liz blacklist season 4

Major spoilers below for The Blacklist's extended midseason premiere.

Last night's The Blacklist brought Season 4 back to fans in a huge and shockingly revealing way, taking some of its two-hour runtime to go back to finally show some very important moments from Red's past, which included an infant Liz and a much younger Mr. Kaplan. Susan Blommaert's cleaner returned to The Blacklist for information-filled flashbacks confirming Red kidnapped baby Liz (then-Masha) and showing how Mr. Kaplan played into getting Liz with her adoptive family. But is Red actually Liz's father? Executive producer Joe Bokenkamp said about if the show will answer that question:

Yes, we will. The truth behind why he came into her life, we will explore that in a deeper way than we ever have by the end of the season. Yes, issues of paternity will come back by the end of the season and we will land on an answer.

Who's going out to buy Father's Day presents for Red, and who's going out to buy him a sympathy card? Well, even if The Blacklist reveals to audiences that Katarina and Red's past fling didn't end up producing a child, I don't necessarily think that fans should feel sorry for Red. He's done some pretty awful shit to a lot of people, after all. Such as kidnapping a baby. Semantics, I know!

blacklist masha

The Blacklist has been playing the daddy card with Liz for a long time, and it's been ramping up accordingly. The pessimist in me has to figure that every sign possible will point to Red being the father, only to get reversed with a last-minute twist that keeps the paternity mystery intact. But then part of me wants to believe that it could all come to a head here, with the long-running fan theory coming true, so that Mr. Kaplan's extreme loyalty and dedication to keep Liz safe has to butt heads with her ongoing plot to destroy Red, her former employer.

When talking to EW about the rest of Season 4, Joe Bokenkamp had this to say about how dangerous Mr. Kaplan is going to get.

Look, I think Kaplan is one of the best big bads that we've had. I think she's complex and is coming at Reddington from an emotional place. It's not about business as usual, it's not about taking over his empire; it is about dismantling him and pushing him out of Elizabeth Keen's life. There is nobody better to do that than Mr. Kaplan. She has deep, intimate secrets, she knows about his relationship with the FBI, she knows who he is to Elizabeth Keen, so she really has an arsenal that can be crippling to him. We will see Reddington in a brutal fight in a way that we've really never done before on the show. The ramifications of this fight, this war, are going to be catastrophic; they really are.

And if you needed something else to chew your fingernails over, Bokenkamp says that yes, deaths are coming. Now what about Season 5, NBC? The Blacklist is back to its normal tricks and twists on Thursday nights on NBC at 10 p.m. ET. To see what other shows are returning and debuting in the near future, head to our midseason premiere guide and our summer TV schedule.

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