‘The Blacklist’ Tackles Animal Activism with Unique Twist on Poaching
If you’re a fan of NBC’s “The Blacklist,” then you know Monday’s episode tackled poaching and animal trafficking – presenting a unique twist on the well-known issues. What if people were the ones being poached and stuffed like animals?
The series focuses on some of the biggest and baddest criminals around, and this time it presented a refreshing view on a cartel known for slaughtering animals and selling their parts for money. Even the drama’s leading man, Raymond “Red” Reddington (played by the extremely talented James Spader), showed his softer side by demonstrating his compassion for animals and wanting to bring down this horrid cartel.
One of the best parts of the episode is when Spader’s character and Lizzie (Megan Boone) watch a show about the extinction and murder of animals. He wants something to be done, but Lizzie responds, “This is going to take some convincing. The FBI’s job is to protect people.” And, in what is probably the best quote of the entire episode, Red says, “Some day the creatures on that program will be akin to unicorns and griffins. A fairy tale bestiary written in the past tense, and no one is lifting a finger to stop it.” So, why not us? Why can’t we do something to prevent that? Thank you, Red!
In between the investigating, the episode showcased an interesting perspective with the help of a family (who, yes, were extremely creepy) hunting down animal poachers, killing them and stuffing them like animals (above). Not your usual taxidermy, now is it? As awful as it is, especially since people are being murdered, hopefully, this episode got viewers thinking about poaching, protecting wildlife and the necessary punishment of people hunting precious creatures.
Also, it must be noted that actor Peter Fonda guest-starred in the episode as an animal lover protecting exotic animals. Of course, there was more than meets the eye with his character, but having two prominent men of Hollywood telling this story was quite something.
Today, even the FBI is seeing animal cruelty as a felony. “The Blacklist” definitely isn’t the first TV show to intertwine animal cruelty into a storyline, and we also know several shows have vegan and vegetarian characters advocating for a healthier and animal-friendly lifestyle. Hopefully, more shows take on this feat and expose others to the sometimes not-so-animal-friendly world.