Because of its intricate twists and turns, The Blacklist lends itself to a ton of fan theories. Long before the person known as Raymond Reddington was revealed to be an imposter, some viewers already guessed that was the case. Their belief being that Red was/is Liz’s mom, Katarina.
The door for potential confirmation was wide open in Season 6. The Blacklist’s producers recently revealed if they knew about the 'Red is Katarina' theory. They also answered if they chose to drop clues that it could be true, before revealing Katarina in the Season 6 finale. Series creator Jon Bokenkamp told TVLine:
This is why it never gets boring to theorize about it. I like what Jon Bokenkamp is saying about how the subtlest shift in approaching The Blacklist can make a theory work. That is why it requires a lot of objectivity to examine the show for answers.
A lot of time, desire can cloud judgment. Yours truly has had first-hand experience with that and The Blacklist. As for whether fans’ theories in any way impact how the show is written, Blacklist producer John Eisendrath said:
The Blacklist has had an endgame in mind since the beginning, and they are sticking to it. So, whoever Red turns out to be, he is still whoever he was initially planned to be. Something that makes going through old episodes for clues a worthwhile endeavor.
The Blacklist’s creator revealed whether what they read online impacts the future of the storyline. Jon Bokenkamp said:
Red’s past remains murky, although a timeline has emerged from it. How it can help solve the mystery of his identity is not entirely clear at this point. There is a lot that viewers still do not know about Katarina and how the imposter plan worked out.
Did Katarina herself get plastic surgery just to alter her appearance a bit to avoid detection? Everyone trying to hurt her knew her face. She did go from being a redhead in the '90s to a blonde now. It would make sense for both Katarina and Ilya to go under the knife. Flashbacks-or-it-didn’t-happen is sort of my approach right now.
What the producers shared about the impact of online speculation is good news. If you have correctly guessed plots about The Blacklist, it does not sound like the show is going to change things to counter it. That is something that I think has alarmed fans in general.
The advent of social media opens the door to a large number of guesses, which leaves the heightened potential for a correct theory to catch on. Meaning it is a tougher world to shock fans. My current Blacklist theory board is a relatively blank slate. The mystery of who Red is and what Katarina wants is all one big question mark. Season 7, please get here soon!
The Blacklist returns with its seventh season this fall on NBC. In the meantime, you can binge previous seasons on Netflix, along with a lot of recent premieres.
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.
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