VonBrandon Rowe/November 3, 2021 7:43 p.m. Mr. EAST
Contains spoilers for "The Blacklist" Season 8 Episode 22 - "Konets"
When The Blacklist first premiered on September 23, 2013, no one could have guessed that the series would last as long as it has. From the start of the pilot, it was clear that the series had a very repeatable formula (always important in a police process), but also an incredibly dense mythology that could be explored in very small chunks at a time.
After eight full seasons of tracking down leads, initiating and/or answering a litany of hashes, and going through a literal list of criminals, drug lords, and arms dealers, the cast of The Blacklist finds itself at a major crossroads in the Season 8 finale. With Townsend finally dead and the Townsend board of directors essentially gone with him, Red (James Spader), Liz (Megan Boone) and Dembe (Hisham Tawfiq) flee the scene of Townsend's death. In an episode titled "Konets", which means "end" in Russian, the team sets off to greet the new world ahead.
Of course, Townsend's death doesn't solve all of his problems, and in fact creates some new ones.
Red plots for Liz to kill him.
As listeners have known for some time, with no ongoing treatment,Red is no longer of this world. Red has been battling an unexplained neurological illness since Season 6. Although the treatment had previously shown to improve his health in the short term, in the season 8 finale Red decides that he would rather die now on purpose than prolong the inevitable. Rather than slowly recover from his illness, Red devises a plan for Liz to carry out publicly and declares himself heir to his life's work. Liz is initially opposed to the plan, but later agrees after reflecting on the direction her life has taken her. The plan is for Liz to wait for Red outside Pascual's restaurant and shoot him as soon as he comes out. Red's goal is to ensure that every major newspaper in the world publishes a picture of him being killed by Liz.
For Red, such a calculated plan not only shows how much he cares for Liz, but also how much effort he will go to to make sure she is safe, even after he is dead. Red has obviously always cared deeply for Liz (that's a big part of the show's mystery, after all), but the relationship the two have forged over the past eight years has only deepened those bonds.
Red wants Liz to take over his empire.
A key part of the finale is the lingering question of who will take over Red's criminal empire after his disappearance. Of course, Liz's life has changed dramatically over the past eight years. Few could have predicted at the start of The Blacklist that Liz Red would come so close. After Liz quit her FBI job and became an international fugitive, Liz has audienceed nearly 180 of the rookie FBI agents he met in the pilot episode.
To most viewers, these changes appear to have been a direct result of Red's actions, however, Red offers a much darker theory about Liz's life path. Red suggests, "Maybe that's what you were born for," eventually concluding that it doesn't matter. While Red admits that under other circumstances he would never want her to inherit his criminal empire, he also seems to believe that she is the best possible successor. He adds that "whether it's coincidence or karma, DNA or destiny or just plain bad luck," Liz's current position is what matters now, and nothing can protect her better than the world watching her kill him and takes his place.
Red refuses to tell Liz who he is until after his death.
Ever since the first trailer for the pilot The Blacklist was released in 2013, one central question has occupied fans of the long-running series: who is Raymond Reddington for Elizabeth Keen? In the season 8 finale, Red promises to provide Liz with the answer to that question after her death, but not before. Red adds that the answer to the seemingly endless unanswered question is a story "full of ambition, hope, love and loss." When asked why he can't tell him before he dies, Red replies that if Liz finds out who he is before she pulls the trigger, she won't be able to complete the task of killing him. When Liz asks if Red knew her mother, he replies "better than anyone".
Numerous clues throughout the series have led fans to believe that Red is his father. However, when Liz bluntly asks this question to Red, Red denies it. Many fans weren't always convinced that Red was telling the truth back then (Red often lies), but other fans have concluded that Red was telling the truth and is Liz's mother instead. The so-called "rederina" theory, which claims Liz's mother Katarina Rostova blushed, has trickled through fan forums and subreddits for years, but is rarely taken seriously. However, the events of the finale led many fans to conclude that the theory was true all along.
Liz gets a lot of advice
Liz begins the Season 8 finale in high spirits, telling Red that she feels like she can fly now that Townsend is dead. However, the prospect of taking over Red's empire weighs heavily on Liz, and she finds herself questioning the direction of her life. Was she destined to be a runaway even if Red had never entered her life? Is he really to blame for all his decisions? While Ressler (Diego Klattenhoff) and Aram (Amir Arison) firmly reject such an idea, Cooper (Harry Lennix) is more open to the possibility and concludes that it might be for the best. way to protect her and her daughter.
In addition to her closest friends and family, Liz is joined by a girl at an airport who only the most dedicated fans of The Blacklist will recognize. That girl is Beth Ryker (Delphina Belle), the same girl who is manipulated with explosives in the first episode of the series. At the end of the pilot episode, Liz manages to save Beth and she has not been seen on the show since until the season 8 finale.
Beth sees Liz at the airport and their conversation reminds Liz how good it feels to make a positive difference in the world. This chance meeting causes Liz to reconsider Red's offer and she agrees to kill him. In many ways, Beth, a completely innocent person, is also responsible for the life Liz has chosen.
Killing the deuteragonist in a police trial in its eighth season is definitely a bold move, and one that many writers are unlikely to attempt after such a long time. But that's exactly what The Blacklist does in the closing minutes of the Season 8 finale. Liz shows up outside the restaurant to kill Red, just like he requested.
However, after raising his gun, he hesitates and tells her, "I can't. I don't want to." Red replies, "Okay. I see." Without saying it directly, they both seem to share a knowing look. Maybe Liz has finally put all the pieces together and knows Red's identity? However, before Liz can ask a question, she is shot in the back by Elias VanDyke (Lukas Hassel), no doubt in retaliation for the murder of his boss Neville Townsend (Reg Rogers) in the previous episode.
As Red holds Liz and she slowly dies from her injuries, a flashback to Liz's life plays on-screen. Between the flashbacks there is a remarkable interweaving of scenes depicting Liz with her mother as a child and scenes that Liz and Red have shared over the past eight years. The flashbacks serve not only as a clue to Red's origins, but also as a farewell to actress Megan Boone, whoHe decided to leave the series.
NBC began airing season 9 of "The Blacklist" (minus Megan Boone) on October 21 (viaIMDb).