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6 Degrees Entertainment

The Blacklist - The Complete Eighth Season
(James Spader, Megan Boone, Diego Klattenhoff, Amir Arison, Hisham Tawfiq, et al / 5-Disc DVD / NR / 2021 / Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)

Overview: With his back against the wall, Raymond Reddington (James Spader) faces his most formidable enemy yet: Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone).

Aligned with her mother, infamous Russian spy Katarina Rostova, Liz must decide how far she is willing to go to find out why Reddington has entered her life and what his endgame really is.

The fallout between Reddington and Keen will have devastating consequences for all that lie in their wake, including the Task Force they helped to create.

DVD Verdict: For my money, the departure of Megan Boone from the show and the departure of show creator and runner Bokenkamp from the show are the biggest clues yet as to Red’s identity.

Maybe they can’t themselves figure out who Red is, so ... they quit! Who would both love and value Liz Keen more than even a parent is expected to, and why?

Or, maybe the important question all along was not Who is Reddington? but Where is Katarina? The obvious answer to that question is too obvious for the show to go with it. Expect another. Trust me.

The show caught lightning in a bottle, maybe even accidentally. The kind of lightning that keeps us glued waiting for an answer (without ever wanting to re-watch any, or most, of the episodes).

But an answer to what, exactly? Red’s identity has become a triviality when seen in the greater context of the issues this show touches on.

Often the episode storylines have been so over the top they were surreal. Symbolic/metaphoric rather than actual/factual.

Has this successful show failed in the end, to deliver the too-long-awaited (and promised) goods to its public? Only Season 9 will tell ... maybe).

That said, I think we can all now see that Red has not lost his motivation, in fact it may have now doubled, towards Agnes!

As for the show, overall, itself, well, if you love even just half the cast, the first 6 seasons are pretty great. After that, the main story gets painful with occasional stand alone episodes that are good enough to trick you into thinking you’re still watching stellar, quality television!

But as detailed above, you are not, as they are simply using James Spader to keep most of us around - and some people will praise it simply because Spader is there, of course.

Super Spader fanatics will likely fare better with this series. James Spader is NOT who the show was written for or cast around, but he is undoubtedly the main draw.

He’s of a higher caliber than many of today’s movie stars so having him on a weekly TV show is quite the treat.

One of the keys to a good series is the bonding among characters. This eighth season dropped a bomb on just about every bond in the show - except for Ressler in his apparent love for Keen being turned into a puppy dog in his infatuation!

For me, sorry, but it bordered on farce. The idea of discovering Reddington’s secret - though always a presence was beaten to death and beaten to death and beaten to death in this latest season.

There’s also a revolving door of female agents rounding out the task force, with Mohzan Marnò’s highly skilled Samar Navabi sticking around the longest.

Tons of fantastic recurring and one off characters make up Red’s network of people, enemies, and Blacklisters. You have to see these people to appreciate the humor, the menace, and unexpected things they bring to a semi-serialized crime procedural.

The characters, main and recurring, they made this show more than just another procedural.

In closing, the show is itself reaching its end (likely within this upcoming ninth season) and clearly they’re attempting to conclude it by answering the questions we have all pondered since the beginning of the show; they’re using Elizabeth to assist in the show’s completion.

This contextually makes a lot of sense since she has, throughout the entire series, always had this intention. So, what I can imagine is unfortunate for most of you, this show is almost certainly not going to change from its current trajectory, and understandably so.

Thus, and in much the same vein as Criminal Minds, everyone here has their own story and struggles, the show chock full of crime solving and surprising twists and turns, all thread beautifully through with good moral lessons - usually about winning the day and keeping our good guys safe. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Bonus Features of:

• Deleted Scenes
• Blooper Reel
• Liz’s Farewell

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