Ponderings on The Blacklist

Some thoughts on the Blacklist … SPOILERS, don’t read unless you’ve seen all of Season 1 and are up to date with Season 2.

These are just crazy random ponderings that possibly contradict each other and may, or may not, make any sense.

“It’s all just pieces of a much larger puzzle, and until all the pieces are laying in front of you, it won’t go together” –Red to Liz

My main thoughts at this time (will likely change as further info comes to light throughout Season 2):

  • Red is not Liz’s father. He told her No (twice), plus Tom told her Red was not who she thought he was (ie. her father), Naomi talks about their daughter who is obviously not Liz, Berlin talks about Red feeling the same about Liz and his wife, Red’s daughter’s name is Jennifer and she has been off the radar for the last 7 years.
  • Red was present at the fire as one of the flashbacks is his (the first flashback, when talking to Liz in the car in Berlin (Conclusion)). Why he was there, who her bio father is and who actually pulled Liz from the fire is yet to be found out.
  • Something happened in 1987. This is the year on the Swan Lake program – was this the last time Red saw his daughter dance? We know Naomi and Jennifer were put into Witness Protection in 1990 (had to be before Red returned for Christmas as Naomi says it was a Wednesday afternoon and her daughter was in school). So where was Red from 1987 to Christmas 1990? Adding to the mystery the fingerprint sheet from the NYPD AFIS search is dated 1989. So was 1987 the year the fire Liz was in occurred. The dates fit, if she was 4 then, she’d be 31 now. Was it Red who dropped Liz off at Sam’s and then disappeared?
  • What kind of second chance is Liz? Is she a chance to clear his name, a chance for redemption, a chance for a father/daughter relationship, a chance for a worthy partner, a chance for a romantic partner? I keep coming back to that line in the first episode “He’s going to use Beth to settle the score.” While this was Liz talking about the little girl Beth, perhaps it also foreshadows Red’s intentions to use Elizabeth to settle his score.
  • This conversation is really interesting:
    L: “You once said the reason you were here was because of my father.”
    R: “What’s this about Lizzie?”
    L: “Did the two of you know each other? Don’t tell me you were friends, you don’t have friends.”
    R: “I knew your father and he knew me.”
    L: “Is that why you were in his hospital room the day he died? I talked to you on the phone that day. You never mentioned you were there.”
    R: [long pause] … “No, I didn’t.”
    L: “There’s something he wanted to tell me. I could tell by his voice the last time we spoke, but he didn’t. Was that because of you.”

    Which father was Red referring to? And when Liz starts this conversation is Red aware of which she is referring to? Did he know it was about Sam all along, or did he inadvertently give us a clue about Liz’s bio Dad – “I knew your father and he knew me.”  I’m guessing he’s too smart to not think she was referring to Sam, but makes you wonder … especially when in the finale he says “Lizzie there’s something I want you to know about your Father Sam. “ He qualifies it here, so there’s no mistake who he’s talking about.

  • In Monarch Douglas Bank Red’s phone conversation with Liz goes back to the theme of “just doing my job” (also used by Ressler in the Anslo Garrick episodes). Red’s words to Liz imply that she can justify her actions as “just doing her job” for only so long, one day she’ll have to deal with the things she has done under this excuse. Does this give us a hint to what Red went through back in 1987/1990? Red was a similar age then as Liz is now. Did he have a moment when he could no longer justify what he had been ordered to do and compromised a mission, setting his whole fugitive status in progress. Or worse, did he do something he was ordered to do and was then hung out as a scapegoat to hide the government’s involvement? I believe Liz’s words back to Red at the end, “You’re an asset I’m charged with protecting. I transferred the money to keep you safe. I was just doing my job.”, were partly her downplaying that she may have been manipulated by her feelings for him to do this (the tone of voice she uses, very robotic) and partly her saying that she’s well aware of the moral conflicts and hard decisions involved with her job. I think it also sends a very clear message – I didn’t do this because I owe you for saving my life so many times, because it wouldn’t have needed saving if you hadn’t put me in difficult positions in the first time.