Why Is 'The Blacklist' Teasing Red's Revenge In Season 9 Poster?

The Blacklist Red Reddington James Spader NBC
Scott Gries / NBC

In case you missed it, “The Blacklist” has released its promo poster for Season 9, and it is a bit of a doozy. For one, Red is striking out solo without Liz. (Yes, I teared up.) The second and most curious clue is the poster’s tagline: “Someone’s Going To Pay.”

Spoiler Alert: Please, be aware that spoilers for the Season 8 finale of “The Blacklist” get discussed beyond this point alongside speculation for Season 9. So, please proceed with caution.

You can see “The Blacklist” poster for yourself below, and you can notice that the promotional shot is fittingly soaked in red. The first image for Season 9 is a significant clue for what is to come, and it is equal parts theory-provoking and pretty chilling. Check it out:

The Blacklist James Spader Raymond Red Reddington NBC

Wait, what? Yes, someone is going to pay in Season 9, and it seems like “Red-tribution” will be its name. Who on earth would Red need to get revenge on when “The Blacklist” returns? It makes little sense it is for Liz’s now-confirmed death. Red killed her assassin right after they shot and murdered Liz.

In rapid succession, Liz’s demise was immediately avenged in the Season 8 finale of “The Blacklist,” and viewers know who did it. Neville Townsend’s right-hand man carried out the killing despite his boss already getting killed by Red. Unfortunately, Red clearly did not close all of the loops before planning his own assassination.

Hence, Townsend’s guy shot and killed Liz in the shocking finale. So, unless “The Blacklist” is about to pull another twist out of its hip hat and reveal there was more to that last-second shocker, it does not seem like Liz could be the motivation for Season 9’s payback arc.

Who could be getting avenged then? It could be Red himself, who has no shortage of enemies. Any one of them could be worth him coming out of self-inflicted exile to chase down and make face the music. Another angle to that is if something happened to Red within Season 9’s two-year time jump that has motivated Red’s thirst for “Red-venge.”

It is the only thing that would make some sense at this point. Who knows, though? “The Blacklist” tied up Liz’s death and apprehending her murderer at record speed. Perhaps, there was more to it that Season 9 will explain. Thus, setting Red on a path for newly realized retribution.

Whatever the case, viewers are about to find out. “The Blacklist” Season 9 will hopefully solve this mystery when it premieres on Thursday, October 21 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. Yes, that is a new night for the long-running series. The crime drama is no longer the lead-in for “Dateline.” Sorry, Keith Morrison.