It’s one of those ‘going gets tough, tough gets going’ moments for NBC and the crew of its beloved TV show The Blacklist. When the COVID pandemic hit the world with a whack, wrapping up any and every group activity, including production of our favorite films and shows, The Blacklist was in the middle of its season 7. Only 19 of the season’s 22 episodes were shot, with the last one also incomplete.
The season was at a crucial point at this time with lifelong betrayals and conspiracies coming together in a complex web of intertwined character-stories. Basically a very bad time to leave the story in limbo.
But instead of whining about the delay or posting half-hearted ‘we shall overcome’ posts on the social media, the guys behind The Blacklist got together to brainstorm and keep the story going.
Watch the trailer here:
The result was a bold move to replace the unfilmed parts with animated sequences. Mind you, this was not your regular animated film’s lifelike creations but a sketchy and raw animation. Almost like a motion version of a comic strip.
But fans are all head over heels into digging it. The last episode has already touched the mark of the last episode’s viewership. Even as we still wait for the DVR sales.
What is The Blacklist?
The seven-year-old TV series follows a wanted fugitive who one fine day decides to surrenders himself to the FBI. While the reasons remain unknown, the fugitive offers to help out with capturing deadly criminals. Except his condition is that he will work only with the new recruit, Elizabeth Keen.
James Spader plays Raymond Reddington, a former military officer turned criminal, who voluntarily surrenders to the FBI and becomes their informant against a blacklist of some of the biggest criminals.
The fugitive’s inclination for Keen, played by the brilliant Megan Boone, remains a continued mystery throughout the seven seasons.
The seventh season was especially revealing of many of the show’s hidden plotlines. It was also crucial for the season 8, already ordered by the NBC. Hence, a proper closure was a must for season 7.
What the creators decided to do was create a combination of live action and animated sequences to continue the thrilling plotline.
The episode even begins with explaining the solution as “an unusual solution for a trying time.” Even the voiceovers, provided by the original actors from the confines of their homes, are a big help in maintaining a fluid continuity.
Hats off to creator and executive producer Jon Bokenkamp, co-showrunner John Eisendrath, director of the finale Michael Caracciolo, writers of the finale Kelli Johnson and Sam Christopher, and the rest of the creative team.
Then there are animators, Proof, Inc. in London and Atlanta, who used the expertise of some 35 artists to create about 20 minutes of footage for the graphic novel-style episode.
But above all it is the ones behind the shindig who need to be recognized for their courage in going ahead with such a massive experiment with such a massive hit of a series. Kudos to the production houses of Davis Entertainment, Sony Pictures Television and Universal Television.
Season 7 highlights
Apart from the fact that these animated episodes could very well become a thing in the future, there are a bunch of other amazing things about the show’s season 7 finale.
From Brian Dennehy’s Dom regaining consciousness in the last episode, we are hoping to see more of him in season 8. Animations could play an important role considering Dennehy’s recent passing.
The love story of Liz and the mystery man Red seemed to have finally come to its end, even as Red continues to be sick and silent. Red has been ailing since the sixth season and we hope to see what exactly is he suffering with in the upcoming season.
Meanwhile, Katrina’s swiftness in saving Red’s life was only countered by her selfish motives to know what Red knows about things important to her. I am grateful he doesn’t die just yet considering we still have no effing clue who Red really is!
Where to watch The Blacklist?
It’s good news for Netflix subscribers in the US and Canada looking to catch up with the show, as the first six seasons of the show are available to stream on Netflix – with season 7 set to follow at a later date.
Things are even better for fans of the show Down Under as episodes from the all-new season 7 are available right now on Netflix Australia.
There’s no luck for Netflix UK subscribers, yet.