“The Blacklist” returns for Season 4 in just a few short weeks, which means NBC has started trotting out teasery goodies for fans.

On Friday’s (Sept. 9) “Tonight Show,” star James Spader showed a clip of the premiere, titled “Esteban #79,” in which Raymond Reddington meets with a couple nefarious dudes in a restaurant.

RELATED: 4 things to know about ‘The Blacklist’ Season 4 and its spinoff

The cheeky bad guy refers to Red as “the Concierge of Crime. Man in the Hat. Spy Who Stayed Out in the Cold,” which all rather awesome. What is even more awesome is that Red quickly disposes of cheeky guy’s partner. That’ll teach you to get sassy with Reddington.

It’s a fun scene, but the big takeaway is Red referring to “that sample.” Sample of what? The Blacklister in the episode title is none other than this guy, played by Paul Calderon. Could these be his lackeys? And what does Raymond want from Esteban?

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From the looks of the other premiere photos, the gang is all still in Cuba trying to find Liz (Megan Boone), who has been abducted by Alexander Kirk (Ulrich Thomsen), a man claiming to be her father. Is the aforementioned sample something that will help Red find Liz?

Also, Tom (Ryan Eggold) looks like he’s burying the body of his attacker from the Season 3 finale, so that’s fun. Hopefully he can reunite with the rest of the team to search for Liz and Kirk.

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And finally, it’s nice to see Red and Mr. Kaplan (Susan Blommaert) are speaking to each other, though we know it’s not going to be easy to repair their relationship. Creator Jon Bokenkamp previously told Zap2it that the Red-Kaplan storyline is very important to the beginning of Season 4.

nup 174664 0301 The Blacklist S4 premiere: Red is on the hunt, while Tom buries a body

“How [Red] handles [Mr. Kaplan’s] betrayal is a big story for us to tell and we’re going to dive right into that. That’s something that comes up very early in the season. That incredibly deep betrayal to Reddington is going to chew up quite a bit of scenery.”

“The Blacklist” returns Thursday, Sept. 22 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.

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."