The sign of a good TV character is that the audience wants to see them in any new scenario or setting.
Raymond Reddington (James Spader) in prison is a Blacklist premise that I didn't really know I needed, but is so easy to get right. The world's most cunning criminal locked up with a bunch of lesser villains? Immediately enjoyable in this week's episode.
As with most Blacklist conceits, the pleasure of Red in prison comes not in the mystery of whether or not he'll succeed in dangerous circumstances, but how he will do it. Red always wins. Even when he seemingly loses, he eventually wins. The man is like a Silicon Valley tech CEO: every failure is really just a triumph if you think about it hard enough.
"The Pawnbrokers" barely pretended to put Red in peril. After a quick introduction to the prison's major players from Red's new Dembe-like companion Vontae (Coy Stewart), Red quickly found himself on the wrong end of a beating from one of those players, Baldomero (Jacinto Taras Riddick).
Yet while Vontae panicked and Baldomero barked about shivving Red "day after tomorrow," Red got to work on, uh, his messenger rat plan? Yes indeed, Red caught a rat, tied a message to its neck and guided it safe passage beyond the prison walls, opening a communication channel with Dembe. You don't get to be the FBI's most wanted man for nothing!
Unsurprisingly, Red's plan to take down Baldomero worked with very little resistance thanks to the classic victory of brains over brawn. He weaseled out of a good shivving just long enough to reveal Baldomero's secrets to everyone in the yard, while Dembe worked on the outside to get Baldomero released to face even more evil dudes in the real world. And just like that, Red turned the tables on the entire prison population, becoming a folk hero for ending Baldomero's tyrannical reign in the process.
Though it might have been compelling to watch Red get truly beaten down -- mentally and physically -- by his stint in the clink, The Blacklist is never going to be that kind of show. This prison didn't seem particularly hazardous anyway, so it stands to reason that his evil genius would quickly outsmart everyone.
Perhaps this quick success will only make some later struggles that much more interesting. Or Red will continue to be the smartest, coolest person in every room he enters, and even some of those he doesn't.
To that end, somehow Liz's (Megan Boone) plan to uncover the truth about her fake father has already hit a snag because Red covered his tracks so well in the past. How long until not-father indirectly convinces not-daughter that some version of the truth is not worth the emotional toil of Red in prison?
The Blacklist airs Fridays at 9/8c on NBC.
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Celebrities, they're just like us. That means they'll also start insane fights, have breakdowns and backstab each other when locked in the same house for weeks. That's why Big Brother: Celebrity Edition is such a treasure, and TV Guide is going to help you get to know the latest volunteers for CBS' social experiment.
We talked to the 12 celebrities entering the infamous house for the experiment to find out some key things: why they think they can win and what's going to annoy them the most about their new roommates. Given that most of the crew have reality show experience, they're not too worried about what they'll be caught doing or saying on the live feeds, though we now know that Anthony Scaramucci has flatulence. It's a thing we can't un-know now, and we all must go on with this burden of knowledge together.
It turns out that Joey Lawrence can't deal with slobs, which means we've updated our betting pool on him losing his mind within the first week. He'll go right after Jonathan Bennett, who can't deal with people eating cereal? Tom Green doesn't want anyone banging pans in the middle of the night, which means he might be a little bit vulnerable when it comes to the psychological warfare masterminds of the house. Olympic star Lolo Jones is worried the masses will find out she's crazy, as if they didn't already know from MTV's The Challenge: Champs vs Pros.
Who do you think will make it to the end of this insanity?
Big Brother: Celebrity Edition kicks off its two-night premiere event Monday, Jan. 21 at 8/7c on CBS.
(Disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS)
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Despite only a handful of appearances combined, Star Trek: The Original Series' Captain Pike and Number One (who was written off after the pilot "The Cage") continue to endure as beloved characters in Trek lore.
It's not surprising that many latched on to Pike, the physical embodiment of Gene Roddenberry's vision for Starfleet, while Number One's stoic strength, logical mind and high-ranking status as a first officer struck a chord with fans who rarely saw fierce woman represented in the sci-fi genre. Because of their all too short on-screen tenure, though, hardcore fans remain ever curious about their lives, including the exact nature of their close relationship. Were they ever romantic? Or just an example of a great working relationship?
Since Star Trek: Discovery brought in Captain Pike (Anson Mount) for Season 2, the door was also opened for Number One to make her way to the series and address some of the questions that have plagued Trekkies for decades. Rebecca Romijn, who is set to play the high-ranking officer, tells TV Guide that the character "has a special relationship" with Captain Pike.
"I think that Captain Pike relies on Number One in a very deep way. I think they're very close. I think she's got the skill set that he depends on," she says. "I think that he would feel confident leaving the ship in her hand if he had to and there's room to explore it further."
But just because Discovery will dive into Number One's backstory a bit more, that doesn't necessarily mean it will provide a definitive answer on whether or not she was ever romantically involved with Pike. "There's a little open to interpretation, but yes, I think they have a fondness," Romijn says.
"You might see development in, maybe a step towards answering some of the questions that have always been lingering about that relationship," Anson Mount adds.
Regardless of her relationship to Pike, Number One's appearance is a chance for Discovery to make amends after her frustratingly premature exit in TOS.
Star Trek: Discovery airs Thursdays on CBS All Access.
(Disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS.)
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