A lot happened in this 2 hour The Blacklist event, so we’re going to have to unpack all of it one piece at a time. There were some big revelations that finally shed some light on all the secrets that have been kept since the beginning of the series, but we still don’t know everything, including Red’s true identity.
The biggest revelation came during Red’s trial. In order to prove his innocence, Red had the Task Force obtain a tape that showed Katarina Rostova (Liz’s mother) had framed Raymond Reddington for an attack on a ship carried out by the KGB that left over a hundred people dead.
Red is on trial for treason, so the evidence that he was framed for this treasonous act gets him off the hook, at least for now. The jury finding him not guilty on this count gives Red a little space to breathe so he can work on getting himself out of prison and winning his trial for good.
This revelation though is huge, because it shows that Katarina framed the man, Raymond Reddington, who was the father of her child. This whole incident is why the Raymond Reddington we know became who he is. We still don’t know why the Red we know took on the real Raymond Reddington’s identity, but we now know at least some of what happened to Liz’s real father.
This certainly doesn’t paint Katarina in a good light, and to me it should give Liz more of a reason to not be so hard on the Raymond Reddington she now just calls, “the imposter.” I mean really, come on. Just call him Red for now.
The Reddington we know obviously has a good reason for keeping his identity hidden. If he didn’t have a good reason he never would have gone through all of this to keep it a secret, he would have just told her.
Red thrives in impossible situations, but not even he would purposely allow himself to face the death penalty for this long if just telling Liz the truth would solve the problem. There’s some huge revelation that would be so damaging for Liz to know that he would go to whatever lengths necessary to stop her from discovering it.
The most shocking twist to me though, was when Dembe lied about the identity of the informant who had turned Red in. Dembe knows that it was Liz, but he chose to lie to Red and keep Liz’s secret for her.
At first I thought it was because he was trying to protect Red from the pain of knowing that the one person he cared about in the world (besides Dembe) had betrayed him again, allowing him to face the death penalty. But the more I think about it, the less sense it makes.
Eventually Red will find out that Liz was the one who turned him in, and when he does he’s going to know that Dembe lied to him as well. Instead of saving him from pain, Dembe just doubled the amount of pain and betrayal that Red is going to feel when he eventually does find out. Dembe is the one person that Red trusts in the world. Never in a million years would he imagine that Dembe would lie to him about something like this.
I just hope that when Red eventually does find out the truth for himself, we’ll get to see him unleash his wrath on those who betrayed him. I really don’t want to see his face when he realizes Dembe lied to him, because that’s going to tear me a part.
Now, the other main part of the episodes was the reemergence of the partnership between Ressler and Liz. He was at her side throughout everything that went down is this 2 hour Blacklist event. He helped her get rid of a body, rescue Jennifer, and interrogate a drug mule in his apartment.
When I first started watching The Blacklist I wanted nothing more than for Liz and Ressler to end up together. But now, it’s pretty much the last thing I want. The Keenler shipping part of my heart that I can’t quite get rid of is jumping for joy, because it really does look like the story is heading for a Liz and Ressler relationship, but the rest of me is rejecting it with all of my being.
After everything that has happened during this season of The Blacklist and much of the last, I don’t like the person Liz has become. She’s selfish, doesn’t take the time to think about how her actions affect other people, no longer cares about the greater good, and is just plain annoying. Liz is no longer the person that I want Ressler to be with. He deserves someone so much better. Someone who actually cares about other people and isn’t constantly focused on their own problems.
Unfortunately though, Ressler’s actions this season really seem to indicate that he loves Liz. Sure she’s his partner, and partners support each other, but this is going above and beyond any relationship partners have.
Liz turns up late at night at his apartment with a stranger’s blood on her hands telling him that she needs to show him something outside, all while his girlfriend is in his apartment. And what does Ressler do? He gets his coat, tells his girlfriend he’ll be back later, and stays up all night investigating with Liz.
In the strange world of the FBI, that’s love.
Now granted his girlfriend was a woman he had hired from the Alter Ego company the Task Force investigated, but they had seemed to develop an actual relationship that wasn’t made up, and he still left her in a heartbeat to stay up working all night with Liz.
Who knows where this will end up going, but everything seems to be pointing towards Keenler. Part of me hates it, and part of me is thrilled. I’ll just have to see how Liz changes from here. Maybe she’ll do something to redeem herself to the point where I can like her again.
That being said, it was great to see Diego Klattenhoff get to play such a central role in these two episodes.
Ressler’s testimony on behalf of Red is partly what allowed him to be declared innocent, and he was the one who delivered the tape to the court room that had Katarina’s confession to framing Red recorded on it.
He even got to give the prosecutor (who didn’t believe Red actually had any tangible evidence) a snarky, smug smile when he arrived with the tape and it made the whole 2 hours worth watching.
Diego Klattenhoff is one of the best actors on the show and doesn’t get nearly enough screen time or recognition as he deserves. Any episode that has more Diego is a good episode, no matter how I feel about Liz Keen at the moment.
After this 2 hour event, The Blacklist is taking a 2 week break, but when it does return, Red will finally be out of prison, back in the world where he belongs being a complete badass and absolute legend.
Check out the synopsis and trailer for the episode in 2 weeks below, and maybe use this little hiatus to process everything that just happened.
The Task Force delves into the unregulated world of cryptocurrency in order to stop an impending attack, while Red undertakes a risky endeavor in order to secure his freedom.
The Blacklist returns March 8, at 9/8c on NBC.