'The Blacklist' Season 9 Premiere Photos And New Teaser Trailer

The Blacklist Raymond Red Reddington James Spader NBC

The lead-up to “The Blacklist” is heating up, with the Season 9 premiere only a week away. NBC has released photos from the episode and a teaser that reveals a surprising new look for Red and a shocking plot twist for Dembe. Let’s dive into the brief trailer and the pictures that warrant speculation below!

Red, Dembe, and the Task Force are back after the Season 8 finale set Season 9 up with a huge twist. Original character, co-lead, and perennial heroine, Elizabeth “Liz” Keen, was gunned down when “The Blacklist” signed off earlier this year. Fans were initially left to hope that Liz’s injury would not prove fatal, only to have those dreams dashed.

In its Season 9 plot synopsis, “The Blacklist” confirmed that Liz died from her injuries. The unexpected reveal means that Liz’s fate is not a mystery, nor is she languishing in a coma somewhere with the possibility of a return. What fans are about to see in the Season 9 premiere photos reveals that life has moved on via the two-year time jump that the series is making.

Without further ado, here are the photos warranting speculation.

The Blacklist James Spader Raymond Red Reddington Bald NBC
Will Hart / NBC

Red has foregone his previously short hairstyle in favor of going full-Lex Luthor. As you can see, “The Blacklist” star will be completely bald in Season 9, and while that is not a huge change, it is an intriguing alteration. It will be interesting to see if and how Red addresses his new look.

The Blacklist Dembe Zuma Hisham Tawfiq NBC
Will Hart / NBC

Not Dembe! Yes, it appears that Red’s right-hand man and “The Blacklist” fan-favorite, Dembe Zuma, is in rough shape when Season 9 premieres. In a separate image, you can see on NBC’s press site, Dembe has gotten badly burned and is laid up in the hospital. Who and why did they do this to Dembe? Is he going to be, okay? Season 9 will need to have the answers.

The Blacklist Amir Arison Aram Mojtabai Laura Sohn Agent Alina Park Harry Lennix Harold Cooper NBC
Will Hart / NBC

As you can see, the Task Force is back together again, but not at the Post Office. From “The Blacklist” Season 9 plot synopsis, we know that the team disbanded and reunited for a common cause (Dembe’s condition?). It seems like Cooper, Aram, and Alina Park have convened at Cooper’s house to discuss something important? Everyone looks a bit melancholy and nostalgic as they see each other again.

The Blacklist Harry Lennix Harold Cooper Diego Klattenhoff Donald Ressler NBC
Will Hart / NBC

Lastly, it would not be a time jump without two major hair changes. Red went first by debuting his sleek new look, and he is not alone in shaking things up. Ressler has a beard! You are not seeing things. Liz’s last love before she died has grown a beard. A sign of his unwavering grief? Is he too upset to think about shaving? Maybe.

I am a massive beard fan, and Ressler might be one too. Whatever his reasons, Ressler’s dramatic new look concludes the significant images from “The Blacklist” Season 9 premiere. The photos not included here are stand-alone pictures of Aram, Aline Park, and Cooper during their meeting. Plus, the image of an injured Dembe because it may be too “much” to show here.

Now to the teaser for Season 9. “The Blacklist” has provided a moving 15-second trailer that reveals a devastated Red blazing a new course. In it, Ressler tells Red that what he does following Liz’s death will prove whether she died in vain. Check it out below, and then reconvene for some speculation afterward:

Ressler is talking tough, a van blows up, and Cooper appears to be going solo searching for someone. It is a lot for a short clip, and “The Blacklist” drives its point home. There are still a lot of stories to tell in Season 9 and beyond, judging by how this season goes.

Last season, the NBC drama teased what it would be like without Liz as she went off-screen to learn the real deal about Red. She ultimately returned, only to have any semblance of truth die with her. It is unclear if Liz figured out who Red really is or if she died without the answers. One thing is sure, though.

“The Blacklist” will return on a new night. Season 9 premieres Thursday, October 21, at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. You will undoubtedly want to watch and see what happens next for Red, Dembe, Aram, Cooper, Park, and Ressler despite Liz’s absence. They are worth exploring further.