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๐Ÿ”ด Scribblings Mar-Jun 2015

 
 

๐Ÿ”ด Scribblings Mar-Jun 2015

 
Most of my ( and selected other ) Blacklist posts on the WSJ blog and other blogs Lightly edited.

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8:11 pm June 14, 2015
EW quote wrote:
I was wondering, with all these amazing ideas everyone writes about regarding where the Blacklist is heading, trying to piece together storylines, etc.,if the writers even care if their stories make sense? I remember a quote a few weeks ago from Jon Bokenkamp in EW where writers and producers where talking about season finales and he says, “If it surprises me, we grab on, we’ll do back flips to embrace a good twist”
So does that mean they don’t care if it fits in with any of the previous ideas they put forth as long as it’s shocking or surprising to viewers? Sort of a frustrating thing for a producer or writer to say.
// exactly!

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On TV.com on June 8, 2015
Article: “All Blacklist Fans Should Read This” http://bit.ly/1Kkgpaq

Comment: The show creators did not tell the fans that Lizzie was not Red’s daughter using Twitter. They told the fans by means of the show, repeatedly. The question considered in some conversations on Twitter has been: why have some fans not accepted what the show was saying? Even now, this is the case, oddly enough.
โ€‹
โ€‹There has been a difference in the kinds of frustration expressed on Twitter by shippers vs the pro-Daddy/Daughter proponents. Whereas the worst that has been said on Twitter has been that certain fans are “dumb” for not accepting that Red is not Liz’s Dad (despite repeated denials within the show), criticism of shippers has often been stated in moral terms as being “sick” or “disgusting.” Personally, I think the latter has not only been more prolific and vitriolic but a more objectionable thing to say about another human being.

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Posted to IMDB discussion on The Blacklist: Thread โ€“ Daddygate is Dead
6:35 am CDT ON June 4, 2015 http://imdb.to/1KGfor7
Since I’m the one who pestered Daniel Knauf on Twitter for an answer on this, I thought I’d chime in. The Twitter exchange is posted on my blog BlacklistDeclassified.net under Clues. There’s a segment on the Writers’ Room. Here’s the link to the Clues section. http://wp.me/PDKwi-i Then just follow the page jump.

Knauf is a co-executive producer, so he’s in a senior position. That’s not to say they can’t change their minds on this, but I think the fact that JB & JE are given as writers should settle the question for the time being. Knauf & other writers see well aware of the controversy over this. I also suggested to the writers that a simple ill-advised kiss would settle the question for good. Lol. Frankly, I hope they do something like that. The vitriol that’s been heaped on shippers at sites like wsj has been excessive. The show needs to get beyond this and fans need to calm down and let the show creators do their thing. Fan fiction is the place for alternative directions. (Not a slam: I love fan fiction.) I’d like to see much more discussion on fan forums of the serious political, historical & philosophical matters the show addresses.

My Twitter handle is @BlacklistDCd. I had another Twitter exchange with Knauf back in Feb โ€“ same response. This last time I really tried to nail him down.

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10:34 pm May 29, 2015 โ‹™ lol
Pavlovich brothers Matushka wrote:
Grittings, American viewers of the television. My name ees Olga Pavlovich.
I am the greefing mather of Pyotr Pavlovich, Pavel Pavlovich, Pepik Pavlovich, and Bubba. They were keelt by the veeshush geeneeuss overlord of the FBI, Elizabeth Keen, and her veeshush heenchmans the Wrestler and those other heenchmans.

As for Meestor Red, hees a cutey sexy guy, I send heem keessee smoochee. You better not say no more bad thinks about heem no more. I gonna send some more of my boys over there to mess you up so bad you gonna feel like yesterday’s borsht.

Haff you SEEN yesterday’s borsht? Nothink fonny bout it.

And don’t even get me started on the SMELL. Like Stalin’s socks, the smell. Nyet! Nothink fonny bout that. And nothink fonny bout my boyss.

Poppa Pavlovich and I we make lotsa strong beeg boyss for Mather Rosha. Pyotr Pavlovich, Pavel Pavlovich, Pepik Pavlovich, and Bubba dead now.

Karss you FBI jeenyuss master mind Elizabeth Keen. Karss your shiny FBI batch. Karss your beeg giant brin. You not gonna keel no mora my boyss.
These ones they beeker and batter than the other ones. These ones are Pratur, Plutark, Povotsky, and Blinky.
They come to the Washington, to the Dee Cee. You better get more beeg heenchmans, Elizabeth Keen. You gonna need all the heenchmans you can get.
PS tell Meester Red I bake nice koo keez for heem. My boys bring to heem. Soon. They gotta gets the pass the ports.

Yess Meestor Red he ees angel. Elizabeth Keen ees debbil. She ees breel yent master mind. She ees power behind the throne like the master of the puppet. She FBI version of Chuck Norris. She keel four of my boyss with har FBI heenchmans. Soon some more of my boyss they gonna come over there. Pratur, Plutark, Povotsky, and Blinky.They gonna make Elizabeth Keen weesh she have stayed in Baltimore. Pooting hi lights in har hair. My boyss they gonna keek some FBI zhopa. You wait. You see. My boyss they gonna open up a grit beeg can of whoop zhopa.
So seemple. Nothink to do with any of that stoff you talkink

Yess Elizabeth Keen director of FBI. The beeg boss Elizabeth Keen.

When KGB agents go to sleep for night, they cheek under bed for Elizabeth Keen.
Elizabeth Keen don’t read booka, she just stare at booka until booka confess.

Guns don’t keel people, Elizabeth Keen keels people and then she keels their guns.

Elizabeth Keen does not shafe the hairs on har legs, she holds the hairs hostage then she keels them.

A prist a rabbi and KGB agent walk into bar. Elizabeth Keen keels them.

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๐Ÿ”ด Unanswered Questions โ€“ Final

 
โ— Who is the little ballet dancer? (see note #1)
โ— Who is the girl Red remembers at his house & in his movies? Who was her mother?
โ— What is Jennifer’s relationship to Red? Daughter, step-daughter?
โ— Was “Bloody Christmas Eve” real? What happened? (see note #2)
โ— How/why did Red lose/abandon his family? Was the family he lost (above) different from the one he abandoned on 12/24/1990 (assumed to be Carla/Naomi & Jennifer)?
โ— Who saved Liz from the fire? Who were the other people there? Why was Red there?
โ— If Red “never lies to Liz,” why did he say “yes” when she said her only memory of her father was of him pulling her from the fire? (see note #3)
โ— Who was the man with the red signet ring?
โ— Why does the version of the argument when Liz shoots her father differ from the argument from Braxton2? (see note #4)
โ— How did Liz and Red get their scars? Was Liz “branded”? (see note #5)
โ— Why does the shape of Liz’s scar resemble that on the two “go” boxes and bank envelope?
โ— Why did Liz tell Red she got the scar from a fire when she was 14 and not 4?
โ— Who was Liz’s father and what was his relationship to Red? Why would knowing his identity put Liz’s life “in grave danger”? Has the danger passed?
โ— More about Liz’s mother and her relationship to Red. Was she really a “Mata Hari”? Why did Red say she died “of weakness and shame”? (see note #6)
โ— Why has a DNA test never been done to see if Red is Liz’s father?
โ— What was Red’s relationship to Liz (if any) prior to the fire?
โ— What was Sam’s relationship to Red?
โ— What was Liz’s father’s “criminal background”? Was this Sam or her bio-dad? Why/how did he “abandon” her?
โ— How does The Director know what Liz’s mother looked like?
โ— Why does Liz’s mother wear a ring that Tom thinks looks like one Berlin wore?
โ— Why did Tom tell Liz “Your father is alive”?
โ— More about Red’s “weird little apartment” โ€“ whose was it, if not his?
โ— Why would Pepper have the skeleton key for the Fulcrum?
โ— The Presidential limo โ—
โ— Is Liz even an American citizen? A Russian citizen?
โ— Does Liz have the ‘warrior gene’ (the rarer type)? What does this imply about her mother?
โ— How was the Cabal established? What is their goal (originally planned for 2017)?
โ— Why was Fitch in Russia? Was Red there? Is that where/when The Cabal was set up?
โ— Was Red framed?
โ— What is The Stewmaker’s backstory and is it related to Red’s own history?
โ— Who is Mr. Kaplan and why is she so good at cleaning up blood etc.?
โ— What happened with Cooper and Reddington in Kuwait where Reddington gave Cooper the only evidence on the USB drive?
โ— Are the Germans and/or the Major still hunting Jacob/Tom? Why aren’t the Germans dead?
โ— And of course: What explains Red’s fascination with Liz?
โ— P.S. What’s with Liz’s dogโ“โ—

See http://wp.me/pDKwi-ZN for Notes

 

Notes:

 

Note 1: Age of the little ballerina in [1:16 Mako Tanida]

The service academies do not allow dependents of any kind. Nor do they โ€“ in the interest of group cohesion โ€“ allow skipping ahead of your class and graduating early. This means that Red could not have graduated prior to 1983, gotten married, and had a daughter before 1984. When he attends the performance of Swan Lake he holds a program for a March 1987 performance. The ballerinas have gossiped that his daughter performed in Swan Lake “years ago.” The girl Red remembers or imagines dancing among the older ballerinas could be as young as 8 or 9, though the actual age of the performer was 12. But Red’s own biological daughter could not have been more than three or four years old in 1987.

Did Red have a step daughter? This scene was one of the most beautiful of Season 1 and fans on many forums have noticed the age issue. Who was the little ballerina and why is Red holding the program to the 1987 performance while his voice in the voiceover offers condolences to Ressler on the loss of his fiancรฉ?

Note 2: The story Red told to Madeline Pratt

The story Red told to Madeline Pratt seems to have been confirmed by Diane Fowler’s telling Red in [1:13 The Cypress Agency] “I know the truth, Red, about that night โ€“ about what happened to your family. Do you want to know the truth?” and his emotional response, “More than anything in the world…” before shooting her dead. If not for this, the story could have been dismissed as simply a trick Red played on Madeline. Because of this corroboration, however, the story Red told to Madeline still needs an explanation.

Note 3: “Red never lies to Liz”

If “Red never lies to Liz,” why did he say “yes” when Liz said she remembered her father pulling her from the fire? On the wsj blog (comment dated stamped 2:52 am May 21, 2015 Masha Rostova discussion http://on.wsj.com/1HGFsEG), LizzieB90 gave this explanation:

Red has placed his highest value on blocking from Liz’s memory the fact that she shot her father. She was apparently having nightmares etc. There was a fire (we still need an explanation of why it started) the night that Liz’s father was shot. Liz says Tom told her that her father was alive. Red wants her to know her father is dead, but his highest priority prevents him from saying Liz shot him. So, instead of focusing on the immediate cause, he refers to the general context: “in that fire” or “the night of the fire” (a period of time rather than a cause).

It reflects Red putting one thing above telling the whole truth to her: “I think I will always do what is necessary to keep you safe.” When he decided (with Sam, presumably) to block her memory of what she did, he also committed to not telling her what he blocked. He is even willing to accept her opprobrium in allowing her to speculate that he killed her father because he was in love with her mother โ€“ even though we now know he did not kill her father. That’s quite a “sin” to “eat.” But this “lie” told by Red still stands out as blatant, compared to other half truths and misleads offered by Red and may need to be further explained.

Note 4: Two versions of the argument scene

Even a cursory look comparing the argument scenes between [2:10 Braxton2] and [2:22 Tom Connolly], differences are apparent. How much of the [2:10 Braxton2] version is to be trusted? Liz remembered “My father!” and, about Red, “You were there!” to which Red responds “Yes.” How much of the Braxton2 version remains intact through the caveats of 1) “the memories and a 4yo are unreliable,” 2) Red’s intervention to block Liz’s memories of the night, and 3) Dr Orchard’s caution to Liz about the tampering. It is a critical night in the story’s mythology that at least has to be revisited in light of Red’s admission to Liz that he was there.

One woman, Nan, at the WSJ blog, had her sons apply special sound enhancement and voice recognition software to the argument scene in [2:10 Braxton2] which is considered as canon at that site. That transcript is here: http://wp.me/pDKwi-Lt.

Note 5: Liz’s scar is peculiar

Some fans don’t believe the scar on Liz’s wrist could have been caused by the fire, intense as it was. It is too interior โ€“ other parts of her body would have burned first; her hair would have caught on fire. In [2:10 Braxton2] the burn appears mysteriously. The scar appears to be a chemical or plastic burn, like napalm, something that stuck to her skin. In any case, it is oddly shaped (similar, some have noted, to the shape of the Chinese symbol for fire http://pic.twitter.com/0y0vyCjtZK).

The shape of Liz’s scar appears similar to the symbol carved on the two wooden “go” boxes, Tom’s and Gina Zanetakos’. It also appears on the Manila envelope Tom directs Liz to get from a bank vault which contains the photos proving that Red was at the hospital at the time of Sam’s death. What caused Liz’s burn? Did her father ‘give it to her’ as she tells Beth in the pilot? Why does she tell Beth she was four when she got the scar but tells Red she was 14 (both in the pilot)? And who is behind the mysterious use of this symbol in Season 1?

Note 6: Liz’s mother died “of weakness and shame”

In [2:20 Kuon Zhang], Red confirms as he said in the pilot (which perhaps could be renamed “Ranko Zamani”) that Liz’s mother “died of weakness and shame.” In [2:21 Karakurt] Agent Masik refers to Liz’s mother, Katarina Rostova, as a mythical “pinko Mata Hari,” invoking the WWI spy who obtained secrets from officers by seducing them, a femme fatale. It was intimated in [2:4 Dr Linus Creel] that Liz may have “the warrior gene.” That would mean her mother would have had it too. Wikipedia http://bit.ly/1qZG6jX indicates the warrior gene is associated with alcoholism and drug abuse. In the original pilot script (but not in the actual show), it indicates that, Liz’s mother suffered from substance abuse. Red: “Abandoned by a father who was a career criminal. A mother who worked two jobs, despite her addiction, to keep you out of juvenile court. You’ve practically raised youself.” Were sexual adventurism and substance abuse the reasons Red said Liz’s mother died “of weakness and shame”?

Observation: Earlier in [2:8 The Decembrist], the show’s writers did provide an answer regarding the age of Berlin’s daughter when she was a “dissident” (very young) and her age in the photo in The Stewmaker’s book and, although it seemed a stretch, the answer was appreciated by the fandom and for the most part people were willing to move on.

Miscellaneous :)

โ— Is Red a woman? Did s/he have sex reassignment surgery? Is s/he Katarina Rostova?
โ— Is Mr Kaplan (“Kate”) Katarina Rostova? Is “Jelly Bean” Katarina Rostova? Is PeeWee Herman Katarina Rostova?
โ— Is Liz a Romanov? Is she related to General Zhukov? Was General Zhukov Katarina Rostova?
โ— And the perennial classic: Is Red Lizโ€™s father?

 

เผบโœฆ โŒ˜ โœฆเผป
 
 

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DRAFT: Unanswered Questions

 
โ— Who is the little ballet dancer?
โ— Who is the girl Red remembers at his house & in his movies? Who was her mother?
โ— What is Jennifer’s relationship to Red? Daughter, step-daughter?
โ— Was “Bloody” Christmas Eve real? What happened?
โ— How/why did Red lose/abandon his family? Was the family he lost (above) different from the he abandoned on 12/24/1990 (assumed to be Carla/Naomi & Jennifer)?
โ— Who saved Liz from the fire?
โ— Who was the man with the red ring?
โ— Why does the version of the argument when Liz shoots her father differ from the argument from Braxton2? (See Note)
โ— How did Liz and Red get their scars? Was Liz “branded”? (See Note)
โ— Why does the shape of Liz’s scar resemble that on the two “go” boxes and bank envelope?
โ— Why did Liz tell Red she got the scar from a fire when she was 14 and not 4?
โ— Who was Liz’s father and what was his relationship to Red? Why would knowing his identity put Liz’s life “in grave danger”?
โ— More about Liz’s mother and her relationship to Red. Was she really a “Mata Hari”? Why did Red say she died “of weakness and shame”?
โ— What was Red’s relationship to Liz (if any) prior to the fire?
โ— What was Sam’s relationship to Red?
โ— What was Liz’s father’s “criminal background”? Was this Sam or her bio-dad? Why/how did he “abandon” her?
โ— How does The Director know what Liz’s mother looked like?
โ— Why does Liz’s mother wear a ring that Tom thinks looks like one Berlin wore?
โ— Why did Tom tell Liz “Your father is alive”?
โ— More about Red’s “weird little apartment” โ€“ whose was it, if not his?
โ— Why would Pepper have the skeleton key for the Fulcrum?
โ— The Presidential limo โ—
โ— Is Liz even an American citizen? A Russian citizen?
โ— Does Liz have the warrior (the rarer type)? What does this imply about her mother?
โ— How was the Cabal established? What is their goal (originally planned for 2017)?
โ— Why was Fitch in Russia? Was Red there? Is that where/when The Cabal was set up?
โ— Was Red framed?
โ— What is The Stewmaker’s backstory and is it related to Red’s own history?
โ— Who is Mr. Kaplan and why is she so good at cleaning up blood etc.?
โ— What happened with Cooper and Reddington in Kuwait where Reddington gave Cooper the only evidence on the USB drive?
โ— Are the Germans and/or the Major still hunting Jacob/Tom? Why aren’t the Germans dead?
โ— And of course: What explains Red’s fascination with Liz?
โ— P.S. What’s with Liz’s dogโ“โ—

Possible:
โ— OMIT: What happened in Brussels with Ressler? (Don’t think we need to know any more)
โ— OMIT: What happened to the King family’s auction book? (Likely obvious, like what happened to the Stewmaker’s book of dead people)
โ— Addtl Note: The story Red told to Madeline Pratt seems to have been confirmed by Diane Fowler’s telling him “I know what happened… Don’t you want to know…? ” and his emotional response, “More than anything in the world.” If not for this, the story could have been dismissed as a trick Red played on Madeline. Because of it, the story still needs an explanation.
โ— Addtl Note: Liz’s scar is unusual…
โ— Addtl Note: If “Red never lies to Liz” why did he say “yes” when Liz said she remembered her father pulling her from the fire? [see LizzieB90 comment at 2:52 am May 21, 2015 WSJ blog] // โž” But should be revisited
โ— Addtl Note: FYI: Age of ballerina and Liz in re: dependents of service academy attendees; also, impossibility of graduating in two years [will call them to be sure]
โ— Addtl Note: Explain analysis of Nan’s audio of the argument from Braxton2
โ— Addtl Note: The show did provide an answer regarding the age of Berlin’s daughter when she was a “dissident” (very young) and her photo in The Stewmaker’s book and, although it seemed a stretch, the answer was appreciated by the fandom and for the most part people were willing to move on.

Others? Should some be omitted?

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2:21 pm May 24, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:
@Nan The show DID produce a garbled audio. That’s exactly my point. The audio in the finale conflicts with the audio in the garbled transcript. Clearly, the writers decided to take a different approach. But by requiring everyone to respond to your theories, huge parts of the show are never addressed at all.

There has been almost no discussion of the nature of the Cabal and its similarity to the World Bank (as noted by Megan Boone), to the IMF, the WEF (Davos), the TPP. or actual relationships between the United States, China, Ukraine and the Middle East, now โ€“ not a hundred years ago. No one has brought up the similarity of Red’s notion of being a “sin eater” to the Christian concept of Christ having “died for our sins” or to more primitive religions in which all the “sins” of the community are attributed to a sacrificial victim. Or what it means that Liz, like Red, will now be an exile โ€“ someone without a country.

The idea of the exile resonates through Cold War history and largely shaped the American world view as thousands of European exiles took up positions in US universities. Among others, the neocon movement (including the Vulcans โ€“ Cheney, Wolfowitz, Kristol, Bush II and potentially Bush III) was founded by such exiles at the University of Chicago, aka Straussians.

Can the Clinton Foundation be considered a Cabal-like affiliation? โ€“ international and swamped with foreign money for which God knows how many “I’ll see what we can do about it”s were proferred. Is Liz even an American citizen now? She was not born here. What does it mean for her now, both in terms of her perspective on the world and in terms of the fairness of the U.S.’ current policy toward “Dreamers”?

When I discuss this show with my family these are the issues we discuss, not some far-fetched (and irrelevant) notion that Liz is the heiress to a non-existent fortune or throne (didn’t we unveil the idiocy of the notion of “Royalty” a couple of centuries ago?). This is the Wall Street Journal for pete’s sake. I expected better.

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1:41 pm May 24, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:
@CinCon What do you mean by which theory “will win out”? Is there a contest? Have any of the theories on this blog ever been picked up by the show? I know just one that was because it was mine. Back when people were saying things like the Fulcrum was something embedded in Liz’s wrist โ€“ or even Liz herself, I said it was a plan for world domination, based on international crony capitalism and control of the media. A number of the other background pieces on my blog also are about topics addressed by the show. Also, I think I was the first here to suggest a “complicated” relationship between Red and Liz, stemming from his relationship with her mother, who looked so much like her. I still think for the show to succeed artistically, it must somehow explain these conflicting feelings on Red’s part.

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8:59 pm May 23, 2015 โ‹™ Crazier & crazier!
Not quite a Bedtime Story wrote:
In the final episode of the final season, Red will finally reveal his secret. Perhaps it will be on his deathbed, when he finally tells Elizabeth the truth she deserves to hear. Perhaps viewers will be shocked and upset but it will not matter anymore with no further episodes to film, no ratings to consider. There will be no victory or defeat in the fandom, he will be neither her father or her lover. Yes, be warned, this theory has been mentioned before on these pages, but I am becoming more convinced than ever that it should not be disregarded or ridiculed, because it is something James Spader would definitely do.

In WuJing, Liz asks Red: โ€œWhy me? โ€œ
Red: โ€œBecause of your father.โ€
Liz: โ€œDid you know my father?โ€
Red: โ€œI wish the answer was as simple as the question.โ€
Liz: โ€œI have a life and a family, but you donโ€™t have anyone.โ€
Red: โ€œI have you.โ€

Why would Red have a picture in his apartment in which the face of the woman holding Liz is obliterated by the sunlight? Red confirms that the woman in the photo is Liz’s mother, and he tells Liz her name, Katerina Rostova. Red never lies to Liz, yet Red seems to exhibit the most convincing parental affection, obsession and deep commitment to Liz, even though he told her that no, he was not her father. How does one rationalize such lifelong devotion to someone that you are not related to?

The conversation from above. Why didn’t Red simply answer the question, whether or not he knew her father? Why isn’t the answer a simple yes or no? It should be. Yes, I knew him, I was there when he died.

Red says to Ressler, โ€œBe careful, Donald. Luli does not like men.โ€ But Luli gave Red a deep kiss when she was introduced in the show, and Luli obviously adored Red.

Red has given Liz advice on her clothing choices, telling her that she is an autumn, not a winter. He told her what kind of dress would be perfect to wear in a warm tropical climate. He is flamboyant at times, charismatic, well traveled, savors exotic food, and enjoys art and literature. He has shown compassion and kindness for children in need, adopting Dembe, protecting the abused and innocent.

Red has a great deal of Russian friends and associates. Why are there so few photographs of Katerina Rostova? Why do some in the intelligence community believe she was merely a myth? A myth cannot conceive a child.

James Spader on occasion consults with the writers and asks for his lines to be changed. There was one occasion that was mentioned in an article, about the โ€œOne more timeโ€ speech Red gave Ressler in Anslo Garrick. He contributed many details that have personal importance to him, but one line in particular concerned him, that he wanted to change. The line he changed was โ€œMost of all I want to sleep. I want to sleep like I slept when I was a boy. Give me that, just one more time. โ€œ He changed it to

โ€œMost of all I want to sleep. I want to sleep like I slept when I was a boy. Give me that, just one time.โ€
It’s interesting he wanted to omit the โ€œmore.โ€

Jon Bokenkamp has commented that he has a certain endgame in mind, but he is not sure that NBC will allow him to do it. Of course that encourages everyone to imagine all sorts of shocking revelations, and why NBC might not allow the endgame to be shown. Those of us that love James Spader know that his tastes tend to be a bit unusual. He has admitted that he is drawn to the curiously odd or eccentric elements and people he encounters in life. The more bizarre, the better.

Both Naomi and Tom said about Red, โ€œhe is not who you think he is.โ€ Naomi would certainly know all about Red. If she was recruited to provide Red with the perfect cover, a ready made wife and daughter, she and her daughter would already know Red’s secret. She would already know about Liz, and why Liz had to be protected. It’s possible that Red had to maintain his cover by having a family that represented the family he lost due to a mission or retaliation by an adversary. When he disappeared, his ready made family also had to be protected, so they were placed in a relocation program. But they were not Katerina’s original family. Katerina had a husband and a daughter. One was killed, and one survives.

Raymond Reddington knew certain people in his professional circle of friends and associates in Naval intelligence prior to 1989. But Red, once descending into the life of a criminal, would not have reason to ever seen those people from his past. It would be easy after a few years of displaying the FBI’s outdated wanted poster of Raymond with long hair, for Red to reappear and seem a little different. No one would notice, nor would they care. He had committed treason, and sold his government’s secrets to the highest bidder.

Meanwhile, he may have had extensive plastic surgery and gender reassignment surgery. Katerina was no longer a woman, she became Raymond Reddington, her husband. As Red, she began to associate with criminals (that the cabal had been using, such as Anslo Garrick), that Red had never met. There would be no reason for the criminals to question that Red was really Raymond Reddington, and over time, he could successfully build up respect and a reputation as the concierge of crime.

Red once said something odd about the wife of one of the Blacklisters, that the man’s first wife looked more like Red than she looked like a woman. Perhaps she was big boned and physically strong.

Kat as Red, Red as Kat. Previously as Katerina Rostova, Kat had traveled the world, gone on many missions as a successful operative and KGB agent, seducing many men (and perhaps women) to gain favors and intelligence. She most likely had made many โ€œfriends,โ€ and most likely a few enemies. Perhaps it was easy for Raymond Reddington to slip into the life of a criminal because Katerina had paved the way for him. She knew the right contacts, the most profitable assets, the way to get things done and by whom. Raymond Reddington would have his foot in the door, and no one would ever suspect that he was a former KGB agent.

Apart from Madeline Pratt, Luli and the recent scientist shown kissing Red, Red has never expressed an interest in any romantic liaisons . Yes, we know Red went up to Madeline Pratt’s room and Madeline seemed as if she was looking forward to it, so she must have known exactly what was in store. Red joked about something requiring a belt that was their โ€œthingโ€ as I recall. Madeline also seemed quite heartbroken that Red had not shown up as promised in Venice a few years earlier. But women do love women, and women do love men that used to be women, or women that used to be men,and women most definitely do love men. I’m not sure which applies to Madeline and Red, but she certainly seemed to love Red just the way he was.

I don’t think that the idea of a woman making love to a woman is that strange in this day and age, so the comment about petty officer so and so’s taste in Red’s mouth does not seem to present a problem. Someone mentioned that Red told the story of how he worked during the summer tiling floors, and the poster did not think that the job sounded like something a girl might be able to do. Perhaps I am from a different generation than the poster who assumed only a teenage boy might tile floors… but girls can do anything boys can do, and sometimes do it much better.

Sometimes Red seems to forget that he is Raymond Reddington, who was a naval officer. He told the story about saving someone’s life, giving CPR, having a bad experience, and not being able to set foot in a swimming pool since that happened in high school. But his friend reminded him, โ€œweren’t you in the Navy?โ€

The books and mementos in Red’s flat do not belong to Raymond Reddington, they belong to Katerina Rostova. There is a reason that this flat is Red’s secret hideway, a safe comfortable place where he can be himself, relax, and think about the past. Each item belongs to Katerina Rostova because Raymond Reddington died the night of the fire.

I’ve heard of a new hit show on Amazon called โ€œTransparentโ€ starring Jeffrey Tambor, but have not seen it yet. This critically acclaimed show is about a father who wishes to come out to his family as transgender. The show won a Golden Globe for best TV series, musical or comedy, and Tambor won a Golden Globe for best actor. The series has been renewed for a second season in 2015. This seems to be the direction of television, to cross new boundaries, to give us a glimpse into the lives of very unique people who we may have never met, but may someday be the person sitting next to us.

Would James Spader do a show if it implies he used to be a woman, if he ends up to be transgender? This is an actor who said he thought he made a very pretty woman (on Boston Legal), and as Alan Shore he ended up marrying his good friend, Denny Crane in the very last episode. Alan and Denny. Would Spader do this? Absolutely.

Say what you will, but this theory seems to amazingly fit every clue we have been given. Everything about Red is a lie, he is not who we think he is, and denying he is Liz’s father, he still shows the devoted parental love and protection of a parent. Red is Liz’s mother, Katerina Rostova.

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Daniel Knauf and Dave Metzger on Social Media input http://bit.ly/1HC4u7Q
Daniel Knauf on unsolicited story ideas #1 http://bit.ly/1Kd0kB3
Daniel Knauf on unsolicited story ideas #2 http://bit.ly/1Eq320T

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3:35 pm May 23, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:
Re: “Weakness”: If Liz has the warrior gene, her mother by definition had it too. “Studies have linked methylation of the MAO-A gene with nicotine and alcohol dependence in women.” โ€“ Wikipedia (see Epigenetics) http://bit.ly/1qZG6jX.

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2:44 pm May 23, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:
@Lastpersonturnoffthelightsplease @Nan One of the counterintelligence agents (the black guy) likened Katarina Rostova to Mata Hari, an infamous female spy in WWI who obtained secrets from enemy officers by seducing them. In the original pilot script it refers to her having a substance abuse problem (if they go with this). Shame, check. Weakness, check.

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2:31 pm May 23, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:
@Nan wrote “‘You’ve become everything Sam dreamed you would and more.’ Red didn’t allow Liz to drift into the FBI; this was Sam’s dream. Sam trained Lizzie from the time she was 5 to be an FBI agent. Why?”
โ‹™ When I heard this, I heard something like this “What a fine young lady you’ve turned into” โ€“ the kind of thing someone might say at your graduation party. I can’t see a reason to assume he “trained Lizzie from the time she was 5 to be an FBI agent.” I don’t think the script so far supports that.

@Critic wrote “There is more than a little making it up as they go along, but most ‘fans’ don’t notice. Even some who follow the show closely miss or forget details from earlier episodes… For those of us who expect consistency and plausibility, disillusionment is inevitable.”

โ‹™ It depends on what you take as the standard for what a typical attentive fan would be. This has changed due to the available of DVR, VOD and other tech. In fact, without these technologies, the increasing complexity of plots in serialized dramas would probably not be possible. However, I think it’s possible to go too far with this. The high-tech transcript of what Lizzie heard of the argument in Braxton2 is a good example. Practically speaking, the version of the argument used as a standand at the moment should probably be the script provided by Springfield, in which most of the argument is garbled. At most a couple hundred people are familiar with the high tech transcript. Perhaps a few 10s of thousands may have replayed the scene trying to hear more. Last year during the summer, an official transcript for the season was provided http://bit.ly/105WYPq. I think once that becomes available for season 2, it should be considered “canon.” I think it’s reasonable for the writers to assume what the audience heard without voice enhancement was what the writers should be held accountable for. Think of impressionist painting, like Monet’s Water Lilies. There was an actual water garden he painted. http://pic.twitter.com/JREbXTE9yO. But what makes the painting interesting are the surface qualities he captures and part of the “message” is how subjective and fleeting visual experiences are. Studying the transpiration of aquatic plants may be of interest to some, but it is not necessary to understand or enjoy the painting.

@Disillusioned โ‹™ I agree with most of your points. Several matters which the writers tried to “clean up” where not very successfully handled. My guess is that Megan Boone was telling the truth when she said that the writers pay attention to feedback and try to respond to it on an-going basis http://bit.ly/11EenzD. After they have done so, however, I think it is best to move on. That said, after submitting the list of unanswered questions, there is a group of bloggers who communicate on Twitter who have expressed an interest in pulling together a list of “goof-ups” or errors. Much of your material would fit in there. I can cross-post that work here. It will be posted on my blog and likely on others.

The Notes to the Unanswered Questions list points out a few areas of concern that are forward looking (like the info about service academies not allowing dependents) that will be included. Sort of like preventive medicine.

But in general, if the show has already addressed an issue, even if we find the answer unsatisfactory, it should be taken as canon and we should move on. One way to be sure the show heads south would be for them to devote a lot of screen time to addressing “problems” that only a tiny group of super-sleuths have noticed. The way the individual episodes are written, with different groups of writers assigned to different episodes, pretty much assures there will be miscommunications. (I wrote a long piece on this last winter http://wp.me/pDKwi-xl. Go to Chaoter 6.) For instance, the Germans were killed in one episode but showed up alive and well in the next. This can be chalked up to the intense 22-episodes-a-year schedule, especially for a series that packs as much content into each episode as The Blacklist does.

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9:44 am May 23, 2015 // ISSUES
Disillusioned wrote:
A woman’s voice saying โ€œMashaโ€ which is heard in the finale, but not in the Luther Braxton episode is disturbing. This means that in the future, the writers are free to make changes to what is accepted canon from the original Braxton script as well as the finale script. The โ€œtruthโ€ may be an evolving reality, that changes with every season. What is presented as factual in one episode can be easily denied in the next.

This has already occurred in many episodes. In the pilot Liz confesses that she raised herself, that she hoped having her own children could help her to forget her past. In later episodes, her loving adoptive father Sam is introduced, as well as the fact that she cannot remember her past.

Liz’s age at the time of the fire was both age 4 and age 14, given in dialogue in the same episode.

Red kills the Stewmaker in season one, but in the Decembrist, Red reveals that he had a conversation with the Stewmaker before he killed him. The problem with this revelation, is that the audience was never shown any indication of a conversation when the Stewmaker episode aired. Red’s narrative in season two reveals major plot resolutions by utilizing a flashback. It was a conversation the audience was not privy to in the original Stewmaker episode.

This manipulation of show canon is particularly disturbing. Virtually any clue or plot development may be changed by introducing a flashback of a conversation that is presumed to have occurred off screen without the audience’s knowledge.

In Berlin, Tom tells one of Red’s employees (man with tattoo) that he has followed Red for years, yet Tom explains in Leonard Caul that he had never met Red and that Red was always in the shadows.

In Berlin Liz says that Tom told her that her father was still alive, yet in a recent episode Tom does not seem to know the identity of her father. The identity of Liz’s father is shrouded in mystery, and his very survival is still in question if Liz’s memories are unreliable. We are given several options.

In the pilot, we are told that Liz’s father was a career criminal who abandoned Liz, and that her mother had died in weakness and shame. In Berlin, Liz says that her only memory of her father is that he was alive and pulled her from the fire. In Berlin, Red tells Liz that her father died in the fire. In the finale, Liz states that she shot and killed her father. A woman whose identity is not clear is heard saying โ€œMasha.โ€

The writers not only altered the script of the memory of the fire, they also introduce a clear visual of a woman in a coat standing by the window as a man lies on the floor. The audience is asked to assume that the woman is alive, and is Liz’s mother, and that the man is dead and is Liz’s father. I do not believe any conclusions can be accurately made by these new clues, because no convincing evidence is given to identify the identity of the man or the woman. It is difficult to accept that a 31 year old woman who has never been able to remember her past, can suddenly have clear visuals of what happened 26 years ago when she was only 4. She was also told by a memory specialist, Dr. Orchard, that her memories will always be unreliable.

Liz’s statements of what she accepts as the truth are untrustworthy and are a good example of an unreliable narrative. Her memories will now be utilized in the same way the writers used flashbacks. They will be the evolving reality of “truth,” never reliable, always subject to change.

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8:21 pm May 22, 2015
Nan wrote:
@Critic @Thoughts @LizzieB90 – Reddington to Liz in 2:17, “You’ve become everything Sam dreamed you would and more.” Red didn’t allow Liz to drift into the FBI; this was Sam’s dream. Sam trained Lizzie from the time she was 5 to be an FBI agent. Why?

@sk_08 – “Abandoned by a father who was a career criminal” rules out Sam as he didn’t abandon Liz. If her biological father abandoned Liz when she little and her mother raised Masha until she was taken by the man with the signet ring, who put Lizzie in the closet before the fire and told the mother the reason he took Masha was because she wouldn’t let him see her, this couldn’t have been Liz’s father either (although he may have believed he was her father, thus changing her name to Elizabeth and calling her Lizzie to hide her.

@BL Mom @Everyone – If Tom saw Berlin wearing the same ring as Liz’s mother, then Tom had met Berlin and knew that fake Berlin was NOT Berlin. Why would Tom kidnap Liz (whom he loved) and force her at gunpoint to go to rescue fake Berlin from Reddington? Not likely. Reddington wasn’t afraid of being shot by Tom because the whole thing was a set-up – a charade – to try to jog Liz’s memory from the night of the fire.

@BL Mom – to try to explain Red’s conflicting statements about Liz’s father from the night of the fire:

1. One man wearing a signet ring (who has taken Masha from her mother after she wouldn’t allow him to see the child and renamed her Elizabeth) puts Lizzie in the closet, calling her sweetheart and telling her to stay there no matter what, before the mother arrives.
2. The man and mother argue over the child’s name being Masha or Elizabeth, indicating the man believed he was the child’s father and had held a parental role in past. They argue over the man having stolen something, the mother having spied on him and having told “them” about “it”, which little Lizzie identifies as “the fulcrum” to adult Liz in the recall.
3. Three agents arrive to search the house, taking orders from the mother, a KGB agent.
4. Lizzie leaves the closet, runs toward the fighting, and her mother shouts, “Get away. Right now!”
5. Lizzie screams BEFORE her mother gasps, “Raym… let go …ah!” as a gunshot is heard. There is no fire.
6. At some point, two men in overcoats and gloves arrive. One is Liz’s biological father who abandoned her earlier in her life, but she recognizes him as her father.
7. Lizzie runs back to her bedroom. The fire starts. One man in overcoat and gloves is seen leading Lizzie from the burning bedoom (“The only memory I have of my real father… is from the night of the fire. I remember him pulling me out of the flames… saving me.”) and past a man in overcoat and gloves with receding hairline, who is lying on the floor in the fire, attempting to get up.
8. On the other side of the room, three agents, who are not wearing overcoats or gloves, are seen exiting the door beside a window with billowing curtains (suggesting someone came in through that window, as it’s open on a cold night at Christmastime.)
9. At some point, Lizzie’s mother and father start fighting. A gun slides across the floor. Lizzie picks it up and without screaming she fires, killing her father. “I know why my father died that night. I shot him.” As Red has told her, “Your father is dead … he died in that fire.”
10. Lizzie screams, drops the gun and runs away, but later sees a burn mark on her hand, possibly caused by holding the gun. “My daddy gave it to me. It’s very special.” Did Liz mean her daddy Sam, or her biological father whom she shot and killed?

Did Lizzie run to help the man in overcoat and wearing gloves (Red?) who was lying on the floor? Could the burn mark have come from something she touched while helping him escape the fire? Is this why Red owes so much to Liz because she saved his life in the fire?

My questions:

1. What happened to Lizzie’s mother who died of weakness and shame, according to Reddington? Was she one of the unaccounted for people who died in the Kursk bombing in August 1991?
2. What happened to the older man with signet ring who took Masha from her mother, renamed her Elizabeth (suggesting he believed he was her father), called her sweatheart, and hid her from her mother?
3. Why has “Hastings” been used as the surname for three different characters: Mark Hastings in 1:15 – US Attorney for Maryland in the Judge; Sarah Hastings in 2:17 – the girl murdered by one of the Germans; and Hastings in 2:22 – the investigative reporter from Chicago in Tom Connolly? Are they related?
4. Is there a relationship between Tommy Phelps (the Courier) and his younger brother, who both grew up in Woodbridge Virginia, and Jacob Phelps (Tom Keen) who grew up in Chicago?
5. According to Craig Keen, who is Jacob Phelps real brother in Chicago? Who is the woman named Nicky?
6. Is Naomi’s daughter “Jennifer” related to the Keen’s birth mother “Jenny” or Tom’s boat “Jene”?

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8:06 pm May 22, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:
@Kesey Why did Spader want to do The Blacklist? I tried to address your question in an article I wrote over the winter hiatus: James Spader as Outsider: Boston Legal to The Blacklist http://wp.me/pDKwi-ld // though it also relates to much of his career, not just TBL & BL.

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7:11 pm May 22, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:
@Anonymous 4:48 pm wrote “As for ‘Romanov’ evidence, we have 1) fascination with all things Russian; 2) Zhukov; 3) Fitch mentioning 2017; 4) Russian child (Masha) whose parentage alone puts her in grave danger”

Red was in Russian counter-intelligence. Liz’s mom was a Russian spy. Those explain an interest in Russia. But how does your list relate to the Romanovs in particular? Maybe she’s related to Stalin, or Kalinen or Tolstoy or Dostoevsky or Solzhenitsyn or Pasternak. Or it could it just be that someone finding out she’s the daughter of one or even two Russian spies could be used against her โ€“ could in fact put her life in danger?

As indeed it already has.

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6:22 pm May 22, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:
@Leslie @Madison W. And how could I forget? White Palace was about a relationship with an older woman.

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6:16 pm May 22, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:
@Leslie @Madison W. Have you ever seen any of Spader’s movies? Or Boston Legal? Or heard his often-repeated “It can’t get weird enough for me”? He played a guy who was turned on by car crashes & included a sex scene with another guy. In Boston Legal he defended all sorts of sexual misfits and almost always won his cases. Secretary was about S/M. sex, lies and videotape was about a guy who got himself off by watching videos of women he interviewed about their sex lives. Just to name a few.

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3:38 pm May 22, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:
@Visiting Again! Your idea is also consistent with Red’s comparing his relationship with Liz to her relationship with the harbormaster’s daughter. About the Romanov theory, is there any actual evidence from the show that there’s a connection? I like to stay as close as possible to what’s actually on the screen and in the scripts…

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3:24 pm May 22, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:
@Curious1 Thanks for the information that Spader thought Tom should not have survived Season 1. I’ve actually gotten to like the Tom character. I lightened up on my assessment due to the info in The Major episode. But I thought the Tom-held-prisoner subplot was dumb โ€“ impossible and a space-filler. It increases my respect for Spader to know he opposed it. It also means the whole twist of Red having hired Tom to spy on Liz would also never have happened. I wonder where the story might have gone…

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2:53 pm May 22, 2015
Visiting Again! wrote:
Something @Karl said has lingered in my mind for the last few days. I will make no comments on the current Red/Liz relationship, just on the past.

@Karl had a great list of the current theories and why they implode. All assumed that Red had some kind of emotional connection with Liz as a young child. The different idea I’m about to describe works well with the Romanov theory.

This is all theory, of course – I’m not Jon Bokenkamp or James Spader, so I don’t know anything you don’t. This is just an alternative view of the past. Feel free to let loose with the canon fire and fix my mistakes.

I’ve come to believe that Red never met Liz until the night of the fire, and never laid eyes on her in person again until their meeting in the show pilot. If he was a counter-intelligence officer, and her mother a KGB spy and probable double agent, they would have a close professional relationship. Rostova said she called men to the house that night – Red as her handler would have been one of the few people in the US she would have known and trusted enough to call to help her, with no emotional/romantic connection needed to explain his presence there. If the Romanov theory is right, Red had ample professional reasons to then place Liz somewhere safe where he could continue to keep close tabs on her outside the reach of the Cartel.

I think the assumption we all made came about because of his specific knowledge about her past, but I can’t put my finger on anything he knew about Liz that Red couldn’t have learned later from other sources, especially Sam. Sam was a good friend, who suddenly found himself a single dad of an emotionally distraught little girl. I bet he called his old buddy for parenting advice when Liz started having nightmares, and maybe Red suggested a lullaby to play to calm her, and a relieved Sam called him back and told him how well it worked… the song from the music box. (Maybe it was Carla’s idea – she knew about Liz. Cooper had told his wife classified information, probably Red had told Carla all about that night and why Sam suddenly had a child. Carla, as Naomi, was one of the many people telling Red this last season that he should tell Liz the truth.)

Sam and Red kept in close touch over the years, and it would be very likely Sam would have told Red many stories about Liz,and sent pictures like the birthday photos. Red had lost his family, and was living a dangerous life on the run. These conversations would have been very meaningful to him as a connection with other caring good human beings away from the sordid criminals of his day to day life. As time passed and he learned more and more about her, he felt some emotional bond with Liz, the little girl who he had met so briefly but with such an effect on both of their lives.

There were only a couple of pictures of Liz in his secret apartment – a graduation shot and a picture of her with Sam. If they had spent large amounts of time together before the fire, I would have expected more pictures of her as a baby and toddler. I think the other items linked to her in the room were all Russian relics, rescued by Red from the burned down house where her father had been staying, including the shot of her and her mom. Who keeps a picture of a mother and daughter with the mother’s face hidden? An angry estranged father, not a fond ex-lover.

Red tried to keep Liz away from his life, he didn’t want to become a visible part of her world, but when the danger to her from Tom/Berlin was enough to risk the additional danger his presence would bring, he reluctantly entered her life to help her. Spader’s acting in the first few episodes to me suggest Red was excited, kind of giddy in some scenes, because he was finally meeting the girl he had heard so much about for so long and come to care about and trust.

This theory would also explain Spader’s recent cautionary words to focus on the development of their current relationship instead of on the past.

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7:25 am May 22, 2015
Kesey wrote:
Anonymous at 10:08 am, May 21 — yes, there is. When I saw that James Spader was coming back to TV I thought maybe he’s found his “Mad Men” or “Breaking Bad” – because he takes so few roles. The script for “The Blacklist” pilot had people excited. But there was a problem. A lot of the actors the producers hoped to snag as a possible Red Reddington didn’t want to commit to a full season of 22 network episodes. Spader himself was looking for something in the range of 10-13 episodes. And the pilot was almost pushed because Megan Boone had already been cast and none of the actors being considered for Red meshed well with Boone. Enter James Spader, who latched onto the character of Red with both hands. He convinced the producers that he “knew this guy”–“knew who he was” at his very core. So here’s the big question. What is it about Red Reddington that made Spader want the part so much? What is it about Red that made the trade-off of a possible 10-13 episode series to a 22 episode network series, and the killer workload that brings, so palatable? And while we’re at it, why would NBC buy — and James Spader take the lead role, in a series that looks, on the surface, like a cheesy “who’s your daddy” reboot of the “Alias” series or some kind of poor man’s version of FX’s “The Americans?” The short answer is that the networks didn’t — and James Spader wouldn’t.

But you still haven’t answered by question? If’f there’s something about The Blacklist they’re not telling that would change your entire perception of the series — and every character in it, would you want to know after all this time?

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3:02 am May 22, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:
I love Mr Kaplan! In fact, except for Megan Boone, most of the actresses they have had guest star have been women in their 40s and older, and they’ve all been played as vibrant enticing people. Plus the various ‘associates’ of all types, Brimley and Jelly Bean and the guy who played PeeWee. A sweet and funny bunch of people you might encounter anywhere. I know there’s been a lot of sadness and disappointment on this blog the last few days. I hope people remember all the things the show does well. I don’t expect a romantic relationship to evolve soon if ever. I expect a trusted companion-type relationship to emerge. Some of my closest friends are men who are friends or confidants. The two characters clearly love each other but in our language, we have only one word that covers a wide range of feelings and relationships. Not all roads lead to the same place. It’s a good time for a break, I think, both for us and for the people who make the show. Everyone needs a breather and then we can see what September brings. :)

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1:20 am May 22, 2015
Hudson Rostova wrote:
@Jennifer, that’s how it’s always been.

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12:14 am May 22, 2015
CinCon wrote:
Hey re: older women, Mr. Kaplan ROCKS!

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11:39 pm May 21, 2015
Jennifer wrote:
@LizzieB90 – Typical Hollywood. Look at the new show they have out now called Younger, which makes a vibrant 40-year-old woman out to be Grandma Moses smacking her gums together who doesn’t even know how to use her cell phone. In Hollyweird (and pretty much society in general), Men get more distinguished with age. Women are considered over the hill at 30, Sad really that it’s come to that. What a crazy world we live in!

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10:36 pm May 21, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:
This is hilarious:
TheGuardian: Maggie Gyllenhaal: At 37 I was ‘too old’ for role opposite 55-year-old man http://bit.ly/1cR9I2e Gyllenhaal played opposite James Spader in Secretary (2002)
// 5/21/2015, //โž” So, 31 or 32 is too young, and 37 is too old to play the love interest of a 55yo man; that leaves the door wide open for actresses 33-36 years old! Whew! I was worried there for a minute! lol

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6:44 pm May 21, 2015
CES2 wrote:
One of the possible reason why Red believed knowing who her father was would be a danger to Liz :

If she knew the name – Liz could most likely find out that that person was shot by his daughter. Red could alter Liz’s memory , but not memory of people who were present in that house and quite likely witnessed the incident ( see Braxton’s “I know about the house, the fire, the girl”)

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Also see: BlacklistDCd: ๐Ÿ”ด Looking Ahead to Season 3 (review) wp.me/pDKwi-Yo #TheBlacklist @NBCBlacklist #wsj #Lizzington
// 5/21/2015, full text under Vulnerabilities

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5:42 pm May 21, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote: โ‹™
The Blacklist remains NBC’s top-rated scripted drama โ€“ and NBC is moving toward more drama, not away from it. The fact that The Blacklist production group will be doing the show just after it shows they have confidence it them and in The Blacklist. They are keeping TBL on Thursdays to anchor two new shows. And VOD and Lโœ›3D do matter. Advertisers just wish they didn’t.

CarterMatt: โ€˜The Blacklistโ€™ season 2: Episodes still charting high in DVR ratings http://bit.ly/1INNDiH “We would be surprised to see this show conclude at any point before 2017”
// 5/5/2015

HollywoodReporter: Broadcast Ax: Networks just went on a cancelation binge http://bit.ly/1HkUt9R With one exception, NBC renewed all shows between 2 and 6 seasons (the one they cancelled had just completed 2 seasons)
// 5/8/2015

Variety: Ratings: NBC, CBS Win Season Titles http://bit.ly/1Pzjvvz
// 5/19/2015, “And though โ€œThe Blacklistโ€ fell off as it moved to Thursday Island, it remained a big DVR draw; combined with its early-season Monday averages, the James Spader drama finished as the fourth most-popular broadcast drama among adults 18-49 (Live+7 for original episode)”

MediaLife (5/18): ‘The Blacklist’ soars w DVR viewership http://bit.ly/1Khr32C 18-49yo +142%, all +75% week ending 5/3/2015 http://pic.twitter.com/WxzWCQ5VzV
// 5/18/2015

TVSeriesFinale: NBC 2014-15 Season Ratings (updated 5/21/15) http://bit.ly/1Sk6chq the top six shows were renewed; The Blacklist is #1
// 5/21/2015

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2:52 am May 21, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:
@BL Mom About whether Liz’s father “died in that fire” or from the gunshot that Lizzie fired. Again, this is just how I make sense of it. Red has placed his highest value on blocking Liz’s memory that she shot her father. She was apparently having nightmares etc. There was a fire (we still need an explanation of why it started) the night that Liz’s father was shot. Liz says Tom told her that her father was alive. Red wants her to know her father is dead, but his highest priority prevents him from saying she shot him. So, instead of focusing on the immediate cause, he refers to the general context: “in that fire” or “the night of the fire” (a period of time rather than a cause) which she is aware of.

I understand it’s not a totally satisfying answer. But it is reflective of Red putting one thing above telling the whole truth to her: “I think I will always do what is necessary to keep you safe.” When he decided (with Sam, I assume) to block her memory of what she did, he also commits to not telling her what he blocked. He is even willing to accept her opprobrium in allowing her to speculate that he killed her father because he was in love with her mother โ€“ even though we now know he did not kill her father. That’s quite a “sin” to “eat.” Here is that bit of dialogue:

Liz: Dr. Orchard told me someone blocked my memory of that night. Was it you?
Red: Yes.
Liz: Why?
Red: I’m not going to tell you.
Liz: You have a picture of my mother in your weird, little apartment. Why? Were you in love with her? Is that why my father died? You killed him because you were in love with my mother.Tell me what happened. Please.
Red: I’m not gonna tell you what happened, Lizzy.
Liz: Then I’ll find out for myself.

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7:28 pm May 20, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:
@Thoughts I love it. That argument has a circularity that is very elegant. I asked Daniel Knauf if there was some trick involved in the “Red doesn’t lie to Liz” and “Red says he’s not her father” formula. He said that would be “tacky.” But I’ll ask again about this particular bit of logic.

The problem I still have is that just being associated w Red at all is a threat to Liz and he hasn’t been trying very hard to keep that a secret. She doesn’t need his last name or even his chromosomes. If someone wants to get to Red all they need to know is that he was a benefactor for that person and/or that he cares about them. For someone concerned about his own danger to her, he’s hardly been careful about keeping his “care” for her a secret. Zamani knew about it. Berlin knew about it. Garrick and Braxton figured it out. For that reason, I think it probably had something to do with her bio-dad, that not being Red. Maybe it’s a genetic thing, like the warrior gene, extremely rare among women. Maybe it is other genetic or material inheritance that people want or want access to. Or many it was something about him that could be used to blackmail or compromise her โž”

Another possibility is that there was a danger, if her father was KGB like her mother โ€“ but that that danger is now past. We’ve seen the U.S. branch of the Cabal use Liz’s mother’s KGB past against her very effectively. But now, bad as that was and in what it means for her future, they can’t use it again. So knowing who her father (and/or mother) was might have had power over her before, but now it’s past. Who her father or mother were may no longer matter.

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Unanswered Questions

โ— Who is the little ballet dancer?
โ— Who is the girl Red remembers at his house & in his movies?
โ— What is Jennifer’s relationship to Red?
โ— Was “Bloody” Christmas Eve real? What happened?
โ— How/why did Red lose/abandon this family?
โ— Who saved Liz from the fire?
โ— How did Liz and Red get their scars?
โ— Who was Liz’s father and what was his relationship to Red?
โ— More about Liz’s mother and her relationship to Red
โ— What was Sam’s relationship to Red?
โ— What was the nature of Sam’s “criminal background”?
โ— How does The Director know what Liz’s mother looked like?
โ— More about Red’s “weird little apartment”
โ— Why would Pepper have the skeleton key for the Fulcrum?
โ— The Presidential limo
โ— Is Liz even an American citizen? (I think not) A Russian citizen?
โ— And of course: What explains Red’s fascination with Liz?
โ‹™ โ— How was the Cabal established? What is their goal (originally planned for 2017)
โ‹™ โ— Why was Fitch in Russia? Was Red there?
[โ‹™ โ— If “Red never lies to Liz” why did he say “yes” when Liz said she remembered her father pulling her from the fire?]

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1:00 pm May 20, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:
@Stewie The reason for asking if the Stewmaker was Russian really has to do with whether he was in Russia when Fitch was there, whether Red was involved in the same operation Fitch was, and the whole end-of-the-Cold War scenario that led to the formation of the Cabal. I agree that whether he was an ethnic Russian is irrelevant and I will omit it.

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12:40 pm May 20, 2015
Loose ends wrote:
โ‹™ โ— What did Christopher Maly (aka Craig Keen) know that caused him to jump out of a hotel window (Milton Bobbit)?

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11:16 am May 20, 2015
ShimshamB wrote:
About some “rude” comments on twitter, just look at how many fanatic, rude and stupid tweets the Blacklist team receive on their accounts, especially those who are kind enough to be responsive to the fans on that social media. I totally understand that they get sarcastic after some time…

I’m really amazed to see that people still think Red is Lizzie’s father and get mad at the writers/producer/etc of the show and put the fault on them if they didn’t get it since a long time. Even though it’s been said black on white several times.

Some people watch this show and just keep not believing what they see on the screen. Whatever happen, they don’t believe it and build amazing theories. Some are building a sort of parallel show that they want but that is quite disconnected with what really happens. Maybe you should take a step back and realize this show is not so obscure, that a lot of things are said exactly like they are. Especially when Red talks to Liz.

This show is not about building theories on tiny little details that you notice if you watch it in slow motion. The details to care about are most of time very visible, and it’s a *lot* about emotions and how those emotions are shown, by Red in particular but not only.

Just look at Red when Liz tell him she remembers everything. He’s rarely (never ?) been so devastated. He’s spent almost 30 years protecting Liz and since a couple of years everything goes wrong. Why would he let her believe she killed her father if it wasn’t true…. it makes no sense, it doesn’t match his character, his attitude with Liz.

Also I don’t get why people think you only care for your close relatives… what a sad world. You can deeply care for your friends as well. This show is playing a more subtle card, and I hope to have a great surprise with the final revelations… in some years.

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2:58 am May 20, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:
@Anonymous You and others point out Red said “yes” when Lizzie said she remembered her father pulling her from the fire, yet “Red never lies to Lizzie.” I don’t like it when Red plays word games with Lizzie, but I think the explanation is that Red knew Liz’s memory had been altered. So when Red said “yes,” he was saying, “yes, that is your memory,” not “yes, your father pulled you from the fire.” Technically, then, it’s not a lie, but it is “lexical ambiguity” or really a “grammatical ambiguity.”

Another time when I thought Red stretched it was when he took the call from Fitch telling him where to find Berlin (who turned out to be fake-Berlin) and Red told her “We’ll have to keep on looking.” I think he did this to protect Liz. He also had her memories blocked to protect her. Though he has told her he doesn’t lie, it seems he will use word tricks if he feels it will protect her. Protecting Liz seems to be more important to him than telling “the whole truth.” More often, he just refuses to answer or tries to change the topic.

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2:11 am May 20, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:
@Anonymous 10:43 pm wrote:
“Additional mystery: who killed Stanley Kornish’s family and burned his farm leading him to become the Stewmaker? How did Red know the Stewmaker’s backstory? Is Kornish Russian?”

Right โ€“ Not only because it leaves Kornish’s story unresolved, but didn’t it seem Red was also talking about himself, that he had done some dark deed that he needed to answer for? Spader said recently “Red only kills bad guys,” but it did sound in season one that he might have done something terrible and maybe his family was killed in retaliation…

So, I would add:
โ‹™ โ— What is The Stewmaker’s backstory and is it related to Red’s own history? Was Kornish Russian or in Russia when Fitch had him fake Berlin’s daughter’s death?

Plus, it reminds me of these:
โ‹™ โ— What actually happened the night of the fire? Why was Red there? Who else was involved? How did the fire start?
โ‹™ โ— Why was Red first charged with treason? Was he set up? Was he charged right after his disappearance or only when he began selling secrets?
โ†ฅ โ†ง
10:43 pm May 19, 2015
Anonymous wrote:
Additional mystery: who killed Stanley Kornish’s family and burned his farm leading him to become the Stewmaker? How did Red know the Stewmaker’s backstory? Is Kornish Russian?

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8:11 pm May 19, 2015
CinCon wrote:
LizzieB90 additional questions:
โ—โ‹™ Who is Mr. Kaplan and why is she so good at cleaning up blood etc.?
โ—โ‹™ What happened in Brussels with Ressler? Anslo Garrick I think mentioned that he was giving clues to Ressler but Ressler couldn’t figure it out (or something like that)
as well as
โ—โ‹™ What happened with Cooper and Reddington in Kuwait where Reddington gave Cooper the only evidence on the USB drive?
[ โ€“ ] Why was Reddington so interested in following Ressler, he knew Ressler had been engaged go Audrey.

An answer to anonymous post at 241Pm Red saved Connolly by default in the Judge episode because he wanted to save Cooper

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8:09 pm May 19, 2015
Anonymous wrote:
[ โœš ?] Was the closing song Rocket Man a reference to the Space Program? Military? Yuri Gargarin?

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6:31 pm May 19, 2015
RRlover wrote:
@LizzieB90 good list of unanswered questions . Additions:
โ‹™ โ— Where is Liz’s dog?
โ‹™ โ— Are the Germans and/or the Major still hunting Jacob/Tom?
โž• โ‹™ โ— Why aren’t the Germans dead? It seemed like Red & Dembe killed them.
โ†ฅ โ†ง
7:56 pm May 19, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:
@RRlover Dave Metzger said about the dog that he’s in every scene but he just kept shrinking til you can’t see him anymore. Good additions. I forgot about the Germans and the Major. Plus, why weren’t the Germans dead?

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@RiRi In the pilot, there is Red saying: “Abandoned by a father who was a career criminal.” Then when she returns to the control room, there’s Ressler asking “Why didn’t your father’s criminal record show up on your background report?”

Those would seem to be about Liz’s bio-father, not Sam.

Then when she’s being interrogated in [2:20 Tom Connolly], one of the interrogators says, “Your adopted father had a criminal past you failed to mention.”

This may be a false assumption made on the basis of the FBI misinterpreting the above information. So, maybe I should change the question to:

โ— โ‹™ What was Liz’s father’s “criminal background” and does this refer to her Sam or her bio-father?

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From @Island_Letters
[โœš?] @BlacklistDCd @NBCBlacklist As I recall we don’t know what Red found in Kings’ auction book. He took it and gave back to Liz only in the car.

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Kim Douglass @douglassprtyof5

โ— โ‹™ @BlacklistDCd @NBCBlacklist Why did Liz tell Red she got the scar from a fire when she was 14 and not 4?

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Posted in Clues, Scribblings, WSJ and Twitter 5/19/2015
Unresolved Questions:

โ— Who is the little ballet dancer?
โ— Who is the girl Red remembers at his house & in his movies?
โ— What is Jennifer’s relationship to Red?
โ— Was “Bloody” Christmas Eve real? What happened?
โ— How/Why did Red lose/abandon this family?
โ— Who saved Liz from the fire?
โ— How did Liz and Red get their scars?
โ— Who was Liz’s father and what was his relationship to Red?
โ— More about Liz’s mother and her relationship to Red
โ— What was Sam’s relationship to Red?
โ— What was the nature of Sam’s “criminal background”?
โ— How does The Director know what Liz’s mother looked like?
โ— More about Red’s “weird little apartment”
โ— Why would Pepper have the skeleton key for the Fulcrum?
โ— The Presidential limo
โ— Is Liz even an American citizen? (I think not) A Russian citizen?
โ— And of course: What explains Red’s fascination with Liz?

Are there others?

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12:20 pm May 19, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:
MediaLife (5/18): ‘The Blacklist’ soars w DVR viewership http://bit.ly/1Khr32C 18-49yo +142%, all +75% week ending 5/3/2015 http://pic.twitter.com/WxzWCQ5VzV

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12:08 pm May 19, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:
The Blacklist Top Rated Episodes (5/19/2015)
2.22 Tom Connolly. (No. 11) 9.3
2.21 Karakurt (No. 55) 9.2
1.9 Anslo Garrick (No. 16) 9.1
2.19 Leonard Caul (No. 62) 9.0
2:9 Luther Braxton (No. 21) 9.0
2:8 Berlin 2 (No. 8): 9.0
1:10 Anslo Garrick 2 (No. 16) 9.0
2:10 Luther Braxton 2 (No. 21): 8.9
2:8 The Decembrist (No. 12) 8.8
1:21 Berlin (No. 8) 8.8

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9:07 am May 18, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:
Red and Lizzie are traveling ‘sans portfolio,’ or rather, with portfolio โ€“ only. Red’s leather case which we can assume has papers and money is all they are starting out with. Lizzie is in desperate need of a make-over (and dress-over). I expect Red will be transforming her into his own image, iow it’s a Pygmalion (“My Fair Lady”) story.

I hope they get to do all the things Red listed in his Anslo Garrick speech. She trusts him now. She has no choice, really โ€“ they are Partners in Crime, side by side on the FBI’s Most Wanted List. He has spent two years on the inside of “her world” at the FBI. Perhaps, now, she will spend two years inside his. They will be pitted against the Cabal. I expect they will also be pitted against the Task Force at times (if it survives), but will collaborate at other times. Donald, who has always had so much to prove, could turn into a real baddie. I’m all for a spin-off for Tom.

I’ve wished The Sopranos would come back with Meadow at the helm, but Liz as a Red-in-training would fill the bill for me.

I have a theory as to how this all ends and got to discuss it a little on Twitter yesterday, but I don’t like making long-term projections. Suffice it to say, I think you can maybe look to Boston Legal for hints. After growing closer for Season 1, apart for Season 2, maybe this will be another growing closer year. Then, who knows?

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8:37 am May 18, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:
Both of the co-executive producers who are writers for The Blacklist were on Twitter yesterday afternoon. Although I’ve asked and gotten the same answer to this question before, I did try one last time. I asked Jim Campalongo, simply, “Is Red Lizzie’s Dad?” The answer is the one given most often. “@BlacklistDCd Red has told Liz heโ€™s not her father, and Red never lies to Liz, soโ€ฆ”

Daniel Knauf I know better, so I asked it this way: “Why won’t anyone give a simple yes-or-no answer to ‘Is Red Lizzie’s Dad? ‘meaning bio-dad. Just riddles in response…” Ah, pay dirt! (See Daniel Knauf convo, partial 5/17/2015 http://pic.twitter.com/LU59JQpYqg ).

โ‹™ His answer: “@BlacklistDCd Seriously. The answer’s been given definitely about 50X. Everyone in the show just shrugs and figures what’s the point?”

There was more (just check Twitter), but as he asks “what’s the point?”

At this point, the notion that Jon Bokenkamp and John Eisendrath are proponents of F/D and will somehow compel the writers to adopt F/D doesn’t wash any longer, since they are listed as the two authors of [2:22 Tom Connolly], which answered the F/D question with exactly the same answer that has been provided before.

I for one enthusiastically look forward to Season 3, in which a whole new landscape promises to open up.

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7:58 pm May 18, 2015
LindaBFaith wrote:
I thought this was a great episode. In any type of research or study, the more answers you find, the more questions are created. This show is like that. It keeps it interesting. Iโ€™ve never been the type of person to read the last page or chapter in a book before the first. I like to enjoy the journey.

I like that the showrunners had the guts to take a risk. To blow up the task force. Instead of it devolving into a typical CSI type show, (Red brings blacklister, TF finds blacklister, Redโ€™s motive for Blacklister, repeat weekly), the showrunners had the guts to blow it up. Make it wide open so anything goes. Anywhere, anything. The show and characters are evolving, growing. I hate to use this phrase but itโ€™s now โ€œoutside the boxโ€. They are not playing it safe. This can open it up for even more interaction with all the team. More Samar, Ressler, Aram, even Cooper is now out in the wind. And Red is loose with Liz anywhere in the world. Anything can happen. This has a lot of potential.

And I always take anything they say or show with a grain of salt.

Looking forward to Season 3.

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2:37 pm May 18, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:
@A.B. @Belle from EW: “Red confirms what Liz says she remembers from that night: ‘I remember everythingโ€ฆ I know why my father died that night. I shot him.’ Masha saw her mother and father fighting, ‘he was hurting her,’ and she shot him. And then she ran away. And no matter how Red tried to protect her or keep her pure, Lizzie is still running.” http://bit.ly/1cE3LWn [emphasis added]

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7:59 am May 18, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:
Liz: I remember. I remember everything.
Red: Remember what?
Liz: The night of the fire. I know what happened, and I understand why you didn’t want me to find out. When I pulled the trigger โ€“ When I shot Connolly, I It came back to me. It was like I was there. I could hear them arguing. [ Flashback. Distorted shouting ] He was hurting her. And I know why my father died that night.
Liz: I shot him. That’s why you blocked my memory โ€“ not to protect yourself. To protect me.
Red: Yeah.

When Liz first says “I remember. I remember it all” Red’s expression is only curious. However, when she says “The night of the fire” he grimaces http://pic.twitter.com/Uools8Ps12 , his face contorting. Throughout most of Liz’s 70 word recollection, he appears on the verge of tears.

@Belle says that Red was only affirming that he had blocked her memories to protect her and therefore everything else she said, every clause apparently, needs to be affirmed. But one does not need to actively affirm when they agree with something.

The opposite is the case. If Red had heard something Liz said that he did NOT agree with then he might be expected to disagree. In debate, law, formal logic โ€“ and common sense โ€“ silence indicates agreement. However, Red wasn’t disagreeing.

Throughout, Red is clearly distressed. If other things were going through his mind โ€“ like how he could continue to lie to Lizzie about his relationship to her, or relief she didn’t find out that he lied to her every single time he has told her he is not her father โ€“ wouldn’t a fine actor like James Spader convey that? Instead, we see only grief, anguish and brokenness.

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7:38 am May 18, 2015
CJC wrote:
@Anonymous

Well it would be important to also quote the other side of the coin:

Spader at ComicCon 2014 about the nature of Red and Lizs relationship, using very non-paternal terms:

“The most compelling relationship is, in fact, what itโ€™s turning into. What the nature of that relationship is now and what it will be building over the next few years. Weโ€™ve already seen them very fractured at times and yet thereโ€™s some sort of compulsion that they have for one another. And not just Reddingtonโ€™s feelings for her but also her feelings for him. And to me thatโ€™s one of the most fascinating things besides the fun to be had on the show. In terms of the emotional center of the show. This man has brought nothing but fire and brimstone and danger and peril into her life but for some reason she is enormously compelled by him.”

Same at the Blacklist panel in 2014 – again very non-paternal choice of words:

“The central relationship on the show, between Liz and Red, is a question Spader is often asked about. โ€œWhat I know about their relationship is so far down the road. The lifespan of this show dictates how things are going to unfold. You have to allow fluidity. You canโ€™t have an endgame on a television show in its first year, if you donโ€™t know if itโ€™s going to last two years or ten years. I also have to accept the fact that it can change dramatically,โ€ he said. โ€œBut yes, I do know what the eventual desire would be.โ€

http://variety.com/2014/scene/news/blacklist-james-spader-producers-pay-close-attention-to-social-media-1201152028/

Bokenkamp adding to the description of the working rls between Boone and Spader

“I was just going to add to that it is interesting how thereโ€™s sort of a mentor/student sort of relationship, certainly in the script”

Eisendrath about the Red and Liz relationship:

“So, yes, heโ€™s a bad guy but I do believe that ultimately this is a redemption story for him and if in the end of the series he could get Liz to love him, that would be amazing.”

Megan Boone’s well-known quote:

“I think it’s a love story. I think The Blacklist is a love story.”

I personally find a bit sad and problematic that Eisendrath and Bokenkamp always let Megan Boone make make important off-screen statements that they should make themselves on the day after the finale. Especially as it allows ppl like here in this forum to pretend either Megan Boone doesnt know what she is talking about or is being lied to. It happened with the love story comment and it happens no with the No not the father comment.

Either way, in the quotes above it’s of course never defined what kind of love or feelings are referred to – platonic or romantic. Imo its definitely not the love of biological related father and daughter because it is important to consider one thing besides all the clues:

A man might display occasional paternal/protective notions towards a younger woman.
A father will NEVER display romantic notions towards his daughter. (unless he is a creep ofc)

And for example, the moment Raymond Reddington suggested as first option to Elizabeth Keen when the entered the restaurant in S1E2

“If anyone ask you are my GIRLFRIEND from Ann Arbor.”

and only added as second option, after he was rebuffed with an “Absolutely not.”

“Fine you can be my daughter” while Spader let him make a face as if he had tasted something foul,

in that moment the debate should have ended, no further clue needed. A father would have never voiced that first option. And thats merely one example.

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11:24 am May 17, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:
So, what you’re saying is this. Red knows he’s Lizzie’s father. But she now thinks she killed her father. And Red is going to let her keep on believing that falsehood โ€“ why? If Red loves Liz as her father, why would he let her continue in this awful mistaken belief that she now has that her father is dead because of her? He wouldn’t even have to tell her he’s her father, only that she didn’t kill her father, either because that man may not have been her father or because he can’t be sure the man died.

in addition, at the end of this episode, instead of thinking that Red is a “good” person โ€“ a sin-eater, as it were, โ€“ we instead are to think that for totally selfish reasons, he is going to let her suffer with this utterly false belief. This would make him not only a bad person, but a very selfish, and therefore very bad, father.

Women over 30 gave this episode a 10 out of 10 rating at IMDb. Is this because all of those women are confused? Or is it because of their admiration for his selfless parental instincts?

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The IMDb ratings for [2:22 Tom Connolly] are 9.4. That compares to a season average of 8.4. This compares with a Season 2 finale rating of 9.0. This very high rating (by IMDb standards) is due to Women 30yo and up. Amazon ratings for Season 2 are 9.8, also up from Season 1.

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7:40 am May 17, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:
ETCanada (5/15/2015): Megan Boone Interview http://bit.ly/1EMEcbX
// 5/15/2015. From the article: โ€œIt is confirmed that she killed her father and that Raymond Reddington is not her father,โ€ Megan Boone told us when we caught up with the actress today in Los Angeles. But the reveal hasnโ€™t stopped fans from believing that Red and Liz might still be father-daughter. โ€œEven some of the fandom now wants to believe that she was mistaken, that she killed someone else, that it wasnโ€™t her father, that her father is Red.โ€ But it sounds like those holding out hope may be disappointed. โ€œI think we’re going to continue to confirm that their relationship is something else and something more surprising than what you would think,โ€ hinted Megan. http://bit.ly/1EMEcbX

PodCastOne: Megan Boone on Back and Forth with Shawn and Larry King http://bit.ly/1Ecue35 (begins at 22.28) “…he is not her father” โ€“ Megan Boone
// 5/15/2015

The Blacklist Co-Producer Kat Goodson’s (@KatGoodson1) Twitter Feed:
Search string between arrows โ‹™ from:KatGoodson1 since:2015-05-14 until:2015-05-16 โ‹˜
Screenshots:
KatGoodson RT1 http://pic.twitter.com/YYZTnC7I08
KatGoodson RT2 http://pic.twitter.com/2KgfXORmT8
KatGoodson RT3 http://pic.twitter.com/UlKLRf1S8Q
Trivia: The Director’s assistant in [2:9 Braxton] is named Kat Goodson (played by Janel Moloney)

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3:31 pm May 16, 2015
Jim/Jim1 wrote:
Listened to Megan Boone’s interview with Larry King. She says Liz murdered her father. Doesn’t seem to have much ambiguity about it. She said it as if the episode meant to make that clear. Is she lying to us? Are the writers/showrunners lying to her? I don’t think so. I remember Bokenkamp saying last year that they had already answered the question about Red being Liz’s father when Red told her that her father was dead. I thought that Red was not her father then, then began to wonder when so many people rejected that, but I’ve always tended to think that his statement was pretty clear, most likely to be true. I think what happened in the finale this year is pretty definitive.

Personally, I have thought that Liz must have lived with Red for a time when she was little, before the fire. I once thought that she was living with him up to the night of the fire, but if so, then how would she know who her father was, or that she had shot her father? Immediately after the fire, Red apparently took Liz to live with Sam, so she would not have lived with Red then.

Maybe, the reason why Red has tried to keep Liz’s identity under wraps is that Katarina is still out there. Red knows that as soon as Katarina finds out about Liz (she hasn’t known her whereabouts since the night of the fire) she will come for Liz and that will somehow be dangerous/bad for Liz. After the fall of the Soviet Union, did she also become a crime figure? Maybe Katarina is #1 on the Blacklist because she poses a threat to Liz somehow. Maybe she is the head of the Cabal (for those who are keeping score, I doubt I am the first to say this). That would explain why the Director has seen her.

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5:38 am May 16, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:
James Spader is not unhappy with The Blacklist, based on several interviews he gave in anticipation of the finale and looking forward to Season 3. His interviews at the close of the first season were very different. He not only likes where the show is at now, he has actively been involved in shaping it into what it has become. He gets the scripts early and talks to the writers ‘every day for at least an hour’ and often for several hours, according to an answer he gave about The Blacklist at an Ultron event.

He gave an interview to Yahoo on 5/13 in which he talked about the Season 2 finale and looking forward to Season 3: Yahoo: Interview: James Spader on Finale and Season 3 http://yhoo.it/1EFPFdu . In particular, this caught my eye:

Spader: “For me the show is what I hoped for when I first read the pilot. It has a broad landscape in every aspect, in terms of tone, storyline, the development of characters and in the development of the relationships between different characters. And also in terms of what you learn โ€“ how the characters evolve and what you learn about them. Not only about where they are now and where they are headed, but also about their past. I like that ‘varied geography.'”

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5:27 am May 16, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:
Jon Bokenkamp and John Eisendrath are listed as the two writers of the finale.

Like many, the “dating” issues re: Zoรซ threw me for a loop. It didn’t make sense for Zoรซ to have been a Russian dissident at age 12. I took Red’s account to Fitch in The Decembrist as establishing canon and decided to move on and be less willing to delve to deeply into the weeds as readily.

I think the story is complicated and Red likely has both paternal and romantic feelings toward Liz and that for the story to succeed, it must somehow explain or, better yet, reconcile/resolve this tension. It’s ability to do so will be, for me, a standard by which I measure it as a work of art. Just one possible way of resolving this would be for Red to have been in love with Liz’s mother and for Liz to look a lot like her mother, as The Director says she does. Spader has said in a couple of interviews that the focus now needs to move from the past to what the nature of their relationship is now.

I think most viewers don’t obsess about these matters as much as many of us do and that most will follow where the story takes them. It’s also important to realize that the WSJ BL blog is known to be “pro-F/D.” Birds-of-a-feather aside, the downside is that if you turn out to be wrong, you haven’t had the chance to ‘try on’ other perspectives that might soften your disappointment. The writers on Twitter telegraphed a month or so ago that shippers ‘would be happy with the finale’ or they ‘could scream at us’ โ€“ which led to a lot of hilarity, actually. If you want to interact with the creative staff, Twitter is the way to do it, but JB has endorsed the “philosophy” (his term) that “extreme negativity” justifies blocking. Here’s that strand: http://bit.ly/1Eb0fbV

I love changing my mind when the evidence changes! Heavens, yes. I work in medical research. It’s what we do. Or else doctors would still be “bleeding” people. As Neil DeGrasse Tyson says, the greatest enemy of progress is confirmation bias.

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10:52 pm May 15, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:
STAGES OF GRIEF: The Blacklist Red/Liz Relationship
Denial โž” Anger โž” Bargaining โž” Depression/Mourning โž” Acceptance

1. Denial: “I still think Red’s Liz’s Dad”
2. Anger: “This series sucks; I not watching anymore”
3. Bargaining: “‘Daddygating โž” Surrogate baiting'”
4. Depression: Expect 1 month for each year (2 years = 2 months)
5. Acceptance.

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10:33 pm May 15, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:
ETCanada (5/15/2015): โ€œIt is confirmed that she killed her father and that Raymond Reddington is not her father,โ€ Megan Boone told us when we caught up with the actress today in Los Angeles. But the reveal hasnโ€™t stopped fans from believing that Red and Liz might still be father-daughter. โ€œEven some of the fandom now wants to believe that she was mistaken, that she killed someone else, that it wasnโ€™t her father, that her father is Red.โ€ But it sounds like those holding out hope may be disappointed. โ€œI think we’re going to continue to confirm that their relationship is something else and something more surprising than what you would think,โ€ hinted Megan. http://bit.ly/1EMEcbX

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LizzieB90 wrote:
@J. Wow, someone here cares about the cabal. Lots of people who read my blog care about it. Here’s my article ๐Ÿ”ด The Cabal โ€“ What is it about? wp.me/pDKwi-T6 not far off #TheBlacklist @NBCBlacklist will update for last two episodes. 42% of the hits on my blog are from other countries, including a bunch from Russia, which I find amusing. Even if Americans don’t care about these matters, a lot of non-Americans do.

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11:50 am May 15, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:
Here is proof that Liz killed her father. based on the evidence in [2:22 Tom Connolly]

Here is the dialogue in which Liz tells Red she remembers shooting her father. She says “I know why my father died that night. I shot him.”

Liz: I remember.
[ Car door closes ] [ Engine turns over ]
Liz: I remember everything.
Red: Remember what?
Liz: The night of the fire. I know what happened, and I understand why you didn’t want me to find out. When I pulled the trigger โ€“ When I shot Connolly, it came back to me. It was like I was there. I could hear them arguing. [ Flashback. Distorted shouting ] He was hurting her. And I know why my father died that night.
[ Gunshot is heard ]
Woman: [ Distorted ] Masha?
Liz: I shot him. That’s why you blocked my memory โ€“ not to protect yourself. To protect me.
Red: Yeah.

Notice that immediately after the gunshot, Liz remembers a woman (her mother) saying “Masha?” This does not exist in the previous account of the shooting as taken from the high-tech transcript. “Masha?” occurs right after the sound of the gunshot. This shows that the writers are not going by that earlier transcript. That’s fine. They’re the writers.

Liz’s father falls near a window and the light from the outside window is shining down on him. He is motionless. In the earlier memory recall session, the man on the floor is not near a window and he is moving, surrounded by flames. These cannot be the same person. Here is a comparison shot http://pic.twitter.com/A1tGf6k6Wm . The rooms are different (look at the floor), the men are wearing different colored clothing.

After Liz relates her recollection to an anguished Red, he affirms her summary, that her father “died that night. I shot him.” He does not correct it. He is grief-stricken that this terrible memory has returned to her. The look on his face is clear http://pic.twitter.com/M8u0ykklPa . He is in anguish. He’s not looking for loopholes in what she said. She has discovered that she killed her father.

The showrunners said they would clear this question up, and they did. It’s time to move on

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2:03 am May 15, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:
@Curious1 I think the writing has improved since The Decembrist and each new episode has outdone the previous one. They have a team now that is working well together. I believe contracts have been offered for next year. James Spader has been very active in the writing, saying he’s on the phone at least an hour a day and often more with the writing team. What you see and what you get now reflects his input. I love the more realistic, not-always-entirely-bad Blacklisters โ€“ and they’ve dropped the goofy names. The show has become more realistic, more morally ambiguous, more intellectually challenging and is taking on international politics with the freshness that Boston Legal took on national politics. The show is a Gem, the best there is. It should set the standard for serialized drama for the foreseeable future. Bravo!

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1:06 am May 15, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:
Here an excerpt from interviews: Importance of paying attention to Performances stressed by Megan Boone & James Spader http://pic.twitter.com/tiGkG7vOMP

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12:59 am May 15, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:
Thinking about the distribution of shippers vs F/Ders vs undecided (approx 30/40/30), got me thinking about the “love gene” (GG on rs53576 http://bit.ly/1wniMDR on SNPedia ) that I wrote about during the winter hiatus. Shippers do a lot of analysis based on what they see in the characters’ expressions and gestures (the acting) and produce videos and gifs to illustrate this. F/Ders have tended to cite the general story, what they think is ‘appropriate’ morally, or “gut” feelings.

In fact, โ€“ and this genomic difference has been heavily researched http://wp.me/pDKwi-hr โ€“ about 40% of us have GG for the “love gene” vs 45% AG, 15% AA. Those with GG simply do a better job of reading faces. In fact, administering oxytocin to subjects results in their focusing on people’s faces, in particular, on their eyes. If you’re interested, my article, “Fathomless Eyes: The Neurobiology of the Gaze” is here: http://wp.me/pDKwi-iP. This is an academic-style paper. I worked in genomics research for years at Mayo Clinic. There is no saying whether “GG” isd better โ€“ the Chinese, who have higher levels of “A”, sometimes say “GG” is worse. But people with GG may simply be picking up clues in the acting that others miss. And don’t forget, Megan and James gave interviews in which they stressed this.

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12:12 am May 15, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:
Complete denial. Amazing, really. The writers have been letting the Lizzington people know on Twitter for weeks that they would be happy with the finale. If they want to change the story again sometime okay, they can. It’s a story. They haven’t written it yet.

For now, it is clear: Red blocked Liz’s memory to save her from the trauma of having killed her father. Liz realizes he was trying to protect her, not himself. They hold hands and fly off somewhere together. Pure Lizzington. They are celebrating. The GIFs are flowing. Go check them out. Personally, I love the idea of a strong woman who has her choice of men.

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11:33 pm May 14, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:
Waiting to see how many ways people here can find to still insist that Red is Lizzie’s father. Seems to me the Lizzington folks deserve a little more respect on this blog.

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4:22 pm May 13, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:
@Ghost of Fitch and @Anonymous 10:55 pm May 12, 2015 : Your mentions of existing (and past) powerful DC cliques (that may presage “The Cabal”), including Sally Quinn described anti-Clintonites (“cave dwellers”) http://wapo.st/1bO9oAg and military-industrial-complex type group or “deep state” (per Moyers http://bit.ly/1BBiY29) reminded me that Pamela Harriman (Churchill’s daughter) was the center of such a group during the Kennedy years but I don’t know much about it. Plus, there’s the book Mark Leibovich wrote last year “This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral-Plus, Plenty of Valet Parking!-in America’s Gilded Capital” http://amzn.to/1Iyto8F.

Has anyone written a comprehensive social/power history of the U.S. Going back to the Cold War that covers all of these and describes their inter-relationships? It looks like an interesting topic for reading this summer.

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8:44 am May 13, 2015
Nan wrote:
@LizzieB90 @GhostofFitch @Anonymous (whichever one you are) – loved the photos of the Alliance/Cabal members. Several have already been attributed to diverse countries: “Chinese delegation”; “Brazil and South Korea” side with Mitchum. Check out member countries of the G20. Several have already been mentioned. Could Mitchum be the fellow to the right of Fitch in that photo? Given that Fitch was able to hold everyone off while he was alive and his death threw power to the Director’s side, it appears Fitch oversaw a stalemate. After his death, Jasper could have moved power away from the Director if he had voted with Hobbs’ group. Instead Jasper’s swing vote gave power to the Director. However, with Jasper and Hobbs now presumably dead, my math tells me the Director is holding power by a single vote, unless Tom Connolly took one of the vacant places and votes with the Director. Why doesn’t Red just knock off the Director’s group, one by one?

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11:56 pm May 12, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:
@Anonymous & @Ghost of Fitch 10:55 pm May 12, 2015
“Very diverse group” โ‰ƒ The original view we got of the Cabal in 1:20 The Kingmaker was of an international group, 10 or so people, diverse from different countries speaking different languages, with Alan Fitch coordinating the meeting. Discussion begins about 20 minutes in. Here are head shots of the main attendees http://bit.ly/1H2tEak There was a second row of people, seemed like staffers.

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11:30 pm May 12, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:
@Anonymous & @Ghost of Fitch 10:55 pm May 12, 2015

If this the Sally Quinn article about the Clintons & the “cave dwellers”? WaPo (11/2/1998): In Washington, That Letdown Feeling http://wapo.st/1bO9oAg ?

โœš Summary by ConsortiumNews, Robert Parry: November 6, 1998: Clinton vs. the Establishment http://bit.ly/1PFOrVR

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10:55 pm May 12, 2015
Anonymous wrote:
@lizzieB90 what you describe as deep state is more like the military industrial complex, what ghost describes as “cave dwellers” is more like a media-academia-government complex. There is overlap, but they are not the same. Katherine Graham was at the center of the cave dwellers universe, whereas Dick Cheney is a military industrial complex guy. Henry Kissinger, John McCain and Colin Powell are probably in both groups.

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6:17 pm May 12, 2015
Ghost of Fitch wrote:
Regarding the Director reporting to the President, if the writers know anything about Washington or even vaguely recall Sally Quinnโ€™s famous November 1998 column on the Clintons and the cave dwellers. they will make sure that the cabal doesn’t include a President. Presidentโ€™s come and go, but the Washington Insiders who call themselves the โ€œcave dwellersโ€ remain in Washington connected to government for generation after generation. The Director seems to be a โ€œcave dweller,โ€ Fitch was, but not sure about Connolly, who seems a bit brash and rough around the edges.

We seen glimpses of faces of cabal members and it is plainly a diverse group.

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5:11 pm May 11, 2015
Ghost of Finch wrote:
Step back for a moment and put together what you know(or should know) about โ€œKatarina Rostovaโ€

โ€ข She is Elizabethโ€™s mother
โ€ข Elizabeth was born in Moscow
โ€ข Red is fond of Elizabeth in a parental way
โ€ข Red seems to be very fond of โ€œKatarina Rostovaโ€
โ€ข Red characterized โ€œKatarina Rostovaโ€ as one of many names she went by โ€“suggestign Red knew her by another name.
โ€ข Old KGB agents know the name โ€œKatarina Rostovaโ€ but only as a mythical legendary figure that they have never seen
โ€ข While KGB agents have never seen โ€œKatarina Rostova,โ€ a high ranking U.S. Counterintelligence official (the Director) knows what Elizabethโ€™s mother (โ€œKatarina Rostovaโ€) looked like
โ€ข Red was on the U.S. of Counterintelligence when he knew โ€œKatarina Rostovaโ€ up until the time he left and โ€œstole some very damaging information about us [the cabal] when you disappeared.โ€

Putting these clues together what seems reasonable?

The KGB agent named โ€œKatarina Rostovaโ€ was involved with U.S. counterintelligence under a different name and, in all likelihood, under cover. The agent became involved with Red and also became pregnant, but delivered the baby in Moscow, which suggests that she was no longer undercover at the time of Elizabethโ€™s birth. Someone (Red?) took the baby and brought it to the United States placing it with Sam Scott. We donโ€™t know if the fire occurred in Russia or the United States. Before the fire, the baby had already been taken from the mother, who came looking for the baby on the night of the fire.

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12:33 pm May 10, 2015
Jim wrote:
A few episodes ago, the Director made a remark that indicated he knew what Liz’s mother looked like.

In this episode, we find out that practically no one knows what she looks like, that Red’s picture, as bad as it is, is unique to some people at least, who believe she had never been photographed, indeed, that she may have never existed. Clearly, she goes/went to great lengths to make sure she was known to as few people as possible.

Therefore, how is it that the Director has seen her? Was he lying? Were they on opposite sides and he was involved in interrogating her? Were/are they on the same side (the Cabal) and he dealt/deals with her regularly? What seemed like an offhand remark when he said Liz looked like her mother is suddenly much more meaningful. I wonder if Liz has told Red that the Director said this and what he would think if he knew?

If the Cabal is involved in ‘stabilizing’ the world by making it bipolar (not psychologically but politically we hope) then it couldn’t have started its operations much before 1989. Before that, the Soviet Union looked strong and the world WAS bipolar politically. The events of the fall of 1989 came as a surprise to most people. Yet, the night of fire was apparently December 1988. The Fulcrum already existed. The program to make the world politically bipolar by 2017 was already in place. It seems strange to me to live in a world split between the USA and the USSR and be involved in a plot that foresees the fall of the USSR and replacing it with Russia in a move that will take almost 30 years. Seems like a lot of wasted effort. Wouldn’t they have done better to prop up the old regime? Maybe they were attempting to prop it up and failed and have had to go the long way round to get back to a world divided by the US and Russia?

When Liz went to Red to tell him she had a lead in finding out more about her mother, I think she was acting out of anger and frustration. She has known since the pilot that Red knows a lot about her that she doesn’t know and has been trying to get him to tell her for a year and a half now. Every time he divulges a little because he is forced to, it is evident that he is still holding back important things. I think Liz is fed up with that. I think when she found a lead, she wanted to rub his nose in it. “I’m going to find out about my mother even if you don’t want me to know; even if you won’t help me. Red has controlled her life since the day he turned himself in to the FBI and I don’t think she has ever liked it. She is trying to take charge of her life, to get out from under Red’s thumb and I don’t think it’s surprising that it comes out with anger from time to time. She’s thirty years old and wants to live her own life.

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3:41 am May 11, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:

@Jim โ€“ I’ve also questioned here why, if the goal was a bipolar world, and the Cabal was active in 1988, they didn’t hold the USSR in place. Instead, they seemed to have been involved in the breakup [2:8 The Decembrist]. The answer may be Red’s statement in [2:20 Quon Zhang] “The Director believes there are too many players on the board. He thinks a bipolar world is inherently more stable..” It sounds as this development is recent. Maybe this reflects a difference between Fitch and the Director. Maybe it’s even reason for the moving up on the original 2017 schedule. I think the Cabal story is the most fascinating story they have, with tons of potential for next year. A focus of my blog has been to examine the huge potential here. If the plan is to move up the examination of such issues, I love it!
__________

This was probably my favorite episode since the Decembrist in terms of moving the story forward. We’ve known very little about what job Red had after he graduated from Anapolis, only that at some point he was an intelligence liaison (from the pilot). But now we learn from Velov:

“Velov: …For many years, while you were still with US Counterintelligence, I considered you the KGB’s greatest enemy.
Red: [ Laughing ] Oh, my God. That feels like ages ago. For what it’s worth, I was young. I had no concept of what a real enemy looked like. [ Inhales deeply ] But I do now.”

Wow! This was to me a major reveal. Red was once considered “the KGB’s greatest enemy”! I thought he might have had something to do with espionage, but this is so exciting, especially in regard to Red’s relationship with Katarina Rostova, Master Spy, ghost, mystery woman, “pinko Mata Hari.” From Wikipedia:

“The idea of an exotic dancer working as a lethal double agent using her powers of seduction to extract military secrets from her many lovers made Mata Hari an enduring archetype of the femme fatale.”

Of course, Agent Masik may have been exaggerating, but the potential love story here promises to break my heart and would enrich Red’s character in exciting ways, not to mention help explain his dedication to Liz, whether he is her father or not. I can’t wait to see where the writers take this. It definitely has the potential to evolve into a tragic story of love and seduction, complementing the historical, political and ideological elements the procedural segments address. What a story! My only concern is that The Blacklist’s complexity may make it hard to attract new viewers who will need to master two years of complex story-telling to truly come up to speed. (Did you know, incidentally, that War and Peace was first released as a serial over five years?)
__________

As for whether most people hate Tom Keen, TVGuide did a on-line poll asking whether Liz and Tom should get back together. It doesn’t indicate how many people responded or when voting was cut off. The article is date March 3. Episode 2:15 The Major aired March 12.

The poll indicates an even split, 50/50%. On March 11, in a separate article, the results are given as 63% against their getting back together (with a link to the 3/4/2015 poll). As there are people (like me) who don’t hate Tom, but also don’t think he and Liz should get back together, it’s pretty clear the “non-hating” contingent wins. As the original poll was posted on March 3, it was before The Major aired and the “softening” to 50/50% may reflect the ‘rehabilitation’ of Tom in this episode.

I have personally softened in my view of Tom since The Major, especially as Liz has become increasing unsympathetic. It’s seemed to me their relationship has recently been a waste of screen time. But if Tom’s boat can save Liz in the short term, it would make more sense to me that they had expended effort on developing this relationship.

By the way, on Twitter there is also a group of very anti-Tom people who have been pummeling the writers and EPs on this. Daniel Knauf gave warning that he would be blocking people for ‘excessive negativity’ and has done so at least once to a frequent Tweeter (not me). More importantly, JB retweeted Knauf’s ‘negativity’ tweet, adding that he agreed with it. Iow, the die has been cast and they’re tired of hearing about it. However, I still wouldn’t be surprised if Tom at some point were killed off while saving Liz.

From TVGuide:
“Are Tom and Liz made for each other?
Results
Yes! Their feelings were real, and once everything is cleared up, they’re meant to be. 50%
No! How sick and twisted does a relationship have to be before you ‘shippers give up? 50%”
// 3/4/2015 TVGuide http://bit.ly/1BpNOYw
// 3/11/2015 TVGuide http://bit.ly/1E1sM3q says 63% against
// 3/12/2015 WSJ Speakeasy: The Major http://on.wsj.com/1dWxOJy

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12:33 pm May 10, 2015
Jim wrote:
A few episodes ago, the Director made a remark that indicated he knew what Liz’s mother looked like.

In this episode, we find out that practically no one knows what she looks like, that Red’s picture, as bad as it is, is unique to some people at least, who believe she had never been photographed, indeed, that she may have never existed. Clearly, she goes/went to great lengths to make sure she was known to as few people as possible.

Therefore, how is it that the Director has seen her? Was he lying? Were they on opposite sides and he was involved in interrogating her? Were/are they on the same side (the Cabal) and he dealt/deals with her regularly? What seemed like an offhand remark when he said Liz looked like her mother is suddenly much more meaningful. I wonder if Liz has told Red that the Director said this and what he would think if he knew?

If the Cabal is involved in ‘stabilizing’ the world by making it bipolar (not psychologically but politically we hope) then it couldn’t have started its operations much before 1989. Before that, the Soviet Union looked strong and the world WAS bipolar politically. The events of the fall of 1989 came as a surprise to most people. Yet, the night of fire was apparently December 1988. The Fulcrum already existed. The program to make the world politically bipolar by 2017 was already in place. It seems strange to me to live in a world split between the USA and the USSR and be involved in a plot that foresees the fall of the USSR and replacing it with Russia in a move that will take almost 30 years. Seems like a lot of wasted effort. Wouldn’t they have done better to prop up the old regime? Maybe they were attempting to prop it up and failed and have had to go the long way round to get back to a world divided by the US and Russia?

When Liz went to Red to tell him she had a lead in finding out more about her mother, I think she was acting out of anger and frustration. She has known since the pilot that Red knows a lot about her that she doesn’t know and has been trying to get him to tell her for a year and a half now. Every time he divulges a little because he is forced to, it is evident that he is still holding back important things. I think Liz is fed up with that. I think when she found a lead, she wanted to rub his nose in it. “I’m going to find out about my mother even if you don’t want me to know; even if you won’t help me. Red has controlled her life since the day he turned himself in to the FBI and I don’t think she has ever liked it. She is trying to take charge of her life, to get out from under Red’s thumb and I don’t think it’s surprising that it comes out with anger from time to time. She’s thirty years old and wants to live her own life.

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9:48 am May 8, 2015
Nan wrote:
[ open questions ]
…Also there are a number of lose ends that have never been explained or wrapped up: the Major, the Germans, the girl Sarah Hastings whom Tom was sent to Dresden to learn who killed her.

Also, why did Tom really kill the Harbourmaster? Was he one of the terminally ill people on Milton Bobbitt’s list who was sent to find and kill Tom? Who sent him? Why did Tom kill Jolene and Cowboy? Had Jolene been sent by Berlin to see if Tom was in love with Liz? Did Tom think Cowboy was sent by Reddington to kill him? Who were Younez and Salumbides, the first two people that Tom guessed had sent Cowboy?

What is the relationship between Jacob Phelps and Tommy Phelps – the Courier? What’s Jacob’s back story? Too many unanswered questions – too many lose ends. These all need to be wrapped up in season 3.

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8:47 am May 8, 2015
James wrote:
My guess is Tom is going to be the one to rescue Lizzy, yet again. Liz can’t trust most of her coworkers and he is, after all, the expert at quick escapes, changes of identity, etc and he likely even has passports for Liz, given his hope to leave with her. I think Kesey is on to something; I hope not, but I don’t see a happy ending working out for Tom/Jacob one way or another – he either dies trying to save Liz yet again (probable), she uses him and then dumps him later next season (possible) or he saves her and then they get back together, becoming a semi-normal couple (highly improbable).

If he does survive the finale, perhaps season 3 can tackle The Blacklist’s biggest mystery yet: what in the world Tom/Jacob sees in Liz. In Season 1, Liz was depicted as basically absent from their relationship – skipping adoption meetings, failing to follow through on plans, etc. The, once Liz suspected him of being a spy – and totally being manipulated by Red, who knew all along that Tom really cared for her – she winds up shooting him, kidnapping him, falsely imprisoning him and torturing him for months. After that, Tom/Jacob inexplicably kills his own rescuer, ostensibly to save Liz from the consequences of her own actions. And then he goes back for her again mid-season to again save her from the consequences of her own crimes, committed against Tom/Jacob. Since then, she’s been depicted using him repeatedly, putting him in dangerous situations, etc and scarcely uttering a “thank you” while making a fair number of cutting remarks (the Neo-nazi’s don’t do it for me remark, the “I thought you had allergies” remark, etc etc). Seriously, this relationship is completely unbelievable; he’s basically the battered spouse who knows he’s “done her wrong” and hence thinks he deserves his terrible treatment. It’s not romantic, it’s just toxic and the way they had Tom chasing after Liz this last episode was just pathetic. I seriously don’t know what the writers are thinking here – it’s making Liz’s character look quite unsympathetic and cold-blooded and Tom to look like the dude with the lowest self-esteem in the history of TV crime procedurals.

Regarding Liz, putting two and two together, Red probably is Liz’s father and likely killed Liz’s mother. A possible scenario is Red thought his relationship with Liz’s mother was “the real thing” only to find out she was a spy who had a family of her own. Possibly Red killed Katerina’s husband and then she either killed herself or was killed by her own side after Red set it up to look like she had turned and not vice versa… Anyhow, there’s definitely some espionage/counter-espionage leading to personal tragedy story there.

Some loose ends for next season: The Major is still after Tom/Jacob and now probably Red and Liz as well and he has access to the best deep cover agents available and Vanessa Cruz is working for Red in some capacity, likely blackmailing a high-ranking cabal member such as Tom Connolly. Given that Liz likely isn’t even a US citizen anymore (unless Red is her father) and is suspected of being a Russian spy, I think she’ll begin season 3 still on the run under an assumed identity, a la Red and Tom/Jacob.

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7:46 am May 8, 2015
zed wrote:
I really like the idea of Red helping Tom fake his death but I think they will kill him off. I have really liked his role this season (couldn’t stand him in season 1). I saw the preview where LIz says that she remembers everything that happens. I know that will be the very last line uttered in the show so we have that cliffhanger for the whole summer. And, not only was Red in intelligence he was in counter intelligence. So his job probably included hunting for moles and KGB spies within the ranks of US intelligence. No wonder he’s a master manipulator. I so want him to be Liz’s father. I can see the story now – he discovered Katarina Rostova the spy and compromised her, he probably played her like Tom did Liz, she gets pregnant with Liz and was recalled to Moscow and Red somehow helped her slip away back to the US, He steals the fulcrum information to protect himself and her and then everything goes sideways. I wish every episode was as interesting as this one was.

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Added to CLUES:
Third Prediction Scenario 3
// 5/10/2015
This was based on a dream I woke from at about 11:00 pm CDT 4/9/2015. Posted 12:45 am 4/10/2015. I did not check anything against timelines except what I remember and extrapolated only from existing assumptions, so there are some overlaps and inconsistencies without attempts to reconcile.

Red doesn’t know if he is Liz’s father. He could be tested, of course, but he doesn’t want to be. He wants to find out at the same time Liz does. He knew Liz’s mom as Katarina Rostova. She was working for the CIA, as far as he knew; he didn’t know she was a double agent, using her relationship with him to gather additional information that she did not have security clearance for. Then he discovered she was in a relationship with someone else, who died the night of the fire. Red shot Katarina for betraying him in having a relationship with this other man who also may be Liz’s father. This man appears to have died in the fire. He had the Fulcrum and he sewed it into the bunny. The CIA assumed Red was the person who stole the Fulcrum. Or set him up for it. They may have wanted to get rid of him because he knew they’d fallen for a double agent.

Red was married to Carla/Naomi. Carla had a daughter when he married her, Zoฤ“, so she was the right age to be 10 or so years old in 1987. Naomi may be older than Red. After killing Katarina, with whom he had been having an affair, he could not bear the emotional burdens and, after a while, abandoned his family (Carla and Jennifer). The story he told Madeline was a ruse.

The CIA blamed Red for accessing military secrets. This was information about the Cabal, that had been gathered by Katarina and fed to the government of the USSR. Red struck a deal with the Cabal through Alan Fitch not to expose any more about its activities. They don’t know if he had the Fulcrum. The destabilizing activities of the Cabal may have begun with the destabilization and breakup of the Soviet Union,

U.S. intelligence knew Katarina had a daughter and assumed the girl was the daughter of Katarina’s husband. Liz’s American birth citizenship etc were concocted by Liz’s “father,” who was the first person with a forgery business. With both dead, Red took that business over, and left Liz with Sam, a childhood friend, to attempt to keep anyone from finding out about her relationships with either Red, Katarina and/or Katarina’s husband and/or true father.

The CIA assumed Katarina’s daughter died in the fire until just recently. Braxton gave them some new information from stories he had gathered. Red or her father had abducted her from Katarina when her (Liz’s) parentage came up for question, renaming her Liz. After the fire, Red called Sam who came and got Liz while Red suffered alone, recovering from the fire from which he and Liz had barely escaped. (His scars look as though they were not treated medically.) that’s why Red used the caveat “The way Sam tells the story…”

On subsequent investigation into Liz’s mom, Red learned that she “had many names,” and was (in reality, not just “the old stories”) was an amalgam of all the females she had assumed, as a “pinko Mata Hari.”

The Director knew Katarina as well, may have also had an affair with her, may even be Liz’s father. Remember, there are, according to Masik, no known photos of Katarina. We only know of Red’s. To know that Liz looked like her mother, the Director had to have known her personally.

P.S. When Diane Fowler said she knew what happened “that night,” she was referring to the night of the fire, not to the Christmas Eve story Red told Madeline Pratt. At best, Diane Fowler’s understanding would have been second-hand, from Fitch perhaps or someone else. Red knew she had no exclusive or useful point of view on these things. She may not have known her pov was useless to him.

P.S.S. Swan Lake is a story of deception and the trickery involved in keeping two true lovers from one another. Red loved Katarina and believed she loved him. She may have. In the story, the star-crossed lovers, their lives hopelessly complicated and destroyed by the constantly shifting allegiances of this world, agree to meet after death in the afterworld. The dance at the end of Mako Tanida is called “The Dying Swan.” The “Dying Swan” is merged in Red’s mind with Katarina’s death in 1987. Did Katarina die on that date? Did the little ballet dancer even exist, or is the memory evocative of Katarina’s death primarily or even exclusively. The March 1987 performance is important to Red in part because of Jennifer’s performance, but because it reminds Red of his desire to once again experience the love he had for Katarina โ€“ a love he wants to believe she shared โ€“ when he joins her in death, “where, beyond these voices, there is peace.” (Heloรฏse and Abelard)

P.S.S.S. Lizzie’s scar may have been associated with Red’s suppression of Lizzie’s memories at age 8 or age 14. According to the Writers’ Room Timeline, those were the dates when “Red and Partner” killed Liz’s father. Something tells me Season 2 will end in a bad way, if Liz’s memories have broken through the barriers created then. Red has believed memories cannot be restored, the reason he raised the matter with the doctor in The Longevity Initiative.

P.S.S.S.S. Did the apartment belong to Katarina? Not from the dream, but from earlier yesterday.

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8:42 am May 10, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:

In re:10:31 pm May 9, 2015
@Nan wrote:
“… I first thought the Cabal wanted to frame Liz to discredit her if she ever tried to release any of the fulcrum documents or files. However, Velov tells Red “Sometime back, two men from Justice Department come…” indicating that Tom Connolly was setting Liz up even before she showed the fulcrum to the Director. Red also noted, “Connolly made the harbormaster investigation go away.” Thus, Red wasn’t involved in that. So why did Connolly make the investigation go away only to frame Liz for the bombing and Senator’s murder?”

@Nan The Cabal is trying to stir up anti-Russian sentiment in the U.S., to bring us to the brink of a third world war, reigniting the Cold War as a way of creating a “bipolar world” which the Director views as intrinsically more stable. Who better than the daughter of a Russian spy (or spies), raised as a sort of one-woman sleeper cell to blame this on? โ€“ a young woman whose real name is Masha Rostova? They have staged it so it looks like Liz was involved both in blowing up the Orea building (wiping out the the Russian counterintelligence unit there) and infecting Senator Hawkins (a leading anti-Russian voice who was chair of the Select Committee on Intelligence).

As Red said: Think. He bombed the CIA’s Russian section. That took time, money and no small amount of risk. What happens when the United States is attacked, suffers grievous loss of life? Liz: We go into lock-down. The bombing bumped the NTAS level to red. But why put the mission at risk by triggering a high-level terrorist alert?
Red: Well, that’s the downside. The upside is exposure, public attention.

Earlier:
Liz: [ On phone with Red ] No, but those agentsโ€“ their entire section. Every agent on that desk was wiped out. If this gets traced back to Russiaโ€“
Red: Not “If,” Lizzy. Senator Hawkins has taken the bait like a bluegill to a cricket. And where he goes, the warmongers are sure to follow. Where are you on Karakurt?
Liz: Where? Nowhere. The Cabal just took out an entire substation of the CIA

โ‹™ IOW, The Cabal is behind Karakurt. carefully stirring up anti-Russian sentiment, with a plan to blame Liz. She’s the fall guy. The Director knows about her mother, may have met her. If Liz had been held in jail/prison, the Cabal could not have framed her with these acts of terror.

Earlier still, FYI:

Red: Karakurt is known in the intelligence community as the left hand of the SVR [Russia’s external intelligence agency for civilian affairs]โ€ฆ In truth, he works for the Cabal. They smuggled him into America because they know if he commits an act of terror here, your government will blame Moscow.
__________
“Sluzhba vneshney razvedki; IPA: [หˆsluสbษ™ หˆvnสฒษ›ส‚nสฒษชj rษหˆzvสฒษ›tkสฒษช] or SVR RF (Russian: ะกะ’ะ  ะ ะค) is Russia’s external intelligence agency, mainly for civilian affairs. The military affairs espionage counterpart is the GRU. The SVR RF is the successor of the First Chief Directorate (PGU) of the KGB since December 1991.” โ€“ Wikipedia

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6:26 pm May 9, 2015
Curious1 wrote:
@spaderfan Unlike some I don’t need to have an alias. Tom haters are the majority of the Black list viewers. I have mentioned before JS wanted Tom killed in season 1. It was stated by one of the producers in the commentary on the season 1 DVD. This is not a theory it is a fact.
Megan Boone herself is against Tom and Liz reconciliation. This is not a theory it is a fact.

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8:50 pm May 9, 2015
Jim wrote:
Just checked the Blacklist ratings in tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com. Amazing!

In an article dated May 8, here is what the Blacklist is accomplishing in ratings:
-It is increasing an average of 17% week to week in 18-49
-Last week’s telecast grew by 99% in 18-49 and by 2.9 viewers overall in L+3 (the number of people who watched live plus the number who streamed it over the next three days) numbers versus L+SD (people who watch live plus those who stream it the same day). So, almost the same number of people stream it within the next three days as people who watch it on Thursday night.
-It’s growing by 40% week to week in adults 18-34, 50% in men 18-34 and 60% in women 18-34 (I don’t know how the math of that works out, but that is what the article says). These are some the groups most desired by advertisers – it allows NBC to charge more for commercials on the Blacklist.
-It is tied for #1 in the time slot for men 18-49.
-It has improved its Thursday night slot by 164% since moving and by 8.9 million viewers.
-NBC’s Thursday night has improved by 17% overall since the move and by 2.9 viewers overall (pretty amazing when you consider how weak the other NBC Thursday night shows have been).

So, if you read only overnight numbers and look at only The Blacklist without comparing it to its competition, you aren’t getting a clear picture of how much people (especially network executives) love this show. The move to Thursday night has clearly been a home run for NBC.

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5:00 am May 10, 2015
Anonymous wrote: []
@J “I don’t even know how to describe it but I felt she was waiting for his approval, showing she can find the truth by herself, that’s she’s capable. But her attitude … childlike, tempting, i don’t know. Someone found it weird?” The word is “seductive.” She is jealous of Dr Kimberly. She is teasing and flirty, mimicking Dr Kimberly’s playfulness. She leans forward and Red responds, taking a gander at her bustline. She does not take Tom’s call. The lipstick color? C’mon.

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1:53 pm May 8, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:
Senator Hawkins is an Anti-Russian hawk whom the “war-mongers” will follow. Plus he has a soapbox as chair of intelligence subcommittee. The Cabal wants to reignite a Cold War between the U.S. and Russia:

“Liz: I get it. The Cabal is trying to start another Cold War, and an act of terror committed here is step one in making that happen I am listening to what you are saying, and I know that it’s important, but it is no more important than what I am telling you, and I need you to listen to that Red: There will be an attack on an American defense installation within a matter of days. If I’m right, it’ll be the first of many acts of terror here and overseas designed by the Cabal to further their agenda. We have to stop this man, Lizzy.
โ€ฆ
Senator Hawkins: This was an act of terror, plain and simple. As Chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence, mark my words. We will find the people who are responsible. And when we do, we will respond with all appropriate force.
โ€ฆ
Liz: No, but those agentsโ€“ their entire section. Every agent on that desk was wiped out. If this gets traced back to Russiaโ€“
Red: Not “If,” Lizzy. Senator Hawkins has taken the bait like a bluegill to a cricket. And where he goes, the warmongers are sure to follow.”

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12:13 am May 8, 2015
Red’sGrandChild wrote:
@ Keith : You are mixing “The Hunt for Red October / Sean Connery & Alex Baldwin ” with “Ghosts Harris / Duchovny ” soviet subskies movies !

The Kursk was a Oscar II class nuclear ballistic sub that went down probably because bad handling of one or more torpedos that exploded during training exercises with the North Fleet.

Hardly a sure way to defect. Well, may be to the far beyond ! ( Sorry for the bad joke ).

Kursk is a small village in mid – western Russia where the biggest mechanized battle in history happened and the start of the demise of the Wermacht was confirmed. After that battle, the soviets could not be stop untill German capitulation.

Kursk is an avatar for “resurgence” in the old soviet military ethos. Then, the reason why the soviet ” old guard” was meeting there. On the other hand, I do not know what members of the Stasi ( east german secret policemen ) were doing there. If dates given in this blog for the meeting are right, the Stasi had already been disbanded by then. Another hiccup in TBL story arc !

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4:21 pm May 7, 2015
Red’sGrandChild wrote:
@Karl : You can bet it safe that Connolly is going to whack “The Director”.

@LizzieB90 ; Good answer ! I do also favor public financing of elections. On this regard, it is amazing how backward the election process in the US may be compared to Canada, Germany, France, Spain, UK, Holland, Switzerland, Australia and even ( Surprise ! ) Mexico.

Attention everybody ! For 200,000 Kronkitokies : Mention the developed world democracy that has only two relevant political parties and where those in power organize, scrutinize and validate the results of elections….

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2:40 pm May 7, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:
@Ghost of Fitch very well described; I can find myself arguing both sides on most of these issues, but the increasing consolidation of wealthy in the hands of the 0.1% or 0.01% is cause for concern, per Thomas Piketty. Still, I see the IMF etc a force for good. There is no way to manage potential exploitation by international corporations except w international regulation & oversight. The value of the nation-state is that It allows for meaningful participation in self-government. That, however, is being eclipsed by recent lifting of limits on campaign financing. Plus, nations have an unfortunate tendency to fight with one another. I’m trying to figure out what the Cabal is, based on what little has been said about it to date. I am assuming because of domination by defense contractors & intelligence agencies that a “permanent war economy” is involved, in order to use up materiรฉl etc. From that follows that the Cabal might also be involved in creating, exacerbating the ideologies & territorial & cultural disputes that lead to war. I sm suggesting that these industries need to be repurposed to fight global climate threats… At least no one gets fired.

I hope The Blacklist isn’t going to wrap The Cabal this season. It is such a great way to shine light on some of the internationalist organizations you mention, since the news media refuses to touch it. BTW I love Davos, & TED & Clinton Foundation, etc etc. My very drafty article is here: http://wp.me/pDKwi-T6

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2:00 pm May 7, 2015
Ghost of Fitch wrote:
The โ€œgoodโ€ version of a โ€œNew World Orderโ€ was described by George H.W. Bush in his famous speech at the end of the Cold War:

Until now, the world we’ve known has been a world dividedโ€”a world of barbed wire and concrete block, conflict and cold war. Now, we can see a new world coming into view. A world in which there is the very real prospect of a new world order. In the words of Winston Churchill, a “world order” in which “the principles of justice and fair play … protect the weak against the strong …” A world where the United Nations, freed from cold war stalemate, is poised to fulfill the historic vision of its founders. A world in which freedom and respect for human rights find a home among all nations.

This is obviously a โ€œglobalistโ€ view where, in the good sense, nationalism is secondary to what is good for humanity.

Those who see โ€œevilโ€ in the New World Order believe that the global elites are using global institutions and free trade agreements to maximize their profits and control at the expense of jobs and the working class.
Basically, the New World Order is a move toward one government that rules all the world. There has been an obvious movement toward more and stronger institutions in the past 100 years – United Nations, Bretton Woods, EU, NAFTA etc. There is no doubt that so called “elites” govern the world. There has been a big change in who those “elites” are though. Until recently, governments of the great powers provided most of the elites, but with globalization the nation-state’s power has diminished shrinking politicians to minority power broker status; leaders in international business, finance and the defense industry not only dominate the superclass, they move freely into high positions in their nations’ governments and back to private life largely beyond the notice of the general population and even elected legislatures who are abysmally ignorant of affairs beyond their borders. The elites influence over national policy is constructive but always self-interested, and that across the world, few object to corruption and oppressive governments provided they can do business in these countries. Established upper-class families with “old money” have founded and finance DAVOS, the Bilderberg Group, Bohemian Club, Club of Rome, Council on Foreign Relations, Rhodes Trust, Skull and Bones, Trilateral Commission, and similar think tanks and private clubs that urge an increasingly authoritarian world government controlled by the United Nations and a global central bank, which maintains political power through the financialization of the economy, regulation and restriction of speech through the concentration of media ownership, mass surveillance, widespread use of state terrorism, and an all-encompassing propaganda that creates a cult of personality around a puppet world leader and ideologizes world government as the culmination of history’s progress.

So far, we’ve only seen brief glimpses of most of the cabal members, but they seem to be an international group. Those trying to map the cabal to political parties of the United States miss the point – the American political parties are irrelevant to the cabal. the American far right has long been fearful of the One World Government, and leftist labor unions oppose international trade agreements and free trade. But none of that stops Bill Clinton, George HW Bush, Henry Kissinger, John Kerry and the like form being prominent globalists.

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1:07 pm May 7, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:
I’m trying to write a piece on The Cabal, but I’m confused. In reality, there was an “old guard” coup attempt against Gorbachev in August 1991, but no bombing. I assume the “old guard” are the pro-USSR people (like Putin) who never wanted to allow the USSR broken up.

At this point, I assume the Russians in the Cabal would be sympathetic to that “old guard.” Red says The Director wants a bi-polar world. I assume he means a return to a balance of power between Russia (+/- China) โž” a restoration of Cold War style tensions. No more American unipolar hegemony. Good enough. This all makes sense.

What doesn’t make sense is, going back 25 years, if Fitch (either w U.S. govt approval or rogue) was behind the Kursk bombing, why would he be blowing up his future co-Cabalists, the pro-USSR contingent, who could recreate a bipolar world?

Or is this idea new to the Director, and Fitch was talking about an earlier model where there were more people “on the Board,” in which case Russia would be just one of 8 or 10 Board members? Or maybe the counterpart to the U.S. In the bipolar world would not be Russia but China. But I don’t think so because of the focus on Liz’s (and possibly Red’s) Russian heritage…

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5/7/2014 Held Back
WSJ, Jason Evans: The Blacklistโ€™ Recap: Season 2, Episode 6, โ€˜The Mombasa Cartelโ€™
http://on.wsj.com/1qnJWD2
// 10/27/2014 “There are perks to being a Speakeasy writer. For example, every so often someone famous just reaches out and wants to chat. I had a situation like that this week as Jon Bokenkamp, the creator and Executive Producer of ‘The Blacklist,’ got in touch to let me know how much he loves this blog and all the fabulous theories you all write in the comment section. He called reading this site โ€œone of my favorite Tuesday morning rituals.โ€

Daniel Knauf @Daniel_Knauf Mar 26
Blacklist fans, my feed is a TERRIBLE place to pitch story ideas. Legal quagmire, I’m afraid. Please don’t force me to block you. Thanks!

Daniel Knauf @Daniel_Knauf Feb 1
@BlacklistDCd Yes. routinely, writers are falsely (and frivolously) accused of “stealing” ideas by people who pitch a vague notion.

Daniel Knauf @Daniel_Knauf Sep 18
If you DM a writer an unsolicited pitch, not only is it spamming, but you are putting the writer in a position to be sued. Not cool.

Daniel Knauf @Daniel_Knauf Sep 18
Most of you know this, but if a writer follows you, and you’ve never met, DMing him or her an unsolicited story pitch is extremely uncool.
]
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1:28 am May 7, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:
I keep track of things I post that later show up in an episode, as well as those that don.’t (or at least that haven’t so far). You might consider keeping a master list for the 10 of you who produce 80% of the content here. That way you can see what your “batting average” is. :)

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4:04 am May 6, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:
@CinCon Megan Boone talked about the tight shooting/airing schedule in an interview:

CapitolFile: Megan Boone Opens Up About โ€˜TheBlacklist,โ€™ Dating, and Twitter http://bit.ly/11EenzD
// 11/17/2014 (date approx) Q: How does the process work? I noticed last season that current events were woven in and references added to the dialogue to make it very timely.

A: I really think that social media has changed the medium of television in a huge way. We are in the golden age of television. The interesting thing about network TV is that we are developing and shooting episodes at a much faster rate [than cable or streaming], so that means our air date and our wrap date are very close. When we get a response from our fans, weโ€™re able to almost instantly respond to that within our story. Within a couple of episodes, fans will see something play out that they wished for, or something that they noticed will be somehow woven into the story.โ€ // [emphasis added]

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3:53 am May 6, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:
Comparing Baby Chrissy doll circa 1984 (var. hair/skin colors, adj.length hair) w doll in fire scene… photo: http://bit.ly/1PocEj4 Similar?

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8:51 am May 4, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:

@Nan I didn’t suggest Lizzie shot her mother. I think that would be improbable, though of course nothing is impossible. I suggested that one of Lizzie’s parents may have shot the other or that one or both of them may have had something to do with Red’s family being killed, per Madeline Kahn / Diane Fowler references.

It does make sense though that if this had happened, Red would not want Lizzie to know about it. As I recall, Lizzie was being tugged between two people when the gun went off, so it’s possible she accidentally pulled the trigger. As for the other scenarios that I actually did list, I could not find anyone else suggesting them. That’s why I did. This set of possibilities was discussed on Twitter and I thought people here might be interested.

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11:59 pm May 3, 2015
Nan wrote:
@LizzieB90 – see post @Anonymous (it was me) on May 2 at 1:41pm – last paragraph and @Belle on May 2 at 2:51pm – first paragraph. I’d previously proffered the theory that perhaps Lizzie shot her mother and she would never believe Red if he told her that, but would have to remember it on her own.

=========
10:56 pm May 3, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:

“7:14 am May 3, 2015
Sally Draper wrote:
Things you mention have already been discussed in the comments. Maybe you should read the comments.

“7:15 am May 3, 2015
Sally Draper wrote:
That was for LizzieB90”

โ‹™ โ‹™@Sally Draper The first idea was that Red is not trying to keep Liz from knowing what happened in order to protect himself but to protect her from knowing about terrible things her parents did, has not been discussed her before. I don’t know if this idea is right. It’s just a theory. But I cannot find it being discussed here before, only on Twitter.

The second idea that if Liz looks like her mother and Red was in love with her mother it explains his conflicted feelings toward her has been discussed in the comments before. I introduced it and others have agreed

This is consistent with James Spader saying these are complex characters. Daniel Knauf has described the characters on Twitter like this:

Daniel Knauf @Daniel_Knauf Apr 24
@SimpleFan19 @backpfeifenface @vegasdude83 @BlacklistDCd I think of them as human beings who are struggling with demons. [emphasis added]

Footnotes: [ for my reference; not posted ]

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4:18 am May 3, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:
“I’ve wracked my brain trying to think of what Red could have done that’s so much worse than what Lizzie already thinks he’s done that would cause him to so resist telling her anything more. I came up w this: what if it’s not something he did but that her mother or father did? Did her mother kill her father or vice versa? Did one or both of them abandon her to the fire? Other possibilities: Did Liz accidentally start the fire that killed one or both of them? (Yes, I know her mother may have been shot). Moving beyond this one night โ€“ did her mother or father kill Red’s wife and daughter?

“Some of these ideas were brought up over on Twitter when I raised this question. In any of these instances, instead of Red trying selfishly to cover up his own bad deeds (not a very sympathetic posture), he would be trying to spare Liz the trauma of her own family’s past. That would make Red more admirable. Otherwise, withholding information from her it makes him seem stubborn and selfish โ€“ less sympathetic a character than he has seemed before in this series.” Plus โ‡Š โ‡Š

11:55 pm April 30, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:
If, as Liz speculates, Red was in love with her mom & Liz looks exactly like her mom at about the age Red knew her, it goes a long way toward explaining Red’s combination of parental & romantic/sexual feelings toward her. I’ve been hoping for a reveal like this. Of course, Red refuses to confirm & with the twists and turns this show could still take, I await with baited breath. Totally love this show.

โญ• 3 May 2015

4:18 am May 3, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:

I’ve wracked my brain trying to think of what Red could have done that’s so much worse than what Lizzie already thinks he’s done that would cause him to so resist telling her anything more. I came up w this: what if it’s not something he did but that her mother or father did? Did her mother kill her father or vice versa? Did one or both of them abandon her to the fire? Other possibilities: Did Liz accidentally start the fire that killed one or both of them? (Yes, I know her mother may have been shot). Moving beyond this one night โ€“ did her mother or father kill Red’s wife and daughter?

Some of these ideas were brought up over on Twitter when I raised this question. In any of these instances, instead of Red trying selfishly to cover up his own bad deeds (not a very sympathetic posture), he would be trying to spare Liz the trauma of her own family’s past. That would make Red more admirable. Otherwise, withholding information from her it makes him seem stubborn and selfish โ€“ less sympathetic a character than he has seemed before in this series.

โ‹™ A little out there…
11:00 pm May 2, 2015
Nan wrote:

@All – mea culpa! I had initially given Sam’s date of birth as April 13,1960 to show that he couldn’t be Red’s brother because he was born in the same year. I thought I saw that DOB on his hospital form from the Kingmaker episode. Today while reviewing photos from Anslo Garrick I, I saw the memorial program from Sam’s funeral which clearly stated his year of birth as 1950. Upon enlarging the hospital form, I see it also gives his date of birth as April 13, 1950.

http://screencapped.net/tv/theblacklist/displayimage.php?album=24&pid=17981#top_display_media
http://screencapped.net/tv/theblacklist/displayimage.php?album=44&pid=40043#top_display_media

Why is this important? Because the older brother in the family photo from the 1960s (in the double frame on the mantel in Red’s flat) was about 10 years older than the younger brother, who is possibly Red. Although the older brother in the family photo has dark hair and Sam had light hair, it could be the same person. This would explain why both Sam and Red knew the same Russian lullaby that their Russian mother sang to them as children. Red’s mother probably owned the 1940s Sorrento music box which played the Russian lullaby. Red brought the music box from his flat and restored it for Liz.

The #4 – 1950s photo of the grandmother with her grandson and granddaughter was not a photo of Red and Kate, but of Sam and Kate. Kate was slightly older than Sam. Red was born ten years later in 1960 when Sam was 10 and Kate was likely 11.

I also learned Sam was a fisherman by trade. After the funeral, Liz looks at a photo of Sam taken with fishing signs and maps of lakes in the background. In Veronica Cruz, Liz knew Tom had knowledge of Cruz’s shelf corporations because they were all named after Minnesota lakes as was his. That’s a rare piece of trivia that most people in Nebraska wouldn’t know – unless her father was an avid fisherman.

Sam is probably the US operative who stole the fulcrum and had an affair with Red’s wife, Katarina Rostova, fathering Liz. That would explain why Red would cover for his brother, helping Sam and Lizzie to escape the night of the fire and supporting them financially while they hid out in Nebraska. Red let the Cabal think he now had the fulcrum. Red was accused of stealing classified military documents, which Sam had probably stolen and given to Katarina. Possibly Red set the fire that night to cover up the shooting of Lizzie’s mother, a KBG operative who was Red’s wife and also Sam’s lover. The Cabal would think Sam and Lizzie had died in the fire, and believe Red now had the stolen fulcrum. This would explain why Sam kept the bubble module and sewed it into Lizzie’s bunny before he went into hospital. Tom wasn’t the reason Red turned himself in to the FBI in September 2013. When Sam’s cancer returned, Red had to retrieve the bubble module before Sam died.

Red’s father may have met one of Zhukov’s daughters in 1944 – most likely his second daughter, Margarita, born to Zhukov’s lover, Maria Nikolaevna Volokhova, in 1929. As @Jim pointed out, we can determine the date of the photo because Zhukov is wearing only two of four ‘Hero of the Soviet Union Medals’ awarded to him, “the second time in 1944 and the third in 1945”. Red’s father was older than Margarita who was 16.

Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna of Russia, born June 26, 1899, third daughter of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and Tsarina Alexandra Fyodorovna of Germany, was supposedly executed with her family on July 17, 1918 after the Russian Revolution. She was canonized as a passion bearer by the Russian Orthodox Church. In the 1990s after DNA analysis of the Romanov grave, discovered at Yekaterinburg and exhumed in 1991, it was thought that Maria Nikolaevna (not Anastasia) was the grand duchess whose remains were missing.

Thus Maria Nikolaevna and Georgy Zhukov’s illegitimate daughter, Margarita, married Kate’s, Sam’s and Red’s father, who was a WWII air force officer. Red married Katarina Rostova, an alias for the KGB operative, and had a family. Masha, named after her grandmother Maria Nikolaevna, was the daughter of Katarina and Red’s brother Sam (also in US intelligence). Masha was raised by Red who didn’t know about the affair. Sam took Masha into hiding because her mother wouldn’t let him see her, and changed her name to Elizabeth. A career criminal, Sam stole the fulcrum as insurance against being killed by the Cabal. Katarina arrived to retrieve her daughter and find the fulcrum, only to be told by Sam they weren’t there. She called in agents and directed them to “take it apart, comb every inch”. Sam realized Katarina was a double agent or had double-crossed him, as she told the Cabal he had stolen the fulcrum. She tried to justify her actions, saying “I didnโ€™t want to. I tried to protect you” “because I love you”, but Sam realized she was only after the fulcrum.

So yes, our Lizzie (Masha, named after her grandmother – the Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna of Russia) could be a princess and the sole surviving heir of the Romanov family!

12:24 am May 3, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:

If Liz’s speculation that Red was in love with her mother turns out to be true, it implies that his feelings toward her are complex. If she looks a lot like her mother, as the Director said, it explains the odd combination of paternal regard and sexual attraction very well. I’ve held the view for some time that the only way to explain both of these emotions is with a scenario exactly like the one Liz immediately gravitates to. To insist that no sexual overtones exist in the series is blind. The most blatant example is the Tango scene. According to U.S. law, there is no reason these two could not become romantically involved, though the fact this is a network show diminishes this possibility. IF she is right, that is.

However, Liz may be wrong. The fact that Liz sees it as such a likely scenario, taking into consideration JB’s “surprise doctrine,” now makes me less likely to think it will pan out. I think of understanding this series as being more like navigating on ever-shifting seas than working down through solid layers like archaeology. I think they are making things up as they go.

โญ• 30 Apr 2015

8:37 pm May 1, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:

Discouraging to learn that JB said that a plot-based series is not conducive to character development. Almost as discouraging as his saying the “only” concern of writers should be to “surprise” the audience. To me it’s saying they are not interested in character development or in creating a invented world capable of reflecting the one we live in in a way that leads to insight and understanding. Really a shame. I had hoped for more.

image

11:11 am on May 1, 2015
LizzieB90 wrote:

The fact that the theory Liz came up with of her parents & Red was my theory, now makes me question it. John Bokenkamp has said the main thing (actually he said “only” thing) writers should aim to do is “surprise” the audience. If it turns out as Liz suggests, I wouldn’t be surprised. At this point, the only thing that makes me think Red may not be Liz’s father is that he has said he’s not. He is so careful in what he says to her that I have to assume he meant it. I still think he may have been in love with her mother & Liz’s resemblance to her explains the odd fascination and devotion he has toward her.

I would like to say about the idea of “surprising” the audience that I think that it’s kinda dumb. Didn’t Bokenkamp ever take an English class and learn about “catharsis”? “Surprise” is pretty thin soup โ€“ really just audience manipulation. Aristotle’s Poetics described catharsis as a phenomenon in which the audience, by identifying with a character or characters, becomes emotionally invested in their fate & through this empathy, experiences with them even while being able to see the broader universe in which they operate. This allows at the climax, for the audience to gain an understanding of world that, because understanding allows for informed action, is inherently empowering. From this comes the purported ‘value’ of art, especially of drama which comes closest to mimicking life as we experience it..

Catharsis goes well beyond mere “surprise.” I only hope that the writers and directors have as much input into the story as JB or I’ll have to conclude the story is just there to keep us from wandering off between the commercials! Still, whenever I feel I can rest content in one of my predictions โ€“ I remember what JB said about surprise & second-guess myself, trying to imagine the various ways I might be surprised. It becomes more like a videogame than a drama, but then, maybe the videogame deserves its own Poetics.
[w typos corrected]

11:55 pm on April 30, 2015 โž” time is EDT
LizzieB90 wrote:

[ Condensed to: ]

If, as Liz speculates, Red was in love with her mom & Liz looks exactly like her mom at about the age Red knew her, it goes a long way toward explaining Red’s combination of parental & romantic/sexual feelings toward her. I’ve been hoping for a reveal like this. Of course, Red refuses to confirm & with the twists and turns this show could still take, I await with baited breath. Totally love this show.

11:21 am April 17, 2015 []
Anonymous wrote:
The ship has sailed. The promo for 2:19 was finally posted and there will be moaning & gnashing of teeth by most of those posting on this blog. You’ve been down so many rabbit holes in a colossal waste of time. What if Jon & John are not the ones most persuasive as to where the story would go?

Red loved Lizzy because she looks exactly like her mother, who was his lover. He has both a paternalistic protectiveness toward her and is in love with her as her mother was the love of his life. This proves that the sexual tension between Red & Liz (especially, perhaps exclusively) on Red’s part are real & one would have to be blind not to have seen them all along. No, it is not sick, it is inevitable given the physical similarity. No, he is not her father, though he has been her benefactor and harbors paternalistic & protective feelings for her appropriate for a teacher toward his student or a mentor toward his protege. How Liz will react remains to be seen. She may recoil. But to deny the sexual messages so evident throughout this series โ€“ as so many have done โ€“ shows a willful blindness toward the actors’ performances and a denial of the artistic integrity of the series. You should spend some time on Tumblr and consider that excluding from discussion those who your “gut” (& no more) tells you must be wrong, is not respectful of the series or those whom you have exiled from your midst.

๐Ÿ”ด The Twilight of Ideology

April 11, 2015
 
To: @Karl โ€“ I enjoyed reading your thoughts on the Mark Lilla article http://bit.ly/1sXX2gn. I entirely agree that communism in a “pure form” has never been achieved anywhere. It’s failed because human beings are naturally competitive and possessive. Communism assumes these inclinations are learned and purports to create a new reality in which competition is replaced by cooperation and possessiveness is replaced by “sharing.” What could be more Christian? Or โ€“ as Red says in 2:15: more ‘Kindergarten.’ Anyone who’s read Darkness at Noon knows the terrible results of such naรฏvetรฉ which easily descends into authoritarianism and crimes against humanity, as in the purist Stalinist purges and the attempt to eliminate voices of dissent.

China โ€” “An example of pure capitalism”! I agree capitalism in China is not overladen with doubts or concerns about whether a company is abiding by fair labor standards, etc. Such standards, it seems, are only imposed by Western “sentimentality” about such matters.

That said, I think Mark Lilla was talking about the pull of immersive ideologies that envelop a person’s entire way of thinking. Certainly communism was one. And as you suggest, totally unfettered “free market capitalism” was its alternative on the right. Both ideologies failed due to their inability to accept humankind’s basic nature. The Chinese failed in their attempt to entirely suppress individualism, & in the West, the political right failed in its antagonism toward any kind of social concern, such safety or the healthcare for workers.

The drive of the Military-Industrial Complex appears sated for now by the plan for the U.S. to continue to play “Team America, World Police” http://bit.ly/1sPcPye. That and “playing drones” should do it for them for now. No one โ€“ no one โ€“ in their right mind wants another land war in the Middle East. At least not yet. When the coffers of the MIC run dry, on the other hand, we shall see what tricks they pull out of their hats.

I despair of the U.S. right now. I finally could not bear US politics anymore and started, casually at first, watching The Blacklist. So I got Season One of The Blacklist and all of Boston Legal… I agree with your assessment โ€“ politicians who get a taste of DC quickly sell their souls to the devil and their ambition becomes to stay in the DC milieu. I used to fly there several times a month. The hotels in the evenings are awash with women in evening dresses, men in tuxes or dress uniforms โ€“ posing for pictures with some VIP. In the Midwest, in contrast, a young woman wears a long gown approximately twice โ€“ to Senior Prom and for her wedding.

I also couldn’t agree more about the ‘transformative power of the Internet.’ Did you know that Tim Berners-Lee personally launched the World Wide Web on Dec 25, 1990 โ€“ the day after Red Reddington disappeared. For a senior intelligence officer, the events of 1990 must have been high drama โ€“ DARPAnet rechristened the Internet and moved into the public sphere; the World Wide Web being set up, not in the US but in Switzerland at CERN, at the same time the USSR was crumbling. Bush (41) and Gorbachev met on a US Navy vessel to work out a non-agression agreement.

I have no doubt that any malevolent “cabal” would first have to control information access, ie the Internet. Russia, China, Iran, North Korea already do โ€“ totalitarian states must control information. That is why Net Neutrality matters so much, and why the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal with Asia) is so important. Much of this proposed deal is secret, but it appears to soften environmental laws and bring additional pressure regarding fair use, sharing, and anonymous (& pseudonymous) accounts. Copyright rules may make it difficult to copy-and-paste, and posting clips could be banned entirely. Just this week, Twitter banned “revenge porn,” which is fine, but certain other restrictions were put in place too, unannounced. I hope the ACLU is on this. The secrecy surrounding TPP only further stimulates the rumor mill.

To: @Beth: Like I said, it’s my worst fear that Liz will reconnect with Tom (after she finds out Red hired him & that he was a victim of the Major etc etc, ie NOT an abusive spouse but an innocent caught in a web… La la la. I hope I’m wrong.)

To: @Mike โ€“ One thing to keep in mind is that, if it had been anyone besides Liz who had the Fulcrum, Red would have responded by any means necessary to retrieve it. The fact that he doesn’t shows that Red’s devotion to Liz goes beyond his interest in retrieving the Fulcrum.

That said, yes, Liz was a fool and reckless in the extreme with Red’s life to divulge any information at all about the Fulcrum, a secret he had kept for at least 20 years. On the other hand, I still get exasperated because the show doesn’t always give an indication that something is symbolic and when it’s not. Probably it’s going too far to say the show-runners are purposely messing with us, but sometimes it feels that was.

โ€” Auriandra @BlacklistDCd

=========

This is in response to:

Auriandra wrote:

Excerpt from NewRepublic, Mark Lilla: Our Libertarian Age
“[W]e have not thought nearly enough about the end of the cold war, and especially the intellectual vacuum that it left behind. If nothing else, the cold war focused the mind. The ideologies in conflict, whose lineages could be traced back two centuries, offered clear opposing views of political reality. Now that they are gone, one would expect things to be much clearer to us, but just the opposite seems true. Never since the end of World War II, and perhaps since the Russian Revolution, has political thinking in the West been so shallow and clueless. We all sense that ominous changes are taking place in our societies, and in other societies whose destinies will very much shape our own. Yet we lack adequate concepts or even a vocabulary for describing the world we find ourselves in. The connection between words and things has snapped. The end of ideology has not meant the lifting of clouds. It has brought a fog so thick that we can no longer read what is right before us. We find ourselves in an illegible age.”
โ†ฅ โ†ง
TheNewRepublic, Mark Lilla (Jun 2014): The Truth About Our Libertarian Age โ€“ Why the dogma of democracy doesn’t always make the world better http://bit.ly/1sXX2gn.

โ‹™โ€“โ‹™ As I’ve indicated on my blog, genomics pokes through the falsity of postmodernism, by providing evidence that “cultural” differences may be more than culture-deep. If we can start from there, there’s a real chance we can return with confidence to the pro-science, pro-human rights, pro-individualism views of the West with a vigor capable of taking on the anti-Western views of ISIS, China & other global challenges.

[Cross-posted at BlacklistDeclassified http://bit.ly/1CmPlW0

10:42 am March 16, 2015
Karl wrote:
Thanks @Auriandra โ€“ I appreciate the link to the article. The article is interesting, but the author is misguided (IMHO) on several key points. I promise that this will be my only rant of this subject.

First the author takes at essentially face value that national states acted in accord with their stated political philosophies โ€“ so the Cold War involved a class struggle between the Marxists and the Bourgeois Democracies. IMHO if the Soviet Union ever practiced Marxism (which I question) they abandoned early in the Stalin era and became a repressive authoritarian with a state planned economy and hindered development in Eastern Europe for decades. The Russians have never figured out capitalism and free market economies so they have quickly reverted to a resource based authoritarian government (this time a plutocracy). The eastern bloc countries that had some history of market economies have, on the other hand, flourished. China ostensibly still a Marxist country is (IMHO) the most pure unvarnished example of capitalism in the world โ€“ with no universally accepted moral code and little regard for anything other than money (albeit in a authoritarian country).

On the โ€œother sideโ€ of the Cold War he supposes that we have the ruthless capitalist democracies led by the United States. This is misplaced as well. The โ€œwesternโ€ (I include Japan, South Korea and Australia) countries has evolved into something that Thomas Jefferson and John Adams would not recognize, Eisenhower warned us about. Plutocracies that are run by the Military Industrial complex – the United States being the foremost example. In a supposed democracy we have two dominant political parties that are both grouped around the center of the broad political spectrum โ€“ the political system is becoming frozen in place with politicians focusing mostly on keeping their jobs and then remaining in Washington when they leave office. The defining characteristic of America โ€“ social mobility โ€“ the ability for someone born inot poverty to become a 1%er is vanishing as access to quality education and other tools that enabled social mobility are being replaced with a society and programs designed to make people satisfied with whatever social position they occupy.

I also lived through the Cold War and remember well the excitement over the โ€œpeace dividendโ€ that help balance the budget โ€“ we were naรฏve to think that the Military Industrial complex wouldnโ€™t be able to find a new enemy to justify enormous expenditure of our resources to fight.

But most importantly the author misses (or at least totally ignores) the most transformational event in all of human history โ€“ the emergence of the networked world. Over the past twenty years the developed world has laid down an immersive communication and IT infrastructure that has the potential to change everything very soon. We are rapidly reaching the point where everything is connected, not just people, but our homes, cars, thermostats, refrigerators, watches, everything, surveillance, security and phone cameras record everything. People will soon have the option of dropping out of โ€œrealityโ€ and becoming immersed in a virtual reality of their choosing โ€“ just think of how realistic video games and display technology have improved in the past decade and imagine what will happen in the next decade.

At this point you may think Iโ€™m cynical (I surely am) a nut (I probably am) and frightened by a dystopian future (I am absolutely not). To me, the networked world provides an incredible opportunity for humanity to evolve toward its intended destiny โ€“ radically different world where we move beyond โ€œselfโ€ and truly embrace the idea that we are all part of the same whole. That is an incredibly hard thing for a modern day human to even imagine, but Iโ€™d suggest that humanity has made progress in that direction (in fits and starts) fairly steadily. Everything could accelerate rapidly when we are able to not only communicate with anyone at any time, but even share the โ€œrealityโ€ they experience. This is obviously very disruptive and frightening to some, but, as I said, I think this is our shared destiny.

[This rant brought to you by the Global Information Network]

11:08 am March 16, 2015
Belle wrote:
@Auriandra wrote: “My guess is Tom & Liz will reconnect and she will give him the Fulcrum. Why? Because that is my worst fear.”

Exciting possibility! This never occurred to me, but since Liz has been so unpredictable lately, it’s very possible. If Tom has been approached by yet another “client” who hires him to secure the Fulcrum, what better way to accomplish the mission than by seducing your ex wife and just asking her for it? After all, Tom said he was one of the “good guys.” It’s possible that Red originally hired Tom to locate the Fulcrum, and now Tom can sell it to the highest bidder.

The only thing I could hope for, as I’ve mentioned somewhere above, is that Liz is playing Tom by getting close to him once again, and taking advantage of his “weakness” for her. Perhaps she is wise to his plan, and is instead using him for some other purpose? But I’m not sure the writers will allow Liz to be that resourceful.

@Mike wrote: “Isn’t it perfectly obvious that Lizzie’s “confession” is a plot device to convey everything to the Alliance and set up an existential race for the Fulcrum? I posted that right after the episode yet some still seem to be looking for another explanation.”

Yes, you’re right. That may very well be the reason the show runners took the helm in this episode and used the plot device to set things up for the battle for possession of the Fulcrum, for the finale, or beyond.

But in the context of the storyline itself, Lizzie spilling the beans makes no sense. We have to look to her characterization, and motives presented in the past episodes to look for an explanation for her behavior. It’s not good enough to blame the writers, people still need to justify her behavior with a reason from the details presented in the fictional storyline, not a reason that originates in the actual realm outside the narrative inside the writers room.

Besides, the Luther Braxton episodes should have initiated the race for the Fulcrum already. The revelation that Liz knows where the Fulcrum is should have been related to the Alliance by the Director after that episode. The Director had close contact with Kat Goodson, who was aware of everything transpiring at the post office. Cooper knew that Braxton wanted to access information from the server, and that Red and Braxton knew each other. The task force knew about the memory expert Doctor, that Braxton had kidnapped Liz, and that Reddington had located her. Ressler and Samar were present while Liz was undergoing the memory retrieval process. (They even heard Red ask Liz about the Fulcrum, but it’s not clear that Samar and Ressler reported that to Cooper later.)

The Director and thus the Alliance should have at least connected the dots. Braxton promised delivery of the Fulcrum, kidnapped an FBI agent with ties to Reddington and kidnapped a memory Doctor immediately after leaving the oil rig. Reddington rescues FBI agent and kills Braxton. It’s hard to imagine that the task force as well as the Alliance did not connect Liz to Reddington to the Fulcrum. If they weren’t aware of Liz’s importance to Red before, they certainly should have been after Luther Braxton.

But as someone said in an earlier post, the Alliance may have contacts and people strategically placed everywhere to protect their interests, but they may not be immediately aware of anything specific, until the contacts pass on that information. The Director should have figured out Liz knows where the Fulcrum is. Perhaps he just didn’t want to pass that information on to the Alliance. They never bothered to show how the Director got out of his little dilemma. He promised the Alliance he would have the Fulcrum in hand. I wonder if the Director is still alive?

This is a continuation of discussion in:

Political Correctness & the Crisis of Western Confidence
3/16/2015
http://wp.me/pDKwi-Jb

๐Ÿ”ด Political Correctness & the Crisis of Western Confidence

 
March 26, 2015
 

@Karl, thanks for your insights; I do agree, especially with:

“So-called ‘political correctness’ has created an environment where the marketplace of ideas has been repressed – so that ideas are not considered based on facts, data and real experience, but rather by conformance with accepted orthodoxy. That doesn’t mean that non-orthodox ideas and speech dont exist just that they exist in the shadows where destructive ideas can fester and flourish and constructive non-orthodox ideas can die. Sadly, we don’t trust ourselves (as a whole) to handle the truth.”

I have always voted Democrat. But the left seems to have settled in on {yawn!} the death penalty, equal rights for transgender people and police brutality against blacks as their agenda. Only the last interests me. Also, I very much dislike Hillary Clinton. My ideas have moderated a lot. I agree with you that political correctness is a poison that prevents the press in particular from even beginning to address the substantive issues that face us. But I’m not sure they ever did. The next few years look bleak to me.

It seems our democracy is being handed over to elites and lobbyists. I cancelled all my monthly donations to Democrats when the contribution limit was raised from $2,400 to $24,000/yr. Who else will the politicians court but the wealthy? And, though we are not poor, those contributions were real money to me.

At the same time, I think the really important issues in the next ten years or so will be international issues on which there is agreement, by both parties. I also think there is agreement of key domestic ideas that are below the radar. There are myriad issues waiting to even be discussed. Since the news media (except for a few blogs) won’t take this on, I think a show like The Blacklist can do a pretty good job, if the showrunners keep it close to reality and their background research holds up (which it usually does). On the other hand, their internal clues and teases โ€“ I’ve given up trying to make sense of them. I think they use them as much to mislead as not to and sometimes they have to scurry to fill in (or change) points that were lost. I can’t imagine there’s a straightforward plan for this show. For one thing, Spader is too much of an unpredictable force. The EPs sometimes seem at odds with the writers and actors. I expect they’re making it up as they go โ€“ but they are more ahead of things now than last fall.

I love the focus on The Cold War, since I grew up in it. It should be a history lesson for younger viewers. There’s an article by Mark Lilla that was in the New Republic (citation below). Is the best single article I read last year. I don’t even know if he’s left or right โ€ฆ It takes some effort to read (he defines liberal & conservative in terms on prevailing mythologies). But his history is insightful & his diagnosis of the current era alarming:

“[W]e have not thought nearly enough about the end of the cold war, and especially the intellectual vacuum that it left behind. If nothing else, the cold war focused the mind. The ideologies in conflict, whose lineages could be traced back two centuries, offered clear opposing views of political reality. Now that they are gone, one would expect things to be much clearer to us, but just the opposite seems true. Never since the end of World War II, and perhaps since the Russian Revolution, has political thinking in the West been so shallow and clueless. We all sense that ominous changes are taking place in our societies, and in other societies whose destinies will very much shape our own. Yet we lack adequate concepts or even a vocabulary for describing the world we find ourselves in. The connection between words and things has snapped. The end of ideology has not meant the lifting of clouds. It has brought a fog so thick that we can no longer read what is right before us. We find ourselves in an illegible age.”

TheNewRepublic, Mark Lilla (Jun 2014): The Truth About Our Libertarian Age โ€“ Why the dogma of democracy doesn’t always make the world better http://bit.ly/1sXX2gn.

As I’ve indicated on my blog, genomics pokes through the falsity of postmodernism, by providing proof that “cultural” differences may be more than culture deep. If we can start from there, there’s a real chance we can return with confidence to the pro-science, pro-rights, pro-individualism views of the West with a vigor capable of taking on the anti-Western views of ISIS, China & other global challenges.

[Cross-posted at BlacklistDeclassified http://bit.ly/1CmPlW0%5D

From WSJ Speakeasy Blog on The Blacklist:

8:46 am March 15, 2015
Jim wrote:
@Auriandra – I was wondering what happened to you. You posted so much last season compared to this one. I thought maybe the Alliance was on to you and you had to ‘go dark’. I took a quick look at the blog and was very impressed. I look forward to spending more time there, even though this blog seems to have increased incredibly in activity in the last few episodes and is now taking up a lot more time.
โ†ฅ โ†ง
@Jim โ€“ Thank you for missing me. It warms the cockles, as they say :) I wanted to learn how to do a blog & expected it to take some effort & time, which it did. I’m almost waiting for the end of the season, so I can do more serious writing. I’m planning an article on Aristotle’s Poetics & Mirror Cells; and another on how the fracturing on the “State” leads to the fracturing of the psyche (based on an NYT opinion piece a while back: Peter Pomerantsev (12/11/2014): Russiaโ€™s Ideology: There Is No Truth http://nyti.ms/1w111ZN).

9:05 am March 15, 2015
Karl wrote:
@auriandra re your deep background section, I detect a possible filter that is keeping you focused on corporatism and missing an even broader picture. Some mistakenly see “sides” good vs. evil among the elites. To these people the Koch Brothers or George Soros (but not both) are masters of evil global conspiracies. The reality is more nuanced and gray. Like many of us, the Global Elites have lost confidence in traditional political systems to address what they see as the world’s problems. The backlash against programs such as eugenics, population control, authoritarian state planning and military aggression during the 20th century gradually caused proponents to be less open about their objectives while trying to work within the existing “democratic” systems. So-called “political correctness” has created an environment where the marketplace of ideas has been repressed – so that ideas are not considered based on facts, data and real experience, but rather by conformance with accepted orthodoxy. That doesn’t mean that non-orthodox ideas and speech dont exist just that they exist in the shadows where destructive ideas can fester and flourish and constructive non-orthodox ideas can die. Sadly, we don’t trust ourselves (as a whole) to handle the truth.

9:33 am March 15, 2015
Belle wrote:
@BC I don’t really think that the writers will come up with an acceptable reason for what Liz did. Every time she does something so incredibly stupid, as viewers we try to justify and rationalize, and imagine there is a reason for her actions. But there never is a reason, so there most likely won’t be one now.

What she did cannot be undone. To me, that never ending exposition brought me right out of the moment, as if it were a dream, or a parody of the show. It was a comic book moment, or a glorified commercial for new viewers, and not particularly well narrated (acted) in my opinion.. All I could think was, this cannot be happening. This is insane and unbelievable. It goes against the basic premise of the show from day one, that in order to protect people’s lives, you must be able to keep a secret.

Red kept a secret for 20 years in order to survive. He placed Liz with Sam 26 years ago to protect her from harm and the effort to protect her true identity was sacrosanct. Red admits he did something that was the most difficult thing he has ever done. He killed Sam to silence him, to preserve that secret. Every sacrifice, every difficult loss, or well planned job, everything was done so that Red could successfully continue to survive, to preserve the secret of Liz’s identity and the secret of the existence of the Fulcrum.

Liz destroyed all that. Figuratively and literally, she destroyed Red and everything he has worked so hard to accomplish. As someone already said, if we didn’t have any respect or admiration for her up to this point, we certainly do not have any respect for her now.

BC, I can understand why people are disillusioned. As someone who was there from the very beginning, I understand how you feel, only too well. I just hate to see it all end (the desire to speculate). What concerns me most, is the lack of respect that the show runners seem to have shown the dedicated viewers who painstakingly paid attention to every single detail since the pilot or those who have contributed time and effort to this blog or any blog devoted to the Blacklist. I keep expecting an explanation, as a way to realign events from one season to the next, or for the changes in characterization, but none has been offered.

The show has evolved into something quite different. But I have to remain optimistic (and am thrilled with the number of comments after each episode!) that others will become immersed in the show, and enjoy the challenge of speculating and trying to figure it all out. To me, it’s still all worth it. Besides, I’m still having too much fun.

9:42 am March 15, 2015
Jim wrote:
@Auriandra – When you talk about the ‘risk-taking gene’, you say it is on the oxytocin molecule. From the article you reference, I think it is more correct to say that it is involved in the coding for oxytocin receptors or it is part of the gene complex that codes for the oxytocin receptors. What if the Major’s genetic profiling of Jacob/Tom is incorrect and Tom only has the love gene (rs53576) without the other gene that would make him a risk-taker? Or perhaps Tom is a chimera and when his genes were sampled, the cells that were sampled had the risk-taking gene but the cells important for reacting to oxytocin don’t? That would certainly explain why Tom became emotionally involved with Liz and why he says he can be himself around her. His situation in the foster home together with his talents and abilities made him willing and able to survive on the street at a young age. He was recruited and trained for deep cover, never knew anything else and did that until he met Liz and thought that she would allow him to escape to a happier, simpler life. I would imagine that such a scenario would appeal to someone who only has the love gene without the risk-taker gene.

Of course, chimerism is much more common in women than in men. In fact, it’s very likely that any woman who has been pregnant, even if she doesn’t carry to term, is a chimera because some of the embryonic cells become incorporated into her own body and remain there for the rest of her life. It now appears to be one of the contributing factors to why women tend to live longer than men. However, men can also be chimeras, just much less often than women.

9:44 am March 15, 2015
Jim wrote:
@Belle – It seems clear to me that Liz is a carrier of the ‘stupid’ gene.
 
 

โญ• 20 Mar 2015

6:01 pm March 20, 2015
Chris wrote:
@scrapple: I remember reading an interview with Ryan Eggold who said that scene was difficult for him because he was told to play it ambiguously – to not give away whether Tom knew or didn’t know Red. I remember Tom looking uncomfortable in that scene…maybe realizing Red was up to something but Tom kept in “character” acting like he didn’t know Red.
// WSJ (unposted)

โญ• 19 Jan 2015

SciFiVision (1/18): Interview: Megan Boone & Jon Bokenkamp Talk The Blacklist bit.ly/1zQZLp7 #mustread @NBCBlacklist
SciFiVision (1/18): Interview: Megan Boone & Jon Bokenkamp Talk The Blacklist http://bit.ly/1zQZLp7
//1/18/2015 QUESTION: Speaking of Red, James Spader has created such a unique character. Is he fun to work with both as an actor and also from the production side, knowing that you can do so many things with him?
JON BOKENKAMP: Yes, look, James always has great ideas. Heโ€™s incredibly intuitive. He has a great sense of the character. And heโ€™s an incredible collaborator.

Megan you have far more experience with on set and in the day-to-day grind of that. I look at him more from a story perspective but, maybe you can speak to that.

MEGAN BOONE: Well, James is definitely the master of the ship over here and this is not his first rodeo, as they say down South where Iโ€™m from.

Thatโ€™s just an example, particularly of how different he and I are and why this is working so well. Heโ€™s from Boston and Iโ€™m from rural Central Florida. His parents were professors and mine dealt in real estate. We come from different sides of the earth, not literally, but figuratively, and itโ€™s just interesting to put the two of us together and see what happens.

Heโ€™s has 30 yearsโ€™ experience in the business, one successful television show, and this is essentially my first go at it. So itโ€™s been invaluable having him here to help acclimate me to this new environment and this new task at hand.

And I feel that weโ€™ve been extraordinarily successful beyond my wildest dreams. And I definitely think that itโ€™s his wisdom and experience that has helped me to rise to that occasion….

Yes, but on the surface, certainly our relationship is sort of mentor/mentee dynamic. But I think that once you get into this โ€“ the complexity of the dynamic starts to get much richer.

And I think James and I are really starting to just work as peers and work together and influence one another. I would hate to think that I come to work and donโ€™t have an effect on the people around me in any way just because this is my first show. And I think I do.

So itโ€™s become a very important relationship. And so certainly in my life โ€“ and I would hope in both of our lives.

QUESTION: Have you always had an ending in mind or has that changed since the first season and the (unintelligible) areas?

JON BOKENKAMP: Well yes, there is certainly an ending in mind. And one that weโ€™re constantly writing to and around. At times it makes it quite difficult because it sort of restrains us in the stories that weโ€™re telling in some ways.

But I think itโ€™s also working that way โ€“ whether thatโ€™s the end we arrive at or not. Whether anybody lets us do what I have in mind and what we talk about so often in the writerโ€™s room, it does shape the show and it helps โ€“ itโ€™s like building a house….

QUESTION: With Liz and Tom, how they left things, is Liz still conflicted about whatโ€™s going on and what her feelings are with him, because she let him go?

MEGAN BOONE: Strangely enough I think Jon and I might have different opinions on this one. I want to hear Jonโ€™s.

JON BOKENKAMP: Well you go first.

MEGAN BOONE: โ€ฆI think that itโ€™s an oversimplification to say that sheโ€™s in love with him, as has been implicated by some of the other characters like Red and Ressler. I think sheโ€™s got really strong feelings for him, but itโ€™s a very complicated dynamic at this point.

I think once a relationship goes past the line and becomes abusive or sadistic in any way, thereโ€™s just no going back to pure true love. There just isnโ€™t. It already has violence in it. It already has mistrust. So I always felt like it was just an oversimplification to say oh, she still loves him, you know?

What do you think Jon?

JON BOKENKAMP: Oh youโ€™re madly in love with him. No, I think โ€“ look, I work with a bunch of writers who are strange and dark and have very complex lives. And I think Meganโ€™s right. I think itโ€™s probably an oversimplification to say that yes, sheโ€™s in love with Tom.

I feel this way about the show in general, I think everything is much more complex than it appears on the show because I think whether itโ€™s the suburban housewife dropping her kids off at school, or itโ€™s the guy showing up to punch the clock to work at the steel factory, I donโ€™t think any of those people are really quite what they appear to be on the surface….

And that feelings and emotions sometimes people who do things that is not in their best interest. And sometimes logic does not prevail. And so I think the best answer I could give to that is that I think itโ€™s incredibly complex, and that I would say that the story of the two of them, whether itโ€™s a love story or not, is not over.

MEGAN BOONE: โ€ฆI think that we have โ€“ thatโ€™s what makes me excited about being on this show is that we have writers who believe that about the mom dropping the kid off at the carpool line, that thereโ€™s always this very much more layered psyche than you would first, initially assume to be there. So itโ€™s just exciting.

And also the fact that he has a bunch of freaks and weirdoes writing for him is cool….

MEGAN BOONE: โ€ฆ what makes me excited about being on this show is that we have writers who believe that about the mom dropping the kid off at the carpool line, that thereโ€™s always this very much more layered psyche than you would first, initially assume to be there. So itโ€™s just exciting.

And also the fact that he has a bunch of freaks and weirdoes writing for him is cool…

There was a moment early in the season where Elizabeth had to admit to herself that she really relies on Red now to be there for her. What kind of development are we going to see in this still ambiguous father-daughter relationship between the two?

MEGAN BOONE: I think thatโ€™s a Jon question.

JON BOKENKAMP: How do I answer that? I think that is the tightrope that Liz is walking. Red clearly has an agenda of his own. He almost always does. And there are clearly things heโ€™s withholding from her.

We donโ€™t know if thatโ€™s for good or bad reasons, and I think the extent to which she trusts him, the extent to which she becomes like him, is the territory that weโ€™re in right now.

And thatโ€™s I think the larger question and the thing that Liz is probably struggling with is what is the best way to handle this situation? What is the best way to confront this person or solve this crime? Is it the buy-the-book way which she was taught at Quantico, or is there another side of the coin that perhaps is just as good, if not better?

So I think the dynamic there is the reflection in herself that she might โ€“ and so the reflection of him in herself she might see. And whether thatโ€™s good or bad I think is again, a very messy, complex journey thatโ€™s sheโ€™s on….

But I do think the fine line that Liz is walking and the guidance that Red is trying to give her โ€“ and whether thatโ€™s good or bad advice that heโ€™s giving โ€“ is the crux of where we are right now….

But like with Tom knowing Red, we learned at the end of our fall cliffhanger that Tom and Red know each other and that thereโ€™s some sort of relationship that Liz doesnโ€™t know about, which to me I think is a huge answer. That is confirmation of something that weโ€™ve been wondering about โ€“ or maybe not wondering about. But it certainly is a big, new clue. And itโ€™s interesting to me how that yet raises another question….


1 Response to “๐Ÿ”ด Scribblings Mar-Jun 2015”


  1. 05/11/2015 at 2:55 am

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