Life in a Cult | The Blacklist “The Kenyon Family” Review
The Blacklist’s twelfth episode, “The Kenyon Family,” showcases everything that makes The Blacklist a hit show. We were treated to a very creepy polygamist cult led by Justin Kenyon. On his property, Kenyon had multiple storage containers for the criminals of the world. These storage containers mostly held a plethora of weapons. When Kenyon’s compound gets hit, and no one can get in touch with him, the criminals will start to get antsy. Time to cue the FBI.
Naturally, Raymond Reddington knows all about Justin Kenyon and starts to describe him to Lizzie. Surprising everyone, she knew exactly who Justin Kenyon is and relayed that the Justice Department has been after him for years. Unfortunately, he has a slew of the best lawyers; even the IRS can’t find anything in their yearly audits. When Red explains about the storage containers on Kenyon’s property as well as the fact that no one has heard from him for awhile, Lizzie agrees to get the FBI task force to look into it.
This case is particularly disturbing for multiple reasons. The opening scene shows Justin Kenyon preaching to his flock. He makes mention about daughters lying with their fathers. Then, we see a very young girl walk forward in a wedding dress about to be married to him. I was almost happy to see him compound get hit if only for the fact that the little girl wouldn’t have to marry him.
Samar had a particularly great showing in this episode. I have been somewhat wary of her since she joined the task force. I’m still not sure what her connection is to Red or why he was so persistent that she be a part of it, but at least I’m starting to like her more. After the compound was raided, a couple of local cops find a white van on the side of the road. When the one cop gets to the driver’s side window, he says, “Hold your fire, it’s just a…” He couldn’t finish his sentence before the van explodes killing the cops in the process. When they find a second van presumably with the same fire power inside, enough to level five square blocks, the police have the van surrounded. Samar finds herself uttering the same words as the local cop but, she at least finishes the sentence, “Hold your fire, it’s just a kid.”
Samar decides to approach the child on her own. She sees him holding a detonator for the explosives inside the van. She introduces herself and tries to talk him down. She tells him that his plan isn’t going to work. He was supposed to kill a lot of people, but if he presses the detonator, then he will only kill two people, himself and Samar. She tells him that she’s not ready to die, and in the end, he puts the detonator down and gets out of the van.
Now, there is only one remaining van. Ressler and Keen, along with FBI and local cops, finally go take down Kenyon’s compound. They find that all of the adults have been murdered in the church and Kenyon and the children are nowhere to be found. Also, the storage containers have been raided. These containers included three hellfire missiles. One of the best scenes in this episode was when Reddington confronted a woman inside a flower shop. She was having a man beaten in her back room, and Reddington asks for her undivided attention. The woman is the owner of the hellfire missiles and Reddington needs the activation codes.
At the compound, Ressler and Keen find a young girl who was hiding in one of the storage containers. While they are trying to get her to safety, she keeps talking about “The Watchers.” On their way down the mountain from the compound, their car is taken out, and they crash into a tree. Wild boys come and take them prisoner. We learn that these boys are more victims of Kenyon’s cult. A former member of the cult explains to Samar that Kenyon believed that every man should have three wives. Well when the wives started having babies, there was an influx of boys. These boys were then cast out around ages 8-10 before they hit puberty; they were left in the woods to fend for themselves.
It is revealed that these boys took it upon themselves to carry out Kenyon’s beliefs. He believed that all cops and FBI will go to hell and that New Babylon needs to be burned in a reign of fire. The boys were the ones driving the vans full of explosives, and they were the ones who raided the compound and the storage containers. It was a particularly tough case to watch. This man, Justin Kenyon, whom the boys murdered by the way, is responsible for all of the terror and death that happened in this place. These boys are lost because of him.
While Reddington was helpful with the case, he was hardly ever local during this episode. He does show up at Kenyon’s compound to check on his storage container. Now, we understand why Red was so concerned with catching Justin Kenyon in the first place. In his storage container was a car with the President of the United States emblem on the side. Wait, what? We are going to need more of a back story with this one! Red took a case out of the trunk and left.
In an overarching story for the season, Reddington met with him DMV ally, Glen Carter, to help locate Alan Fitch’s safe. Remembering back, Alan Fitch exploded in the box that was meant to keep Reddington inside. Before dying, Fitch revealed to Red that he had a safe in St. Petersburg. Reddington takes Glen with him to find the safe. Inside they find a phone number. When Reddington calls someone answers and realizes that they have found the safe, but Red has no idea who is on the other end. I guess that is one of the next mysteries of The Blacklist.