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In Madeline Pratt Liz and Red each share a story with the titular blacklister. These stories are both part of a larger deception, so we as an audience may wonder whether or not these stories have any basis in reality. I believe both stories were 100% true.

Liz's Story

Liz, prompted by Red told that story of Omaha where she used her feminine wiles to get Frank, the Clyde to her 17 year old Bonnie, out of a sticky spot during a robbery. Liz later tells Red she made the story up, but I don't believe that is true. The looks Liz shot Red when he prompted her to talk about "Frank" and "Omaha", coupled with her question "How did you know about Omaha?" strongly point to the conclusion that Liz's story was true.

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I don't believe Red's claim that he knew nothing about Liz's escapade with Frank any more than I believe Liz's denial that it ever happened. The real question is: How did Red know?

Possibility 1) Sam

My opinion: Unlikely. I could see Sam knowing about Liz's boyfriend, but if he had been present at the burglary, he would have intervened. I also doubt Liz would have shared the details of her...ahem...quick thinking with her father.

Possibility 2) Frank

My opinion: Likely. Frank was there, and there are any number of scenarios that I could envision Red or one of Red's people paying Frank a visit. Perhaps Frank worked for Red, and was hired to begin training Liz in the criminal arts. Perhaps Red or Red's men paid Frank a visit to "urge" him to break up with Liz.

Possibility 3) An agent of Red's, tasked with watching Liz

My opinion: Unlikely. I don't think Red would have risked putting Liz under constant 24 hour surveillance for the past twenty-odd years. There would be too much of a danger that someone would realize Liz's importance to Red. I imagine Red got most of his information from Sam and occasionally surveillance. Of course, there is the possibility the surveillance was heavier than usual because of Liz's rebellious behavior.

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Red's story

Red's tale of what happened to him on Christmas Eve contained less obvious evidence that it was true. I can only point to the verifiable details (Christmas Eve, car abandoned on the side of the road, and a terrible tragedy that occurred at the house) and state my opinion that I don't think what happened to his family is something Red could lie about.

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Things I found interesting:

-Red's daughter played the piano. I keep returning to the height chart in Red's house, which stopped at 3 years old. Three-year-olds don't play piano. I'm increasingly convinced there was a second child living in that house, and that that child was Liz. Red's words to Sam, reassuring him he wouldn't assume Sam's role, his deep love for Liz, his long pause when she asks him if he was her father make me think he must be her father, in some respect. I believe there is no record because Liz was illegally adopted.

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-Red continued his tread of not mentioning his wife as an individual. During The Stewmaker Red tells "The Parable of the Farmer" and he talks about crops, animals, and children, but no wife. In his flashback during Fredrick Barnes, he doesn't remember his wife and daughter playing together, it is just his daughter running around. Now in Madeline Pratt he talks about lights in windows, smoke in chimney, pine tree odors, his daughter playing piano, oyster soup on the stove, BUT NO WIFE. I could be making something out of nothing, but the exclusion of Mrs. Reddington is starting to look like a pattern.

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-Red's daughter was still at the house and alive when Red showed up. Red talks about blood being everywhere, so it sounds as though she was gravely wounded. Do you think that she could have survived?

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Comments (17)
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Feb 27, 2014
I kind of like Pratt for Red's wife, but then she wouldn't have to ask if the story was true then, would she? Or at least I like her for (unknowing) mother of Liz. I just think they look alike that's all
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Feb 27, 2014
I'd definitely say Madeline was someone Red meet long after he became a criminal, otherwise, as you say, he wouldn't have needed to tell Madeline the story. I also don't think she could be Liz's mother both because of her age and because she doesn't seem like she would be a terrible parent.

Red was obviously involved in Liz's adoption by Sam and the circumstances of that adoption were so terrible that Red would rather kill his dear friend than let Liz learn the truth. I don't see Red taking a child from her parents if there was any other alternative. Her parents must be evil, dead, or unwilling or able to leave their evil lover/spouse. Madeline Pratt doesn't seem to fall under any of these categories.
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Feb 26, 2014
Please, please, PLEASE kill:
a) Tom
b) Liz
or preferably
c) Both
oh, and
d) do the same to the entire task force.
Watching their (a and b) tortured love life is, well, torture. As for (d) Does ANYONE on that show exert any true character except Red?? No gravitas for miles. Very very soon the show will enter the "don't watch" territory.
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Feb 26, 2014
"Red's daughter played the piano. I keep returning to the height chart in Red's house, which stopped at 3 years old. Three-year-olds don't play piano. I'm increasing convinced there was a second child living in that house, and that that child was Liz"

You might be right about Liz being Red's daughter, but I'm not sure about this argument.

3 year old do play the piano, just not exceptionally well. And if we're talking about an older child who would play, how much older could she have been to be a better piano player but young enough to not remember any of it?
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Feb 26, 2014
I think the piano player was Red's 6-7 year old biological daughter, and Liz was the 3 year old.
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Feb 26, 2014
Ahh...I see what you're saying. Ya, I can totally see that.
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