Season 3 of The Blacklist absolutely delivered on its promise of delivering a more serialized form of storytelling to the world of Liz Keen and Red Reddington, and viewers got to watch the drama drop some huge twists that will completely change things for Season 4. One of those twists involved Ulrich Thomsen's Alexander Kirk, an affluent businessman whose casting notice came with the description that he was going to be a mysterious villain with deep connections to Red. Those connections already started showing themselves when Season 3 ended, but is it possible that Kirk isn't an antagonist at all? Here's the curious way executive producer John Eisendrath explained it when asked about Kirk's villainy.
That's definitely a cliffhanger for next year. It's definitely an, 'Oh my God, who really is this person, what's his agenda and what is going to happen to Liz?' We're left with Red and everyone aware of the fact that Liz is alive, and she's also been abducted.
I'm pretty sure Red isn't that cagey when he's inside of a confessional. Eisendrath took particularly elusive care while answering that question for EW, never directly addressing the inquiry, choosing instead to reiterate viewers' mindsets during the finale, as well as restating how the episode left Red and others. You'd think if Kirk is definitely a bad guy, the EP would have vaguely agreed and then gotten wishy-washy when it came to what Kirk would be getting into when Season 4 drops.
Of course, maybe this is a subjective issue, rather than an objective one. Season 3 ended with Liz reappearing, having faked her death in an effort to completely free herself of Red's grips, and we soon realized that not only was Alexander Kirk the person behind Liz's attempted kidnapping, but he's also her father. Or at least he says he is, and it's almost impossible to tell at this point whether this morally bankrupt gent is being truthful or not. So if you're on Red's side, then this guy putting Liz in danger (even if Liz doesn't want Red to be around anymore) is definitely a villain. But if you're on Liz's side, and Kirk was just trying to pull her out of harm's way because of their family connection, then his antagonism is less defined within the context of these characters.
You'll notice that Eisendrath did not mention any alleged parentage, and only hits upon the worry that something bad could happen to Liz. That just makes it sound like he's playing up the danger element beyond what it actually is. I can't imagine that the show would make Liz go through all of this to get away from Red just to send her right back to him in a war against Kirk. But then, I don't really know what else the billionaire has going on, either, since I'm not subscribed to Billionaire Behavior Weekly..
Season 3 also ended things in a strong way for Tom Keen, who also learned about his own secret parent in Scottie Hargrave during the penultimate episode. The upcoming spinoff The Blacklist: Redemption will center on both of those characters, as well as some others from the flagship drama.Will we see a bit of crossover? One can only hope.
The Blacklist will return to NBC for Season 4 on Thursday, September 22. To see what'll be hitting your favorite networks before then, check out our summer TV schedule.