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Spoilers for The Blacklist Season 7 episode “Louis T. Steinhil (#27): Conclusion” are discussed below.
The second part of The Blacklist Season 7 premiere did not let up on the thrills! It delivered a huge betrayal and, as promised, more than a few jaw-droppers. First up, that betrayal. The Blacklist revealed one of the reasons that Katarina Rostova is so angry. It has to do with her father, Dom.
After reuniting, Dom and Red shared a conversation wherein it came out that Dom had set Katarina up. He betrayed her. Dom defended himself, saying that it was the other way around and that Katarina had betrayed him and Russia. Does this link back to what happened in that flashback episode from The Blacklist’s last season?
Maybe. Dom seemed to show compassion towards his daughter, similar to Red's towards Liz. Whatever happened after that, he did say that he was trying to protect his own. How far did Dom go, and what did he do to Katarina? Why did Red seemingly side with Dom over Katarina? It is another Blacklist mystery. Now to the other jaw-droppers!
1. Liz Still Thinks Her Mom Is Dead
This came as a substantial personal surprise considering all of the headway that Ressler made last season. Why does Liz not think that her mother could be alive? On that note, why is it so critical to Red that Liz does not know her mom is among the living?
Red does not believe that Liz has a right to know about who he really is, which makes sense to a point (I suppose). Knowing that her mother is alive seems like something a daughter has a right to know. Unless learning that info puts her mom in danger. Red alert! Apparently, she already is!
2. Katarina Blames Red For Destroying Her Life
Apparently, something occurred in Belgrade that blew apart Katarina’s chance at happiness with her family. Katarina feels that Red was to blame. Red responded by saying he did not know what was going to happen. What happened? Well, Katarina said that Dom promised her that no one would get hurt. That he just wanted Katarina to be safe.
Katarina indicated she is far from it, being chased and hunted instead. Red insisted that he could not give Katarina what she wants. Presumably, the identity of who is after her. A pretty emotional Katarina said that she just wants her family back. She does not believe anyone can return that to her, including Red.
3. Red Will Not Tell Katarina Who Is After Her
Mila/Francesca revealed the entire point of Katarina’s elaborate plot. Taking Red prisoner in Paris, and draining his blood, was all done for one purpose. Katarina wants Red to tell her who is trying to kill her. Yes, she is apparently not after another specific woman. I was way off base with last week’s Blacklist deductions.
Red apparently does not think that Katarina is entitled to know who is trying to kill her either. Why is this not on a need-to-know basis? Part of me feels that he is protecting someone other than Dom. Is it another loved one? Is Red caught in between conflicting allegiances? Maybe.
4. The Blood Had Nothing To Do With Red’s Illness
When Katarina started filling up that blood sac, I thought it was for testing. Wrong. It was to torture him into telling her who was after her. Again, that is the much-speculated-about thing she wants to know. That means fans are no closer to learning what was up with Red’s mystery injections.
The Blacklist heavily hinted that Red had an illness last season. It was subtle, yet present, and even involved Red’s urgent search for a Blacklist-er. That storyline opened up its own can of questions. If Katarina thinks her former pal is sick, she certainly did not let on, nor did she run her own tests to learn more.
5. Katarina Had Feelings For Red
The Blacklist’s executive producer alluded to the power of reading between the lines for the truth. In doing so, it has been clear that Red has feelings for Katarina. They did share a kiss during last season’s finale, adding fuel to the fire that there was something between them once, as there apparently was between Ilya Koslov and Katarina.
In this Season 7 episode, Katarina expressed pain over having to take such drastic actions against Red. She is a big bad with feelings. When asked about her emotional status with Red, she indicated she once had feelings for him, and now she does not.
6. Dom May Die
It was evident that Liz’s grandfather was in mortal danger throughout The Blacklist’s latest Season 7 outing. I was still not expecting him to be so seriously injured by the episode’s end. Dom is clinging to life, and according to Red, he may have suffered brain damage as a result.
7. Red Blamed Liz For Dom Getting Shot
This sort of took me by surprise. According to Red, it is Liz and Ressler’s quest for the truth that led to Katarina assaulting her father’s home and having him shot and wounded. Pretty big leap, if you ask me. Katarina has wanted to know who was after her for a long time. Then there is Belgrade. That predates Liz’s investigation.
Liz ended up taking responsibility for helping set in motion the events that led to her grandfather’s near-death. She also asserted that she will keep looking for answers. Hence, that “friction” which was previously teased occurring in Season 7 by The Blacklist’s creator. How long does Red expect her to wait?
8. Katarina Is Liz’s New Neighbor
The episode ended with a slightly foreseen bombshell. Katarina introduced herself to her daughter and granddaughter while posing as a new neighbor. Thus, setting the stage for Katarina to begin having the “deep impact” on Liz that has been teased for Season 7.
Katarina is said to share some “revelations” that are going to test her trust in Red. It seems there are some reasons for Liz to have her doubts, per significant promotional teasers. Considering the situation with Red’s unknown identity, learning that her mom lied about who she is will not come as a huge shock. Liz finding out her mother is next door will be a must-see moment.
As for other developments on The Blacklist, I really hope that Mila/Francesca/Frankie (Natalie Paul) remains a member of Red’s team indefinitely. She and Red have a unique spark, and her journey throughout Season 7’s first two episodes has been fun to watch. I am excited to see what is in store for her!
In Blacklist clues news, Red seems to be struggling to refer to the new woman the audience believes is Katarina as Katarina. Why does he not say her name openly? Is it superstition relating to what he told Liz about the power of saying "Katarina Rostova" aloud? Or is she not Katarina? I am confused.
In related Blacklist news, Red did confirm to Liz that he has known Dom for a long time. They have also been through a lot of rough stuff together. Is this more proof Red is actually Ilya? Red and Dom’s relationship remains a persistent mystery. The antagonism in their dynamic has been offset by an underlying respect for each other.
What does it all mean? Stay tuned for more betrayals and jaw-droppers as new episodes of The Blacklist air Fridays, at 8 p.m. ET, on NBC, as part of this fall's premieres. You can catch up on previous backstabs via past seasons of The Blacklist that are streaming on Netflix, along with lots of upcoming content.