‘The Blacklist’: This Theory About Mrs. French Explains That Shocking Season 8 Finale

NBC’s The Blacklist is nothing if not ambitious. The crime drama that began in 2013 managed to keep viewers guessing for eight seasons, with another on the way. In two separate episodes, Mrs. French’s presence opened up new threads of questions. Who plays the character, and what exactly is her reason for entering Liz Keen‘s (Megan Boone) life?

Who plays Mrs. French on ‘The Blacklist’?

Victoria Clark as Mrs. French, Hazel and Ginger Mason as Agnes Keen sit on the cough together to read a book.
Victoria Clark as Mrs. French, Hazel, and Ginger Mason as Agnes Keen | Will Hart/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

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Mrs. French appeared in two season 8 episodes of The Blacklist — “Misère” and “Konets.” Broadway star Victoria Clark took the role as Agnes’s nanny under somewhat mysterious circumstances. According to IMDb, the Dallas, Texas native studied music at Yale University, followed by graduate school at New York University.

Fans of The Blacklist might recognize Clark from the theatre crowd. She won her first Broadway award for Stephen Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park With George. She’s also a Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle winner. Clark’s appearance on The Blacklist has caused quite a stir — and possibly for a good reason.

Is this Mrs. French’s true motive?

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For years, fans have tossed around various theories about Reddington’s true identity. From an all-but-confirmed “Rederina (i.e., he is actually Katerina Rostova)” to Liz’s father, uncle, or unrelated imposter, it’s all been said. Among those theories is one that hints at Mrs. French as a working asset for Reddington to watch over Liz Keen (Megan Boone)and Agnes, just like the fake Katerina Rostova (aka Tatiana Petrova). There’s even one that suggests Mrs. French is the real Katerina Rostova (which could also be the real Red), but we’ll unpack that one another time.

There are also thoughts that Mrs. French could be the real Katerina’s mother and that, possibly, everything we’ve been told about the woman is a lie: she’s not dead, and Reddington could’ve initially moved her to safety before she turned on him. All of these theories have enough meat to chew.

For now, there’s one possibility that Mrs. Kaplan/Kate (Susan Blommaert) put in motion a few seasons back. Not only has Mrs. French encouraged Liz to continue her revenge on Reddington, but Mr. Kaplan mentioned in earlier episodes (multiple times) that she has a sister in Chicago whom she wanted young Liz (aka Masha) to stay with.

Looking back at previous mentions in various episodes, Mrs. French came into the story when Liz searched for Mr. French because he would introduce Liz to her mother’s contacts. Then, he mysteriously died and suddenly Mrs. French — or a woman pretending to be her — swoops in.

This theory makes sense because Kate always wanted to keep Liz (and Agnes) safe, and she lost her life trying to take Reddington down. Liz’s hallucinations of Kate happen in season 8 when we first meet Mrs. French on-screen. There’s a possibility that Kate contacted Mrs. French before she jumped from the bridge to ensure Liz would still be protected.

All of that said, it’s also possible Mrs. French’s presence could be there to help Liz and Agnes go into hiding, which explains the season 8 finale while connecting multiple pieces about her from the season.

‘The Blacklist’ Season 9 might explore Mrs. French’s presence

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There’s a lot to digest, but season 9 opens up the possibility that season 9 will reveal Mrs. French’s real motivations. Writers are very aware of fan theories and canon, so it’s also possible they’re trying really hard to throw everyone off the trail.

Still, Mrs. French can’t be what she seems. There are too many inconsistencies and odd conversations that remind us of Tom Keen (Ryan Eggold). Whether it’s Reddington’s doing, Kate’s, or an unknown party, we can’t wait to find out.

The Blacklist returns Oct. 21 on NBC.