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!
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.
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 being her father. 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.
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 is 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?
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..
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?
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. Berlin Wants You!? Tom tells Red’s spy “You don’t choose Berlin, he chooses you.” How exactly did Berlin choose Tom and his other recruits?
20. Change of Heart? What did Liz learn about Sam that made her want to save – if not quite forgive – Red?
21. The Fire: Other Burning Questions? Liz’s biological father apparently rescued her from the fire, but who started it and why?
22. 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?
23. Is Naomi’s daughter Jennifer also Red’s biological daughter?
24. Where is Jennifer?
25. What mystery condition is ailing Cooper?
26. Why does Red want Samar on the task force? And how does it benefit Samar?
27. Why doesn’t Red want Liz to see Jennifer?
28. What does Naomi believe Red ‘wants’ from Liz? And why should Liz be concerned?
29. 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.
30. What is the “Fulcrum” and does Red really have it? Merriam Webster describes a fulcrum as being “the support on which a lever moves when it is used to lift something,” or something that serves as a hinge or support. Somewhat ironically, the mysterious device/object, appears to be the one thing that has given Red leverage over the Alliance, and indeed prevented the more radical members from killing him. The very deal hinges on the mere belief that Red has the Fulcrum and seems closely tied to the following mystery…
31. 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?
32. What’s in box #83044? Moments before his head goes “POP”, Fitch gives Red the number of a safe in St. Petersburg. What’s in the safe and how will it help Red?
33. Red-Tom Alliance? In the closing moments of “The Decembrist,” Red hands Tom an envelope of cash in payment for working for him and keeping quiet about their relationship while being tortured/questioned by Liz. Which raises the very question – what is the exact nature of their relationship and WHEN did it come into play, given that they didn’t seem to be working together for much, if not all of Season 1?
Related | The Blacklist Numbers Guide
Click through the arrow for The Blacklist Answered Questions…