You can’t see me right now, but I’m giving a standing ovation to the writers and producers of “The Blacklist” for their work in “Anslo Garrick” Part 1. Bra-freaking-vo guys. I wasn’t totally surprised by the amount of blood, guts, and violence in the episode because the episode was directed and co-written by Joe Carnahan. Carnahan is the director of intense action films like “Smokin’ Aces”, “The A-Team”, “The Grey”, and one of my personal favorites “Narc”. None of those films would be described as family friendly.
The episode kicked off with Agent Ressler grabbing James Spader’s Red because of an assassination attempt. Only when he’s at the secret FBI facility does Red put together what is going on. The man who wants to kill him, Anslo Garrick, knows Red can slip away like a ghost, but not if he’s under FBI protection. Garrick also has beef with Red because of the bullet Red shot into his head. Garrick’s team enters the FBI facility by forcing a garbage truck driver at gunpoint into the facility. The back of the truck is full of a group who works for Garrick, known as the Wild Boys, and they kill a bunch of security guys. This is when I knew the episode was going to be intense. Before entering the facility Garrick shoots the truck driver he hijacked in the head.
Head shots on network TV aren’t that common, but here less than five minutes into the episode we had one. There would be many more to come. Garrick’s men cut off Ressler and Red trying to make an escape, and Ressler ends up with a terrible bullet wound in his leg. Red drags Ressler’s bloody led into his escape proof cell, and locks the men inside just as Garrick’s crew enters the room. This also allowed for Spader to look cool as he shot numerous guns towards the men as the door slowly closed. My personal favorite were the last few shotgun blasts.
So now Red and Ressler are locked inside the cell, and Garrick is trying his best to break inside. The problem for Ressler is his terrible “ground meat” bullet wound. Red goes to work making a improvised tourniquet to stop the bleeding while he and Garrick taunt each other. Garrick tries shooting through the glass, but the bullet ricochets off and hits one of his men in the head. This episode even had indirect head shots. Garrick orders all of the explosives in the building be brought to him.
While all this is going on Elizabeth Keen is locked in one of the station’s elevators. She kicks off her shoes to get a good grip on the elevator walls, and climbs out the top. I immediately had visions of “Die Hard” when I saw her walking around without footwear. With all of the head shots a little glass in someone’s feet seemed doable. Lizzy fights her way through the station, but eventually gets knocked out by a bad guy she chose not to kill earlier in the episode.
Garrick is still unable to get into Red’s cell, and pissed about it. Ressler is losing a ton of blood, but he and Red are the same blood type. That allows Red to perform an emergency transfusion from his arm to Ressler’s. If it could make you squirm it was used in this episode. Red is beating Garrick at every turn, so Garrick raises the stakes. He threatens to kill a woman unless Red opens the cell. He doesn’t have the code, and demands it be opened. Assistant Director Cooper refuses to give up the code, and Garrick kills the woman.
Yes, that means more blood shooting out of someone’s head onto the screen. The door is still locked, and now Garrick brings Red’s faithful body guard Dembe to the front of the cell. Open the door or Dembe is next to be killed. Red again begs for the door to be opened, but Cooper again says no. The last moments of the episode are the tragic goodbye between two friends, and the episode ended with only the sound of the bullet that killed Dembe.
So much crazy stuff, and that was only Part 1 of the episode. Check in next week for the last new episode of the Fall. Will Ressler survive? How will Red exact revenge on Garrick? Will Lizzy be next on the chopping block? All will be revealed next week on NBC’s “The Blacklist”.