🔴 Deep Background on Blacklist topics (past and potential)
🔴 Deep, Deep Background: “Conspiracy Theories”
🔴 Timelines: (page down)
🔴 “Blacklist Network” (below)

(An “Obamacare” chart the GOP made that I adapted 😇) – LB90)


⌛ Timelines

Link to Timeline by CinemaBlend:The Blacklist’s Red Reddington: A Timeline History For James Spader’s Criminal Mastermind by Britt Lawrence
// 8/11/2019

Link to Timeline at Blacklist Support Group by JBlitz (discontinued?)

Link to Timeline by Eastcoast at The Blacklist Refugees (updated 5/22/2018)

Down to Red’s Timeline at The Blacklist Exposed by Suzi Moreland (5/21/2018)

Link to Timeline for The Blacklist: From the 1930’s to Sept 24, 2013 by TheBlacklistReport at Criminally Sane (incl Redemption)

Down to The Blacklist Monopoly from @hannaahkelly on Teitter


⌛ Timeline for The Blacklist by Tessa Theorist

at Criminally Sane (Tumblr)


⌛ “An Attempt at a Timeline” by A SundayInAugust


 by By @SundayInAugust (formerly @selinabln)

Selinabln wrote:

EDIT: This timeline hasn’t been updated for any information given after S2E7. The way the Stewmaker!clue/Berlin’s daughter’s plotline was handled, convinced me that keeping any detailed information about timeline/clues etc. on the show is fruitless as things will get bend and redefined by TPTB to their immediate needs to tell a story, regardless of the clues/information that have been given episodes or seasons before.

That’s the end of the cracklist story for me.

Note: I’ll edit this when more information is revealed in the forthcoming episodes. In case I’ve missed something, please, let me know :)


༺✦ ♤ ✦༻


07.02.1960 – Date of birth: Raymond Reddington. Reddington’s DOB is shown on the most wanted poster as well as in his entry in the FBI system (S1E1)


05.07.1983 – Date of birth: Lucy Brooks (S1E8)


1984 – Reddington graduates from the Naval Academy at the top of his class by the time he is 24 (S1E1) The Naval Academy is a four-year coeducational federal service academy which implies that Red entered the academy in 1980 at the age of 20 (x) Today an applicant has to be unmarried and is not allowed to have an obligation to provide support to a dependent at the time of enrollment (x).

After he graduated, Reddington is groomed for admiral (S1E1)


22.03.1987 – Swan Lake is preformed at the Elise Le Blanc School of Ballet. Reddington holds a program of that event in his hand as he remembers a girl (age unclear – appr. between 6 -12) dancing at the end of S1E16 when he watches one for him privately given preformance of Swan Lake with adult dancers on the stage. His connection to the girl in the memory is unclear. One of the dancers says backstage to another dancer “He’s one of our biggest donors. Never comes to any other performance. Same show on the same day every year. They say his daughter was in the show years ago.”

It is unclear if this “gossip” is true.


1990 – Naomi Hyland, the former Mrs. Reddington and her daughter Jennifer are taken into protective custody. The exact date or month is so far unclear (S2E1 + S2E2). And until S2E1 the concrete fate or whereabouts of Reddington’s wife and daughter were never mentioned on the show.


Christmas Eve 1990 – Reddington claims he came home to see his wife an daughter; on the way, he ran out of gas and walked the last 4-5 miles through high and heavy snow. When he arrived at home he saw only “blood. All there was, was blood”. (S1E14) According to Ressler and the official files, Reddington never arrives at home and vanishes on Christmas Eve. (S1E1)

Even after the appearance of Naomi and the information about her and her daughter’s whereabouts in 1990, it is still not entirely clear which version of events is true or what Red did/happened to him in the years between Christmas Eve 1990 and his reemergence 1994 on the radar screen of the FBI. Especially as it is strongly indicated that something – at least to Reddington’s believe – happened that night in Reddington’s family home.

a) in S1E7 Reddington buys the house again with the sole purpose to blow it up. Seconds before the explosion he says, “I spend every day trying to forget what happened here. This should help.” Before the house is destroyed, he remembers a girl with long blonde curls playing in the garden, most likely his daughter.

b) in S1E13 Diane Fowler claims to know the truth “about that night, about what happened to your family.” Seconds before shooting Fowler Reddington confesses that he wants to know that truth “more than anything in the world.”


December 1990 – The Stewmaker takes a photo of one of his victim, apparently a young woman. In 2013, Reddington removes that photo from the Stewmaker’s trophy book at the end of S1E4. The pictures holds the caption: “#79 12/90”. The same photo is seen in Berlin’s/The colonel’s pocket watch at the end of Berlin, Conclusion (S1E22). In S2E1 it is confirmed that the picture truly shows Berlin’s daughter who fell in love with a dissident towards the end of the Cold War. Berlin believes Reddington to be responsible for his daughter’s fate/death (S2E1) Reddington claims to have been falsely accused by a third party (S2E2). Which circumstances would even make it possible for Berlin to believe Reddington was responsible for the death of his daughter who the KGB sent back in pieces to him into the gulag is completely unclear so far.


From The Blacklist writers' room... (Screenshot from video). Darkened for legibility.

From The Blacklist writers’ room… (Screenshot from video). Darkened for legibility.


14.06.1992 – Date of last arrest, Raymond Reddington; charge: espionage (S1E1) (Note: this and the date of conviction might be a glitch in the canon timeline as Ressler states that after Christmas Eve 1990 Reddington “disappears from the face of the earth until four years later”)


1993 – Fitch and Red see each other for the last time until Anslo Garrick part 2 (S1E10)


24.09.1993 – Date of conviction, Raymond Reddington; incarceration status: arrest on sight (S1E1)


1994 – Four years after Reddington’s disappearance, classified NOFORN documents appear in Maghreb, Islamabad, Beijing; the leaks are traced back to Reddington (S1E1)


2008 – 2013Donald Ressler is a case agent on Reddington at the Washington Field office.


2008 – Ressler and his team try to kill Reddington in Brussels (S1E1)


2009 – 2013 – Elizabeth Keen works for the FBI as head of the Mobile Emergency Psych Unit in New York (S1E1)


12.03.2011 – Tom Keen’s bachelor party is held in Las Vegas (S1E6)


2011 – Elizabeth and Tom Keen are married some time between March and December 2011 (S1E6, S1E15)


23.06.2012 – Victor Fokin is killed at the Angel Station Hotel in Boston; the murder weapon is the same gun Elizabeth discovers later in the box, that was hidden in the floor of her house. Elizabeth and Tom Keen are in Boston at the same time of the homocide. Tom Keen claims to have had a job interview at the hotel when Fokin was murdered. (S1E6, S1E5) Tom Keen is cleared by the FBI in the Fokin case in S1E6, when Gina Zanetakos claims to have been hired by Reddington who denies any involvement in it. The matter is not adressed anymore on the show. However, the reveal of Tom Keen’s true allegiance with at least fake!Berlin and his later actions let it appear likely that he was truly responsible for Fokin’s murder, along with Reddington’s claim that he has never lied to Elizabeth (S1E17).


Summer 2013 – Raymond Reddington abandons Madeline Pratt in Florence where she is waiting for him to make a “fresh start” (S1E14)


August 2013 – Elizabeth Keen graduates from Quantico; she is reassigned from New York to Washington D.C. (S1E1)


23. September 2013 – Reddington turns himself over to the FBI. It’s the same day, Elizabeth Keen is supposed to have her first day as a profiler (S1E1)


Major open questions in regard of the timeline:

1) Elizabeth Keen’s DOB. Several timeline and mytharc relevant events depend on that information alone. Most of all the year when the fire happened and Liz was brought to Sam. She was adopted by Sam at the age of four (S1E8) this information creates the following equation: DOB Liz + 4 = year of the fire

(John Eisendrath said in an interview that Liz is thirty: ” […] At the same time, we want to allow Liz to explore what it means to be 30 and have your marriage destroyed and all your hopes and dreams gone and having to start over.” – as his comment is worded as it is, not like “what it means to be thirtysomething”, “around thirty”, “to be in her thirties” – and it is very close to Megan Boone’s real age 31 (1983) however as long as it is not confirmed on the show it cannot be regarded as canon.)

2) What were Reddington’s jobs/missions as an officer for the U.S. Navy after he graduated in 1984? According to Ressler (S1E1), Reddington was a highly respected officer at the time he disappeared in 1990. Those six years of work/service remain so far undefined. (Note: there is information in the original pilot script but we don’t know how or if this was changed.)

3) What happened to Reddington/what was he doing between December 1990 and 1994?

4) Is the date of Reddington’s last arrest (14.6.1992) a simple glitch in the timeline? According to Ressler, the first documents that could be traced back to Reddington appeared four years after his disappearance – that would be 1994.


Note: Here is the narrative timeline The timeline graphic is online at asundayinaugust on Tumblr.


⌛ Red’s Timeline by Suzi Moreland
Last Updated 5/21/2018

I have just finished reading through every script for all seasons on The Blacklist Declassified. I copied and pasted every quote that I felt was relevant to the mythology of the show. I went through and pulled out any clue that I could find about who Fred really is – he gives us LOTS of clues about timing, location, family, etc. and I was able to put together a timeline and a profile. The only way this theory of mine works is if he is telling these clues as his true self with accurate memories of his past, or if he is playing the part of what Red would have said. Although, with scenes like him “not going in a pool since,” it leads me to believe these are statements he is making about himself, and ones that the writers of the show want us to study to give us some idea of who he really is. – Suzy Moreland

If I copied and pasted the whole timeline, it would be the longest post ever, so here are the highlights. I did a lot of research about certain things he says and will put “estimated” next to years that I am not sure of and I will put solid years for those that are listed in the script.

Estimated 1963 – Born – this seems to make him too young to watch ballerina girl in 1987, but this date makes sense based on statements I will paste below.

1962 – 1982
Red: Pops. You know, I always liked that name. Louis Armstrong was called “Pops.” Willie Stargell, the legendary Pittsburgh Pirate. My lord, that man could smack a fastball. There was Pops Foster, Pops Fernandez… (Willie Stargell’s career as a Pirate was from 1962-1982, and this leads us to believe that FRed grew up watching him play during this time)
Red: That stuff you use in your hair – is that Brylcreem? My father used Brylcreem. (Brylcreem was sold in the USA during this time period, but not in the USSR)
Red: Enough with the guns. I love trains. My grandfather rode the rails. Have you ever seen “The General”? Buster Keaton? Oh, my goodness. (“The General” is a silent movie from the 1920’s, and was only shown in the USA during the Cold War)
Red: [ Chuckles ] You know, as my father used to say to me, just because you’ve been bumped up to first chair in the orchestra doesn’t mean you can compose a symphony.
Red: This is fun. Who had the pleasure?
Workman.: That would be me. Head on. 35 miles an hour.
Red: Just like my uncle Vic on a Saturday night. (This is the only mention of any family member in FRed’s life other than his father and his mother)

Estimated 1969 to 1975 (Elementary School):

Red: Smokey? [ Chuckles ] Funny. The janitor at my elementary school was called “Smokey.” No idea why. He never smoked a day in his life. But I tell you what– If you don’t come down here right now, they’re gonna be calling you–

Estimated 1969 to 1975:

Red: Please don’t make me return the car. I’ve always secretly wanted a Wagoneer. It smells like Dad’s car. Like peanut shells, gasoline. [ Laughs ] Elizabeth, if it helps to salve the wound, we did bring a fugitive to justice.
Red: I haven’t felt this giddy since Herbie Hunnicutt and I pooled our box tops and sent away for the decoder ring and periscope. Why is that? What is this feeling?
Dembe: You love treasures, Raymond.
Red: And you don’t? Of course, you do. Everyone loves hidden treasures – Yamashita’s Gold, the Oak Island Money Pit. Hell, even DB Cooper, which was more of a mystery and less of a treasure hunt, really.
Dembe: That’s what you love – the mystery.
Red: Mystery? You know why?
Dembe: Robert Louis Stevenson. (Box tops, decoder ring, and periscope were marketing campaigns in the USA)

1972: Estimated Age 9

Red [ trying to distract Denisov ]: Sacrifice the bishop. Reykjavi­k, ’72. God, I can remember it like it was yesterday. I was in Steven Bash’s rec room down in the basement, eating fried egg and bologna sandwich when he did it.
Denisov: Did what? Who did?!
Red: Bobby Fischer. It was game 13, move 50– rook takes bishop, B5. He sacrificed his bishop. [ Slaps leg ] That’s when Russia lost the Cold War. It was staggering. (This was a huge turning point in the Cold War, as it was the first time the Soviet Union at lost the international competition in nearly 30 years)

1972: Estimated Age 9

Red: Partnerships. They can be very rough. Mmm. Ah! [ Swallows the spirits ] [ Chuckles ] You know, BJ Simpson and I started a lawn-mowing business in the summer of ’72– bagging, hedging, the whole ball of wax. One day, I’m out rototilling Pat Hunt’s garden. I go in for a bottle of pop– must have been 110– and there’s BJ in the sunken living room, shoes off, feet up on the couch, eating a fried-bologna sandwich, watching Mike Douglas. Mike Douglas! Can you imagine? I quit that day.
(The Mike Douglas Show was an American daytime television talk show that was hosted by Mike Douglas. Initially, it aired only in Cleveland during much of its first two years, followed by expansion to Philadelphia and nationwide. It went into syndication in 1963 and remained on television until 1981. It was distributed by Westinghouse Broadcasting, and for much of its run, originated from studios of two of the company’s TV stations in Cleveland and Philadelphia.)

Estimated 1971 to 1975: Estimated Age 8 to 12

Red: Revenge isn’t a passion. It’s a disease that eats at your mind and poisons your soul. I attended summer camp with this little stick of a girl Twila Stansberry. Hell of an athlete. Capture the flag. Had an unrelenting passion for fitness. Never skinny enough. A pound here, a pound there. Ran like a deer. Until she couldn’t could barely walk. Turns out she was anorexic. The disease caused her to lose her sight. I’ve never known anyone more obsessed with their body than Twila. Spent her entire life chasing something that destroyed her. Make sure your passion isn’t your sickness.

Estimated 1971 to 1975: Estimated Age 8 to 12

Red: So I get a babysitter now? I haven’t had a babysitter since Brenda Gilroy. My God, pot pies, Lawrence Welk, bath time with Brenda. Still my perfect Saturday night.
(The Lawrence Welk Show was an American televised musical variety show hosted by big band leader Lawrence Welk. The series aired locally in Los Angeles for four years, from 1951 to 1955, then nationally for another 16 years on ABC from 1955 to 1971, followed by 11 years in first-run syndication from 1971 to 1982… The show aired on ABC until 1971. When the show was cancelled by the head of programming there, Welk formed his own production company and continued airing the show, on local stations and, often from 7 to 8 P.M. Eastern Time on Saturdays over some of the ABC affiliates on which he had previously appeared, along with some stations affiliated with other networks.)

Estimated 1977 – 8th Grade:

Red: When I was young, I wanted to be able to dance just like Gary Goddard. I still remember going to the Snowflake Dance and watching him for the first time. That kid, man, he could move. Won the eighth-grade talent show. He was on the Yell Squad. Gary even danced his way into Helen Hummer’s pants, and let me tell you something, that was like breaking into Fort Knox …(see note below in 1987 when he sees Gary in the diaper aisle at Safeway)

Estimated 1978 – in-between Freshman and Sophomore year:

Red: [Chuckles] You know, when I was 15, I had a summer job installing carpets for Albert Kodagolian on Lake Charlevoix. Horrible job, hot, indoors, forced to listen to “The Gambler” on 8-track while the rest of the world was at the beach. Three days into the job, I knew I had to quit. I asked my father for advice. All he wanted to know was whether I’d given my word to Mr. Kodagolian that I’d work the summer. I told him I had. My father suggested I stick it out. I’d given my word. Worst eight weeks of my life. Until the last day. Mr. Kodagolian shows up at the jobsite, pulls me aside, and tells me that in 27 years, no kid has ever made it through the summer, gives me a bonus $40. The most valuable money I’ve ever made. A priceless lesson about life. Value loyalty above all else.
(Lake Charlevoix is the northernmost point of Michigan and The Gambler is by Kenny Rogers, country music artist. The Gambler was released on 8-track in 1978. Cassettes were starting to become mainstream by 1979/1980, so he would have only been forced to listen to it on 8-track after this date and before the mid 1980’s; there are two references to Michigan in my research)

Estimated 1978 – Age 15

Red: Proverbs 21, verse 10 – Solomon’s dissertation on the wicked and the company they keep. Do you know it?
Sven: Proverbs?
Red: Stirs up more passion than any other verse we study in Talmud class. “There is no honor among thieves.” I disagree. A few thieves have been among the most honorable men I have ever known. What about you – Sven – are you an honorable man?
(According to Judah ben Tema, “At five years the age is reached for studying Mikra, at ten for studying the Mishnah, at thirteen for fulfilling the mitzvoth, at fifteen for studying Talmud” (Avot 5:21).

Estimated 1978: Estimated Age 15 to 16

Red: It’s a private language carnies use to keep outsiders from understanding what they’re talking about. I spent two summers operating the Whack-the-Cats at the Emmet County Fair (in Michigan). And to be honest, I had no idea what the hell any of them were saying. But I’m pretty sure this one was telling this one not to cooperate. Bad advice.

Estimated 1979: Junior Year

Red: I was a lifeguard my junior year in high school. Had to give mouth–to–mouth to Mrs. Beerman. She belched up a lung full of corned beef and chlorine. I haven’t been in a pool since.
Niko: I’m sorry weren’t you in the Navy?
Red: Enough. To business.

Estimated 1979 – High School:

Red: [ LAUGHS ] This reminds me of our high-school production of “Guys and Dolls.” A rousing rendition of “Fugue for Tinhorns.” Stubby Kaye has always been something of a role model.
Sinclair: I don’t know who that is.
Red: Stubby Kaye? “40 Pounds of Trouble (1962)”? Sam the Shade in “Cat Ballou (1965)”? Ah. Doesn’t matter. Let’s hear about the plan.

Estimated 1980: At age 17, entered the Naval Academy…

Red: When I was 17 and heading off to the Naval Academy, I sent the most extravagant love letter to Sarah Ellen Winstead. She never replied. To this day, I remain convinced that the post office failed to deliver it, and that if your colleagues had simply done their jobs, the entire arc of my life might have been different. I might have been thinner and living in Maine.

1984: Katarina is pregnant with Masha

Red: [ Sighs ] When your mother was pregnant with you, it was terribly inconvenient. The Cold War was ending. Her country was falling apart. Everything she had ever known. She dreaded having a child. Almost aborted it. Not one day of her pregnancy did she ever think of you as anything but a curse. And then, from the second you were born there was never a day when she thought you were anything but a blessing. In my experience, there is never a convenient time to have a child. It certainly isn’t a convenient time for you. But if in saying that, I left you with the impression that I didn’t think you should have your baby, I’m sorry for that, because nothing could be further from the truth.

Estimated between 1980 and 1989 (the estimated time he started the Naval Academy until the night of the fire = this is the time he would have personally known Katarina Rostova)
Red: Katarina Rostova was the cleverest, most resourceful woman I have ever known.
Liz: What are you saying?
Red: No matter how dark the moment, she could always find her way through.
Liz. She was a Russian spy who I never knew.
Red: No, you didn’t. But that doesn’t mean your mother is gone. I see her in you every day. She’s as much a part of you as the air you breathe.
Liz: I can’t do this.
Red: You can. You must.

1985: The Cabal is formed (Hitchin refers to the organization that started 30 years ago and the year she was speaking was 2015)

1986: At estimated age 23…
Red: I know what it’s like to be hunted. I’ve protected myself for 30 years. And I can protect you… after you locate Elizabeth Keen. (Air date was 2016 – 30 years = 1986; is he rounding? This is 3 full years prior to the night of the fire.)
Estimated Between 1985 (1 year post graduation to 1989 night of the fire):
Red: It may be hard for you to imagine, but I once had a relatively normal life– bills to pay, playdates, family, some friends, people to care about. Lost all that.

Red: I first met Stratos Sarantos when he was running guns to Cypriot resistance fighters in 1987 (Greece). For more than 20 years, he’s overseen my shipping concerns from the Bosphorus (northwestern Turkey) to the Suez Canal (Egypt/Israel). He knows enough.
(1987 was before the fire and before he disappeared…this episode aired in 2017 which would make 20 years prior only 1997…”more than 20 years” would put this timeframe around 1994 when he first came on the scene selling secrets internationally)

Cooper: (Real Raymond) Reddington was stationed overseas working counterintelligence.
Liz: You worked together.
Cooper: He was shadowing a Russian operative code-named Seaduke.
Liz: So that’s why he surrendered to you.
Cooper: Seaduke made (Real Raymond) Reddington and dispatched a team of Spetsnatz to abduct him. For 10 days, they tortured him, until he was rescued by an FBI-SEAL Joint Task Force. I was working lead on the agency side. My job was to secure the physical evidence in the event that Seaduke was captured and prosecuted.

Ballerina girl performs for the last time – this would be consistent with him losing his family the following year, assuming the recital was an annual performance; what is not consistent is the girl’s age at the time. Fake Red would have been only 24 years old in 1987 if he was born in 1963. This is the only piece of evidence that I have found that contradicts my timeline based on his quotations.

Red: … Then in the summer of ’88, I saw Gary in the diaper aisle at Safeway. He looked like hell. Gray. Out of breath, fatigued. Turns out Gary had a bicuspid valve [disorder], needed a heart transplant. He was on the wait list until the day he died. How long has Isaac been on the list now? (Safeway is not in every state – none in Michigan, but many in D.C. and Maryland other than many out west)

Red: I didn’t give Sutton Ross bogus plans for the [ CHUCKLES ] Grayscape Seventeen.
Dembe: But he thinks you did, and because of that, he wants the world to know what’s inside the duffel.
Sutton Ross: For 30 years, I’ve wanted to be in the same room as Raymond Reddington, the bastard who tricked me into selling the Chinese a dodo bird when they were looking for an eagle. And here we are. This would imply that the Real Raymond Reddington was alive and acting as himself when he sold the fake plans to Sutton Ross. (30 years ago = 2018 – 30)

Gregory DeVry, playing the Real Raymond Reddington says:
June 1989, I coordinated Operation Minesweep, which provided back office support and oversight for Naval Intelligence operations in Kuwait carried out by the 160th SOAR. The op was off the books but can be confirmed by Assistant Director Harold Cooper.
Another reference to Kuwait by Fake Red in a different episode:
Cooper: If this is some kind of threat?
Red: It’s not a threat, Harold. It’s a bribe. That is my only copy of Our Little Adventure in Kuwait. I’m giving it to you only to underscore the urgency of our situation. (This seems intimate – like perhaps Fake Red was the one working with Cooper at this point, OR perhaps Cooper is in on the whole thing.)

Late 1980’s:
Red: One of the bravest men I ever knew was deaf– Zeeb Pasha, a Communist I shared a cell with in a military prison outside Ankara. Zeeb and I were interrogated by the K Section– foot whipping, hung by our wrists, electric shock. [ Chuckles ] I was nothing more than a groaning heap in the corner. Every time our guard passed the cell, Zeeb would start signing. His fingers were a blur– pointing and tapping, twisting and swirling– the same thing over and over again and again. Lo and behold, one night, our cell was left unlocked. Turns out the guard’s daughter was deaf. And old Zeeb had been signing, “my wife, my daughter, my life.” Six words, unspoken, convinced that guard to let us go. [ Sighs ] Such a beautiful language. Like that girl just then– what did she say to you on her way out? (Ankara is the capital of Turkey. Turkey was not a part of the USSR and had strained relations during the Cold War. Relations became better in 1992, but Communists would have probably been in prison prior to that. This means Fake Red was in a military prison as Fake Red, meaning Fake Red was in the military…An American soldier would not have been in a military prison with a Communist…Turkey was part of the Allied nations. An American spy maybe would have been imprisoned if Turkey felt threatened.)

Late 1980’s:
Red: You think your life is too dangerous for a child. But what is your life without one? I can tell you from personal experience– not much. What?
(Assuming Fake Red had his own daughter and she died, it would have been in the late 1980’s (he tells Berlin’s daughter, “Zoe,” that he has a daughter.)

Late 1980’s:
Red: [ Exhales ] Losing someone we love is painful. Agonizing even unto death. The Japanese call it tako-tsubo – a grieving surge of abnormal electrical waves that causes the heart to deflate and contort until it resembles a fishing pot. Hollow and cold, an empty vessel at the bottom of a fathomless sea. I’m sorry for your loss. You have suffered enough of that in your life.
Red: You ever wonder why Dembe stays with me why anyone so decent would spend his days at the side of someone so indecent?
Liz: You saved him. He owes you his life. He protects you because you protected him.
Red: No, Elizabeth. Dembe didn’t stay with me because he saw me as his savior. He stayed with me because he saw me for the man I really was – a man surrounded by darkness. No friends who could be trusted, no faith that loyalty or love could ever truly exist. I was– Well, I was younger then. Angrier. Dembe connected his life with mine to show me, that day and every day, that the world is not what I fear it to be. He is the light in the darkness. Living proof that there is another way, that life can be good, that people can be kind, that a man like me might one day dream of becoming a man like him. He pledged his life, offered it up as evidence that I was wrong about this world. Dembe guards my life because he’s determined to save my soul. (This kind of darkness would be consistent with walking in and seeing your wife and daughter murdered in cold blood)
Red: There are foundational elements in our lives. People that form the brick and mortar of who we are. People that are so deeply imbedded that we take their existence for granted until suddenly, they’re not there. And we collapse into rubble. I’ve stood over the open grave of someone I’ve loved too often. Once for my mother. And then the others… (Who are “the others?” His wife and daughter that were murdered?)
Red: Truth be told, being stuck stateside has left me feeling somewhat smothered as of late. Oh, my goodness. Look at those Guan vases. And that flatware. Did you know Nancy Reagan – She could dress a table specifically for that night’s guest at a moment’s notice.
Russian Silver for a tea with Gorbachev, Italian silver stag-head stirrup cups for a last-minute supper with Sinatra. Can you imagine?
Liz: Sinatra? I can’t imagine.
Red: Let’s find a paddle card and a catalogue. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy dickering over an heirloom now and then. (Most men don’t know about this type of information unless discovered by personal experience. He must have been involved at the White House to some extent.)
[ Red and Dembe arrive at the Kenyon compound. Red enters the church, now abandoned, tips over pulpit and opens a trap door. They descend a ladder into shipping container. Red flips on the lights. There is a car covered with a tarp. Red removes the tarp. It’s a black limo, flying two flags one on either side of the hood: one, the U.S. flag, the other the flag of the President of the United States. On the side of the limo is the Seal of the President of the United States. Red takes out a key, opens the driver’s seat door and gets in. He flips on the cassette player, which plays “Beyond the Sea,” which makes him laugh happily. He goes to the trunk of the limo, opens it and takes out a briefcase-sized impact-resistant piece of luggage, closes hood. ]
(Cassette players in cars were mainly during the 80’s and early 90’s…President Ronald Reagan was in office from 1981 to 1989, which means the Presidential car found was his! Red had been close enough to that vehicle in the past to know exactly where the piece of the fulcrum was located – this fits into his knowledge of Nancy Reagan’s flatware and dinnerware)
Liz: I know now that those bones in that bag are Raymond Reddington’s – the real Raymond Reddington. My father. I know that this man is an impostor. Why he came into my life, why he took your life, why he spent the last 30 years pretending to be Raymond Reddington. I’m gonna figure all that out, and then I’m going to destroy him.
Tom: Be careful, Liz. This man – whoever he is – he’s dangerous. (30 years = 2018 – 30 years = 1988)

Late 1989 Masha is Abducted/Night of the Fire (When Liz was having her memory examined in Luther Braxton, she was being taken back to a fire that happened 26 years ago, and the air date of that episode was in 2015, so 2015-26=1989).
Red: Your parents loved each other very much. The Cold War was hard– too hard for your father. When the Soviet Union was collapsing, he took you from her. She gave up everything to follow him, to follow you.
Liz: The night of the fire– that’s what they were arguing about?
Red: Your mother, despite what he’d done, she wanted him back. She wanted them to be a family. As much as it pains me to say it, he was probably… the only man she ever really loved.
Liz: And I shot him.
Red: It was an accident.
Liz: Tell me. I need to know.
Red: Your mother was never the same after that. The man she loved killed by the child she adored– it was… just too much. Two months later, she went to Cape May and left her clothes on the beach, walked into the ocean, and was never seen again.
Liz: So, that night, I killed both my parents.
Red: You were a child. There should never have been a gun for you to grab.
Liz: [ Sniffles ]
Red: Looking back, I’m not sure I shouldn’t have raised you myself. I don’t want you looking back with that kind of regret.
Kathryn: What happened?
Katarina: Masha was abducted.
Kathryn: What?!
Katarina: A man was seen carrying her off the campus. A blonde man.
Kathryn: The American?
Katarina: I started pulling away. We couldn’t continue the way we were. He didn’t take it well.
Kathryn: So what he– he– he stole Masha to hurt you?
Katarina: No, that’s not it. He thinks she’s his.
Kathryn: Is she?
Katarina: I don’t know, Kate. I never found out. I didn’t want to. It didn’t matter. I was never gonna end up with Raymond.
Kathryn: Did you give the police his name?
Katarina: Never. It’d put Masha in danger– even more danger. I know where he’s taking her. Home to America. I’m gonna have to find her on my own.
(Real RR is buried near Pittsburgh at Tansi Farms: Woman over P.A.): Bus number 348 from Pittsburgh now arriving door number 2. (This is when Kaplan was returning to the station)

Early 1990 – Two Months after the Fire
2 months after night of the fire – Katarina Disappears
Red: There was a time in my life when I was quite sure I knew exactly what happened to Katarina Rostova. But after all these years, I’m not sure I have any real sense of how or why she disappeared.
Liz: My mother’s alive. You lied to me.
Red: Velov is the one who lied to you, Lizzy, not me. Katarina Rostova committed suicide in 1990.
Red: [ Pause, then: ] It was a Hobson’s choice.* There was a woman and her child. Both were doomed. Both would die. I could either save one or lose both. I chose the child. It was… it was the worst thing I’ve ever had to do in my life. Worst thing by far.
Woman: You didn’t have a choice.
Red: There’s always a choice. I was arrogant. I presumed that there was an order to things, that there was… that if I nourished and protected and taught the child, she would be safe… …and happy.
Woman: And she was neither.
Red: No matter what I tried to do, all I brought her was misery and violence, and eventually…
Woman: Death.
Red: Yes.
Woman: And now you’re dead. You believe there’s nothing left for you.
Red: It’s that obvious?
Woman: Nothing about you is obvious. What brought you here?
Red: I honestly don’t know.
Woman: You’ve been here before.
Red: Once, a long time ago. I was a very different person then. You?
Red: There was a woman I loved. She was… my life. My heart. And she died. She left behind a little girl. One last, precious piece of herself.
[ Flashback ( or Flashforward … )]
Red: She’ll need protection.
Tom: Only if you’re in her life. Go. Stay away. I won’t let you make the same mistake with her… …that you made with Liz. (The scene cuts to Tom and Agnes, but I believe this is just a distraction from the truth which is Real RR and Masha.)
Red: I would give anything to be a part of that child’s life, but a man made it clear I would never see her… hold her… watch her grow. And I knew in that moment, I would never be any part of that beautiful little girl’s life. Because…
Woman: He was her father.
Red: And to harm him would be to harm her. A mortal sin. Her mother is gone. The father is what she has left in the world.
Woman: Her father.
Red: Yes.
Woman: You had no choice. It was me or Masha.
Red: I’m sorry.
Woman: Raymond, you did save me. Through her. It was the only way. You chose well.
Dembe: [ Sighs ] Raymond I’m not sure Elizabeth will ever be ready to learn about what you did to Katarina.
Liz: Do you think she’s dead? Katarina? I know they say she committed suicide, but there was a man, Anton Velov. He was a Colonel in the Spetsnaz. He said she might still be alive.
Dom: I never heard from Katarina after she left for America. What really happened to her I think there are some people who want to keep ­that information a secret. And I think they will do whatever is necessary even now to keep it that way.
Dom: She was here – Masha.
Red: How?
Dom: How is a problem, yeah, but not as big a problem as why. She was here looking for Oleander. Apparently, she thinks tracking him down will help solve her husband’s murder.
Red: What did she say? Be specific.
Dom: Relax. She doesn’t know Oleander’s me. I certainly didn’t tell her. And since I know ­all you care about is yourself, you can stop worrying. I didn’t say a word about you. My own granddaughter three feet away after almost 30 years, I couldn’t say a damn thing to her.

(2018-29 [almost 30] =1989 night of the fire)

Red: In 1990, the KGB and the CIA had almost nothing in common except the mutual determination to hunt down one individual.
Lilly: You.
Red: Being a fugitive from American law enforcement is a lot easier than being a fugitive from the two most powerful nations on Earth. And anyone close to a target of theirs becomes a target themselves.
Lilly: Family.
Red: Especially family. Unless they’re abandoned on the side of a road on Christmas Eve.
Lilly: After you left, we went into Witness Protection.
Red: Put where the Cabal wouldn’t find you.
Lilly: Or my father.
Red: An effective, albeit excruciatingly painful solution.
Lilly: Effective?
Red: You survived, as did your mother, to whom I hope you are now willing to take me.
Liz: You’ve been to therapy?
Red: God, yes. Therapy helped me become – an entirely different person.

Christmas Eve 1990:
Lilly: So, you’re saying you were framed?
Red: I’m saying a perfectly plausible narrative was created.
Lilly: By some shadow government called the Cabal.
Red: Secret societies exist. The Cabal, the Trilateral Commission – private organizations that harness powerful forces to tip the scales in their favor – military engagements, UN interventions, treaties. The Cabal is the one I stumbled across – and tried to destroy. To prevent that, they tried to destroy me.
Lilly: How does you getting targeted by a scary group of people who think they rule the world explain why you abandoned us?
Red: You weren’t abandoned. You were protected.

1991 – Kursk Bombing that was ordered by Alan Fitch (The Decembrist) and then blamed on Fake Red so that Berlin would seek revenge

1991 – Kathryn Nemec disappeared

1991 – Fake Red produced a play called Mother Courage
Red: I was completely swept up in the idealism of the theatre owner – a pipe-smoking cream puff of a German named Gerta. She read “Mother Courage” to me aloud – the whole play in one sitting. A brilliant exploration of the politics of war and those who profit from it. Sadly, it was 1991, and audiences were going in droves to see “Cats.” Gerta lost every penny of my investment, but she remains grateful to this day. Her theater is ours as long as we need it.

1992 – Liz’s memory is wiped by Krilov at age 7

1992 – Fake Red abducts Hans and begins his criminal empire

1993 – Last time he encountered Alan Fitch before meeting again with Anslo Garrick

1993 – Fake Red rescues Dembe Zuma in Nairobi
Red: You know, 29 years ago in Sierra Leone (2014-29=1985), there was a farmer named Samwel Zuma who had the audacity to identify several low-level Mombasa operatives to local authorities. The cartel massacred the entire family. All but the youngest son. He was sold to a local ring of flesh peddlers. The majority of children in those circumstances don’t last more than nine months. He survived eight years (1985+8=1993). He was 14 when I found him. Too old, too tall, too angry and dangerous to be of any further value. He was left to die, chained to a standpipe in the basement of a squalid brothel in Nairobi. Branded, burned, barely alive. So I took him. Made him well, saw to his education. He graduated university with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature. He speaks four languages fluently and can get by in a half a dozen more. He is splendid. His name is Dembe – Dembe Zuma.
Re-Appeared 1994/1995 selling documents all over the world

1995: Naomi: If you’re looking for him, I can’t help you. You have to listen to me. Reddington, – I haven’t I haven’t seen him in 20 years. (this episode aired in 2015, making that year 1995)

1997-ish – Kate Kaplan starts working with Red (based on future statements she makes and her computer was using Windows 95)

2004-ish? – 2008 – Affair with Josephine Molire

2008 – Jennifer goes into hiding from the US Marshalls
Lilly: You didn’t abandon us to protect us. You just abandoned us. And you know how I know that? ‘Cause I know what it’s like to have somebody love me so much they would rather cut ties than see me hurt. My mom did that. And not by slinking out in the middle of the night, by sitting me down when I was in college and patiently explaining how terrified she was of you, that one day you’d want back in my life, that you’d force her to tell you where I was.
Lilly: To protect me from that, from you, she walked out of my life. I didn’t even know she was dead until she’d been gone nearly a year.

2008 – Red buys the flat of Josephine Molire, his lover that was brutally beaten by her husband from an arranged marriage

September 23, 2013 – date Red turned himself in to the FBI
Newton Phillips: It must be good to be home again, Sir. (This leads me to believe that Fake Red worked for the FBI in some type of intelligence capacity after graduating from the Naval Academy; he may have met Real Reddington while attending there)
Dembe: No, Raymond. Remember why you surrendered yourself to the FBI in the first place. Remember what all of this was about. You can’t give up now. You can’t let Kate destroy everything that gives you purpose. Our work is not yet done. I loved Kate, too, but it’s time to end this. Stop it. Stop her.
After Surrendering to the FBI:
Red: [ To Dembe who is digging into a grave with a shovel ] This is above and beyond, my friend. Above and beyond.
[ Breathing heavily ] [ Dembe finds pneumatic capsule with red envelope inside ]
Dembe: Is that it?
Red: If anything happened to me, this was to go to Elizabeth.
Red: So she would know.
Red: Now I’m not sure I ever want her to know.
Dembe: Perhaps, Raymond, in this case, what you want is irrelevant.
Dembe: If the universe wants her to know, she will find a way.
[ Red lights the envelope on fire and watches it burn ]
Director: I know who you really are, Raymond. Who you are to her. And I know why you did this. Does she?
Red: I can’t think of even one set of circumstances in which that would be any of your business. [ Scoffs ]
Garvey: Let’s start with the truth.
Red: You have the bones. You already know the truth.
Garvey: A truth. I want the whole truth.
Red: The whole truth is that we are all clinging to a lovely blue ball floating in a sea of blackness. Everything else, including and most especially, the truth you’re looking for, is “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” [ from MacBeth, of course ]

If you made it this far, thanks for taking the time to read through this. :) I have a hard time believing that Red is Katerina when I read his life story this way. I now believe that it is an entirely different man that we will learn more about next season – his story, why he has taken on this identity, and why Liz matters so much to him. – Suzy Moreland

And lastly …

Blacklist Monopoly


I came across this adaptation of “Monopoly” on Twitter:

⋙ 🐣 RT @hannaahkelly “In light of season 6 coming to an end, I thought I’d share my Blacklist Monopoly that my partner handmade for my birthday in February! It’s no lie when I say I cried. Handmade characters and cards/money coming soon… #TheBlacklist”

It was posted on 5/20/2019. I sent a tweet to Hanna asking if I could post this, but she hasn’t tweeted since April (2021), so I’m posting it anyway with heartfelt thanks. Hanna has an amazing and talented partner.

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