The Blacklist 1.12 "The Alchemist"

A tv review article by: Natalie Amato

So we move on to week twelve of The Blacklist. This episode, Raymond Reddington hires what seems to be an activist group to uncover the mole within the blacksite. In brief, thanks to the activist technogeek group’s efforts digging through hundreds of shredded government documents, Reddington finally discovers the mole is Meera Malik.

Simultaneously, Elizabeth Keen and company are on the hunt for a man known as The Alchemist: a deranged scientist capable of chemically and genetically altering innocents to disappear the guilty. With Reddington’s help, The Alchemist is discovered to be Eric Trettel (Ryan O’Nan) who flunked out of medical school, falsified a degree, and eventually began working with DNA and DNA evidence. Once discovered, he attempts to kidnap and hide his family by faking their deaths but is uncovered by Keen who locates him.

This episode yields some new information. Here’s a throwback. Remember the episode “General Ludd”? Red requests access to ViCAP (The Violent Criminal Apprehension Program) in which he views a profile regarding Lucy Brooks, a woman with various aliases. This brings us to this week’s episode and the appearance of Lucy Brooks (Rachel Brosnahan), who possesses a file on Tom Keen, pretends to be a substitute teacher, and slowly attempts to gain his trust. Why? I have no idea. One of the biggest drawbacks of this this show is that it never provides more than a tidbit of information, but I’m assuming we’ll find out in the near future the connection between Reddington, the new Ms. Brooks, and Tom Keen.

Moving on, I really liked the character development in this episode. Donald Ressler is actually talking to Keen about his private life and is no longer criticizing half the decisions and moves she makes, demonstrating he no longer questions her competence and views her as a peer. Furthermore we delve into his private life with his former love interest, Audrey Bidwell. Ressler and Bidwell split due to Ressler’s involvement with the case to find Reddington. However, this episode we find out that Bidwell has left her fiancĂ© and there may be a reunion between her and Ressler. It will be interesting to see where this goes. Not so much for the romantic content but more so because one way or another there is a distinct possibility she may also have a connection to Reddington.

This episode wasn’t their best but it did open up some new storylines and provide enough information to keep the viewers asking questions. Who is Lucy Brooks? What is her interest in Tom Keen? Is she Reddington’s daughter? How does Elizabeth Keen fit in? Patience. Time will tell.

Natalie Amato is a ninja cappuccino-slinging barista by day, undercover freelancing graphic designer, photographer, and writer by night (...and sometimes during the day). 

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