The Blacklist: S6.E18-19. “The Brockton College Killer (No. 92)” and “Rassvet”

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Screen Capture: James Spader as Raymond 'Red' Reddington in the Lisa Robinson directed episode “The Brockton College Killer (No. 92).”
Screen Capture: James Spader as Raymond 'Red' Reddington in the Lisa Robinson directed episode “The Brockton College Killer (No. 92).”



Two episodes of the Jon Bokenkamp created crime mystery drama “The Blacklist” dropped on the Fox network Friday, 26 April 2019. With there being two instalments of “The Blacklist,” there is no new episode of “Blindspot” this week.

"The Blacklist" promotional poster. Image Credit: IMDb
“The Blacklist” promotional poster. Image Credit: IMDb

SPOILER ALERT

If you have yet to watch this episode, please note there are spoilers beyond this point. Consequently, it is advisable you watch this episode before you continue reading.

Brief Episode Synopsis: “The Brockton College Killer (No. 92)”

The task force investigates of an old case. It is the focus of a popular true crime podcast. Raymond ‘Red’ Reddington (James Spader) visits Dominic Wilkinson (Brian Dennehy) for help making a difficult decision. Donald Ressler (Diego Klattenhoff) makes a discovery about Katarina Rostova’s (Lotte Verbeek) past.

Brief Episode Synopsis: “Rassvet”

After a mission in a foreign country goes off the rails, Katarina Rostova goes on the run to avoid being tracked down by formidable forces. With no options available to her, Katarina seeks out the only person she implicitly trusts.

Does the truth really set people free?

Screen Capture: Megan Boone, James Spader and Hisham Tawfiq as Elizabeth Keen, Raymond 'Red' Reddington and Dembe Zuma, respectively, in the Lisa Robinson directed episode “The Brockton College Killer (No. 92).”
Screen Capture: Megan Boone, James Spader and Hisham Tawfiq as Elizabeth Keen, Raymond ‘Red’ Reddington and Dembe Zuma, respectively, in the Lisa Robinson directed episode “The Brockton College Killer (No. 92).”

It has been six years since Reddington walked into the FBI building. The truth is finally out. Red’s true origin story is out there for us to see. As a result, more importantly, FBI Special Agent Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone) now knows the truth about how the man she considers a father figure became the Reddington she is familiar with.

Screen Capture: James Spader as Raymond 'Red' Reddington in the Lisa Robinson directed episode “The Brockton College Killer (No. 92).”
Screen Capture: James Spader as Raymond ‘Red’ Reddington in the Lisa Robinson directed episode “The Brockton College Killer (No. 92).”

Everyone has a Past

In these two episodes, we witness one of the most gripping origin stories created. The underlying mystery is compelling. Loyal audience members return to the series episode after episode because of its addictive nature.

While the first episode is set in present day, “Rassvet” is mainly in flashback. The flashbacks, set in the aftermath of the real Red’s death, are riveting. Be not under the illusion Katarina is safe. She is not. Katarina is on the run from the cabal, the then KGB and various American federal agencies. She is facing formidable foes. Katarina previous sought to pit these foes against each other.

Katarina convinces her father to manoeuvre these United States into protecting her mother. Protecting Katarina and her daughter was unfortunately a different matter. When all hope appears forlorn, Katarina’s friend suggests a bold plan. Through forged documents and many plastic surgery operations, Ilya Koslov (Gabriel Mann) becomes Reddington. All of Katarina siphoned assets are liquidated and wired into Reddington’s accounts. As Blacklist reveals go, this tops the list.

Show runners made the correct decision to devote an entire episode to how Reddington became Reddington. It would have been less meaningful if present-day Reddington had merely given either Liz or Ressler the information.

Screen Capture: Gabriel Mann as Ilya Koslov (He is beginning to impersonate Raymond Reddington) in the John Terlesky directed episode “Rassvet.”
Screen Capture: Gabriel Mann as Ilya Koslov (He is beginning to impersonate Raymond Reddington) in the John Terlesky directed episode “Rassvet.”

Did you have any doubt Mann was playing the man that would become Reddington? Mann was splendid. It should have been obvious from the very moment he first appears on screen. With Spader’s voice dubbed in during the bank scene, this sealed the deal.

Is there a trailer?

Final Thoughts

Occasionally, the showrunners for The Backlist bestow upon their loyal audience members a gift. These are not gifts which should be taken lightly. It is episodes such as the ones we saw Friday night that rewards those audience members for staying with the production. In addition to getting numerous long unaddressed questions answered, we are drawn deeper into the drama with yet more questions to puzzle over.

The reward is not as much the information that is bestowed upon us but the way it directly impacts the characters we have come to love. This is the joy of watching The Blacklist.