The Blacklist Season 4 Premiere

Blacklist Premiere Recap: Red Rover

At this rate, Elizabeth Keen might actually miss being dead.

Ever since she was “resurrected” from last season’s tragic “death,” The Blacklist‘s leading lady has only continued to encounter the very heartache, violence and betrayal she was trying to escape. And Thursday’s Season 4 premiere was no different.

A quick reminder of where the NBC drama left things in May: Red, deep into the process of tracking down longtime rival Alexander Kirk, learned that Liz had faked her own death (and, even worse, Mr. Kaplan spearheaded the entire ruse). Meanwhile, Liz fled to Cuba to start a new life away from Red — but just when Tom and Agnes joined her in the Pearl of the Antilles, Kirk and his men showed up and kidnapped all three of ’em.

There was also this tiiiiiny little detail about Kirk being Liz’s father. Or so he said.

When Thursday’s premiere begins, very little time has passed since the events of last spring’s finale. Red is desperate to find Liz (and livid at Mr. Kaplan). Tom and Agnes are being driven who-knows-where by a pair of captors. And Liz, still reeling over her potential relationship to Kirk, is holed up in a house with him and his security team.

What follows during the next hour is the ultimate cat-and-mouse game. Red, Mr. Kaplan and Dembe attempt to find Liz… but when they do, they’re forced to flee the scene before getting killed. Tom tries to get himself and Agnes rescued by the Cuban authorities… but when a local cop attempts to pull over and arrest Tom’s captors, the criminals manage to get away with the police officer unconscious in the trunk of their car. Basically, anything that can go wrong does go wrong — especially for the unlucky Kirk associate who gets decapitated in the episode’s first minutes.

The Blacklist Season 4 PremiereInstead of making your head spin with the minutiae, I’ll just relay the highlights from “Esteban (No. 79)”:

* In an attempt to earn Liz’s trust, Kirk once again insists he’s her dad, this time with some more details. He and Katarina Rostova were happily married years ago, until she had a brief affair with Red — and Kirk was legitimately worried that Katarina’s baby might actually belong to Red. But Kirk is now completely certain that he is indeed Liz’s father, and he would have raised her in a safe, loving home if Red hadn’t swooped in one night and taken Liz from her family.

* Once the FBI gets word of Liz’s “alive” status, the task force is furious that Liz lied to them after all they’d done to help her. But Cooper encourages the team to put their anger aside and help Liz out of her latest life-or-death sitch — but Samar is the only one who can’t overcome her bitterness.

* After a complicated rescue mission involving a U.S. Marshal, a trip to Cuba and a man with no eyes (long story!), here’s where we stand: Tom manages to gun down his captor and flee the scene in a stolen pickup truck, ensuring Kirk that “an army is coming” for him.

Liz, despite her best attempts to escape from Kirk and his men, is re-captured on the beach and forced into an airplane that takes off just seconds before Red arrives to save her. But at least Mr. Kaplan is able to rescue Agnes from the adversaries. That’s great! Right?

Wrong. Because moments later, as Mr. Kaplan and Red drive away from Kirk’s house with Agnes safely in tow, another car careens through the trees and T-bones their vehicle. Red is knocked unconscious and Mr. Kaplan is barely lucid — but Agnes is perfectly fine, and Mr. Kaplan watches helplessly as one of Kirk’s men scoops up the baby from the backseat and walks off with her.

The Blacklist fans, I leave it to you. What did you think of the Season 4 premiere? Grade it in our poll below, then hit the comments to back up your choice!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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40 Comments
  1. Sammy says:

    Unecessary drama and dumbass story telling… another show that has gotten too big for its boots. Oh well.

  2. Tos Al says:

    Hey Dad nice to meet you. What? You want me to cooperate? No problem just put my daughter with a bunch of criminals who threatened to shoot her every time they’re in barely any danger, try to kill my husband and the father of my child, and explain absolutely nothing to me. Yeah dad no problem, I will totally love you and live in peace wherever you take me, no problem .

  3. Debbie says:

    I love James Spader and would watch him read the phone book, so I continue to tune in every week without fail, unfortunately I’ve gotten to the point where I no longer care who Lizzie’s father is or isn’t. Knowing Tom is going to be spun off in a couple of months has eliminated any rooting power for that character’s continued relationship with Lizzie and the baby. Writing her pregnancy into the show was a gigantic mistake because she’s never going to be able to keep her baby and continue to run around the world chasing down bad guys without looking like an absentee mother and the whole faking her own death did more than alienate her team mates, It’s alienated viewers. I just don’t care anymore.

    • donna d'pinto says:

      I agree…..story is getting constipated……typical NBC, always messing up a decent show!

      • PatriciaLee says:

        Sometimes, I’m almost glad when a show gets canceled, before they screw it up. At least it leaves me with my dreams and interpretation of what was going on.

    • DL says:

      Honestly the thing that alienated me the most was dragging out the mystery of Red’s relationship to Liz. That’s going to be one tired old rabbit they finally pull out of their hat. They should’ve answered that and moved on to more compelling mysteries ages ago. I’ve pretty much given it up for Blindspot at this point — at least they keep the plot moving along.

  4. Alichat says:

    “I know I had a psychopath hunt you down who tried to kill everyone at your wedding and almost killed you when you got away which forced you to fake your death, then tracked your husband and kidnapped you, gave your baby to a black market broker, tried to kill your husband, and forced you into this airplane but really…..trust me…..you will love me. I’m your dad. Really….I care about you….I do….just not about the two most important people in your life. But…trust me….you will love me and want the 26 years we lost to magically come back as I am deliriously believing will happen. Because I’m your dad.”

  5. Penny says:

    I so badly wanted to love it but after the disaster of 3B this show kind of put a sour taste in my mouth. Has Redemption started so we can get rid of Tom Keen yet? Can Liz start being held accountable for her own actions? Can we go back and fix the mistake of writing in the pregnancy? Agnes is a few weeks old and has had her life endangered more than her age, it’s already getting stale. Thank god for Spader.

    • Heather says:

      I’m glad I’m not the only one that wants Tom gone already.

      • Chloe says:

        I’ve wanted him gone since Season 1.

        I really liked the show in the beginning but it started to go downhill when she was framed & went on the run. [Ugh – the blonde hair]. It only got worse when she “died”. I pretty much knew she wasn’t dead, not because I’m brilliant or because I have inside info but because her name & her picture remained in the opening credits. Duh! And, of course, this happened just when the [real] baby was due.

        And now Season 4 appears to be an even bigger mess………. I guess I’ll give it another episode or two but if it doesn’t get back on track with Liz being back working with the FBI, instead of running around with Tom & the kid, then I’m outta here.

  6. Richard Oakley says:

    “Liz ” is Masha and “Tom” is Chris. They are not married. That attempt got interrupted by a hail of bullets. They never were legally married ‘first time around.

    Masha is/was the key to the fulcrum, of course Red was going to want her. Kirk did at least confirm what everyone thought that Red and Katerina had an affair. Paternity? Go on Jerry Springer. I doubt the baby is Agnes. I think Scottie substituted her.

    I’ve already postulated that Kirk wants Masha to take over from him after his death. He’s trying to set her against Red. He’s not too bright is he? Masha already hates Red for just running her life. The more he pushes Masha against Red, the more she’ll come to realise that Red isn’t the enemy.It’s clear he’s got a king sized grudge against both Katerina and Red. Masha went to Cuba at Mr Kaplan’s urging, not because she chose to go there..

    I’ve already said that I believe season 4 is about betrayal; Masha working out who she can really trust and who is the real enemy.

    Since Kirk is said to hate Red so much, why doesn’t his man shot him and Kaplan as they lie helpless in the car wreck? The ‘daughter ‘ is icing on the cake.

    • Amy Asbill says:

      We think Alexander Kirk is only interested in his daughter Liz because he needs an organ transplant (hence the IV bag of blood at the end of season 3), and when Liz gets typed they’re going to find out she was always Red’s.

      • Fay T, Rowland says:

        Remember Red said “she was never yours to raise” I do not think it is an organ transplant but he needs Liz’s blood, Opening episode should have been a 2 hour show
        with some resolution -there would have still been room for plenty of questions.
        I like the idea that Scottie may have switched Agnes. Of course if she did than Agnes becomes dispensable to Kirk.

        The real tension in the episode was Mr Kaplan and Red’s lack of action over her betrayal
        I was consistently waiting to see what beyond wait her would be her punishment.

        • Amy Asbill says:

          We came up with the organ donation theory before the premiere, but now I know it’s a blood disorder he may still need a transplant in the way of a bone marrow transplant. Not sure what kind of blood disorder it is or if bone marrow is appropriate. (Another way of saying he needs Lizzie’s blood).

          Another possibility may be in another direction – Lizzie finds out Daddy has a blood disorder, and out of concern for Agnes has genetic testing, which reveals real father.

          Except at end of season 3 Kirk’s man made the doctor tell Tom the genetic testing came back normal (to get Tom’s location), but audience got the impression they were making the doctor lie about the results.

  7. niloofar says:

    I know she’s the lead but the writing doesn’t justify all the sacrifices for her. Red’s interest in her isn’t interesting anymore.

  8. Donna Salvi says:

    Tired of the Lizzie drama..let’s move on to some new story lines.

    • cindy says:

      I so agree, it’s turned into the Lizzie show. I got hooked on Red and could care less about Lizzie. The show has deviated so far away from the original premise I didn’t even watch the 1st show of this season. James Spader is wonderful, if the show can get back to the “blacklist” again it would be great.

    • Ricardo says:

      At least the actress playing Lizzie got those crossed front teeth straightened in the off season.

  9. justsomeguy says:

    The show is called ‘The Blacklist’, but it feels like they’ve forgotten that. The character ‘Elizabeth Keen’ is one of the worst characters on TV. Her attitude and personality make me question why anyone would go through so much to save one person who doesn’t deserve it, and doesn’t appreciate it. This show needs to answer the question on Reddington and Liz’s relationship, and fast, and tell something new already. Here we are in season 4 and no one knows the answer yet. Just poor storytelling in every way. Answer it, and move on to something else already.

  10. Emilia Lozano says:

    The blacklist continue to keep me with this addiction to the series, just love the characters and the plot
    Excellent job

  11. Razz says:

    Enough already with Liz and her father.. End the “suspense” and get back to better story lines.. If they don’t save this baby and the family next episode and move on I may have to find a new show…

  12. dman6015 says:

    OK, time to wrap up the Liz/Tom/baby storyline and get back to The Blacklist. Hopefully, they’ll figure out a way to ship the baby off with Tom when he leaves for Redemption.

  13. spdavid says:

    Well the cars were all wrong for Cuba,too new and at one point Tom identifies one of them as being ten years older than it really is.Also a double barrel shotgun fires three times without being reloaded.I know those are details but they are easy enough to get right and speak to the care and detail of the writers.

    “Alexander Kirk” should have just been Kai Proctor and held that same ID from Banshee,it would have been more fun.

    Otherwise it was more Blacklist insanity.Either you can handle that or you can’t.

    • Glad I wasn’t the only one who noticed this. The “late 50s dodge” was a 66 or 67, and the Ford pickup was also too new (about a 69, I’d guess). They had a lot of cars the right age in the show, but the two main ones were way off. Things like this really are ridiculously easy to get right, as long as the writers aren’t kids themselves.

  14. Yvonne Smith says:

    Thank God for Mr James Spider! I’d watch him in anything. All the drama with Liz getting on my nerves and PLEASE hurry and let Redemption start so we can say adios to Tom! However, I’ve been a die hard fan of the show since day one so I will hang on there til the bitter end!!

  15. joanne. says:

    It’s best tv action drama better than most movies you pay big bucks to see at box office . EStatic that brought Liz back and was so good last night always new ideas love this show my favorite .since dynasty and who shot J.R. jojo romano

  16. Emily Flynn says:

    I felt like there was no point to this episode. They had Liz then they didn’t, they had Agnes and then they didn’t. It went in a circle.

    • Penny says:

      ^^this!! How do you have a season opener like this and hope people stick around? At the end of the episode we were in the exact same spot we were before the episode. No Liz and no Agnes and they still weren’t together. No progression

  17. Kevin K says:

    I give it an A. Really hope the whole daddy issue between Red and Kirk needs to end until halfway through the season. One very suspenseful moment is where Red slice a guy’s head off (Game of Thrones like). As for Aram who’s still my fave was shocked that Liz is alive.

  18. Seriously? says:

    That Cuban cop was dead in the trunk of the care…They broke his neck.

  19. L. Finch says:

    I adore James Spader’s acting! I hope he will keep on doing what he does! Fabulous actor… If he wasn’t in the show, I’d never watch it I guess. God bless you Mr. Spader. I’m never bored with your acting!

  20. Montana Blue says:

    I got bored with the cat n’ mouse, because we all know Agnes will end up with mum in the end.

    I’m more interested in character dynamics. It’s what makes or breaks a show for me. Unfortunately, The Blacklist has disappointed me many times and I end up indifferent, but just as I’m ready to bid adieu here comes Red’s ultimate betrayal in Mr. Kaplan. Things can get verrry interesting between them if written sensibly. She is yin to Red’s yang – his conscience as it were. Red needs to dig a little deeper into himself, and Kaplan is the perfect steam shovel to unearth his core. I await.

  21. Love, love, love James Spader!!!

  22. Leslie says:

    I love The Blacklist..i power watched all 3 seasons..so i could prepare for Season4 premeire and it didnt disappoint..best show on Tv in ages and love James Spader…

  23. Love this show..best on tv..i power watched seasons 1.2.3..so i could watch season 4..
    JAMES spader is the best.

  24. Love, love, loveJjames Spader!

  25. Shelly K Huston says:

    Agnes was born in a hail of bullets and now is passed around like a football!

  26. sabrina says:

    if you have any issue in your relationship. contact robinson.buckler @ yahoo. com his love spell is absolutely wonderful!

  27. Allie says:

    Unlike a lot of viewers, I like Liz. So this isn’t a critique of the actress or the character. Blacklist has lost it’s way. I’m hoping it hasn’t jumped the shark but I’m no longer sure. I do not want an entire season devoted to finding Liz and her baby. We won’t watch an entire season of Find Liz and Agnes.James Spader should be the focus because he is AMAZING and she should be the backstory. At this point TOM could be her father and I wouldn’t care. The writers need to fix this sinking ship FAST.