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The Blacklist - S02E18

Drama . Mystery . Crime

The task force tracks a provocative female Blacklister, a frame-up artist who targets the wealthy elite. Tom pleads for Liz's help. Red pressures Liz for the Fulcrum, claiming it's now a matter of life and death.

Episode Title: Vanessa Cruz
Airs: 2015-04-02 at 21:00
  • Rob Owen

    Viewers who can handle the twists and turns will be intrigued, particularly by Mr. Spader's performance.

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Full Review
  • Terri Schwartz

    The criminal-teams-with-agent dynamic is nothing new, but it's taking the journey of The Blacklist with Spader and Boone that makes this show so engaging. It only helps that they have a strong supporting cast featuring the likes of Ryan Eggold, Diego Klattenhoff and Harry Lennix.

    Zap2it (Inside the Box) Full Review
  • Ellen Gray

    Both pilots ["Hostages" and The Blacklist] are among broadcast TV's better offerings this fall.

    Philadelphia Daily News Full Review
  • The result is a combustible cocktail of explosive action and sly intrigue, which provides an ingenious showcase for Spader to work his inscrutably enigmatic magic.

    TV Guide Magazine Full Review
  • David Hinckley

    The Blacklist won’t be the most cerebral show on television. It’s a fast-paced mystery that’s just plain entertaining.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Matt Zoller Seitz

    It's probably a mite too ridiculous for the dire tone it sometimes affects, but it's confident, verging on brazen, and one tends to respect that quality in entertainment.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Mary McNamara

    Creator Jon Bokenkamp matches up a deliciously absurd uber-story (20 years later, rogue spy turned freelance criminal comes in from the cold...) with the mother of all procedural shticks (and he's going to bring all his friends and enemies with him). But the ace in the hole is Spader.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Lily Moayeri

    Those two alone [Raymond "Red" Reddington (James Spader) and Liz Keen (Megan Boone)] are worth watching Blacklist, but the drama's storytelling is powerful enough to make you commit to it from the very first episode.

    Under The Radar Full Review
  • Jeff Jensen

    Here and now, The Blacklist is top-of-the-list escapism.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Diane Werts

    Spader seems to be the only one who actually gets the gameplay here.... And the script seems to incite his appetite.

    Newsday Full Review
  • Robert Bianco

    A solid weekly crime show built around a genuine TV star. That's the kind of series the networks have to be able to pull off to survive. And with Spader in command, odds are NBC will.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Tim Goodman

    It’s certainly an intriguing pilot--you can’t take your eyes off of Spader and the writers have thrown in a couple of other interesting twists.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • David Wiegand

    You think you know this situation and how it will turn out, but there are surprise, yet entirely credible, twists throughout Monday's episode.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Dorothy Rabinowitz

    How this works out over its many episodes isn't easy to predict, but we have, at minimum, a strong beginning--Zamani notwithstanding--one that reaches undeniably satisfying levels of menace.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Joanne Ostrow

    His name is above the title and, depending how you feel about James Spader, NBC’s The Blacklist may become your favorite fall show.

    Denver Post Full Review
  • Tom Gliatto

    [A] pleasurable, cheeky new crime drama. [21 Oct 2013, p.47]

    People Weekly Full Review
  • Michael Starr

    [Spader’s] magnetic, chewing on the scenery so much that you can’t look away from him.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Curt Wagner

    There's no doubt that The Blacklist will present a terrorist case of the week. But the marvelous action sequences and intriguing plot twists should lift it above any standard procedural.... If none of that interests you, Spader's magnetic performance alone is enough to warrant at least a couple looks.

    RedEye Full Review
  • Mark A. Perigard

    Blacklist doesn’t have the pulse, say, of a '24,' but it races in the right direction.

    Boston Herald Full Review
  • Lori Rackl

    It could be the fall’s best new drama if it doesn’t veer off course and drive into the ditches of hokey predictability or outrageous implausibility.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Brian Tallerico

    It helps to have a great actor like Harry Lennix in the supporting cast, but the writers of The Blacklist need to prove that it’s about more than just Red.... But, for now, Spader is enough reason to watch. Full Review
  • Maureen Ryan

    The Blacklist is never going to be anyone's idea of great art, but at least it has a pulpy kind of momentum that may well be worth watching for a while; I will stick around to see whether Spader's performance really is the only dish on the menu.

    The Huffington Post Full Review
  • Michael Landweber

    An intriguing twist suggests her involvement in his scheme is more complicated than the setup suggests, but we knew that. Moreover, she may also be more complicated than Red anticipates, which might make the introduction of this so familiar dynamic more a point of departure than a retread. That will be helpful because, based on the first episode, The Blacklist‘s plot makes little sense.

    PopMatters Full Review
  • Alessandra Stanley

    The many layers of feints and puzzles are compelling, but it’s hard to see how they can last more than a season or two.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Brian Lowry

    Spader has always been a particularly interesting actor, and he’s well suited to this sort of twisted figure, where so much is going on behind those eyes. That said, he’s all that lifts The Blacklist above the mundane.

    Variety Full Review
  • Alan Sepinwall

    It's a pretty shameless "Silence of the Lambs" rip-off--one scene in the pilot beat-for-beat copies the "quid pro quo, Clarice" scene where Lecter gets Clarice to talk about her childhood--but also a fun character for Spader to play, and the writers know what to have their leading man do and say.

    Hitfix Full Review
  • To the extent that Reddington is compelling, it’s because Spader is doing all the work. He gets little help from the pilot script, which feeds him some sharp lines but imagines him as a generically debauched mastermind.

    Time Full Review
  • Ed Bark

    The Blacklist is watchable but patently unbelievable and increasingly unpalatable.

    Uncle Barky Full Review
  • Matthew Gilbert

    The Blacklist doesn’t waste time making sense, as the focus zooms all over Washington, D.C. Too often, it seems more like a blueprint for a show than a show.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Phil Dyess-Nugent

    Spader is fun to watch in a shallow, ornamental way, but he’d be worth caring about if there were some limits to his character’s abilities. Instead, he’s not just brilliant, but also practically unbound by the laws of time and space.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Hank Stuever

    The pilot episode is stylish and swiftly paced, but that’s all it is, and despite some intriguing plot twists, there’s not a lot of motivation to keep coming back.

    Washington Post Full Review