The Stewmaker

Season 1
Episode 104
Air Date 10/14/13
TV-14

A suspicious man checks into a shady motel room with a large dog. After stripping naked, shaving his entire body and scrubbing himself with Betadine, he sanitizes the room, sheaths it in plastic and dons a gas mask. Clearly he's done this before. Meanwhile, Liz sneaks into the FBI records room armed with nothing but case number 12-11579. She finds a box of evidence marked "Angel Station," dated June 23, 2012, but is forced to leave without it. Little does she know Ressler and Cooper are tracking her every move.

Liz is due in court to testify against Hector Lorca, a drug lord suspected of killing hundreds of people who have disappeared without a trace. Cooper orders Ressler to go along, but Reddington wants to meet with Liz first - alone. Her case is about to go sideways; Lorca's people have contacted Red to arrange transport out of the country and a new identity by tomorrow night. Something's going to happen...

In court, a juror passes out as the prosecution's key witness Luis Pena takes the stand. Liz has just handed Luis off to two guards when Ressler tells her the juror was poisoned. Liz realizes the juror was a decoy for the real target - Luis, who has disappeared. Liz immediately calls Red, who's in Haiti on business and denies any knowledge of the case. Luis is likely dead, and Liz will probably never find him. Back at the motel room, the suspicious man unzips a body bag to reveal Luis' corpse. The man drags Luis into the tub and starts pouring chemicals over him.

At home, Liz continues to investigate Angel Station along with the date. Noticing the date, Tom remembers it as the best day ever, when they were having a romantic weekend in Boston. Just then, Ressler and Meera call Liz to the motel room, where they suspect Luis was held. Red calls Liz to ask if there was tape on the walls, then advises her to check out the bathtub drain. When Liz reports a strong odor of chemicals, Red's interest piques. The Stewmaker is in town. They're gonna need a plumber...

Reddington tells the FBI that the Stewmaker, a chemical expert, is the only guy to call when you're looking to dispose of a corpse completely. He turns his victims into chemical stew, leaving behind no DNA. Since he's a trophy collector, the Stewmaker has the answers to hundreds of unsolved murders. Of course, Red has no idea who he is, but Liz knows Lorca knows. Meera and Liz question Lorca, who has no interest in a plea deal. Meera admits Lorca's current case is being dismissed, but Homeland Security will go after him for money laundering. Nevertheless, Lorca would rather go into Homeland Security's custody than cross the Stewmaker, who's much more dangerous than any agent.

Liz delivers Lorca to a helipad for transport to Homeland Security. Suddenly, an RPG hits the helicopter sending Liz flying, and a firefight breaks out. Someone puts a bag over Liz's head, and she and Lorca are stuffed in a van. Ressler and Cooper demand answers from Red, but he denies involvement. In fact, he's the FBI's only lead, since he's meeting with Lorca to establish his new identity. When Ressler insists on coming along, Red absolves himself of all responsibility for his safety and cautions him to be prepared to fend for himself.

Reddington and Ressler meet with Lorca at a restaurant, and his men immediately put a blade to Ressler's throat, ready to kill. Ressler claims he's Red's inside man, earning his life back. Since the city is locked down, Reddington tells Lorca he'll have to wait until he can be safely transported out of the country with no links to Red. But Red's going to need the name of the man who's holding Liz. Admitting he doesn't know whether Liz is dead or alive, all Lorca can offer is a contact... After much scrambling, Meera and Ressler think the Stewmaker may be Maryland dentist Stanley Kornish. Taking interest in an evidence bag in the war room, Red has Dembe bring the car around, while the Stewmaker drags a blindfolded Liz to a cabin deep in the woods.

On the way to Maryland, Red calls Maryland State Animal Control posing as Kornish, claiming he needs to activate his dog's tracking chip. Meanwhile, Liz keeps talking to the Stewmaker, trying anything to stave off the horror he's preparing. Ordered to make her suffer, Kornish injects a toxin that will paralyze Liz while still allowing her to feel pain. Liz manages to break free and run for safety, but she's too weak to go far. Kornish and his dog quickly find her in the woods. Meanwhile, Meera and Ressler question Kornish's wife to learn the approximate location of the cabin. Night has fallen by the time they organize a massive search operation.

Kornish drags Liz back to the cabin, where Red lies in wait. After subduing the dog with a steak, he knocks Kornish out with a pipe. Promising Liz she'll be fine, Reddington props her up in a wheelchair, wheels her into another room, then preps Kornish to bathe in the tub of acid he prepared for Liz. By the time the FBI arrives, Reddington has his hands over his head in surrender, and Kornish has disappeared.

In the hubbub of the crime scene, Red finds a book containing Polaroids of Kornish's victims and pockets one of the shots, as Liz sobs in Ressler's arms. Later, Red gives Liz the book of photos - maybe she can bring some peace to the Stewmaker's victims. Liz wishes she was done with Red, calling him a monster - how can he live with himself? Afterwards, Red tells Ressler that the photos in the book should put Lorca away for good, and right now, Lorca is ensconced on Red's private plane. Back at home, Tom surprises Liz with plans for a romantic trip... to Angel Station.

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