Jan 21, 2014
Jason Evans Filling Us In on The Latest Blacklist: The Alchemist
Before we get to the recap of “The Blacklist,” I want to do my weekly shout-out to the top posts of the week in the comment section. Someone named Pastori had an interesting notion that, whether Red is Lizzy’s father or not, they are developing a father-daughter kind of relationship – especially with the death of Liz’s father a few episodes ago. There were lots of comments about how violent the most recent episode was, with some folks even saying they no longer like Red because of the killing spree he was on. There were also some good observations about Newton Phillips, the man Red killed at the end of the episode, and the fact that he has been at Red’s side in a lot of episodes. Newton’s role means that Red’s torture at the hands of Anslo Garrick truly was an inside job. I have to wonder if Fitch (Alan Alda) did not want Red to find out about Newton, so Red will know that even those closest to him can betray him.
Enough of that. Let’s get to this week’s episode of “The Blacklist”…
The episode begins with Red explaining to Liz about the new Blacklister, The Alchemist. He has been hired to protect some mob boss named Peter. We see The Alchemist drug a woman. Somehow, he transforms his victims to look like the people he wants to protect. We see the transformed woman and some man, who has also been transformed, die in a plane crash.
The FBI finds the bodies and think they are the mobster and his wife. The want to know how Red thinks the mobster disappeared.
Meanwhile, Red is meeting with some hackers who are helping him to figure out who the mole is in the FBI. The hackers are friends with Wikileaks founder Julian Asange and Red has a care package for Julian. It is a funny scene if you know world politics.
Red and Liz have a meeting. It is in a Synagogue. Red refuses to go to the FBI blacksite until the mole is found. Red insists that the mobster is still alive and that The Alchemist is an expert at making people appear to be dead. He tells Liz that the mobster is now in Hungary. Liz, Ressler and Malik go to investigate. They catch the bad guy, proving that The Alchemist is able to convincingly fake the death of anyone he is protecting.
Back as home Liz and Tom talk about Tom’s job interview. He tells her he didn’t go through with the interview because he did not want to make her give up on her job. Tom mentions the adoption that is coming up in 6 weeks. They are going to have a baby!
The FBI figures out that The Alchemist is able to fake DNA. It is all very scientific. Red tells Liz that if she finds the Alchemist she will be able to find a bunch of really bad people who he has helped to disappear. Aram figures out that the latest Alchemist victim was using an online dating site.
The Alchemist meets with the wife of the mobster. He wants to clean up this mess. She tells him the name of her husband’s lawyer and then he kills her.
The FBI is questioning the mobster. The mobster’s lawyer shows up but it is really the Alchemist. The Alchermist gets the mobster alone and poisons the man.
The FBI uses the dating website to find a photo of The Alchemist and are able to ID him. He is a disgraced DNA scientist. Liz goes to visit the Alchemist’s ex wife. She says her ex still thinks they are together and he visits her sometimes.
Time for a check in with Red and his hackers. Red has the hackers using a special program to go through millions of pieces of shredded FBI papers and put it all back together.
Liz and Ressler figure out that they may be able to find the Alchemist by the DNA sequencing equipment he has bought. Meanwhile, we see The Alchemist finding his next victim, a female actress looking for a part.
Then something happens that has nothing to do with The Alchemist. We see a woman looking at a file on Tom. She seems to be up to no good. We see her face and I think it is the woman, Lucy Brooks, that Red had looked up in the FBI’s criminal database several episodes ago. She calls herself Jolene.
Tom and Liz are attending a baby shower with a bunch of Tom’s teaching friends. They play games putting diapers on dolls and tasting baby food. It all leads to Liz and Tom getting into a fight about why she won’t take maternity leave. The fight is interrupted when Jolene starts talking to them. She is pretending to be a substitute teacher at Tom’s school. She and Tom chat a bunch and seem to be hitting it off a bit.
The FBI finds the Alchemist’s hideout, but everything incriminating has been cleaned out. They go to his ex-wife’s house and find both the wife and the Alchemist’s daughter dead with gunshot wounds to their heads. I’ll go on the record right now that The Alchemist faked the deaths of his wife and daughter.
Red’s hackers have found a document that seems to incriminate Agent Malik. We don’t get to see enough of the document to know what it says.
It does not take long for Liz to figure out the same thing I did, that the Alchemist has taken his wife and kid and faked their deaths. Liz figures out they can track the insulin pump the daughter uses. The FBI uses it to figure out where the Alchemist has taken them. The cops corner the Alchemist at a convenience store, though he has hostages and his daughter is accidentally shot.
Liz tries to negotiate with The Alchemist, but he gets shot and killed before they can cut a deal.
The FBI is able to get a list of The Alchemist’s clients off one of his computer hard drives. When Liz takes it to Red, he pockets the list and leaves. His motivation for telling the FBI about the Alchemist was to get the Alchmeist’s client list.
Side story that no one cares about. Ressler appears to be getting back together with his ex-girlfriend. Yawn. Is this going to matter at some point?
Liz is working late and misses a special dinner with Tom. He goes out to see a photography exhibit with Jolene instead.
The episode ends with Red confronting Agent Malik at her home. “You know why I’m here,” he sauys. She replies, “You’re here to kill me… because I am the mole,” is her reply.
And the episode is over.
This was a pretty solid episode. I doubt Red is going to kill Malik, she’s a character they can do a lot more with before offing her. The story of The Alchemist may seem relatively unimportant right now, but I bet it has an impact down the line because Red needs something from his client list. I suspect Lucy Brooks is one of the people on that list.
So, what did you think of this episode? Was Jolene the same actress who we saw in the photo as Lucy Brooks? Whoever that is, she is clearly targeting Tom for something nefarious. I am starting to think Tom might not be a bad guy after all. Maybe he is just caught up in some big conspiracy. I want to hear your thoughts. Speak up in the comment section and we’ll have a conversation. See you there!
If you want to read more of Jason Evans’ commentary on the movie and TV industry, follow him on Twitter @TVFilmTalk and be sure to check our Speakeasy every Monday and Wednesday for his recaps of “The Blacklist” and “Arrow.”
copied from Speakeasy...WSJ
okay...here is my thing on the show but what do you think....the comments are very good on the WSJ website...