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How The Blacklist should have ended

The tenth and final season of The Blacklist recently concluded and reactions to the ending have been varied across the internet.

It is safe to say that not many TV shows end in a satisfying way that is accepted by the majority of the community and this was another show with a divisive ending.

This article will contain a lot of spoilers for The Blacklist, as well as some ideas on how the show should have ended or what the creators could do differently, so consider yourself warned.

How The Blacklist ended

First, let’s talk about how it actually ended. After being pursued by the relentless Arthur Hudson and Detective Nixon, the task force of Harold Cooper, Donald Ressler, Siya Malik, and Herbie were forced to hunt down Raymond Reddington himself.

Pursuing an elusive target like Red is almost like predicting a Premier League title decider. You cannot be 100% sure what happens, no matter how much of an expert you are.

Reddington is always three steps ahead and in the finale of The Blacklist, he once again escaped pursuit but was eventually forced to go back for his friend Dembe Zuma after learning that he has been detained.

Red rescued him, but due to the rising tension, shots were fired and Dembe was caught in the crossfire.

Reddington transported him to a nearby medical facility and donated a lot of his blood to save his friend, before escaping again.

After a while he was in Spain, however, he went for a walk and faced a bull. He knew it was time to part ways with the realm of the mortals and he stood his ground.

The show, that aired on NBC and can be watched on Netflix, ends with Reddington lying dead in the field where Ressler found him.

Who is Raymond Reddington?

There have been a lot of theories over the years as to Red’s true identity, none of which were officially confirmed.

But the show was inconsistent at times, and it is safe to assume that probably writers themselves weren’t sure how to explain his identity after ten years.

One theory widely suggested on various forums for the past few years that Red was actually Katarina Rostova, the mother of other central lead Elisabeth Keen.

This theory checks out with the music clues, dialogue choices, Red’s connections to Liz, their final letter to her, caring for Liz’s daughter Agnes, and the last conversation that took place in the finale where Red said to Agnes over the phone that he just can’t help being such a mom.

It is a known fact that Reddington had some surgical operations done to his body over the years in many episodes, with surgeons as black listers.

It is not necessarily the best outcome, but it is the one that is most likely true in the canon of the show.

What should have been Red’s identity?

All-in-all, Raymond Reddington’s identity should have been revealed as…Raymond Reddington.

Even though we learn throughout the show that he was not the real Raymond Reddington, who was shot by Liz when she was just a kid in a house fire, we think that it would be a fitting reveal.

After all these years, it should be revealed that he was Elizabeth’s father, and all that fuss with real Red being dead was just a genius plan by Red, to make his disappearance so convoluted that it could not be untangled.

There could have been a short montage highlighting his grand plan, and in the end, he cared for Elizabeth with all his heart, and that is what broke him.

Sometimes the best mysteries are the ones that are simple so Red being just Red would be fitting, poetic and would also fit the rest of the series. It would have been so simple yet so sophisticated.

How The Blacklist should have ended?

Ideally, after Raymond gave away a lot of his empire, liquidated his fortunes, and gave away many of his prized possessions, he should have retired.

They shouldn’t have killed such a beloved character that fans grew together with over the years.

He should’ve faked his own death (again), put Nixon’s obsession to rest by probably killing him too, and then have a fitting ending with Weecha and Agnes.

Away from the Blacklist, in the warmth of Spain or some exotic islands, preparing for being a normal grandfather to Agnes, visiting Dembe, without all the drama.

He should’ve died peacefully in a flashforward, leaving just a note to Agnes, where he explains himself and perhaps reveals who he really is, which is her true grandfather.

Featured image credit: Thibault via Wikimedia Commons under CC BY-SA 2.0 licence

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