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The Blacklist Red Reddington

On this week’s recap of “The Blacklist,” a commenter named Kandy scolded me for missing some key points. All true! (And Kandy, if you’re interested in recapping the show, give me a shout at [email protected] – happy to have you aboard.)

So, I thought I’d best familiarize myself with the character of Raymond “Red” Reddington (James Spader) and in the process, you guys too. Here are ten things you need to know about this man of mystery:

The Blacklist Red Reddington1. He attended the Naval Academy, graduating at the top of his class at the age of 24. Impressive!

2. He was being groomed for Admiral, when he disappeared while coming home to visit his family for Christmas in 1990. The next time his actual location was known was when he walked into the FBI building at the start of the pilot episode.

READ: All “The Blacklist” Recaps & News

3. In the intervening years between then and now, leaks of classified information had been traced back to him.

4. His nickname is “Red,” and he also goes by the aliases Roger Raymond, William Burchfield and Robert Bortner. He became known as “The Concierge of Crime” due to his skill at brokering shadowy deals between the various black market factions during the last 20 years.

5. He was ranked fourth on the FBI’s Most Wanted List as an “arrest on sight” fugitive. His crimes include sabotage, destruction of government property, conspiracy, unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, violent crimes in aid of racketeering, RICO violations and weapons violations.

6. He mysteriously surrendered to the FBI with an offer: He would help catch a long-thought-dead terrorist, Ranko Zamani, and others on his “blacklist,” including politicians, mobsters, spies and international terrorists, many of whom the FBI doesn’t even know exist. His one condition? He will speak only to Elizabeth “Liz” Keen (Megan Boone), an FBI profiler fresh out of Quantico. Red will teach Liz to think like a criminal to “see the bigger picture.”

7. He uses his arrangement with the FBI to pursue his own secret agenda. He also has an unexplained interest in Liz, and knows personal secrets about her that she has never made public. She doesn’t know about a portion of her life prior to being four years old. Based on the information in the “General Ludd” episode (and really, since the beginning of the show), speculation is high that Red is Liz’s biological father.

8. Red’s team includes the following (both of whom were apparently killed in “Anslo Garrick, Part 1”):

  • Dembe (Hisham Tawfiq), a former freedom fighter from South Sudan, who at one point was trafficked by the Eberhardt Cartel and Red facilitated his escape. It was assumed that he was Red’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.
  • Luli Zeng (Deborah S. Craig), a woman who’s suspected of handling Red’s finances. She has a Ph.D in economics from Stanford and was once the youngest ever head of SAL Capital Group, a billion-dollar hedge fund. In 2002 and 2006, Zeng was charged with wire and securities fraud related to insider trading. In both cases, she escaped without conviction. The SEC (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission) now considers her to be untouchable.

9. He’s led a rich and varied life, and he is not clearly black or white, but many shades of gray. As seen in “Anslo Garrick, Part 1,” he will gladly give up his life to save the lives of people who mean something to him.

10. He’s a snappy dresser, and can fly about the globe freely in his private plane.

What else? Leave more info about Raymond “Red” Reddington in the comments below. 

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