Who's Your Daddy? All Things Red and Liz

Discuss the relationship between Liz and Red, and anything specific to either character. 

The former page, Liz: Her Backstory, Scar, Adoption, Work is now archived here.
The former page, Red: Good vs Evil, His Family, The Fire, Dembe, Mr. Kaplan is now archived here.


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Fergy said...

11:14 am November 18, 2013
Fergy wrote:
I watched episode 8 again and paid closer attention to the scenes with Red and Sam in the hospital. Sam tells Red that Liz has a right to know the truth, Red is sitting in the chair next to the bed, then they cut to commercial. When they get back to the hospital scene Red is looking out the window and Sam is on the phone speaking to Liz. So there is a an entire conversation that we didn’t see between Red and Sam, which could have been where they agreed that Red should mercy kill Sam. Red may have explained to Sam that it would risk Liz’s life to find out this “Truth” and they agreed to end Sam’s life before he was drugged up an not in control of what he might say.

OR, Sam asked to speak to Liz because he knew that Red was going to kill him now that he admitted that he wanted to tell her the truth so he gave her that cryptic message saying “I should have told you from the get go but I wanted to protect you”.

I also believe that Tom knew exactly who Red was when he allowed him to sit down at his table and they just acted like they didn’t know each other in case someone was near by listening to their conversation.

I too would like to know how Tom and Liz met, it was obviously a setup for Liz so that Tom could be close to her for some reason. And Red obviously has reason to believe that he needs to protect Liz from Tom.

Waiting one more week will be agony!

Fergy said...

Well, I was correct about the fact that Tom knew who Red was during that conversation at the hospital. However, after his conversation with Liz in the Kingmaker episode I am not so sure that Red and Sam agreed that Red would kill him. He seemed to be defending his decision to kill Sam in that conversation. If they had agreed he would have said that Sam asked him to end his misery, instead he said Sam was in pain and I put him out of his misery and He was not thinking clearly and he wanted to tell you the truth, or something to that effect.

What was amazing to me during that scene was that Liz didn't push Red to tell her what it was that her father wanted to tell her that Red did not want her to know. It was also interesting that Red said "I have known Sam all of your life and most of mine" that insinuated that they were related somehow and again Liz didn't even ask. Red and Sam might have been brothers but the family disowned him 20 years ago and never spoke his name again so Liz never heard of him.

Jane said...

CLUE!!! I woke with Red's words ringing in my ears as he was talking to Liz about Sam. "I've been friends with Sam for all of yours and most of my life." Red said ALL Liz's life- not since she was four when he took her to Sam. This ends a lot of speculation and opens the door for more.

Basil said...

Jane...gosh...it kind of flings the door open, doesn't it? Good catch. Red has known Liz...what....from birth?

Fergy....I so agree! Why didn't Liz ask Red more about how they knew each other. ANd what about asking him what it was that Sam wanted to tell her? Of course, if she asked him that question, I don't know what Red would have done. He doesn't lie to her. But the writers can't give that away yet. Golden silence, probably. But yeah...very peculiar that she didn't ask these questions...even demand that Red...that lying/killing so and so.....to TELL her! That Liz sure puzzles me sometimes...

Chompstick said...

Jane - really interesting catch ! Huge clue, but what it means I have no idea.

Jane said...

Red's comment clearly showed how long he had know Sam. The part referring to Liz is ambiguous. It could merely reflect how long he has know Sam or it could also mean Red has known Liz- or about Liz- all her life. There were theories about Red burning his Adversary's house but saving Liz and taking her to Sam. There were other theories about the length of time Red knew -or knew about- Liz. The writers phrased it, in Blacklist Style, so that it could mean several things.

Basil said...

You are so right, Jane. I misread the quote. So Red knew Sam for all of Liz's life. That doesn't say how long Red knew Liz. I wonder about the relationship between Red and Sam, how they knew each other. They both care a lot about Liz. He said he'd known Sam for most of his life...not all of his life....that doesn't sound like they were brothers, to me.

Jane said...

Once again, ambiguity, Basil. If Sam were a younger brother Red would have known Sam all Sam's life but only most of Red's life. Sam, however, seemed older than Red, not younger.

Basil said...

Oh...pause....oh...wow.....I'm thinking.....this is great Jane, thanks....but you're right....VERY ambiguous......

BarbJ said...

Ok, starting a who's your mommy list.
This is for LAOCOON.
Most fans will know what I mean when I say...
Think of and rewatch:
Rant in plastic surgeon office-Shame on you Abraham.
Rant when Liz was tied to a chair when trying to steal the artifact at the formal.
Red kisses Luli when they first meet in post office. Be careful Donald she hates men.
Leans on Luli in car, be nice to me I have had a terrible day.
To Liz, you got rid of your highlights.
To Malik, nice blouse.
To Cooper,you smell nice.
To Mr Kaplan, I want that coat.
To Liz let's go dress shopping before Cuba.
Swinging on a swing.
Where are those mushroom puffs.
How about that cheese cart.
To Liz, profile me. I wonder how close to the truth you can really get.
Everything about me is a lie.
Yes sweetheart, I am not a gum machine.
Trying on hats and talking about the g spot.
To Liz, you are a spring not an autumn don't wear olive.
To Sam, I have seen her. She is hard and then soft then hard again.
To Liz. Because of your father.
Liz asks are you my father? NO.....PAUSE I AM YOUR MOTHER.
The question itself is complicated.
Do I need to mention how Red comforts Liz with the music box.
Notice Red has little hair and wears many hats with flair. A good way to play that.
Notice he has very little facial hair and thin eyebrows.
Notice how he hugs and kisses everyone like Auntie Mame even men and Anslo when he was being tortured by him.
This is enough for now,
I have more.
Watch for clues.
It is very subtle.
Maybe you disagree so tell me why it can't be a possibility.
Thank you for your open minds.

fangirl said...

He's certainly a very colourful character, but I think it's entirely due to the fact that Spader himself is a very colourful man ... he's got some really interesting views on the fluidity of sexuality , and has lived a rather complex life both offscreen and on ... so I'm assuming that he's imbued the Red character with this fluidity and complexity.

Whether the character will end up being written as male or female or some variation thereof, either in orientation or in actual gender, it'll be fascinating in large part due to Spader himself.

Charmed said...

Nice list Barb J. But to me these things don't make Red more feminine. To me he is just a natural storyteller, he likes to get a rise out of people at times and is a great mimic. I believe he has spent a lot of time around women and has a natural curiosity about what he sees, hears and smells.he likes nice things and enjoys wearing nice clothes. Before this series, he wore his hair long. He loves hats and imagine trying to take the time to get a hair cut in his business. Red loves and admires women. Remember one episode Luli was with Red at home wearing a man's button. I know men can find that sexy as well as a nightgown.

I certainly hope he is not a woman. It would kill my buzz for sure.

fangirl said...

Also, I want to say that regardless of what blend of gender and/or orientation the character of Red ends up being, he is and always shall remain an absolutely adorable, fabulous, irreplaceable dearie.

Charmed said...

fangirl, loved your comments about our man of the world.
I could never put that post together as you did.

fangirl said...

awww ... you're such a dearie.

fangirl said...

That great Rolling Stone article on Spader sheds some light into his sexuality and makes it clear that the character of Raymond Reddington is wonderfully representative of Spader's sensibilities as well as his previous acting work.


BarbJ said...

Thank you for your thoughtful comments and I will check out that rolling stone article.

fangirl said...

I love discussions like this.

Re the article, I can't remember who found it, but it's excellent.

Laocoon said...

BarbJ - Your list is so impressive! You're way ahead of me.

I agree that Spader is playing this character in a very ambiguous way. The insight from Rolling Stone (thanks, fangirl!) about Spader is very revealing. He must be working the head game really hard to keep us viewers intrigued.

On the one hand, BarbJ's list is a lot of stereotypical feminine characteristics.

On the other hand, men and women who live in that very elite international business world do talk that way without the gender/role identity signaling that most Americans see elsewhere. (I lived in NYC for a long time and saw this.) Anyone who enjoys the finer things in life and got hungry might well crave the cheese cart. Showing wealth is more powerful than brute masculinity, so a vicuna coat might be a status symbol, depending on trends.

There was a mention over on the Berlin thread about the picture of the young Liz with Sam, that perhaps the picture was cropped. Great observation - This flows into the larger issue that we haven't been told much about Liz's mother.

During Madeline Pratt I wondered about why Red was so interested in developing the relationship between Liz and Madeline. If Madeline were her mother, that contradicts the Red-as-Mommy idea.

It's not at all clear. I can just as easily get comfortable with the theory that Liz is the child of Red's adversary.

What compelled me to lob this idea up on the blog (forgive my ignorance of BarbJ's work who was way out front on this) was that gender reassignment of a main character has not been used in this type of mainstream TV procedural-with-deep-backstory genre. These shows are increasingly seeking more shock value and deeper mythology. This begs the question of whether the show creators took this step.

Redhead said...

Maybe Red is just a man in touch with his feminine side. Maybe he is like "Mr. Kaplan" who is a woman but has a man name and looks/acts masculine.

ziji said...

So I've been pretty vocal about, to me red is just red. I really believe that,

JBlitz had a good point that said people in his previous life would know if red was Mrs red.

You could argue that finch, for example, has already accepted the gender reassignment. But his navel friend from the Judge episode hadn't seen him in years and he treated him as, well, just red.

I personally think "gender" is a continuum. Masculine and feminine are both part of us - we have both.

I personally LOVE it when Red gets more demonstrative or engaging. Such as some of his comments or style of dress. But I honestly think that is simply part of how spade spader is playing the part.

I live in a very open minded community. Some of my best friends are gay, I've known transgendered people - I seriously Could Care Less if Red was a Mrs. I'm not vocal against it because I am closed minded. But I honestly think he is just more engaging, more entertaining, more of a storyteller (as fangirl says) than usual. That just adds to his whole fascination for me.

fangirl said...

Beauty is beauty.

BarbJ said...

Fangirl, nice photo of JS! and appreciate your comments.
Laocoon, I am glad you threw out the idea for discussion. That is great. I agree with you about it being an unusual shocking path for the writers to possibly take, so maybe there is some merit in it.
Who knows, I never thought there could be an Alchemist DNA or a surgeon that would give you a new face until those episodes. I am suspending my disbelief and considering all options. That is why I love this show.
Even Spader himself said in that Rolling Stone article that no idea is too far out for him...he loves it.
Truly the many other plots mentioned on this blog are far more reasonable, and possible.
It is fun to list the theories, and see what the writers actually end up doing.
Ziji, if Red is just Red, wouldn't he be an interesting friend to have?! What conversations we could have with him!
Because looking at the list I made above, I do not know of any man/father who would say or do ALL those things. (But a women/mother, yes!!)
Thanks all, now going to make dinner!

Mary said...

I love this discussion as yesterday I suddenly thought that Red could be the 'mom' and immediately had myself committed. Now I feel I can be released back into society! lol

Another possibility would be that Red is her stepfather. Thus he technically didn't have a child upon entering the Naval Academy, if I'm recalling that discussion correctly.

Charmed said...

Mary, Barb J, Laocoon, several of us Blacklist lovers on this site may feel we could be committed for the wild ideas we come up with. But that's part of the fun. You never know what is going to happen or who may join you in your suppositions. I am such a Spader lover, I see all of the things you've mentioned as lovable quirks. But since we have discussed the feminine characteristics sometime ago, I just decided to enjoy them as Spaderish. Of course at that time we didn't have near the list of quirks that Barb J has listed. Lots of new Bon mots to enjoy.

We enjoy everyone's insights and comments. It just makes this site a more pleasurable place to visit. Don't be timid. Please! We like debates. No one is wrong.

fangirl said...

Charmed said ... "No one is wrong."

Except for the people who think Red is Liz's dad :D (I hope I'm NOT wrong ... being not wrong would be soooooo much fun!)

Laocoon said...

I didn't note anything in the season finale that contradicts the who's-your-mommy thread. However, the finale really does raise new questions. I'll return when I have something to add, still need to redirect my thoughts after last night's shockers.

BarbJ said...

Hi Laocoon,
I am very interested in what you think. One thing I observe is Red's unending patience with Liz.
Ways forgiving her threats, overlooking her bad decisions and emotional nature.
That is a very nurturing mommy trait.

BarbJ said...

If Berlin and Red are so interested in the pocketwatch ballerina then maybe Red is her mother too!!
Liz is by another father who DID die in the fire. The father handed Liz to Red who ran over to her brother Sam.
Because of the burns Red assumed the identity of Reddington who already was killed for another reason.
Red is a nickname. I bet Red has reddish hair like the pocketwatch girl.

Laocoon said...

Yes, BarbJ, I agree that there is an intense quality about Red's passion for Liz that seems like it would come from a mother. A father could be passionate also, but not as forgiving as you cite.

I'm doing some work around my house right now so I can take a brief break before I binge-watch the whole season looking for a new angle. It's my methodology for letting new insights come.

The comments from this group are really great.

Naike said...

Question: As much as I love The Blacklist and the perfect casting of James Spader as Red, I like many other fans whose comments I've read am very confused and frustrated about Red's connection to Liz. There have been teases all season that made many/most of us believe he is her father: his annual attendance of that ballet, his buying that house where he had memories of a little girl playing in the yard, the music box he presented to Liz that just happened to play the song her father used to hum to her, and the burn scars on his back, etc., but the writers, et al., insist he's not her father. If that's the case, then why all those misleading "clues?" I really hope they don't drag the mystery out for another whole season — I mean, even if Liz doesn't find out or figure out who Red is to her for awhile, then at least let the audience in on the secret, geesh! A loyal but frustrated fan ... — Jamie

Matt Roush: I'm afraid the mystery of Red's fascination with Liz (which I wish I shared) is likely to be this series' Red John — the bugaboo that will haunt the characters for as long as the writers feel they can get away with stringing them and us along. I understand the desire to sustain the enigma of Red's background, but frankly, there's not enough else going on with the underpowered supporting ensemble to make the experience as dramatically satisfying over the long haul. (Case in point: the death of Parminder Nagra's Meera in the finale, which might have had some impact if they'd ever let her come alive in the first place.)

From: http://www.tv.com/news/ask-matt-cancellations-louie-finales-person-of-interest-castle-blacklist-more-18151915383793047628/

Charmed said...

Laocoon, hurry back after your chores and you've watched a new episode. You never know what you might notice while re watching. We enjoy your input.

Charmed said...

Naike, we could have some really good debates, except for the fact that I often agree with your comments. I also liked the "Ask Matt" Q&A. The thing I miss most about Meera was the fact that I never knew her at all. If only she had been a CIA agent with an agenda, maybe we would have had more of her backstory. Instead we are left with the knowledge of time taken off as an agent and her two young daughters. Sad!

Orange said...

Not sure why, but I'm quite open to accept anything with Red and Liz relationship. I'm more interested in their journey. In my eyes, Red is sort of being a mentor to Liz even though his motives are still questionable. One thing for sure, he does care about her. I think they have provided us with enough for us to draw our own conclusion, whatever that may be.

I would like to see more character developments in season two and looking forward to see how they plan on pealing off each of the mystery and conspiracy layer.

Chompstick said...

Orange, I agree with your post. Red is definitely mentoring Liz. Some people have the theory that he's grooming her to "take over" his crusade i hee shoul get caught or killed.

And for sure he loves her, the big question is in what capacity, right? I just wonder how many seasons we will have to wait to find out.

Naike said...


So, even after watching the pilot episode on several occasions, there are still a couple of tiny details I cannot fully comprehend to this day.

1. When Ressler is briefing his colleagues at the Post Office FBI Black Site, he says the famous lines: "Raymond "Red" Reddington attended the Naval Academy. Top of his class. Graduated by the time he was 24. He was being groomed for admiral. Then in 1990, Reddington's coming home to see his wife and his daughter for Christmas. He never arrives. This highly respected officer up and disappears from the face of the earth until four years later when classified NOFORN documents start showing up in Maghreb, Islamabad, Beijing".
But the first information that is given to us, as viewers, are actually the data we can see displayed on the Computer Desktop of the FBI Lobby Guard when Red surrenders himself to the FBI. We can read: “D. O. LAST ARREST: 06.14.92”; “D. O. CONVICTION: 09.24.93”; “CHARGE: ESPIONAGE”.
So, what significance could this discrepancy hold? I mean, we are not talking differences between the pilot and later episodes here, which would naturally occur when a series is picked up. This was both in the pilot. So, did Red disappear on Christmas' Eve of 1990 and only re-appeared four years later, or was he arrested in 1992 and convicted in 1993? (This would be important for the beginning of the following episode too, when they make Red take a lies detection test, and he is asked if he has ever been convicted of crimes). If the first would be true (disappeared in 1990 and first sign of life only four years later), why would the FBI’s database contain incorrect, false or even misleading information?

Naike said...


2. In the same scene (Ressler briefing his colleagues), we are shown glimpses of the FBI's case files lying on the desks of the FBI agents. There is the picture of the red car covered by snow (which could support the story Red would later tell Madeline Pratt in the episode of the same name). But what I don't understand is the value of the picture that is casually lying on top of the picture of the car. It is a picture of three hands holding tea lights and a fourth, smaller hand on the left side of the picture . What significance would a picture with such a vague information content hold for the FBI? Who took the picture? Who gave it to the FBI? When was it taken? What should it represent? A Christmas’ celebration? Symbolic or would that be a picture from Red’s family (suggesting Red’s family was composed of more than three members?)? A wake, a memorial service? What would the three hands and the fourth, smaller hand imply?

Naike said...


3. Later in the episode, when Liz comes home just to find Zamani there, holding Tom hostage after having beaten him up, Zamani says to Liz: “You're not as smart as Reddington says. My friend, he is always so obsessed with you. I'm not sure why.” Red himself will call Zamani “old friend” later, when greeting him at the Lincoln Memorial.
Red did not keep his obsession with Liz a secret? I noticed Red himself uses the word “friend” in an inflationary way, so I would guess when he calls someone “friend” that doesn’t always necessarily mean “actual friend”. Why wouldn’t Red have kept his obsession with Liz a secret? Why would he have talked with a man such as Zamani about Liz? Hasn’t his biggest concern always been to keep his ties to Liz the most important secret of his life? Liz’ safety being his biggest goal? Could the fact that Zamani knew about Liz have led to the events in the pilot, Red giving up Zamani as the first criminal on his blacklist?

Evey Edge said...

I think the reason Red told Zamani about Liz was because he needed Zamani to be aware that Liz was not to be harmed during the mission Red sent him on (stabbing Tom so he would bleed on the carpet above Tom's box). Zamani was a safe person to give this info to because Zamani, plan was to die by the hands of the FBI after setting off the bomb. As a rule I believe Red is much more cautious.

JBiltz said...

They wrote the first script for the pilot in March, then film it and hope the show gets picked up. Making a pilot is a messy process and things are constantly under change. Then they literally sit for months before production starts and they second guess themselves and figure out how to make it better and easier to make.

The biggest recent example of this was Game of Thrones. They shot the pilot and everyone loved it on the production side, showed it to a test audience and the audience had no idea who was who or why anyone was doing what they were doing. So they shot a second pilot. There is a lot of stuff in the pilot that is never said again in the series and some of it should have been if it was still canon. For myself unless it is confirmed later I'm not taking anything from the pilot as canon. There is no way Red was convicted of a crime. You can not convict some one in absentia and they never caught him. Also the dates of documents showing up are after the date of the conviction. Red also says in episode 2 during his polygraph that he was never convicted of a crime. Sure he could have lied but why bother over something that would be so easy to disprove. So no, I don't think so. I do agree those that say that if Red does have a wife around still it should be Molly Ringwald.

Chompstick said...

Why Molly Ringwald?

Basil said...

Hi Naike....

I am responding the your questions about the "four hands holding the tea lights" picture.

I remember questions about this picture coming up before..there was some discussion on other sites, before the fabulous BSG was even created.

One of the things mentioned then (that made sense to me) was that this picture might be a bit of a throw back to the original pilot that never aired. In that pilot, when your pal Ressler is telling the FBI all about Red, he shares the Christmas Eve story where Red goes missing. He then says, "there were searches. Candlelight vigils."

A lot of people thought that the tea light picture might be a picture of one of those vigils.

Just one theory and doesn't explain who the people are holding the candles...but I thought I'd share this little piece of the puzzle in case it might fit.

Naike said...

Evey Edge, it's so cool from your part you have joined the BSG website and our group of Blacklist fans and friends sharing this mutual passion. I enjoy reading your posts and like your thoughts and your style very much! Yes, your reasoning concerning Red and why he would have told Zamani about Liz makes sense, absolutely.

JBiltz, of course, all things pilot. I had posted about it myself, and yet I tend to always forget about that. I should follow your excellent lead: until something is specifically addressed later again and maybe confirmed, everything from the pilot is to be taken with a grain of salt.

Basil, thank you so very much for that information. Till this day I haven't, unfortunately, found the adequate time to read through the original first script for the pilot, so I wasn't aware of that scene. That really adds sense to that picture with such vague information content in the middle of an FBI file.

Oh, and thank you so much for the "your pal Ressler", I had to chuckle at it. ;o)

Charmed said...

One of these days I plan to read the original script, but I am afraid I would confuse what I've read with what I've actually seen and heard. I'm confused easily enough as it is.lol

I'm so pleased we have such a great group here for the summer. Luckily we have a variety of personalities, with deep insights and bits of humor. It makes filling in some blanks so much fun.

Chompstick said...

I have personality and insight but not so much humor. Or is it, I have humor but no personality or insight?

Evey Edge said...

@JBiltz Nice Pretty In Pink reference. If Molly Ringwald played Red wife's it would probably take me days to stop laughing.

Evey Edge said...

Thanks for the welcome everyone! Without a place to talk Blacklist I'm not sure I would have survived the summer hiatus.I don't no what it is about this show, I'm usually not degree of obsessive about the series I watch...

Carolina Girl said...

Evey Edge .... I haven't been this hooked on a series since Dark Shadows! Does that show my age? Uhgggggg!!! Since we are on the Who's Your Daddy page ( am I a rule follower or what? ), what is your stance on the Liz/ Red relationship? I am in the camp of he's her bio dad but believes he stripped being her father after the fire. He became a different person metaphor and all that. What say you?

JBiltz said...

I am sticking with my opinion that this is all about Liz. That probably means Liz is not his daughter. I think Red rescuing Liz from that fire and the probable death of Liz's father, then Red hiding Liz is what triggered the attack on Red's family.

I question Tom saying he knows Liz's father is alive. Tom did not know who Liz's father was or Red's relationship with Liz and suddenly he drops this bomb. Not buying it. Saying that, I think her father is alive, I just don't think Tom really knows that. I also don't think Red is telling a lie when he says he is dead. I think he thinks he is dead, he's wrong but he is not telling a lie.

JBiltz said...

I'm also going to say the question of whether Red is her father is the stupidest thing on an otherwise pretty smart show. A paternity test is so trivial in this day and age that the question left unresolved is just stupid. Any competent investigator when the whole task force was under investigation would have ran her DNA against their data bases. Gross incompetence not to have run hers against Red's.

Chompstick said...

JB, I agree that the heart of the show is about Liz. The weekly blacklister is about Red, and it may or may not tie into the bigger picture, but usually seems to be furthering Red's agenda, which w is to keep himself alive so he can find the truth about "what happened that night" and the events leading up to it. And somehow, that's all about Liz. It's easy to see how those answers could be spread over numerous seasons.

Do you have any theories about what happened? It's way too early for me to guess at questions that big.

Regarding Liz's father: I agree with you on most points here, particularly that her father is still alive but Red thinks he's dead and isn't lying. Red had a hard time telling Liz that her father is dead which points him really thinking that the truth. At some point it's going to be necessary for Red to be wrong about something in order to make him more human and vulnerable emotionally. That's probably down the road quite a bit, but I can't see the show ending without seeing that side of Red.

I have never thought Red is her father...until this episode which left the door open for me the tiniest bit. Something about the way he told the story of the fire made think he left something out. It could be that he is her father who is also the one who saved Liz. I've seen quite a few people say that the scars on his back clearly indicate that he's her dad, but I don't see any solid correlation there at all. It simply means he was there. It's more the way that he told the story that makes me think it could be true.

As far as Red saying Liz's father is dead, Red might feel in his heart that, metaphorically, the part him that was her father that night died. He gave her to Sam and set out on a mission a changed man. At that point he changed from a suburban military family man to a no holds barred career criminal - ruthless murderer - with the single goal of avenging the events on "that night". Again, in this scenario Red wouldn't feel he was lying to Liz because for many, many years he believed himself to be dead as her father.

I don't know which of these options I believe. Like I said, I've never thought he was dad, but I'm not so sure now.

Now to Tom: Do you think Tom believes he is correct, in implying that he (Tom) is a good guy? Or is he brainwashed by Berlin to believe Red is the bad guy, meaning Tom is the good guy by default? Or, was he just manipulating Liz (my opinion)?
I'm talking about the bigger picture here when using the term good/bad guy. Obviously their actions mean they're both bad people, but I'm talking about the long game.

I'm not going back to proof this..I'm too hungry for my Honey Bunches cereal.

Chompstick said...

You are 100% right about The DNA test. It's idiotic and the most illogical thing on the show that one wasn't done on the day he showed up.

JBiltz said...

My guess is something along the lines that Liz's home was attacked by someone. Her father was injured trying to get her out, possibly shot or trapped in the fire. Red was either there when it started or got there at the end. Red knew the father and counted him his friend, he finished getting Liz out.

Its possible Red went in and attacked the home for some spy reason and the fire was started in the fight so Red thinks he killed Liz's father and Red felt he was responsible for her.

I don't think he realized Liz was important until his own family was attacked.

The scars meant nothing to me as evidence. I never doubted Red was there during the fire. One of the flash backs of the fire seemed to be Red's not Liz's flashback.

JBiltz said...

Its reached the point for me that he can't be her father because otherwise someone would have discovered the relationship with DNA and revealed it and they are not all stupid enough that no one would have checked by now.

JBiltz said...

I'm not sure about Tom. There are few people in the world that are as bad as Red. You don't just get to the Ten Most Wanted by accident. So I don't disagree about what he said about Red. The problem is he is working for someone who is at least as bad as Red. If Tom is going to continue in the series then there has to be more to it than he's just a hired hand to Berlin. It would not surprise me in the context of this show if Tom was a good guy pretending to be a bad guy who was pretending to be a good guy. He might turn out to be undercover, he might not also. Honestly, we know so little about Tom at this point that I don't think anyone can have an informed opinion on Tom. You can have an opinion but not an informed one.

Evey Edge said...

@Carolina Girl
Here are the things I believe about Red and Liz's connection:

1)Red was a part of Liz's life before the fire. Red values Liz's life more highly than his own (Anslo Garrick)he would rather be thrown in a box than lose her. I agree with JBiltz that this, everything has been about protecting her "A man willing to burn down the world to protect the one person he cares about, that's a man I understand". I will call BS if the first time he met her was that fire.

2) The fire had to have occurred either on or not long after Christmas Eve (Red went on the run after he dropped Liz off at Sam's and in the fire flash back there is a Christmas ornament). Red does not know the identity of the people who came after his family, but he does know the name of Liz's father. Liz's father has to be someone who ran to Red for help, regularly spent Christmas at Red's house, or someone who Red would run to after his family was slaughtered.

I wouldn't be upset if Liz turned out to be Red's biological daughter out of wedlock. As for the DNA test, Red easily could have paid/blackmailed someone at the lab.

The only thing that would irritate me is if he had no contact with her before the fire. His devotion to her would make no sense to me if this has really only been his watching her from afar with zero real contact.

Carolina Girl said...

@Evey Edge
Your name isn't Evelyn by any chance is it? Thanks for input. I like the possibility that Red could have fathered Liz out of wedlock. Hmmmmmmm? The reason I like this is because last night we watched The Pilot. I would like to say for the second time but we realized we had NEVER seen it ... Imagine that! I will get into this more on another page but as per this subject, I found it interesting that Red told Lizzie that her father was a career criminal and that her mother died alone ( if I remember that right ) and ashamed or something like that. Do you remember that?

Evey Edge said...

@Carolina Girl

In answer to your question about my name is (in appropriate Blacklist fashion) yes and no. Yes, Evey is short for Evelyn, but no Evelyn is not my real name. I used to be a huge fan of The Mummy, and identified hugely with Evelyn the librarian who manages to completely destroy a library by being clumsy.

Any way about the pilot, you're correct Red says her father was a career criminal who abandoned her, and her mother died of weakness and shame. The thing is however, that in the following episode Red tells Liz that everything she has come to believe about herself is a lie. The story Red recites in the pilot is what she has been told by Sam, and in General Ludd we find out that Red and Sam had an agreement about what they would tell Liz about her father. Sam argues that she deserved to hear "the truth", implying what he told her before was a lie. Red and Sam didn't want Liz digging into her past, because of the danger hidden there, so I think they agreed on a story that would discourage her from looking for further answers.

Carolina Girl said...

Thanks Evey for that great explanation of your name!!!
I actually watched Episode 2 last night and we realized that we only had seen the second half hour of that one so I have a feeling since we had not seen the pilot before, the second half of Episode 2 is when we found the show probably channel surfing. I did catch what Red told Liz about everything she new about herself not being true and that was in the first half. This really brings me back to a big nothing ... Lol :)

After watching last night, The Freelancer, I noticed the scar on Dembe's back and the trafficked girl that was giving the speech were the same. I need to go on the page about Dembe and read comments about his past.I have always felt these Blacklisters played a part in Red's past in some way. Is it possible that this trafficking network is how
Berlin's daughter was taken out of Russia? My biggest problem with this show is that I cannot hear what they are saying. The background noise is terrible. I miss a lot just because I can't hear it clearly. Also I think I should look at so ex recaps since I have a memory like a sieve. It is really annoying !!

Chompstick said...

MP - I can't believe you hadn't seen the pilot! Didn't you love it?

From the The Blacklist Wiki Dembe is a Muslim former freedom fighter from South Sudan, who at some stage was trafficked by the Eberhardt Cartel and Red facilitated his escape. It was assumed that he was Raymond Reddington's bodyguard.

There are confirmed reports that Dembe was with Red in Sierra Leone and Brussels, Belgium. Other reports place him and Red in Murmansk and Belfast.

Charmed said...

Carolina Girl- I feel for you being unable to hear TV shows clearly. USA Network has some good shows I'm unable to hear because of the Not Background Music, esp. on Graceland.

I love closed captioning on these shows, as I found that turning up the volume for the speaking, turns up the music to headache level. Not so for The Blacklist, but I just miss too much otherwise.

Please try the close captioning and let me know how you like it. I hope it helps.

Harry said...

Does anyone remember the content of Red's conversation in the hospital with a dying Sam?
My recollection may be faulty, but didn't Red say something like "You will always be her father. All I can do is try to love and protect her [Liz] as you have."
If so, then Red answering "No" to Liz's question "Are you my father?" may have been biologically false but morally true.

Harry said...

Also, does anyone have any theories about what "bargain" Naomi/Carla was referring to when she said to Red [something like] "I kept up my end if the bargain. Said nothing about Elizabeth!"

Harry said...

Correction: "of the bargain."

Chompstick said...

#62 - Harry, you got that quote correct. I put the dialogue between Liz and Sam (because of the double meaning of his words), Sam and Red, and Red and Tom on the Tall Tales or Sincere Stories page.

Harry said...

Thanks, Chompstick!

Harry said...

I interpreted Red's pause before answering "No" to mean he did not want to dishonor Sam's memory (by contradicting his own statement, "You will always be her father").

Harry said...

If the writers want to explain away the DNA non-match, they could flash back to Red retaining the Alchemist to switch his DNA: something a "concierge of crime" on the FBI's Most Wanted list would do to cover his tracks and stay under the radar.

Chompstick said...

Harry, the transcripts come from the Springfield! Springfield! website that does transcripts for many shows. They are, however, difficult to read because it doesn't show who is saying what line and the line breaks are always clear.

Links to this site and many more can be found on the Online Links page (which I need to update). Many of the links are provided from BSGers who have posted them in various places on the site.

Harry said...

If Red really isn't Liz's father*, then I have to go back to his statement to her in the pilot: "If anyone can give me a second chance, it's you" - as if she is the only one who can absolve him of some sort of guilt.
If anyone has seen the movie, "The Zero Effect" [great film; 4 stars in my book], Red's origin and relationship with Liz can parallel that of Kragen Vincent and Gloria in the movie. (I don't want to give away details and ruin the movie for anyone.)

* Though at this point, Liz has been so cranky and deceitful that if I were Red, I wouldn't want her to be my daughter.

Harry said...

Near the end of "Anslo Garrick Part 2", Cooper et al. arrive at the location where Red was being tortured (and from which he escaped). Cooper says: " He was here. Lab tests confirm the blood was Reddington's."

So, it's clear they've got Red's DNA. It's inconceivable they wouldn't have compared it to Liz's.

Harry said...

Red=Papa Bear Bandwagon: Whacked-Out Theory
How can Red possibly be Liz's father without defying the laws of logic and basic science ? Here's how...
1(a) On one hand, we know the FBI has Red 's DNA profile (e.g. in Anslo Garrick II, Cooper said lab reports confirmed it was Red's blood on the warehouse floor). In addition, there have been innuerable instances in which a sample of Red's blood could easily be obtained (e.g. from the tracking chip he yanked out and gave to Zamani in the pilot; the new tracking chip the paramedic dug out if his neck that was then tossed on the middle of the street and located by Liz in Anslo Garrick II; whatever dressing was used to staunch the blood flow from Liz's pen punch into his carotid artery in the pilot; tubing from the "field transfusion" of his blood to Ressler in AG II; and the countless occasions he's left epithelial cells and saliva behind on fine china, silverware, drinking glasses, etc.
1(b) As just about ALL of us have reasoned, there is no way in the world that a blood sample wasn't taken from Liz at the outset to see if there was some familial connection to the fugitive Most a Wanted List criminal who insisted on talking only to her. Plus, she voluntarily gave a blood sample to that weirdo Dr. Linus Creel, and I believe FBI agents are required to provide fingerprints and blood samples as a condition of employment (if for no other reason than to exclude distinguish their DNA from perpetrators' DNA where multiple blood smears are left behind at shoot outs and other bloody crime scenes).
1(c) The failure to take a blood sample from Liz for comparison to Red's DNA would be the most unbelievable and insulting plot omission in the history of law enforcement and its portrayal on television. (Note: recall how quickly Aram used modern DNA technology to identify, within minutes, the Russian minister's 20 year-old DNA left on a teapot or coffee pot in "The Decembrist.")

And yet, on the other hand.....

2(a) Every emotional interaction from Red's point if view; his willingness to sacrifice his own life and subject himself to torture to save Liz (but no one else); and his actions when she's unaware (like when she was in the hospital bed recovering from plague infection) scream paternal love.
2(b) I interpreted his words to a terminally ill Sam, "you will always be her father" to mean "she's my biological daughter, but you raised her and were her dad; "[now] I can only hope to love and protect her as you have."
2(c) As I pointed out previously, if Red's description to Liz of her father as a "career criminal" is accurate, Red himself is the only one we know of who fits the bill.
2(d) In her discombobulated memories, her father saved her from the fire. Red admitted being there. Apparently, her father 's body was on the floor with his back burning. Red's got the nasty burn scars on his back.
2(e) Unless the show runners can recruit s serious A-List actor to come on board in the final season to play Liz's real father - and somehow explain his character's 26-year absence -- nobody will buy it. (After all, as David Carradine as Bill in "Kill Bill Vol. 2" explained, it's a terrible thing to let someone who loves you think you're dead.)

The solution ? A medically/genetically cognizance condition called "Chimera", in which different tissues in the same person can have different DNA, eg, blood vs. hair. Yeah, it's a long shot, and may have been used on TV before (in CSI or House), but I can't fathom any other legitimate reason for Raymond Reddington's paternal affections for Elizabeth.
It's convoluted to explain, but if you Google "chimera" and "DNA", there are a bunch of articles that break it all down.
I dare the writers to write their way out of the canonical box they've created any other way.
Okay, I'm going to take off my tin foil hat now and take a nap.

Harry said...


Chompstick said...

Very interesting post, Harry. I'll reply later. Gotta feed the family. I'm thinking paƧzki, stroganoff, freestone peaches, and grapefruit gushers.

Harry said...

Chompstick: I hope nobody decides to get cute and tell you: "I'll take a rain check on the stroganoff...It smells delicious!"

C Fergy said...

OMG! Next Tuesday is Fat Tuesday and I am on a strict diet! WHAAAA!

Oh Harry, I am not taking a rain check I want to know when dinner is, I love stroganoff. LOL!

C Fergy said...

Paczki's are what we eat on Fat Tuesday, the day before lent starts.

Chompstick said...

Fergy, do you really? I wonder if you're the only one who knew what they were.

Harry said...

Re: Aram's (feigned?) ignorance about the Bunny Rabbit device, and conspicuous wording of promise to not say anything about it to Red: "Mum's the word."

At the end if Ruslan Denislov, Aram told Liz he couldn't figure out how the Bunny Rabbit device worked or what it does. I found that hard to believe. Here's a guy who under duress was able to use his techno-wizardry to make an untraceable theft and transfer of millions of dollars by computer in under two minutes.
Then, he implored Liz to ask Red about the device, suggesting that Red might have some "insights" about it. But Liz rejected that advice, asking/telling Aram: "You have to tell me-- promise me you will not talk to Reddington about this."

Aram's response was: "Mum's the word." I found that odd, especially since we're supposed to find out something about Liz's mother this season (the house fire flashbacks suggest a woman (her mother?) was present - and may have been a spy.)

I wonder if Aram really did find out what's in the device and told Red, but was too scared or intimidated by Red to clue in Liz. Urging her to ask Red directly would then make sense, so Aram wouldn't be the one spilling the beans.

Still, "Mum's the word" -- perhaps a reference to her Mom? - seemed like an strange response, instead of eg, "I promise" or "I won't say a thing to him."

This speculation will probably lead to a dead end, like most nonexistent "clues."

Barb J said...

Hi, I posted back in May, and I am still watching and believing in my theory from then..read my previous posts on this thread.
First, thank you all for the freedom to post my thoughts!

Back Ep 2:5 The Front-
Red puts a headset on Liz in the hospital, and music plays: "Because You Were Born" then Red watches old black & white movies of bubble girl. She is playing around her mother's skirt.
See 39:00-39:50 and 39:8-40:15
Then Liz looks longingly at a baby in the hospital nursery, cut to Red still looking lovingly at bubble girl. 41:15-41:39
Is Liz bubble girl, and is Red the mother?
Next, during The Fire Dream sequence, the Mother calls Lizzy "Masha". That means her Mother named her that. According to a search at behindthename.com, that name can mean Marie among others. In Ep 1:8 General Ludd, a 10:23, Liz opens a door into a garage where Red and Luli and a lady are printing fake money. Red acts surprised and says Molly! or Mollie! According to a search at behindthename.com that name can also mean Marie and many of the same names as Masha.
There is a 5 minute cleaned up audio of the Fire Dream Sequence. It can be found at www.tv.com/shows/the-blacklist/community Dated Feb 7th called: Things we learned in the fire, cleaned up audio during memory. You can better hear the arguing of the man and woman.
Also, I downloaded that episode (Luther Braxton Conclusion) from Amazon, and use captions.
At 29:38, you can see Adult Liz struggling WITH A WOMAN while Red is saying "Where is the Fulcrum Lizzy"
At 29:44 they are still struggling and Red is saying "What you want to see, what you need to find..."
And at 29:49 "Where is it"
Then, someone is carrying little Lizzy out of the fire in her red nightgown at 31:17-19, 31:24 and 32:29. Who is it? It does not look like a man.
A man (father?) put little Lizzy in the closet and said to stay there until he comes back, and gives her the bunny. (which the fulcrum is hidden in) That explains why Red (the mother) does not know where the fulcurm is. When little Lizzy has to scream and be rescued, it is because the man who put here there is either dead or dying, and no one else knew she was in the closet. The mother keeps saying "Where is She?!"
Can someone be disfigured in a fire and have a new face via plastic surgery and assume another identity?
Can someone have their DNA altered to be someone other than who they are?
Can a woman really be a man, or a man really be a woman?
Comments welcome!!!

Harry said...

Barb J #80: The problem with the fire memories sequences is that they're unreliable. The memory retrieval dictor's last meeting with Liz pulled the rug out from under us when she informed Liz that someone had previously screwed with her memories and altered the roles of the participants on the events.

As I think I've noted somewhere, my working theory is that Liz's mother was a KGB or double agent. Or maybe it was her father. It sounded like one parent called Liz "Masha" and the other insisted her name is "Elizabeth." Who knows....

Harry said...

Barb J #80: As for DNA alteration, see my whacked out theory in #72 above (re: "Chimera").

Barb J said...

Harry thanks, I love your comments in #72!! You sound like a very devoted fan of the show.
Part of the fun is all of our shared specaulation!
I have enjoyed this program and the riddles immensely!

Chompstick said...

Barb, I have been delinquent in commenting on your comments, and I promise to get to it soon.

We have probably all been in the position where we take the time to craft a thoughtful post only to receive no replies. It feels crummy.

I certainly have read all of your comments and very much appreciate that you take the time to join our blog.

C Fergy said...

#72 Harry:
2(a) Every emotional interaction from Red's point if view; his willingness to sacrifice his own life and subject himself to torture to save Liz (but no one else); and his actions when she's unaware (like when she was in the hospital bed recovering from plague infection) scream paternal love

When Red was in the box in Anslo Garrick he was willing to come out for Luli, Dembe and Liz. He went in the box with Ressler to save his life. Potentially sacrificing his life for all of them. So I don't think it necessarily screams paternal love. It does scream he feels responsible for her life just as he did Dembe, Luli and Ressler.

C Fergy said...

#72 Harry:
2(b) I interpreted his words to a terminally ill Sam, "you will always be her father" to mean "she's my biological daughter, but you raised her and were her dad; "[now] I can only hope to love and protect her as you have."

Could be Sam and Red both knew neither of them was the biological father. Red was just telling Sam that he would take over once Sam was gone but Red and Liz both would always regard Sam as her father because he is the one that raised her. Red is saying he just hopes he does as good of a job as Sam did.

C Fergy said...

#72 Harry:
2(c) As I pointed out previously, if Red's description to Liz of her father as a "career criminal" is accurate, Red himself is the only one we know of who fits the bill.

I believe the description that he reiterated to Liz in the pilot about her parents was the story that Sam had told her for her entire life. If it were true the background check for the FBI would have picked it up yet Ressler and Cooper were shocked when Liz admitted what Red said was true. It was what Liz believed to be true. My sister in law is going through Secret Service Level background check right now, it has been 4 months so far and they still are not done. I realize reality and TV are two different things though.

C Fergy said...

#72 Harry:
2(d) In her discombobulated memories, her father saved her from the fire. Red admitted being there. Apparently, her father 's body was on the floor with his back burning. Red's got the nasty burn scars on his back.

This is the most compelling evidence that Red is her father. However, it was Liz's memory which the good doctor told her at the end of the show were altered memories.

C Fergy said...

#72 Harry:
I believe that since the series started that we have been given clues that Red IS her father and that Red IS NOT her father in equal proportions. Which leads me to believe that the writers have not decided if he is or not yet. Or they love taking us to the edge with what we think is the answer and then yelling "SIKE" and throw something in to discount what they just told us. Like the memory scene telling us a lot and then at the end saying that Liz's memory had been altered already so the information that they gave us was unreliable.

At this point I don't know if he is or he isn't. Like James Spader said at Comicon last summer, it really doesn't matter if he is or not, it is the journey that is what is interesting. I think they have shown us a lot of Red showing Paternal instincts toward people that he obviously did not parent.

If the writers decide to make him her father then they have some serious timeline issues to clear up and other things. Bubble girl, looks nothing like little Liz in the memory sequence. Ballerina girl looks nothing like young Liz in the memory or pictures of young Liz with Sam either. I think Red had one daughter and lost her, somehow, but I don't believe it was Liz at this point anyway. Once the writers decide if they want Red to be the Daddy then they will have to give us better explanations or clues.

In my humble opinion of course. LOL!

Harry said...

C Fergy #85-#89: Well, the writers better have a really good explanation for Red's affection for Liz, especially since half the time she's angry with him and yet it never dissuades him from caring for her and watching out for her. To be honest, I'm getting a little impatient with Red's stock answers, e.g., "the answer would place you on grave danger" or "the answer is not so simple," The writers could keep up the suspense by letting US know, while keeping the character(s) in the dark.

Barb J said...

Harry #90

I totally agree with you! A very good story-telling technique is for the audience to know the answer, while a character is struggling to figure it out. I would welcome that after waiting all of this time and being led in so many different directions!!

Harry said...

Barb J: Broadwayworld.com has an insightful article titled, "Can The Blacklist Continue to Delay Its Answers?" I'd give the link if I knew how to copy it, but one of the observations is that giving "answers" that aren't really answers but only more, multiple questions will frustrate and insult viewers. I don't appreciate that they tease us with supposed upcoming revelations (like what happened the night of the stupid fire), only to turn around and reveal the recovered memories are unreliable and done one previously screeed with Liz's memories.

If they're going to add more questions and mysteries, there's nothing wrong with giving a few real answers along the way.

Harry said...

"someone", not. "done one", screwed with Liz's memories....

Harry said...

Re: Liz discovering details about the fire:
I got to thinking that with all of the public and law enforcement databases Aram is able to access, wouldn't Liz have thought by now to ask Aram to run a search if public and law enforcement records (eg, fire marshals' reports and investigations; fire department dispatch and response logs; 911 calls; insurance adjusters' files; police department and EMT records; coroners' reports; local newspaper articles; interviews with neighbors; utility/mail service temporary discontinuation records; property/real estate ownership titles, deeds and leases; etc.), using search parameters such as:
"House fires from 1988-1990 during holiday season; likely in but not limited to the Maryland-Washington DC general area; suburban, single-family homes with attic and basement; possible fatalities", etc.
A house fire does NOT go unnoticed, especially by nosy neighbors who gather outside to watch the spectacle and engage in a little Schadenfreude. A fire marshal or other official would comb through the scene to determine the cause of the blaze, where it started, the presence of any human remains, evidence of associated crimes (eg bullets, traces of blood), whether arson was used in an attempt to cover up other crimes, and the identity and number of occupants.
Based on what Lizzie already knows, wouldn't there be enough information to enable Aram to narrow down the date, location, and specific details of a handful of possible "relevant" house fires?

Chompstick said...

Oooh, this is such a juicy idea, I love it! For that matter, Red could be using Aram to that same effect to search for any info he wants (like this last week). Is Aram permitted to search through records not relevant to an official case he's working on?

Harry said...

Chompstick #95: Well, Aram has freelanced for Liz (tracing phone calls to find Frank/Naomi's safe house) and for Red (trying to track down locket photo girl/Zoe though Glen got there first, and tracing origin of Phone Number Man's call to public pay phone). In all instances, Aram blew off any "warrant " requirement or nexus to an official, ongoing FBI investigation.
In any event, tracking down the participants and other details of the stupid fire would arguably shed light on Liz's connection to Red: the still-unanswered question that confounded Cooper and Liz herself in the pilot. I'm sure Aram would be permitted to look into anything that would help give some insight into Red 's history and motives, as well as correct apparent inaccuracies in Liz's background report.

Essie said...

I just saw a video clip that puts the relationship between Red and Liz as a romantic one, and how they need to end up together. And the comments under the video agreed! I sure hope the writers don't go that direction. It would seriously ruin the whole show for me. Especially since Reds obsession with her started when she was a child! I'm not convinced that he is her father but I think he is at least a father type figure. I wonder if she's the daughter of one of his lovers. Maybe he was a father type figure to her when she was young. I could even see him as an uncle or (much) older brother, but not a lover.

Chompstick said...

Essie, completely I agree. Personally, a romantic relationship between Red and Liz would feel incestuous to me and be very repulsive.

Harry and Tabasko have been discussing the idea that Red is Lizzy's uncle, as you mentioned. It begins with #185 on the second page of the General Discussion Topic and continues on to the third page. (The link above takes you directly to the second page.)

Tabasko said...

#97 Essie: That would be a terrible choice!!!! They have done some whacked-out stuff, but I don't think anyone would go that route. Let's hope not.

There aren't enough E's and W's on Earth to spell out the long "eeeeewwwwwwwww" that would rise up after that.

Chompstick said...

That's not the only thing that would rise up (thinking of my dinner).

Where's Harry today? Doing real-life things? (shudder) Harry, it seems you might need a priority readjustment.

Harry said...

Chompstick #100; Yeah. Real life things. Sometimes it intrudes on my priorities. Also, with all the recent "I love Tom" posts, I was trying to restrain myself from responding by bashing him and Ryan E. (I am NOT interested in seeking pictures of Tom... unless they're from his autopsy after his painful death from an Uncle Flippo bowel obstruction.)

Darn it! See? I can't help myself. Even a post about refraining from Tom-bashing turns into Tom-bashing.

Harry said...

Re: #97-#99: Red hooking up with Liz would be repulsive and insulting. Especially to women. What's so wrong about age-appropriate romantic partners? Mary Louise Parker is beautiful. Let Red reconcile with her, and get her adulterous dirtbag husband out of the picture. (He should've sliced open his neck with that stick instead of throwing it for City Dog to fetch.)
Besides (and I'll say it again): Bubble Girl was Red's little sister, and Liz's mom.
Why do Internet trolls have to "ship" male and female co-stars?
PS I wouldn't mind seeing JS's real-life partner, Leslie Stefanson, play his love interest on the BL.

Chompstick said...

I would find it equally repulsive and insulting, in addition to irresponsible, to have Liz and Tom resume a relationship.

I DESPISE the word 'ship' as a verb when it doesn't require postage, and I despise the various Blacklist portmanteaux and the websites created for such adulation. Maybe I'll need to add a commenting rule on FAQ!

How did JS and LS meet, do you know Harry?

Harry said...

Chompstick #103: paragraphs 1 & 2 - I agree, and share your disdain. "Reconciling" with Tom would make Liz seem weak, malleable, and pitiful. Even her cordiality during her phone call with Dweebster in the last episode made me want to hurl.

Paragraph 3: I think JS must've met Leslie Stefanson on the set of a movie in which they both starred. I'll look it up. These days, LS is a sculptor. I don't think she acts anymore. They also have a child together, so I assume she's busy and content.

Harry said...

LS starter with JS in "The Stickup" (2002); she's been with him since 2008. They have a 6 year-old son.
I've never seen "The Stickup."

Harry said...

starred, not "started."

Tabasko said...

Harry #101, 102, 104 Chompstick #103: I have to give some credit to the writers. I couldn't stand Tom from the get-go, from his very first scene. Somehow, the scenes later last week made me interested in that part of the story. I won't bore you with the fact that Ryan E. looked nice. Ha.

It bothers me still that Naomi's gross, cheating husband got to stay with her. In my mind, she eventually dumped him. I still hope she is coming back.

I had no idea what you meant by "ship" as a verb outside of packages. I had to go search it. If there are websites devoted to that regarding Red and Liz, that is bizarre. I would rather see Liz hook up with one of the King Brothers. Or DMV Glen. Or Mr.Vargas. Or Glen and Mr. Vargas. Anything but Liz and Red (shudder) or Tom.

Although I enjoyed the later scenes, I thought that phone call between Tom and Liz was horrible. It did not flow or seem at all believable.

Harry said...

#103-#105: Leslie Stefanson & JS clips from "The Stickup" are available on Youtube. They make a cute couple onscreen and in real life.

Ed - 4 Eppisodes Behind said...

Hi all
Late to your wonderful site and still playing catch up but as the name says we're 4 episodes behind you here in the UK so I have to tread carefully not to see spoilers. Thanks for all the great information. would like to add one thing I noticed in LB conclusion which I don't see posted...

1. When Liz is under with Red at her side and is struggling with him, the flash back intersperses with a scene in the fire and it is a woman with shoulder length hair who is pulling her as she struggles, not a man

2. The 'dead body' on the floor in the fire scene actually moves so may not actually be dead and on closer inspection looks like Red and in particular his shape and current hairstyle albeit in the FBI picture of that period he had long hair.

Tabasko said...

Ed #109: Wow! I could never avoid reading spoilers like that. That's admitable!

Those are interesting thoughts. Do you think that relates to the possible role reversal in Liz's memory?

Essie said...

Has anyone figured out how many families they think Red Reddington has had?

1. He had one with Naomi\Carla. (and I can't remember for sure, but when he took her to the cabin didn't she say something about that's where they used to live?)

2. If his Madelyn Pratt story is true, he had one where there was "blood everywhere". I'm assuming they were dead when he found them so they can't be the same as #1.

3. He said he raised a family in the house he blew up.
At one point in time I thought the memories that he was trying to forget about that house were of the fire that he and Liz were in. But that house still had his children's penciled growth marks and he said it looked just the same, so no fire there.
I don't think it could be the same one as the Madeline Pratt family because he supposedly had to walk for miles in a field or something to reach that house( the blown up one) right? That house is in a neighborhood with lots of houses, not a field. And they look like they were built around the same time as Reds house, so it's not like there was his house in the field and then they later built the other houses.

4. And then there's the possibility that he had a home with Liz's mother. I really thought for a while that that is why he loved Liz, because she's the daughter of his lover. I no longer believe that because he's told her that the reason he chose her is because of her father. But I still can't help but wonder if there was another home\connection. And maybe that's the firehouse....?

Any other theories, or light to shed?

Essie said...

Oh, and does anyone else think that the symbol on Liz's scar, toms box etc. looks like a bunny? Kinda coincidental
that the "fulcrum" was inside the rabbit if so, right?

Chompstick said...

Ed, welcome! You're never too late to the party at BSG. We're a fun, warm, and welcome group.

It's nice to have someone from the UK. (My best friend is British, lives in Kent.) The four weeks is a bit of a challenge so allow me to make a few suggestions. Depending how long you've been here, you might have figured this all out by now.

We require spoilers to be kept exclusively on the Spoilers page, but mistakes do slip through. Unlike other discussion forums, we have a number of moderators to keep an eye on spoilers but even I overlook them occasionally.

Your safest place is on the individual episode discussion pages and the recaps (which have been sporadic lately). Recaps are accessible on the front/home page or under Season 2 Recaps on the topic list. Likewise, you can access Season 2 Discussion pages (or season 1) on the topic list.

Those of us who are on here a lot look at the Recent Comments list when we come on, so if you post in a forum not frequented, we will still be able to see it and comment.

Chompstick said...

Ed and Essie - I'm trying to catch up so I'll reply to your thoughtful comments as soon as I can.

Tabasko said...

#112, 113 Essie:

Well, we know for sure Carla/Naomi and Red were married, so they would have had a home somewhere. She said, "I can't believe you brought me here" (emphasis on the here) in Dr. Linus Creel, so somehow that cabin has significance, It could be they lived there or it could be a getaway (literally) cabin. Anyway, Naomi didn't want to be there in particular.

Anyway, that's one house.

The house he blew up would be another. Clearly, it didn't burn down. Something dreadful almost certainly happened here and Red had some good and bad memories here. He definitely lived in this one.

So that's 2 for sure.

We also know he was present the night of the fire in a 3rd house. He may or may not have had any ownership of that house depending on what you believe. He and Liz are definitely connected from this, although, again, depending on what you believe, they might be connected from more than the fire.

So at least 3 houses in the story.

I am not 100% sure the farmer story is true or not. Sometimes I think it is more of an allegory. or parable, especially the one he told in The Stewmaker. The version in Madeline Pratt is different in a couple of ways.

The story from the Pilot from Ressler about Christmas Eve says he never came home. The Christmas Eve story in MP is different as he makes it home and there is blood everywhere, etc.

Since the cabin is more remote, I have thought the house he is referring to in the MP story is that one. That would take some effort to get to and if it was a second home in the woods, I could see them spending Christmas there when he arrives home. However, I am not sure how that washes out as Naomi and Jennifer are still alive.

So 3 houses definitely, possible 4. He was a Naval Officer who dabbled in real state development, apparently.

I thought at first something was indeed inside Liz's scar, possibly the Fulcrum of something to do with it. They haven't mentioned her scar lately. Was it mentioned in "The Major Recap?" I didn't notice it. It does look bunnyish at the right angle. Also, as you may know, it;s been speculated to match the symbol on Tom's hidden box and Gina Z's box and so on.

I still think the fact that she has said the scar was "given" to her by her father rather than "I got burned in a fire" says something

Harry said...

Re: Dembe-Red Conversation; Weak and Wobbly Red???

Red has never had compunctions about making terrible or incriminating admissions to Liz, eg, that he did indeed kill Sam, and that he was on fact present during the fire. He has always projected self-assurance and competence.

I found it inconsistent with his established character to make indecisive, self-doubting statements like, "I don't know how to do that" and "I don't think I can do that", during his conversation with Dembe, reproduced below.

What did you all think?

Excerp from "The Major"

Dembe: You need to tell her, Raymond.

Red: Tell her what?

Dembe: About Tom. You should have told her some time ago.

Red: I don't know how do that, Dembe.

Dembe: Yes, you do. You tell her the truth by telling her everything.

Red: I don't think I can do that.

Dembe: Maybe you should stop thinking about it and do it.

Doug in WV said...

Red has weaknesses, for sure. He didn't tell Liz about killing Sam until Liz backed him into a corner. He certainly won't tell of his connection to Liz any time soon, I believe ... Go back and watch Liz's profiling of Red in Season 1, Ep 2 ... Much is based off that, IMO.

Chompstick said...

I think the purpose of the scene with Dembe this week was two-fold. First, it was to establish that Red has one weakness, and more importantly, one point of vulnerability to the enemy. That was shown, for example, in Anslo Garrick.

Secondly, it further explained the relationship between Dembe and Red, establishing that he really does know everything about Red and isn't afraid to speak his mind (which he did do previously, I admit, in The Scimitar, was it?, when Dembe told Red not to kill whomever it was). Red and Dembe are more equals than would be otherwise indicated by Dembe's limited mute chauffeuring duties.

Harry said...

Chompstick 118, "All Things Red & Liz": I think Dembe's "don't kill him" speech was in "The Mombassa Cartel." I remember it because after Red tells Geoff/Ace (Peter Fonda) about Dembe's past and that he is "splendid", Dembe implores Red not to kill Geoff/Ace. I admit that I laughed after what Red said and did next.

Here's the dialogue after Red tells how he rescued young Dembe from slavery, took care of him, and saw to his education:

Red: .... He speaks four languages fluently and can get by in a half a dozen more. He is splendid. His name is Dembe. Dembe Zuma.

Dembe: Raymond don't. That was then. It serves no purpose to kill him now.

Red: You see that, Geoff? That is what a good man does. That is what separates men like him from men like you .... and me.
[Red shoots Geoff/Ace.]

Ed - 4 Episodes Behind said...

#115 Tabasco


Tabasko said...
#112, 113 Essie:

The house that Red blew up....

The first thing Red did when he arrived was removed a panel in the wall which revealed height marks and ages.

The ages I could see were approximately 1.5, 2, 2.4 with the last mark and age at 3 years old therefore he certainly lived there until the child/children were at least 3. He also said he 'raised his family in this house' so that doesn't tie in with the fire and 'spends every day trying to forget what happened here'

Harry said...

Ed #120: I don't think Albert Einstein, Good Will Hunting, or Stephen Hawking could reconcile all of the varying ages of all of the possible children who've been mentioned, appeared in home movies, or shown in retrieved memories. (See my prior post -- I forget where -- about my confusion over multiple houses and multiple actual or potential daughters, eg, Bubble Girl, Ballerina Girl, Elizabeth/Masha, Play Date Girl, Locket Photo Girl #1, Aged Up Locket Photo Girl #2, Zoe, Jennifer, 4 year-pld Fire Liz vs. 14 year-old Fire Liz, a Daughter to be Named Later, et al.)
We may need to add Wall Panel Height Girl thanks to your observation.

I've said this before in reference to the discombobulated timeline in general, but it applies to ages of "daughters" too: They'd have to use Doc Brown's time-traveling DeLorean for all of the ages and events to make sense.

Essie said...

I was just reading some posts from last summer where people were wondering why no one had ran a DNA test on Red and Liz. I'm wondering if maybe somebody did do a test but since the results were negative there was no point in bringing it up. Liz seemed to be the only one on the task force that genuinely thought Red being her father was a real possibility. And if the test really did come back negative, it would seem very strange for them to go to Liz and say "oh, you know that man you said you've never met and you know nothing about? Well we just want to let you know that he's not your father". So maybe there was a test and we just didn't hear about it.
The more I think about it the more I like this theory.

Magarietha said...

Reddington becomes to teary-eyed and endearing towards Liz. Not even a stepfather has that much emotion towards anything other than a biological child (imho). He really hurts for her and protects her with his life. Even soulless hollywood can't crank up that much emotion without a reason.

Chompstick said...

Hi Magarietha - welcome! So you're in the camp that thinks Red is Liz's Dad? I agree that he's been exhibiting more and more emotion toward her that screams DADDY to me. Have you voted in the "Is Red Lizzy's Dad" poll yet?

Tabasko said...

#123 Magarietha: Hello! Yes, I agree that he has to be at least related or have known Liz from birth or very young to have such a strong connection.

The way he gazed at her birthday pictures over the years was kind of heartbreaking.

I do in my own life know people raised by grandparents, other relatives, and by adoption though and I would say those connections can be equally as deep as a biological parent.

Not likely a complete stranger, though.

Marie said...

An articel from Capitol File on Megan Boone:


Harry said...

Margarietha #123: As an older brother to a much younger baby sister, I've postulated that Red's affection for Liz and his yet-to-be explained sadness stem from his baby sister's death, his guilt over it, and his unconditional love for that late sister's daughter (Liz). So, I'm in the Uncle Red camp. To me, it's the only explanation that makes sense -- until the writers throw the next monkey wrench into the timeline.

Chompstick said...

Thanks for the article link, Marie. Megan looks great, doesn't she?

Charmed said...

Margarietha, We're glad you are here. Visit and comment often.

Harry said...

Margarietha #123 + my #127: What I meant to convey us that I agree with your astute observation about the emotional connection between Red and Liz. I was just proposing an alternative family dynamic for the same emotions, eg, the not-uncommon situation in which an older brother assumes a paternal role in place of an absentee father. Since there have been hints that Liz's real father either "died" in the house fire or "abandoned" her, I've speculated that Red essentially assumed a paternal role for Liz's mom/his sister, and continued watching over Liz even after he had to "go rogue" when Liz was still a little girl ~ 5 years old when Liz 's mom died.

Magz said...

I saw an interview James did on Michael and Kelly last week and when asked if Red was Lizzie's father he said we would just have to wait and see and basically said that would not be resolved until the end of the show because they wanted to keep the mystery going, otherwise he'd be out of a job if they revealed it before then. Personally, I think they could reveal some of the mystery before then and still keep enough of it going to keep people interested.

Tabasko said...

Magz, I missed that one! Never home that time of day. :( I always enjoyed Regis, LOL, when he was around.

Doesn't surprise me much that issue will linger. It's bugged me here and there but it doesn't now. To me the show is in flux in a way. Things kind of change and evolve as the story is told. I agree that they could reveal more of that and still have a show, and they may even decide to do that as the show goes on.

You'll have to tell me about your German-background hubby! Mine puts butter on everything, haha.

Magz said...

Hey Tabbie, yeah I found the interview on youtube when I was searching for any new interviews the cast members might have done. I could post it on here if you want. The sound is a little off at the beginning but clears up later on in the interview though. I just feel like at this point if they don't end up making Red her father a lot of people will be dissapointed. They don't want another "How I Met Your Mother" ending on their hands. I'm sure a lot of people would also like to see it end up a different way, but I have always wanted him to be her dad. They both need each other. :-)

My hubby is not German, but my Dad's grandfather was. I was saying I think that is why I love bread and pastries and stuff so much! LOL I must have inherited it...that's what I'm blaming it on anyway!! HAHA ;-)

Tabasko said...

Magz #133: I agree. If Red is her actual bio father it would be the way to go. It would lend gravity to much of what Red does.

Yikes, sorry about that!! Maybe I will master reading comprehension in 2015 LOL.

That's funny that you inherited your pastry-love hahaha! A French bakery opened in my neighborhood recently.... very dangerous.

I will try to look that interview but feel free to post a link if you can. I'm lazy ;)

Magz said...

No problem Tabs. My memory and comprehension are unspeakble!! Lol I am sure people just go around shaking their heads at me...

Can I post the interview here? http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dcJGjpzv5vU

The audio gets more synched as you watch it.

I have always thought the Blacklist was one of NBCs top shows as well.

Magz said...

See.. Case in point right here. I got our conversation on another thread mixed up with this one talking about ratings! Lol

Tabasko said...

Magz #135, 136: Thanks! Too funny he brought his fedora to the interview!! I find him so interesting. There are a bunch of little clips of him on that YouTube page appearing on some other shows promoting Avengers. I watched those, too.

I mix things up on threads all the time! I followed your thought

Magz said...

He is Tabs.... Extremely interesting guy that Mr. Spader. I would love to have a cup of coffee with him. He's so oddly eccentric but at the same time seems down to earth.

Tabasko said...

Yeah, me too! Cup of coffee, glass of wine. He's very engaging and he takes time to find out things about the interviewers. Super personable.

Tabasko said...

I wonder of we will find anything out about Liz's scar in the finale.

Now that we know she is Russian, maybe her scar is a firebird. There's a Russian ballet about that, too, where the firebird is both a blessing and a curse.

Sorry, but I love playing with the ideas of the possible influences.

Magz said...

Yeah I hope they explain that scar too. Not much has been said about it. That's interesting about the firebird! I will have to check that out...

Andrew said...

My idea is a throw in the dark.
Red was Liz's mums CI. She was a double agent and he loved her. She married a American man as part of her cover and he was perhaps also a mark (for either internal US or an enemy of Russia)Together they gathered all the information for the fulcrum. Daddy baddie found our and the Cabal tried to eliminate them all. The discredit Red (see a pattern) and he rushs to the aid of the woman he loves (house now burning) and the child he thinks should have been his and loves like his own.

Red needs to destroy the Cabal for everything they done and for making him the very thing he (as a member of the CIA) fought against. Every target he gave the FBI we agents of the Cabal directly or indirectly. Each providing the information needed. Liz was his only real weakness. How do you face weakness. You make it a strength. The Cabal always new his connection to liz just perhaps not the full extent. In order for her to protect herself he needed her to become stronger. He also needed her as his only real connection to his old life.
Going for a drink now.

Tabasko said...

Andrew #142: Throwing darts is a good thing!

This is a good theory and covers many questions. I think we all believe Red loved Liz's mom (he has kept the apartment and her blurry picture with Liz all this time) and that they has some spy and intelligence dealings.

The fire conversation seems to point to two people, a man and a woman, knowing about the Fulcrum. Certainly, the Cabal wouldn't be happy if this was going on.

Katrina could have been fighting with her husband when Liz/Masha fired the shot. I don't see Red as a man who would physically abuse his wife, so this man is not Red. As much as he has done, Red is very protective of the people close to him.

So it would follow the Red would come upon perhaps the Cabal attempting to recover the Fulcrum, the house burning, and the man Liz shot lying dead. Red faces Liz from the fire and blocks the traumatic memory.

I think the Cabal knew there was a daughter of Katarina R somewhere, as they were asking the Russian restaurant owner, Anton Velov at some point earlier. They probably only recently figured out it was Liz.

I like your thought about Liz needing to become stronger to protect herself. She has certainly evolved this season.

Great post! Enjoy your drink.

Magz said...

Some good points Andrew. I do believe as well, like Tabs said, that Red was most likely in love with Lizzie's mom. I wonder though if she was in love with him. I remember Red telling Liz something along the lines of sometimes we love people who aren't good for us or some such similar statement. So, I wonder if she betrayed him in some way or sabotaged him. The fact that knowing who her father is would put her in danger leads me to believe her father is still alive while knowing her mother's name seems to not pose as much danger, so it makes me wonder that she perhaps may indeed be dead. I still can't understand why they haven't addressed how she died though. We really don't know how much Liz knows about her mother's death, do we? The fact they haven't addressed that yet though could be a factor in revealing her mother is alive later on and head of the Cabal or something. lol

Tabs, you are right. Red would never abuse his wife, so the man in that memory is definitely not Red if Liz's memory was remembered correctly and the roles have not been reversed or something.

Tabasko said...

Magz #144: I'm starting to think that, too. I said something like that here. I forget where lol. Liz's mom may not have been in love with Red in return, and may have betrayed him. In addition to your points, Red also makes that statement about valuing loyalty above all else.

He's made statements and has knowledge of things related to knowing Liz since she was born. Maybe those were intentionally to divert us by the show, but he had to have some connection to her parents. Just the apartment and the photo of the mother tell me that. But he seems very pained when he tells Liz he knew her mother by many names.

That's a good thought about who might still be alive. The father is such a threat, the reason Red once gave about "Why me" to Liz. "Because of your father" if I'm remembering that right.

So if Red is not her father, which I'll go with now, who is? A Russian KGB agent. A man who wanted to try and hide Liz under an assumed name in the US.

Corbanb5 said...

Just having a read though and have a slight change.
Liz's mum was a Russian agent and Red worked for the CIA. Perhaps he thought he had turned her and why she was in the US, she was a defector. If he loved her and was betrayed then that would explain a lot. Red is very good at hiding people and finding them. Perhaps after hunting Liz's mother for so long he fell for his prey. He respects those who are good at what they do and has a affinity to those that display strong loyalties so someone or something. I think Liz's father was perhaps a member of the cabal which was how Liz ended up with the Fulcrum.

Either Red, her mother were gathering all the information or Liz's Father had it. Red knew Liz had it and helped create the device (or at least had it made by the guy in the last few episodes) but not exactly where it was. We know he has been using the threat of the Fulcrum to work and stay close the to cabal for years. He wanted to keep his enemies close.

What drives him to fight the cabal. That is linked to his departure from the CIA and Liz but to what exactly that is, is hard to tell. One possibility is that Red went to help Lizs mother after the father found out she was a spy and tried to kill her. The issue here is that we don't know how the house caught fire only that Liz was still inside and Red saved her. We also now know that Liz shot who she believed to be her father. We also know that a number of armed men went into the house as Liz thought Red was one of them.

A guess would be Father comes home with guards outside. Fights with Liz's mum who is hurt, liz shoots father and guards come in. They kill Liz's mother (lizs mum hides her) and set fire to the house to hide the evidence and perhaps destroy the fulcrum. Red arrives and finds Liz's mother barely alive, she begs him to save and protect Liz. He loves here and also hates her for betraying him but saves Liz and knows she will never be safe so hides her from the cabal.

Think I might re-watch from season 1 again.

Charmed said...

Corbanb5, Welcome to our Summertime BSG. I really liked the possibility of Red turning Liz's mom and her detecting to the US. I will be back after dinner, but I did want you to know we appreciate your views. They are very good and watching the earlier season again will help ties up more of those loose threads.
I'm Charmed.

Tabasko said...

Corbanb5 #146: Nice way of pulling a number of things together. So far as we can tell, Liz's mom was in the KGB at least, maybe even some kind of double agent. Maybe she was living in the US and that's where the apartment came from. She returned to Russia to give birth to Liz/Masha.

That Red was in love with her and that she was deceiving him and she betrayed him. you are right, I think that does explain a few things. Red has kept that picture of her and he has plenty of other pictures of Liz, so he has to have that for a reason.

I wonder if Katarina was even married to Liz's father. She has that silver ring on like Berlin's in the photo, but no wedding ring.

I think pretty much the same thing on The Fulcrum. Red did not know it was inside Liz's bunny, so someone else hid it there. Maybe that was part of someone's last words.....Liz knows about The Fulcrum. That's just a guess, but Red was quite sure Liz knew where it was. Or he finds out or figures it out later, after he's already blocked her memory of the night, and it's too late.

What led Red to fight the Cabal is an interesting question. I've come to kind of wonder if his selling of the NOFORN documents was some kind of set up. I don't, at least at this point, think Red was part of the Cabal, but must have found out about them. Or he was in and didn't really know what they were up to in full. Then he finds out and departs.

The Cabal didn't know for sure who had The Fulcrum. Alan Fitch seemed to believe Red stole it, but others didn't seem to think he had it. Did Red steal it and someone took it from him and hid it inside the rabbit? Or did he never have it at all? Did Liz's mother steal it for Red and have second thoughts after Liz was threatened?

That's a good idea and I think one we have discussed before, that Red felt compelled by Liz's mother to take Liz. That would make sense.

Glad you shared your thoughts! Got me thinking about some good things. I am in the midst of rewatching. It's helpful to look back on some things that have been widely discussed and refresh the events! Hope you share more of what you think.

Anonymous said...

I'm very late to the table as we just finished Season 2. I LOVE your theories on Red/Liz/Mother/Father.

What if Liz shot her mother, not her father? I don't know if her mother and Red were in love because I don't see any clues of it. But Red would suffer anything for Lizzie.

What if Lizzie's father is the Director (or some other very powerful man in U.S. Intelligence). The U.S. doesn't want Lizzie because she's born to a KGB agent, the Soviets don't want Lizzie because she's born to a US intelligence official. This is the Cold War, lots of secrets and distrust.

Red is well on his way to becoming Admiral. He's excelled at everything and has proven himself to be a man of great character and ethics. We know this because of the story of his carpet laying job at age 15. He will follow through.

Adoption is a key theme in The Blacklist. And compassion for the weak and truly defenseless. I think Red adopted Lizzie either because he was commanded to so as to protect the Alliance, or because he took pity on Katerina or because he knew the girl was probably in grave danger of being killed due to her parentage.

That's how Carla knows about Lizzie. Carla already had a little girl, Jennifer. We think she may have been older than Lizzie. Maybe she was the ballerina in the 1987 ballet - who knows. But Red had a house, a wife, a family. The perfect American life.And in that house he begins to raise Lizzie as his own, we see the height chart in his old house up to age 3. Then something happens. The Fulcrum is developed, more is at stake.

Who developed the Fulcrum? What team are they on?

Somehow the house that Carla is brought to in the Berlin episodes is where Lizzie and her mother or her bio dad met. She knows her mother. Maybe this was a secret place to keep Lizzie as the Fulcrum develops and tensions increase..

Katerina kidnaps Lizzie and the altercation in the house that burns down takes place. But Lizzie remembered incorrectly. It was actually her mother she shot, not her father.

What if the flat Lizzie finds was actually Katerina's flat, moth-balled in time?

There's common themes throughout: adoption (Liz and Tom; Sam as adoptive father)
compassion for the weak and defenseless (Red saves Dembe from the horrors of rape and torture; he also adopts him; he takes down the woman who brought slaves into the US)

What other themes are there? I think this is why we see so few specifics, tests, etc. that we commonly find in CSI or typical spy fiction.

Tabasko said...

Anonymous #149: Hello and welcome! You're never late to the table here! Are you just catching up or do you live one of the places a little behind North America in episodes?

By the way, we like to use names here, so hopefully you can let us know who you are! It just makes it much easier to keep our comments straight... some of our brains need the help :) You don't have sign up or anything, just fill a name in for yourself when you post.

I see many, many things in your comments we have been talking about. Definitely the possibility that Liz shot her mother rather than her father.

Glad you posted that, you have some great ideas. I want to respond better to more of your points and I will.

Tatiana said...

Tabasko - Thank you for the welcome!!! I have become a Blacklist Addict! I live in the states, but we got rid of live tv a long time ago, just signed up for Netflix and completed the first season this May. We got a good deal on Season 2 so we went for it!

I will try and sign up under the name Tatiana (get the Russian connection?!) when I can figure out how to sign up.

Btw, I can't get enough of this board, I love that everyone tries to come up with reasonable theories.

Tabasko said...

Great, Tatiana! Nice name. No need to do anything further unless you want to. Filling a name in like you just did is just perfect.

I wish I had the nerve to get rid of my live TV.

I think everyone is a Blacklist addict here so you will fit right in!

Tabasko said...

Tatiana #148: Lots of us do think it is at least possible that little Liz shot her mother and not her father. Once it was put out there by Dr. Orchard in "Luther Braxton" that Liz's memories had been looked at and blocked, that her mind had previously substituted one memory for another, (the Christmas tree lot scene) and some of the roles of the people in her memory may have been different, it becomes difficult to say that what she is remembering now is 100% accurate.

The Director as Liz's father, I kind of ruled it out because Red had never seen The Director before until Luther Braxton and we know that both Liz's father and Red were there the night of the fire. Their conversation...

Director: Do you have any idea who I am?
Red: [ Chuckles ] Yes. I know just what you are.............
You seem younger in person than you appear to be when lurking in the background on television.

But most certainly her father has or had to be someone very prominent in some way. And Red seems to know who that is.

Those are good observation on Red's character and on adoption as a theme. The Blacklist has so many themes.....fire, the ocean, children and parents.

Many of us also think the apartment of Red's could have been Katarina's and Red left it as it was and has added his own things he wants to keep to himself along the way. I think Red has to have had some relationship, love, attachment to Katarina to hang onto the apartment like that and to keep that one photo of KR and Liz.

It's hard to imagine after 2 seasons that there are any more family members still alive for Red besides Naomi/Jennifer and potentially Katarina and Liz (in some way) because he never mentions anyone else. I have had the idea, too, that Liz was with Naomi, Red and Jennifer for a time and that's how Naomi knows her, but is clearly not happy to see her as a mother would be.

Who developed The Fulcrum? That is a good question. I doubt the Cabal did it themselves. When Alan Fitch talked to Red about it, he said Red stole info about the Cabal, not from it. And I doubt a highly secretive organization would make such an incriminating piece of evidence like that. We do know that Leonard Caul had something to do with it, writing the cipher text, I believe, And he knew how to use it. And he said something about Fitch reaching out to him after being cut out of the loop. Leonard Caul, we know was CIA.

I need to watch that part again.

Honey West said...

Cool to reread some of these comments. I am not too far off track with a lot of things! Now this isn't an actual theory theory. I was just trying to come up with a "yes AND no" reason to explain the Liz/Red relationship. I don't necessarily even believe it myself so please feel free to hack away, add to, or demolish it. LOL! Probably need to do this in several installments as my Word doc where I worked on it is up to 4 pages now, even after editing. Here goes…

DISCLAIMER: Most of this is pure speculation based on a very few actual “facts” that we have been given over the first two seasons. The question that won’t die is “Is Red Liz’s biological father?” When asked directly by Liz, “Are you my father?” Red, after a long pause, replied “No.” You’d think this would have ended any speculation, except we keep getting more and more things that seem to point to “Yes.” Or at least a very strong “maybe.” Well, it can’t be both. Or can it? This is purely an exercise, not a theory, to come up with a way that it could be true both ways. Of course it relies on certain events that we have never heard of happening, so as I said, I make no claims whatsoever that this could even remotely be an explanation. Except why have so many Blacklisters had something to do with DNA, medical research, genetics, virology, and adoption?

Some historical background: Secret government (CIA) projects were carried out over several decades that used people as test subjects; some of these were done with their knowledge, others were not. There had been a top secret project called MKUltra that was officially halted in 1973 but had 149 sub projects, one of which was probably the “subproject 7” referenced in “Linus Creel”. Most of these seemed to be mind control, creating the ultimate espionage agents, and others that border on science fiction. Most documents for MKUltra were ordered destroyed by CIA Chief Richard Helms in 1973, however some 20,000, a drop in the bucket, were accidentally misfiled and survived, providing a small glimpse into some of this world. Favorite places to recruit subjects were universities, military schools/academies, prisons, etc. Another sub project of MKUltra was Project Monarch, which used other methods to control minds and bodies of subjects and involved children. Also at this time in vitro fertilization had been developed to the point where the US and other countries had already produced the first “test tube babies” by the mid-1970’s.

Honey West said...

part 2
In the early 1980’s, while Red was attending the Naval Academy, he and his roommate Richard were approached by people who were conducting “scientific research”. What better place to find subjects (for our arguments anyway) than at the Naval Academy. High probability of a lot of young men with what is now called the warrior gene and anything else they might be looking for: desirable characteristics aimed towards helping create the next generation of highly effective intelligence and counter-intelligence agents. Perhaps some are even the children of current agents. Since these projects were extremely secret, it is highly unlikely they would have told the recruits what it really was about. Maybe there was a stipend involved to entice them and there was certainly a waiver that was signed by the participant. So in this scenario, what was collected were blood, hair and semen samples for a “genetic study”. The USSR was also likely conducting their own experiments with human subjects and probably was also doing things similar to what the CIA was coming up with. Story invention #2 is that the USSR had recruited a group of female agents who had very strong characteristics that they were interested in perpetuating as part of a similar research project. Far easier to recruit participants under a totalitarian regime than in the US, where people actually sued the CIA over injuries they suffered under MKUltra. Using IVF, these women would have been implanted with embryos that had the desired traits with the “fathers” being from either the US or USSR. Detailed records were kept as they would need to know which pairings had been the most successful. Keep in mind that the Human Genome Project was not begun until 1993, so there would have been no genetic sequencing or DNA testing like we have today. This would be more of a eugenics experiment. Exactly how the US and USSR scientists were working together is unknown and open to speculation. So these women gave birth. What actually happened to their children is unknown. They could have been allowed to raise them under strict supervision so the children could be watched and tested for desired characteristics as they got older. Then they were probably taken away and raised by the state. Or they were separated immediately. It could work either way.

Red graduates and as a Russian-speaking boy-wonder he is assigned to Moscow. My current theory is that Red’s father was a high-ranking official at the US Embassy in Moscow and so Red lived there while growing up. And maybe this assignment was guided from “above” by his having participated in that little genetic study. His assignment is to find missing KGB double agent Katarina Rostova. She reappears and Red discovers that she now has an infant daughter. Since he has a daughter (or step-daughter) of his own he uses this to gain her confidence and befriends her. We don’t know if their relationship goes any further. For all we know Katarina could have a husband. Months pass and Katarina is told it is time to give up her child to the program. Katarina refuses and tells Red that she needs to get them both out of Russia immediately. Maybe she tells him why, maybe not. (I have not yet figured out when Red discovers the real truth about being Masha’s biological father, or who tells him, just that he eventually does find out) He arranges to get her to the US where he sets them up in a “little flat in Bethesda.” Katarina Rostova has disappeared again and almost nobody knows where she went.

Honey West said...

part 3
Three years go by, during which Red brings little Masha, who is now called Elizabeth, home for visits with his daughter, who even though she is several years older, loves having a “little sister”. Red even marks a growth chart on the wall of his house. He is obviously very fond of the little girl. Wife Carla is not so sure about this, but she figures that Red cannot possibly be her father as he hadn’t even met Katarina before Masha was born. Still, she is jealous and this puts a strain on their marriage. Outwardly they appear to be a happy family, Jennifer is in ballet school and dances in a production of Swan Lake in 1987. It’s one of the last truly happy occasions they all have together. Katarina begins to fear for their safety. Maybe someone unexpected approaches her, who knows who she is, I don’t know. But Red hides them in the cabin in the woods, probably a family vacation home of the Reddingtons. This only serves to confirm to Carla that something is going on between them. She becomes the “miserable housewife.” Also Red is gone a lot on various assignments as he is still with ONI. His career is moving forward, while his personal life is coming apart.

One of his superiors is Alan Fitch, who has also acted as a mentor of sorts. “I always liked you, Ray.” Fitch knows talent when he sees it. He begins recruiting Red for the Cabal/Alliance or whatever they call it back then. They are also good at using blackmail to get what they want and use his relationship with the Rostovas to manipulate him. Katarina takes Masha to another safe house, only this time she refuses to let Red see her, thinking his presence might bring harm to both of them. He does not like any of this and is especially worried that some harm might come to Elizabeth, the most innocent member of the whole conspiracy. He goes along with Fitch, because it seems to be the safest option.

I figure the Fulcrum was put together by the CIA. The parts were put together by different teams, separately so they wouldn’t know what they were working on. Only “Leonard Caul” knew the whole project’s purpose as he wrote the cipher. Red could have been part of one of the teams or even in charge of the entire project and took the bubble memory chip as insurance. He takes it to the safe house where he meets with Katarina and tells her that he has a way to protect them. Later, she is paid a visit by Fitch who makes a deal with her. In return for the Fulcrum he will protect them, but she needs to decide quickly as he’ll be back later for her answer. Red learns that Fitch went to see Katarina and heads for the safe house. He argues with Katarina as he thinks he can protect her and Liz. She tells him he needs to give the Fulcrum back or they will kill him. What follows is whatever really happened in the house with the fire. All we have currently are Liz’s remodeled memories to go by. What we seem to see is that there is an argument, a gun falls to the floor and Liz picks it up and shoots someone, maybe her father. A fire starts in the house and two men help a third one out of the house. Liz is still hiding in the closet and starts screaming.

Honey West said...

I have one more paragraph, but it is pure speculation regarding the fire and aftermath. I'll save it for discussion. Plus it has some parts I need to go over again until I like it. :-)

Tatiana said...

This is awesome Honey West. It's quite plausible as it's based on the facts as we know them and our "speculation" about conspiracy theories and focus of the series (DNA,medical disovery etc.) The first IVF was 1978 and the Genome project started in 1983.
And your story line explains Karla/Katerina nicely. It makes sense that when Red says, I have a daughter, it's complicated, that he's telling the truth.
Can't wait to read your last paragraph :-)

Honey West said...

LOL! Tatiana! I just figured that there might be a way to have it both ways, but that was the only thing I could come up with. Especially after reading about those secret projects and research that really did happen. Just sort of invented my own project. I still don't know how the US and USSR scientists were working together, but with defections and double agents, and who knows what else going on, it could work. And maybe it was Cabal-sponsored which would be most likely since they work all sides of the fence.

With the fire and aftermath, I am trying to stick with "the facts" as we know them and not get too wild with maybes and might have beens. And trying to stick with characters we know without adding ones we do not know. I have a sticky area where I am still thinking about how it would work and how Sam and Fitch figure into it. But I don't go past the end of 1990. Read some of the other things in the earlier comments and there are a lot of really good ideas.

Tatiana said...

I just read a very early commenter on the WSJ blog, who suggests Liz was a result of a eugenics study - using the very brightest, most intelligent, capable men and women and basically do IVF (they weren't too technical). But the idea was to create a superior offspring - a wunderkind.

Tabasko said...

Honey West #154 and on: WOW! This is really interesting. I can't give it a full comment.....kid bedtime......but I think it makes a lot of sense and fits all the pieces in quite nicely!! It's consistent within itself......super job! If it's close to what they do, what a good story.

You write very well. I don't know what you do in real life, but if it involves writing, I would not be surprised.

Really like this theory.

Honey West said...

Interesting, Tatiana #160. I haven't read any of the WSJ blog, only stuff on here and some on reddit that has come up when I do a google search for something. I'm not surprised somebody else thought of it, though. And if it was early on then they wouldn't have had a lot of the information that we have now.

The part I like best is the stuff with Carla/Naomi. She seems to feel sorry for Liz, but at the same time you know there has been some resentment in the past. Now why would she feel that way? It could still be read other ways.

Thanks, Tabasko #161! That was the hardest part - keeping it consistent within itself. (good way to put it) That's why it's taking a bit more to go through the fire and aftermath - much more speculative and I'm trying to fit Sam in there because he's part of it. If we ever find out exactly how Red and Sam know each other that would make it easy.

LOL! I am early-retired so lots of time to goof off on the computer! I make art, was an art major in college but always had an interest in theater and film and worked in both areas at times. I used to write ad copy and in college I took a screenwriting class as part of a film minor. It was fun, but I didn't want to move to LA.

Honey West said...

I really couldn't think of anything else to do with this part so here it is. Feel free to question, suggest changes, or whatever:

This might be what happened next: Liz’s screams bring Red back into the house where he gets her out. Katarina perishes in the fire, which I think she started. The two men who come to help I think are Fitch and Sam. Fitch gets Red to the hospital for treatment of burns and Sam takes Liz to Carla. Carla reluctantly takes her in, wondering what problems this will cause. Sam says he thinks now that her mother is dead that she might be left alone. He tells her (Carla) that Red is in the hospital being treated for burns. While staying with Carla Liz begins having bad dreams and she can’t do anything for her. She reports to Red that she can’t take the screaming child anymore. Red asks Sam to take Liz and hide her. Through his contacts, they find a doctor who will help Liz forget the bad memories. Sam is being transferred to Nebraska so he takes her there where the memories are blocked. Part of the deal is that she also no longer remembers her mother or Red or anything that happened prior to the fire. Red threatens to expose Fitch and reminds him that he has the Fulcrum. Fitch figures that he will get it back eventually but knows Red has it somewhere in the meantime and it is “safe”. Red’s injuries plus the Rostova affair have more or less derailed his career as far as making Admiral. After recovering from the burns, which takes several months at least, he is put on light duty assignments where he feels he is being wasted and so he fills his spare time by starting his own investigation into the Cabal. He is not sure he wants to be a part of that world, but it is starting to look like it might be a good idea. Fitch is quite happy to sponsor him and he knows that as a member Red would have no reason to use the Fulcrum against them and he might even be persuaded to give it back. Carla always knew no good would come from any of this, but figures with Katarina out of the way and Liz gone to another state that maybe they can get their lives back together. Things appear to be going pretty well until December 1990.

Tabasko said...

Honey West #163: This is very well done, again. The gap between fire night and 1990, that has been established so many ways that it needs an explanation, so that is a good one. Just an excellent job tying it all together.

You are right, Katarina is probably dead. That "weakness and shame" has always confused me, though.

I have some more comments, just reasons why I think what you have works. Hope to get to them today. I have said before I think the CIA made the Fulcrum. It makes the most sense and we know Leonard Caul was involved in the making and worked for the CIA. I love your stuff on Carla.

Do you have anything on what happened when Red disappeared? Of course, I think it was on purpose (that's pretty clear) and the Cabal later framed him.

Carolina Girl said...

Honey West ... You have done a great job with this! Even though I feel there was an identity switch somewhere in there, it could work out somehow in the story which could account for the 4 year period. If I am wrong, then it has to be more or less how you have described. Nice work !! Have you ever tried to work an identity switch in to see if it could work? As I said before, we need to pay attention to his stories ... They are for our benefit!

Tabasko ... The weakness and shame has got me too. Dying OF weakness and shame vs. dying IN weakness and shame would have two different meanings. Weakness to me is not having the courage to do what is right. I am sure in Red's eyes, this choice of words may also do with loyalty. I think she definitely betrayed someone and what is more shameful than a mother who uses her child or doesn't have her child's well being and safety as her utmost priority? This is why I am not sure if I can go along with Karla really being Katerina. She seemed genuinely motherly towards Jennifer, but distant from Liz. I believe Karla was the wife of the real Red Reddington. That is the life she left behind to go along ( for some reason ) with the identity switch and continue on as Mrs. Reddington.

Unless .... If Karla is in fact Katerina, the deal she made was that her identity would be protected which included making it appear that Katerina was dead and then she wouldn't say anything about Liz. Again, sounds like a strange deal though if she is Liz's mother.

Another idea would be in light of these experiments that Katerina did not in fact carry Liz. That maybe another woman similarity to what was going on with the adoption agency, incubated ( for lack of a better word ) the child, but both Katerina and Red are the bio parents DNA due to the warrior gene. Maybe that would explain her distance to Liz wether she is Karla or not.

There are just so many ways this could all go. I just wish we had more to go on at this point!!

Honey West said...

Thank you for your responses and ideas, Tabasko and Carolina Girl.

CG, I will think about the switched ID thing. It's another thing that might help some things make more sense. I haven't really gone there yet, but I'm planning to put in some studio time today so I will have a lot of time to think. I hope! And good point about the "incubators" there has to be a reason for Cyprus Agency to be on Red's List. I always thought that was kind of an odd one, but had to be a clue of some sort.

Well, Tabasko, we have so little to go on about the missing four years. Let's see if we can inventory what we think happened during that time. There is also whatever happened between the fire and the family thing. Of course a lot of it would depend heavily on whatever happened to Red's family that Diane Fowler knew about. CIA involvement is a major possibility. What was it he said about CIA to Meera- attractive but deadly, or something. I need to look it up. Love that Springfield site! And I really hope we see Carla/Naomi again. She's one of those people in Red's life who can get away with slapping him and berating him and he just takes it. Much the way he is with Liz, except as far as I know she never stabbed him with a pen. I always thought it was odd that they never even mentioned that again.

And, if KR did die in the fire, I was thinking maybe she set it herself, intending to commit suicide and take Liz with her. But who knows. Maybe we will get the answers someday. But if it's all part of the series' end game, then I hope we don't find out for a long time! :-)

And after all, this was an exercise to see if there was any explanation as to how "it's complicated" this could be. LOL! And I get the feeling it's going to get even more complicated before the end. Hang on to your hats!

Tatiana said...

Brilliant! I do think that each of the episodes, each of the crimes and the remaining (alive) Blacklisters, will have some significance for the final endgame/Ginormous reveal. So entertaining the thought that Liz was born via surrogate could make sense, could certainly be a viable option.

What I absolutely abhor is the idea of a switched identity. A little history: when I was a freshman in college they showed one of those awful horror flicks in our dorm - Happy Birthday to Me. I hated horror films and never watched them but my roommate and I challenged each other to watch it all the way through (we were teenagers, that 's what you do, right?) And it was gory and gross, but at the very end, it turns out that the serial killer was actually wearing a highly lifelike face mask and in the end, she peeled away the rubber mask to reveal her identity. Boy was I disgusted. I don't care if it was a B or C or just truly bad movie, you just can't throw something at your audience like that where there's absolutely no way they could suspect a switched identity.

And if TBL decides to do that, I will write a letter directly to Bokencamp and Spader and tell them I will never follow them again. So there...


Off my soapbox now. So I suspect that if there's a switched identity anywhere in this plot, it will be Katerina Rostova. "I thought she was just a fiction" "just an amalgam of Russion spies". This would support that Lizzie's mother may not have been one person. She could have been carried by a gestational carrier/surrogate. Katerina could be somewhat like Captain Jack Sparrow, who when the original died or decided he wanted to get out of the biz, passed it on to someone else, so his identity and reputation is cloaked in mystery.

Tatiana said...

So a question: are we able to explain the height marks in the blue house that go from the first year up to 3 years?

Two episodes I just watched - the one where Red meets up with Richard from when he was in the Navy. First, I do not doubt that Red was in the Navy. Second, Richard definitely recognizes Red. But Richard looks at him with disdain and hatred because he ruined his career. Was Richard one of the men at the fire? Regardless, I think the Reddington from his youth is the same man we currently see.

The second scene is the Swan Lake performance. His memory flashbacks likely are of a dance recital, but the girl he sees is probably 8 - 12 years old. In Russia, if a girl is ready, she can go on point at age 8, however that is very very young. Most don't recommend going on pointe until age 11 or 12 at the earliest. So do you think Carla's daughter is that age? But we think Carla is 4 years younger than Red, born in 1964. So she would have been at least 16 years old when she had the older daughter, whom we presume is Jennifer.

Well, I'm enjoying all our speculations. I am also enjoying rewatching The Blacklist. I'm up to Season 1 episode 17 or 18 and so far, it doesn't appear to convoluted. But I do think the plot lines and details get very complicated and confusing starting with season 2.

Honey West said...

Carolina Girl #165 - I like the surrogate idea and it could tie in with the Cyprus Agency. Good one. I didn't even think of that. Red could have been "assigned" to her after she was born, to watch over and guide her. For what end purpose we don't know. But I always go back to "I didn't want you to be like me." Maybe he was part of an even earlier program? Discovered what was going on, didn't like it and went rogue? There are just way too many possible plot turns to guess anything for sure. The only thing I think I know for sure is that every Blacklister has something to do with how this will end and we need to look at them for clues. Or not. Just catch the wave and ride along. That's what I plan to do. Plus the clues may not be apparent yet, only in light of future events will we see them. Or something like that.

Tatiana #167 - interesting take on Katerina Rostova. And #168 - I don't think we really know who the height chart on the wall is for. I think it's odd that it only goes to 3 years. Was there yet another child who maybe died at 3? A major unknown. I made it be Liz because it seemed to fit my exercise.

I hope we see Richard again. I have some questions I'd like to ask him. He tells Red that he ruined his career, yet he did make Admiral, so how is that ruined? Was he hoping for Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff or Defense Secretary? Maybe Richard was being groomed for Cabal membership and Red ruined that for him. Richard has some 'splainin' to do.

That Swan Lake thing is a puzzler. He donates large sums of money to that dance school and in return he asks for a private performance of Swan Lake every year. The flashback memories don't seem to add up when it comes to ballerina ages. And the program he has is definitely dated 1987 and is in English. So unlikely that took place in Russia. Liz would have been about 3, same as the height chart age. Far too young to have been dancing Swan Lake. Nutcracker maybe, but not Swan Lake. Carla could have had Jennifer that young, but other than that who could ballerina girl be? Some have suggested maybe a younger sister or niece. Anything is possible at this point.

But I still think 1987 was the last time they were all happy together. Then everything came crashing down.

Tabasko said...

Nice discussion today! I'm going to respond to a few, but I'll put some of 'em on the Summer page. Some are a little off the Daddy topic : )))

Tatiana said...

Oh oh oh oh!!!! I looked up the Firebird symbol (commonly referred to as the Phoenix), which someone mentioned earlier as the symbol on Liz's wrist and the go boxes:

"Modern additions to the myth in popular culture say the tears of the phoenix have great healing powers, and if the phoenix is near one cannot tell a lie."

Is Lizzie Red's Firebird/Phoenix?


I have to apologize, but I was a literature major in college and I focused primarily in Jungian/Archetypcal interpretation of literature, so this is often my go-to interpretative form. I think James Spader is as well, weren't both is parents college professors in Boston no less?

Gotta get this hair color out of my hair before it all falls out, but I love this vibrant discussion!

Honey West said...

Tatiana #171 - Oh, I like that about the phoenix/firebird symbolism. Very interesting. Her scar has never looked like a burn scar to me, more like a brand or a scar creating by cutting. I think of those tribes that cut and then rub ashes or dirt into the wound to create raised designs after they heal. That design was not only on those two go-boxes, but it was also on the outside of the envelope that Tom had Liz retrieve from the locker that had the photo of Red leaving the hospital after killing Sam. Now where did Tom get that picture from and why was it in that particular envelope? I think we thought it was something to do with Berlin and left it at that. At first I thought the symbol was one half of the Russian double-headed eagle, but it's not. I have a few rubles left from visiting St Petersburg last year and it's not that eagle or even half of it.

I used to work as a makeup artist and scars were one of my specialties. So I tend to obsess over such things as hair and makeup on screen or stage. Hope your hair is okay! LOL!

Tabasko said...

Hello, is this thing on? We're a little off topic here.

Tatiana, that was me who posted to you about the firebird before. I think it is quite similar to Lizs scar.

Tessa Bisolli said...

Wow, Honey West, that is a stunning theory. it certainly accounts for a lots of things. and it would make sense. I could add a few things to it?

KR was a Russian spy. she could have been a sleeper in USA and thus recruited as a American.

Now my monkey wrench: Red's words to Liz regarding having/adopting a child:

"There's nothing more profound and of lasting consequence than the decision to have a child.
The exploitation and perversion of that decision is the stock and trade of a truly evil organization-- the Cyprus Adoption Agency."

This words to me feel like Red did make that decision to have a child.

I also think Ballerina Girl is a very nice red herring


1st ballerina girl is not dancing on point. there is a very fancy camerawork and editing. look again.

then BG is not dancing in a full show of swan lake. She is in a showcase of a ballet school, dancing a portion of the swan lake. (I did ballet during all of my childhood and adolescence.

The girl is good, but she is not a professional child dancer (not referring to the actor, only to the performance).

Is it possible the program itself is a red herring and Liz did danced as a child. Could Red have been in the audience, unknown to everyone.

Could Red be using the performance as a way of funneling money to someone. could the someone be KR? could it be another family member?

Could the casting directors have made a weird choice? they did cast a 9 year old to play 4 year old young Liz in Luther Braxton. could they have cast a much older child to play a 4 or 5 year old as well?

Tatiana said...

Tabasko - I'm sorry. Sometimes this site is cumbersome for comments and I don't always realize which topic I'm posting under. Would it be better for now to just post comments under the summertime BLSG?

Happy to oblige as I know guidelines are much for closely followed during the regular season :-)

(and I do have some memory issues, so please forgive me if I repeat someone or don't know who to attribute to... it's very frustrating as I am only 50. I thought it was due to medicine I was on, but I'm off it now and much improved, but still have issues....)

Honey West said...

Very good points, Tessa Bisolli #174, and thanks! I am still not 100% sure what the role of the Cyprus agency is here, but they could have been used as a symbol and a warning to Liz.

Good observations about Ballerina Girl's dancing. And yes, you are making a good point about the ballet school being a means to funnel money to someone or something. And we know they cast a 9 year old to play a 4 year old for the fire scenes, so it could be possible they did the same thing for the ballet scene.

"Who's Your Daddy?" may well just be a McGuffin for the audience to chew on and play with and may not have a lot to do with the end game of the story.

Tabasko said...

Tatiana #175: No sorries, dear!!! Just some great discussion going on here and not everyone will visit Who's Your Daddy for all the other ideas. I would hate for someone to miss out on what you're all talking about on the other subjects.

No worries. I listed to people all day in my work, so I think I have an odd ability to remember what people say and I like to continue old conversations. I know no one can keep up with me, LOL! Please don't feel the need to apologize.

I'm sorry you had an issue requiring any medicine. Hopefully, whatever it was is over for you. : )

Tessa Bisolli said...

Tatiana, so sorry about your cat. It is very hard to do, and even harder to explain.

Hope the medicine is not statins. if it is read about statins and irritability/memory problems

Tabasko said...

Honey West #154, etc.: I wanted to take a minute to again, commend you on a great job with this. I had a couple of thoughts, too.

I would add that it sure seemed like the man had taken Liz from Katarina in the conversation on the night of the fire, so I think Katarina was around somewhat? Or at least she wouldn't let the man see Liz. Because it seemed like the man put Liz into the closet and then Katarina and the others showed up. As if the man, probably Liz's father, had taken Liz from her mother because she wouldn't let him see her. He says something to the end.

I see what you mean about this part of your theory:

Honey West said......."The question that won’t die is “Is Red Liz’s biological father?” When asked directly by Liz, “Are you my father?” Red, after a long pause, replied “No.” You’d think this would have ended any speculation, except we keep getting more and more things that seem to point to “Yes.” Or at least a very strong “maybe.” Well, it can’t be both. Or can it?"

I think it sort of is both. I have basically rewatched the whole 2 seasons at this point. There is the fact that Red answered the question to Liz when she asked. There have been many instances where it seemed he had to be her father, but many, too, where they seemed to be implying that he isn't. I don't think at this point anymore that Red is her biological father. I think that is the person she shot, sadly. I don't think it makes much sense for Red to block her memory otherwise of that incident.

I think the show at a certain point has to have some truth to it and I think her memory starting to come back now, well maybe it doesn't make perfect sense now, but maybe it will as to the timing and having it come back when she shot Connolly as Season 3 unfolds. I will miss Reed Birney, actually, as as aside,

Anyhow, I think what could make sense is that Liz's real father did more or less abandon her, Red stepped in somehow with Katarina, maybe just as a rescuing friend, maybe he fell in love with her. I think fact that he kept the apartment and the very blurry photo mean at least he had a deep caring for Katarina at some point.

I could be that Red raised Liz as her substitute father from the time she was small and his deep connection comes from that. So it is both; Red's not her actual father in one sense, but he is in maybe a more important way. I think this could be an interesting story to develop. I think the hints dropped that he has a father-daughter relationship to her are true, they do have one. So it is both ways.

Honey West said......""Who's Your Daddy?" may well just be a McGuffin for the audience to chew on and play with and may not have a lot to do with the end game of the story."

I think this may be true.

I think your idea of the relationships between Carla, Katarina, Liz, etc. makes a ton of sense and explains the different aspects of what we know about Carla so far very well. This would also explain why Red would have said he raised a "family" in the the Takoma Park House. He could have been trying to forget good memories that have now become painful or bad ones when he blew it up. The memory he did have while he was there was a pleasant one.

I realize here we are not addressing who Liz's father actually is (or was) and why his identity is not something Red wants her to know, but I don't think we know that yet and it's something still to be revealed.

Honey West said...

Bravo, Tabasko! Totally agree. :-)

Honey West said...

And of course, as I said, this was an exercise using IVF and a eugenics experiment as a scenario. That said, I think you can put other factors or ideas in the place of those and still be able to get something close to the way the events are played out. In fact I originally had Red going to Moscow with his assignment being to contact Katarina Rostova and turn her into a double agent. She wasn't missing, but she still had an infant daughter, which Red used to gain her trust. Sort of like when he got Karakurt's neighbor to trust him after breaking the ice there with his understanding of colicky babies.

Truthfully, I think I have gotten away from the Red-as-Liz's-real-father thing myself. It's actually too easy and I suspect the truth of their relationship will turn out to be far more interesting.

BL Mom said...

Honey West, what a cool theory. I think the core relationships you have thought out here are exactly what the show has been communicating.

I agree with you and Tabasko that Red is not Lizs father. Never thought he was.I absolutely believe he cares about Liz very,very deeply. Sometimes I think his purpose might not be totally upright,just a tiny bit.

Tabasko said...

Honey West #181: There are probably a few possibilities. That's another good one.

Yes, I'm starting to repeat myself her but I think Red will turn out to be something else, too. Something interesting, for sure. Not Liz's father. With you on that.

BL Mom #182: Hmmmmm....why do you think that, LOL? I agree he's put her in dangerous situations, if that's what you mean. I think there's a reason for it, though. What do you think about it?

Tatiana said...

The question is this: is red an evil man who does good?
or is he a good man who does evil?

He's often told stories of going to the other side and not being able to come back. Going from innocence to guilt.

Both Tom and Carla have told Liz to watch out for Red. He will make you feel so special but then he will use you.

I think Spader likes the idea of portraying a career criminal with such humanity. And I do not think his quest is about redeeming himself.

However, he did tell Donald that you can tell much about a man/abook, by the very beginning and the very end. We have reason to believe that he was a man of good ethics as a young man. I have to assume that this return to his younger life is an attempt to make the end of his life good as well.

Tessa Bisolli said...

Tabasko and Tatiana,

I do think Red is Liz dad. I think he is a good man who can do bad things to bad people. yet he would defend those he love, as well as the loved ones of the ones he loves (such as Frank and Tom).

Honey West said...

BL Mom #182 - I get that feeling a lot, too. That his purpose might not be totally upright. Liz is a long-term project of some sort, no matter how fond he is of her. In the pilot he says: "But if anyone can give me a second chance, it's you." We immediately assume redemption of some sort. What if that's not what he meant at all? I don't know what he meant, but it's just a thought.

Yeah, Tatiana #184, Tom and Carla both warned her "he's not who you think he is." And of course in the pilot he tells her "Everything about me is a lie." Everything everything? Or just everything she thinks she knows about him. And are we included in on that? I've often thought Liz more or less represents the audience POV.

The producers keep saying they've answered the Who's Your Daddy? question but we still think they are just messing with us. I think that means they've got us hooked. :-)

Tabasko said...

Tatiana #184: Ah, what a great question! Since Spader has said something like a redemption story would be "boring" I usually think that's not the simple goal of the story.

I do agree with your point about the story he told Ressler. And he tells that story of the hideous fish, and makes statements to Liz about how she's special, etc. I think he has some goal or plan for Liz that he sees as doing something in particular, who knows what yet, but not a redemption goal for himself.

I remember someone writing Red would someday be #1 on his own Blacklist. I thought that was an interesting idea.

Honey West #186: Great points. Agree on all that!

BL Mom said...

Tabasko 183, Lol for sure! Maybe several things,but that's what I meant.

Tatiana 184, I think its both and that's what makes Red interesting. Good idea about his stories.

Honey West 186, I dont know,but I think Red is for sure up to more than keeping Liz safe. Thats part of it,but not all. The Daddy question is solved to me,but Im still hooked on finding out what the real deal is.

Tabasko 187, Right. What is his end goal? Wouldnt that be fitting if he was #1,because whos been more dangerous to Liz?

Shasazulu said...

My thought on how red and Liz are connected is this... Liz's mom worked for the cabal and accumulated the fulcrum to use in case they try and kill her. Reddington found out and pressured her in to giving him a copy of it threatening to kill elizabeth and her father. The cabal found out about reddington's plan and then decided to kill lizzie's mother before she could give reddington the fulcrum. Liz's dad found out about how lizzie's mom put him and his daughter in danger around the same time cabal tried to kill them with the fire. On this same night Red was supposed to receive the fulcrum from Elizabeth's mother. Liz killed her father because she thought he was attacking her mother, cabal agents killed lizzie's mother and redd saved little lizzie and was consumed by guilt about how he contributed to the death of her parents and how because of him a 4 year old killed her father who besides being a criminal was a good man trying to protect his daughter.

Honey West said...

Hi Shasazulu #189, I think you make some very good points there. And a lot is in line with what I think, too. Good post!

Shasazulu said...

Honey west thank you! I think alot of reddington's actions are driven by guilt! Look at his actions because of dembe! Read did business with the cartel that enslaved dembe but business became more than just numbers on screens and paper for redd once he started to value human life.

Tabasko said...

Shasazulu #189, #191: Welcome to the site! We are a friendly group. Thanks for sharing your comments! We appreciate it.

It will be interesting to see if we find out more about the night of the fire this season......who were the men with Katarina the night of the fire, what role Red was playing in the search for the Fulcrum, and who was working with who.

Great point that Red carries some guilt about Liz's loss. It was the first thing that came to my mind after she was done with Judge Denner regarding the DC Harbormaster's death and Red and Liz were talking near the Harbormaster's daughter. He made that very telling speech then:

"You'll draw some measure of virtue from being her invisible benefactor. But that won't last.
That it's really not about her at all.
That it's all about you.
And you're just going through the motions to salve your own guilt.
Look, all the money, all the time and effort, all the favors in the world cannot possibly equal what you took away from her.
Everything else is just a nice gesture."

He seemed to be talking about himself.

Shasazulu said...

Exactly right tabasko! I forget in which episode but either redd or liz brings up the point that he has never lied to Liz about anything. He's withheld information or not answered a question directly but hasn't lied which to me answers the question if he is her father because he said he wasn't her father in the first episode. There's nothing that points to him being Russian which to me eliminates the uncle angle as well. So I think his "admission" of guilt is a more probable angle. KR being a soviet agent and from what it sounds like extremely skilled signals me to believe she is some how tied to the cabal/NCS. in my opinion the men helping the man out of the building were cabal agents sent to kill KR for having the fulcrum. We have to assume that the man they were carrying was the director of cabal at that time since I doubt the director has been the same person for 30 years. Redd probably shot the man while saving lizzie and told them to let him escape in exchange for their lives and the ability to save the director. Thus creating the stalemate because they had to assume redd had the fulcrum, since the girl was the key to the fulcrum. The question is does the fulcrum continue to update itself or at some point will the cabal's elite have changd so drastically that the fulcrum wouldn't matter anymore? Maybe that's why the new director decided to call redd bluff because redd would have to use the fulcrum at some point soon since cabal leadership wouldn't forever be threatened by the fulcrum because they weren't part of the organization at its creation, unless of course it accesses their information somehow and updates itself.

Tabasko said...

Shasazulu #193: Yes, that was in "Ivan' in Season 1 that Red said that to Liz. I agree that he was withheld or not answered, which is different from outright lying to a direct question. I have gone back and forth since the pilot about the father issue, maybe Red meant Liz's father died as a metaphor, but I think the finale this year showed what happened, when you put it together with the other facts. I can see how people think differently about it too, though.

It sure would seem KR had something to do with the Cabal, if she was in search of the Fulcrum on fire night.

That's an interesting idea on how it could have played out with Red and the others at the fire. I would agree that the NCS would have a different director then. I think we have yet to find out how the hierarchy in the Cabal works. I wonder if different positions in government have been in charge at different times? Maybe someone was in charge then that wasn't even the NCS Director. But it could have been him or someone like him being helped out. Some think it may have looked like Red, too.

Interesting question, does the Fulcrum update itself? In "Quon Zhang", Mr. Caul makes a statment to Red about the info on the Fulcrum.

Red: That data's over 25 years old. Much of it must be obsolete.
Caul: Most of the key delegations are run by the same players.

So, I think the data was older, 25 years plus.I took some screenshots of the Fulcrum info and posted some of it on another page here. I don't remember anything dated after 1988 on it, but I'll have to take another look!

I think you make a good point that the Cabal would not want the data out. I'm sure they didn't want the general public to know of their existence and what they have done over the years, then and now.

Interesting stuff, SZ!

Honey West said...

Tabasko and Shasazulu - once again I say - yep! Here's a big "what-if" - what if Red had actually made it to the directorship of the Cabal at some point- or at the very least he was on his way to becoming and was in the inner circle of the group that runs things? It would sure have made it easier for him to construct his own operation if/when he got out. And maybe his operation is a Cabal splinter group that, for some reason, split from the main group 20 some-odd years ago. Presumably when he identified The Real Enemy and got on Fitch's bad side.
Red is somewhere in between the likes of Nico and those other two associates and people like the Director and Fitch, Jasper, Hobbs and the not-yet-seen Mitchum. Or maybe he is more their equal than we have seen.

I always felt that his talk with Liz about the Harbormaster's daughter was autobiographical.

Tabasko said...

Honey West #195: Oh my, I like that idea!. It would be a good explanation behind why Red was able to create the syndicate he has, his connections. At least some of the Cabalsters you mention knew Red on good terms at some point.

2nd paragraph... another yep!

I hope you are traveling and have Internet and aren't having to hang in McDonald's all afternoon! :)

Honey West said...

LOL! Tabasko #196 - We leave tomorrow AM. Just finishing packing and all that fun stuff.

Yeah, I always wondered about the evolution of Red's organization. I hope we see more of that this season. With Liz hanging out more, and she represents the audience POV, we might just get that. Maybe he is actually her Godfather? ;-)

Charmed said...

#189+ Shasazulu, Cool name. Welcome to our little BSG summer party. We check in during major storms of flooding, tornadoes, landslides and can't even stop for vacations. Notice that our friend Honey West is going camping, but will hazard Mickey D's just to keep in touch!

I like the way you jumped right in with your own keen (pun intended) insights. How long have you been watching The Blacklist? Do you have any favorite characters? We'll be happy to help with any BSG questions, otherwise we have the "Frequently Asked Questions Page".

Except for the sweet "Spoiler Page", we are mostly continuing to post on the "Survive the Summer Discussion Page" to enable everyone to see all the posts. We would love for you to join us there. Don't forget to watch the fun Jib Jab video! Everyone will return to "Episodes" format and appropriate discussion pages when the new season starts in September.

Along with your comments, Tabs and Honey West also made shouldn't be missed insights, so I will post a notice on the Survive the Summer page.

Tabasko said...

Honet West #197: Oh, good, haha! I worried about your cholesterol with a long McD's visit. That is a good hope for what we might learn this year., more about Red's operation. Godfather....LOL!

Charmed #198: Thanks for the compliments, here and and on Survive the Summer. We have made a couple of months now, less than 2 to go!

Shasazulu said...

I don't think reddington was part of cabal. It was stated again I forget which episode but someone mentioned that they had offered reddington a spot with the cabal.
From what I've seen so far the cabal hires other people to do their work for them, rarely compromising their own people i.e using anslo garrick, the stewmaker, quan zhang, karkurt and berlin.
I think reddington sold them secrets that for some reason we're otherwise unattainable to them but somehow compromised their mission and made an enemy out of them. Redd double crosses people all the time if it benefits him.
also in the stewmaker episode he gives a speech about a farmer who loses everything and then kills the stewmaker, after which he takes a picture out of the stewmaker photoalbum! I don't remember if that has been cleared up yet. I think if it's a woman in the pic then it's KR, but if it's a little girl it could be reddington's real daughter!!

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