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For those that are interested, listed below are some important truths that were revealed in the finale. Yes, answers were provided and we were given much more insight into Raymond Reddington, and the mysteries that surround him. The finale may finally give us more reasons why Red created the list of Blacklisters in the first place and why Lizzie is so important to him. If you are still puzzled... perhaps you haven't watched all the episodes. If you haven't done so already, maybe you will be compelled to watch the first season again and find clues and tidbits you missed the first time. Or maybe you will be watching all the episodes for the first time. Whatever applies, enjoy the ride. For those of us that have watched every episode, and have followed Red and Liz every step of the way... it's well worth it.

What did we learn in the finale? *Spoilers for episode 1-22*

Meera dies, Cooper survives, and Berlin escapes with one hand. Tom passes out without telling us why he is one of the good guys. We still don't know Berlin's name, but he is definitely after Red and wants Red to stop eliminating the names on the Blacklist. It seems to be personal, and has something to do with the picture in the locket that Berlin carries. Berlin tells a convincing story while he is in the hospital, but it is unclear if it is totally or partially true, or just storytelling to hoodwink the FBI.

Red finally admits to Liz that he killed Sam because Sam was in pain, wanted to die, and because Red had to protect Liz from the truth about her father's real identity. Somehow just being the daughter of this unknown man will place her life in danger, and knowing his identity seems to place her life in danger. Red's confession and explanation may help Liz to understand, and heal the rift between them.

Liz decides to continue working with Red and help him hunt down Berlin. She decides to confront all her questions about her past head on, and not run from them. Maybe she finally realized that if her parentage places her life in danger, then having Raymond Reddington on her side is not such a bad thing.

It is not clear if they will remain in Washington, or if Red was planning to move to another city. This may also mean that the task force's home base of operations may no longer be in Washington, but instead be located in New York City (as hinted by the producers).
Red and Berlin have the same identical picture of a girl who seems to be dead. This may mean that the people who killed the girl, sent the photo to Berlin to torment him. Red got the photograph from the Stewmaker, so we know the girl is no longer alive. Both seem to have emotional ties to the girl. Red remembers her dancing at ballet school, and Berlin glances at the picture to remind himself of his mission to hunt down those responsible for her death. Somehow they both have the girl in common, as someone important in their lives. Berlin knows Red, but Red does not know Berlin's identity. This does not mean that Red and Berlin are not related, or that Red does not personally know the man behind all the attacks, it mean only that Red still does not know who is using the nickname "Berlin".

At the end of the episode Red is looking at the Stewmaker's picture of the girl again. This may mean that Red has figured out that Berlin's vendetta against him may have something to do with the girl in the picture. In Red's mind, this must narrow down the possibilities.

Note: Berlin left behind a fragment of a bone that he used to escape from the hospital. This may have been one of the bones sent to him that may have belonged to his daughter. This fragment might hold clues to Berlin's identity if the task force does DNA analysis on it (don't hold your breath).

Red has scars on his back, possibly from a fire. It may mean that Red was present during the fire, and may have been the one to rescue Liz. Or it may mean that he was the intended victim of the fire or that he was the one who started the fire.

Tom's "last words" to Liz are that her father is still alive. This must mean that Tom knows what Red has been trying to keep secret, the identity of Liz's biological father. It is not clear that Tom has learned this from his research, his intelligence gathering, or if it is gained from his relationship with Berlin.

Red admits that Berlin has been targeting his business and his interests since before 2010, prior to Tom marrying Liz (2011). This may mean that Berlin is targeting Red over something that happened some time ago. This may mean that Berlin blames Red for the death of his daughter (the girl in the locket) even though Red may have had nothing to do with it.

Red tells Liz that her father is dead, that he perished in the fire. Since Red never lies to Liz, this may mean that Red really believes this to be the truth, even though her father may indeed be still alive. Red may think that her father is really dead.

Alan Fitch not only works for ODNI (Office of the Director of National Security) but he also is a member of the Alliance. We finally find out that Fitch is the one pulling all the strings at the task force and that FBI agent Walter Gary Martin has to answer to him. So Fitch wears lots of hats, and seems to want Red to continue to go after people on the Blacklist, and that seems to be what the Alliance wants as well. Red and Fitch seem to be permanently aligned with each other, so that both can continue doing business, and Fitch seems to be showing Red more favor. This may mean that they used to be friends at one time.

Right before Cooper is attacked in his car, he is asking Walter Gary Martin to explain who the people are that want Red free to pursue Berlin. Cooper knows that Red was allowed to escape. Who wanted Red free? People do. What people? This finally shows that Cooper is not privy to Fitch's involvement with the task force, and Cooper is not working for the Alliance as a mole or in any nefarious way. Cooper is finally revealed as one of the good guys. Walter Gary Martin definitely has questionable alliances (and he uses Brill Cream!).

Note: Red tells Martin that his father used Brill Cream on his hair too. He also told Cowboy that his father had a Cadillac and loved Cadillacs. Perhaps it was his father that Red was talking about to Ressler when he said a much wiser man once told him to turn around and go home. Not to cross over to the dark side, or he may never be touched by the light again.

Tom's body is missing. It is unclear what happened to Tom's body, and unclear if he is really dead or not. This leaves the door open for Tom's return because his body is missing, Liz did not finish him off, and we did not see her check his pulse.

The Blacklist is a curious creature, not quite like other dramas or procedurals. You just can't drop in every other week or watch the 4 minute excepts on Hulu and expect to know what's going on or what is important. You really have to immerse yourself in each episode and pay attention, remember what clues were dropped along the way, think a little bit, and you might be rewarded for your efforts. Yes, the show makes you think so it might not be for everyone that prefers to be spoon fed, or have every little detail spelled out for them.

Thanks to those who have approached the Blacklist with intelligent and thoughtful comments, I've enjoyed reading many creative and interesting ideas and theories here. It was nice to find a few people that actually enjoy the Blacklist and are not overwhelmed by negative criticism by people who may not have even watched many of the episodes, certainly not the entire season. Despite it's shortcomings, the Blacklist is an excellent show that deserves praise for originality, compelling storytelling, interesting characters, and especially for providing us all an opportunity to watch James Spader.


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