James Spader’s performance as Raymond “Red” Reddington on NBC’s The Blacklist has been captivating to watch, making him the Most Valuable Actor for episode 102.
Ever since NBC’s The Blacklist premiered last Monday it has been one of the fall’s most talked about shows. That’s in good part to James Spader’s captivating performance as Raymond “Red” Reddington, a spy turned traitor who inexplicably turns himself in to the FBI. On the one hand Red is doing some good by helping the FBI catch the world’s most elusive criminals. On the other, he’s doing it so he can get closer to Elizabeth Keen. Or so it would appear. In episode 102, “The Freelancer,” Red helps the FBI track an assassin before he can get his new target. Of course, Red’s intentions weren’t completely honorable, but watching Spader walk a tightrope of looking respectable while actually being anything but is what made him this week’s Most Valuable Actor.
In the beginning of the episode Red awaited the Feds decision to approve the deal he made the last week in the pilot episode. He will help them catch the criminals they can’t find on his own if they’ll meet his list of demands. One of which is speaking only to Elizabeth Keen about the cases. They agreed with the plan to later stab Reddington in back by refusing to grant him immunity from his crimes. Spader plays these scenes as a man who already knows the outcome before he even casts the dice. I don’t know why, but I always feel like he’s waiting for something or someone. While the FBI believe they’ve finally caught the man they’ve been hunting for years, Red acts as if he has a magic key that will get him out of the Feds’ custody once he’s done playing with them. (More…)