The Blacklist fans are super divided on the animated season finale episode. “The Kazanjin Brothers” drew a ton of reaction on social media when it was first announced. That scrutiny only intensified when people actually got to see some of what the show was working with. When the show aired tonight on NBC, viewers got a taste of what that fusion live-action/animation approach looked like. Some were huge fans and commended the show on taking such a risk. Others were ready to mock the low-poly/cel-shaded feel of the episode. But, you have to give it up to the production team for trying something new when it comes to getting that product out despite the coronavirus pandemic slowing production to a crawl.
For those who don’t have the backstory, the seventh season was almost complete. With an episode half-finished, they opted for comic book-style animation to make sure the show could go on. Executive producers John Eisendrath and Jon Bokenkamp talked to Comicbook.com about the episode and the process that led to its creation this week.
“We’ve always talked about The Blacklist being a big of a comic book. We’ve got a criminal anti-hero at the center of the show. A Rogues’ Gallery of criminals each week,” they explained. “The look and feel of the show has a slightly alt, graphic novel feel to it that’s baked into the DNA of what we do on a week to week basis. So we think when we started kicking around ideas for two to complete the season — when we looked back at the comic books that had been written by Nicole Phillips — an animated approach felt very organic.”
Both producers continued, “The cast recorded all of their dialogue remotely while in quarantine. Those recordings were sent to our Post Production team in Los Angeles. We had animators working around the clock in London and Atlanta.The whole thing was a very virtual experience across multiple time zones, but we were truly impressed with how quickly and seamlessly everyone came together to complete the episode. Think we also welcomed the distraction from what was really happening out in the world.”
The Blacklist stars James Spader alongside Megan Boone, Diego Klattenhoff, Amir Arison, Hisham Tawfiq, and Harry Lennix. NBC has already renewed the series for Season 8, so it will be returning with new episodes this fall.
What did you think of The Blacklist finale? Let us know down in the comments! Check out the best reactions down below:
My dad is watching the blacklist season 7 finale and these animated portions looks straight out of a swery or suda51 game it’s kinda incredible tbh— enkidu dm me (@eithi007) May 16, 2020
Very nice take
Super happy with it
This was an amazing, creative finale! So well done. Blacklist is the absolute best show out there.— Diane (@DianeDimax) May 16, 2020
Been fan from day one. On to another season! https://t.co/kZIHBFFjRY
Well, The Blacklist finale sucked— Little Dead Goddess Persephone🎃👻🐺 (@Synnamintwist) May 16, 2020
It's impressive what The Blacklist team did with their season finale. Top tier. They did everything they could to give us a finale that wasn't even planned for. I salute them 🙌 #TheBlacklistFinale— Abuti MaSweets🍭🍬🤗 (@KemmoneM) May 16, 2020
Some are sad
The Blacklist finale was just sad. I know, in these times, it couldn't be helped....but the absolute worst animation ever. oh well, let's hope next season happens as usual.— lesley melendez (@lesleymelende) May 16, 2020
Very creative finale of The Blacklist to ensure the final episode was able to be completed .
Sure the animation at times was odd but it kept the story going .#TheBlacklistFinale— Jason Deger (@Jasondeger) May 16, 2020
Upset there isn’t enough time to add a Blacklist finale CGI character to Deadly Premonition 2.— Josh Krehbiel (@Taquelli) May 16, 2020
Zoe's reaction to S7 Finale of The Blacklist! Two paws up for the awesome creativity! Comic book/video gamer style mingled with live action was a fun twist! pic.twitter.com/mKeUjfVqAu— Heather Clark (@Heather10744024) May 16, 2020
Best of a hard situation
Must see TV
i watched the first handful of eps of "the blacklist" a few years ago, didn't get into it, stopped watching... def going to be watching this finale as soon as its available though it looks surreal https://t.co/8Tmwz1ook9— ℝ𝕆𝕊Éℂ𝕆𝕃𝕆ℝ 💽 (@profoundcarnage) May 16, 2020
Look at this
This Season Finale of the #Blacklist is groundbreaking. More shows will be using novel animation.— Blaque Velvet (@morena_kat1) May 16, 2020
The season finale of The Blacklist looks like a low budget video game rendering— 🌹Rachel🌹 (@xsacrilegiousx) May 16, 2020
What a deep cut!
The Blacklist finale has the vibe of that episode of Fringe that was CG animated— ellie!! 💜💜 (@snoothaver) May 16, 2020