The Stewmaker - Recap

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A man with a massive dog is checking in to a ground-floor room in a hotel. He pleasantly chats with the clerk. He moves several suitcases into the room and stares in the mirror. The man takes off fake teeth, removes his wig—he had been wearing a disguise. The bald man takes a shower and pours disinfectant over his whole body. After, still nude, he disinfects the entire hotel room before covering every inch of the room in plastic. He has several bruises on his naked body.

At the FBI storage facility, Elizabeth is looking for evidence records on the classified homicide that was linked to the gun she found in her floor. Agent Cooper and Agent Ressler discuss the fact that she is looking into the classified case and they want to prevent her from learning more. Cooper tells Ressler that she’s testifying against a Mexican drug lord named Hector Lorca today. Ressler heads to the courthouse for Elizabeth’s testimony.

In her office, Elizabeth hastily scribbles down the evidence information that she gathered from sneaking into the evidence warehouse. Ressler comes in and asks her if she’s hiding something. Before Elizabeth can answer, Agent Malik enters and tells Elizabeth that Dembe, Red’s bodyguard, made contact: Red wants to see Elizabeth alone.

In a park, Dembe tells Red that they’re due in Port-Au-Prince at noon. Elizabeth approaches and Red congratulates Elizabeth on the work she did to get Lorca arrested. Red tells Elizabeth that Lorca reached out to Red, asking for transportation out of the country, a new identity, papers, credit cards… he is clearly under the impression that he will be a free man tomorrow. Red tells Elizabeth that something is going to happen that will keep Lorca from going to jail.

Back in the hotel room, the naked man is wearing a gas mask and thick rubber gloves. He has a set of sharp, metal tools.

In a Washington D.C. courtroom, a prosecutor is explaining to the jury the several victims who were killed by Lorca’s criminal cartel. The victims were all witnesses and none of them have ever been found. A witness, Mr. Pena, explains that his son was taken and never found—he saw the people who killed his son. Suddenly, one of the jurors begins gasping for air. A medical team is cleaning out the room as Elizabeth takes the witness for protection. A U.S. Marshal comes to protect the witness and Elizabeth heads to find out what happened. The Marshals take the witness into a side room where the real Marshals are dead on the ground. The fake Marshals grin and inject the witness with something in his neck. Elizabeth and Ressler are told that the juror was poisoned and when they head to find the witness, all they find is the dead Marshal on the ground.

In Port-Au-Prince, Red is counting money and selling equipment and weapons to a Haitian man. Dembe gets a phone call from Elizabeth, who is furious about losing her witness. Red tells her that he warned her and told her everything he knew. Red explains that he did not offer his services to round up a run-of-the-mill drug lord, he cares about his Blacklist. Elizabeth explains that this drug lord disappeared hundreds of witnesses and the bodies were never found. This piques Red’s interest as he asks her to repeat the details about the bodies going missing. Red says that she will likely never find this witness again, either.

Back in the plasticized hotel room, the naked man unzips a body bag, revealing the witness, Mr. Pena. The man takes photos of the corpse and puts on his gas mask before dumping the body in the hotel Jacuzzi and pouring chemicals onto it.

In her office, Elizabeth is frustrated and goes back to the information she gleaned from the evidence room. All she found out was the location of the classified homicide. Back home, Elizabeth is still looking into it and Tom comes in and asks her how she’s doing. Tom can tell that Elizabeth isn’t okay and he tries to console her, thinking she’s upset about losing Mr. Pena. Tom asks about the note Elizabeth has on the paper, the date and location of the homicide. Luckily, Elizabeth was already able to scribble out the location name, but Tom sees the date: June 23, 2012. Tom asks her what the date means… aside from the best day ever? Elizabeth is confused as Tom explains that she must be cheering herself up by thinking of better times. Elizabeth opens a June 23, 2012 folder of photos and remembers that she and Tom were in Boston that weekend, Tom had a job interview and they had a great trip. Tom suggests that they take a different trip as soon as possible. Tom tells Elizabeth that he loves her and can always tell what she’s thinking. Elizabeth gets a phone call from Ressler, telling her that they know where Pena was taken.

At the hotel, Ressler and Malik are breaking down the crime scene for Elizabeth. They explain that the place is entirely clean—the only hair found is from his dog. They are stumped as to how to proceed. Elizabeth gets a phone call from Red on his private jet. Red asks if they found tape residue on the walls—they did. He then asks Elizabeth to get into the tub and smell the drain… she smells chemicals. Red says “You see, Lizzie, now I’m interested. The Stewmaker is in town. You’re going to need a plumber.”

Back at the FBI headquarters, Red explains that The Stewmaker is on the Blacklist. He is the person to call when someone needs to get rid of a body; he makes a chemical stew and then drains the corpses down the drain. Red tells them that he is a trophy collector… he keeps mementoes of his victims. He has served the needs of international syndicates and drug regimes, and holds the answers to hundreds of unsolved murders. Red says that he is notoriously cautious and Red doesn’t even know who The Stewmaker is—and he has tried to find him. Elizabeth says that Lorca obviously knows how to make contact. Red says that they need to catch him now, while he’s in town, or they will never see him again.

Malik is interrogating Lorca, promising him a plea agreement if he tells them how to find The Stewmaker. Malik then says that the government has to drop the case against Lorca, now that Pena is gone. Malik then says that they will instead be bringing money laundering charges against Lorca—even though the charges are trumped up, they can keep Lorca for as long as they want if they pass him off to Homeland Security. Lorca says that The Stewmaker is far more dangerous than anything the Agents can throw at him—he’ll take his chances with Homeland Security.

At an airport, Elizabeth is transporting Lorca to Homeland Security, still asking him to give up The Stewmaker. They disembark a helicopter and Lorca tells Elizabeth that she has no idea who he is. Suddenly, a rocket blows up the helicopter, throwing Lorca and Elizabeth to the ground. Lorca’s men pull up in an armored van with automatic weapons and kill everyone except Lorca and Elizabeth. Lorca is loaded onto the van and Elizabeth has a bag put over her head and kidnapped. The van speeds away from the wreckage.

At the FBI, Ressler and Cooper are asking Red about the abduction of Elizabeth. Red tells them that, luckily, he has a planned meeting to deliver Lorca a brand new identity. Ressler objects, saying he doesn’t want Red to do that. Red explains that they lost the case, they lost Lorca, they lost Elizabeth and says “I’d say that me having a meeting with the man is like you falling on your ass and landing in a pile of Christmas.” Red says that Lorca is going to be on guard and they can’t change Red’s normal routine at all. “You lost her,” Red says, “I can find her—it’s that simple.” Ressler insists that he is coming along and Red explains that he will not take responsibility for Ressler’s safety and makes no promises.

In a shady part of town, Ressler and Red are wearing suits, heading to the meet with Lorca. Red tells Ressler that he will always do what’s good for himself and, as such, Ressler can trust that. Before entering, Red says “Lorca will have questions about you, you’ll need to have good answers.” They head through a restaurant and meet Lorca while he’s eating with his men. Lorca asks who Ressler is and Red immediately says “Oh, this is Agent Ressler of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.” Ressler objects as Lorca’s men tackle him to the ground and put a knife to his throat. Lorca tells Ressler to give him one good reason not to cut his head off. Ressler fights off his attacker and launches into a made-up explanation that he is a dirty agent and he is the one who provides Red with all of the fake passports, fingerprints and identification for Lorca. “I’m not the guy you kill, Hector, I’m the guy you pay.” Red backs up Ressler’s story and is clearly very impressed and amused. Red gives Lorca his new life and tells him that he can’t leave for twelve hours. Lorca has made a mess for Red and he can’t get him out before then, because Lorca abducted an FBI agent. He asks if the agent is dead and Lorca says she isn’t dead yet. Red says that he will get Lorca out of the country but he needs to be in charge. He wants the name and location of the man holding Elizabeth. Red says that he wants the man. Lorca gets away, Ressler gets to rescue Elizabeth and look like a hero, and Red gets what he wants. Lorca says that all he has is a way to contact him—he doesn’t know who the man is.

Ressler and Malik explain to Cooper that they found the PO Box that Lorca used to contact The Stewmaker and they linked fingerprints from it to someone who purchased lots of chemicals. The Stewmaker has a name: Stanley Kornish. He’s a dentist in Maryland. Ressler and Malik are headed to find him now.

In the office, Red looks at the canine hair found at the scene of the crime. Red steals the hair and leaves suddenly with Dembe.

In the woods, The Stewmaker is driving a blue car. He exits and takes Elizabeth out of the trunk, alongside his massive dog. Elizabeth is blindfolded and her hands are bound. As The Stewmaker leads her through the woods, Elizabeth tells him who she is, pleading that she is a person and she has a husband.

Red is with his security team, asking Dembe to dial the Maryland State office of animal control. Red claims to be Stanley Kornish over the phone, asking them to track his lost dog for him.

In a house in the woods, Elizabeth is tied to a chair and blindfolded, asking The Stewmaker what his name is. The Stewmaker walks around in silence, looking at his keepsakes—he takes a tooth from each victim. Elizabeth tells him that she knows the name people call him. He breaks his silence and asks her what name they call him. He removes Elizabeth’s blindfold and she tells him that they call him The Stewmaker. He tells Elizabeth that he is doing what nature does to the body only faster, cleaner, and better. He takes his tools out, preparing to remove Elizabeth’s tooth to add to his collection.

Ressler, Malik and several state troopers burst into a home where a woman and child are startled. Ressler interrogates the woman—it’s The Stewmaker’s wife. She doesn’t know what is going on and says her husband is out of town and wants to know what this is about.

Back in the cabin, Elizabeth is asking The Stewmaker if he has a family. He says that he has an 11-year-old son and a nice wife. He asks Elizabeth if she is a mother and she says no. “That’s good… I was asked to make you suffer.” The Stewmaker explains that there is a nerve cluster under the shoulder muscle and the pain Elizabeth will experience should be quite intense. He stabs a long tool into Elizabeth’s shoulder and Elizabeth screams in pain.

Ressler is interrogating The Stewmaker’s wife. She tells them about the cabin in the woods. Ressler heads towards the cabin.

In Red’s car, Red says that they are getting close to the location and they need to stop to get some meat.

Back in the cabin, an injured Elizabeth asks The Stewmaker to tell her about nature, about how he makes the bodies dissolve. Then Elizabeth discovers that she is paralyzed; The Stewmaker froze her but made sure she can still feel pain. He is going to dissolve her while she is still alive. The Stewmaker wheels Elizabeth into the bathroom while he explains that he doesn’t normally do this but it’s what he is paid to do. As he puts on his gas mask, Elizabeth struggles out of her chair and strikes him from behind, fleeing the cabin before the paralysis can fully kick in. She stumbles through the woods and falls next to a tree. Unfortunately, The Stewmaker’s dog finds her and he arrives and punches her in the face and drags her limp body back to the cabin.

In the cabin, Elizabeth is conscious but cannot move. She looks at The Stewmaker and says “I was wrong about you… you’re not perfect.” The Stewmaker turns to find Red behind him and Red bashes him in the head. The Stewmaker’s dog eats the meat that Red brought, distracted. Red comforts Elizabeth and assures her that the effects of the paralysis will dissipate soon and she will be fine. He lovingly puts her legs into the wheelchair and turns her around so she can’t watch. Red turns back to The Stewmaker, who is awake and looking at him. “Okay,” Red says, “Shall we get started?”

Ressler and Malik are leading a SWAT strike team through the woods, looking for the cabin. Back inside, The Stewmaker is paralyzed by his own toxin as Red prepares the chemical bath to dissolve him. Red tells him a story of a man who lost his entire family, saying that man lived in a pit of despair. Years go by and he makes a promise to himself in his knotted mind. Years go by and his suffering becomes complicated… the man sees the wreckage he has left in his wake. It is now he who burns and slaughters and he knows in his heart that he must pay. “Doesn’t he, Stanley?”

Elizabeth, facing the other way, slurs to ask Red not to do this. Red throws The Stewmaker into the chemicals and Elizabeth looks horrified as she hears the sizzle. Ressler, Malik, and the other agents burst through the door. Red tells them that Elizabeth needs medical attention.

Malik: “How’d you get in here?”
Red: “That’s a pretty blouse.”

As the agents sweep the cabin and tend to Elizabeth, Red finds The Stewmaker’s album with photos of all of his victims. Red searches for a photo of one specific woman, removes it, and takes it with him.

Out of the cabin, Ressler helps Elizabeth to the ambulance. Elizabeth breaks down in tears and embraces Ressler. Later, in the ambulance, Elizabeth is sitting up, alert. Red delivers the photo album to Elizabeth. Elizabeth tells Red that he is no better than The Stewmaker after what he did and that Red is a monster. “Yes,” Red says. She asks him how he can live with that. Red says “By saving your life.”

The ambulance leaves and Ressler asks Red about Lorca, saying that since Lorca was disrespectful he doesn’t believe that Red will let him go. “Well, it is on my jet,” Red says.

Later, Red sits outside and looks at the photo of the dead woman that he took from The Stewmaker’s album.

Back at Elizabeth’s home, she rests after a bath and Tom comes in saying they should get out of town until she is ready to get back to work. He brings Elizabeth a brochure of a place they’ve been before where they can go and clear their heads. Tom hands Elizabeth a brochure for the Angel Station Hotel—Angel Station is the location of the classified homicide Elizabeth is investigating.