Spoilers for The Blacklist are below.

Minute for minute, NBC’s The Blacklist is putting up some of the most exciting drama on TV here on the back end of Season 3, making it all the more excellent that there’s the upcoming spinoff to double up on the tension. Tonight’s episode “Alexander Kirk Pt. 1” set up the core concept behind that still untitled spinoff, and The Blacklist once again used a left-field twist in the best way possible to make it happen. Halcyon Aegis contractor Scottie Hargrave (Famke Janssen), whom Tom Keen believes to be responsible for Liz’s (presumed) death, was revealed to actually be Tom’s birth mother. You don’t need physical bombs when you can let loose mental explosions like that on your fanbase.

Just to lay it all out: through a crazy robbery-turned-infiltration, Halcyon helped to track down Alexander Kirk (Ulrich Thomsen), who’d originally hired Halcyon to kidnap Liz. When that was under control, Tom wanted to take Scottie out of the equation, but that’s when Red dropped the familial bombshell, saying Tom was taken from her at age 3 and it was made to look like a kidnapping. In other words, Scotie has no idea that he is her son, and Red makes it clear that it is too dangerous to share that information with her.

the blacklist

And so now their dynamic in the spinoff makes a lot more sense, at least in one way, as we know why good guy-ish Tom is working with the far more morally negligent Scottie and Mr. Solomon and others. This news will apparently throw Tom for a huge loop in the future, too. Here’s how executive producer Jon Bokenkamp put it to EW.
Tom has a child now, he’s trying to go clean, he’s trying to reboot his life. Tom’s a little like Pinocchio; he’s a boy who wants to be real. He wants to love, but he’s not equipped with that skill. This news, the promise of who he is, is exciting, but it’s also a double-edged sword. On one hand, it presents him with potential answers about who he is. On the other hand, Scottie Hargrave is a dangerous woman, so he has to be careful about how he proceeds.

We can probably expect a lot of situations where it almost looks like she’s going to find out about their secret relationship, but then something happens and she doesn’t. Classic TV move right there.

To play the devil’s advocate, though, Red is the guy telling this info to Tom, and Red isn’t exactly someone known for being too honest all the time. It’s certainly possible that he’s lying to take advantage of Tom in some way, or to keep Scottie alive for future manipulating. There are some who think that Alexander Kirk actually faked Liz’s death somehow – a theory that sounds less crazy once you consider how the show has basically thrown a blanket over her death as far as press and interviews go – and maybe Red is keeping Scottie in the picture in the event that this is real. I don’t know why. I’m not too sure about the reality behind anything at this point.

Except, of course, the reality of The Blacklist throwing even more crazy shit at viewers in next week’s season finale, which will air on Thursday, May 19. Will Liz indeed come back for Season 4 and beyond, or will there be some other weirder shock to put Red’s future down a different path entirely?

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