Did The Blacklist finally just reveal the true identity of Raymond "Red" Reddington? Wednesday's episode, in the lead-up to the Season 8 finale of the NBC show, revealed almost the entire backstory of James Spader's character and his relationship with Liz Keene (Megan Boone) but ended right before she could get the exact answer as to who Red really is.
Liz did learn that her mother, Katarina Rostova, is still alive because the dead woman she thought was Karatina ended up not being her at all. Red had previously revealed to Liz that he is N-13, the spy she's been hunting all season, and in Wednesday's episode shared with her the true story of her life, which began when Katarina (Lotte Verbeek) became a spy and got involved with her father, the real Raymond Reddington, to gather intelligence on the U.S. operative for the KGB.
She then got pregnant with Liz, but let her husband believe the child was his while having an affair with Raymond. Eventually, the two operatives revealed they were spying on one another, and on the night of the big fire, a young Liz shot and killed her father, who was fighting with Katarina. Liz learns that the now-dead woman she thought was her mother (Laila Robins) was actually a woman tasked with taking over her identity to Katarina could go into hiding before Liz was sent to live with her adoptive father.
Katarina was still worried about her daughter's safety, however, so she "constructed" a new Raymond Reddington to fool the U.S. government, which never learned he had died. The new Red would be one Katarina could control and trust to watch over her daughter. It was then that a surgical scene was shown, and the new Red is seen picking up classified KGB intelligence as part of a plan that would allow him to expand the Blacklist and pose as the real Red.
While Liz asks an imagined version of her mother who it is that became Reddington and where she is today, shots are heard in the real location she's in as it is stormed by Neville Townsend. Liz is then shot, and rushed down into a bunker by Red and Dembe. The episode ends with Red destroying his entire intelligence headquarters and killing Townsend. But who is the new Red? The Season 8 finale of The Blacklist airs Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.