The Blacklist has featured some heartbreaking departures over the years, but it's also shown that characters that leave aren't always gone forever no matter how they go. Even death isn't enough to keep some folks off-screen forever. Season 3 killed off leading lady Elizabeth Keen in a shocking twist that seemed destined to stick; she was shortly thereafter shown to be very much alive. Death is sometimes only the beginning on The Blacklist. Season 4 is going to revisit the life of a character that is supposed to be dead. Actress Lotte Verbeek will appear in Season 4 to reprise the role of Liz's mom Katarina Rostova.
Lotte Verbeek is signed on for at least two episodes for Season 4 of The Blacklist, according to EW. Verbeek made her Blacklist debut in Season 3 when the somewhat unhinged Red had a vision of her on a beach in the wake of Liz's "death." It was a relatively brief appearance, but it was an emotional crux in an episode that had already been an emotional roller coaster. News that Verbeek will return as Katarina is definitely reason to get excited about what's coming next for Liz and Red.
The big question now is just how Lotte Verbeek will show up in Season 4 as Katarina Rostova. The character has always been considered dead after she seemingly drowned herself when Liz was a little girl. Nothing is ever as it seems with Liz's family, however. Her mom had been a Russian spy whose life and presumed death revolved around her role in espionage. Why shouldn't she still be alive?
As one of the few people who could have given Liz solid information about her mom, Red has been the major authority on Katarina's death, and Red has maintained to Liz that Katarina drowned herself. Still, Red has been shown to harbor doubts about whether or not Katarina is quite as dead as he thought. He got his hands on a file marked "Rostova" in Season 3 that was a little bit too recent to be about a woman who had died decades previously, and there have been signs along the way that Katarina is among the living somewhere. Lotte Verbeek's episodes in Season 4 may well finally reveal that Katarina has been alive all along.
Still, there are a couple of major ways that Lotte Verbeek could reprise her Blacklist role without a resurrection of sorts for Katarina. The character already turned up once in a hallucination from Red; perhaps Red won't be entirely stable in Season 4 and find himself interacting with the dead woman again. Flashbacks are another option. Lotte Verbeek certainly looks young enough to pull off scenes set many years ago, and flashbacks could work as a way to show more of Katarina's life without necessarily giving away the game on whether or not she's really alive. Blacklist could milk the mystery a little longer by bringing in Katarina via flashbacks.
The Blacklist will return to NBC on Thursday, September 22 at 10 p.m. ET. Check out our fall TV premiere schedule to see what else you'll be able to watch in the not-too-distant future.