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The Blacklist: Season 1 (2013)




Average Rating: 7/10
Reviews Counted: 45
Fresh: 37 | Rotten: 8

James Spader is riveting as a criminal-turned-informant, and his presence goes a long way toward making this twisty but occasionally implausible crime procedural compelling.


Average Rating: 6.9/10
Critic Reviews: 20
Fresh: 15 | Rotten: 5

James Spader is riveting as a criminal-turned-informant, and his presence goes a long way toward making this twisty but occasionally implausible crime procedural compelling.



liked it
Average Rating: 4.4/5
User Ratings: 473

My Rating

Season Info

For decades, ex-government agent Raymond "Red" Reddington has been one of the FBI's most wanted fugitives. Brokering shadowy deals for criminals across the globe, Red was known by many as "The Concierge of Crime." Now, he's mysteriously surrendered to the FBI with an explosive offer: He will help catch a long-thought-dead terrorist, Ranko Zamani, under the condition that he speaks only to Elizabeth "Liz" Keen, an FBI profiler fresh out of Quantico. -- (C) NBC

Network: NBC

Premiere Date: Sep 23, 2013




Air date: Sep 23, 2013


The race to stop a terrorist begins in the premiere of this crime series about a most-wanted fugitive who works with a rookie FBI profiler to take down criminals and evildoers.

Air date: Sep 30, 2013

The Freelancer

"The Freelancer," 9/30/2013: Liz and Red track an assassin who disguises his kills in large-scale catastrophes. Isabella Rossellini guest stars. HD Version

Air date: Oct 7, 2013


"Wujing," 10/07/2013: Liz and Red go undercover to take down an assassin who's been decimating the ranks of the CIA. HD Version

Air date: Oct 14, 2013

The Stewmaker

"The Stewmaker," 10/14/2013: When Liz's key witness disappears, Red suspects a killer who literally stews his victims, making them disappear forever... HD Version

Air date: Oct 21, 2013

The Courier

"The Courier," 10/21/2013: A sinister middle man with a unique ability puts the FBI on the trail of a missing NSA analyst. Robert Knepper guest stars. HD Version

Air date: Oct 28, 2013

Gina Zanetakos

"Gina Zanetakos," 10/29/2013: Eager to clear Tom's name, Liz turns him in to the FBI. Margarita Levieva guest stars. HD Version

Air date: Nov 4, 2013

Frederick Barnes

"Frederick Barnes," 11/04/2013: After a chemical attack on the subway, Liz and the team hunt a mad scientist. Robert Sean Leonard guest stars. HD Version

Air date: Nov 11, 2013

General Ludd

"General Ludd," 11/11/2013: Liz and the FBI go after an anti-capitalist cabal that's intent on bringing the U.S. economy to its knees. Justin Kirk guest stars. HD Version

Air date: Nov 25, 2013

Anslo Garrick

"Anslo Garrick," 11/25/2013: An assassination attempt on Red brings the post office black site under siege. Ritchie Coster guest stars. HD Version

Air date: Dec 2, 2013

Anslo Garrick - Part 2

Conclusion. Liz infiltrates the black site, but trouble looms large. Meanwhile, Red sets out to bargain with blacklist target Anslo Garrick as Ressler's destiny hangs in the balance, and Tom grows increasingly concerned about Liz's situation.

Air date: Jan 13, 2014

The Good Samaritan Killer

"The Good Samaritan Killer," 01/13/2014: A serial killer from Liz's past strikes again while Red hunts for whoever betrayed him. Alan Alda and Frank Whaley guest star.

Air date: Jan 20, 2014

The Alchemist

"The Alchemist," 01/20/2014: The FBI's next target protects the guilty by preying on the DNA of the innocent. Ryan O'Nan guest stars.

Air date: Jan 27, 2014

The Cyprus Agency (#64)

"The Cyprus Agency," 01/27/2014: On the eve of Liz's adoption, Red puts her on the trail of an adoption agency gone evil. Campbell Scott guest stars.

Air date: Feb 24, 2014

Madeline Pratt

"Madeline Pratt," 02/24/2014: A femme fatale from Red's past leads the FBI on a snipe hunt. Jennifer Ehle guest stars.

Air date: Mar 3, 2014

The Judge

A prosecutor is found after being missing for 12 years, prompting Red to target "The Judge" (Dianne Wiest), who allegedly oversees an underground criminal appeals process that punishes those who have wrongly imprisoned others. Meanwhile, Red scrutinizes a woman who tempts Tom in Orlando.

Air date: Mar 17, 2014

Mako Tanida

"Mako Tanida," 03/17/2014: A Yakuza crime lord seeks deadly revenge on Ressler; Tom and Jolene face off. HD Version

Air date: Mar 24, 2014


"Harrison Lee," 03/24/2014: While chasing a cyber-terrorist, Liz investigates Jolene's disappearance. HD Version

Air date: Mar 31, 2014

Milton Bobbit

"Milton Bobbit," 03/31/2014: While working with Red to find Tom's true identity, Liz searches for The Undertaker, a claims adjuster who convinces ordinary people to become contract killers. Damian Young guest stars.

Air date: Apr 21, 2014

The Pavlovich Brothers

The team targets brothers who specialize in abducting high-profile marks. Meanwhile, Liz patiently investigates the truth about Tom.

Air date: Apr 28, 2014

The Kingmaker

A politician in Prague is framed for murder, triggering the team's effort to take down the Kingmaker, a shifty strategist who's behind the rise of powerful politicians. Meanwhile, Liz unearths a secret that Red has been hiding.

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All Critics (45) | Top Critics (20) | Fresh (37) | Rotten (8)

What's been really impressive about the first handful of episodes is that all of the actors used in the guest starring role have all brought it.

November 12, 2013 Full Review Source: TV Equals
TV Equals

The Blacklist is both utterly shameless and, in its way, genuinely (if cynically) sophisticated.

November 4, 2013 Full Review Source: Slate

Megan Boone is no Jodie Foster. But even a better actress -- think Jennifer Carpenter of 'Dexter' -- would have trouble with the dim character concocted by 'Blacklist' creator Jon Bokenkamp.

October 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Bloomberg News
Bloomberg News

Where the problem lies... is in finding criminals as colorful as Reddington himself.

October 22, 2013 Full Review Source:

The Blacklist is an action-intrigue drama with even more tricks up its sleeve than wily Hannibal Lecter.

October 15, 2013 Full Review Source: Associated Press
Associated Press

It has been likened to Silence of the Lambs and NBC's lowly-rated "Hannibal." The difference between Blacklist and Hannibal is that Spader makes this series more commercial and likely to succeed.

October 14, 2013 Full Review Source: Buffalo News

James Spader is perfection and we can't wait to see what Red is up to next.

October 10, 2013 Full Review Source: E! Online
E! Online

There were exciting moments in the opener and also schlocky ones - no bad thing - but the real reason I'll probably keep watching is James Spader.

October 9, 2013 Full Review Source: Scotsman

Spader plays his scenes with relish. It's fun to watch. So are the stylish action scenes.

October 8, 2013 Full Review Source: The Wrap
The Wrap

The Blacklist makes for a fairly cheesy thriller, but in the end, a joyful one.

October 8, 2013 Full Review Source: Time Out Chicago
Time Out Chicago

Spader is electrifying.

October 3, 2013 Full Review Source:

It continued to hold my attention until the very end with the compelling characters, performances and twists.

September 26, 2013 Full Review Source: TV Fanatic
TV Fanatic

Spader is great fun to watch as he's having great fun playing the central character in this violent, engaging thriller.

September 24, 2013 Full Review Source: Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune

None of the characters are a fair match for Red, and most of the actors are less than a fair match for Spader.

September 24, 2013 Full Review Source: AV Club

This show smells like hubris, but that's not a bad thing. It's probably a mite too ridiculous for the dire tone it sometimes affects, but it's confident, verging on brazen, and one tends to respect that quality in entertainment.

September 24, 2013 Full Review Source: Vulture

The pilot for The Blacklist throws in story points that should play like surprises, but instead the viewer can see the twists coming.

September 24, 2013 Full Review Source: Paste Magazine
Paste Magazine

Twisty plots save violent crime drama from predictability.

September 24, 2013 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

The criminal-teams-with-agent dynamic is nothing new, but it's taking the journey of The Blacklist with Spader and Boone that makes this show so engaging.

September 23, 2013 Full Review Source:

As rip-offs (or, more politely, homages) go, The Black List is pretty good - much better than NBC's own Lecter prequel series, Hannibal.

September 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald

There's a more desirable reason to watch a show... and that is the sheer swoony pleasure of watching James Spader chew through scenes and scenery with epicurean delight. And then to watch him ask for a solid gold toothpick when he's done.

September 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times

A solid weekly crime show built around a genuine TV star. That's the kind of series the networks have to be able to pull off to survive . And with Spader in command, odds are NBC will.

September 23, 2013 Full Review Source: USA Today
USA Today

The drama's storytelling is powerful enough to make you commit to it from the very first episode.

September 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Under the Radar
Under the Radar

The exposition hums, the score swells, and everything is buffed and polished to a metallic, unnatural gleam. But there's something to be said for shiny.

September 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Grantland

Neither The Blacklist, nor its star, James Spader, are taking themselves too seriously, thankfully, which makes the show that much more of a pleasure to watch.

September 23, 2013 Full Review Source: IGN Movies
IGN Movies

The Blacklist is never going to be anyone's idea of great art, but at least it has a pulpy kind of momentum that may well be worth watching for a while; I will stick around to see whether Spader's performance really is the only dish on the menu.

September 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Huffington Post
Huffington Post

I think Megan Boone could develop her own following - she's engaging and believable - but this is Spader's game and he plays it with gusto.

September 23, 2013 Full Review Source:

The marvelous action sequences and intriguing plot twists should lift it above any standard procedural.

September 23, 2013 Full Review Source: RedEye

That these relationships set young women alongside men with more experience, or more brutal experience, makes them more traditional than new, but they also speak to current social and political anxieties...

September 23, 2013 Full Review Source: PopMatters

Do I need to see another episode of this? Probably not. Will I watch it more just to enjoy Spader and see if Red's motivation is the thing everyone has been assuming since the trailer was released? Absolutely.

September 23, 2013 Full Review Source: HitFix

Blacklist doesn't have the pulse, say, of a 24, but it races in the right direction.

September 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Boston Herald
Boston Herald

Yes, it's a preposterous premise, and Boone as well as the character she plays are in over their heads, but if NBC is willing to spend money to make this formula work, it could have a hit on its hands.

September 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer

It's Spader alone who'll have me running the DVR on both channels Mondays,

September 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Daily News
Philadelphia Daily News

It's a fast-paced mystery that's just plain entertaining.

September 23, 2013 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News

Once [the] questions are cleared up, what's left is a more commonplace procedural.

September 23, 2013 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times

Spader is amusingly smug and hammy, as he manipulates the FBI honchos, Keen, and the criminals who think he's on their team. Even so, there is nothing in the pilot that makes me eager to return.

September 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe

C'mon, producers. Upend the procedural. Let Spader run loose.

September 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Newsday

Spader devours the script and steals every scene, basking in the power he has - more than the FBI thinks he has - the audience isn't sure what his motives are.

September 20, 2013 Full Review Source: Hollywood Reporter
Hollywood Reporter

Viewers who can handle the twists and turns will be intrigued, particularly by Mr. Spader's performance.

September 20, 2013 Full Review Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

How this works out over its many episodes isn't easy to predict, but we have, at minimum, a strong beginning-Zamani notwithstanding-one that reaches undeniably satisfying levels of menace.

September 19, 2013 Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal

The Blacklist is watchable but patently unbelievable and increasingly unpalatable.

September 19, 2013 Full Review Source: Uncle Barky
Uncle Barky

He's [James Spader] magnetic, chewing on the scenery so much that you can't look away from him.

September 19, 2013 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post

Few series can boast such a compelling central figure.

September 18, 2013 Full Review Source: Variety

The pilot episode is stylish and swiftly paced, but that's all it is, and despite some intriguing plot twists, there's not a lot of motivation to keep coming back.

September 13, 2013 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post

Portraying a brilliant criminal mastermind who opens the drama by turning himself in to the FBI, demanding the presence of a specific rookie agent, he (Spader) is effortlessly captivating.

September 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Denver Post
Denver Post

Both principals will escape with their dignity intact, but it's unlikely that Reddington will get to the bottom of that blacklist before the show gets de-listed.

August 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Media Life
Media Life

Audience Reviews for The Blacklist: Season 1

The only reason to watch this is to see James Spader act circles around the weird wig girl.
December 9, 2013

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