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The Blacklist S01E22: "Berlin: Conclusion"


A show's first season finale can tell us a lot. It's the last chance to make a big impression, but also an important moment to set things in motion that were part of an original pitch or series bible, and to convince people to return in Season 2. Though things will certainly change, the Season 1 ender solidifies a show's identity. 

With that in mind, I find it amusing that The Blacklist's Season 1 finale included the big statement post-colon with "Conclusion," considering that the episode did everything it could to push off any substantive resolution. However, after 21 episodes of The Blacklist, we probably shouldn't've expected much else. This is a show that loves the allure of mystery, the paranoia that comes with the inability to trust anyone, and the simple pleasures of James Spader's Red strolling through a somewhat protected lair with one gun and a whole lot of swagger. On a weekly basis, that can work—and clearly, given the show's ratings, it has—but as The Blacklist has moved toward the end of its freshman season, the show didn't quite figure out how to successfully unveil mysteries or reveal answers to longstanding questions. That trend continued with this so-called conclusion to the two-part introduction of Berlin, as the episode did a couple things that made it appear as if some clarity was on the way, only to very quickly pull the rug out from underneath us one more time.

Don't get me wrong: I don't mind that The Blacklist wants to keep jerking us around, and I was under no illusions that this episode would answer every question, clean the slate, and set us up for a brand-new show come the fall. I've said it countless times now, but there's something very admirable about the series' broad, throwback intentions, and if that means delayed resolutions, okay. Spader is good enough, Megan Boone has improved; there's stuff to like here. 


However, what made this finale less satisfying than it could've been was that The Blacklist clearly thought that bloodshed could compensate for a lack of clarity. While the former makes for great sweeps promos, the latter definitely makes for a better episode. "Berlin: Conclusion" was one of the more violent efforts in recent weeks, and it's obvious that the mayhem was intended to be especially gruesome because so many horrible things happened to the members of the task force. Yet, there's no version of this finale where Meera getting her throat slit in a club by a lumbering Russian thug, or Cooper being attacked in the car, actually mattered. Those two weren't real—or even partially developed—characters. In fact, of the five members of the task force, they were the two least important and/or interesting. It's always unfortunate when it's evident that a show is trying to kill off long unused and underserved characters simply to ramp up the stakes or the violence, and that's exactly what happened here. "Berlin: Conclusion" strained very hard to show Lizzie or Ressler grieving over Meera's death (she had two kids!). or struggling to keep it together at Cooper's bedside, but those scenes were boilerplate and ineffective because The Blacklist hadn't given us any reason to feel invested or moved by those moments. 

By the time that Red and Lizzie made their way to Berlin's supposed hideout (Red by gunning down at least five dudes with ease; Lizzie by stupidly getting herself kidnapped by her husband), the show had had plenty of opportunities to give the audience something to chew on, to make us feel like the fact that all these blacklist cases were connected mattered, etc., but instead, it mostly resulted to violence again. The showdown between Red and "Berlin" was intense enough, and it further improved once Tom brought Lizzie into the apartment for a bit of a standoff. Yet, two or three gunshots later and it was just... done. 


Well, except for when it wasn't. It's frustrating enough when TV shows deny resolution by killing off characters before they can reveal information or let the audience understand what the hell is going on, but it's probably doubly worse when those supposedly dead characters turn out not to be who we thought they were or simply turn out not to be dead, and somehow this finale managed to whip out both of those strategies to drum up confusion and intrigue for Season 2. Of course Berlin wasn't the dude played by sort-of-recognizable Andrew Howard; he's obviously the dude played by the much more recognizable Peter Stormare! And even though we still have little idea of where Tom comes from or what he was really doing, Lizzie got a satisfying moment when she shot him—except for that he's alive, probably!

The twists and turns are part of The Blacklist's DNA, but the finale wanted to have its proverbial cake and then reveal that the cake was actually a pie masquerading as a cake. It was probably one step too far, even though I know I'll enjoy The Blacklist more with Ryan Eggold still looming as a deadly threat, or that I can look forward to more episodes with Stormare as a Big Bad. Keeping the real Berlin and Tom around rectified the lack of answers or resolution when we thought those characters were dead, but also immediately undercut any value their deaths might've had in the first place. 


The good news, I guess, is that "Berlin: Conclusion" finally revealed, at least to us, the best evidence we've seen to date that Red is Lizzie's father. He has the nasty burns to prove it. Now, Red could've simply been present for the fire that supposedly killed Lizzie's dad, but if that's the case, the show truly does enjoy screwing with us. Of course, Red spent the entire Berlin ordeal refusing to admit much about Lizzie's father's identity, even after she received information from "dying" Tom that suggested that he was alive. I commend the show for taking 22 hours to reveal something that it so blatantly telegraphed in its first 30 minutes, though I suppose there were enough red herrings to keep the arc interesting over the course of the season. I don't have an issue with the actual information, but with how the show handled it, and how that speaks to Lizzie's role in the story. She can't just take Red's word for everything, not anymore. The finale wanted us to view her choice to work with him again as this big emotional moment—and another reunion between the estranged father-daughter combo—but it still made her look pretty dumb. That needs to change sooner rather than later.

While "Berlin: Conclusion" was far from satisfying, I also find it hard to be too disappointed about the end of The Blacklist's first season. For the most part, the show stayed true to itself—its violent, vague, and kind of silly self. The series has a very clear identity and mode of storytelling, both of which were further underscored by this two-parter. Not many shows know exactly what they are and embrace it so efficiently, especially this early in their runs. That's something, even if I don't always care for it. Until next fall!



NOTES

– Thanks for reading and commenting throughout the season folks, and for keeping the community going when we weren't checking in. You're all on my blacklist—or something.

– Good for Alan Alda for getting those checks, but my is his Finch character a bore.

– Ressler's experiences have changed him, you guys. He's willing to choke you with a blazer. Quite the Jack Bauer contemporary, huh?

– Pretty cheap of the episode to bring back the bracelet given to Lizzie in the pilot. You have to love (read: loathe) such desperate attempts to signify that IT'S ALL COMING FULL CIRCLE. 

– Considering the magnitude of the crash and the city's history with plane-related incidents, you'd think a few more people would've been freaking out, no? Lotta people just jogging in the park like it's nothing. 

– Any predictions or guesses as to what Berlin wants with Red? That was some kind of creepy story that Berlin told about his time in Siberia.


What'd you think of the finale, and the season overall? What's on your wishlist for Season 2?

 

Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 5/19/2016

Season 3 : Episode 23

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Some commenter on ScreenRant made a hugely valid point: it's possible that Lizzie's father mentored Red or was a close friend, and Red was sent in to protect Lizzie or rescue her (Sam and Red were close friends and it's even possible Red was her godfather), and the burns were accumulated from that ordeal, hence his protective and fatherly feelings/priorities towards her.
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I loved to read that. Nevertheless, Red can not be Lizz father, only the one that saved her from the fire getting her out from her real father's house. Red's old house was still standing at 2013 , and with no fire marks under the new cover of the walls
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Personally I believe that Red was seriously burned in the fire and the man that he formally was did die in the fire. Out of that fire was born Red Reddington. Just a conclusion from the scars on his back (obviously scars from second and third degree burns), general relationship and weakness regarding Red's care and concern for Lizzie, and the insight into her psyche (very similar to his own). True, Red has never lied to Lizzie as any lie would both place her in jeopardy as well as their relationship. Most importantly revealing that he is her biological father would "ruin" her position with the FBI, compromise her safety further, cause a "conflict of interest" resulting in her word and actions being scrutinized which may or may not have criminal (legal) consequences, possibly cost Red his own life, and lastly, create a wedge that would eliminate Red's ability to interact with Lizzie, even if it is only in a "professional" way. Just my opinion, not that it counts :-)

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My theory is this: Red is the person Berlin's daughter fell in love with, Lizzie is their child. They were discovered and Red had to choose between saving Lizzie or his lover, and he chose Lizzie, allowing the death of Berlin's daughter at the hands of the Stewmaker. Berlin blames Red and wants him (and Lizzie) dead as retribution.
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Exactly what i was thinking.
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Peter Stormare!! and only Red can eat peaches like a boss!!
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To my mind, Red's burn scars do not prove that he is her father.
He may have been the man trying to take down her father and thereby CAUSING the fire.
He may have been a protective agent trying to protect Lizzie's mother (Berlin's daughter) and getting badly hurt in the process, which would also help explain why Sam took Lizzie in - they could have been working together, but Red was just too badly hurt to step up and take care of her...
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I don't think Red could have caused the fire because all signs point to the fire being on Christmas Eve 1990. Red dropped Liz off at Sam's the night he went on the run AND in Red's flashback of the fire there is a Christmas ornament. He doesn't know what happened to his family today, so I have trouble believing he knew who was responsible that night and was able to find their house. One possible alternative to Red being her father is if her father was Red's partner/friend, who was married to Berlin's daughter. They could have had plans to spend Christmas Eve together, Red's family and the partner/friend family. I would help explain why Red initially thought someone was after him, when in fact it was Berlin being targeted. Red's family just became collateral damage. I am a fan of this theory because Red could have spent alot of time with her prior to 1990. I want that love that he has for her to be based in something other than a life saving and then 20+ years of stalking.
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So without a doubt (which in blacklist terms means: until proven otherwise since anything ever turns out to be what it really seems) Liz has to be related to Berlin. Berlins grudge with Red is because of his daughter. Either Red was the cause of his daughters death or directly linked to his daughter romantically. Red showing his burns was a way to give us what we wanted. That hope that he may be her long lost father but I doubt that is the truth. he was in the fire but not as her dad. Probably as a bystander, someone coming after her dad maybe or a friend. I hate that Meera died though. Anyone notice how only the diversity actors(actresses) got hit btw.
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Also, one more thing.... Why did they kill off Meera? I really liked her character.

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Yeah, me too... :(
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So Tom is probably still alive, even though he was shown to have died. I kind of speculated that they would bring him back for season 2. Just by the Ford Commercials alone that the actor was in, you just knew that the Tom character will continue into season 2.

Red is either Liz's father or some uncle......... And/or...... maybe the other guy in an affair Liz's mother had. He could also had been some bodyguard for the family. Who knows..., I'll just wait for season two or whenever they reveal it. This is sort of like a Red John story concept from the The Mentalist. The answers may not be revealed until season 5 or in the series finale. Then everyone will say, "What a disappointing Series Finale........"
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Also, did the smaller Russian assassin refer to Ressler as a "ginger"? He never seemed particularly ginger to me..
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yeah, it struck me as odd too.
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Well, Red has a picture of Berlin's Daughter that he got from the Stewmaker that a lot of people thought was a picture of Red's own daughter...so there's that...assuming anything about that story about Berlin was true (knowing the show, it could be true, but perhaps the roles of Red and Berlin were swapped and that prison story with the body parts actually happened to Red...but who knows).
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I'm satisfied with this season ending. Of course, I wasn't expecting any conclusion despite the title. I think it's very hard to believe that a man with Red's resources and skills doesn't know who's after him, as always he knows more than he is telling.
So this Berlin guy (Peter Stormare, always creepy) remains a true mistery, though I still think it is all connected to Lizzie's biological father. Speaking of which, that last scene might have given the sensation that it could be Red after all, specially judging by the burn in his back.
The killing of two agents of the task force clearly indicates that Berlin is on a personal vendetta against Red, the reason is still in the shadows.
Anyway, I give a 10 to the whole season. This will be a long, long summer to wait for the next one.
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James Spader did some heavy lifting this season. I watch the show for Red. Let's see where this takes us next year
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Reds wife was Berlin's daughter. She was taken on Christmas and the people who took her killed reds daughter. Reds car ran out of gas and he arrived late to find her body and his wife gone. That's the house in VA that he bought and blew up. The guys who took his wife sent her body parts to Berlin. The stewmaker took care of this and the rest of her body, that's why he had her pic. And that's what landed him on the blacklist. The day of his daughters murder was the day Red left the government and went underground to find the man who killed his family. Berlin blames red for his daughters death because he was the reason she was imprisoned in the first place and or he didn't save her from this guy, number 1 on the blacklist. Somehow Red didn't know who her father was? Seems weird that he wouldn't know but I guess it's possible?
Flash forward and perhaps Red took the daughter of the man who killed his family( #1),Liz. He raised her and saved her from the fire when #1s guys or some other enemy came after Red.Realizing he couldn't keep her safe and that she was the way to get to #1 and that by this time he loved her as a father, he took her to his childhood friend who raised her as his own. The whole point of the blacklist is to find #1 and that's what Red has been doing his whole criminal career. He realized he could never do this if he stayed a good guy. Another thought I had is that Liz could be Reds wife's daughter from a previous relationship with #1? So she reminds Red of his wife and daughter. He had planned to kill her when he took her but fell in love with her instead? Nothing to back up this idea but it's kinda fun and speaks to his love for "Lizzy".
And maybe Berlin and red will end up going after #1 together?
Just some ideas.
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Well... what did we learn during 22 episodes except Tom is liar?
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LOL! That's so darn true...
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Did anyone else see Peter Stormare lying in the bed and think to themselves "oh look, there's Kyser Sose"
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total soze
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really good to know that they mention Harold Finch from POI in blacklist :D
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Totally agreed with the review, pretty disappointing finale and not a very interesting set up for Season 2. The show needs a big shake up or it will struggle next fall...
  • This show confuses mystery (a good thing) with confusion and the fast paced editing and Red spouting cryptic blah blah doesn't hide the sloppy writing either
  • The red herrings are so glaringly obvious... Clearly that walking cliche of a Russian was never going to be the real Berlin and it was insulting that we were expected to believe even for a second that he was...
  • It is tiresome how stupid the FBI is made to look every week... Like not keeping proper security on the 'guard' that had cut off his hand... come on... even if they believed without the shadow of a doubt he was 'just a guard' surely he deserved more scrutiny seeing how little the FBI knew about this huge security breach into US territory? And how stupid was the way they expected Red to 'pretend' he got away from the FBI? Punching funny hair guy Walter and then strangling the driver? Yep, that sounds like FBI protocol all right
  • Now in terms of characters Spader's Red is the only thing that saves this show. Dembe is underutilized but well he has most charisma than most other chracters even when he says nothing in most eps. Even 'Tom Keen' is more interesting and compelling than that terrible FBI taskforce. So I do Tom comes back and that they get rid of Cooper who is a terrible character and a pretty useless agent (esp. as the alleged lead of the taskforce) as was Meera. The Blacklist really needs more credible and interesting characters to prop up Boone cause she needs it. She also needs the writers to give her better lines and have her act less like the weak link and more like a serious agent. She can't keep accepting Red's cryptic bullshit either...
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i WAS ANNOYED WITH THE FINALE....HOW STUPID CAN THIS GIRL BE....SHE IS SUPPOSED TO BE A FBI TRAINED PROFILER AND SHE KEEPS GETTING PLAYED BY THE PEOPLE IN HER LIFE....ALL HAIL JAMES SPADER...IF HE WERE NOT HERE THIS SHOW WOULD BE HORRIBLE
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well an homage to "The Usual Suspects" ! i saw that coming before the stormare character opened his mouth
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I think that Red/ Lizzie have no actual connection to Berlin's daughter personally. I think red is the one who was hired/tasked in getting Berlin's daughter to safety.

First i think that Red and Berlin are of similar age, of course Berlin is older however I think they are easily within 10-15 years of each other. So maybe Berlin sought the help of a young rising star in the criminal world as an outsider/ someone who wasn't connected to everything, to get his daughter out of the country and to safety?

Think about it, Red has mentioned several times that he can get anyone out of any situation, any time. Perhaps Red thought that he successfully retrieved Berlin's daughter and delivered her to safety as promised. Then didn't realize when she was taken back to Russia?

Also if the story about Berlin in prison is true than his daughter was sent back to him in little pieces. ( the odd pointy object on the floor of Berlin's room was the cameras focus for at least 2-4 seconds, that can't be a coincidence.).

Which means IF Berlin's daughter was in the house and is Red's wife/ Lizzie's mother than she didn't die in the fire. I think the Russians sent Berlin his daughter in pieces to show that Berlin could hire the 'best' and it still wouldn't be enough.
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Berlin is clearly Red's father in law. The guy practically admitted it when was in hospital. Berlins daughter was murdered and he blames red for not protecting her. I admit I assumed earlier in the season that Berlin was Reds wife but as soon as I saw who was in the hospital it all clicked. Listening to the guy talk it was beyond obvious he was Berlin, he said Berlin was after those he blamed for what happened to his daughter, that includes the husband who failed to protect her.

It is also clear what Red is tryig to do withg his word choice when he tells Liz her dad is dead. He said her dad died that day, he has said before when he lost his family the man he was died. His view it is that he gave her up to protect her and the man that raised her is the only person with the right to be called her father.
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That sounds like a plausible scenario though I am still hoping somehow Red won't be Lizzie's dad. If he is the bio dad, to me it would be really lame all the half truths he's been spouting.
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I think Berlin is Lizzie's grandfather. Her mother was the one the Russians killed, but not before she gave birth. and the picture is of her mother.

Perhaps Red helped the Russians find the mother and has felt bad about it ever since. And had Lizzie raised by a friend as penance. He might have kept the picture from the dissolver guy so A) Lizzie wouldn't see it and B) he feels bad about the whole ordeal and keeps it as a reminder. It would explain why Berlin hates Red anyway.

or maybe Red is the father after all and Berlin hates him just because
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Red had nothing to do with his wifes death. He did not even know what happened to her other then someone killed her. He assumed it was someone trying to kill him. Berlin just blames Red for not protecting Berlins daughter/Reds wife/ Liz mother.
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Yeh that was my thought on the last line I wrote. That red is the father and. Berlin hates him for failing to protect her
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Idk ,It all seem a bit excessive to me, Redd's love for Lizzie, His not telling her the truth abouth her father. Berlin and co killing all these people to get at Reddington. The show hasnt really given a glimpse of why such extrodinary effort s have been made. All the reasons Reddington gave have been trite so far for me. Frankly the Blacklisters are what has kept me coming back week after week .

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Am I the only one who never realized Liz had a wig in the early episodes?

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Nope, I didn't realize until someone mentioned it. I did think her hairstyle was kind of old fashioned and stiff, but I thought that was just styling product magic and the show trying to portray Lizzie as straight-laced.

Isn't the actress still wearing a partial wig or hair extensions now and just letting the front of her short hair show??
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No!
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My whacky theory: Lizzie is BERLIN'S daughter, not Red's.

Red was involved in taking Berlin's daughter and possibly in making Berlin think she was dead by sending body parts to him. It would definitely explain Berlin's obsession with getting to and hurting/killing Red.

It seems to me BL tries really hard to throw up red herrings (see what I did there?) and showing the scars all over Red so soon after showing the burning house just smacks of misdirection.

Why this theory CAN'T be true: Red has no idea why Berlin wants him and if Red had taken his daughter, Red would KNOW that was why Berlin was pissed.

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I don't think so, because Red said her biological father died in the fire and Berlin was in jail at the time. Berlin's daughter died December 1990. The fire happened the next Red disappeared (Christmas eve 1990).
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BUT, note that Red had a picture of a girl -- and it looked to me to be the same girl Berlin had in his pocket watch. So, maybe...?
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The picture was the one he picked up out of the Stewmaker's photos. Yes it was the same girl from the pocket watch photo.
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Lizzie is way too young to be Berlin's daughter. From the picture he had of his daughter she was grown when she disappeared. Lizzie was a young child when she was brought to Sam
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Could she be his grand daughter?
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I never cared for Cooper and wouldn't mind if he got replaced with either a new guy or with Bressler.

I did like Meera, however, and am annoyed she's gone -- though I agree she was HIGHLY underused, given her skill-set. She was back office support FAR too often.
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I liked Cooper well enough -- though I don't think representing the rules and government as he does that his character was meant to be liked.

I find it interesting/weird that he sounds almost exactly like President Obama and read an article about how the actor who plays Cooper helped coach Obama in preparation for his first Presidential race.

I'm also with the other posters who've mentioned wanting to see casting diversity with more POC and women, not fewer. In a espionage tinged drama like this one, it would be all too easy to do the usual, and just fill the cast with white men.
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Idk if it's right or I'm to high for watching the episode but, I was thinking about the history of Berlin and Redd. Redd was a US soldier, and Berlin daugther fall in love with a dissident (MAYBE REDD), we need to think that Berlin is like 30-40+years older than redd. Redd just begun to treat with the "dark side" after they tried to kill his family, maybe, when the Russians was triying to find Berlin daughter clearly they got her and burn Redd house where he was hiding, with Liz inside, yeah, Berling daughter is Liz mom!!!!!! Redd wife!!
For that Redd doesn't know anything about why Berlin is triying to fuck him up, it's because redd has no idea of who is Berlin, neither know that his wife was the Berling daughter D:!!, clearly he's understanding that now somehow.
It's my crazy theory about what is going on, sorry about my bad english.
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I believe Red (or his former self that "died" the night of the fire) is Lizzie's father and Berlin's dead daughter is Lizzie's mother. She was killed by Russian agents for aligning herself with an American agent (Red) so Berlin views Red as being repainted for her death and wants to kill him/make him pay.
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If what Red meant by that is the "Darth Vador killed your father" thing, then I will be officially pissed. That would just be super lame and annoying in my opinion. But I read an interview with Bokenkamp, the director, and he said that Red was telling Liz what he believed to be the truth.

So I'm pretty sure that Lizzy's memory of her father is in fact Red saving her from the fire (actually, that was my theory last fall, so I was pretty psyched when Red told the story and then seeing Red's burns). And I think Red attempted to kill her real father, was sure he killed him, but he actually made it out alive.
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If that's the case, why would Berlin want Lizzie dead?
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I think he sent Tom to protect her... he was going after Red, he knew Red would seek out Lizzie so he sent Tom to watch over her and make sure she didn't get up in any crossfire. That's why Tom was all cryptic-like and 'you-don't-know-the-full-story' etc etc. And, at the end of the day he is a soldier with a mission - hence the need for, you know, the odd scrap or two with punches traded between them...
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But wasn't her name on the list that the faux Berlin gave Tom along with the others up for elimination?
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Yes, but we never directly heard anyone say the plan was the same for everyone on the task force. One way or another the plan was different for Liz because she was abducted, by Tom and brought back to the warehouse. There is also the fact that Tom doesn't just shoot Red the second he walks in the room with Liz. Liz is his human shield, so its not like he has to worry about Red's gun going off, UNLESS Tom is worried Red would accidentally shoot Liz.
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Or hold her at gunpoint multiple times... you know.
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@jennifermitch5 Believe me, I'm a Tom fan, but I just don't see that he's been there for her protection. Primarily, at least. Tom assumes Red knows why he there, so he wouldn't have pulled a gun on Liz if he thought Red thought Tom was their for her protection. If that makes sense.
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Well, its not like Tom could have just gone, "Hey, Babe, feel like driving to meet your maternal grandpa, who incidentally just killed your colleague and attacked your boss?" And as far as using her a a human shield, he knows Red is not going to shoot her, and putting the gun to her head, he is trying to scare Red into putting his gun down. Whether or not she was in any actual danger is debateable.
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I gave up on the show after 9 episodes... the show had its chance. I won't be returning for the Fall.
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Wow. Your review really did hone in on the fact that the show reveals nothing. I was literally seething with frustration! Like wth happened on the show!?! Is he going to tell me what happened!?! Nope, that's just the nature of the show. I have officially lost all interest. There's a really big problem with your show if even one's review seems too cloak & dagger-ish.
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LOL I love you guys and girls on this site. You did nothing but crap on the show the whole revue but you were "not disappointed by the show, just ride that fence...lmao.
Anyway, I was upset they didn't resolve either of the main stories in the finale, I thought the idea of ending a season was to resolve at least one story line while setting up for next year.
But the writers of the Blacklist feel different I guess.
Overall I thought the season was a little jumbled, taking a while to cement the story lines,( its called season 1 for a reason) but James Spader really made it worth the watch and I am looking forward to next year..cheers

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Goodbuy Blacklist. I gave it all, but just couldn't help getting more and more bored with the story. It simply takes too long. Sorry, but I won't be returning in the fall.
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Okay things don't match up fully. The more I think about it the more it doesn't make sense that Red is her father but we know he was there and treats her as such. I like ukeishiro's godfather idea. It helps with the idea of the FBI would have checked if Red's and Liz's blood matched.
According to Berlin (former Red Army and KGB), his daughter fell in love with a dissident. She was captured, imprisoned and had an arranged escape. Berlin was imprisoned because he arranged the escape. While imprisoned he received a picture of his daughter then her body parts piece by piece. Then Berlin escaped.

We also have said daughter's picture in the Boilermaker's possession.

So She couldn't have both deaths. Thus either both are fake or the piece by piece is fake. Thus death number one could be to torture Berlin because they couldn't get his daughter or to fake her death in a way.

If it was Red who was with Berlin's daughter than he would probably know what Berlin looked like but more so Berlin would know who Red was. Thus if he knew that Red was his son-in-law and that Red had ties to a girl that could be the same age as a grandchild, wouldn't he think its possible that the Liz was Berlin's granddaughter? Thus wouldn't he not kill Liz? But the fake-Berlin was planning to kill her (though he said vague words). Plus if Tom was protecting her wouldn't he have taken a blood sample at some point to compare if she was related to Berlin?

So anyway it seems that Berlin's son-in-law is suppose to be Russian though he could have just been a foreigner over in Russia. But I find it amusing that Reddington's nickname is Red. Maybe it is because he was on the Navy's guy in Russia as well.

So anyway if he is Liz's godfather instead, he could have been a close family friend and have been with Liz since she was a baby. So he'd be an honorary family member.
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You've written nothing but nonsense.
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Didn't think it was that nonsensical. I got the part about Berlin's daughter not being able to have two deaths -- being dismembered piece by piece vs. being dissolved by the Boilermaker. I'm not sure why Berlin would lie about his daughter's dismemberment. The rest of the story, his imprisonment in Siberia and his escape could have been lies to heighten his mystique (though we are given the payoff with the shiv make from a human bone towards the end of the ep) but lying about how his daughter was killed?
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I wasn't saying he was lying about his daughter being killed. I think he believes his daughter was killed. I'm just saying that the dismemberment death could have been fake to make him believe it. And that the boilermaker death was possibly real.
However . both Red and Berlin have the same pic of her. A pic that makes it look as if she is unconcious. Thus it is more likely that both of her deaths were orchestrated by the same people. Soooo given that , it is possible she might not be dead either.
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There are only two reasons that really work for Red's obsession with Liz:

1) She is his daughter and he is attempting to save her from his enemies.

2) She is the daughter of his enemy and he's been hiding her for 30 years from him as means lure out his enemy.

Now, here is the problem with Berlin. If he has found out that Liz and Red have a connection the first link he would want to explore is possibly familial relationship. i.e. Father-Daughter. If so then embedding Tom is a means to get close to Red and kill her in front of Red as means of payback.

Now, if she is merely a connection to some other person Red wants to get to -- than keeping her alive is not that important once Red has reconnected with her. In fact killing her makes sense because it puts pressure on Red's adversary to take action against him. This is would be especially true if Berlin happened to leak the information about Red's involvement her death. People get pissed when still their children and then get them killed. I mean just for stealing a child some very powerful parents might hire a hitman to make you disappear. Now imagine you have the resources of the CIA and DOD on your side what you would do with a man who's kidnapped your daughter and then gotten her killed?

Now, option three Berlin is related to Liz. If Berlin blames Red for the death of his daughter. It seems the first thing that he would do is research how exactly his daughter died. An wow amazingly digging through her records he would find the following: a birth certificate for a girl named Elizabeth... Then he would find adoption papers by Sam Keen (I'm guessing at some point). My point is that if Berlin wants to hurt Red than Liz is only a gate way into Red's life... She is not the person you kill.

I'm pretty sure as twisted and sick as Berlin is he wouldn't want his own granddaughter killed by Tom. Now will the writers care about logical development that is another question. However, we'll see what happens after all Tom did go from protecting Liz supposedly to attempting to kill her. So that doesn't leave much in the way for Berlin being the grandfather of Liz. You don't kill your own granddaughter in your plan to avenge the death of your daughter. But if Berlin merely knows that Liz is important to Red than killing her is an option.
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I guess its more like a stream of consciousness. If other people don't get it either I'll rewrite it but it makes enough sence to me.
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Actually, you just haven't removed Red from the possible father category yet.
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Yeah I don't. I start with removing him and then putting him back on then removing him again.
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Basically this story for all of its convoluted twists and turns is an eye for an eye story-- Some one killed Berlin's family and now he wants to Kill Red's family....
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I have mixed feeling about the finale. We all knew the series has been renewed for season 2. So I figured they wouldn't catch the Berlin and I knew Tom would survive ( if he does then I would be surprised after three gunshot wounds). I am sure the meera is in witness protection now. The character was wasted. The actor ( Parminder Nagra) cant get a break. She is a wonderful actress and I thought she would be Red's love interest. I don't know why they changed that.

The first half of the series was very good. After that the writers just were lost. I thought Tom was some big deal and in the end he was just a henchman. I love James Spader and was the only thing I paid attention to, rest were white noise for me. Harold was a lousy chief.

One thing I couldn't get is, the team are highly trained agents and were best in their field then how did they always end up being dead of injured,

I think Red is her father. When he says that her father is dead, he means the the good part of him. If he is her father then he should just confess or let her find out. It would be better than the Berlin plot.

Out of the shows I cant wait for next season this is not making it on the list.
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I was very excited about this show in the beginning. Seeing James Spader back, and in such a role as was designed for his talent, then to watch as the writers and his fellow actors slowly melted. It is very painful. I feel that somehow they did not think that they would survive the entire season and are fighting to come up with a story now that the show is so popular. I hope they get some good rest and come back strong in season 2, or I am afraid that I will no longer watch.
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If Berlin is #8, who do the writers have in mind for one through seven?

How long / big is The Blacklist?
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The list is infinite as long as the ratings are good.
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I really enjoyed the finale.
I don't think he is her father.
Her father is alive, but a very bad man, possibly Berlin
Red saved her from the fire and her father.
I don't think Tom is dead, his body was not there.

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Of course they can't tell us all the answers unless they have a new mystery for next season. And this mystery is either too good to solve right now or too screwed up.

What do we know about the connection between Red and Liz:

1. To Red, the connection is such that he finds protecting Liz worth the possibility of spending his life imprisoned without a trial and worth risking death and serious injury.

2. He has denied being her father.

3. He told Liz that her father died in the fire.

4. The connection between the two is discoverable because Berlin discovered it.

5. Liz's adoptive father and Red had some sort of friendship.

6. Liz's adoptive father and whoever brought Liz to him had what would be a close friendship--close enough for the guy to agree to take care of Liz.

7. Red seems to believe that the truth of who Liz's father is/was is so horrible that he cannot tell Liz the truth.

Anything else?

A bit of analysis here--which I am sure is incomplete and based on fragments and my memory--so, please feel free to add to it and point out weaknesses and inconsistencies:

I'm a father and an uncle--and after my divorce was single for over 20 years. The only kids other than my own that I would ever have agreed to raise without question were my nieces and nephews. I can think of maybe one or two friends that I might have agreed to raise kids for and maybe a couple of cousins--but I'm not sure. I would have to be the choice of last resort.

And I'm pretty sure that I would not risk my life to save the adult child of one of my friends.

So, to me, that means that Red is either a close relative or maybe a bit mentally unbalanced to consider Liz worth suffering death and torture for (possible--he is, afterall, a psychopath in regards to most of his relationships) .

Red said that Liz's father "died" in the fire. Certainly he could have meant symbolically died. Or died for real. If symbolically, then Red could be her father. And so could Berlin. If her father died for real, then obviously neither one of those two men could be her father.

I think that either Red is a close relative like a father or uncle or cousin OR Red is playing Liz to continue to get FBI protection and help to fight Berlin, who clearly wants Red dead.

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" ... but my is his Finch character a bore."

Well, I like Harold Finch! ;)
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It's Fitch on this show, Finch on POI.
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That really wasn't a conclusion. Also Tom and Red are the only reasons I watch the show, so if Tom is really dead there goes 50% of my motivation to tune in. You better bring him back, NBC, because I didn't see a corpse!
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Nice thought but the fact that not only was Tom's body not there but then they panned to the spot he was and focused there for awhile suggests that they are telling you that he escapped.
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With three bullets in the gut in real life it would be impossible, but it's television so I'm hoping he will be back next season ;)
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If you're shot in the torso, gut is the best way to go since it is a lack of vital organs.
Also Tom was shot at point blank range which is mainly bad but can be good. The bullet should pass through but at the same time it should be a larger radius of damage.

But did he have any protective gear on?

Overall, most likely Tom would be eating out of a bag.
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I don't think he had protective gear. Lizzy was pressing her palm on his stomach, trying to slow down the bleeding. I think she would have noticed. Also there was blood on the floor and back wall.
You are right, but he could have spinal damage in addition to the damage mostly to the small intestine and the large intestine. Not to mention the blood loss leading to all sorts of complications. But whatever. Gunshot wounds in television are only dangerous if you're a red-shirt.
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The reviewer slagged off Alan Alda's performance, but I actually thought it was quite good. Alda a foil for Spader as (larger-than-life) Red and as such has to hit just the right notes -- I thought he did so here.

I also enjoyed the back and forth between Spader and the agent ordered to let him escape.
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Nice ending, Liz could know if Red her father or not by DNA test, she could get it easily many times.. I am looking forward to see how Red and Liz will hunt Berlin down. he always missing a hand like what happen in Prison Break.. LOL
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The show like to keep his secret but not always good at it. I knew like I think almost everybody else that Berlin was the man with the hand cut off and not the one Red killed as soon as I saw him. And the fact that Red killed the man without obtaining any answers was the proof.

For the mystery about Keen's father I'm still not convinced that Red is her father. OK he has burn's marks probably link to those of her, ok he care deeply about Elizabeth, OK the show put us in this direction. But I think Red was in the house with Lizzie's father and her when it burned and he was the one asking Sam to take care of her. I think that he is something like her godfather or uncle or a very near friends of her father.
And I think it's possible and likely that Lizzie's father is still alive.
This may be a bit twisted but maybe Lizzie is Berlin's daughter and what was send to him was pieces of somebody else. That could explain why Red doesn't want her to know who is father is and why he doesn't know who Berlin is because he thinks that Keen's father died in the fire.
In this case Red would be her godfather or something like that but he took care of her after the fire because she remind him of his own daughter.
Tom could be alive too or his body was moved by Dembe in order to protect Elizabeth. because the authority would have link him to her and ask embarrassing questions.

A few episode ago Tom said to Lizzie that he was her to protect her, that Red was the bad guy not him, if I'm not mistaken. But he doesn't seemed there to protect her in this episode on the contrary even if he didn't seemed able to pull the trigger.

I was a bit disappointing by the finale because the killed one of the main character and put another in the hospital between life and death but without almost no emotion. And mostly because we didn't get any answer at all, just some suppositions and more questions.
Well maybe we'll get some answers next season or in the first half of season 6...
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I actually liked the finale a lot. We finally got the confirmation of Red being Liz's father and I was seriously shocked about Malik's death. (R.I.P)
Hopefully we'll find out about the reason for Red leaving his daughter alone with Sam and what happened to Tom in season 2.
Only thing I didn't like: THE MISSING CLIFFHANGER!
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He definitely isn´t her father, it was confrimed by writers several times it think. He was just there - maybe he was the one go gave her to Sam.
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What swayed you to thinking that Red is Keen's father?

For me, it's still inconclusive. I only got from this ep that he was there at the fire where Keen's father died (either literally or figuratively).
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Of course it's still insecure, but at least they gave us some hope and new puzzle pices that may help us to figure out the truth. Best example is Berlin who we thought could be Liz's biological father, but the picture inside his pocket watch showed us another face. It's up to season 2 to tell us the connection between the girl and Red who's obviously familiar with her.
Lately it was the scars which confirmed my suspicion regarding Red's fatherhood...
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well this could take some time to unravel ...

TB ... serious problems with what we were just 'fed'

an FBI Task Force (with CIA/FAA/NTSB involvement-because of the plane
"crash/attack" with a slew of the 'right' SURVIVORS AND NEXT TO (or at least
within walking distance of) an Emergency Room of a hospital for a severed hand?)

VS. at-best a brotherhood attached to an individual i.e. "Berlin (No. 8)", which
we know is an individual (not a Russian mafia, not a cartel, not a Russian gov't
agency, not a suicide-loaded faction of devotees - yes, any number of group-
types..NOT) with huge funds available for his/their complete uninhibited use,
who/which has sort of been 'on the radar' for at least 6 years, according to Red,
and 'under the radar' since Liz was 5 (at/in a fire presumably in USA and not on
foreign soil) -

1) the plane (a 2-prop DC3?) ... a prison transport from Bogota (to New York)? -
with a 'top-notch' federal agency approved flight-plan arranged in advance? over/to US soil? ... (a police-type-bus hi-jacking would have been more believable) as I am not sure if that plane could make the distance without a landing/refueling?

- a lot of damage to a crash site that has survivors? was the plane flying? 300+ mph, altitude 3000 feet? - news flash from Donald: NYPD just apprehended 2 suspects in a car-jacking, they think they were passengers in the plane ...a Chechnian mobster and a Columbian drug-dealer ...(survivor types: Columbian, Serbian, Russian)... more news: 3 of the prisoners from that crashed plane
remain-at-large... =5 +1 gun battle +1 hospital ... 8 dead +2 unidentified hand-cuffed to seats...

2) the list ... Elizabeth Keen, Harold Cooper, Donald Ressler, Meera Malik, Aram
Mojtabai (not listed - Ray Reddington - btw they know Sam is dead? Tom Keen should have told them in between his "I've-been-compromised" phone calls and his not heard/contacted from anyone for 2 years?)

3) ... you get the idea? ... Hope they re-continue the original premise of this show!!
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Yes, this was played for maximum effect, never mind the plausibility. Red was able to escape from his high security escort with just the say-so of the Alan Alda character. So, it's really strange that someone who can hire operatives like Tom and Craig and maybe Jolene (and keep them in place -- presumably paying them -- for years) could just have paid off someone in Columbia to engineer his release and others to get him to New York less dramatically.
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I actually did like the finale, found it satisfying because, as you said, it stayed true to itself.
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The Blacklist - Here is what we know and don't know

1) Berlin is Red's enemy BUT WE STILL DO NOT KNOW why he is going after RED. What did RED do to HIM? IF RED DID KILL BERLIN's DAUGHTER, HOW COME RED DOES NOT KNOW OR REMEMBER WHO IS BERLIN?

2) Liz said the cases, the people on the BLACKLIST is connected so we trust that indeed the numbers all means something BUT WE STILL DO NOT KNOW how it is connected to BERLIN?

3) We now know Liz was saved from the fire and given to Sam to be raised BUT WE STILL DO NOT KNOW WHO SAVED HER FROM THE FIRE, WHO IS HER REAL FATHER OR DID HE DIE IN THE FIRE?

So after 22 episodes, many cases solved, more dead bodies and we still have not solve any mystery that was presented since episode one.

Sometimes I think THE BLACKLIST writers loved to shock us with mystery but I am not even sure if they have actually figure out the answers themselves.

It feels like they have not actually written or at least have not decided on the answers to all the questions yet. Now there have a few more months to work on it.

Again the thing that impress me about the episode was not the explosion, mistake identity or "shocked" character death. It was James Spader! He was magnificient in the scene with fake Berlin, delivering his speech about NOT knowing why BERLIN is after him. I enjoyed it so much I rewind and watched it twice.

I am not sure if I am back for season two. If lower ratings means faster answers, I am praying for lower ratings come season two if I do decide to continue watching.
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Like Red explained in his speech to the fake Berlin, he always remembers everything about everyone. However, "Berlin" is just a nickname, Red still does not know his real name, and Red still has not seen his real face. When he finally meets him face to face.... Red will know. But Berlin may be unfairly blaming Red for his daughter's death. For all we know, Red may have been set up (by Blacklister #1 perhaps?) to take the fall.

And I agree, there would be no show without James Spader. He truly is Raymond Reddington, every scene, every line, every close up of those expressions... make us believe that he is Red, 100%. That's the trademark of a good actor. Unfortunately no one else on the show can hold a candle to him. But James Spader makes it all worth while.
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I agree that what this episode did was re-raise many of the old questions, couched in fascinating Red dialogue and raise new ones. That was okay with me.

I loved Red's speech to the faux Berlin, as well and also him telling Liz later that he knew the guy couldn't be Berlin and was expendable when he mentioned Beirut.

Loved Red's conversation with the Russian ambassador.

Keen remains a dumb-dumb. I mean who just sits in their car with the windows open and doors unlocked when they know that hitmen are looking for them?

But Spader is worth the price of admission.
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"Of course Berlin wasn't the dude played by sort-of-recognizable Andrew Howard; he's obviously the dude played by the much more recognizable Peter Stormare!" I had the exact same thought while I was watching the show. Peter Stormare had to be the villain. Also, the statements "he cut of off his hand". If you are interrogating someone and you don't ask for a clarification on that statement, you should be fired. You clearly are not trying to extract useful Intel from your subject.
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Questions: If Berlin is No. 8 on The Blacklist, who the hell is No. 1?
Wasnt Berlin supposed to be Red's most "powerfull" enemy?
Are the members of that "council" Red has evidence on, the first 7?
Could Lizzie be No. 1 if she is indeed the daughter of his enemy?

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