‘The Blacklist’ Season 9: Episode 9 Sneak Peek Hints Dembe/Red Conflict Escalates

The Blacklist Season 9 returns with a new episode tonight, and it looks like it’s going to be a doozy. Fans have been wondering since season 9 began how and why Dembe left Red to join the FBI after Liz Keen’s death. Red already feels that Dembe betrayed him, but a sneak peek clip of the new episode hints things may get even worse between the two of them.

Hisham Tawfiq as Dembe Zuma in The Blacklist Season 9. Dembe wears a striped sweater and black coat and looks distressed.
Hisham Tawfiq as Dembe Zuma in ‘The Blacklist’ Season 9 | Will Hart/NBC

Dembe and Red have been at odds in ‘The Blacklist’ Season 9

When The Blacklist Season 9 began, it quickly became clear that things weren’t right between Dembe and Red. Dembe joined the FBI and left behind his days of protecting Red. It’s clear that something went down between the former friends in the years following Liz’s death.

Not only that, but Red also discovered that Dembe gave Liz the letter revealing his true identity. In episode 8, Red blames Dembe for not noticing Vandyke, the man who would go on to shoot Liz, at the coffee shop where Dembe gave her the letter. He scolds Dembe for not doing his job and protecting her.

Hisham Tawfiq as Dembe Zuma and James Spader as Raymond "Red" Reddington in The Blacklist Season 9. Dembe sits at a table looking up at Red.
Hisham Tawfiq as Dembe Zuma and James Spader as Raymond “Red” Reddington in ‘The Blacklist’ Season 9 | Will Hart/NBC

A sneak peek for episode 9 teases the conflict between Raymond Reddington and Dembe will escalate

Episode 12 is titled “Boukman Baptiste.” Usually, episodes of The Blacklist are named after the blacklister criminal they center around. However, episode 12 does not have a number in the title, which suggests that Baptiste isn’t a blacklister at all.

When an episode isn’t named after a blacklister criminal, it is usually atypical in some way. Often times the episode fills in the details of a character through flashbacks. The synopsis for episode 12 reads, “A spate of coordinated attacks on Red’s lieutenants puts Dembe in imminent danger, prompting him to relive the events that led him to join the FBI two years earlier,” according to cartermatt.com.

A sneak peek clip for The Blacklist Season Episode 12 shared by TV Guide teased that things are only going to get worse between Red and Dembe. Boukman Baptiste has a woman held hostage in his car. He calls Dembe, who begs him not to hurt her. Baptiste says, “I have no interest in hurting her, only you.”

Dembe then offers to get Baptiste information that will help him take down Raymond Reddington. When Dembe hangs up the phone, Ressler asks if he thinks Baptiste believes that Dembe will help him take down Reddington. “He should because it’s true,” Dembe replies.

When does ‘The Blacklist’ Season 9 Episode 9 air?

The Blacklist Season 9 returns with episode 9 on Jan. 20, 2022, at 8 p.m. EST on NBC. Episode 9 promises to provide a lot of answers for fans who have questions about what went down between Red and Dembe. It’s also important to remember that The Blacklist will soon be going on another break while NBC airs the Winter Olympics in February.

RELATED: ‘The Blacklist’ Season 9: This Compelling Theory Says Someone Is Baiting Red to Kill Dembe