Yesterday, we brought you UPROXX’s greatest shows of the year. Now, as promised, here’s the episode followup with one key difference: these aren’t necessarily the best; they’re 10 of our favorites. Though the dick joke episode from Silicon Valley would have made it either way.
The Blacklist, “The Mombasa Cartel”
The Blacklist is at its best when it’s creating moral quandaries for the millions of people tuning in each week. Front and center is Raymond Reddington, the former Navy officer turned concierge to the world’s greatest criminals, terrorists and all-around scumbags, as we know he’s a terrible human being, mostly looking out for No. 1, but he’s played so wonderfully by James Spader, and he has a tendency for incredible righteousness that it’s hard to not cheer for him. While the series has hardly been the best at shocking us with twists and turns (we knew who was in that cargo hold from the first second, despite the constant “You’ll never believe it!” promos) and some of the buildup has fallen terribly flat (Berlin went from terrifying to pointless in a matter of episodes), “The Mombasa Cartel” was an excellent episode in terms of storytelling, and more specifically showing us that the all-powerful Red was, in fact, human and had a soft spot that exceeded his strange and sometimes creepy relationship with Lizzy*.
Until this episode, Dembe had served no greater purpose than a bodyguard for Red, as we simply knew that he had formerly been a slave for a human trafficking cartel. Now, we learned that his past is so much darker and horrifying, as he suffered unspeakable torture and misery, and it was Red who still saw the value of life in him and gave him something far more valuable and powerful than a second chance. And in the end, it was Dembe who implored Red not to murder the “bad guy*,” while Red reminded us that humanity is one thing, but moral justice is another.
*Remember: If it turns out that Liz is really Red’s daughter, I abandon all praise for this series.
**Also, the hunting humans was plot was pretty awesome and scary, because the taxidermist and his mommy were creepy as hell. I would prefer to never be hunted and stuffed, please and thank you. — Ashley Burns
Broad City, “The Last Supper”
I really could go on at length about any one of the first 10 Broad City episodes/miracle pearls that were handed down from the angels that loiter in the clouds, but “The Last Supper” seems to sum up the overall energy of the show so perfectly.