The Blacklist has been one of the most riveting and original shows on television since its inception in 2013, and has only gotten progressively better since. The characters have always been captivating to watch, especially its lead anti-hero, and its story has always grown bigger with worse and worse implications for the universe.
With major performance-carrying from the devilishly humorous and manipulative James Spader as Raymond "Red" Reddington, The Blacklist has made it through three successful seasons of about 22 episodes each, earning itself a season four renewal, and a recent spin-off series order.
Before delving into the season three finale, let's take a quick trip down memory lane to discuss the true premise of the series.
Raymond "Red" Reddington is one of the FBI's Top Ten Most Wanted Fugitives, being on the run for the last 20 years after leaving his job as a U.S. Naval Intelligence Officer. Where's the last place you'd think to find him? Walking into the J. Edgar Hoover Building in Washington, D.C. and surrendering to the assistant director of the FBI. That is, unless, he has a secret agenda.
Red offers the FBI a list of criminals and terrorists h has been associating with for the last 20 years, in exchange for immunity from prosecution and on the condition he only works with rookie FBI agent, Elizabeth "Liz" Keen.
Season 3 follows Keen and Red on the run from the FBI after Liz shot and killed the Attorney General after discovering his ties to the evil criminal organization, The Cabal. Keen and Red work to clear her name and prove the AG's connection to The Cabal, as well as bring down the remaining members of the organization in positions of power in the U.S. government.
***BEWARE: MAJOR SPOILERS FOR THE SEASON THREE FINALE BELOW***
The finale, "Alexander Kirk," is technically made up of two parts for the final episodes of season three, with the actual finale being the alleged conclusion to the hunt for the titular villain. But why exactly was the team and Red looking for Kirk?
After having their wedding attacked in Ep. 17, Liz and Tom escaped but got into a car accident and Liz needed to have an emergency C-section to save their child. After complications from the team after Liz and Tom and from giving birth, Liz died, leaving the team and especially Reddington wanting revenge.
After hunting down the men responsible for the last few episodes, it all tied back to Alexander Kirk, a black market financier with primary ties to oil and gasoline operations.
The team devise a plan to swap out gasoline being delivered by Kirk's "legitimate" corporation with crude oil in order to bring him in for arrest and trial. However, unbeknownst to the FBI, Red plans to use this opportunity to assassinate Kirk. But it turns out it was actually a decoy, with Kirk's lawyer showing up to the hearing instead of Kirk himself.
During all this, Tom has given his protective detail from Kaplan and other Red bodyguards as some of Kirk's hitmen come after Tom and Agnes, his and Liz's daughter. He gets on a plane with Agnes to Cuba, but not without Kirk's main associate discovering his travel plans.
Tom arrives in Cuba and he and Agnes settle in their new home, except they're not alone. The finale delivered the first of the show's two biggest twists: Liz is still alive. That's right, Liz and Kaplan worked together to fake her death so that her, Tom and Agnes could have a life. Red, after discovering this betrayal by Kaplan, rushes to rescue Liz from incoming Kirk assassins.
Unfortunately, as Tom comes back from grabbing groceries, he discovers Liz missing and an assassin with Agnes. After trying to take out the assassin, Tom is knocked unconscious, and Red arrives to find the aftermath of Tom, Liz and Agnes missing.
Liz is then seen in a secret facility being held captive, and Kirk finally has her. But he also delivers the second biggest twist that we've all been waiting for: Kirk is Liz's real father.
So, What Happens Now?
Obviously, the next season will see Red trying to rescue Liz from Kirk, as well as Tom trying to escape the captivity, but what about Liz? Will she try to escape, or will she want to stay to learn more about Kirk?
What about the rest of the team? They've spent the last few months trying to recuperate following the death of someone really close to all of them. How are they going to respond to the news of Liz's "resurrection"? Plus, how will Red finally react to Kaplan, now fully knowing what she did for Liz?
Now that we've learned Liz's father's "true" identity, and the fact that she's still alive, it will be interesting to see where the showrunners go from here. Thankfully, they have a fourth season renewal to expand on these topics, and more.