HomeTV Show'The Blacklist': How Is Raymond Reddington Related To Elizabeth Keen?

    ‘The Blacklist’: How Is Raymond Reddington Related To Elizabeth Keen?

    Created by Jon Bokenkamp, ‘The Blacklist‘ has a stellar cast that includes Megan Boone, James Spader, Ryan Eggold, Amir Arison, and Diego Klattenhoff in lead roles. The show ended after 10 successful seasons. ‘The Blacklist‘ has proven to be highly entertaining, with James Spader shining in the role of criminal mastermind Raymond Reddington.

    The thriller series opens with one of the FBI’s most-wanted criminals, Raymond Reddington, handing himself over to the agency. He puts forth two conditions to the table – first, he will help them track other wanted criminals in exchange for immunity, and the task force has to include a new FBI agent – Elizabeth Keen. As simple as the plotline sounds, it gets twisted with every season, brewing theories on who is Elizabeth Keen’s father. So, does the show actually answer the biggest question about Reddington’s connection with Keen?

    Related: Is ‘The Blacklist’ Inspired By A True Story? Who Is The Real Raymond Reddington?

    Is Raymond Reddington Elizabeth Keen’s Father?

    Raymond Reddington and Elizabeth Keen in a still from ‘The Blacklist’

    After surrendering to the FBI, Reddington’s one request was to work with rookie FBI agent Elizabeth Keen. ‘The Blacklist‘ teased us throughout eight seasons with his mysterious connection to Keen. Season six revealed a lot of unanswered questions like Raymond Reddington is Keen’s father, but unfortunately, the man she knew wasn’t him. The real Reddington was in a relationship with Liz’s mother Katarina Rostova, who was actually a KGB agent on a mission to seduce and enter into a relationship with him. When Liz was only four, she shot Reddington while he was attacking Katarina, and then a fire broke out. Though Katarina and Ilya saved Reddington from the fire, sadly, he died as a result of Liz’s fatal shot.

    Then who is Raymond Reddington now? The series later revealed Katarina’s friend and lover Ilya Koslov a fellow KGB agent took Reddington’s place following his demise, changing his face with extensive plastic surgery. Season six also revealed Katarina is apparently alive after she supposedly committed suicide by walking into the sea following her husband’s death. In season seven, Liz doubts Reddington’s real identity as Koslov and later it is revealed he isn’t actually Ilya either, crushing her hopes again.

    Instead, Ilya appears in the form of actor Brett Cullen, who is a good friend of the Reddington “impostor.” The series played around with Liz’s hopes again in season eight when the woman who she thought was her mother revealed that she’s actually just a spy named Tatiana Petrova.

    In case you missed: ‘The Blacklist’ Series Finale: Does Raymond Reddington Actually Die In The End And How?

    Theories About Raymond Reddington’s Identity

    Well, it would be interesting only if there were more theories on who is Raymond Reddington, is he alive or dead? There are two possible theories of who Reddington is. The first is that he is actually alive and faked his own death, but it is impossible to survive a gunshot like that. There is another interesting, yet distorted theory. It supposes that Reddington is actually Elizabeth Keen’s mother who underwent extensive plastic surgery. This theory however is under speculation and did not become wildly popular until the end of ‘The Blacklist‘ season eight for two distinctive reasons.

    The first comes from a conversation in season eight between Red and Keen when she asks him if he knew her mother, to which he responds that he knew Katarina “very well” with a knowing smile. The second reason is the letter that Reddington gives to Liz before she dies in season eight. Raymond Reddington tells Keen that the note was written by Katarina and will “explain everything“. Considering that Katarina Rostov’s whereabouts are unknown it seemed entirely possible to fans that Raymond Reddington is actually Keen’s mother.

    By the end of ‘The Blacklist‘, it was made clear that Reddington built his empire as the ‘Concierge of Crime’ precisely to protect Keen, for the promise he had made to Katarina and Ilya that he would keep her safe.

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    Khevna Shah
    Khevna Shah
    Khevna Shah is a content know-it-all, working as an Entertainment Writer for First Curiosity. When she's not forensic-analyzing new movies and shows, she's probably out there with her camera. Approach her with your fan theories, and you've got yourself a friend for life. She aspires to be a professional content critic someday.

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