Brace yourselves. The Blacklist’s upcoming two-hour episode is going to drop a lot of big Red reveals on viewers. Longtime fans hoping to finally get some insight into Red’s criminal acts in the past are about to learn a ton of new details. Teasing the back-to-back installments, Blacklist creator Jon Bokenkamp said this about the episode:
[It's] going to put Reddington in a box he’s never been in before — on the witness stand. Not only will audiences hear Reddington speak about his past in an incredibly open, direct and candid way, but they’ll get insight into exactly why he became the Concierge of Crime. This set of episodes will finally reveal why Raymond Reddington is wanted for treason.
Red is heading to the witness stand? This is slightly-to-highly unexcepted. Albeit, Red has taken a spirited role in his own legal defense by representing himself, after all, but he could have easily found a way to avoid the stand. In any case, it's time to break down what Jon Bokenkamp teased to TVLine, so let’s start with what Red is going to say on the witness stand.
Jon Bokenkamp says that viewers will get to hear Red discuss his past in an “open, direct, and candid way.” Red often muses about the past, sharing crucial anecdotes that are relevant to the circumstances. In those instances, he has always seemed to be carrying on in the manner Bokenkamp describes. It will be interesting to see if there is any difference in exactly how Red approaches his testimony. And if there are differences, how will they affect things?
There are certain areas of Red's history that he has alluded to, and others he has remained completely silent about. One thing that has never been explained too well is why Red became the crime figure he has. That is about to change, according to Jon Bokenkamp.
Did Red have no other choice but to go down his crime-filled path? Pluls, how does that tie to his true identity? Remember, Red is being tried under his assumed identity, which makes the legality of everything suspect. Is the real Red a good man, though, who maybe got put in an impossible situation? Two recent episodes hinted at this possibility.
As for why Raymond Reddington is wanted for treason in particular, that seemed to get addressed back in The Blacklist’s pilot. That's apparently not the case, though. Given what the series’ creator is saying, there must be more to the story than what Ressler initially rattled off about Red's actions.
In the pilot, Ressler explained that Raymond Reddington disappeared during his journey home for Christmas, with Jennifer Reddington and her mother waiting for him. He emerged on authorities’ radar four years later, when Red got linked to a leak of classified documents. The leak seemed to be the reason for the treason. That is pretty much all The Blacklist has revealed, until now.
Will viewers find out why “Red” assumed Raymond Reddington’s identity and then turned him into the Concierge of Crime? With so many answers underway, it brings up some other questions, too.
If The Blacklist is finally offering some massive insight, could that be indicative of the NBC series’ future? Could this episode be setting up for The Blacklist’s final chapters? Ratings-wise, there is not a huge reason to be concerned that the end is nigh. The show is performing well in its new Friday night time slot, and its delayed viewing numbers are even more impressive. That said, it has not been renewed for another season yet.
Six seasons in, The Blacklist is at a point where it can give viewers giant answers without altering its hook. Based on what Jon Bokenkamp is teasing, it seems that Blacklist fans will still have their share of mysteries to think about when the 2-hour episode is over.
Learning why Red became the Concierge of Crime still does not answer why he assumed Raymond Reddington’s identity. Nor does learning his treasonous crimes necessarily reveal who Red truly is. The good news? That twin theory seems to still be alive.
Find out what Red reveals when The Blacklist’s special 2-hour event airs this Friday (February 22) at 9 p.m. ET on NBC. The crime drama is among many series offering new content in the midseason.