The Blacklist: Why (Spoiler) Had to Die

Spoiler Alert for The Blacklist!!!

The Blacklist is back for season 4 after a crazy winding season 3 that had some fans thinking the show had jumped the shark forever. But after learning that Liz was in fact still alive, season 3 ended with the plot to fake her death backfiring, as archvillain Alexander Kirk kidnapped Liz and her baby, revealing himself to be her father. 

That fake death was facilitated by "Mr." Kate Kaplan, Raymond Reddington's close confidant and "cleaner," who would handle everything from corpse disposal to frame jobs and kidnapping. It was Kate who found a soft spot for Liz as a new mother, knowing that Reddington's obsessision with Liz woudl put the baby in harms way all of her life.

The blacklist Red kills Kate Kaplan Death

When Red finally figured out Kate's hand in decieving him, it was a tense moment in which viewers had to wonder if Red's friendship bonds were stronger than his moral code regarding loyalty. Kate walked away from that encounter, but in last night's season 4 episode, Kate finally felt the hand of Red's vengeance. 

The way the scene played out had some viewers wondering if Kate could potentially survive, but showrunner Jon Bokenkamp is less ambiguous, telling EW"The last time Reddington shot an old woman while a Gordon Lightfoot song was playing… she ended up pretty dead."

James Spader's Red Reddington is a fascinating character (the heart of the show, really), and this moment was, as stated, interesting, in that it put two of his highest values (loyalty, friendship) at odds with one another. Bokenkamp explains why Red ultimately had to go the violent route, saying that "Red values loyalty above all else, and Mr. Kaplan betrayed him in the most impossible way... The man is ruthless. In Red’s mind, Mr. Kaplan had to go."

Kaplan alluded to a history of helping raise Liz as a baby, and Bokenkamp teases that we'll see more reveals of Liz's childhood (and the connections to characters like Red, Kate and Alexander Kirk) as season 4 unfolds. 

The Blacklist airs Thursday, 10/9c on NBC.