The Blacklist – The Stewmaker

by Alan Rapp on October 16, 2013

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: The Blacklist – The Stewmaker
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“I don’t think you’re going to have a very good day in court at all.”

The Blacklist - The Stewmaker

Just hours before Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone) is scheduled to testify in court against a murderous drug dealer (Clifton Collins Jr.) with more than 100 victims to his name, none of whose bodies have ever been recovered, Reddington (James Spader) reaches out with a prophetic warning that her day may not go quite as planned. After the prosecution’s star witness is taken from the court house in the middle of the trial and is disappeared in a very specific fashion Reddington’s interest is raised as he realizes “The Stewmaker” (Tom Noonan), a chemical expert with a talent for destroying all traces of his victims (except the trophies he keeps for himself), is responsible.

When her drug dealer arranges his own escape, and take Keen hostage, Reddington gives Ressler (Diego Klattenhoff) and Malik (Parminder Nagra) a name to track down while he proceeds to follow a lead of his own with Dembe (Hisham Tawfiq) and Luli (Deborah S. Craig) involving the single canine hair found in the hotel room where the Stewmaker disposed of the witness’ corpse. Meanwhile Keen does her best to delay the inevitable by talking with her kidnapper who, to fulfill the contract, tortures her before preparing for her murder. Not surprisingly, Reddington finds the drugged agent and killer before her colleagues do and confronts the Stewmaker with a parable and the acid bath the Stewmaker had planned for his latest victim.

Noonan is a terrific choice for the unusual killer whose elderly appearance, matter-of-fact nature, and calm demeanor make the killer all the more creepy. The episode ends with questions raised but not answered. Whose picture did Reddington remove from the Stewmaker’s album of victims? And, more importantly, who was she to him? And just how does an unsolved murder, her husband (Ryan Eggold), the box under her floorboards, and their favorite vacation getaway fit together to give Keen the answer about who the person that shares her bed really is?

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