Season 2, Episode 4
Air Date: Monday, October 13, 2014, 10/9c on NBC
“Strap on your tinfoil hat, Lizzy.” – Reddington
When normal everyday people suddenly turn into hardened criminals, Reddington (James Spader) believes it’s part of a mind control experiment run by the U.S. Government. Using social psychology, the government unlocks the ”extreme warrior gene” that triggers aggressive anti-social behavior but Agent Ressler (Diego Klattenhoff) isn’t convinced.
Ressler: “Are you suggesting the Government has identified people with mild genetic abnormality and is turning them into killers?”
Keen: “That’s exactly what we’re suggesting.”
I have a love/hate thing going with David Costabile who plays Dr. Linus Creel. Costabile is a brilliant actor in anything he does because of how he embodies his characters. Dr. Linus Creel is no exception. But Costabile always seems to play characters that make you want to throw something at your TV screen. I’ve been tough on the writers this season for not giving the guest stars much to work with but Costabile is a refreshing change with the memorable disturbing character he creates. Speaking of guest stars, it’s fun seeing Mr. Vargas (Paul Reubens) pop up again; I’d love to see Reubens become a series regular.
Naomi (Mary Louise Parker) appears to play a larger part in the big picture of things. She is clearly more than a trophy wife to Reddington and seems to know the truth behind the relationship between Reddington and Keen (Megan Boone). The writers do a great job of creating tension between Reddington and Naomi’s husband Frank (Lee Tergesen). I especially enjoyed their alone time when Reddington tries to persuade Frank to accept his protection. “You make her happy. That is the only reason you’re still here.” I hope this isn’t the last we see of Naomi.
One of the interesting things to come out of “Dr. Linus Creel” is the conversation Agent Keen has with Dr. Creel about Tom (Ryan Eggold). She goes undercover as a patient at the hospital in need of a psych consult.
Dr. Creel: “If you could do anything and get away with it, what would it be?”
Keen: “No chance of ever getting caught?”
Dr. Creel: “You’re above the law; have at him.”
Keen: “I’d chain him up.”
Dr. Creel: “Yeah?”
Keen: “And I’d force him to tell me about all of the lies, the secrets he kept. I’d make him my prisoner.”
Is this story part of her cover or is there an element of truth behind it? Later, Keen is in an abandoned warehouse, staring at a locked door with the keys in her hand. You have to wonder, does Keen have Tom chained up behind that door?
Watching The Blacklist has made me as paranoid as Keen and I find myself questioning everything that happens on screen. As with every episode this season, “Dr. Linus Creel” continues to add more to the pile of questions surrounding the show. Yet, I feel like I have figured some things out.
- Tom is behind the door chained up.
- Tom is the one feeding Keen info.
- Naomi is Keen’s mother.
For a show that wraps itself in mystery, can these conclusions really be that simple? Or, perhaps the writers want us to think we have caught on only to throw us in an entirely different direction later.
One answer we do get in “Dr. Linus Creel” is the identity of the mysterious man (Hal Ozsan) who was outside Keen’s hotel in “Dr. James Covington.” Reddington sent him to watch over Keen and he has been doing so ever since Agent Malik (Parminder Nagra) was killed last season. Will Reddington’s man continue to protect Keen against her wishes? Hopefully, we will we learn more about Ozsan’s character in future episodes.
As much as I wanted to cringe at the stories involving a government conspiracy premise, the writers tone things down enough to make for an interesting episode. The story itself is a common one; dozens of series have had similar plots where an expert in a field, tired of not being taken seriously, releases a virus or chemical agent that kills in order to force people to finally listen. The only difference in “Dr. Linus Creel” is instead of a virus, they use mind control.
I enjoy The Blacklist but there is an innocence from season one that I miss when it comes to Keen. Even Ressler and Harold Cooper (Harry Lennix) have expressed concerns about changes in Keen’s behavior. Part of me hopes Tom isn’t chained up behind that door because it would be hard for Keen to come back from crossing that line. The real question is if Keen is related to Reddington, is her future doomed or will she be able find her way through all the drama surrounding her?
Tune in to The Blacklist Mondays at 10/9c, only on NBC. Tweet me @Staffaroadtrip or leave a comment below to let me know what you think about “Dr. Linus Creel.”
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All photos © 2014 NBC Universal, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
© 2014, Greg Staffa. All rights reserved.
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