Through four years of The Blacklist, Red Reddington has done just about everything in his power to aid Liz Keen's life, both professionally and personally (to an extent). It was finally revealed in the finale that he did all that for the most part because he is definitely Liz's biological father. Nobody is going to be celebrating any family connections in Season 5, since Mr. Kaplan spent her time in Season 4 completely uprooting Red's entire empire, from his myriad personal connections to his financial wealth. But according to creator Jon Bokenkamp, Red is cool with it.
[Mr. Kaplan] really has stripped him down to nothing. And oddly enough, Red's okay with that. He sort of rolls with the punches and relishes the idea of rebuilding. Reddington loves life, the obstacles, the challenges, and he loves the idea that he gets to reinvent himself.
While the average person would go into a depression-laden funk if he or she found out an old colleague meticulously destroyed his or her life from the inside out, Red isn't the average person. Obviously. After all, he built up that criminal enterprise that led to the titular blacklist in the first place, and even though he's clearly older than he was when all that started, Red is not someone who tends to balk when a situation gets more complicated. It might even be freeing to be back at square one, assuming he actually stays at square one for longer than a few seconds.
Blacklist fans should be pumped to hear Jon Bokenkamp saying this to TVLine, since it wouldn't make for a very fun Season 5 premiere if Red was just hanging out in a dirty bathrobe the whole time, playing games on his phone and drinking wine out of a plastic cup. Okay, so that would actually be fun, but we're still cool with it not happening.
We'll possibly get to watch the crafty and manipulative mastermind approach life in a different way, at least in the early going, as he rebuilds and reinvents. (We know one colleague he'll be reconnecting with, though.) Watching James Spader be smarmily pleased with himself is a TV joy, so we're hoping he picks up a few more overstated character quirks while re-ascending the ladder of unlawful success. Maybe he'll need to make some extra cash by taking on a job at a certain paper company in Scranton, Pennsylvania?
Not that Red is going to be completely free from worry in Season 5. After all, there's a certain piece of luggage out there, currently in Tom Keen's possession, that could have a major effect on his and Liz's future.
He's terrified that the contents of that missing suitcase --- the bones --- may turn up and cause real problems.
With Red's reputation a skeleton of its former self, and with Liz dealing with the repercussions of her big discovery, The Blacklist will return to NBC for Season 5 on Wednesday, September 27, at 8:00 p.m. ET. For everything else hitting the small screen in the near future, head to our fall TV schedule.