Family Business | The Blacklist: Redemption “Leland Bray” Review

It’s finally here. The Blacklist: Redemption premiered its pilot episode, “Leland Bray.” Tom Keen is called to duty to help bring home a CIA operative and her son. The catch? He has to work side by side with Matias Solomon, the man who almost killed his wife and unborn child. Tom also can’t let his own mother, Scottie Hargrave, know that he is her long lost son.

Poor Tom Keen. He finally has his family together, and he’s ready to live a normal life. He just can’t shake the life of an operative. Tom has been my favorite character for a couple of seasons now of The Blacklist, and I was worried about him being on a new show. I didn’t want his relationship with Liz to be destroyed in order for him to be on Redemption. It looks like Tom is going to maintain his relationship with his family, but he will join Halcyon Aegis for a couple of reasons.

THE BLACKLIST: REDEMPTION -- Episode 101 -- Pictured: (l-r) -- (Photo by: Will Hart/NBC)

THE BLACKLIST: REDEMPTION — Episode 101 — Pictured: (l-r) — (Photo by: Will Hart/NBC)

Tom decides to join after a call asking him to be present for the reading of his father’s will. When Tom gets to New York, there is no attorney. Tom picks up a pay phone, where a mysterious man says that Tom is in a world of trouble. He meets the man in a park, and it turns out that his father, Howard Hargrave, is alive and well. Howard, played by the brilliant Terry O’Quinn, fills Tom in on the world’s most incomplete conspiracy. Howard tells Tom that his skills have been preparing him for this moment. Howard says that Tom must infiltrate his mother’s company, but she can’t know that he’s her son. Howard believes that Scottie tried to kill him. It’s unclear why Scottie can’t know about Tom, but for now, Tom is going to work with Halcyon Aegis.

Tom joins Halcyon to help a CIA operative who has been kidnapped along with her young son. If Halcyon doesn’t bring Anna Copeland back, no one will. The CIA doesn’t go looking for their operatives; they burn them. Anna is being held by a man named Leland Bray. Bray is former CIA, but no one has ever been able to find him. Tom was the only person to get close. He knows that the key to finding Bray is through his girlfriend. Tom and Matias devise a plan to kidnap the girlfriend and then let her escape. They put a contact lens camera on her eye, and she leads them straight to Bray.

THE BLACKLIST: REDEMPTION -- "Leland Bray" Episode 101 -- Pictured: Ryan Eggold as Tom Keen -- (Photo by: Will Hart/NBC)

THE BLACKLIST: REDEMPTION — “Leland Bray” Episode 101 — Pictured: Ryan Eggold as Tom Keen — (Photo by: Will Hart/NBC)

Tom gets to Anna and gets her safely to a hospital. Matias got to her son safe and sound, but Anna didn’t realize he was safe. Bray wanted Anna to blow up her old CIA team. Anna had a bomb implanted in her that Tom not only had to cut out but also disarm. Talk about a tough first day. In the end, Tom proved to be an asset to the team, and Anna and her son are home safe and sound.

Scottie is clearly grieving over her husband’s death. She tells Tom that the last few years with Howard were hard. He became paranoid and secretive. Howard left a sizable piece of the will to their son. Scottie has Christopher legally declared dead; now, that money can go back into Halcyon. Scottie is also still harboring some guilt for Christopher’s “death.” She says it was her fault for not keeping a better eye on Christopher. She was able to heal, but Howard never let it go. The obsession of his son’s disappearance became his life’s work.

It’s going to be interesting to see if this conspiracy is real or not. Howard tells Tom that Scottie is going to use the Halcyon network for the benefit of something terrible. It’s Tom’s job to stop her. Wouldn’t it be easier to persuade her if she knew that her son were alive and with her? There’s also this mysterious new word, Whitehall. What is it? Is this a group? Are they evil? I can’t wait to see how these are answered this season.

Editor's Rating

Overall 95%
I went in to The Blacklist: Redemption with mediocre expectations. I couldn’t figure out what they could do to pull me in. Naturally, they found a way to prove me wrong. The intrigue behind Tom and his past is enough to keep bringing me back. I have so many questions, which is exactly what The Blacklist does. It’s hard to tell if Howard is crazy or really onto some conspiracy. Scottie is either sincere or the world’s greatest actress. I doubt anyone is as they seem, and I’m excited to keep watching.
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Jenny Lampe

Jenny Lampe

I'm a TV and movie enthusiast. I enjoy all genres and try to keep up to date on the latest hits. Follow me on Twitter at @JennyLampe.