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The Blacklist Raymond Red Reddington James Spader NBC

The Blacklist is coming back for Season 8 and, as you would expect, Red's going to be making plans. It may not be the most surprising reveal for longtime fans, who are familiar with Red’s ambitious personality. What is interesting is how Red’s latest maneuvering corresponds to Liz’s jaw-dropping decision to align herself with her estranged mother, Katarina Rostova.

NBC’s ever-popular crime drama left off with Red in the dark, as Liz switched sides to support her mother in the brewing war between her parental figures. Liz does not care about how many times Red has saved her because she is still reeling over Red not telling her who he really is. He's not going to take Liz’s move lying down, though. The Blacklist executive producer John Eisendrath told TV Guide (via Twitter):

He will undoubtedly find a way to manipulate the situation to his advantage.

Would he be Red if he didn't? Whoever Red really is, he still has to act in-character. Also acting in-character will be Liz’s maybe-love-interest, Donald Ressler, who will reportedly be incredibly hurt by Liz’s decision. If that's all a bit gloom and doom, there's a silver lining. After a painstaking season, The Blacklist’s viewers will learn what Katarina’s true agenda is. And I doubt it's winning Grandmother of the Year.

Nevertheless, it's nice to hear there will be some definitive movement where Katarina is concerned. I'm also holding out hope that Liz is somehow pretending to be on her mom’s side and actually working as a double-agent instead. Hurting Red is one (terrible) thing, but the Task Force and Ressler, too? Has Liz learned anything?

The Blacklist did hint that Liz’s endgame could be to become a crime empress. Or at least, that is where Red apparently believes his daughter-figure is heading. Liz faking an alliance with Katarina is the only way that I could imagine Red being able to leverage Liz siding with her mom in their war. Of course, he's incredibly crafty, and he may already be three steps ahead of a genuinely treacherous Liz.

It's a lot to keep track of, but The Blacklist is edging closer to what should be a pretty explosive season. Last season came to an abrupt end due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Luckily, fans have been assured that Season 8 will tell the stories that The Blacklist was not able to cover because of that premature finale, so stay tuned. Unfortunately, there is some incredibly sad news as the show enters its new season.

Tragically, Season 8 will be without one of its brightest stars – Clark Middleton, the fan-favorite who played Glen. The actor’s sudden and heartbreaking death comes a little over a month before The Blacklist is set to return. Glen was a key part of Red’s team, and I can't imagine him getting one over on Katarina without Glen’s help. Viewers will soon see.

Find out if Red can succeed at his goals as his war with Katarina (and now Liz) continues. The Blacklist returns as one of this fall’s premieres on Friday, November 13, at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. For now, you can check out all seven seasons of the crime drama via Netflix’s releases.

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