Back in September 2016, at the tale end of S04E02 of The Blacklist, Red did something I’m still not sure I can forgive him for. Upon resolving the issue of Alexander Kirk having Lizzy captive and learning that it was Mr. Kaplan who helped Lizzy fake her death in the first place, he shot her.
He fucking shot her.
Right in the head. With the glare of the sun in the camera’s eye, she spun and dropped to the ground in a lifeless heap.
I stared at the credits in stunned horror, my jaw hanging open.
“What the actual fuck just happened?” I demanded, turning to my father sitting in the chair beside me, tears trickling from the corners of my eyes.
The Blacklist is one of the few shows we watch together weekly with zealot-like devotion. As a writer, Reddington is easily in my top 3 favorite characters of all time. He should fill the audience with disgust when faced with his more monstrous deeds, but he doesn’t. Instead, we adore him, monster claws and all. He’s charming and brilliant, and we cheer him on at every turn. I wont continue to gush, you can read about how much I love Reddington here.
We found out an episode or two later that by some weird twist of fate, Kate not only survived but was being held by a dude who may or may not hold the world title of Creepiest Person Alive. Now, this is really abbreviating the way it played out, but she talked her way out of the sketchtastic surroundings of Mr. Creepy’s cabin, and then that was the last we heard of her.
When that episode aired, I immediately turned to my dad and made two predictions regarding the possible outcomes for Mr. Kaplan’s story in season four:
A) The Ultimate Show of Loyalty
Red shot her in the damn face! If she came back now, and said, “Look! After everything you’ve done, after shooting me in the fucking face, I’m here and I am still devoted to you,” that would be the ultimate show of loyalty. I think it would buy her the right to also say, “you’re never allowed to question my loyalty again, dick.”
B) Burn His House to the Ground With Him In It
She knows everything. She knows how he moves undetected, how he spends and invests his money, who keeps him safe and who can be counted among his enemies. Most importantly, she possesses all the information she needs to completely paralyze him in every way without him ever seeing it coming. As far as he knows, she’s worm food. What he knows is he put a bullet in her head and left her in a place where there was no chance anyone would ever find her body. In Red’s head, Mr. Kaplan isn’t remotely a concern any more. She is, by far, the most formidable potential opponent he has – the one he doesn’t know exists.
For the rest of the season, I’ve watched everything Reddington has gone up against with a voice always lingering in the back of my mind telling me to watch for signs of which way Kate is going to go when she emerges. After the events of the last few episodes and last night’s stunner Dembe twist, I think it’s safe to say the bitch is at the door double-fisting Molotov cocktails.
Dembe has made it rather clear to Reddington on a few occasions since S04E02 that he doesn’t agree with Red’s decision to kill Mr. Kaplan. He saw the same thing Kate did – the one thing that puts Lizzy and her baby in the most danger is their association with Reddington. She was right and Dembe knows it. The decisions Kate made behind Red’s back were made with the goal of keeping them safe at any cost, which oddly enough were Red’s orders to her almost verbatim. But he didn’t see it that way and refused to offer one inch of mercy. If I’m right and Mr. Kaplan is behind Dembe’s shocking betrayal, it looks like she’s choosing the no mercy path in dealing with Red. Dembe is like a son to him. For Dembe to be the one who slipped the poison into the wine is probably the worst possible way Kate could have struck out at him, short of pulling a page directly from his playbook by putting a bullet in Red’s head. He has no one left to trust.
If Dembe has teamed up with Kate and they are planning on burning Red’s house to the ground, I have a feeling this season’s finale isn’t going to leave me with warm fuzzies. If I’m right, she’s gone way too far for him to let her live, and now Dembe has betrayed him too, arguably the only other person who knows everything about Reddington. Red can’t die, he’s the star character of the series, but the two of them certainly can. I think the fight is set to be epic, but I can’t see how I can be happy with the outcome. It’s going to hurt no matter how it pans out.