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Nearly two weeks after The Blacklist Season 8 finale “Konets,” and fans are still buzzing about that ending. The emotion-packed episode left things on an unsettling note when former FBI agent Liz Keen (Megan Boone) is shot and killed in front of Raymond “Red” Reddington (James Spader). We’re still processing the string of events — namely that semi-reveal hinting at Red’s true identity. However, if there’s one thing we know to be true about The Blacklist it’s that things are never what they seem.

‘The Blacklist’ is built on the premise that Raymond Reddington is a liar

James Spader as Raymond 'Red' Reddington looks on in his trademark fedora and sunglasses.
James Spader as Raymond ‘Red’ Reddington | Will Hart/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

In 2013, NBC introduced one of the most cunning, ruthless (but charming) criminals in TV history. Raymond “Red” Reddington never claimed to be a truth-teller. It’s quite the opposite. In the pilot episode, Red makes it very clear to Liz Keen there’s no reason she should ever believe him because he’s a criminal and “criminals are notorious liars.”

If we stick with that reasoning eight seasons later, how much of what we’ve been told in regards to Red is actually true? The series has explored a number of plotlines with so-called explanations to justify his sudden re-emergence in the world after 20 years in hiding. His biggest, he’s always said, is to keep “Lizzie” safe. The argument is that had he not entered her life, would she be in any less danger?

Regardless, the Raymond Reddington fans have known and loved for eight years has always only guaranteed us one thing and one thing only: he’s lying. The question becomes, where do the lies and the truth begin? The season 8 finale episode “Konets” attempted to answer the longest question of the series but fans say it’s not enough.

‘Konets’ suggested a long-held fan theory about Red

Viewers who tuned into the season 8 finale “Konets” are still trying to unpack what those final moments actually meant for the series as a whole. Once Liz is shot and lying on the sidewalk, her final non-verbal moments come as a flashback of memories that include the real Katarina Rostova (Lotte Verbeek) as Liz’s mother.

Fans are most upset by the non-direct insinuation that as Liz looks into Red’s eyes, she seemingly understands he and Katarina are one and the same. Rightfully so, many have taken to the Reddit threads to dissect the old “Rederina” theory to weigh the pros and cons of this “revelation.”

“There is so much I am angry with about TBL that I don’t even know where to start. The too long soapy drama about who Red was that has had more red herrings that stink than a dodgy whodunnit,” one fan said.

This fan said what a lot of others are feeling, proving The Blacklist has thrown everyone off their game (again).

Some think things can’t be what they seem on ‘The Blacklist’


‘The Blacklist’: 7 Reasons to Give Season 9 a Chance

The debate about Red continues, but it’s worth noting the public exits of both Boone and series creator Jon Bokenkamp. The real reasons for their abrupt departures aren’t clear but some speculate creative difference as the source for Bokenkamp. That remains to be seen as the show has been renewed for another season. Still, many others out there aren’t buying the whole “Rederina” theory, claiming this is what The Blacklist does — trick fans.

“Not everyone thinks Red is Katerina and this show has given so many possible answers and made it look like it was all solved when it wasn’t before now. The ending could be interpreted in different ways like Red is her father so she sees both parents, or she’s just seeing things and cuts back to him, that is their editing so they could be misleading everyone as he may not be a relation of hers at all,” one fan said in the same thread.

“I wonder if maybe it’s all smoke and mirrors and Boone didn’t quit. Maybe she’ll show up next season out of the blue or maybe they have already filmed some scenes with her for next season. They done the she’s dead thing but not really a few times why not again? Maybe it’s some convoluted plan set up by her to make red and everyone think she’s gone,” another said.

Could ‘The Blacklist’ conveniently ‘forget’ what happened?

Some think season 9 will pretend the previous events in “Konets” never happened as a way to save face.

“Season 9 will make no mention of Redarina. They’ll drop it like a hot potato. And really, with Keen out of the picture, there is no reason to deal with Redarina at all. It was put there purely as shock value when Keen finally found out at the end of the series,” one fan stated.

“I don’t see them EVER touching the identity thing again. The one person who was literally dying to know is now, well, dead. They’ll burn the letter or something and at some point, Raymond will end up dying as the most emblematic McGuffin in TV history,” another added. “They wrote themselves into a corner and that ambiguous flashback was the easiest out.”

“Either we have Rederina as the final outcome or we have the RRR, which would mean S.8.21 would all be a lie, and RRR never died trying to get into the car and him dying in Katerina’s arms. Nothing else works but these two possibilities because the writers screwed themselves by backing into a corner they can never get out of,” another said.

With all the fakeouts and twists and turns throughout eight seasons of The Blacklist, we can’t take what we’ve seen at face value. There’s still time to upend “Nachalo” and “Konets” in season 9, but it’ll take some pretty clever writing to back all the way out of this one.