27
Nov
14

2:8 Decembrist: Red, The Stewmaker & Redemption (11/21/2014)

@Belle My take on the return of the Stewmaker: Fitch had the Stewmaker send the picture to Red to make him let him know that someone (turns out, Berlin) would be coming after him for the supposed death of “the girl” (Zoรซ). It may have been that threat that prompted Red to leave Liz with Sam to protect her and to flee because he “believed his life was in danger.”

I’ve always heard Red’s soliloquy to the Stewmaker as having autobiographical overtones. I binge-watched the first season and Red’s statement to Liz that, “If anyone can give me a second chance, it’s you” was still fresh in my mind when I got to Episode 1:4 The Stewmaker. It was this speech that solidified in my mind the sense that Red’s journey was one of seeking redemption; I don’t think I’d even be interested in the series otherwise if there weren’t hope of that. I thought it was incredibly moving. I think that’s when I really fell in love with the writing, with the character of Red, with the potential for the series.

“Red: A farmer comes home one day to find that everything that gives meaning to his life is gone. Crops are burned, animals slaughtered, bodies and broken pieces of his life strewn about. Everything that he loved, taken from him. His children. One can only imagine the pit of despair, the hours of Jobโ€“like lamentations, the burden of existence. He makes a promise to himself in those dark hours. A life’s work erupts from his knotted mind. Years go by. His suffering becomes complicated. One day he stops. The farmer, who is no longer a farmer sees the wreckage he’s left in his wake. It is now he who burns. It is he who slaughters. And he knows, in his heart, he must pay.โ—Doesn’t he, Stanley?

“Liz: No, Red. He couldn’t help it.

“Red: Maybe you’re right. Maybe he could change. Maybe he’s not damaged beyond repair. Maybe he could make amends to all those that he’s hurt so terribly. Or maybe not.” [dumps him into acid bath.]

By the time he got to “Maybe he could make amends…” I was in tears and after he killed the Stewmaker โ€“ who never offered any evidence he was sorry โ€“ I thought the real question had become: maybe it is too late for the Stewmaker, โ€“ but is it too late for Red?

We still don’t know what happened to Red’s family. We don’t even know who “his family” was. We don’t know if the story he told Madeline Pratt had any truth to it. I guess beyond that, there’s no use in speculating.

The Stewmaker came to Red’s attention through Lorca. Red wasn’t interested in helping on that case except to warn Lizzie her case against Lorca was about to “go sideways.” It was only when Liz mentioned hundreds of people disappearing without a trace that he “suddenly got interested.” The Stewmaker was on Red’s list but he hadn’t been actively searching for him; nor did he know Stewie had sent him the picture of Zoรซ at Fitch’s behest. It was only after he talked to Stewie that he went and took the picture out of the book. How did he know to ask the Stewmaker about her? Maybe because he knew her from a ballet performance in 1987? Lizzie was too young. Zoรซ may have been about the right age. Without going into timelines again, let’s leave it at that. Here’s my composite of the pictures, including the little ballet dancer &young Zoรซ posing for Stewie http://bit.ly/1F7XHga. I loved the Swan Lake scene, so much. Somehow I hope that mystery will be revisited and resolved โ€ฆ

[Cross-posted at WSJ Speakeasy]

[Updated on 11/26/2014 broke longer post into 2 parts, the other on the warrior gene and Lizzie’s Mom]

[Updated on 11/28/2014 with the following:]

Variety: โ€˜The Blacklistโ€™ Producers Pay Close Attention to Social Media http://bit.ly/1vVlaSN but not James Spader :-( @NBCBlacklist
// 4/3/2014

“But what is Redโ€™s motivation for turning over the ‘Blacklist’? Is he a good guy or a bad guy?
“Fox gave a few scenarios. ‘Is he doing this out of some selfish motivation? Self-preservation? Or is he on the slow path to redemption?’
โ€“ ‘Boy, that would be disappointing,’ Spader interjected. [ oh, please! ]
โ€“ ‘I hope thatโ€™s a question we can keep alive for a long time,’ Fox said.
โ€“ ‘I think the bad guys are good,’ Tawfiq said.”
Trust Dembe. Dembe is the Keystone” [and not the KXL kind]



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