The Blacklist played one of its biggest tricks on Raymond Reddington during the Season 7 premiere, and fans were not O.K. The NBC FBI drama saw the immediate aftermath of May's big finale episode, where Red (James Spader) had a surprise reunion with the presumed dead Katarina Rostova (Laila Robbins). The reunion ended in shock after she jammed a needle in his stomach and had her henchmen take his lifeless body away.
Spoilers ahead for The Blacklist Season 7 Premiere: "Louis T. Steinhil (#27)"
Friday's season premiere began with Dembe (Hisham Tawfiq) in hot pursuit to find Red after he disappeared following his reunion with Rostova, though Red did not disclose who he was meeting. He barges into some men's apartment in Paris, who swear they did not even know Red was in Paris.
Later, Red wakes up and finds himself strapped to a full body restraint and unable to feel anything below his neck. French doctors and nurses tell him to relax and reveal he was found badly beaten with his spine severely fractured. The doctors performed emergency surgery, but he is advised it will take a long time for him to regain movement in his limbs.
the episode is going to have me on edge for the next hour #TheBlacklist— 𝓛𝓪𝓛𝓪 (@OhhhThatsLaLa) October 5, 2019
Wtf did they do to my guy Red, man. You've got to be fuckin kidding me #TheBlacklist— Damien (@NicknameDame) October 5, 2019
Red seems resigned to his fate of being paralyzed, but has to keep his wits about him when a french inspector Rene Oban (David Meunier) comes to his room and starts asking him questions. He says that while he has been waiting years to capture Red, he is most interested in finding Katarina Rostova.
Despite the events that landed him in the hospital, Red refuses to talk about his "soulmate" and resorts to speaking in metaphors to frustrate the policeman.
Meanwhile, Dembe comes to Liz (Megan Boone) and the FBI with news that Red was in custody in Paris. As they worked to get him extradited back to the U.S. they slowly realized there was more to the story.
After another failed attempt for the inspector to get information on Katarina out of Red, he leaves his hospital room in frustration. As he walks out of the hallway, the show reveals they are actually in a hospital set and the man starts to speak in an American accent. He then meets with Katarina on the roof of the building and they discuss the progress of their interrogation. She insists they must get all of the information they need before Red figures out what is going on.
Fans were impressed by the elaborate deception Katarina staged to throw off Red, which included making him think he was paralyzed. They also wondered what Katarina might possibly want with her former friend.
Wow....a fake hospital and a fake paralysis.....#TheBlacklist— Sonja Clarke (@sdgclarke) October 5, 2019
Whaaaat? #TheBlacklist— Jeffrey N. (@Jnitros) October 5, 2019
Whaaaaat...?!?!?! 🤯🤯🤯 this looks like a movie set #TheBlacklist— Team Red (@AlwaysTeamRed) October 5, 2019
Ahead of the premiere episode series creator Jon Bokenkamp said Season 7 will provide many answers to the show's overall mysteries. He also called Katarina "the most formidable Big Bad that we've introduced" on the show.
The Blacklist airs Fridays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.