The Blacklist Is Marching Toward 'The Ultimate Endgame' Of Who Red Really Is

The Blacklist Raymond Red Reddington James Spader NBC

(Image credit: Will Hart / NBC)

When it comes to The Blacklist, there is no more pressing mystery than who Red really is. Yes, viewers have been introduced to the essence of the enigmatic character at the center of the series. Fans know that he cares about Liz and is a criminal mastermind, but who is he?

It will be a while before The Blacklist returns to give fans more clues. In the meantime, the series' creative power is teasing how it is heading towards revealing “the ultimate endgame.” That endgame presumably being the reveal of Red’s true identity. The Blacklist’s creator, Jon Bokenkamp, told EW:

What we’re also building toward is the truth behind the show. What Katarina is after is at the heart of what the show is about. It unlocks everything. There are big clues that have been laid out there that as they’re starting to fall into place. The promise of what is to come is the ultimate endgame, which we are marching toward and Katarina is incredibly close to. I think that’s super exciting.

Is Katarina this-close to learning who Red really is? She is undoubtedly making strong strides towards it. Having convinced Red that she is dead, Katarina is now working to uncover who on earth Red could possibly be. Despite the story that Liz was told last season by her grandfather Dom on The Blacklist, Red is not Ilya Koslov, and that is not all.

It turns out, Katarina is as in the dark as fans regarding who he actually is. While Liz’s mom does not have the best track record with the truth, viewers can apparently trust that she has been honest about that. She did perform that memory retrieval procedure on Ilya, which certainly strengthens the assertion. What truth is Katarina actually after, though? The Blacklist’s creator, Jon Bokenkamp, told The Wrap:

The truth that Katarina is after, the truth that she believes can save her and call off the Townsend Directive, is connected to his identity and connected to who he really is[.] And if she can unlock this, she can unlock a truth that is at the core of the mythology of the show. So are we going to answer it immediately? Absolutely not. Is it on the front burner and something that is driving everything that is happening? Absolutely.

Katarina may be on the search for answers, but it does not sound like she will discover them anytime soon. The thing is if she does not learn Red’s true identity, then she is a dead woman walking. Hence, making her faux death a reality. I am curious about how the truth about Red connects to the Townsend Directive when The Blacklist returns.

Are they somehow behind whoever Red actually is taking Ilya’s place in the entire Red Reddington switch scheme? Maybe. They sound more like the assassin group that targeted Samar last season. However, there could be someone pulling their strings. They could be the enforcement arm of some secret organization that engineered Red, assuming Reddington’s identity.

Now the question many fans of The Blacklist undoubtedly want to know. Will Katarina be victorious in finding these much-sought-after answers? Or is she on a wild-goose chase that has no end in sight? In other words, are fans on the brink of learning Red’s real identity instead of another fake-out? The Blacklist’s executive producer, John Eisendrath, told The Wrap:

I think it’s safe to say you’ll get an answer as to who Raymond Reddington is whenever NBC tells us we will be ending the series.

There goes that dream! What The Blacklist’s executive producer had to say regarding finding out who Red is, backs up what the series’ creator previously said. At the time, Jon Bokenkamp indicated that once the audience learned the truth, the show would be over. I think that The Blacklist could definitely go beyond the significant reveal.

After Liz and company find out who Red really is, the next leg of the journey arguably begins. There is the whole process of learning more about his backstory. Plus, what he has been up to all these years. Clues are definitely on there way on that front in the former of Red’s former flame arriving when The Blacklist returns in March.

Then there is one of the top questions of all – why Raymond Reddington? Why choose him to impersonate? The Blacklist has a lot to explain and dig into. After all of the lead-up, it will be time to explore the aftermath and the truth. I hope we learn who he is before the series finale because I am in no rush for that day to arrive.

Get more clues about Red’s real identity when The Blacklist returns during the midseason in March on NBC. A precise premiere date for Season 7’s comeback has not been announced yet, so stay tuned. You can refresh your memory on previous seasons of The Blacklist on Netflix alongside content arriving in 2020.

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.