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The Blacklist - Episode 1.21 - Berlin (No. 8) - Season Finale Part 1 of 2 - Review

"I'm coming for you
When the sun goes down
I'm coming for you
When there's no one around"
- Soothe My Soul - (Joris Delacroix Remix) - Depeche Mode

Monday night's episode of The Blacklist was the first half of the much anticipated season one finale, 'Berlin'. It was reminiscent of many other series' penultimate episodes in format; setting up for the finale and moving characters into the necessary positions so the finale could run smoothly from start to finish and unbelievable action sequences in between. Well, not all shows are exactly like that, but The Blacklist will be I'm sure.

Many of you have seen my post about The Blacklist's season one 'Unanswered Questions' and I want to thank you all for checking it out and/or commenting. I hope to update it as much as possible next season and definitely after Monday's big finale. I was reviewing it this week and it had me thinking about part one of the finale that just aired. There are many questions that we don't talk about that are just as important, but have no connection to the overall mythology of the show. I suppose I should not say that there is no connection because, obviously, without these characters there would be no show or mythology. However, we generally do not think about asking ourselves these questions because we seek the grander and more complex puzzles for our enjoyment and for our curious minds to wrap itself around. And I feel these questions are what the first part of the season finale was all about.

How does Liz really feel about Red after all that has happened and been revealed about him, what he's done and their relationship?

This is an important question because Liz and Red are two of the main characters of the show. I've said before that The Blacklist is essentially a "Chosen One" story. Red, a notorious international criminal, has given himself up to be close to Liz. To protect her. It's almost as if she has a destiny that needs to follow a certain path and Red arrives at just the right moment to guide her to it. We still do not know exactly why Liz is so important and what makes her so unique besides the scar she bears on her right wrist, a tell-tale sign of any "Chosen-One" story; Harry Potter had his lightning bolt scar on his forehead and it would burn when Voldemort was near or entering his mind. I know that Liz is nothing like Harry Potter nor does she possess magical powers (or maybe she does...hmmm...jk). What I am saying is that she has been 'chosen' since an early age for something important and her relationship with Red is crucial for that outcome. Her choices during the last episode almost felt as if someone else was making them for her. How many times has she tried to get Red out of her life? She tried, unsuccessfully I might add, to get him out her life in part one of the finale a few times. Only to gravitate back to him throughout the episode and ultimately in the end.

This is one of the reasons The Blacklist is such an amazing story. We have this overall mythology of the show and it's main characters that it feels as though there is a higher purpose in all of it. Many times in my reviews I say that the main story is not the procedural element of capturing each blacklister Red gives the FBI, but the backstory reveals of Liz, Red, Tom, Liz's scar, the music box, and now Berlin.

My favorite part of the episode was when Liz and Red visit the insane asylum to ask Dr. Bruce Sanders about the Cullen Virus. The scenes were hilarious with Red and Liz just listening to Dr. Sanders rant about the virus and "Space Rangers". Liz thinks this is some kind of joke, however, and storms out of the building and takes a plane back to the Post Office. She immediately learns that Dr. Sanders is crucial to the investigation and flies back (she must have a lot of sky-miles......seriously, c'mon, that was funny...no?...ok). The sequence of events here is important because it shows that Liz is attempting to take control of her life. There is no more Tom lying to her, she wants this to be the last investigation she is involved in so there will be no more Red lying and hurting her, and no more of this task force that has single-handedly flipped her world inside out from the moment she has joined it. Her answer to the problems she is facing is to walk away and leave it behind, but whether she likes it or not, this is her life; she is a "Chosen One".
The episode was a perfect set-up for the finale. all the pieces are in place and I expect it to be an action-packed finale with a huge cliffhanger. What that cliffhanger will be is a mystery to me because there are so many possibilities. Dr. Sanders said there is an impending apocalypse, Vogel simply told us, "He's coming". I can't imagine the buildup to the most mysterious and dangerous blacklister is going to end with one episode. Maybe that will be the cliffhanger? Maybe we find out that Berlin is the ultimate blacklister and he is here to stay, tormenting Red and Liz for seasons to come? Berlin's plane reads "Second Chance" along the side; so maybe we find out he is Liz's father looking for a second chance with her? There are so many avenues they could go down with only one episode left. That is why this show is so great. It gives us so much to discuss and talk about with any number of possibilities.

I am leaving a few things out because I wanted to watch part two before I wrote my review, but decided to write something now so we could discuss a little before tomorrow night's episode. I could write a long time about this show and this episode, but I will hold off so we can piece some things together after the finale. For now, let's do what we do best and speculate about what's going to happen Monday night.

Thoughts and Discussion

- The other song in the episode for those of you that want to know is "Anonymity Is The New Flame" by Frankel.

- I really liked how Liz figured out the connection between most of the blacklisters on her own without Red's assistance. She has really come a long way since the beginning of the season and I love how her character has evolved. The writers and creators have done a really good job with that aspect.

- Did you notice...The chapter that Red is looking at when he is combing the calculus book for clues is '8', the same number Berlin is on the blacklist. Also, Berlin's plane had the markings 'D8' on the side. The plane also had "Second Chance" written on it. This could mean any number of things. Red's second chance at being with Liz or maybe it has something to do with Berlin. We might figure this part out next episode.

- What did Red see in those pages that made him answer Dembe, "It's worse than I thought"?

- Where did Gina Zanetakos escape to? Hopefully we get to see her again in the finale. Maybe she is Berlin? Maybe?

- What did Tom mean when he said to Red's spy, "You don't choose Berlin. Berlin chooses you." (and he is coming)

- Why did Dr. Sanders say there were '5' horsemen of the apocalypse? Is the fifth horsemen, Berlin? Is he that dangerous that he needs to be associated with the horsemen of the apocalypse?

- I can't be the only person who thought this, but did anyone else think that Berlin's silhouette looked like Darth Vader? ...No?...no one?

- Did anyone else think of the scene in LOST where John Locke sees Mr. Eko's plane overhead with a busted engine leaving a trail of smoke across the sky during the final moments of this episode when Liz and Red see something similar with Berlin's plane? The scenes looked similar...except Liz and Red are not on an island, but Red was telling a story about when he was on an island.

- I understand the need to keep Berlin's identity a secret, but I was thinking that maybe it could be someone we already know with the way the writers were doing it. I thought for sure they would have revealed his face by the end, but the fact that they didn't makes me wonder that maybe we have seen him before.

- I want to hear everyone's predictions for the finale. Please, comment below who you think will die and live, and who you think Berlin is. Is he Liz's real father? Do you still think Red is Liz's father or have you given up on that? I just hope Aram makes it to Season Two, lol.

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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