Why The Blacklist's Red Decides Now Is The Right Time To Leave Prison

The Blacklist Raymond Red Reddington James Spader NBC
(Image credit: Will Hart/SONY/NBC)

Red is done doing his time in prison on The Blacklist. Or at least, he wants to be done with it. Despite his “not guilty” verdict for treason in the previous episode, he is still in custody pending other charges. Well, The Concierge of Crime has now had it, and he's ready to move on.

Why has Red decided now is the right time to mount his bid for freedom, however it may come? Time is of the essence for the character. The Blacklist’s creator Jon Bokenkamp explained the situation to TVLine, saying:

Knowing that the clock is running out on this court case, Red has no interest in being convicted or spending the rest of his life in prison. And he’s now ready to spring a plan that has been in the back of his mind for a while, and that would be to get out.

Does this mean that Red’s plan to get his immunity agreement reinstated will go up in flames? It seems as though Red is actually going to work two angles in Episode 10. One will be to use his knowledge of a Blacklister to get that immunity deal restored. The other would be to attempt a flat-out paperwork-eschewing escape. That option is what was seemingly teased in the promo for the episode.

A clip from tonight's episode of The Blacklist, titled "The Cryptobanker," shows Red trying to work the former angle with Liz. Watch it below:

Viewers will have to watch to see how things play out from there, of course. That Red would not at least attempt a prison break if all else fails, it's just unfathomable. He has been incarcerated for most of Season 6, and any viewers familiar with the government-friendly criminal knew he would not stay that way forever, even though clearing Raymond Reddington's name against the treason charges didn't get him back on the streets.

Apparently, it is now or (maybe) never when it comes to his chances to be free. It is interesting that Jon Bokenkamp mentions that this big plan has been in the back of Red’s mind for a while. Perhaps, he is planning to pull off a prison break while simultaneously getting his charges dropped.

A true professional, Red could end up pulling off both. The trailer for Episode 10 indicated that Red would don a disguise in his efforts to leave prison. At the beginning of the promo, he can also be seen chloroforming the warden. Suffice it to say, he has one shot at a daring prison break, so here's hoping it's a successful attempt. See for yourself below:

That’s right. Red can be heard telling Dembe that he is “10 seconds out.” Yours truly thinks Red is going to have to go the prison break route, as opposed to the legal beagle route, and I also think he will make it. When have his plans failed to succeed?

As entertaining as Red’s time in prison has been, getting him out seems like a natural progression for The Blacklist. They have explored what Red’s incarcerated life has been like, while also letting a captivating courtroom drama unfurl. Plus, it would be out of character for Red to allow himself to be locked up any longer. He has played things out in jail as long as could be expected, but that world is too small for his big ideas.

Red will be making strides towards "freedom," but a prison break obviously indicates he could still be a man on the run. That is, if the charges against him do not get dropped. It is not the first time he has lived life as a fugitive, so that is probably not super daunting for him.

Watching to see if his escape plans are successful or not won't be the only fascinating part of this episode. Another aspect of the fun will be seeing how Red will pull off his escape.

The Blacklist has been known to portray its share of thrilling heists. However Red’s escape goes down, it should be presented with a similar mystique. Jon Bokenkamp confirmed that the show would take a break from big answers to focus on the culmination of Red’s court case, so maybe expect the process to get more attention than the results here. It all sounds nothing short of thrilling!

Find out if Red goes free when The Blacklist continues with new episodes airing Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC. The crime drama is among many shows featuring new content throughout the midseason.

Britt Lawrence

Like a contented Hallmark movie character, Britt happily lives in the same city she grew up in. Along with movies and television, she is passionate about competitive figure skating. She has been writing about entertainment for 5 years, and as you may suspect, still finds it as entertaining to do as when she began.