It’s hardly uncommon for criminal procedural dramas to have spin-offs. Law & Order, CSI, and NCIS (which, itself, was a spin-off) are some of the biggest name ones. They’re almost never a guaranteed good thing, either, with CSI: Cyber proving to be an astonishingly disappointing flop compared to its parent show. It ultimately comes down to why the spin-off is happening, what characters it will feature to draw the original show’s audience in, and if there’s really enough material to use without running the risk of becoming a clone of the original show.
The Blacklist has proved, quite consistently, to be a treasure provided to viewers courtesy of Jon Bokenkamp’s vision, James Spader’s capacity to slip into the role of suave master criminal Raymond Reddington, Megan Boone’s fluidity in the character growth Special Agent Liz Keen experiences, and so many more factors. Each episode provides the special task force lead another Blacklister to capture, kill, or coerce, which both makes the world a little less evil and helps further Reddington’s dubious causes.
…it does tend to lean a bit toward the convoluted side, but almost always in its favor.
Readers beware: there may be some spoilers for anyone note caught up on The Blacklist ahead.
Season 3 of The Blacklist can be described, to some degree of understatement, as intense. Reddington and Agent Keen are locked in a perilous face-off with The Director and The Cabal. The Task Force is filled with conflict. One character who emerges during this time is Matias Solomon (played by Edi Gathegi). He shows up to taunt The Director, while also relentlessly pursuing any leads he can find about the whereabouts of Special Agent Keen, Tom Keen, Raymond Reddington and his associates, and the rogue Russian operative turned Cabal minion Karakurt. For those of you who kept reading without being caught up on the show: yes, it does tend to lean a bit toward the convoluted side, but almost always in its favor.
The spin-off gets kicked off unofficially with a sort-of pilot in season 3’s two-part finale, “Alexander Kirk (No. 14)” and “Alexander Kirk (No. 14): Conclusion” , but is set into motion with events in “The Artax Network” and “Susan Hargrave”.
Admittedly, it’s easy to be hesitant about what a spin-off of The Blacklist would entail. The show’s only, at present, promo is quick to put that to rest.
It looks very promising, even with fairly limited information available.
Blacklist Redemption focuses on Tom Keen (a role reprised by Ryan Eggold from his Blacklist days) working for Susan Hargrave (played by Famke Janssen) and the Halcyon Aegis, a collection of mercenaries who work outside of the law. The promo is largely narrated by Raymond Reddington, highlighting Tom Keen’s prowess as a covert operative, Susan Hargraves’ cunning and clever ways to enact the law while not working within its boundaries, and is punctuated by a fair number of explosions. It flashes taglines like “Meet the new team”, and it certainly feels like a new team. Or, if nothing else, a version of the task force from The Blacklist flipped on its head. Instead of law enforcement aided by a criminal informant, Blacklist Redemption looks to be about some nefarious sorts thwarting the plans of far more nefarious sorts.
It looks very promising, even with fairly limited information available. Tom Keen is a strong, established character with the ability to pull on audiences’ heartstrings, while Matias Solomon acts as an excellent foil in that he is easily one of the most frightening, disturbing characters to ever torture, connive, and kill his way through a scene of The Blacklist. Add in Susan Hargraves being Reddington’s intellectual, scheming equal and there is a lot of tremendous potential for yet another Bokenkamp success.
By Phil Gorski