The Twists Are Good-Twisty

Like many shows, the twisting and manipulating of the audience’s knowledge pool is necessary to keep emotions high and tensions going. And in a series where deception is the name of the game, it would be more than easy to mire its twists in outlandish nuttery. Red herrings appear here and there by way of emotional exposition, which allows the writers flexibility in their long game and the audience go to positively crazy with theories as to what’s going on just beneath the surface. And minor spoiler (though the fact is revealed in the pilot episode), but it’s not all on Spader to handle the metaphorical heavy lifting on the intrigue front.

Elizabeth’s husband, the totally-is-a-baddie-though-we’re-not-really-sure-how-bad Tom Keen, is also on the list of people and things worth being suspect over. And the way actor Ryan Eggold plays the game is nearly as captivating as Spader. It would be easy to portray Elizabeth as stupid and incapable — considering a potential Blacklist entry might be living under her own roof — the show resists such easy temptation and instead showcases all the ways in which she’s tempered and critical in her approach to other people. Perma-wary but willing to listen, Elizabeth holds the keys with cautious aplomb, insuring that whatever side Tom ends up on, it’s going to be a thrilling ride to watch.

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