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Old 02-24-2014, 09:31 PM   #1
Rob Helmerichs
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The Blacklist 2/24/14 "Madeline Pratt"

Oh, how I've missed this show in all its goofy, over-the-top glory.

More specifically, how I've missed James Spader and the chemistry he has with, apparently, the entire human race.
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Old 02-25-2014, 09:22 AM   #2
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I just couldn't figure out why he wanted to take her to Tuscaloosa.
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Old 02-25-2014, 02:49 PM   #3
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Half the time I don't know what's happening even when they kinda sorta try to explain it, but watching Spader chew up everything in his path - dialogue, other characters, heck even the scenery - is just so enjoyable that it doesn't bother me at all.

I appreciate that shows like this one and Sleepy Hollow just embrace the silliness and insanity of their subject matter.
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Old 02-25-2014, 03:13 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by DreadPirateRob View Post
...watching Spader chew up everything in his path - dialogue, other characters, heck even the scenery....
And yet for all that, every other character on the show is better when they're with Spader. It's amazing, because he's really just hamming it up, but his hamminess makes everyone else better.
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Old 02-26-2014, 12:22 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by DreadPirateRob View Post
Half the time I don't know what's happening even when they kinda sorta try to explain it, but watching Spader chew up everything in his path - dialogue, other characters, heck even the scenery - is just so enjoyable that it doesn't bother me at all.
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And yet for all that, every other character on the show is better when they're with Spader. It's amazing, because he's really just hamming it up, but his hamminess makes everyone else better.
Yes!! I do enjoy this show quite a bit but there is still one thing that bothers me! At the very beginning of the series wasn't it stated that our heroine was only out of training for a short amount of time and her primary job was as a profiler / analyst and not really a field agent? So Reddington comes along and insists that he will only work with her. And so with very little extra training she is instantly an expert in using firearms, hand to hand combat, and all the other skills needed of a field agent. And in this episode she is also an expert pick-pocket. Wow! She sure has a lot of natural talent.

Yeah, I know its only a TV show and again I do enjoy it but when she all of a sudden acquires a new expert skill (like the pick-pocket) I have to roll my eyes and it takes me out of the story for a while!!!!

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Old 02-26-2014, 01:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Helmerichs View Post
Oh, how I've missed this show in all its goofy, over-the-top glory.

More specifically, how I've missed James Spader and the chemistry he has with, apparently, the entire human race.
What a perfect description. Love him! so much!!

This one was a hoot. The FBI agent really does seem to have every possible trick up her sleeve, yet is also able to look and sound like a complete buffoon. I don't know why she has to have that face of incredulous-ness every. single. time someone is talking to her.
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Old 02-26-2014, 01:34 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Gerryex View Post
And in this episode she is also an expert pick-pocket. Wow! She sure has a lot of natural talent.

Yeah, I know its only a TV show and again I do enjoy it but when she all of a sudden acquires a new expert skill (like the pick-pocket) I have to roll my eyes and it takes me out of the story for a while!!!!
There were multiple instances of subtext throughout the episode that suggested that she had something going on in her past that we are not privy to as of yet that would be a reason for her various grifting skills.
  • Her boss said something about how her father's criminal history had not come up on her original background check and how that could mean that maybe she's got something unseemly herself in her past that somehow eluded the check as well. She didn't really respond to that with any kind of protestation.
  • The story "about Omaha" may very well have been the truth. She didn't really say one way or the other.
  • In the scene of her at the end alone in her apartment, we see her repeatedly flip a picture back and forth between her palm and the back of her hand, revealing and concealing it. That is a sleight of hand skill employed by magicians as well as grifters.

There definitely is more to her than has been revealed so far. I don't think it's just a simple matter of the fact that she's the lead character, so she's going to just randomly have whatever skill is necessary for the plot. Sure, it could end up turning out that way, but it looks like they're planting clues to suggest otherwise.
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Old 02-26-2014, 02:06 PM   #8
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Yes!! I do enjoy this show quite a bit but there is still one thing that bothers me! At the very beginning of the series wasn't it stated that our heroine was only out of training for a short amount of time and her primary job was as a profiler / analyst and not really a field agent? So Reddington comes along and insists that he will only work with her. And so with very little extra training she is instantly an expert in using firearms, hand to hand combat, and all the other skills needed of a field agent. And in this episode she is also an expert pick-pocket. Wow! She sure has a lot of natural talent.
Absolutely. In the first ep she was brand-new and barely competent. Yet 14 episodes in she's on her way to becoming a Jack Bauer understudy.
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Old 02-26-2014, 02:28 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Rob Helmerichs View Post
Oh, how I've missed this show in all its goofy, over-the-top glory.

More specifically, how I've missed James Spader and the chemistry he has with, apparently, the entire human race.
Yes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DreadPirateRob View Post
Half the time I don't know what's happening even when they kinda sorta try to explain it, but watching Spader chew up everything in his path - dialogue, other characters, heck even the scenery - is just so enjoyable that it doesn't bother me at all.
YES.
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Originally Posted by Rob Helmerichs View Post
And yet for all that, every other character on the show is better when they're with Spader. It's amazing, because he's really just hamming it up, but his hamminess makes everyone else better.
YES!!!!

He's the reason I hung around the last season of The Practice. He's the reason my wife and I would let Boston Legal stack up on the TiVo so we could binge watch it to enjoy mass quantities of Spader and Shatner try to out smarm and overact each other. And he's the reason we gave Blacklist an SP in the first place.

There are some actors you appreciate for their subtlety and forgive their other weaknesses. Other actors you love for their ability to handle comedy or action and you turn a blind eye to the plot holes that exist. And there are other actors who go so method with their transformations of their body or their accent that they become a different person every time and you love them for it. We love James Spader for being so much James Spader!

There are certain mannerisms that he brings to Reddington that we have seen in so many other Spader performances from the head tilt to the laughing or other seemingly inappropriate emotional outbursts to the weird thing he does with his mouth. These gesture are wholly unoriginal to Reddington, but have come to so embody Reddington that we cannot see the character without them.

And chewing the scenery is part of it. What made Newsroom fun for me is watching Sam Waterston and Jane Fonda chew the scenery, overact and have fun with their role. Too much stuff on TV takes itself way to seriously.
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Old 02-26-2014, 04:15 PM   #10
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Absolutely. In the first ep she was brand-new and barely competent. Yet 14 episodes in she's on her way to becoming a Jack Bauer understudy.
Yes, but . . .

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Originally Posted by busyba View Post
There were multiple instances of subtext throughout the episode . . .

In the scene of her at the end alone in her apartment, we see her repeatedly flip a picture back and forth between her palm and the back of her hand, revealing and concealing it. That is a sleight of hand skill employed by magicians as well as grifters.

There definitely is more to her than has been revealed so far. I don't think it's just a simple matter of the fact that she's the lead character, so she's going to just randomly have whatever skill is necessary for the plot. Sure, it could end up turning out that way, but it looks like they're planting clues to suggest otherwise.
busyba has a point! I was wondering what the purpose of the scene where she is showing and hiding the picture was. So maybe she has a nefarious past that we don't know about. But if true and if her bosses didn't know about it (and maybe are only now suspicious about it) why on earth would they put her in these high tension situations when they know she had no training for it!!! Oh well, its only TV!!!

Gerry
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Old 02-26-2014, 05:23 PM   #11
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Yes!! I do enjoy this show quite a bit but there is still one thing that bothers me! At the very beginning of the series wasn't it stated that our heroine was only out of training for a short amount of time and her primary job was as a profiler / analyst and not really a field agent?
The first episode ground on my gears. I am reasonably sure she was portrayed as having just been transfered to Washington from an FBI office in a differant major city - which left me wondering how she was so far along an adoption process in Washington.

I assume any training was keep up to date / new skills and of a relative short duration.

I remember she was discribed as a profiler and I thought it would be interesting to see her use those skills in subsequent episodes with Red mentoring them - but that hasn't happened.
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