The Blacklist

Season 1 Episode 4

No. 161: The Stewmaker

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Oct 14, 2013 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (11)

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out of 10
161 votes
  • FBI this bad?

    Every time I watch an episode of Black list I keep wondering if they have an former FBI agent advise them. Because this show really makes the FBI look dumb. They can't track or tail a suspect without being 'made' they have horrible skills with tracking and hand-to-hand fighting. I understand that Elisabeth is a rookie so she gets a pass but the other agents are buffoons. Its also clear that Red is an expert in espionage and has numerous contacts. But for every show to be focused on Red to come and save the day because of the FBI's bungling idiocy is repetitive. I almost feel like Red is babysitting the FBI. Am I the only one who feels this way?
  • Dont make FBI a Juvenile Institution

    FBI is warned that an incident is going to occur in the courthouse and yet they can do nothing... To bring our Red's character, the writers should not make FBI such a defunct organisation. And this is happening in all the episodes so far.

    And the dialogue of Red puts it in perspective - They are doing a mediocre job of all his intelligence inputs...

    But love the new story lines and innovation shown by the writers and the producers.

  • Brilliant and creepy episode

    Brilliant and creepy episode with a truly psyco 'clean up' guy who's been watching too much Dexter! I can't believe Keens reaction to Red at the end, he saved her life and the killer deserved a bath in his own medicine!.
  • Finally!

    This show is amazing, and I would be royally pissed off if they cancel it anytime soon. This is just what I need compared to the rest of the crappy shows being played now that has been so dumbed down for the public to the point of idiocrasy. James Spader is an amazing actor and I pray that this show lasts
  • Better than last week.

    The case, I felt, was better than last week's. Having said that, I didn't really enjoye either of the two very much. They both had flaws and I haven't been convinced to be honest by the acting of the bad guys in the last two episodes, unlike the first two which were much better.

    However, I was impressed with a bit of character development we had, and I'm REALLY intrigued yb that photo Reddington pulled out at the end! Looks like this one might have been personal and I wonder who she is!

    Can't wait to find that out!
  • A mixture of Dexter and Breaking Bad!

    I loved this episode. It felt like a cross between Dexter and Breaking Bad.

    James is such a wonderful actor. I really am enjoying this show.
  • Made it through the magic four...

    yes, I'm still around, though I'm still not really sure what to make of it. James Spader is great, acting as a villain mastermind, and I'm not bothered by the "I know it all but won't tell more"-aspect of it. He's a criminal and the FBI is glad to have his help catching even worse criminals, I can arrange with that presetting of the whole show. So to me, Spader('s performance) is a reason so watch

    but I still don't like Keen. I'm not sure if it's the acting or those simple lines she has to utter, it just seems quite bad to me. Maybe that's a totally personal impression of liking an actor/actress or not, and it's a pity, cause maybe the whole mystery around Keen's history would catch me more. This way, I guess I'll stick around more to see how Reddington will take out the next on his list rather than to find out what becomes of Keen, and I'll see if that'll be enough to keep watching.
  • What happened to the dog?

    Good episode, but hate that the dog was a non-issue at the end.
  • It's over for me

    If you have gone as far as episode 4 and you still like it, then you are going to be happy with this show, congratulations. I have tried a lot, but for me this is a bad show. I don't like Spader's character, to start with. So from there, you can imagine how little is left to consider. I just can't stand that whole "I know everything but I'm just going to tell you 1gr of info every week" thing, and the show is heavily sustained on that. There are cool things, as in this episode it was the presentation of the killer. And in a prior episode, the whole scene of the accident and kidnap of the little girl. But the cool things seem waisted in the nonsense of the main story. There is no future to this.
  • Best Epi so far!

    I gave this an unreserved 10. Best episode of the show so far I cant wait to get the directors commentary on this episode come the DVD time.

    My only concern is how useful is Reddington going to remain to the FBI if everyone that comes in contact with his from this secret underground suddenly is either captured by the FBI or killed.

    How long before the news spreads and he's tainted or killed or exposed?
  • One big, juicy stew


    So that all happened.

    Ok. So this week, they kind of upped the tempo - and the ante - just a little. But there were still a lot of the key ingredients from last weeks show in there as well;

    Keen being clever, Red being protective, and surprisingly, Agent Stick-up-his-behind being rather quick and clever. Me like!

    Keen keeps digging into the mystery-that-is-her-husband, this time sneaking a peek in the FBI archives. It probably wouldn't work that way IRL, but for plot purposes, I'm buying it. It didn't net her much, but it DID give her a date and a place, which is a lot more than she had before.

    Red demonstrated how much freedom he has, being in Haiti delivering missiles or some such to one of his clients before hoofing it back to the good old US of A when it turns out that Keen's lost witness (and case) is connected to something of interest to him, . our case of the week: The Stewmaker.

    The Stewmaker made a good villain - we got to see more of him than of most of our previous targets, and he was a pretty creepy bad guy. Like in the other cases, we were never given too many details on him, mostly a vague list of crimes and in this case, a very vague (but tragic) backstory. That works for me - the story and focus isn't on the target-of-the-week, they're just the rationale for putting Red and Keen in the same room and digging into their backstories and motivations.

    Special Agent Ressler really had a chance to shine this week - so far, we've just been treated to stuffy, suspicious, angry Ressler - this week, he finally got to show us that he CAN be something else: When Red put him on the spot (he DID sort of warn him, though), he rolled with it and came up with a pretty clever backstory on the spot, playing it well, smooth and confident. :)

    I've never really liked the character, but after this scene, he kind of started growing on me. :D

    Keen-in-danger did pretty well too, following the playbook by trying to make the killer see her as a person, making it harder to kill her, trying to profile him and working on his emotions. Unfortunately, it didn't work quite as well as she hoped, but she's not one to sit back and wait for events to unfold, and turned to the alternative strategy of bashing him upside the head and making a run for it - good girl!

    They all come together at the end, after some very clever detective-and-acting work by Red, and we get a very interesting scene were he REALLY gets to show us more of who he is.

    He reveals the tragic backstory of the villain, showing insight and empathy, yet doesn't hesitate to exact his vengeance in a very cruel and thorough manner. When Keen accuses him of being a monster, he doesn't hesitate to acknowledge that.

    Yet he saved her life - again - and put an end to a very, very dangerous criminal - so she keeps her mouth shut about his actions once more.

    Keen is clearly willing to accept that sometimes, the end justifies the means, but that is a very slippery slope, especially around a consummate anti-hero like Reddington.

    In the end, we're left with a clue to Red's past - the picture of a dead girl, retrieved from the Stewmaker's trophy collection - daughter? Lover? The picture is dated December 1990 - the year that Keen claims there was a fire that gave her the scar on her palm.

    I don't think Red's age has been mentioned, but the murder victim COULD probably be his daughter; it's difficult to tell her age from the pic. Either way, she was presumably someone he cared about, and lost.

    And Keen realizes that she and her Tom were actually "coincidentally" right near the time-and-place she was able to glean from the criminal case related to the gun hidden under their floorboards - just one more nail in the coffin of her denial. Clearly, Tom is involved in SOMETHING, not just an innocent pawn or patsy.

    Memorable moments:

    - when Red revealed the Stewmaker's backstory; it seemed to resonate with him, making you wonder if it was close to his own; is HE just waiting for someone to stop him, put him down?

    - our lovely CIA-agent Malik playing hardball with the drug lord, threatening him with Homeland security. I LIKE her. :D

    - Red's obfuscating answer (which must drive her mad) when the same agent asked him how he got to the crime scene before the FBI-team: "That's a pretty blouse". :D