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Recap / The Blacklist S 1 E 1 Pilot

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Directed by Joe Carnahan

Written by Joe Bokenkamp

Ex-government agent and one of the FBI’s Most Wanted fugitives, Raymond "Red" Reddington mysteriously turns himself in to the FBI and offers to give up everyone he has ever worked with including a long-thought-dead terrorist but under one condition – he’ll only talk to newly-minted female FBI profiler, Elizabeth Keen with whom he seemingly has no connection. For Liz, it’s going to be one hell of a first day on the job and what follows is a twisting series of events as the race to stop a terrorist begins.


The Pilot provides examples of:

  • All There in the Manual: Ranko Zamani’s blacklist number (52) is only revealed in additional material released by NBC.
  • Glassy Prison: Reddington is incarcerated in one but is moved to a hotel room.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: Given that the staff of a high-class DC hotel recognized Reddington on sight, he clearly has been doing so on several occasions.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Liz stabs a pen into Reddington's neck when she's sick of his talking. This gets him sent to Walter Reed Army Medical Center for treatment. He then escapes from there and goes to meet with Zamani. She was warned that her action is giving her trouble since the FBI placed her under review for her stabbing attempt.
  • Playing Both Sides: Reddington is playing the FBI and Zamani against each other and Liz is caught in the middle.
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  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Liz jams a pen into Reddington's neck because she's sick of his talking. This actually may have been a part of Reddington's plan.
  • The Pen Is Mightier: Liz stabs Reddington in the neck when he doesn’t give her the answers she wants about why Zamani was in her house.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: Due to the trailers, most viewers went in knowing Reddington assisting the FBI in capturing criminals wasn't going to be a one time deal, despite the fact he doesn't reveal his list until the last ten minutes of the episode.

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