Season 3 of the Blacklist dropped on Netflix about a month ago. I watched it very soon after it became available and completed it in one weekend. I finished this season much quicker than the others. I think the primary factor in my watching it so quickly was that each episode’s plotting was very weak. In previous seasons, the plotting had almost completely revolved around, I don’t know, THE BLACKLIST. This season revolved around moving the plot to the point when Megan Boone could be excused for maternity leave. There were several problems that I saw throughout the show that really ruined everything for me.
Just as a caveat, the first half of the show was comparable to previous seasons and revolved around Red and Liz running from law enforcement after Liz kills the Attorney General who was a member of the Cabal. The season continues the power struggle between the Cabal and Red. This part was a joy to watch. The issues mentioned really only effect the last half of the show.
Issue 1: Liz’s hair and costuming is an accurate reflection of the show’s plot line. Her hair begins a lovely blonde with a slight wave and transitions to a dark brown blunt bob parted down the middle. As this haircut is already very difficult to wear, it seemed a strange choice for Liz as she is pregnant. When Liz’s hair becomes crap, so does the storyline and the whole show.
I am very aware of the pressures put upon women, both onscreen and off, to maintain a certain appearance and the discrepancy of the pressure between genders. But honestly, they could have made Liz look less terrible while pregnant. The second half of this season showed a new issue within the show’s costuming department. It seemed as though once Megan Boone began to “show” the costumers decided to make her look like garbage. She started the season wearing t shirts and jeans on the run and ended wearing massive scarves and coats. This may not seem like an issue at first glance but there are only two conclusions one can draw from this. 1) Pregnant women are no longer beautiful or cannot be bothered with being beautiful. 2) Costumers don’t know how to dress women who are not skinny.
As you can see above, on her wedding day, Liz wore the wedding dress that was sewn by all of our grandmothers and gave her the least flattering hairstyle to wear. She stands by her husband, who looks like a boss, in her hideous dress, stupid hair, and low starter heels from the 90’s. I feel as though they costuming department could have done more to visually keep Liz the hardcore female lead that she has become throughout the last 2.5 seasons.
The “death” of Elizabeth Keene was a huge blow for the show. Her departure from the show only confirmed the fact that the show needs her to survive. However, when Liz returns, I suddenly felt about as angry as Agent Navabi did when she heard that Liz had faked her death. It seems as though the writing staff of The Blacklist have taken notes from *insert relevant soap opera title here* and decided that the best way to explain the goings and comings of certain characters is faking deaths. It was acceptable within the story, but when they needed the action to pick up again, Tom decides to run with the baby in the MOST obvious way possible. This then allows the show to pick up again, but is super aggravating for the audience. The audience needs to be able to say goodbye to a character and be OK with their leaving the show. The whole concept of “killing” characters continued when one of the bad guys is shot by Tom, but then is gone when the police get to the scene. Again, as a rule of thumb, when someone is shot and laying in a pool of blood, LET THEM DIE.
Issue 3: CAPE MAY
The indignation that I feel about this episode is impossible to sum up but the photo above is trying to capture it. This episode made me want to stop watching the show altogether. The whole premise of a large section of a film, movie, or anything else existing only within someone’s mind is the worst idea ever. Full stop. Not long ago, (like 2 years ago) I decided to watch the first Twilight film because I assumed it would be funny. It was. I then watched the subsequent films (all 4 of them). By the time I reached the last film I had over 6 hours invested and I was ready for the rollercoaster to be over. About an hour in, there is a large scale fight scene between the good and bad vampires that was preceded by the good vampires asking the bad vampires to think about what would happen. After 20 full minutes of fighting and killing, it is revealed that the last 20 minutes were the imaginings of the bad vampires triggered by the good vampires request to “think about what would happen.” Needless to say, I was mad that the last 20 minutes didn’t even happen and were an even bigger waste of time. This episode was super slow moving, then when the story started to pick up again you find out that Red was just hallucinating. Big let down.
I had been fully addicted to The Blacklist up until this season. I truly hope that the writers can dig themselves out of the hole they have been in and get back to writing an intriguing story.