We’ve watched them as a happy young couple looking to have a child. He was a mild-mannered school teacher dedicated to his profession (or so we thought). She was beginning her career as an FBI agent.
But of course all that went awry.
Is the magic still there, despite what she knows about Tom Keen (Jacob)? Just how much pretending can one do in the course of years spent living together?
On the next to last episode last night on The Blacklist, I found myself liking this Tom Keen/Jacob person. He showed such vulnerability. And I think that is what is drawing Liz back to him.
I felt for him as he sat alone drinking his wine in the restaurant where he’d made reservations for them, having left the info on her voice mail.
And is it my imagination? Or is he more of a hunk this year? (Gotta love those Mustang commercials!)
Somehow I like this edgier, rough-around-the-edges young man with lots of secrets, who was used himself as a child. I think he’s more attractive somehow, in his “raw realness.”
Last year, ho hum, he was just Tom Keen. Now he’s a caricature of James Dean in all his toughness and street smarts.
I see the street kid who made it the only way he knew how. And who would have expected such a person to grow up to be, say, a Wall Street executive?
No, his genetic and childhood profile is a map of who this man became.
So, not wanting you to think I’m focusing solely on Ryan Eggold (Tom Keen/Jacob), of course the man we turn on the TV to see is James Spader.
He is a complex man. At the very least, he has a shady past. But we see the vulnerabilities in him as well.
There is a haunted look to his eyes, and we want so much to hear the story of what put the sorrow there.
And somehow it surrounds Liz. Just who is she to Raymond Reddington?
We watch one eye squint, a tic of his, when Red hurts for her. Like a father hurts for a daughter.
It is the tell-tale indication that he can’t control how much he cares, though he may wish to hide his feelings for whatever reason.
For two seasons now, we have watched her become tougher, more wise to the world.
But, somewhat like me and my story, there are questions that beg to be answered. Her quest for this is ongoing, and she is not going to stop until she gets the full and unabridged story. When I was her age, I felt much the same way.
What is her connection, so deep and visceral, to Reddington? Did he use her, using Tom to watch her for him?
But then Reddington is sort of like Tom. When you’ve led a life where you were used for someone else’s bidding, just what is your capacity for love?
Next week I think we’re going to have some answers. At least I hope so. I want to see Liz evolve and grow with the knowledge of who she is.
|James Spader as a young man; James Spader at 55|
For me the highlights of the show are when Reddington, in the midst of an important task (like having someone tortured) will lapse into old memories. And then he will talk about something that happened in grade school, for instance.
It takes quite an actor to pull off this sudden departure into unknown territory and make it work. With his facial expressions, his ironic laugh, and his telling of tales, we see the charisma of James Spader that I felt was untapped talent until his role in this show.
I thought the season got off to a shaky start. But now I’m totally immersed in the story and yearning for more.