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The Blacklist - Episode 1.20 - The Kingmaker (No. 42) - Review

And don’t call me lover
It’s not enough
It’s got to be tough, cynical stuff
Follow my words to the end of our love
- Sweetheart, What Have You Done To Us - Keaton Henson

There are only two episodes left this season for The Blacklist and both are titled "Berlin". It's a two-part season finale that hopefully will answer most of the questions we have gathered up to this point. I am sure that we will be left with a huge cliffhanger when all is said and done, but if it will be based on events we already are aware of or something entirely new remains to be seen. Episode twenty was an ok episode as far as The Blacklist goes and I expected as much so they could set things up for the remaining two episodes.

Episode Twenty brought us villain number 42 on The Blacklist, The Kingmaker. The Kingmaker is a political strategist, but in an unorthodox kind of way. He will go to any lengths to help his clients achieve the political position they seek. Since these lengths include murder mixed with politics, it makes The Kingmaker a prime target for the FBI and Red's blacklist. As Red speaks with his friend, Niko (who gives Red his house to stay in for a short while), he learns that The Kingmaker and his actions in Prague were a way of weakening Red's, and his allegiances, interests. This was probably the main reason Red gave the FBI this case in the first place.
"Someone has devoted a great deal of time and energy to depreciate your business." Niko says to Red as they sat next to his enormous indoor pool. Who is this someone? Niko then tells Red, "Whoever this someone is, they don't think he is after us, they think he is after you." Who is they? My guess is Berlin or someone associated with Berlin. We will have to wait and see. Red's response was classic Reddington, "Tell them to shut the hell up." Love it.

The main story line of the episode was not so much The Kingmaker, but what was happening in between those scenes. I think at this point in the season everyone has been more focused on the goings on of Liz, Tom and Red to care about the 'villain-of-the-week'. I was more interested in what was in the envelope that Liz had at the end of last week's episode. While I thought it was a photo of Red smothering Sam with a pillow it was actually just Red being at the hospital at the same time, no doubt taken by Tom. Liz still finds out that Red killed Sam by just, flat out, asking him. Red admits to it, which I still wonder why he did, but with good reason. Can you have a good reason for killing someone, lol? This, of course, drives a wedge between their relationship and this will play into the final two episodes I'm sure.

The Kingmaker is eventually taken care of by the FBI, but like I mentioned before, he was not the main part of the episode in my opinion. Red did need to speak to him and looks upset when The Kingmaker's fate is revealed to him by Liz. Red also meets with Alan Fitch (you remember him from episode ten where he hired Anslo Garrick to kidnap Red) and tells him they have a mutual problem and he requires his help. There are very few times, if any, that we see Red in a position of wanting and this is one of those times. Fitch goes back to his 'group' and asks if they should indeed assist Red with his problem, informing them that Red still holds crucial information on them they do not want leaked. They surprisingly vote against aiding him and Red appears desolate at the verdict when ultimately told by Fitch. It will be interesting where Red goes from here and how he handles Fitch and his group when Red finally triumphs in the end. I'm more intrigued at what the information contains that Red seems to know and hold over Fitch and the group.
This was definitely the weakest of all The Blacklist episodes, but even the weakest is still a great forty-two minutes of television for this amazing show. You could tell that this episode was a finale set-up from the start. The past few episodes have seen all the players get into place for the finale and The Kingmaker did a good job of wrapping all the story lines up for what's going to be an awesome season finale. We will finally (read: hopefully) get some answers to some the most interesting questions from the first season. I could go over the that list here, but it's very long. So, I plan on posting a separate article this weekend for all The Blacklist fans to go over before Monday's first part of the two-part season finale.

Thoughts and Discussion

- Dembe eating Ice Cream was so funny. I really hope he makes it out of the first season alive.

- Who was 'They' that Niko mentioned to Red at the beginning of the episode?

- Why is Tom in New York? How do you think he will come back into the fold?

- Who is Berlin? I now no one can answer this at the moment, but it's fun to speculate.

Normally I put a few unanswered questions in the thoughts and discussions section, but I am compiling a list of all the unanswered questions for everyone and will post it this weekend. I have asked you all to do this before and if you could again post any questions you think are relevant that would go in this list. Thank You and thanks for checking out my Review, I can't wait for the finale!

About the Author - Geo N
My name is George and I am from Detroit, MI. My favorite shows are The Blacklist, Hell On Wheels, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, LOST, Sons Of Anarchy, Sleepy Hollow and countless other shows. When I'm not watching tons of TV, I enjoy reading, playing hockey, comic books, weightlifting, and writing. Thanks for checking out my post.

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