The merry-go-round that is Elizabeth Keen’s (Megan Boone) parentage continues on “The Blacklist’s” Season 4 fall finale, with Reddington (James Spader) offering more massive trolling about whether he is Liz’s father or not — but amid the torture drama, also dropping some bread crumbs that a present-day Katarina Rostova (Lotte Verbeek) might be on the horizon.

In the episode, Alexander Kirk (Ulrich Thomsen) tortures Red, desperate to get to the bottom of Liz’s paternity — you are all of us, Kirk — and finally Red says exasperatedly, “Yes. Is that what you want me to say? Yes, Elizabeth is my daughter.”

Of course, since he’s saying it both under duress and in such a sarcastic way, take that with a grain of salt.

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But what’s far more intriguing is that Kirk and Red then spend no small amount of time reminiscing about Katarina, and how full of life she was. Red also points out that both he and Kirk were probably KGB assignments for her.

“You always thought I was an interloper. The truth is that I was an assignment. I’m sure you were, too… A cover, then? You were wealthy and powerful, gave her access,” says Red.

Which lends credence to the conclusion that neither of them is Liz’s father (which we already knew about Kirk) — because a Russian spy would have been careful not to get pregnant with one of her marks. Could she have fallen for Red? Certainly. But it would make more sense for the real man in her life to be her baby’s father, someone we have yet to meet.

Anyway, in talking about Katarina, Kirk exposits that he never believed Katarina could have killed herself. Red doesn’t say anything at that point — but later, to save his own life, he whispers something to Kirk we’d bet money was along the lines of, “Katarina is not dead.”

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It’s the only thing Red could have said that might give Kirk pause in killing him, especially if he needs Red’s help to find her.

Furthermore, the show has already dropped hints that Katarina didn’t walk into the ocean and drown. In Season 3, a woman calling herself “Rostova” commissioned a painting of Liz standing over Reddington’s grave.

Also in Season 3, confidential informant Anton Velov (Madison Arnold) wrote Liz a letter saying her mother faked her death, and that he later tracked her to a hotel room in Prague where she left behind a photo of Masha (Liz) as a little girl.

Interestingly, that bit of news came as a surprise to Reddington, which means he didn’t know (at that point) whether Katarina was alive. He even insisted that Velov was lying to Liz.

But you know Reddington would not have let that simply go uninvestigated, so he probably found out that Katarina is in fact alive — and now Kirk knows, too. This also fits with Red’s insistence that he never lies to Liz (something the executive producers have also reiterated): He didn’t lie about her mother, because he didn’t know. And now that he does know, he hasn’t lied to her because it hasn’t come up yet.

Kirk isn’t dying anymore, and presumably has gone off searching for his lost love. What will bring him (and Katarina) back into Liz’s life? We’ll find out when “The Blacklist” returns after the holidays.

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."