‘The Blacklist’ 5×16 Review: ‘The Capricorn Killer’

This week’s episode, “The Capricorn Killer” may have been the most gruesome one that The Blacklist has ever delivered. The woman who Liz thought was just her FBI psychologist assigned to evaluate her for reinstatement into the bureau, turned out to be secretly leading a team who killed serial killers. The Task Force came on to the case when a serial killer was found murdered, in the same manner in which he had murdered his own victims. The psychologist made sure Liz was the one to investigate the case by killing the man, “The Capricorn Killer,”who was responsible for a string of killings that the bureau was never able to solve. Liz had been one of the agents in charge of investigating the original case. The psychologist wanted to test Liz to see if she had the right stuff to join her team, to see if Liz was willing to paint outside the lines to deliver justice.

It was an interesting look at vigilante justice, one that left viewers with the question, is killing someone justified when they are a murderer? My answer to that would be no, arrest them and let the court system handle it, but Liz’s answer in this case was yes, killing them was justified. At the end of “The Capricorn Killer” when Ressler, Samar, Liz and some other agents were chasing the escaped perpetrators through the forest, Liz let the psychologist escape and return to her position at the FBI. Liz is perfectly fine with lying to her partners on The Task Force, and tonight was no exception. Liz told them that the psychologist had gotten away, and Ressler comforted her, saying that she shouldn’t beat herself up about it. I do understand Liz’s reasoning for letting the psychologist go. First of all, she didn’t want to have to start her psych eval over with another psychologist (she got her badge back at the end of “The Capricorn Killer”) and the woman was killing serial killers, not innocent people, but Liz’s decision still bothered me. Throughout “The Capricorn Killer” Liz emphasized that she was “obsessed” with delivering justice, yet she voluntarily let a murderer go. It shouldn’t have mattered who the psychologist had killed, just that she had killed someone. An FBI agent isn’t supposed to condone murder, and that is exactly what Liz did.

There was also a development in the conflict between Red and Ian Garvey. Red, as we feared, decided to sort of cut a deal with Garvey. The Task Force had secured a witness who saw Garvey kill Singleton, but Red sent people to kidnap the witness so he couldn’t testify. Red didn’t deliver the witness to Garvey to be killed of course, but he still derailed the case that The Task Force was building to bring Tom’s killer to justice. Red has no intention of letting Garvey get away with the two murders, but he’s going to make sure he gets his dufflebag of bones back first. Whatever his secret is, Red is willing to risk betraying Liz to keep it hidden.

I’m not going to lie, I was extremely disappointed in Red for this decision. At this point I honestly don’t care what the secret is, I wish Red would just let the cat out of the bag and get it over with. Someone is going to find out what it is someday, no matter how many times Red tries to keep it from getting out. It would be a better course of action to just tell the secret himself and let the chips fall where they may. If Liz finds out what it is and Red wasn’t the one to tell her, he might lose her forever and I wouldn’t blame Liz one bit if she never talked to him again. If Red hadn’t stolen their witness, they would have had an almost bulletproof case against Ian Garvey and Tom’s killer would have gone to jail.

We’re still left with many unanswered questions, perhaps the biggest one being, how does Ian Garvey know Red, and why is he interested in his secret? Hopefully this, and what Red’s secret is will be answered soon. Regardless, “The Capricorn Killer” was a brilliant episode, albeit gruesome and disturbing.

The Blacklist is taking another little break, returning on April 4, but it looks like Liz is going to find out that Red stole their key witness and is going to confront him about his betrayal. Watch the trailer and read the synopsis below for the next episode “Anna-Gracia Duerte.”


When an associate of the Nash Syndicate is murdered, Red sets Liz and the Task Force on the case in order to recover evidence crucial to bringing down Ian Garvey. Meanwhile, Aram considers a step forward in his relationship with Samar.

The Blacklist returns April 4 at 8/7c on NBC.

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