Did 'The Blacklist' Season 9 Double Down On Red Being Katarina?

The Blacklist Diany Rodriguez Weecha Xiu James Spader Raymond Red Reddington NBC
Sony Pictures Television

The latest episode of “The Blacklist” Season 9 Episode 6 entitled “Dr. Roberta Sand, Ph. D (No. 153)” doubled down on the mother of all fan theories. For the uninitiated (and the initiated), that can only refer to the “Red is Katarina” theory. Here is how the latest episode folded into it.

Hold on to your fedoras! Spoilers for Season 9 Episode 6 of “The Blacklist” do get discussed beyond this point.

First, let’s discuss the backstory. You see, even though fans have not always known that Red is an imposter, they have always suspected this is Red’s secret connection to Liz. The same one he refused to reveal to her up to her death. Since “The Blacklist” began, one popular fan theory has stood the test of time and numerous “reveals.”

I put the quotes there because almost none of what has gotten revealed about Red’s identity and his mysterious connection to Liz before and after Season 9 started can actually be considered trustworthy. Not one to be hurried into sharing information, “The Blacklist” has not made haste in reviving the storyline of Red’s true identity since Season 9 started.

With its final 2021 episode, it managed to send the story back to the forefront and double down on the fan theory that Red is Katarina. How did the series manage this feat? It all started with Red (“Pinky”) getting a chance to hang out with Liz’s precocious daughter Agnes.

What Happened

The two spent time playing a game that tested players’ knowledge of state capitals. Red, in all likelihood, feigned not being very good at the game, which led Agnes to remark that he should not be expected to be good at it. Why? Agnes claimed that Red is Russian and not solely in the sense of him being of Russian descent either.

Agnes asserted Red was raised in Russia. That is an important distinction. Agnes contended that after he grew up in Russia, he moved to the United States. Red did not deny it, remaining focused on finding out how Agnes knew this information. (Rest assured, it was certainly not from watching “The Blacklist” on Peacock.) This was when Season 9 snapped its trap.

Agnes Had Another Stunner

Liz and Tom’s daughter told Red that her mother had told her before Liz got murdered. Red was in shock. By the end of “The Blacklist” Season 9’s winter finale, Red had confirmed that Liz opened that pesky letter he wanted Dembe to keep from Liz until Red was dead. Of course, Liz ended up dying instead. Red’s takeaway?

Well, Red was pretty upset at the idea of Liz having died knowing his true identity. How dare she go to the great beyond knowing the truth? I love you, Red, but come off of it already. Now that you know the why, here is how “The Blacklist” doubled down on the “Red is Katarina” theory. If Agnes is correct and Red grew up in Russia, that lines up with Katarina.

Why The Russian Clue Matters

Before you start thinking Red could be another Russian-born character, consider this. None of Red’s childhood stories are true. If he grew up in Russia, he did not grow up in Michigan, as all of his “boyhood” stories claimed. Until now, those tales had been the main evidence from Red’s own mouth that suggested he was not Katarina.

Like any good game of Jenga, if you take that piece of the puzzle out, any other theory about Red’s identity crumbles. It seems that “The Blacklist” is tilting full force into the long-debated fan theory that gained its greatest traction yet towards the end of Season 8. Between that proof and the unraveling of this latest thread, the evidence is growing undeniable.

Final Thoughts

I am not saying this because I am a huge fan of Red turning out to be Katarina. Personally speaking, that resolution does not have my vote. However, the evidence is becoming so overwhelming it is tough to impossible to ignore it. It would seem “The Blacklist” is backing the Red is Katarina play, just in case, Liz’s highly suspicious closing expression did not do enough of the trick.

It is also important to note that Agnes said that Liz told her that Red is the “most important person” in her life. Is that the mother of all hints? It seems likely. To continue unraveling clues regarding the truth of Red’s true identity, and if he is Katarina, keep watching. New episodes of “The Blacklist” Season 9 will return in 2022 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.