Why The Blacklist's Liz Ultimately Tried To Save Red's Life

The Blacklist Elizabeth Liz Keen Megan Boone NBC
(Image credit: Will Hart/NBC)

Liz Keen’s feelings regarding the man known as Red have been running the gamut on The Blacklist. Her actions early in Season 6 have led to a bunch of problems for him, and as of the latest episode, Red was sentenced to death. Not before Liz tried to save his life, though. The Blacklist creator Jon Bokenkamp weighed in on why she made the move to save him, saying:

Elizabeth Keen is torn. On the one hand, this man has not always told her the entire truth. He’s let her know pieces of a large puzzle but he’s never completely pulled back the curtain. Despite that, he shows incredible love for her and has her back in a deeply emotional way. What we saw her say on the stand in tonight’ episode is true. Only she could provide that sort of insight to the jury that there is good in this man.

Liz tried to save Red’s life by taking the stand. Despite a profound speech on his behalf, things did not end up working out. It is nice to hear Jon Bokenkamp confirm Liz’s motivations to TV Insider. Even if she is mostly to blame for Red’s current circumstances, she has realized that whoever Red is, he does genuinely love her.

So, where does this leave the Task Force and Liz in the follow-up to The Blacklist’s latest explosive episode? Jon Bokenkamp had this to say about Liz’s strategy moving forward:

Well, I think she stays the course. When Red pled guilty and accepts the death penalty as his fate, it was done largely to protect Liz and the Task Force. If he doesn't do that, everything that they've done over the past six years comes into light and they all are thrown under a microscope. So in a way, there's a bit of self-sacrifice there. All of these characters, as much as they're on opposite sides of the line so frequently, really have become a very strange, dysfunctional family. Red is the Grand Poobah of the family, so they're all struggling with the inevitability of what is about to happen. It may have crossed their minds that he may be caught at some point, but we're now confronted with it in a very real, intangible way that is pretty dark.

Jon Bokenkamp’s answer is arguably the most fitting evaluation of Red’s various relationships on The Blacklist. It is also pretty scary where he talks about everyone struggling with the inevitability of things to come. The only thing that is on the horizon is Red’s death sentence. Please, let them find this mysterious “man in Cairo.”

Locating him seems to be Red’s only hope at this point. Hopefully, Team Red can find him in time. The synopsis for The Blacklist’s next episode reveals that the team will be working overtime to uncover the truth surrounding an international assassination. The bid is described as a “last-ditch effort” to save Red. Things are getting dire!

Liz has had reasons to doubt many things. The veracity of Red’s affection for her is another story. That should have never been a cause for doubt. It should have been a reason to make her think twice before igniting her life-altering plan to get him arrested. He earned the benefit of her best character assessment.

If Liz is not the one to help save Red, it will be a significant game-changer for their relationship. So much has happened that Red does not even know. Her only shot at "red-emption" is to play an integral role in saving his life. Otherwise, she will have his blood squarely on her hands.

Unfortunately, Red contributed to his fate. He got way ahead of himself in thinking his Plan B (a.k.a. the prison escape) could work. Red went all-in on his sentence recommendation. Now he is facing the death penalty. What makes his spoiled attempt at freedom so tragic is that it is Liz’s genuine care for him that ruined it.

Of all the ways to have been inadvertently brought down, it was an act of compassion on Liz’s part. Too much too late from Liz. Find out if she can help save Red’s life when The Blacklist continues with new episodes airing Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.

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.