The Front (The Blacklist)
|The Blacklist episode|
|Episode no.||Season 2|
|Directed by||Steven A. Adelson|
|Story by||Adam Sussman|
|Teleplay by||Jim Campolongo|
|Original air date||October 20, 2014|
Maddox Beck, an eco-terrorist, steals an ancient clay painting from his wife to map out the location of a dormant pneumonic plague virus. Beck successfully recovers the virus and weaponizes it to inoculate his followers and create a worldwide epidemic. The Task Force contains most of the followers, but Samar and Elizabeth are infected by one of them at Dulles International Airport. With Aram's help, Reddington learns Beck's location and steals a supply of synthesized vaccine, as well as a necklace and a key, before leaving Beck to commit suicide. The vaccine is delivered to the Task Force for distribution to infected agents and civilians. Meanwhile, Reddington, now knowing who is believed to be Jennifer's (Scottie Thompson) whereabouts and identity, covertly watches her from a distance. Having failed to convince Reddington to remove the guard he assigned to her, Elizabeth pays a look-alike to distract the guard while she secretly visits a basement at an undisclosed location.
"The Front" premiered on NBC on October 20, 2014 in the 10–11 p.m. time slot. The episode garnered a 2.4/7 Nielsen rating with 9.34 million viewers, making it the highest-rated show in its timeslot and the twentieth highest-rated television show of the week.
Ross Bonaime of Paste gave the episode a 6.0/10. He wrote: "After a steady run of surprisingly solid Blacklist episodes, it’s a shame that the show reverted to the way it used to do things. The last few episodes were fun because they were silly, and intentionally so. 'The Front' represents a return to the show attempting to be serious, and being unintentionally funny and ridiculous in the process. Hopefully this is just an uncharacteristic speedbump in the show’s process of actually getting better this season."
Jason Evans of The Wall Street Journal gave a negative review of the episode, calling it "a pretty lackluster episode". He went on to say: "Not much happened to advance the overall plot. Red found his daughter, but we still don’t know much about her. Samar and Aram certainly seem to be connecting (so much for the fan theory that Samar likes Liz). We still don’t know what is behind the door, though the previews for next week promise to reveal that to us."
- "Episode Title: (#205) "THE FRONT"". The Futon Critic. 2014-10-20. Retrieved 2015-06-06.
- Kondology, Amanda (2014-10-21). "Monday Final Ratings: 'The Big Bang Theory', 'The Voice' & 'Gotham' Adjusted Up; 'Jane the Virgin', 'The Originals', 'The Millers' & 'Castle' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Tribune Digital Ventures. Archived from the original on 2014-10-23. Retrieved 2015-06-06.
- Bibel, Sara (2014-10-28). "TV Ratings Broadcast Top 25: 'Sunday Night Football' Tops Week 5 With Adults 18-49, 'Thursday Night Football' Tops With Total Viewers". TV by the Numbers. Tribune Digital Ventures. Archived from the original on 2014-10-31. Retrieved 2015-06-06.
- Bonaime, Ross (2014-10-21). "The Blacklist Review: "The Front"". Paste. Paste Media Group. Retrieved 2015-06-06.
- Evans, Jason (2014-10-20). "'The Blacklist' Recap: Season 2, Episode 5, 'The Front'". The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company. Retrieved 2015-06-06.