The Blacklist Unanswered Questions & Answers Guide

the blacklist unanswered questions and answers guide

Keep track of all the overarching questions and answers from NBC’s The Blacklist with our handy guide. Will the show answer every major mystery it plants? Let’s find out!

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1. What is Red’s endgame? The fugitive hands himself over to the FBI and agrees to help them capture criminals from a list he has compiled over many years, on the condition that he works only with recent Quantico graduate Elizabeth Keen. In doing so, Red jeopardizes the deal he made with ‘The Alliance’ decades ago. Clearly, Red wants to protect himself; his business empire; and especially Liz, with whom he has a mysterious connection. But exactly how his grand plan fits together remains a central mystery.

The Blacklist - Season 2

2. Is Red Lizzie’s father? Liz outright asks Red the question in “Anslo Garrick: Part 2,” to which he, after a long pause, denies any parental connection. Despite Red’s denial, his exact connection to Liz remains the show’s central overarching question, and may not be fully revealed until the very end.

the blacklist scar

3. Lizzie’s scar? The scar on Liz’s right hand/wrist could well be linked to the fire she was trapped in – and saved from – as a child, but remains an ongoing mystery.


4. Who killed Victor at Angel Station? Liz traces Tom’s gun to a top-secret file marked Angel Station, June 23, 2012. When she accidentally allows Tom to see the date, he reminds her this was when they spent the weekend in Boston for his “job interview”. However, the un-redacted case file suggests that during this time Tom killed Russian defector, Victor Forkin. Tom denies everything and corporate terrorist Gina Zanetakos claims she killed Victor because “Berlin” didn’t want him spilling secrets that would harm his business on the Russian border. While Gina’s story matches up with later revelations concerning Berlin, it remains to be seen whether she was really the killer or took the blame to keep Tom’s cover.

5. Who’s ‘The Farmer’? Red tells the Stewmaker/Stanley a story about a farmer who becomes a killer after his family is taken from him. Was this analogy about Stanley or Red? If Red was describing himself, might it inform his belief that Liz represents his second chance? Can he be redeemed? What does redemption for Red look like?

6. Kuwait Incident? What “unfortunate incident” involving Cooper took place in Kuwait that Red threatens to reveal?

7. Why is Red willing to ‘burn the world down’? Red tells Liz that he understands Frederick Barnes because, like Red, he was willing to “burn the world down” for someone he loves. Liz thinks Red’s referring to her, but he calls her “presumptuous”. Later, Red literally burns down his old family home after briefly reminiscing about his daughter. Question is, who is lighting Red’s flame?

Would this rule Liz out as being Red’s daughter given that the numbers Red was given in “Wujing” match Megan Boone‘s birthday: 04-29-83 (making Liz 30 years old, if she’s the same age as her portrayer)? And how does Lucy Brooks factor into this equation?


8. Trying to Forget? Red buys his old family home, and then blows it up because he spends every day “trying to forget what happened here.” No doubt this is tied to the mystery surrounding his wife and daughter. Question is, what specifically happened in that house; what memories does he wish he could erase?


9. The Secret? Mr. Fitch tells Red: “we know what you have Red, and we know what will happen to it if you turn up dead,” in reference to the deal he made 20 years ago with The Alliance. They’ve allowed Red to live in exchange for keeping their secret. We eventually learn that Red’s leverage over the Alliance is tied to a “Fulcrum” which he claims is in his possession, and the year 2017, but the exact nature of Red’s intel is shrouded in mystery.


10. Does Liz have a secret criminal background we don’t know about? After agreeing to go on an undercover mission to steal an effigy, Liz dodges the question of having criminal past and later claims to have made up the story about her “Omaha” con job. Yet she displays an array of deceptive tricks. Does Liz have a criminal past that she’s somehow concealed from her employers, or is she just good with her hands – perhaps tying her to Red’s story about his daughter playing the piano on that apparently fateful Christmas day?


11. Was Red’s story about losing his family true? He tells Madeline Pratt a tragic story about coming home late on Christmas day 20 years ago, to find that his family had been slaughtered. “All I saw was blood.” He uses the heartbreaking story to manipulate Pratt, but doesn’t say whether or not any of it was true.

The revelation that his ex-wife, Naomi Highland, and her daughter were placed in protective custody in 1990, might imply that Red’s story is a fabrication, perhaps for their protection. However, much like the ‘Farmer’ story, the tale could have additional context, particularly given the Liz “daughter” theories. Did Red have another family besides Naomi and her daughter?


12. Red’s Effigy Stakes? Red went to a lot of trouble to acquire the effigy from the Syrian Embassy/Madeline Pratt. Is there a deeper reason beyond his love of artifacts?

the blacklist 22 march 1987

13. What’s the significance of March 22, 1987? Red has a vision/memory of a young ballet dancer (presumably his daughter) during a Swan Lake performance that he has arranged. As revealed by the programme, the original performance took place on March 22, 1987 . Was this the last time Red saw his daughter perform? How does this tie in with 1990, when his ex-wife and her daughter went into protective custody?

14. Why did Red financially support Liz from the shadows? According to Tom, Red not only kept tabs on Liz over the past 20 years, but he supported her financially by funneling money through her adoptive father, Sam.  For what it’s worth, this is paralleled by Red funding the ballet company to perform Swan Lake as a reminder of his (presumed) daughter’s performance. Hmm..

the blacklist cyprus agency #64

15. The Blacklist Numbers? With confirmation that the rankings on Red’s list have a grand design, a connection linking many (if not all) of the criminals on Red’s agenda, what exactly is the meaning behind the numerical composition of the list?

The Blacklist - Season 1

16. Tom’s ‘Woman’? Who’s the mysterious woman in Tom’s real life that his ‘brother’ Craig/Christopher mentioned? Could it be fellow Berlin agent Gina Zanetakos?

17. Red’s Interest in Bobbit? What does Red want with Bobbit’s client list? Does it have something to do with Red’s family?

blacklist liz y pattern scar

18. Why does the ‘Y-pattern’  on Tom’s spy box and the envelope resemble the scar on Liz’s hand/wrist? Does it connect Liz’s backstory (i.e. the fire)? If so, why doesn’t Liz appear to recognize the pattern given its resemblance?

19. Change of Heart? What did Liz learn about Sam that made her want to save – if not quite forgive – Red?

20. The Fire: Other Burning Questions? Liz’s biological father apparently rescued her from the fire, but who started it and why?


21. Are the scars on Red’s back from the infamous fire? Was he the one who saved Liz? Does this confirm his paternal connection to Liz? Was he speaking metaphorically about himself when he assured Liz her father ‘died’ in the fire?

22. Is Naomi’s daughter Jennifer also Red’s biological daughter?

23. Where is Jennifer?


24. What mystery condition is ailing Cooper? Partial answer: He has an unspecified illness that will kill him. His only chance, a clinical trial.

the blacklist samar

25. Why does Red want Samar on the task force? And how does it benefit Samar?

26. Why doesn’t Red want Liz to see Jennifer? 

27. What does Naomi believe Red ‘wants’ from Liz? Was she referring to Liz’s connection to the Fulcrum?

red daughter?

28. Who is the young girl in Red’s home video? Presumably it’s his daughter. Whether that makes her Jennifer or Liz remains to be seen.

fitch 83044

29. What will happen in 2017? Before Fitch becomes brain splatter, he ‘reminds’ Red of the significance of 2017, and says that members of the Alliance will become more “radical” the closer it gets. Seems the clock has been set, but what is it all leading up to, and how does the Fulcrum, Liz, and Red’s game plan fit in?

30. Ruby = Red? The man who hid young Liz (or Masha) in the closet was wearing a ruby ring, according to Liz’s memory. Is this her mind’s way of telling her it was Red who hid her in the closet?

31. Liz’s Dead Daddy/Fire Roles? After her memory-scape, Liz believes the man lying (apparently dead) on the floor during the fire was her father. Does she have it right, or is she an unreliable narrator in this instance, as intimated by Dr. Orchard? Did her father actually survive, or was he the man who rescued her from the fire? Exactly who are the various individuals represented in Liz’s memory of the event?

32. Who tried to block Liz’s memory of the fire? Dr.Orchard says she’s not the first person to delve into Liz’s mind; that someone didn’t want her to remember the night of the fire. But who?

33. Who is the Woman from the night of the fire? A female voice is heard during Liz’s memory-scape, but it’s not clear what became of her during or after the fire? Is she Liz’s mom? The man she was arguing with (Liz’s dad) said she told them and it’s landed him in trouble? Who’s “Them”? The Alliance?

34. Liz’s Origins? Seems her original name was “Masha” – the diminutive of “Maria” in Russian. In the memory, Liz’s mom(?) called her Masha but the man she was arguing with (Liz’s dad?) insisted that her name is “Elizabeth”.

35. Why was Liz’s identity changed? Presumably Liz’s name was changed to Masha to keep her identity secret, but it’s interesting that Liz’s mother(?) didn’t agree with the switcheroo.

36. The Mysterious Man on the Phone? Who is the man Fitch wanted Red to speak to regarding the 2017 event?

37. Mysterious Abduction? The Mysterious Man on the Phone was seemingly abducted after a struggle. Seems someone didn’t want him speaking with Red — but who?

38. Is Red really only interested in Liz for the Fulcrum? This also ties back to the old chestnut of whether or not he’s her father.

Related | The Blacklist Numbers Guide

Click through the arrow for The Blacklist Answered Questions…

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  1. Amandabeth says

    This doesn’t really count as a major question, but my serialized antennae started quivering when Red mentioned “I once had a bad experience in a hole deep in the ground”. It seems like the kind of thing they could slip in, and then come back to in a major way. What happened to him? Could it have anything to do with why a golden boy suddenly turned traitor/master criminal?

    Other non-major questions I’m keeping an eye out for: whatever happened to Red’s wife and daughter, and where was he for the four years after disappearing but before the leaks started showing up?

    Like: Thumb up 5

    • says

      @belle – His comment about the deep hole stood out to me as well. I wondered how much stock to put in it, so glad you mentioned it!

      Good point about Red’s family and his whereabouts prior to handing himself over – worth keeping tabs on these strands to see how relevant they become as the series unravels.

      Like: Thumb up 3

  2. says

    I felt the same way about her scar! I couldn’t believe my family didn’t notice the similarity of the designs. I am intrigued about the timelines in Liz’s life. Red was gone 20 years is, so if the very obvious conclusion that he is her dad, who is the “dad” that Red thought gave her the scar? Foster father? If her bio-mother died soon after Red’s disappearance, then she could believe that the people who raised her are her parents. I don’t know, but I am loving this show. And I would love to tell the person who chooses the music that they are a genius.

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  3. kilasol says

    Ok after watching episode 4. I am left wondering who is the women in the photo. And also was there a look? when red told his story right before doing what he did. (Didn’t want to spoil anything).

    Like: Thumb up 3

  4. says

    I’m genuinely hoping that Red is Lizzie’s father! I doubt it now, though, since so many people are referring to him as her father. The writers probably did this for a reason, to get everyone’s hopes up. There are more options than him being her father. The two men could be brothers, and she is possibly the daughter of their sibling or…I don’t know. And the Brooks girl could also be his daughter. I want Liz/Red as father/daughter. It does get a little weird having to see people pair Elizabeth and Raymond as a romantic couple.

    Like: Thumb up 6

  5. Dennis says

    It isn’t going to be as straight forward as Red being Lizzie’s father, but that seems inevitable. What I caught is Red calling her “Molly” when she interrupted the little counterfeiting session. That of course is Lucy Brooks first alias. I’d say that is projecting. So to make this a bigger lie (as Red proclaims about Lizzie’s life from day 1) would be that Lizzie is in fact Lucy Brooks. Red had their identities switched back in 1990. And probably he is her father.

    Like: Thumb up 9

  6. Margie says

    Wow this show is incredible changing all the time wish it was on every night I am so confused now thought I had it all worked out but no, please keep making the series from adelaide south australia. Oh and I still think Lizzie and Red are family, Tom still not sure.

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  7. yac says

    I think Red is’nt lizzie’s father (toosimple). His wife and doughter were both killed (in the house he burned down) while he was not able to help them ,after 1990, shortly after his doughter’s 3rd birthday.(Red , free for many years,still remembers his doughter with pain in the age of 3) The scar on lizzie’s hand and red’s requests :”remember your father”, his interest in another young wooman of the same age (of Lizzie and of his child, if she would have survived), sugest that Red investigations led him to think Lizzie and her biological father were both present (maybe as relatives of family) when the murders took place, and that lizzie’s hand was cut ,trying to prevent the murders (maybe her real father was involved and maybe so was Lucy Brooks.). Red needs her to remember the event and maybe lead Red to her real father.if she will be able to recall the traumatic past.
    As a psichopat , he did not want Sam “to tell ” Lizzie, and thus plant fals memories in Lizzie’s head. He wants her real memories and profilng skills to lead him to the answers he seeks.

    Like: Thumb up 6

    • Elena says

      Red blew up the house in season 1. His house was not burned down. Lizzie’s house was burned down.

      Like: Thumb up 1

  8. CPR says

    About that pesky mark on Liz’s wrist and the “TOM” box–that mark also appears on The Stewmaker’s left side. When he reviews all his taping and covering in the hotel room, he stretches, lifts his arms and reveals two scars on his left side…One the Y shape of the scar on Lizzie and the other the scar shape similar to those carved in kidnapped children (The Freelancer)–though it appears less defined in the center.

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  9. Shamrock1723 says

    Did anyone else notice Red’s parting comment to Lizzie about watching/keeping her eye on her husband? He is still not above suspicion…

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  10. will says

    I think Neela is the mole, and Alan Alda is CIA. Red left 20 years ago to work undercover for them, and when he went to the FBI, the CIA folks got nervous. Tom is the contigency plan to keep Red from turning on them. If Red acts up, Tom is in a position to hurt/kill Red’s daughter.

    Like: Thumb up 3

    • says

      I think this could be true except alan Alda represents an illuminati type organization. Some group of very important business or false government type people that control the world. Red said you think the President, or pointing tot the capitol or White House, control things but in reality they are just figure heads that do not do anything at all. Indicating there is a larger new world order, sinister group. I think he was confiscated by these people because he was a genius for the good of their group and forced to leave his family behind. They are an evil group causing harm to his daughter and wife or family and he wants his revenge and to finally protect his daughter. He has power in some way, that Alan alda indicated. Thanks for letting me comment–love the show–watched it accidentally for 5 mins, could not stop watching that episode and have been obsessed ever since. Is is the writing or acting, or what, but it is a great show–can’t put it down.

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  11. says

    Considering some dialogues in particular along the series …

    (Chapter The Freelancer)

    Regarding the request of Harold Coope to request immunity Reddington

    FBI Director Diane: A condition .. bring someone who I know and I trust.
    Meera Malik, CIA.
    You can help navigate in international waters.

    (Chapter Anslo Garrick, Part 1)

    Harold Coope: We have credible intelligence that you’re targeted for assassination.
    Agent Margot Malik: My contacts at the CIA were sitting on an Egyptian sleeper cell.
    They incepted communication between them and an informant calle Wells.
    Red: Hilton Wells?
    Agent Margot Malik: You obviously know him.
    Red: You obviously don’t.
    Hilton Wells doesn’t speak with the Egyptians
    He hasn’t since he aligned himself with Mubarak during the Arab Spring.
    Agent Margot Malik: I can show you the transcripts.
    Red: With all due respect, if the intel were woth having, then I woud have it.

    (Chapter Anslo Garrick, Part 2)

    Keen:”You really think that Garrick had someone on the inside?

    Agent Margot Malik: “It’s possible.
    The only ono beyond suspicion is Ressler.
    Unless he used Garrick to shoot him in the leg, to cover his tracks.”

    … for me, the FBI snitch is “Agent Malik Margot”

    because if Ressler, Reddington I had known!

    (Chapter Anslo Garrick, Part 1)
    Red: I know a great many things about you, Donald.

    Margot Agent Malik, he wants to blame Ressler, because he knows that I always wanted to catch, it’s your best alibi

    About Tom, he works for Mr. Fitch, and as unknown to Reddington, is the father of Liz, the only way to protect her is to tell her husband is not her father, so asked to take care of him.

    About Harold Coope, breeds mistrust me, because if it were for him, Liz, I’d be dead, ordering her not to report to Ressler code.

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  12. Cynthia says

    I only caught part io one episode, The Stewmaker, when in Australia ( we don’t get the series until next year sometime here in NZ ) but one thing that struck me, having read lots of comments, was who ordered Lizzie to be caught and hurt by the Stewmaker? . Please forgive me if this has already been resolved.

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  13. Josh says

    Audrey Bidwell, Russlers ex Fiance, IS Lucy Brooks (the girl Red looked up in ViCapp). If you look at pics side by side depicting Bidwell and Brooks, there is a strong resemblence, but some differences that leave doubt. However, if you google search the actress that plays Bidwell- Emily Tremaine- you can see pics of her on IMDb that look exactly like the pic of Lucy Brooks. See here:

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    • Susan says

      You are so right!! I don’t think it coincidental they continue to use tidbits
      relative to the show’s actors. Maybe they intend them to be like subliminal
      messages, used to see if their viewers can figure this out. Maybe not.. just a thought.
      Either way, this is a great show! I live for Monday nights

      Like: Thumb up 2

  14. says

    This episode we definitely genre more questions than answers, it was a stunning , extraordinary chapter. In my view , the most important chapter was advancing the next chapter , I say that ? … they speak of Assamble change DNA ! , if possible , this would be the answer that we would all be waiting , because it would undoubtedly answer the big question , such as Red Liz ‘s father , if both were supposedly investigated hard to give the bond that unites them, from the beginning of the season? . It is obvious that in the case of the FBI , in fact in chapter 10 , they identified that Red had been in place for their blood, they had a sample of both Red and Liz . To which if this change , manipulation of DNA , it is true , Red , could have used this possibility with very many prior to delivery , so even the FBI did not so far with this key between him and Liz .

    Conjecture, the next chapter will reveal it or not, as we have acostrumbrados , for that, I say again , I love this series so innovative !

    You think? I’d love to know what you think of my comment, I follow them daily since I found them on the net, the appointment is to see the online chapter, ( because I live in Argentina and here I give days later series ) , and then run to your website reading your comments and sign up in discussions

    Thanks for sharing space . Big kiss . @Romiluck

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  15. says

    I knew it! Meera was the mole!

    But I get the impression that he will not kill her, because considering that it could be the link between Mr. Fitch , he would be more advantageous for her to become an informant, and in turn report to him what he wants known .

    As we have seen throughout the series, and with this new chapter confirm once again the only gave the name of The Alchemist , because I needed that list of names this man did disappear , in my opinion doubt that Lucy is dead ( we as the public do not confirm this of course) and so used the FBI to come up with this list, and removed the doubt.

    Each name given is for their good, has something to do with its purposes , uses the FBI , CIA , and others to do the dirty work , is as said from the beginning of the series ” I’m a criminal , especially my is a lie ” , is a master manipulator .

    But on the other hand, if Lucy was a secret agent who works for ? , Why they are interested in Tom ? maybe it can be for people who spied Liz ‘s house , killed all someone had to take the post of that research , remember that one of chapter one of the protagonists watching Liz ‘s house , said “we know that no works to Reddighton , then for whom you work? ” whatever that maybe Lucy comes to discover.

    We know that Red kill all involved, but only gave the name of the account that received the silver Phillips Newton . But really did not know who they worked for , because I spied Liz .

    Now if Lucy is really a double agent , must have a very strong endorsement of the CIA , FBI, DOJ , otherwise Network and would have given her before (remember that he somehow ” found” by VICAP ) or daria with her now , maybe that is the only reason I ” momentarily ” Meera alive.

    Anyway , as I said before is one of my reviews, Cooper , do not build trust from the time he was ready to kill Liz , and I keep more my theory of mistrust by this phrase he said in this chapter , ” Well the DOJ disagrees . They’re satisfied it ‘s over ” , in reference to the comment of Liz” Reddington factotum believes there’s someone on the inside “, at some point your name will be blacklisted .

    Seguire pointing my comments , I love this product , thank you for the opportunity .

     Romiluck .

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  16. says

    Interestingly possible … viewing previous chapters again, I was struck by this detail.
    Photo of Tom FBI Finding home Zanetakos Gina ( Gina Zanetakos # 152 ) is very similar to the photo of one of the DNI Lizzy find at home. As he could not add the photo, is on the DNI who calls NEUMANN DIETER

    The shirt seems to be the same , looks more blue on off photo ID, but the V -neck collar match, like the haircut, glasses.
    Could then be true Reddington ‘s comment when he says in the same chapter, Lizzy , Gina is your lover?
    Gina could be found arm hugging him ?
    Serious picture shows that the DNI is really Tom ?
    If this document is real , it could be the other too?

    The money that was found along with passports , at the end of this chapter , Lizzy says that demonstrated that belonged to an account of Reddington .
    Which would make sense , when we hear that Gina tells the FBI that the person I worked for was Reddington , so we could deduce that she could have given him money to Tom for some reason , maybe I loan ?

    And if we imagine that Tom killed Victor because for some reason could not Gina , she shares the money payment or anything with Tom , and therefore guilt to cover , just because it was she who was to do , and the help tom , then to not blame herself autoincrimina as Reddigton tells Liz .

    In this way , money, dni , gina, tom , would have a similarity.

    Time will tell us whether this might be valid or conjecture of the many wonderful series this makes us think .

    Kiss . @ Romiluck

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  17. Kevin says

    I think now we know what the Blacklist is all about. Red had no intention of ever surfacing, but he only had one vulnerability: Lizzy. He surfaced to keep her safe and to figure out who is after him. ‘I think whoever killed his family and burned down his house is Berlin.
    Red rescued Lizzy from the fire, secretly had a friend raise her, and then realized Berlin found her.

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    • Elena says

      Red’s house was not burned down. Lizzie’s house was burned down.

      Red’s house was blown up by Red himself in season 1. He told M Pratt that his home was empty when he got there for Christmas. There was blood everywhere.

      Red was a naval officer, being groomed for admiral eventually. They did not say what his occupational field was, but I suspect he was Naval Intelligence. Those officers often serve as naval attaches in embassies around the world.

      What if Red had found out something important that he did not recognize while on duty in an embassy in the East Bloc? The KGB or others sent agents to kill him, but he was stuck in a snow bank out of gas. They killed his family instead, having the Stewmaker do away w/the bodies.

      The girl in the photo is Berlin’s daughter. But who is she to Red?

      They have not painted Red as having two families — one at home and another overseas. That makes it unlikely that the dead girl is biologically related to Red. Was the girl someone Red tried to help escape the Warsaw pact? Does Red know Berlin by another name? Did Berlin entrust Red to get his daughter out only to find that Red failed to adequately protect her?

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  18. David says

    RE: Symbol on Tom’s “go” box of passports/money & scar on Lizzie’s hand:

    1. The same symbol appears on the “go” box of passports/money that Lizzie found in Gina Zanetakos’ apartment. You have to look closely as its seen twice for only 1-2 seconds — (1) first time when Lizzie is pulling box out of its hiding place and (2) when Lizzie takes the top off and puts on the kitchen counter

    2. The envelope that Lizzie finds in the bank safety deposit box — using the key that Tom gave her — has the symbol on the cover.

    3.The scar on Lizzie’s hand/wrist/forearm could actually be a brand or a deliberately inflicted mark rather than the result of a fire or some other random childhood event. In the pilot episode, Lizzie tells the little girl with the chemical weapon strapped to her back that “my Daddy gave it to me” when referring to the scar. Earlier in the pilot in speaking with Red, it’s clear that Lizzie’s very self-conscious about the scar because it’s not so pretty and/or it’s tied to some troubling childhood event/memory that she has repressed.

    4. It’s too big a coincidence that this symbol keeps showing up, and it’s exactly the same as Lizzie’s scar. My guess is that it is a symbol related to Berlin’s organization.

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  19. Sandra says

    Question 27.: the date March 22, 1987

    I think it’s the date when his(Reddington’s) daughter was born. It would fit with the markings in his house(which he burnt down): The markings stopped when the child(his daughter?) was 3 years old–> 1987-1990=3 Years…He disappeared in 1990( right?) In 1990, also the Stewmaker made this photo which Reddington later hide from Lizzy….

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  20. G says

    My question from the start has been why would the FBI stop at a “GO” sign? When the little girl gets kidnapped, we view the road worker from behind and we see the “STOP” side of the sign – therefore the car was seeing the “GO” side – so, er, why stop? Particularly given a kidnapping threat… Have they never watched a kidnap plot movie?

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  21. CS says

    So after watching the finale, I think I figured it out..

    Since Berlin and Red both have the same picture of the same woman (who we now know is Berlin’s daughter), what If Red was the one his daughter fell In love with when she was young? She was Red’s wife and she and Red had a daughter, who is Lizzie, making Berlin Lizzie’s grandfather. Berlin has been led to believe his daughter is dead, which is why he is so intent on going after Red because he either blames him for her being taken away, or he thinks Red is the one who killed her. Since the stewmaker had Berlin’s daughter’s picture as a trophy (the one that Red took), we know he killed her and was the one who sent her back in pieces. Red knew after his wife (Berlin’s daughter) was murdered that Lizzie would be in danger and didn’t want Berlin to know they had a daughter so he passed her off to Sam to keep her safe (that’s why he says if she knew who her father was, she would be in danger (bc Red is being hunted and doesn’t want her to know she’s his daughter in order to protect her)). Like Berlin said in the hospital, “No one knows Berlin’s real name”, including Red, and Berlin is just an alias so Red doesn’t figure out who he is.

    Pieces do the puzzle:
    – Red and Berlin have the same picture of the same woman, who we now know Berlin’s daughter (picture is in his pocket watch)
    – When Berlin was in the hospital pretending to be the guard, he said Berlin’s daughter fell in love, he was imprisoned, and she was taken away and sent back to him in pieces
    – Red took the picture of the woman from the stewmaker’s book (she was one of his victim’s and wouldn’t let Liz see it)
    – The date on the picture corresponds to the year Red “abandoned” his daughter (Lizzie was abandoned by her father, who we know is a career criminal)
    – Red has scars on his back from a fire and Lizzie is certain her father is the one who pulled her out of the fire when she was a child

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  22. MrsACT says

    The finale was great! I do not think Red is Lizzie’s father, it has been way to obvious since the begining. And if he was and wanted to protect her, he wouldn’t have come back in her life and put a target on her back. I do think that Lizzie’s mother is Berlin’s daughter but I don’t think Berlin knew his daughter had a child. I also think that Red had ties to the “dissident” that she fell in love with. I think Red’s family dissappeared the same day the fire was set to Lizzie’s house. I think that Red did save Lizzie but I think her memories are not quite clear and that is why she thinks it is her father. It is also possible that Lizzie’s dad did save her and then we Red got there he went back in to save Lizzie’s father and that is how he gopt burned. All these people and stories are linked to the Alliance (Alan Alda) and they know exactly what happened to Red’s family and I think they are the one’s behind Berlin.

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  23. Kim says

    This is really long, so I cut it in two pieces. After way too much Panera coffee, I typed up my thoughts on the show’s mythology. My ideas are … different, but I think reasonable.
    In the early eighties, Red graduates from the Naval Academy, gets married and has a child, while working in Naval Intelligence with Sam, under the leadership of Alan Fitch. During his work he is exposed to a number of dark government secrets, including the existence of the Alliance. He somehow loses the trust of the Alliance. In retribution his family is attacked Christmas Eve, 1990. He only survives because he was late getting home that night. His wife disappears, his daughter is sent to the Stewmaker. Red goes underground, and uses his resources to find out who ordered the hit. He learns that one rogue member of the Alliance was responsible – he’s a high level government officer, likely military. Red goes for revenge, killing the Alliance member and setting the house on fire to cover the murder. Then he realizes that a child is in the house – he saves Lizzie, but is extensively burned in the process. He manages to get her to Sam’s house and safety before getting medical attention. His face is damaged – she’s so horrified that in the future her memory substitutes her father instead.
    He’s accused of treason and murder, earning him a place on the most wanted list. Red spends a long time receiving treatment for his burns, including extensive facial work by his friend the plastic surgeon we meet in ‘General Ludd’ He covers his scars by always wearing long sleeves – only Dembe/Luli learn about the fire.
    Because he had hidden his evidence against the Alliance before his escape, he has enough bargaining power to make a deal – they help him hide and he stays quiet. The nature of the secret has cause him to lose trust in U.S. – he renounces his citizenship, but he doesn’t take his secrets to any other nations, either – the Alliance is international.

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      • Kim says

        You’re right – he did that so that he could give Ressler the field transfusion and save his life, which was more important to him than covering the scars. I would be very surprised if Ressler didn’t already know about the scars. Whoever implanted the chips (he had a temporary one before the DARPA chip) would have seen the scars, and probably others as well, and would have included them as ‘distinguishing marks’ in Red’s file, and Ressler would have read his file very carefully.

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  24. Kim says

    part two if you’re interested! If you work for The Blacklist and like this, hire me!

    He builds his empire slowly, staying under the radar the best he can. Red’s lost everything that ever meant anything to him – wife, child, friends, career, country, innocence – now he’s a murderer, traitor, criminal. He started with revenge, but it became his life. Red believes that he is now completely unloveable and unredeemable, except by Lizzie – the only honorable thing he’s done was save her at great personal cost. He stays in touch with Sam and helps Lizzie as much as he can.
    During the late 2000’s, he realizes that someone is moving on his organization. Then he finds out in 2010 that Lizzie is married, and the husband is untrustworthy. The attacks on him are dangerous enough that he needs extra protection, and he wants to keep a closer eye on Lizzie. Sam is ill, and needs help watching out for her. When he finds out that she has joined the FBI, he arranges to turn himself in with the stipulation that he works closely with her. Immediately, Ressler, with Cooper’s approval, runs DNA tests to confirm that Liz and Red are not related, since this would be an obvious reason for Red to chose her and would affect the workings of the team. He uses their cases to track down his adversary – Berlin.
    Berlin is Liz’s father, who unknown to Red had survived the fire. After the fire, Berlin went underground, too, starting his own version of the Alliance in Europe, based on the same secret information. They have a symbol – the one on the envelop/box/Lizzie’s scar. Berlin had learned in the late 2000s that Lizzie survived the fire as well. He doesn’t want a reunion, he uses her to find Red. The fake Berlin didn’t know about Lizzie, so he told Tom to kill her – but Tom worked for the real father and knew to protect her. Both Berlins told fake stories in order to mislead the FBI – there is no dissident/no daughter in little pieces. Lizzie’s father had the Stewmaker picture, since he was the one who had ordered the hit.
    If Lizzie finds out her real father is a well-known American who faked his death, she will likely take actions that would draw attention to the situation – neither her real father nor the Alliance want that, and it would put her in more danger than Red is willing to risk.

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  25. laurie says


    That’s a great theory, but I’m confused. At the end you say, “If Lizzie finds out her real father is a well-known American who faked his death, she will likely take actions that would draw attention to the situation – neither her real father nor the Alliance want that, and it would put her in more danger than Red is willing to risk.”

    If Lizzie’s dad is Berlin, I thought he was Russian, not American, let a lone, “well known.” Please explain.

    Also, I get so confused. Did Red drop Lizzie off at 3 years old after the fire to be raised by Sam? ” because in another summary i read that lizzie’s mom had drank herself to death and lizzie raised her self. It doesn’t make sense. And I think it is interesting that we never hear Lizzie talk about her mom.

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    • Kim says

      I’m glad someone read my theory – thanks for your reply!

      Someone else on another site noticed this too – Berlin’s accent didn’t sound Russian. It was kind of a muddled accent, as far as I could tell – like someone who traveled a lot. He had the financial resources, and twenty years, to change his appearance and become unrecognizable.
      I believe the mother Red was referring to might be Sam’s wife – I would assume he married at some point after he adopted Liz.
      It is interesting that Red mourns so much for his daughter, but not his wife. I have a feeling that his wife will become part of the story in the future. Maybe we’ll learn something about Lizzie’s birth mother, as well.

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  26. charla parker says

    no. 26. It was NOT the stewmaker who faked Lucy Brooks death, It was the Alchemist. Red found Jolene in The Alchemist’s files.

    no. 36. Sam did not have the music box. He hummed the tune to Liz.

    no. 37. There was no signs of Tom being hit. The nosebleed was spontaneous.

    no. 39. Same as no. 36.

    no. 40. Red said that if he told Liz about Jolene’s death she it would conform her actions with Tom and he would know that he killed her. That knowledge would have put Liz in more danger.

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  27. mef says

    How can Red’s daughter be old enough to dance Swan Lake in 1987, yet only be three or four in 1990 when Red disappears?

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    • jeanette says

      I hope that Reddington is Liz’s father or else I will stop watching show. The writers have gotten my hopes up and only a father would go through so much to protect their child. Plus I love Red.

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  28. kb says

    I don’t believe that Zoe is Jennifer. Beyond Liz making that assumption, the only thing that even really implied it was that they showed Red finding her after they showing him watching the film of the little girl. Liz made that assumption entirely on her own, and Red seemed to only find her jealousy endearing because she was wrong, like the conversation you referenced from the end of Frederick Barnes.

    Red told Aram that he needed to find Zoe because she’s critical to his war with Berlin, which implies that she’s more likely Berlin’s daughter, or at least someone who can corroborate the fact that Red was framed for her murder and that they have a common enemy.

    Furthermore, if Red thought that Aram could help him find his daughter, he would have already asked for his help, since he wants to know what happened to her more than anything in the world.

    Maybe I’m wrong, but even if I am, it’s still too soon to assume that Zoe is Jennifer. I’d amend the last one to ask if she is or isn’t… but eh, that’s just me. Good article! I so love the mysterious serial arc of this show.

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  29. Paul says

    I think Red’s ability to spin reality could mean that anything and everything could be a lie in the end. Remember, that gift for storytelling is a gift from THE WRITERS, the people whose imagination create the whole reality of the series. They have obviously created a book with episodic chapters that fit into a whole, and that ‘whole’ is designed to create a job for them that will say, pay for a second home? Whatever! In other words, THEY have long term goals for their LIVES, and they want to draw us into a mystery that will take AT LEAST 5 years to SOLVE! I hate to say this, but there’s an aspect of this that reminds me a bit of “LOST!” And I just hope that the wait is worth it, and entertaining along the way!
    So far, it has been, for me, anyway.

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  30. Paul says

    BTW, could you add an ‘EDIT’ feature to the ‘COMMENTS’ section [available only to the writer of the comment, of course] so that those of us who are a little advanced in age (I’m 65) or in a hurry, but yet, value spelling and grammatical accuracy, [or even, perhaps, regret what they may have said?], can make corrections ‘after the fact?’ PLEASE? It’s just a few more lines of code!

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  31. Mark says

    Here is a thought a little off topic. I have theory which could be mind blowing. What if Red never actually turned. What if he has remained under cover for the sake of the country once he discovered the Fulkrum. And in order to fight the Alliance he had no choice but become a criminal mastermind. What if what is contained in the Fulkrum is really that bad he knew he had to sacrifice everything. Just a crazy thought

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  32. benny says

    What did lizzy say to raymond at the end of the show while sitting on the bench. “you were my ? what?” I couldn’t make out what it was she called him. I ran it back over and over again but couldn’t understand. Anyone know/

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