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The Blacklist “Dr. Linus Creel” 

Photo Credit: David Giesbrecht/NBC
Photo Credit: David Giesbrecht/NBC

Previously, on The Blacklist: I finally get worn down, and officially could not care less if Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone) and Red Reddington (James Spader) are in any way related. Not at all. Red’s ex-wife, Naomi Hyland (Mary-Louise Parker: Weeds) is kidnapped by a raging psychotic who wants revenge on Reddington for something Red claims he didn’t do (What? The guy is just going to straight-up fess up? I do not think so, show) and the best thing to hit my television in a very long time happened when Paul Reubens (Tron: Uprising; Everything Pee-Wee, ever) showed up in a black wig as squeamish, rat-like Mr. Vargas, a personal associate of Red’s. Those two were made for each other.

Dr. Linus Creel #82

Firstly, it seems like David Costabile (Low Winter Sun; Suits) always plays some sort of sleaze-bag. He is at the top of his creepy game with Dr. Linus Creel, a psychiatrist whose life-work seems to consist of riling certain patients up, lying to them, manipulating them and sitting back, watching as they mentally implode right in front of him. Bonus points for getting the poor saps to kill people as they hit rock bottom on their psychotic breaks, Doc.

It was too bad that Dr. Creel’s storyline couldn’t be fleshed out more (we lost some time in favor of more Red/Liz/Naomi drama, with a touch of Naomi’s cheating husband to boot) because I was really interested in this ‘Warrior Gene’ of which he spoke and with which he seemed to be obsessed. I want to know more about this. Is there a ‘Warrior Poet’ gene? I think I’d rather have that.

I can’t say I approve of his methods, but his theory was fascinating, that certain people are more genetically predisposed to become killers (and therefore be susceptible to being exploited by individuals and governments that need some wetwork done) and can be triggered to violence by outside stimuli (around here, we generally refer to this as, “Taking Tobey Out in Public,” or “It Damn Well Says 12 Items or Less: You Know You Have 37 Things There, Citizen”). Basically, I’m saying I think his theory, if not his science, is sound and there’s a reason why Canada has such effective gun-control laws. Reasons called, “Tobey and the Tim Hortons Incident: The Perils and Consequences of Fast-Food Line-Cutting.”

Costabile has playing villains down to a science (no pun intended), and he’s not holding back here. He is suitably creepy, with an extra touch of deranged as Dr. Creel, who, in an attempt to break down his “Warrior Gene” patients indulges in sleazy tactics like calling social services to file a false abuse claim, getting people fired and catfishing a poor college kid who just reeks of instability already, all in the name of science. Basically, he Mean Girls his patients/victims into committing murder.

It’s too bad Red’s man in the field, the one chatting up Elizabeth at her motel, shoots him in the head (I think the science responsible for that is called the, “I Like Getting Paid; I Don’t Really Care How,” gene) before we get more information out of him. I knew Motel Guy was dangerous, but I was wrong thinking he posed a threat to Elizabeth. Lizzie, of course, is ungrateful for the added protection and Red’s ‘interference,’ and orders him to call off his guard dog.

Maybe Liz is afraid Motel Guy will get in the way of her sitting in a chair, drinking beer while staring at a pad-locked door in what seems to be a warehouse. Are we supposed to think she has Tom (Ryan Eggold) trapped in there, all trussed up like a Thanksgiving turkey and not-dead? I think that’s a little too obvious, but don’t ask me for another theory, because I don’t have one.

While Liz may have a good reason for declining Red’s protection, Naomi and Frank Hyland (Lee Tergesen: Longmire; OZ) sure don’t. Naomi is just doing it to appease Frank, and Frank doesn’t really have a reason for objecting to Red’s offer of aid, including new identities and re-location, except for that mistress he’s hiding. If anyone (and I mean anyone) offered me a new passport, fistfuls of cash and a new life (hopefully, to leave out my days in a some sweet little beach town) I would jump on that like it was the last lifeboat on a sinking ship and never look back.

Basically, you’re a dick, Frank; you shouldn’t be cheating on your wife and you shouldn’t be putting her in danger by insisting on going back to Philadelphia and living out in the open where Berlin can find you. Your wife is missing a finger and a molar; it’s not safe. I’m glad Vargas liberated your girlfriend Monica’s dog. That dog deserves a second chance more than you do, even if he won’t chase sticks. Poor city dog, locked up all day without food or water, just waiting until some crazy lady comes home to take him out for a few minutes.

The dog must feel just like Tom does, locked in a closet in Lizzie’s warehouse, just waiting for the crazy to let him out.

The Blacklist airs Mondays at 10/9c on NBC.

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1 Comment

  1. darci

    David Costabile might be the best actor on TV right now…he’s so good at just totally becoming his roles, for a guy whose face I recognize instantly, I never think “oh that’s David Costabile” I totally get lost in his character. He does Dr. Linus Creel in such a disturbing and convincing way, that alone was a highlight of this episode for me. This was his best character since Breaking Bad.

    I also think Naomi has been great for this show, and it is really pushing forward the links between Red and Liz. I do wonder if maybe secretly Naomi knows where Jennifer is though and I loved the whole end scene where Red and Naomi are talking before she drives off. Last, love the fact that they used “Tide” by Junip during that end scene, that’s such a great mood-setting song.

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