The Blacklist Spinoff

The Blacklist: Did NBC's Redemption Spinoff Pique Your Interest?

Just in case the original Blacklist wasn’t serving up enough lies and deceit for your liking, NBC has introduced The Blacklist: Redemption, a Tom Keen-centric spinoff that promises as much family betrayal as you can handle.

The question is, did Thursday’s premiere do enough to hook you?

In case you’ve forgotten since last May’s backdoor pilot, Tom Keen was thrust into the protagonist role after meeting Scottie Hargrave (X-Men‘s Famke Janssen), the co-owner of a private military intelligence agency called Halcyon Aegis. When Scottie needed help tracking down a Big Bad last spring, she recruited Tom for the job — but he declined her offer to permanently stay with Halcyon Aegis after the gig was over.

The Blacklist SpinoffBut here’s the real kicker: Scottie is also Tom’s long-lost mother. And she doesn’t know he’s her son. Because no one does dysfunctional families quite like The Blacklist. (Tom, aka Christopher Hargrave, disappeared from his parents’ home when he was a young boy, and he was never found. Scottie has presumed her son dead ever since.)

In Redemption‘s debut, Scottie once again calls upon Tom for help with a new case: the rescue of Anna Copeland, a CIA operative who, along with her young son, was abducted by a former teammate named Leland Brey. (The good news: They save her! The bad news: They have to cut a bomb out of her stomach to do so. Thursdays, am I right?)

But at its core, Redemption is about the secrets within Tom’s fractured family, and the premiere does a solid job of building his conspiracy theory-filled world. When he arrives in New York City for what he thinks will be a meeting about his late father’s will, he comes to find that his dad isn’t dead at all. Rather, Howard Hargrave is alive and well, and he believes the recent plane crash that “killed” him only occurred because Scottie sabotaged the aircraft.

Later, after Tom’s rescue mission with Scottie is over, Howard brings his son to an apartment building where he’s been accumulating research about Scottie for decades. He believes Scottie is up to something shady; in fact, he thinks she might somehow be responsible for Tom’s disappearance as a child, in addition to the plane crash that almost killed Howard himself. Lacking a firm theory about what Scottie plans to do next, Howard encourages Tom to go undercover within Halcyon Aegis. He’ll continue to work missions with the agency, all the while trying to unearth what his mother is up to and hide from her that he’s really Christopher. Easy peasy.

Armed with this new information, Tom approaches Scottie at the end of the hour and tells her he’d like to join Halcyon Aegis full-time. Her response, fittingly: “Welcome to the family.”

OK, your turn. What did you think of Redemption‘s first outing — and how did it stack up to the original Blacklist? Grade the series premiere in our poll below, then hit the comments with your thoughts.

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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47 Comments
  1. Superwoman says:

    Stopped watching the Blacklist a season or 2 ago but I want to check out TB:Redemption.
    How was Tom’s character written out of TB; is he and Liz still married/in a rship.

    • Normandy says:

      He wasn’t written out. This show basically takes place at the same time, so whenever you don’t see him on The Blacklist, he’s working his Redemption job.

  2. I loved it and I believe it had some classic mission impossible retro spirit. Cant wait to see more

  3. RedReddington says:

    I can’t stand Facob (aka Tom Keen/Jacob Phelps etc etc) so I won’t be tuning in. Only the Blacklist writers could make a murderer/liar/wife beater and try to make him redeemable. Ever since they retconned everything on the main show to make Tom likable again, its gone way downhill. I have a feeling Redemption won’t do too well.(yes, I’m bitter)

    • Penny says:

      I feel the same way, but the only way I feel we are going to be rid of this terrible character on TBL is for Redemption to be successful. I know the john’s said he would be back but if Redemption gets picked up, he can’t be full time on both.

    • Well said i feel the same way crossed fingers this means we can finally get him off the blacklist thow and maybe just maybe it means liz can be with a man who is actually a GOOD influence on

    • PatriciaLee says:

      Hmmm…maybe, they are looking for all the viewers who bailed on the Blacklist show, for the most part .when they changed Tom’s character for the bad and evil spin. (like me, here) Then, there was the episode I did happen to catch when Liz had him on the boat and was giving him such a hard time (which was supposed to even the score between the, I guess) I am going to give the show a try, since I haven’t seen the nasty Tom on Blacklist, but I will be fast forwarding the Howard Hargrave scenes. The stupid show powers-that-be should have kept it simple. I am all about redemption with blue-skies. I find his character quite distasteful. They should have just left if with the three characters going after redemption, kind of like Person of Interest. That advertisement was the hook.

      • fiberlicious says:

        I watch The Blacklist for James Spader. I will ALWAYS watch The Blacklist for James Spader.
        .
        Because JAMES SPADER.

  4. Wrstlgirl says:

    It was pretty good but really it’s just more of the same. I don’t see anything that makes it stand out.

  5. Billy meacham says:

    I think it’s good so far. It’s great to see famke jennsen on tv again she looks great for being in her 50s.

    • Marguerite says:

      I think this is the role Christine Baranski turned down to do TGF. She looks even more awesome for a woman in her 60’s. I can’t see her in this action type role though so wise choice on her part.

  6. davido says:

    Tuned in out of curiosity, but I know I won’t be watching it again. Eggold comes across as a schmuck and life’s too short to spend it on watching annoying actors and annoying characters. Plus the same ol’ father/mother BS like Blacklist, why do I need another crappy show?

  7. i completely loved it and will watch it again and look forward to unpack the mystery of the Horgrave familly and the political nefarious conspiracy behind it…

  8. Will says:

    Solomon telling the story of how Tom tried to kill him had me dying 😂

  9. Vicki Koehl says:

    No! Prefer just to have the Blacklist continue. Not as engaging or acted as well. Interesting to hear of Tom’s background but not this way. Bring back The Blacklist please.

    • GrumpyMittens says:

      What are you talking about? Regular “Blacklist” didn’t get cancelled so there’s no need for “bringing back”, it’s just our scheduled mid-season spin-off ;)

    • Thelma Brashko says:

      I totally agree. Blacklist was a fantastic show. My family and friends all looked so forward to seeing it. So disappointed in the new one.

  10. GrumpyMittens says:

    I’m still not buying Scottie as Tom’s mother. Sister – sure. But mother? Nope.
    But I enjoyed the premiere more than the regular Blacklist episode so that’s something.

  11. Ange says:

    From what I watched, it was like The Blacklist started out which I liked. Hope it doesn’t dull like The Blacklist has.

  12. liame says:

    The first episode was good. I’m hoping the whole team is in the remaining episodes, they work well together.

  13. Imzadi says:

    I’m a little disappointed in all the Tom Keen haters. Don’t they believe in redemption (which is, after all, the name of the show!)? Don’t they believe a person can change? I do, and I’m willing to believe how much he loves Elizabeth and Agnes (that name makes me think of the youngest daughter on Despicable Me–the unicorn lover!). I’ll be watching, at least for a while.

  14. Imzadi says:

    BTW I looked them up on IMDb (which still has its uses in spite of dropping the message boards). Fake Janssen is 19 years and 9 months older than Ryan Eggold, so she could be his mother.

  15. Joey Padron says:

    I like the first episode a lot, it was really good, fun, and funny. I’ll keep watching. Can’t wait to learn more about Tom’s past and about his parents. Good to see Liz appear in the first episode of the show.

  16. MichaMainz says:

    My main problem is that the idea of having two television series with each as a member of a couple is that it will be chaotic. Everyone looks for the secret of his origins and makes a phone call to his spouse: “I found out why! We see ourselves after the episode to walk our child to the zoo and you will tell me in your own series where you are of your research? Now it’s my turn! “

  17. I really love “Red” and I think Tom is an asset to the whole theory!! Thanks NBC for beginning this production!#

  18. Penny says:

    We know Scottie is Tom’s mom. Tom knows Scottie is his mom. So when she guides his hand to her inner thigh to grab a key card while staring at him lovingly, it’s not sexy. It’s creepy. I guess this is what the producers meant when they said “incestous flirting is fun…” ummm nope.

  19. Christian says:

    Huge Blacklist fan, but this turned me off. It was a run of the mill high-tech heist show with none of the suspense that James Spader created in the original.

    Too spiffy and modern for me. Kind of like when CSI:Cyber spunn off CSI directly into the floor.

  20. Rick Katze says:

    Not quite awesome grade but close. Lots of story lines as described in the article. Don’t know what but I expect another twist during the season to add another layer to the story. And since my heroes need not be simply good, I shall continue to watch the show.

  21. HAP says:

    Turned it off after 35 minutes. Won’t be back. Not nearly as good as The Blacklist.

  22. Bonnie W says:

    I like the actors and the story but hated the constant use of split screens. After a while, it became really annoying.

  23. kirads09 says:

    I really enjoyed it. This new team is going to be fun – especially the interaction between Solomon and Tom. An anti-bromance I guess. Mark my words: Edi Gathegi will end up stealing the show. He is amazing. A couple nitpicky things: The Oedipus factor (mentioned in burning questions) I don’t like. Will Tom inform Scottie he is her son OR will this be dragged out as long as “Is Red Liz’s bio dad” has been? Dear God, I hope they deal with it quickly so there is no further sexual stuff btwn them. Also Scottie and Tom in public discussing details about a supposedly secret rescue mission when they are on the street and entering the building? Not very prudent.

  24. Lena Marsh says:

    I stopped watching The Blacklist sometime in season 2 (I regret this decision, but nevertheless it happened), will this show still make sense to me? Any info is appreciated!

  25. Sheldon W. says:

    So, grafting criminals-seeking-redemption, dysfunctional family and no-budget Mission: Impossible into a single weekly series turns out to be a really average idea.

    Can’t wait for this to bomb.

  26. Shapaq. says:

    No. I won’t continue watching it. Tried for awhile but finally gave up on it. I don’t really buy the premise that the characters just want another chance. Knowing their characters on Blacklist makes the whole show more than unbelievable. Sorry.

  27. GeorgiaH says:

    Never have missed an episode of Blacklist and do not plan to do so. However, why was there a need for the spin-off Blacklist Redemption series? Did NOT like this new show — can’t wrap my head around these “so called” parent characters. BUT I am wondering if I don’t watch this new show, will there be so many crossover things happening on both shows that viewers MUST watch them both? I mean…Tom is supposedly a “happy family man” now…so he will still play that role on Blacklist? Give me a break…such a stupid storyline. My humble opinion…there was NO reason to have a spin-off series.

  28. grys03 says:

    Now that I’ve watched the second episode – best way I can describe the show is ‘soft’ & ‘nonsensical’. Part Mission Impossible, part Macgyver, part Days of Our Lives.
    .
    This is not the same intelligent, calculating Scotty that was introduced in Blacklist. & don’t get me started on the Solomon character.
    .
    The ‘team’ reminds me of so many previous shows – hard-ass female, nerdy IT guy etc
    .
    The show, without reference to Blacklist is soft, but with reference it makes no sense – the characters simply don’t match the previous incarnations