Reddington in and making him explain why he’s doing all that he’s doing.

The show concluding and wrapping up Raymond’s empire was a nice touch. It was pretty obvious as it was happening though. Like prior to Keane’s death, the series does an amazing job showcasing the massive size and abilities of Raymond Reddington’s empire. However, all that goodwill, and prior season’s goodwill is ruined by the actual death of Raymond Reddington and how they showcased it.

It really sucks that they alluded to him having an illness that was killing him, the police were right behind him nipping at his heels, and he almost died saving his closest friend, and instead of any of those better conclusions, they went with a horrible conclusion instead. How do you create a Chekhov’s Gun in his illness, slowly killing your main character for multiple seasons, and then don’t even fully address what it was.

Hell, they could have had a great conclusion of this show by literally having Raymond Reddington sacrifices himself for Dembe and that would have been a fitting and beautiful ending of the season.

Acting 7/10

The crew of the show once again showcases they’re still amazing as they maneuver through the show’s scenarios with poise, concern, and care as well as Raymond Reddington’s actor, James Spader. I can’t imagine this show without the talent of the rest and crew of the series.

It’s not the fault of James Spader that the season falls short at the end. The writers didn’t create a solid and conclusive end that felts right for their characters. All the actors can do is act with what they get. Diego Klattenhoff, Donald Ressler, Harry Lennix, Harold Cooper, and newcomer Anya Banerjee as Siya Malik do an amazing job performing in this season in spite of the bad writing choices. I will specifically say that Anya and the writers did a great job with Malik, specifically because they were able to tell an entire story of her character from start to finish with a good conclusion within only one season.

They needed to create more cast in the last season, due to the fact that Laura Sohn and Amir Arison left the show in the prior season.

Overall 4/10

I will specifically say that as far as endings of series go, it is not the worst. I think that crown might be held by series like Sopranos and Dexter in equal perpetuity. That being said, this one is quite the stinker. The final season is amazing until the last episode, and then it just feels like they gave up. It really takes away from all the hard work that everyone did. It’s sad to think about how great the show did writing such amazing characters, have them portrayed by amazing actors and then to produce such a lackluster conclusion. It’s criminal.

Conner’s Final Thoughts

It’s pretty interesting to see a show like this end without leaving open a back door, design a new pilot in the ending for another series. This is probably because they already tried this half way through the show with little to no success. Still a show that ran for 10 seasons and doesn’t consider or even attempt a continuation of the world is quite unique. It’s crazy to think that we’ll never see these characters again, especially since they killed off the main one.

This probably would have been different if Elizabeth Keane’s character, played by Megan Boone had not died, preventing the story from moving on, but the series still allowed James Spader’s character a gracefully way to end his story.

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