“The Blacklist” is one of the hottest new shows of the 2013-14 TV season. It recently returned from its holiday hiatus, offering more questions about Raymond “Red” Reddington’s (James Spader) background and who or what was behind his kidnapping from the fall finale. Executive producers Jon Bokenkamp and John Eisendrath recently spoke with the press about said questions and the subsequent answers — which they say are forthcoming.
“We do have answers to many of these questions and don’t want to
tease too much,” Bokenkamp says. “What we don’t want to do is continually tease the
audience and not answer the questions we are raising, so we’re doing
that as best we can. We’ll continue to hopefully surprise ourselves in
how and when we answer those questions. … We just try to gut-check each other in the writers’ room and try to slow
down as much as we can because the instinct is to move quickly.”
One question the show seemingly answered in the fall finale is that Red is not Agent Keen’s (Megan Boone) father, but Eisendrath says, “You have to ask yourself whether he revealed the truth or not, right?”
Red is certainly an enigmatic character, and it wouldn’t be at all surprising if he was lying to Lizzie — or if the answer is more complicated than a simple yes or no. But Red as an enigma is part of what the creators love about the show and what they think the audience loves about the show.
“One of the reasons that it’s a success is that it’s got a great character at the center. Writing for Red is an incredibly fun thing to do,” Eisendrath says. “We spend a lot of time crafting the stories and the procedural beats and the bread and butter of the show, but nothing makes us laugh more than when we’re trying to figure out what Red would say in any given situation.”
“The Blacklist” airs Monday nights at 10 ET/PT on NBC.