The Blacklist: Berlin, Conclusion


Let’s get a couple of things straight: When Red Reddington tells Elizabeth Keen that her father is dead, that he absolutely died in that fire all those years ago, I believe, in his heart, he is telling her the truth. Because in that fire, Raymond Reddington, upstanding citizen, Naval officer and family man, died when someone set his house on fire, killed his wife, almost killed his daughter and set Raymond on the run. That day, and in that fire, Raymond Reddington died and Red Reddington, international criminal, fixer-for-hire and dashing hat wearer was born. Because, I’ll tell you what, right now, if you tell me that there are two different fires, and Red lost his family in one, and Lizzie in another, I am just going to be mad. My patience? Is done.

If Lizzie isn’t his daughter, then he must have been involved in her existence somehow, in some weird Orphan Black clone experiment shit, to generate this sort of loyalty, because I have children of my own, and some days it’s too much for me to get them to curling practice or go watch their damn football games. Solitary confinement for life? Maaaaaaaaaybe. But only if they’d made me tea that morning. Unasked.

At this point, after this whole season and all the clues and Red killing Sam to stop him from telling Lizzie his secret and everything else that has happened, if Red really isn’t Lizzie’s bio dad, then I am just going to be some pissed off. What? He’s her uncle? Godfather? Happened to be Sam’s best friend? He coincidentally has a back full of scars that could have come from a fire? He happened to lose his family in a fire, too? He’s willing to give up his whole life for her and she’s not his daughter? I don’t know what NBC thinks about the patience of its average viewer, but trust me, it doesn’t stretch that far.

Red was telling the truth about one thing, when he said Lizzie’s father was dead. He is. Sam Keen was Elizabeth Keen’s father. He was her dad. He raised her. He loved her. He protected her. He was there for her. He was proud of her. He watched her grow up. And even though her husband turned into a duplicitous ratbag, It was Sam Keen who watched her fall in love, and he would have been the one to walk her down the aisle when she got married. Sam was the one at the graduations and skating lessons and waiting up late after the dances, turning off the lights on the porch to tell high-school Lizzie it was well after midnight and doesn’t that boy have a home to go to? Time to come inside. That was your father, Lizzie.

In an example of what fathers will do for their daughters, we have Berlin (Peter Stormare: Prison Break; Psych) finally identified as a former Russian Colonel in the Russian Army and KGB whose daughter fell in love with a dissident, and, after he helped her escape the country, he was sent to the work camps in Siberia to suffer alongside the criminals he had put away for so many years. Eventually, pieces of her started showing up in his cell (Cinematic Russians are always so dramatic) and he escaped after making a knife out of one of her bones. I, personally, would have used a femur.

Berlin was on the plane that crashed last episode, and he’s now on the loose and taking apart the Reddington task force, one by one. Meera is dead, and Cooper is in the hospital. For some reason, Berlin is really pissed at Red, like I’m pissed at NBC over this paternity issue, and crazy enough to cut off his own hand, so God knows what else he’s capable of. Red seems to have a photo of Berlin’s daughter, the same photo that is in the pocket watch Berlin carries with him, the watch that was returned to him in the Siberian gulag that started the influx of ‘presents’ to his cell, the pieces of his deceased daughter.

In the picture, Berlin’s daughter looks very, very dead. In the copy Red has, there’s a number at the bottom, indicating what? That Berlin’s daughter was a number on Red’s Blacklist? Or, more likely, was the victim of a member of the Blacklist, and that’s the correlating number.

Either way, if Berlin is after Red because he thinks Reddington had something to do with his daughter’s death, he’s not going to stop until Red is in a great many pieces, which is great for us as viewers, because Peter Stormare is amazing, and as a recurring nemesis would give give the show a great lift.

For Red, though, it’s not so great, because he knows better than anyone what a man is willing to do for his daughter. For his sake, I really hope he had nothing to do with hurting that girl. It’s after midnight. Turn off the porch light. Time to send that boy home.


• Tom is totally not dead. Don’t even try, television

• Red wouldn’t hurt a dog. It’s nice to know he has standards. I wonder what his stand is on cats?

• Now I want peaches. Damn you, Red. I live in Alberta. There isn’t a ripe peach for several hundred kilometres.

Photos courtesy NBC
Tobey courtesy


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