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Breaking Down Last Night’s Pivotal BLACKLIST Finale: Baby Daddies, Super Villains & More

By on November 11, 2016

THE BLACKLIST -- "Dr. Adrian Shaw (#98): Conclusion" Episode 408 -- Pictured: (l-r) Megan Boone as Elizabeth Keen, James Spader as Raymond "Red" Reddington -- (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)

The midpoint of the fourth season seems as good a place as any to finally reveal the identity of Liz’s father, and The Blacklist did just that last night … or did it?

Spoilers ahead for last night’s mid-season finale.

Last night’s installment wrapped up the Alexander Kirk story-line with, if not a neat bow, then with some sloppy duct tape and a fervent wish — Goodbye Alexander. We hope you don’t come back to bother Red or the Keens again. Of course, that all depends on whether that thing Red whispered into your ear is true, or not. (More on that in a minute.)

For many of us, Alexander Kirk represented the first real doubt that Red might not in fact be Liz’s father. (There were some among us holding out for the potential for a romantic relationship between Liz and Red who today might analyze the episode and still conclude that hope remains on that front. We’re not about to argue with anyone for their choice of ship.)

Regardless, suspicions were confirmed, hopes were dashed, raised, or flung sideways, depending on your take, when strapped to a chair, tortured, and on the brink of death, Red finally admitted that yes, he was Elizabeth’s Dad.

Can we really believe that Red made a truthful admission while under such physical and mental pressure? Some will argue no. He just told Kirk what he wanted to hear. For our part, we will accept that Raymond Reddington is Elizabeth Keen’s father, and that Katerina Rostova was the love of his life until the show’s writers decide to show us otherwise.

To further muddy Red’s previous declaration, the final scene closed out Red and Liz’s joyful reunion in the typical enigmatic and ambiguous fashion that represents what we have all come to love most about Reddington.

Watching Red tenderly cradling her baby in his arms, Liz laments “I really wanted my Dad here to see her grow up.”

“He would have wanted that too,” says Red, without breaking his gaze from baby Agnes’ face.

Wait. What? Doesn’t that mean …? but aren’t you already …? Argh! We give up.

But while the internet is still blowing up over last night’s big Baby Daddy reveal, it bears discussing that there are potentially even greater things on the horizon.

Yes really.

What did Red whisper in Kirk’s ear? Alexander told him there was literally nothing he could say that would stay his hand. Except there was. Our guess? Red told Kirk what he wanted to hear most. No, not that Liz was his daughter (that’s all so five minutes ago!) but that Katerina was still alive, and where to find her. If that fact happens to be true, it has the potential to set up some amazing story lines over the remainder of the season.

Secondly, Kate Kaplan made friends (of a sort) with her captor — who turned out to be less creepy hillbilly, and more terrified squatter afraid to be turfed off his homestead. After filling her new friend in on how she came to end up in this predicament, Kate took flight. Where is she going? The answer may lie in an earlier conversation between her and the woodsman.

“This man, he is very dangerous and absolutely relentless. If he even suspects I survived there will be no place I can be safe. The reason I didn’t tell you the truth was not to protect myself but to protect you. It’s a shame we have no crackers.”

In that moment, whether she was aware of it or not, Kate was channeling Reddington perfectly. Casually at home with the horrors of what she was discussing, and able to toss in a humorous aside, Kate accepts the world she moves in with cold pragmatism. Are the writers subtly reminding us that Kate is more like Red than she isn’t? What would someone very much like Red do in a similar position? We’ve discussed it in previous articles, but we think it bears mentioning again now. Kate Kaplin has the potential to be the scariest and most formidable villain Red has faced yet.

Bring it, Season 4B!

The Blacklist returns in 2017.

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