‘The Blacklist’ Fans Have a Devastating Theory About a Major Character and Yes — This One Hurts

The Blacklist fans think Season 8 writers have a lot of questions left to answer. The biggest has been teased since the show’s inception: who is Raymond Reddington (James Spader)? While that answer may not come until the end of the series, the most recent episode posed a new set of questions about FBI Agent Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone) and the safety of those around her. Here’s why fans think the end is near for one of the show’s biggest stars.

[Spoilers from The Blacklist Season 8 episode “Protean,” below]

Liz warned everyone of her wrath at the end of ‘The Blacklist’ Season 7

Amir Arison as Aram Mojtabai is dressed in a suit next to Laura Sohn as Agent Alina Park in all black, and Diego Klattenhoff as Donald Ressler in a suit. They all look concerned.
Amir Arison as Aram Mojtabai, Laura Sohn as Agent Alina Park, Diego Klattenhoff as Donald Ressler | Will Hart/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

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As nearly everything suffered amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in 2020, The Blacklist worked with what they had to bring season 7 to a close. The partially animated finale left fans with mixed reviews, especially regarding Katarina Rostova (Laila Robins) who was shot in season 8, episode 2. Some think she’ll resurface, but executive producer John Eisendrath told TV line in Nov. 2020, that’s a no-go.

“What we lost in not being able to have the end to Season 7 that we envisioned, we gained back in having such an adrenaline-filled beginning to Season 8,” he said. “We wanted to push Liz and Red apart to begin Season 8, and nothing would do that as well as killing Katarina immediately after Liz decided to side with her against Red.”

Liz warned Red that she’d be “done” with him if he killed Katarina, and she stuck to her guns for the duration of season 8.

“What Red absolutely won’t abide is someone he can’t trust knowing certain truths he won’t share,” Eisendrath said. “Once Dom (Brian Dennehy) told Katarina those truths, everything changed. Suddenly, killing her was worth the damage it would do to his relationship with Liz.”

Eisendrath added: “The death of Katarina makes Liz more resolute than ever about getting answers to questions she’s been asking for seven years. She’s willing to burn every bridge and cross every line in search of the truth. Her resolution, plus all she’s learned from Red over the years about thinking like a criminal, makes her one of Red’s most formidable adversaries.”

Season 8 has proven to keep Liz and Red at war all the way to her arrest in episode 18. There’s still a lot that can happen between now and the finale and one theory involves one of Liz’s closest confidantes.

Could the Season 8 finale mark the end of one key character?

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In season 1, Ressler was shot in the leg by one of Anslo Garrick’s (Ritchie Coster) mercenaries. The injury could’ve killed him but Reddington donated blood and saved him. Some think that moment was a predictor of things to come.

“Now who else is left that Liz care about that she can lose? #Ressler and Agnes. Something happens to either one she will be at a zone that she will never recover,” a fan stated on the show’s Instagram post.

Liz’s recent actions have put a lot of people in danger, including her daughter and former colleague, Ressler (Diego Klattenhoff). The fact that the two had a romantic fling for the first half of season 8 only makes this theory a little more plausible.

“By season’s end things will sit right, but with Ressler dead, season 9 will be Red/Liz/Dembe and the Task Force wrapping up the blacklist, Red’s 30 project,” a fan re-iterated on Reddit.

If the theories prove true, and Liz and Ressler’s close ties get him killed off the show, would it reform Liz’s bad behavior or would she someone blame this, too, on Reddington?

Others theorize on Reddit that Ressler could be Reddington’s biological son which is another reason he could be killed. While there’s not much to substantiate that, nothing is off-limits with The Blacklist writers.

As of now, Klattenhoff’s IMDb page doesn’t list any additional projects ahead. That doesn’t necessarily mean he’s not leaving the show but it does mean we can’t confirm Ressler’s demise on The Blacklist, either. If he remains close to Liz, it’s definitely not out of the question.

What’s ahead in episode 19 of ‘The Blacklist’?

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The trailer for episode 19, “Balthazar ‘Bino’ Baker,” shows that things are getting tense for the final few episodes of the season.

“Tell Townsend he’s about to find out what he’s up against,” Reddington says in the promo as he takes matters into his own hands (again). By the end of the 15-second clip, viewers are left with the image of Ressler falling to the ground. It’s unclear if he’s injured. Tune in to find out.

The Blacklist airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.