Just when I thought this episode was going to be perfectly plain little procedural in the vein of Criminal Minds — BOOM, Dexter! With, like…a hint of Silence of the Lambs? And maybe a splash of How to Get Away with Murder?
All that to say: There were a lot of influences here because there was a lot going on in Wednesday’s episode of The Blacklist. From the jump, I was expecting your classic ritualistic, astrologically-inspired, middle-of-the-woods kind of Blacklister task, then all the sudden, every single story line that is currently at play in the series was being moved forward in a serious way. I had no idea what was going to happen at any given moment, and I loved it. They weren’t twists for the sake of twists, they were twists for the sake of character development, and plot advancement, and putting an end to that nasty little monster, Ian Garvey — and those are twists I can get behind.
I should have kept a tally of how many times I gasped, or yelled I knew it (reader, I did not know it), but in the end, we weren’t just left with surprises, we were left with substance. Ian Garvey is caught but not captured; Liz is transforming further into Reddington while simultaneously exploring who she really is more than ever before through some much needed (though perhaps misguided) therapy; and though Tom’s death might not yet be avenged, the mystery of the most notorious bag o’ bones in all the land is deliciously within our grasps once more — but still just outside of Red’s. Most importantly to The Blacklist‘s canon at large, Red and Lizzie’s parallel journeys to take down Ian Garvey are quickly bending toward a crash collision. Hope everyone packed a helmet.
THE CAPRICORN KILLER, NO. 19
The episode opens with an FBI agent who is not one of our FBI agents arriving to the scene of a homicide that has local police shook. When this Agent Graves comes up on the body, it’s a man in a kneeling position with a sword shoved through his mouth, and hands tied behind his back via a…goat’s skull. It’s sick, and I should warn you now that things will get sicker. Graves immediately pulls out his phone: “There’s an agent I need you to find right away — name’s Elizabeth Keen.”
A few things, Agent Graves: She is not an agent right now, and she’s also a little tied up watching Ian Garvey, her husband’s murderer, act as a pallbearer in the funeral of the detective who was investigating her husband’s murder, whom Garvey also happened to murder. Guy’s a douche, no doubt about it. So, what beautiful relief when Cooper tells Keen that a witness came forward saying he saw Singleton’s murder. Unfortunately for Liz, who’s eager to question the witness, Cooper points out the very obvious predicament that she’s the widow, and also a witness, so not great for her to be the investigating officer.
The Post Office will handle the witness, Red will stay on top of Garvey, and there’s a case that’s come in for Liz. Liz doesn’t like that plan at all: “I’m only interested in the man that who killed Tom, and finding out the secret that got him killed,” she says, staring at Red. “I’m going to help with the former, and prevent the latter,” he replies, honestly. “Fifty-fifty split, like a good divorce.” H’oh boy.
Liz is still annoyed, and not eager to help with a case that doesn’t involve Garvey, until she hears the phrase “Capricorn Killer.” Apparently, Liz worked on the still-unsolved case during her time as a profiler: a serial killer who left his victims posed in remote, inhospitable environments, impaled with a hand-forged sword, and holding the skull of a horned goat. Agent Graves asked for Liz specifically because her profile differed from everyone else’s. They all agreed that the serial killer was a white male in his 40s in a transitory blue-collar profession, and since his accelerated killing pattern indicated that he had gone out of control, others thought he had stopped; Liz believed he had just gone dormant and would return again. It seems she was right…
Or was she? Liz goes along with Agent Graves and Samar to speak with the widow of the most recent victim, Ms. Seavers. She tells them that her husband was a good man who loved their young son more than anything, and shows them a photo…of the two posing with swords. It seems that Mr. Seavers’ hobby was hand-forging swords in his workshop. A workshop which also happens to feature a hidden room with goat-skull shrines to each of the victims of the Capricorn Killer. Seavers wasn’t killed by the Capricorn Killer, he was the Capricorn Killer, killed in the style of his own ritualistic murders.
And this new killer’s style is clearly a little more varied, because suddenly we’re in a room with him, and though we can’t see his face, we get a nice long look at the next man he’s captured, strapped down to a body-shaped table, and sawed off one of his arms and both of his legs. But wait — it gets worse! The killer plays a video for the strapped-down man of the strapped-down man that he’s clearly recorded under duress, reading from a script that details exactly how he’s drugged him to immobilize his body, amputated parts of his limbs while he was out, and is now gearing up his circular saw to complete the set. It is so unnecessarily gory, so thank goodness… (Recap continues on next page)