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Ahead Of The Blacklist Season 8 Debut, Laverne Cox Celebrates Joining The Show

laverne cox guest-starring on the blacklist season 8
(Image credit: nbc press)

With the "subject of the week" episode format that has been utilized across its eight seasons, The Blacklist is the kind of show where I wish every week featured a different unexpected cameo that allowed each actor to chew on the material in a way that probably wouldn't happen on a less bonkers crime procedural. Case in point: esteemed Orange Is the New Black vet Laverne Cox is popping up on the tenth episode of The Blacklist Season 8, and she is pumped about bringing a sadistic new character into the already twisted life of James Spader's Red Reddington.

Ahead of her Blacklist debut as the titular character in the episode "Dr. Laken Perillos," Laverne Cox took to Twitter to share her excitement about taking over viewer' Friday night primetime. Check out her message below!

I had so much fun playing this character on a show I truly love. Thanks to the entire cast and crew over at NBC Blacklist for making me feel so welcomed and supported. I'm a Blacklister!!! Yay!!! Can't wait for you all to see it.

For now, it looks like Laverne Cox will only be sticking around The Blacklist for a single episode, which may or may not spell doom for Dr. Laken Perillos by the end of it. Not that everyone who gets episodic focus gets killed off or anything, but it doesn't sound like Cox's new addition will be working hard to make friends with James Spader's character, or anyone else for that matter.

Check out the synopsis for "Dr. Laken Perillos" below, which hints at the kind of trouble we might see in the episode.

Red and Dembe land in peril when Townsend deploys a torture specialist who uses unorthodox methods to interrogate her victims.

As one can imagine, Laverne Cox is indeed playing that torture specialist, so it's not fully clear if Laken Perillos is an actual medical doctor, or if it's more of an unofficial title like "Doctor Death." Either way, I'm sure she knows a thing or two about drawing blood from people, whether it's with an IV or by chopping an arm off. To that end, it's also not clear if Red's mysterious illness has anything to do with his so-called doctor visit.

Things don't look too dangerous in the image below, with Red appearing to be calm despite being looked over by someone who likely doesn't have his best interests in mind. I mean, even if he is of the belief that she's an internationally renowned doctor, it's a little more than suspicious that she's checking his vitals in a dimly lit room with a chain-link door. Not exactly Grey's Anatomy-level medical care.

laverne cox checking james spader's heartbeat on the blacklist

(Image credit: NBC press)

Laverne Cox's impending Blacklist debut was also celebrated by one of the show's writers and producers, Allison Glock, who shared an exchange with the transgender actress on Twitter. (Glock is likely supportive of LGBTQ+ entertainers all around, as she has a transgender husband.)

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Will Laverne Cox get the upper hand on James Spader's Red during her debut episode, or will The Blacklist's quick-thinking anti-hero come away from their time together unscathed? I'm guessing the latter, since there are still too many questions left to answer about Red's life. Find out when the hit drama airs Friday nights on NBC at 8:00 p.m. ET.

Nick Venable

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.