The Blacklist plot hole: Huge error with pilot episode bomb explosion exposed

The Blacklist: NBC announce return with gripping teaser

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In the first-ever episode of The Blacklist, Special Agent Liz Keen (played by Megan Boone) is introduced to Raymond ‘Red’ Reddington (James Spader) when he turns himself into the FBI. Unfortunately, some crucial details in the NBC series’ gripping pilot don’t quite add up.

Viewers have spotted a glaring factual error in the series opener of The Blacklist.

Airing back in 2013, the first season premiere features the first appearance from former criminal Red as he helps the FBI track down terrorist Ranko Zamani (Jamie Jackson).

Red insists on working with profiler Liz Keen on the case and helps her try to prevent Zamani from kidnapping the daughter of General Daniel Ryker (Chance Kelly).

Unfortunately, their mission is derailed when they realise the terrorist plans to set off a chemical bomb strapped to the young girl.

Red sends one of his associates to intercept Ryker’s daughter at the DC Zoo and disarm the device.

However, some viewers familiar with the Washington area may have been distracted by some of the geographical blunders amidst all the action.

One observant Blacklist viewer took to online message boards when they realised the sequence was actually filmed in the wrong place.

They wrote: “The bomb is supposed to go off at the ‘DC Zoo’.

“But the scene takes place at the National Botanical Garden, on the complete opposite side of DC from where the Smithsonian National Zoo actually is.”

During the pilot episode, a completely different tourist attraction seems to have been used in place of the Smithsonian Zoo.

In reality, it would have probably taken the FBI much longer to retrieve Ryker’s daughter.

This could have led to another major terrorist incident taking place on Liz’s watch before the main events of the series had even begun.

Later in the episode, fans spotted even more factual errors with the show’s Washington location.

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Another viewer pointed out an easily avoidable mistake when Red meets Zamani at the Lincoln memorial.

They explained: “When Red goes to meet Zamani at the Lincoln memorial, he initially walks down the monument steps eastward, towards the reflecting pool in the direction of the Washington Monument and finds Zamani at the base of the steps.

“The map that is shown of his supposed location in front of the Lincoln Memorial when the FBI starts tracking him, isn’t a map of the National Mall, nor the Lincoln Memorial.”

For those paying close attention, it became quite obvious that the FBI’s map doesn’t actually match up to Red’s supposed connection.

To make matters worse, the trackers appear to get Red’s movements completely wrong just a few moments later.

“Later, when they are walking and he is ‘on the move, heading westbound’, they are actually walking away from the Washington Monument,” they continued.

“[Red and Zamani go] towards the Lincoln memorial, to the location where they had originally met (and discussed the Cherry Blossoms).

“Two seconds later, they are near 14th St, which is easily a 25-minute walk from the Lincoln Memorial.”

Much of The Blacklist is actually filmed in Montreal, though a few iconic Washington locations occasionally appear, which could explain some of the show’s confusing geography.

The Blacklist season nine continues Thursday, January 6 on NBC.

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