The Blacklist. Season 8. Episode 18.
Whoever has the most hidden agendas wins
Before we raise any talking points on this particular episode, let’s talk about binge watching. The Blacklist is the preeminent binge-worthy show on Netflix right now. When did being a couch potato morph into binge watching?
Couch potato vs binge watching
Somehow the term ‘couch potato’ is neutral, if not benign. You imagine a guy or gal sitting on the couch with a bag of chips and a quart fountain drink from 7-11, amiably gazing at the TV. Not a heroic figure for sure; but one that nobody feels threatened by or disgusted with. Binge watching, on the other hand, hints at unsavory things like addictions and orgies. Get in the way of a binge watcher and their show and you risk a beating. A couch potato is lazy. A binge watcher is obsessive. Couch potatoes normally grow out of their bad habits. But a binge watcher may go over the abyss at any moment and never return. Just like agent Liz Keen in The Blacklist.
Daytime soap operas are what turned innocent couch potatoes into fiendish binge watchers. On the soaps writers pulled out all the stops and you never knew from one moment to the next who would confess to what or be dumped on by a tremendously ironic fate. No one was safe from finding out, just before the commercial break, that the man they always thought was their father was actually a department store mannequin who came to life by magic. These soaps, in turn, inspired the Marvel and DC movie franchises to allow their writers to go bonkers with infants swapped at birth and sexual shenanigans straight out of the Kama Sutra by way of the Three Stooges.
But the Russian Knot?
So when the writers began scribbling a plotline for The Blacklist, no doubt, being inspired by the byzantine vibes of actor James Spader as Raymond Reddington, they appear to have gone off the deep end. When it comes to coincidences, pyrotechnics, obscure technology, and necromancy. Among other things. Here in season 8 the show no longer takes itself seriously. Although it can still be gruesome, as in the Chemical Mary episode. The writers simply think up the most improbable scenarios and let the characters deal with them any which way. Which makes for fun watching.
BTW: the Russian Knot is a code breaking machine that gets stolen and traded half a dozen times. Go get yourself a slushie before watching it.