Violet recaps Season 1 Episode 4 of The Blacklist, titled The Stewmaker, where something goes wrong during a trial in which Elizabeth is supposed to testify — just like Reddington said it would! Following the recap, both Violet and Josh share their thoughts on the episode.
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The Blacklist Episode 4: The Stewmaker Recap Overview
Need a quick Blacklist episode recap of Episode 4 titled The Stewmaker? Here is a summary of events for the episode. Each event is linked to the more detailed Blacklistepisode recap for The Stewmaker if you need more information!
- Elizabeth gets the following info about the classified file associated with her ballistics report: “Angel Station” and “June 23, 2012“
- Elizabeth dismisses Reddington‘s warning that something will go wrong at the trial against drug dealer Lorca, but the prime witness, Pena, is taken.
- Elizabeth researches the info she found on the classified file, but is interrupted by her husband, Tom
- With the help of Reddington, the FBI determines that the Stewmaker dissolved Pena‘s body
- The FBI tries and fails to get info on the Stewmaker from Lorca. As Elizabeth hands Lorca over to Homeland, Lorca’s guys rescue him and kidnap Elizabeth
- Reddington meets with Lorca in regards to transporting him out of the country, and Ressler comes with him. Lorca gives them a contact name for the man holding Elizabeth, and the FBI is able to track it to Stanley Cornish.
- The Stewmaker takes Elizabeth to his cabin and tortures her. Reddington tracks the cabin’s exact location using the microchip in Cornish’s dog, while the FBI gets an approximate location of the cabin from Cornish’s wife
- Elizabeth tries to escape, but is caught. Reddington reaches the cabin, saves Elizabeth, and pushes the Stewmaker into his own chemical mixture. The FBI belatedly shows up.
- Elizabeth‘s husband Tom books a trip for them. They’ll be staying at Angel Station Hotel.
The Blacklist Episode Recap: The Stewmaker, the Details
Angel Station and June 23, 2012
We see a man enter a motel lobby with his dog, but he removes his disguise once he enters his motel room. He covers the entire room with plastic.
Elizabeth stops off at the F.B.I. Evidence Storage Facility to look for the classified file associated with the ballistics report on what was supposedly her husband’s gun. She is able to get the following information from the box label before the records keeper figures out she’s not supposed to be there: “Angel Station” and “June 23, 2012.” Cooper and Ressler know that she requested information on the classified file, and Cooper wants to keep an eye on her, so he sends Ressler to accompany Elizabeth to the courthouse when she testifies against a Mexican drug dealer named Hector Lorca.
Reddington Warns Elizabeth About Her Trial
Before the trial, Reddington meets with Elizabeth alone to tell her that Lorca’s people have reached out to him for transportation out of the country, suggesting that he’s expecting to be a free man, and therefore something will go wrong in court, despite the fact that Elizabeth has a solid witness.
At trial, before the witness, Mr. Pena, has a chance to name Hector Lora, one of the jurors suffers a heart attack and the trial is stopped. Elizabeth hands the witness off to a U.S. Marshal for protection, but it turns out he’s not really a U.S. Marshal and injects Pena. Just then, Ressler finds Elizabeth and tells her that the juror was poisoned. They go and find the real U.S. Marshal dead on the floor with a bullet through the head, but Pena is nowhere to be found.
Elizabeth calls Reddington, who is in the middle of a deal in Haiti, keeping up appearances as a criminal. He doesn’t seem too concerned, until he appears to be interested in the fact that that no bodies were ever recovered out of the hundreds of victims. She asks what he’s thinking, but he says “nothing.” He tells her to go home, that her witness is most likely dead and she’ll never find him.
Elizabeth and Tom Reminisce
At home, Elizabeth starts to do some online research on “Angel Station” and “June 23, 2012,” which are written on a pad of paper, but she is interrupted by her husband. She quickly scratches out “Angel Station” leaving only the date readable. Tom knows there’s something wrong, and says he knows her tells. He sees the date and pulls up a photo album with that date. They were in Boston that weekend because he had a job interview.
Reddington Educates the FBI About the Stewmaker
Elizabeth gets called to the motel room, where they have tracked Pena based on witness accounts. However, there’s no sign of Pena in the room, which has been wiped clean. Reddington calls Elizabeth just then, and tells her to run her fingers around the drain. She smells chemicals. He tells her the Stewmaker is in town.
Reddington briefs the FBI about the Stewmaker, who is a chemical expert who turns his victims into chemical stew, and collects trophies from his victims. Reddington explains that the Stewmaker knows where all the bodies are buried, and has the answer to hundreds of unsolved murders. Reddington doesn’t know how to contact the Stewmaker, but Lorca does.
Lorca Is Rescued and Elizabeth is Kidnapped
The FBI brings Lorca in and Agent Malik questions him about the Stewmaker with Elizabeth in the room. Malik offers a plea deal, but Lorca doesn’t bite. She admits that they’re dropping this case, but they are bringing money laundering charges, and will be handing him over to Homeland while they investigate, which could take awhile. Malik offers to put him in a nice super-max in exchange for the Stewmaker. However, he says the Stewmaker is much more dangerous than their agents, and that he’ll take his chances with Homeland.
Elizabeth takes Lorca to hand him over to Homeland. Suddenly, an RPG missile is shot at the helicopter he’s about to get into, and it explodes. Some guys jump out of a van and gunfire erupts. The guys rescue Lorca and take Elizabeth with them.
Reddington and Ressler Meet with Lorca
Back at the FBI, Cooper and Ressler try to blame Reddington for what happened. However, he still has a meeting with Lorca, as he is supposed to provide him with a new identity. Ressler insists on coming with him. Reddington agrees, but says no FBI surveillance and no wires.
When Reddington and Ressler arrive for the meeting with Lorca, Reddington introduces Ressler as an FBI agent and uses his real name. Lorca’s man immediately seizes him and places a knife to Ressler’s throat. Lorca commands his guy to kill Ressler, but Ressler flips the guy over, then plays the role of Reddington’s inside man. Reddington says he has arranged for Lorca’s transportation to Venezuela, but he’ll have to sit tight for 12 hours so Reddington can take care of cleaning up Lorca’s mess. Reddington subtly brings up Elizabeth, but Lorca claims he doesn’t know if she’s dead. He demands to know the name and location of the man holding Elizabeth, and plays it off as only wanting to make Ressler look good for rescuing her, while Lorca gets away. However, Lorca says he doesn’t have a name, nor does he know where he took her. Reddington starts to leave without helping Lorca out, but Lorca stops him and says he has a contact.
With the name of Lorca’s contact, Ressler and Malik are able to track down the identity of the Stewmaker: Stanley Cornish, and head to Maryland to check out the lead. Back at the FBI, Reddington has noticed a piece of evidence from motel room: a dog hair. He takes it and leaves.
Reddington and the FBI Search for Elizabeth, Who Is at the Stewmaker’s Cabin
We see a car with a Maryland license plate drive out into the middle of the woods and stop. The Stewmaker opens the trunk and takes a blindfolded Elizabeth out, then leads her down the path toward a cabin.
Reddington calls animal control pretending to be Cornish, and asks them to reboot his dog’s tracking chip to sync with his mobile device.
Elizabeth, still blindfolded, is sitting in a wheelchair. She tries to talk to Cornish, and he takes off her blindfold. She reveals his nickname to him, which he apparently didn’t know about. Meanwhile, Ressler and Malik show up at Cornish’s house to find his wife and son. His wife has no idea where her husband is. Elizabeth continues to try to get into Cornish’s head, and he admits he has an 11-year old son. He tells her he was asked to make her suffer, and mentions a nerve cluster right beneath the shoulder area, saying that the pain should be quite intense. Then he stabs her there with a long narrow tool.
Back with Ressler, Cornish’s wife explains that her husband is a dentist and wouldn’t do anything wrong. She says he might be up at their cabin fishing. Ressler gets an approximate location and calls it in.
Reddington Saves the Day
Cornish, now naked, injects Elizabeth with a sedative that will cause paralysis, yet maintain her sensitivity to pain. He wheels her into the next room, and as he has his back turned, she is able to slip free from her zip tie cuffs. She knees him in the groin and runs away into the woods. Unfortunately, Cornish finds her, punches her in the face, and drags her back inside. However, Reddington knocks him out from behind.
As the FBI combs the woods looking for the cabin, Reddington tells Cornish a story about a farmer, who at the end, knew in his heart that “he must pay.” Elizabeth, listening from the other room, defends Cornish, saying that he couldn’t help it. Reddington appears to listen to her for a moment, but then pushes Cornish into the tub of chemical mixture that he has prepared. Just then, Ressler and his team bust into the cabin. Reddington finds a photo album filled with photos of Cornish’s victims. He flips through and removes a picture of a girl for himself, with the date 12/90.
Elizabeth tells Reddington he’s no better than Cornish, that he’s a monster. He agrees. She asks him how he can live with that, and he replies, “By saving your life.”
Ressler tells Reddington that Lorca got away, and Reddington chalks it up to the cost of doing business. However, Ressler doesn’t think Reddington will just let Lorca go, because he was offensive and Reddington didn’t like him. Reddington points out, “He is on my jet.”
Angel Station Hotel
Back home, Elizabeth’s husband reveals that he booked a trip for them. She opens the travel brochure and sees that they’re staying at Angel Station Hotel.
Violet’s Thoughts: The Blacklist Episode 4: The Stewmaker
I actually liked this episode a lot. It might have had something to do with the fact that it contained elements of two of my favorite shows: Dexter, in that the Stewmaker put plastic up all over the room, and Breaking Bad, because the Stewmaker uses a chemical mixture to dissolve a body in the bathtub (and the Stewmaker smartly requested a room on the lower level!). Some people might look at it as stealing from those shows, but I look at it more as an homage, as those shows have recently ended, and this show is just getting started.
This episode had it all: an exciting, interesting storyline, Hollywood blockbuster stunts, and good acting. Of course, we all know that James Spader is awesome. I’ll admit, I thought he was a little over the top in the beginning, but I feel like he’s toned it down a bit, and has nailed the part of Reddington. As for Megan Boone, although I had problems with her at first, I’m starting to get used to her as she is settling into her role. Ryan Eggold, who plays Elizabeth’s husband, Tom, is sufficiently creepy, especially in the scene where he reveals to Elizabeth he knows all her tells. It was almost like a heads up or a warning.
However, this show still contains the bothersome “incompetent law enforcement agents” trope. Elizabeth knew something was going to go wrong, because Reddington told her it would. So far, it seems like whenever Reddington says something is going to happen, it happens. Considering that her witness was the only possible living person that could identify Lorca, I would think she would do everything in her power to keep the witness safe and want to keep her eyes on the witness at all times. I guess I can’t fault her for handing the witness over to what she thought was a U.S. Marshal, but in this situation I would have thought she would insist on keeping the witness in her custody, especially since things had already started to go wrong. Then after Elizabeth is kidnapped, Reddington is able to beat the FBI to her by a longshot, and he even pokes fun at their incompetence when they finally arrive.
This has been my favorite episode so far this season. I am almost all in, though I’m not quite there yet. Something’s still holding me back, but I can’t quite put my finger on what it is. Maybe the next episode will give me that extra push that I need to become truly invested in The Blacklist.
Josh’s Thoughts on Episode 4 of The Blacklist: The Stewmaker
For me The Blacklist has become a very good show so far. James Spader is nailing his character Red Reddington, and I am finding the stories of each episode quite entertaining. So far, each episode has felt pretty fresh, rather than using the same formulaic method like CSI or other investigative shows would do. It certainly is early to assume this won’t be a problem, but so far I am pleased with what I have seen.
I still am little bothered by the acting of Megan Boone, but little by little I am getting used to her. This episode put her in a very venerable position with her kidnapping by the Stewmaker. Oddly enough, the Stewmaker reminded me of both Breaking Bad and Dexter with his method of killing and “kill room” set up. I am curious to know if that was intentional or not. He also reminded me of the Trinity Killer from Dexter when the FBI went to interrogate the Stewmaker’s family. It seemed like he had a run-of-the-mill life from the wife’s point of view.
I would really like to know what were the causes of the marks on the Stewmaker’s skin. Did he self-mutilate? Was he tortured in his past? We do not really learn much about him. Also, why did he kill his victims naked? Was it a way to remain easily cleaned, so a practicality, or was it an erotic thing? It was hard to gauge this man’s motivations for killing.
Reddington’s final moments of the scene were great. His dispatching of The Stewmaker made you cheer and cringe at the same time. I also wonder Reddington’s motivations for killing the Stewmaker. Did he want to for kicks? Was he upset he was torturing Elizabeth? Or was he worried that this guy perhaps knew some stuff that perhaps Reddington would rather left under wraps? I suppose now, we will never know.
Scenes from The Blacklist, Episode 5: The Courier
Here are scenes from next week’s Blacklist episode titled The Courier: