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The Blacklist - Dr. Linus Creel (No. 82) - Review: "Sins Of The Father"

"All of the memories will return
In the sleep like shallow scars
Whatever remains will set you free
A crater left as a divide
- "Tide" - Junip

Hair pulling madness. That is what many fans are exhibiting after the fourth episode, "Dr. Linus Creel", of The Blacklist aired Monday night. Some of you know that I shy away from promos or trailers for upcoming episodes of any show I watch because...well...I don't like them. Sometimes they offer glimpses into the episode and sometimes they are manufactured to lure more people into watching. The Blacklist does not need such tactics, but some promos (I watched some after the episodes aired) promised to 'connect the pieces' of Liz's life, or something to that effect. The Blacklist has James Spader as Raymond 'Red' Reddington; they do not need to drum up business. We all watch because the actors are great, work great together, and the story is amazing with a slow trickle of clues that keeps us on the edge of our seats until the next episode when we have more to dissect and discuss. So no need to pull your hair out everyone.

Speaking of hair pulling madness, that is similar to what Dr. Linus Creel, number 82 on the blacklist and our villain this week, suffers from. Trichotillomania, or hair pulling disorder, is an impulse disorder characterized by the compulsive urge to pull out one's hair. Creel is played by the amazing David Costabile, who many of you may remember as Gale Boetticher, Walt's Gus-appointed super-lab assistant from Breaking Bad. It was great to see him on The Blacklist and he played the villain ver well.

The 'B' story was Liz and what all the little things, hidden between all her lines, revealed. Many people have said it was a dull episode, but I think they failed to see the little nuances that the creators throw into each episode, especially this one. One element I would like to note is Red changing the subject as soon as Liz brings up Naomi. Here is the interesting part (well...interesting to me) - I just checked my Review from the last episode, Dr. James Covington, and here is a line I wrote from it - "I think it is important to note that Red cut Liz off just as she asked why he was hiding Naomi from her. As soon as she asked him about Naomi he brought up this week's blacklister, Dr. Covington, to change the subject". The funny thing is Red did the same thing this episode. Red cut Liz off just as soon as she mentioned "you're hiding her from me". When Liz says that, Red brings up the blacklister of the week. I think it's strange they use the same wording two weeks in a row. Maybe Red doesn't want to get Naomi out of town to protect her, but to protect him from what Liz could find out from her?

The 'C' story this episode was Red, Naomi and Frank's love triangle. My favorite scene was Red taking Frank into the woods to 'talk' to him about their situation. Having Mr. Vargas visit Monica, the woman with whom Frank is having an affair with, was the icing on the cake. The acting this season has been nothing short of stellar and I would be surprised if Mr. Spader, or some of the other actors on The Blacklist, didn't win an award or two.

The most interesting scene had to be Liz in the hospital getting interviewed by Dr. Creel. Was she telling the truth? Was some of what she said about Tom honest or fabricated to help with the case? If we look at Liz's facial expressions and the way Navabi acts in the scenes regarding this issue we can say with some certainty that everything Liz was saying was the truth. I would love to know what all of you think about those scenes in the comments section. Another factor in favor of it being true is the music that plays during the back-and-forth between Liz and Dr. Creel; the creators wanted us to take note of the conversation by adding background music, in my opinion, increasing the level of importance.

During the conversation with Dr. Creel, Liz seems especially perturbed by his claims about her profile. It becomes extremely noticeable when he mentions her parents passing when she was four years old and what she knows of them. She replies, "Nothing, really". She stiffens as he continues, "Perhaps if you did, it would be easier to accept who you are?". "Like the...sins of the father. That it?", Liz claims. There is a look on Liz's face as she says this as if she just had a confusing 'eureka' moment. I wonder what she was thinking and if this event will play into more of what we will see before the midseason finale. I know many of you are tired of hearing it, but it's possible this could be a hint at who Liz's father is.

The most telling scenes were the one at the end of the episode with Liz discovering where Red has been keeping Naomi. It's clear Red is keeping Naomi from Liz and it is in these scenes that we find out why. Liz and Naomi's conversation was great to watch unfold, but unfortunately only gave us more questions to ponder about why Liz is so important to Red and who Red 'really' is. Here is what we did learn, but first we have to assume that Naomi knows the reasons and knows more about Red than Liz or any of us. We know that 'Red wants something from Liz', but we don't know what. And who is to say that it is a tangible item? It could very well be something that only a human could bring - comfort, friendship or love (not the romantic kind). This is something to keep in mind each week as we see their relationship unfold. The look on Naomi's face when she says to Liz, "You tell me", made me think that Naomi knows a lot more than she is leading on.

Something else to note from that illuminating conversation was how Naomi portrayed Red as a bad person to Liz. She says, "I'll tell you this though, he is not who you think he is", implying everything we have known about Red up until now has been wrong and all he has been doing has been a manipulating game. Of course, that could mean anything, but before we got more out of her in walked Red to disrupt their little chat.

The final scene with Liz holding the keys to the lock was just another small piece to a very large puzzle. At first, I thought the keys and lock had to do with what she had told Dr. Creel about what she would do to Tom (if, in fact, that was true) - She said she would chain him up and force him to tell her about all of the lies and secrets he kept. She would make him her prisoner. So, I envisioned Tom being kept prisoner by Liz. However, if you look closely at the scene and expression o nLiz's face, it appears that she just had a 'eureka' moment when she looks at the keys in the final moment making me think that Tom is not there and there is something else she has planned for those keys and the lock.

I thought the episode was good with some great acting by many of the cast and guest stars. We learned a little about some of the characters motives, but we still need many more pieces of the puzzle to make anything appear clear. Naomi will definitely be back even though Red shipped her off in this episode. After all she did leave us with the most telling line of the season so far when she told Red, "When are you going to tell her", ref erring to Liz. Tell her what, Naomi? Tell her what? In any case, I think we are gearing up for an amazing midseason finale. Unitl then we will take it week by week...no need to pull your hair out everyone.

Red's Quotes

"I never send anyone I care about to Solvang"
Red to Liz

"I hope you had an illuminating conversation"
Red to Liz & Naomi

"If I knew better, I'd say you were hiding something"
Red to Liz

Music from the Episode

- "Tide" - Junip
Red arrives as Liz finishes talking with Naomi - Naomi tells Red that she doesn't know where Jennifer is - Liz asks Red about the sniper that took down Creel

- "Make My Body" - The Chain Gang of 1974
Duncan prepares to leave and gets his weapon ready

Thoughts and Discussion

- So far, regarding blacklisters this season, we have had two doctors, one bank, and two with mental disorders. I am counting Dr. Linus Creel twice (doctor and mental disorder). Not enough for a 'trend', but interesting.

- I loved the scene when Red and Liz visit The Polyglot, otherwise known as Haskell. I laughed pretty hard when Haskell opened the door then quickly shut it with Red only getting out the 'Hask-' part of his name. It's the little things like that that make James Spader such an amazing actor. His facial expressions, his timing, and the fact that his eyes dart around to see if he is ever being watched are the elements he adds to his character that make it that much more exciting to witness.

- Before Naomi said goodbye to Red she told him that she doesn't know Jennifer's location. She claims that Jennifer knew that Red would come for her one day and she left. If Naomi doesn't know where her and Red's daughter is, then who does? How will Red find her?

- After this episode, I am even more intrigued as to why Red turned himself into the FBI and what his connection is to Liz is. I don't think his attachment to Liz is something that will become unnecessary once some mission is accomplished like what Tom said during Liz's dream sequence last episode.

- I think Aram deserves to have a spinoff show. I think it would be hilarious.

- I am sure everyone agrees that Navabi knew that Liz was telling the truth to Dr. Creel during the exam, but wanted to keep it a secret from Aram, thereby letting him think he won the bet. I am still curious as to her motivations and what her exact mission is for Red. Something tells me that she wants to fit in with the task force in spite of Liz knowing that she was sent to them by Red.

- Another interesting scene that I didn't get to mention is Navabi giving Liz her patient record and test results conducted by Dr. Creel. I think it is safe to assume that Liz has the 'warrior gene'. This is probably what Dr. Creel was about to say to her before the sniper took him out (another conversation interrupted by Red or an associate of his, hmmmm). Whatever Red is keeping from Liz he is doing a great job at keeping it hidden.

Thank you for checking out my Review everyone! I hope you all have a great weekend! Please comment below so we can discuss the episode further, I would love to hear about what everyone thought about Liz and Naomi's conversation and the rest of the episode.

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, The Leftovers, The Strain, 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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