All those that have yet to watch last night’s episode of The Blacklist, entitled ‘The Stewmaker (No. 161)’, then I suggest you do so now. This is not a spoiler free blog. THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS! You’ve been warned.
While this episode wasn’t as great as the last few, in my opinion, it was still a remarkable episode. This series is continuously growing, and quite naturally for a twisted sort of procedural drama. Every week it’s like a new piece is added to the puzzle of the mythology behind this series. Little questions are answered, while also adding strings to the big questions this series has brought up. I commend the writers for their ability to keep the mystery alive in this series, while not dragging it on too long, giving us little hints as to where it’s going. I honestly feel like Liz’s character, aside from being less smart when it comes to people, but I feel like we’re getting to see everything that comes up right along side of her. It’s quite well done that way.
This week Liz was put in grave peril, after being kidnapped and given to the Stewmaker to be made to suffer and then killed. Megan Boone, while earlier in the episode was a little dry, did a remarkable job of acting like her life was in jeopardy, especially in the relief of being rescued after. James Spader on the other hand felt a little too withdrawn. There were moments when I thought his character was going to give us some depth of emotion, but he seemed to retract them all too soon. And it didn’t feel like it was in a way the character had in the past, more like he felt less connected to the Liz character than usual. He was certainly abrasive, cocky, and sarcastic as greatly as he had been previously, but I felt like he could’ve given just a touch more emotion when he learned of Liz’s life being in jeopardy.
The further progression with the mystery surrounding Liz’s husband made some headway this week. We’re almost lead to believe there’s no possible way he could’ve committed murder, but then we learn a hotel where they stayed was called Angel Station. The reader in me wants to desperately get to the end of this mystery, but the writer in me understands this is not a book, and so the mystery can be prolonged for a longer period of time. The way they’ve been giving us clues slowly, though, makes me feel like it won’t span seasons, but will span some time.
I know that the theory going around is that Reddington felt indebted to Keen’s father, which is why he’s protecting her and chose her, but the way he looked at her after rescuing her was such a look of fatherly love. Spader plays Reddington like he’s her father, but I suppose he could just consider himself a father figure to her. While I almost prefer that he actually be her father, one of my favourite father-daughter relationships was between Giles and Buffy on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and he wasn’t her father, just a father figure, so I suppose I could get behind that in here.
Was I the only one that got extreme Dexter feelings, when the Stewmaker was wrapping his room up in plastic? Sure, the guy did it more thoroughly than Dexter, but it still reminded me of that. A nice little nod to everybody’s favourite serial killer, I suppose. Although the methods were completely different, it still felt like a small nod.
Quite possibly my favourite moment of the episode was the soundless scene after the FBI finds Agent Keen and she breaks down, hugging Donald. I absolutely adored the look on Donald’s face when he was hugging her. While there may be some admiration to that, I do think he’s fallen for the rookie agent. With that look on his face, how could it be anything but love?
Despite not being as great as the first four episodes, this series still beats most television circling the networks these days. As always the music was good, the cinematography spectacular, and the feel for the movement of the story was perfect. I continue to look forward to more weeks of episodes to come.
My rating: 7.5 out of 10.
This interaction: “How can you live with that?” – Keen. “By saving your life.” – Reddington, after Keen’s called him a monster, and he’s agreed.
All right, folks, that’s all for tonight. Check back in tomorrow for reviews of The Originals, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., New Girl, Trophy Wife, and Supernatural.