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The Blacklist Katarina Rostova Laila Robins Raymond Red Reddington James Spader NBC

Brace yourself, Blacklist fans, because Katarina Rostova will be keeping everyone in the NBC drama on their toes in big ways in Season 7. Yes! Viewers already got a foretelling glimpse of how dangerous a villain she could be in the previous season finale, when Katarina drugged Red and had him taken to parts unknown during those final minutes.

It does not sound like there is any sort of cheeky misunderstanding at play, either, and The Blacklist seems set to give audiences an even grimmer peek at Liz’s mom in Season 7. Series creator Jon Bokenkamp teases the ferocity of The Blacklist’s next big bad, telling TVLine:

[Katarina is] the most formidable Big Bad that we’ve introduced.

That is saying something, since The Blacklist has not been shy about showing off some fearsome opponents in the past. Katarina poses several issues that make her a particularly formidable foe, with a key reason being that she is integral to The Blacklist’s mythos.

For one, Katarina is a legend about whom the audience possesses few definitive truths. Second, whoever Red truly is, he holds/held Katarina in high regard. Third and most importantly, Katarina is Liz’s mom. That last part should prove vital in The Blacklist’s upcoming season. Jon Bokenkamp said:

[Liz] thinks Katarina is dead and hasn’t seen her mother since she was 4 or 5. If she were to meet Katarina, she may not know that it’s her mother, and there may be an opportunity for Katarina to come into Liz’s life in a way that is anything but motherly.

Wait, what? Can Season 7 start tomorrow, please? It sounds like Liz may meet her mother under false pretenses. In other words, Katarina may introduce herself to her daughter using a fake identity, or through more nonchalant means, like bumping into her in public. Liz cannot catch a break when it comes to meeting people with fake personas, can she?

Bute what is The Blacklist’s brilliant creator hinting at regarding Katarina introducing herself in such a non-motherly way? Does this mean that Red will be out of commission for a while as Katarina plays through the opening she created? Does it mean that Katarina will actually pose as Liz's father instead? Almost definitely not, but there was that rumor a while back that Red was actually Liz's mother who'd changed genders in the past.

Will Katarina pose as someone who says she can help reunite Liz, Dembe, and the Task Force with Red? It seems feasible. They are down a team member. Will Red and Katarina become mortal enemies after all? I would love to see that happen.

Theoretically, Red is the only one who can stop her, since Katarina could be the Moriarty to Red’s Sherlock Holmes. The Blacklist is hinting there is more to Red than it may seem, too.Season 7’s poster contained a cryptic clue regarding how much Liz and viewers can trust him. It is not a great omen for fans who like seeing James Spader approach honesty.

I am quite curious about how Katarina could falsely enter Liz’s life, and there is a candidate. At the end of The Blacklist’s last season, Liz made the decision to bring her daughter, Agnes, home. Could Katarina enter Liz’s life under the auspices of caring for Agnes as a nanny of some kind? Maybe.

The Blacklist brought Agnes back for a reason. Whether or not she will be involved in the mayhem is one of many questions heading into Season 7. An endgame will be snapping into place according to The Blacklist’s creator, so more mysteries should follow.

See Katarina, a.k.a. the biggest bad ever, in action when The Blacklist returns as part of this fall’s premieres. Season 7 begins on NBC on Friday, October 4, and new episodes air Fridays at 8 p.m. ET. Catch up on what is known about Katarina via previous seasons of The Blacklist on Netflix, along with lots of new content.

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