Did ‘The Blacklist’ Writers Troll Fans With the Season 8 Finale ‘Konets’? Here’s Why Some Think a Popular Theory Won’t Stick

If you’ve tuned in to the most recent season of NBC’s The Blacklist, you’ll recognize a few not-so-subtle hints about Raymond “Red” Reddington’s (James Spader) true identity. Without directly stating who he is, the episode utilized a long-held fan theory that Red is actually Katarina Rostova (Lotte Verbeek). Now, fans think writers are messing with them with no intent to carry the story forward.

‘The Blacklist’ fans have posted ‘Rederina’ theories for years

James Spader as Raymond 'Red' Reddington sits next to Laila Robins as Katarina Rostova on a park bench.
James Spader as Raymond ‘Red’ Reddington, Laila Robins as Katarina Rostova | Will Hart/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

RELATED: ‘The Blacklist’: Did the Season 8 Finale ‘Konets’ Definitively Answer Whether Raymond Reddington Is Liz’s Father?

Almost as far back as the series began, The Blacklist has managed to keep viewers interested with the twists and turns revolving around Red. That’s eight seasons investing in the central character with one unanswered question: who is Raymond Reddington really?

Hundreds of Reddit threads have dissected that question to its core with fans re-watching old episodes to draw conclusions and make predictions about the series endgame. A couple of seasons in, theories began circulating that Red is the real Katarina Rostova. The reasoning — as semi-explained in “Nachalo” — is that Katarina was a wanted spy. And, because the real Raymond Reddington died without anyone knowing, she could assume his identity to keep herself and their daughter Masha/Liz Keen (Megan Boone) safe.

With this theory of “Rederina’s” existence, others made clear points on why it can’t be true. Some pointed to writers’ mistakes in the backstory and numerous plotholes. However, the dedicated “Rederina” fans have just as many points as to why it’s the only answer that makes sense. But, are the writers just messing with fans for believing a theory they won’t implement in season 9?

Some think writers used ‘Konets’ and ‘Nachalo’ to troll theorists

RELATED: ‘The Blacklist’: Red Previously Said ‘Everything About Me Is a Lie’ — so Was ‘Konets’ Another Red Herring?

The second-to-last episode of The Blacklist Season 8 “Nachalo” explored the mythology behind Red’s “blacklist.” Along with that came more pieces of Katerina’s story to connect all the dots made throughout the series. At least, that’s possibly what writers want fans to think.

As some pointed out on Reddit, there were little-to-no clues that Red could be Katerina in earlier seasons. They say that, when stalled, writers might’ve looked to fan theories to write themselves out of a corner.

“Personally, I think a Redarina is a cheap, shoddy GOTCHA but it is what it is. I won’t write encyclopedic deep dives about the last 8 years to prove it one way or the other,” one fan said.

“But why… WHY would they shift to red being Katarina?? was it a joke from the writers who read fan theories and said, “you know, these guys are so desperate for answers they think that Raymond is Katarina LOL. maybe.. maybe we should make it true so they can collectively lose their minds??” yeah I feel it went something along those lines,” another said.

Plenty of other ‘Blacklist’ fans reiterated more of the same

One mention of “Rederina” and fans quickly swing to one side of the other. However, those that believe it to be true don’t mince words.

“I tend to think that the one thing they pulled from the fan base is the need for Red to be her parent. So…they’re staring down the barrel of who can Red be now? And the answer, the twist, the shock value heard round the world of James Spader, bada–, bloody, murderous Red Reddington being Mommy! was enticing. They patted themselves on the back and raised a glass to the sheer genius that was Redarina (/s) and then we are introduced to Katarina Rostova, the most resourceful spy in the world. From that day on, it was The Katarina Show. Every road led back to the infamous Russian ballerina spy,” another fan added.

And finally: “There is no doubt in my mind that the show writers stole Redarina from fans who misinterpreted Cape May. There’s nothing that even comes close to supporting it until maybe season seven. Not a lick of evidence. Just silly double entendres in seasons seven and eight. Then Megan Boone announced she was leaving and JB was forced to finally put up. To give us the BIG REVEAL,” this fans said.

Season 9 could change everything you think you know about ‘The Blacklist in order to pivot

RELATED: ‘The Blacklist’ Season 8 Finale ‘Konets’ Semi-Revealed Red’s Identity — Here’s Why Fans Disagree

Despite the seemingly overwhelming sense of Red’s identity, there’s a fear among the fanbase that, without series creator Jon Bokenkamp, writers (and the network) will retcon “Rederin” in exchange for a new answer.

“I sincerely doubt them when they say they had the end planned from the start but they kept getting extended and kept having to come up with stuff and now just want the most shocking reveal they can come up with,” one fan said.

They really overlooked many, many things that had been building up for years. Also, it’s a TV show – unless they spell it out I don’t take anything as a reveal, not after all these twists and turns along the way. I don’t think they will get back to the identity issue ever again though,” another said in s different thread.

Why some don’t think NBC will continue exploring the theory

Some don’t think NBC will ide out the “Rederina” theory so as not to ostracize some viewers.

“I guess B. makes more sense and less has to be retconned, but I don’t want them to go all woke and preachy. I’d much prefer if she just did what she had to do to keep Masha safe. Either way, everyone will be asking about her romantic preferences…just a mess,” this fan said.

“If JB set out to craft a story of “a mother would go to ANY lengths to protect her child”, and Katarina is Red, then he’s succeeded to a degree. However, you’re probably right that there will be backlash regardless of the reveal from all sides,” another said.

Whether season 9 brings real answers or not remains to be seen but you can count on fans holding The Blacklist writers accountable.