'Blacklist' Boss Dishes on 'Unique' Season 6

The Blacklist's upcoming sixth season will change the show that fans know and love, as looming questions will change many of the characters' relationships.

With Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone) and the audience now aware that Raymond "Red" Reddington (James Spader) isn't who he really is, and Red still unaware that his secret is out, Season 6 will have Liz having the upper hand in her relationship with her "father" for the first time.

"Identity is a big [theme]. It really has been central to the show from the very beginning, but I think now, more than ever, with this reveal that Reddington is, in fact, an impostor and so much of what we've been led to believe has been undermined and eroded," The Blacklist creator Jon Bokenkamp told Entertainment Tonight ahead of the beginning of the show's two-night season premiere. "The question at the forefront for the audience and certainly in Elizabeth Keen's mind is: Who is this guy? Why did he choose me? What is his ultimate agenda? Identity is tangled up in that in all kinds of strange, curious ways."

With knowledge on her side, the cat-and-mouse game between Red and Liz will finally see the latter character hiding things and plotting her own agenda during the new installment.

"The thing that is fresh and unique about this season is that for the first time, somebody is way ahead of Red. Elizabeth Keen knows a truth about him that he doesn't know and she is forced to continue to play the role of his daughter," Bokenkamp told the outlet. "In all of the scenes that they play together [this year], not only does he know he is not ultimately the original Raymond Reddington, she also knows that this man is not her father. It creates a really interesting power struggle and a mental chess game between these two characters who are carrying on presenting stories of who they are and yet, Elizabeth Keen is working in the shadows in trying to unlock the truth behind why he entered her life."

The new dynamic will force fans to notice what both Liz and Red say in the silent moments they share during the case of the week episodes.

"That's a dynamic we haven't seen on the show before," Bokenkamp added, saying that it's "something new" creatively for the series. "Elements of it feel familiar but it has consequences that are incredibly significant."

Another big change for the upcoming season, as teased by the Season 6 trailer released in December, will be Red's incarceration. While the development will affect his mysterious master plan, fans can expect to see their favorite criminal mastermind to still thrive despite the new environment.


"He's in prison and all of his superpowers are stripped away," Bokenkamp teased. "His connections, his money means nothing. He's sort of starting over, in a way. That is going to test the relationships he has on the outside and will likely foster some new relationships on the inside. Nobody likes new experiences more than Raymond Reddington, so audiences should expect that he will embrace this new struggle with open arms. It is incredibly dangerous and there are high emotional stakes, but it's also going to be incredibly fun."

The Blacklist premieres Season 6 with a two-night premiere starting Thursday at 10 p.m. ET, followed by its regular time-slot premiere Friday at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.