A Review of The First Half of The Blacklist Season 6


Chris Chalker, Managing Editor

Throughout its six seasons, the hit NBC crime drama The Blacklist, has had viewers on the edge of their seats as we have seen many intriguing and treacherous plot arcs used to draw the characters that have made the show what it is closer together and pull them apart all while making audiences question the true nature of the relationship between series leads criminal mastermind Raymond “Red” Reddington (James Spader) and FBI Profiler Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone). What exactly has gone down in season six so far? Let’s take a look at find out.


Major spoilers for The Blacklist ahead! Do not read ahead unless you have seen seasons one-six or don’t mind it being spoiled! You have been warned!


Dr. Hans Koehler


Season 6 followed up on the reveal that was made by Liz in the end of season five: that Raymond Reddington is dead and his bones were in the bag that cost her husband, Tom Keen (Ryan Eggold) his life. This also means that the Reddington we have come to know and love is an imposter who seemingly killed the “real Red” and took his identity. Liz sets off in search of the truth about the imposter by forming an alliance with her half-sister, Jennifer, to work against Reddington and uncover who he really is.


For the first few episodes, the FBI task force is asked to hunt down a plastic surgeon named Hans Koehler, who gives plastic surgery to criminals and makes them look like completely different people. Koehler is the same man who helped Red change his identity. After finding Koehler, who was taken hostage alongside his medical team by a man called “The Corsican”, Red is able to recover his medical file and erase it before handing it over to the FBI.


The Corsican


The Corsican later resurfaces as he attempts to bomb a building before Red and the task force thwart his attempts to do so. Ressler comes face to face with the man, but during a hostage situation, The Corsican gets away. At the end of the second episode, Reddington is stopped by a beat cop, frisked and then arrested when his illegal firearm is found. Reddington is now forced to delay with prison life and tasked with representing himself in court.


The Pharmacist


Reddington leads the task force on a search for a man called “The Pharmacist”, who uses experimental treatments that had been secretly sabotaged by his assistant. Red has Dembe Zuma (Hisham Tawfiq) approach The Pharmacist and ask him if something is prepared and ready, which he says it will be. The season has yet to elaborate on this, but it will almost certainly come back up later.


The Pawnbrokers


Samar Navabi (Mozhan Marno) has been having difficult with her speech patterns and memory since her near-fatal drowning in the season five episode “Lawrence Dane Devlin”. She appears to have aphasia, but she is hiding this from everyone, including her fiance, Aram Mojtabai (Amir Arison). Reddington sends the task force on the search for The Pawnbrokers, a couple who deal with illegal and hard to find items, one such things being a drive that the FBI needs to recover, which they are successful in retrieving.


Alter Ego


Red then gives the task force a new case, an agency called “Alter Ego” that hires people out to pose as “characters” in whatever fantasy you wish to have. Be it a girlfriend, a boyfriend, husband, or wife you don’t actually have or something to that affect. Watever the case may be, there is something darker going on here and the task force uncovers it. The truth is that agents of Alter Ego are involved in a conspiracy to steal from and murder certain clients to get to a substantial amount of hidden money someone happened to earn. FBI agent Donald Ressler (Diego Klattenhoff) caves and hires someone to pose as his girlfriend for his cousin’s wedding.


The Ethicist


Liz and Jennifer make a break in their case against Reddington and uncovering who he is. That break is a man named Gerald Todd Klepper. Klepper went into surgery with Dr. Hans Koehler just before Reddington did, so Liz and Jennifer believe that he may hold some answers for them about who he really is. Klepper us a man known as “The Ethicist”, an assassin who makes decisions not based on the best interest of himself or others, but based on a calculation of VCL (the Value of Estatistical Life), which he would use to determine whether or not the social cost of a person’s life is more costly than it is beneficial, then that person would be killed in a manner that would appear as though they committed suicide. Liz gives Ressler and the FVI a  Jennifer and Liz find the Ethicist and speak to him, but he claims he never interacted with or saw Reddington. With the FBI closing in on their positions and Liz having lied to her Partners, the women and Klepper know they are out of time. Klepper commits suicide while Liz and Jennifer leave.


General Shiro


In one of the stranger episodes of the series, the task force hunts down a man called “General Shiro”, who utilizes weaponized insects to carry out elaborate assassinations. Meanwhile, Red and Dembe attempt to stack the jury in Red’s favor as his case heads towards trial, but to no avail. General Shiro kills numerous people tied to a pesticide company and then kills himself in a public display of what the weaponized bugs can really do.


Marko Jankowics


Liz and Jennifer believe that a woman who assisted Dr. Koehler will help them identify Reddington and in attempting to kidnap her for answers, hit a huge snag in their plan when Jennifer is kidnapped and Liz is prompted to turn to Reddington to help her out. Reddington informs her that she and her sister crossed a man by the name of Marko Jankowics, a drug dealer who is known for being ruthless and brutal. Jennifer is held by Jankowics and tortured into revealing information. Meanwhile, Red uncovers that Liz is digging into his past and that is why Jankowics is involved but Dembe isn’t sure. Liz seeks help from Ressler, who is happy to help Liz. Liz reveals that Red is an imposter, explains to him why rescuing Jennifer is important, and why she has kept him being an imposter a secret all this time. Ressler helps Liz recover her sister and the two are forced to kill Jankowics and his men to do so. Prior to this, Jennifer speaks with the woman she and Liz intended to kidnap and learns that a “Russian woman” arranged for Reddington’s appointment with Dr. Koehler. Jennifer believes that this was Katarina Rostova, Liz’s mother. The show also appears to be setting up Liz and Ressler as a couple later on as they share many moments together throughout the episode.


Minister D


With his trial at hand, Red has the task force hunt down a blacklister called “Minister D”, after the Edgar Allan Poe character. Minister D is a blackmailer who records audio and phone calls attempting to “make good money off of very bad people”. After recovering a very important tape from Minister D, Red uses it at trial to clear him of his treason charge. The tape reveals that Katarina Rostova was a member of the elite Organization known as The Cabal, the bad guys in season two. Rostova went to her superior, Alan Fitch (Alan Alda), and explained that Reddington knew about the existence of The Cabal and was prepared to expose them. Fitch instructs her to murder Reddington, but Katarina is reluctant to do so, instead she wishes to discredit him by blaming the attack on a US ship on him (back in this time, Reddington was an intelligence officer). Fitch allows it and the tape concludes. Reddington is found not guilty of treason but is still being held for the other crimes he has committed.


The Cryptobanker


Red sends the FBI after a man called The Cryptobanker, who has hacked into a company’s infrastructure and taken control of several pacemakers, hoping to ransom control of the pacemakers back in exchange for bitcoin. The Cryptobanker is stopped and the pacemakers are brought back online in working order. Meanwhile, Red makes preparations to escape and has help from some of his fellow prisoners to do so, but Liz accidentally thwarts his escape attempt by showing up at the prison to speak to him.


Having been returned to prison, Red will now face trial as he attempts to avoid the charges against him. However, to avoid the task force being prosecuted or brought to trial, and hoping he would have escaped by now, he plead guilty to all charges, so it will be an uphill battle from here.


With plenty more episodes to come and a new season on the way, what can be expected from the Blacklist? Only time can tell so stay tuned to find out!