The Blacklist: Season 1 (2013 - 2014)

Season 1
The Blacklist

Critics Consensus

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.



Critic Ratings: 57


Audience Score

User Ratings: 1208

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Air date: Sep 23, 2013

The race to stop an 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.

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Air date: Sep 30, 2013

Red predicts a catastrophe will occur and will stem from the work of an assassin called the Freelancer. When Red and Liz go undercover to protect the killer's next target (Isabella Rossellini), Ressler and a rehired CIA agent monitor the duo from afar.

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Air date: Oct 7, 2013

Red and Liz go undercover to pursue a high-level Chinese spy who may be involved in a shadowy scheme to decode a classified CIA transmission. Elsewhere, Liz puts the investigative focus on Tom.

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Air date: Oct 14, 2013

Liz testifies against a drug lord. Danger lurks when a witness in the case is abducted at the hands of possibly "the Stewmaker," a man responsible for hundreds of missing people. Meanwhile, Red and Ressler join forces for the first time.

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Air date: Oct 21, 2013

The hunt is on for an elusive courier who's delivering a package worth millions to an Iranian spy. As she scrambles to stop the transaction, Liz gets swept up in a kidnapping scheme. Meanwhile, Ressler is forced to accept Liz's importance to the team.

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Air date: Oct 28, 2013

A beautiful yet menacing corporate terrorist is tracked. Meanwhile, Tom confronts Liz about a mysterious box.

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Air date: Nov 4, 2013

Liz and the FBI track the criminal responsible for a chemical attack on a subway. Elsewhere, Liz reluctantly reaches out to Red to help nab a brilliant scientist (Robert Sean Leonard).

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Air date: Nov 11, 2013

A plot to destroy the U.S. financial system is uncovered by Liz. Meanwhile, Tom helps Liz when a family member becomes ill.

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Air date: Nov 25, 2013

Part 1 of 2. Donald tries to protect Red from a possible assassination attempt. Meanwhile, the next blacklist target infiltrates the FBI's black site and hunts down Red; and Liz gets caught in an elevator.

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Air date: Dec 2, 2013

While Red bargains with his captor to spare Agent Ressler's life, Liz tries to disable the signal jammers preventing a call for back-up.

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The Blacklist: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

Series 1 sees our introduction to former government agent turned criminal Raymond Reddington who, after turning himself into the FBI, says that he will help them capture some of the world's most dangerous criminals. However, he will only talk to one agent, Elizabeth Keen and as the series progresses we slowly get hints of why this might be while simultaneously following the FBI's progress in catching the criminals Reddington is pointing his finger at.

News & Interviews for The Blacklist: Season 1

Critic Reviews for The Blacklist Season 1

All Critics (57) | Top Critics (29)

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.

Sep 23, 2013 | Full Review…

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

Sep 23, 2013 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

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.

Sep 23, 2013 | Full Review…

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

Sep 23, 2013 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

The Blacklist is watchable but patently unbelievable and increasingly unpalatable.

Sep 19, 2013 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

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.

Sep 6, 2013 | Full Review…

Blacklist is the more purely and criminally enjoyable of the night's new melodramas, largely because James Spader is so good at being playfully bad.

Dec 7, 2018 | Full Review…

A lot of the snazzy action and spiffy pacing may be a cover-up for subpar writing, but the pilot kept things entertaining enough that I'd like to see the second episode. Hopefully it will clear up a few things.

Dec 7, 2018 | Full Review…

The Blacklist, a slick and surprisingly brutal spies-and-black-ops drama that speeds along blithely without an original thought in its head.

Jul 22, 2018 | Full Review…

The Blacklist is mysterious and compelling without being too over the top and complicated.

May 7, 2018 | Rating: 4.3/5 | Full Review…

Season 1 of The Blacklist was a very stop-and-go, frustrating experience punctuated by some marvelous performances.

May 7, 2018 | Rating: 7/10 | Full Review…

"This was fun. Let's do it again," says Reddington at one point. He's absolutely right.

May 7, 2018 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Blacklist: Season 1

  • Feb 16, 2021
    Full of twists, and mystery 🤍 i just love the whole gang of Blacklist. So street smart.
  • Sep 26, 2020
    I just started streaming this. Hope they dump the Silence of the Lambs motif very soon. The lack of creativity is overbearing.
  • Sep 22, 2020
    The character of Red is Excellent!
  • Jul 13, 2020
    Garbage first episode trying poorly to emulate the interaction between Hannibal Lecter and Agent starling. Overproduced and completely over dramatic and unbelievable plot.
  • Jun 06, 2020
    nice, i liked it. interesting
  • Jun 06, 2020
    One of the best action/drama series ever. James should be winning multiple awards for this role, fits him great. Not really keen on, no pun intended, Liz Keen, but I'm assuming that was intended... Just that the struggle always seem one sided, but I'm sure viewers of a different demographic would disagree. Overall each episode gets more interesting and slowly reveals additional critical info that makes watching this as addictive as "24." The rest of the supporting cast is capable but it's really James that carries the whole load on his shoulders, and does so magnificently, along with the writing. The rest of the seasons are just as amazing but as season 7 approaches and ends, it seems like the life of the series is also about to end as the writing seems a little more tried and the characters are starting to look just a bit more disinterested.
  • May 24, 2020
    Between 3 and 3.5 stars. Although the plot is the classic of conspirations around FBI and CIA (althogh with some additional tips of cruelty), and imprevisible movements look too much under control, the character of James Spader has charisma enough to make it enjoyable.
  • Apr 13, 2020
    Sooooo good! Must see!
  • Apr 12, 2020
    One of the best shows I've ever seen!
  • Apr 07, 2020
    Twists and turns galore as the FBI's most wanted Raymond Reddington trades his secrets to his pursuers. James Spader is on top of his game here and while a little far-fetched, this series is great fun.

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