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Not everything was revealed in The Blacklist season 8 finale “Konets,” but the episode left enough clues to deduce what happened. The previous episodes “Godwin Page” and “Nachalo” allowed former FBI agent Liz Keen (Megan Boone) to finally get some of the answers she’s been pining for the entire series. Theories about Raymond “Red” Reddington’s (James Spader) true identity have circulated ’round and ’round since his opening words in the pilot episode but “Konets” was the first time writers strongly hinted at who he is. Still, some fans think it’s another red herring.

‘The Blacklist’ revealed that the Katarina Rostova Liz knew was a fake

Laila Robins as Katarina Rostova looks on in a black and white close-up.
Laila Robins as Katarina Rostova | Will Hart/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

It’s no secret to reveal how many Reddit threads discuss the possibility that Red’s true self is actually that of [the real] Katarina Rostova. Those in this camp support the theory with explainations ad nauseaum — namely that people have died to keep it a secret, if true.

The season 8 finale either wanted fans to believe in this theory, tossed out another red herring, or they’re deliberately messing with viewers who’ve long-debated the “Rederina” arc. Things only became more confusing when it’s revealed that the version of Katarina Liz came to know, love, and defend (played by Laila Robins), was actually Tatiana Petrova, a spy and KGB agent.

Tatiana’s sole mission was to pose as the real Katarina for safety reasons. But, as things tend to do on The Blacklist, it didn’t go as such. When Tatiana discovered Red knew where the real Katarina was, she attempted to get it out of him to protect herslef. Then, he killed her to protect the secret another day.

The season 8 finale hinted at Red’s identity

In “Godwin Page,” “Nachalo,” and “Konets,” the mythology surrounding Red’s identity came to a frustrating end. After killing Neville Townsend, Red tells Liz that many others will be after her when they learn of his death. This leads to Red’s deal: she has to kill him to show the criminals she could do what no one else has been able to do.

Though reluctant at first, Liz eventually agrees and the finale episode spends enough time allowing Red to say his goodbyes. Things go awry when Liz prepares to shoot Red but finds a bullet through her own heart from one of Townsend’s men. She goes down without verbal confirmation or answers as to who Red is — and she didn’t get to read the letter he promised he’d have given to her only upon his death.

In what we’re to believe are Liz’s final moments alive, she has a montage of memories, including those from childhood where the real Katarina’s face (Lotte Verbeek) pushes though. With this vague move, writers suggest that the “Rederina” theory is true — that Raymond Reddington has actually been Liz’s mother Katarina Rostova all along.

“The way he’s holding her after she gets shot is the same as when Katarina did, plus there are many hints throughout the episode that are hinting towards red being Katarina. Him telling her she won’t kill him if she opens the letter, and many more hints throughout all seasons( there are some plotholes but in the end the conclusion is that he’s Katarina),” one fan wrote on Reddit.

“Tons of energy expended here on misdirection and personal biases. Blacklister #101 provides the canonical consistency and plausibility to make Redarina possible; The Alchemist S1E12 explains explains how Katarina could pass the biometric and DNA tests in the initial surrender in S1E1 and all other alleged “plot holes” involving DNA, blood type, and gender. Occam’s Razor and an open mind can serve you well,” another stated on a different thread.

However, even with all of Red’s stories, comments, and anecdotes through eight seasons, some still don’t think this to be the case.

‘The Blacklist’ fans disagree with the theory


‘The Blacklist’: Everything We Know About Liz Keen’s Alleged Death

Many have pointed to something Red said in a previous season as an argument to the Red/Katerina theory:

I was a difficult child. People saw me one way, I saw myself another. I felt misunderstood, acted out. My father fancies himself a disciplinarian. Very moralistic. Instead of trying to understand me, he excommunicated me.


However, for every “Rederina” case presented online, another opposing thread pops up to suppport otherwise.

“After reading this board for a couple months now, reading the best of the Redarina arguments, it seems fairly obvious how Redarina evolved: from silly fan theory to the writing room. And not the other way around. There is nothing, literally nothing, in the first four seasons that could be classified as a hint or nod towards Redarina,” one viewer said.

“Why would Katarina go through all that to become a man when she can change her face and be with her child? Instead she somehow becomes the perfect lookalike of her dead lover who she accused of treason and made into a criminal on the run. That would be stupid of her and then there is no reason to do that. What is the point? It wasn’t to protect Masha because no one could find her with Sam,” another said.

“That kind of surgery would need a magic wand and sorcery to happen to begin with and it’s not believable at all to anyone. It makes a joke of people who have gender identity issues and struggle all their lives. Katarina was shown as a straight woman who loved sex with men and Red loves women,” another fan added.

Both sides offer interesting food for thought, but with such an ambiguous season 8 finale, we can’t say what will happen moving forward. That said, some have a few ideas.

Here’s how some fans think ‘The Blacklist’ can explain what’s going on

The possibilities for season 9 aren’t exactly endless. There are a lot of plot points to cover and all without Boone or series creator Jon Bokenkamp. Still, a few viewers think they could write a way out of it.

“If red is redarina …..Liz could be anyone next season- and there for someone else could play her. and her daughter is still there also-and keeping her save is also an objective… i see still a lot of story potential when done right…” one fan commented.

I”n the end, I hope that they opt for a sleeper agent plot, and not Redarina. I hope that they have just played games with the audience about Redarina in a wink-wink kind of way,” another said.

And finally: “I have been a proponent of the Red as Katerina theory for a few years. But recently I saw a post that made me think. There have been a couple episodes over the course of the series that involve memory alteration. What if the Red we know actually just has the memories of both the real Red and Katerina? He’d be both of them and neither of them at the same time.”

Whatever writers decide to do with the “Rederina” story, fans will be watching, taking notes, and preparing to post an in-depth analysis. For fans’ sake, let’s hope they get it right.