The dreaded winter hiatus is over, and Red and the gang have returned to check off another name on The Blacklist.
This week’s episode of The Blacklist was one of the best episodes, if not the best episode of the season. Seems like that was said last week, and the week before as well, but somehow this show always seems to outdo itself week after week. All season long we’ve been wondering who the hell this Jolene chick is, and before we get any real answers she gets suffocated by a car cover. Not only that, but Lance Reddick’s guest stint came to an end this week as he was executed by mild-mannered Tom Keen. To make things even crazier, this week’s Blacklister was none other that Banshee’s Hoon Lee, who played Blacklister #83 and title character, Mako Tanida. Prison breaks, murders, crooked cops, and crazy spies ran rampant in episode 116. While on another show this might be overkill, On The Blacklist it was perfection. So let’s open up the case files and dive into episode 116, “Mako Tanida.”
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“Searching in the desert for a drop of vengeance to slake an unquenchable thirst is a lonely walk, my friend.” Back when Ressler and the FBI were hunting Reddington they took down a Yakuza boss named Mako Tanida. Somehow in the process, the squad “accidentally” killed Mako’s brother Iko, and now that Mako has escaped out of Abashiri prison he’s out for vengeance. The idea of a man forcing those he holds responsible for a loved one’s death was made even more poetic by the fact the targets were FBI agents. This theme of avenging loved ones lost through violence rang throughout the episode. Whether it was Tanida seeking revenge for his brother’s death, or Ressler seeking revenge for Audrey’s death by first kidnapping Tanida, and later threatening his supposed BFF’s (and actual bad guy) life. Even the ballet performance Red orchestrated throughout the episode, Swan Lake, is about seeking vengeance in the name of love. In the past we have seen people on this show seek justice, monetary gain, or just plain revenge, but never has it been done in the name of loved ones who were murdered. At least not this beautifully. In this story, the lines between “good” and “bad” were blurred. People we believed to be the “good guys” proved to be corrupt, and those who were supposed to be the “bad guys” had a just cause. If Tanida just wanted to see people die, he only had to pull the trigger. Instead, he asked his victims to take their own lives to save their honor. He wasn’t out for blood for blood’s sake. He only wanted these men to atone for the crimes they committed against him and his family. (More…)