Spoilers for The Blacklist Season 7's midseason finale entitled “Katarina Rostova (No. 3)” are discussed below! Proceed with caution!
The Blacklist will not be back until March 2020. There is some good news, though. When it returns, it will get right into all of the family drama that the show has been teasing for Season 7. This is the season that has seen two of the most prominent forces in Liz’s life -- converge.
Liz’s long-lost mother, Katarina, and her enigmatic father figure, Red, are now both in her life. By the time The Blacklist’s mind-blowing fall finale ended, Red thought Katarina was dead. She faked it in broad daylight for his benefit. Liz knows her mother is still alive, and that Red is not Ilya Koslov. Teasing the familial fight ahead, The Blacklist’s creator, Jon Bokenkamp told TheWrap:
Because of where we leave off — because Reddington believes that Katarina is dead and it appears to him the genie is back in the bottle and we can go on about business — the dynamic of the show shifts just a little bit. It becomes a little bit lighter, a little bit more fun. We have a great two-parter when we come back in March and we’re gonna have a ton of fun. But boiling underneath all that is this Katarina-Liz relationship that is still growing and is going to take us to some uncharted territory in the show.
A two-parter? Count me in! The Blacklist has had a father/daughter dynamic with Red and Liz. Now, it is her mother’s turn to have a shot at bonding. I am not entirely sure that Liz should throw herself headfirst into this relationship. After all, they did just have an explosion showdown of their own.
For his part, Red did not seem too upset about Katarina’s "death." In Season 7, she held him captive, tortured him, and then kidnapped his good friend, Ilya Koslov. Katarina even tried memory extraction on Ilya to learn Red’s secrets to no avail. Thinking Katarina is gone, The Blacklist will see a different side of Red when it returns in 2020. Jon Bokenkamp told TVLine:
Now that Red is able to put this to bed, it won’t mean that the show will suddenly become frothy and light. But Reddington is in a different headspace, and when we come back in March, he is unencumbered, and we have a lot of fun. We have some really fun stuff coming up. That doesn’t mean there isn’t darkness underneath it, because there’s this rolling boil of Katarina and Liz and their hunt for the truth. But our entry point in March, and for a while, will be a little bit lighter, a little more fun. And we get to take a breath with Red, who feels like this is all over. Sadly, that’s not the case.
It is not over, Red! Not by a long shot! How long will Liz stay quiet while Katarina galivants around the world trying to expose the truth? Liz is putting Red in danger, knowing that her mom is still out there, plotting. She could strike again! To be fair, The Blacklist has put Liz in a tight spot.
As Liz told Katarina in The Blacklist’s fall finale, Katarina and Red are both members of her family. How long until all of this comes to a head? At this point, Katarina and Red are on opposing sides. Katarina is having as much trouble reading between the lines for Red’s truths as I have. On what lies ahead in Season 7, The Blacklist’s executive producer, John Eisendrath, told EW:
The whole back of the season is ultimately going to lead up to the climactic coming together and conflict between Raymond Reddington and Katarina Rostova. That is ultimately where we’re going. This is a huge family fight and we’re not going to get out of the season before resolving the family fight. This fight has not only has been building this year, but feels like it’s been building for seven years.
Does this mean that Katarina and Red will face off before the end of Season 7? The Blacklist spent the first half paving the way for Liz to meet her mom. Now fans can anticipate the moment when Red realizes Katarina is not dead. What I dread is his sense of betrayal when he learns Liz knew and did not tell him.
Trust issues between Liz and Red have been hinted at occurring in Season 7. The thing is that Red has endured Liz betraying him in the past. She almost got him executed, and he forgave her. I know he has lied about his identity but teaming up with Katarina is probably not the answer. In truth, Liz barely knows her.
I just hope that when this family fight is over, Red and Liz will still have a relationship to fight about. Unfortunately, Red’s secret-keeping has made it possible for Katarina to leverage that against him with Liz. Secrets have consequences! Along with all of this, Red has that scary health prognosis, which The Blacklist will hopefully circle back to in 2020.