A The Blacklist Community
Wednesday 8:00 PM on NBC (Returning October 4, 2017)

Truth: The FBI are portrayed as idiots on The Blacklist. Their incompetence has been noted by us, and by Red on multiple occasions. Still, it makes no sense that they have not been able to trace a link between Red and Sam, unless there is more to the story than we know.

Let's examine the facts:

-Sam raised Liz since she was four.

-Liz had an FBI background check, which had to include who raised her.

-Sam and Red are intimately connected.

-Sam is NOT living under an assumed identity. The proof was his funeral. If Sam had been living under a fake identity, he couldn't possibly have brought that many family members to relocate with him.

Possibility #1: Red is NOT Raymond Reddington. Red could have assumed the identity of Raymond Reddington, after tragedy struck his family. The real Raymond Reddington did leave a wife and daughter behind. The real Reddington could have been killed or perhaps he is The Adversary Red is seeking.

Strengths:
-Red says "Everything about me is a lie" in the pilot episode. This could easily refer to the identity swap.

-Red admits to having "work done" with Abraham, and yet he still looks like "Raymond Reddington". Red doesn't strike me as someone who would indulge in Botox or liposuction.

-It would explain why the FBI can't find the connection between Sam and Red. Sam is connected to Red's real identity, whatever that may be.

-It would explain why the FBI doesn't know about Red's family tragedy.

-It would explain why Red is so comfortable talking about himself in the third person when talking about making "Raymond Reddington" disappear.

-If Lizzie is Red's daughter, it would help explain why she doesn't recognize him.

Weaknesses:
-You would assume that the Navy would have the real Raymond Reddington's fingerprints on file. You would also assume they would notice if his current and past prints didn't match. Of course, I'm sure there are ways to swap out those records...

Possibility #2: The CIA is covering up all parts of Red's past connected to a mission that went bad. If Sam and Red knew each through the CIA they could have classified or just plain erased any evidence that Red and Sam were partners. If the family tragedy was connected to the mission, the CIA could have swept it under the rug and moved Red's wife into Witness Protection to prevent any eager agents like Resselar from checking up on the story.

Strengths:

-It would explain why the FBI can't find the connection between Sam and Red.

-It would explain why the FBI doesn't know about Red's family tragedy.

-It would explain the Apple man, whom I'm almost certain is CIA.


Weaknesses:
-None that I can think of so far...

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May 12, 2016
To all The Blacklist fans-stay tuned for some very interesting developments- the introduction of a new character, Reno Reddington. Is he Red's REAL brother? And how does he know so much about the fulcrum?
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May 21, 2014
Ok lets look at a few things here:
Pilot: Ressler is explaining Red. Says that Red went home on leave to see his family on xmas eve, never showed up. The picture of the girl in "The Stewmaker" is dated 12/90 I believe. Red tells Madelin Pratt about a story re: his family also on xmas eve. The details of the story may not necessarily be accurate, but the dates he used were.
The FBI doesnt find out about Lizzie's fathers life of crime because her "Father", Sam, is listed as her father. Lizzie knows shes adopted and Sam could have been the one who told her that her father abandoned her for a life of crime, and then Red mentions it. Which is how the FBI finds out.
The Scar - Lizzie tells Beth that "Her daddy gave it to me", was she abused? is "Berlin" her father/ Step-father? It looks like thats the symbol of Berlin, that same marking on Lizzie's wrist is also on the box she found in her floor, on the envelope Tom had in the safety deposit box, the stewmaker has that scar on his side, it is seen in Gina Zanetakos.
In the "Freelancer" episode, when Red and Lizzie are in Montreal and they sit down at the table, I cant fully hear what Red says but he mentions going somewhere and "Meet my daughter".
Tom and Red both claim the other arent who they say they are. Tom can easily Kill Lizzie but tells her, "Im not here to hurt you, im here to protect you", Is Berlin sending Tom to protect her from Red?
Red doesnt know what happened to his family, hence the conversation he has right before he kills Fowler.
Major Players:
Red/Lizzie/Tom/Berlin/Adversary/Finch/Cooper/Ressler/Jolene/Stewmaker/

Red funds a ballet and goes and keeps the program from that particular year, March 87? I dont remember, this his all off the top of my head (explains the jumping around)

What went wrong in the mission Red is talking about with Cooper?

Red is as lethal as he is compassionate.

Red has burns on his back, tells Lizzie the story of a friend saving her and bringing her to Sam. Tells Lizzie her father died in that fire, but I think that could be more metaphorically. When she asks how he knows her father, he says its not as simple as the question but complicated.

Berlin's daughter fell in love with a dissident who he now blames for her death. Is that Red?

Red has been keeping tabs on Lizzie for quite some time. As noted by the pilot episode when he notices she got rid of her highlights and looks less baltimore.

Obviously Red/Lizzie/ Berlin are all tied together somehow, someway. Biologically? Is it Grand-father/Father/Daughter? Uncles? I think the hardest part to judge is the age of the girl in the picture from the stewmaker. The ability to tell the age would be great!
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May 21, 2014
Also, the FBI Fingerprinted him when he first surrendered. That is how they verified it was in fact, Raymond Reddington
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May 21, 2014
I do like this Protective custody theory though,
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Dec 03, 2013
Anyone remember what was going on in '90 when Red went missing?? How about the original Gulf war. That's right, the whole "gulf thing", Saddam, Al Qaeda , terrorists, etc. goes back way further than most people pay attention to. I've got a hunch this will play significantly into things as part of the plot nobody is expecting.
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Nov 19, 2013
Maybe I'm nuts, but I got the sense in the pilot episode that Liz was estranged from her father. I don't think it was ever explicitly stated, but considering she said her dad turned to a life of crime and she had somehow hid that from the FBI (which is a mystery unto itself), I didn't think she had had contact with her father in a very long time. So when he popped up in the last episode and they talked to one another as if they had been in contact all along, I was thrown for a loop. Nothing makes sense, and the show continues getting sillier and sillier every week.
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Nov 19, 2013
No, you are not nuts. I believe they changed their minds about Liz's backstory is since the pilot. Specific things like Red and Liz talking about how she is trying to "re-write" her childhood, how she "raised herself" and how she received the burn scar from her father at 14 don't seem to easily fit with her relationship with Sam. I feel it was strange for her character to have such a good relationship, not only with Sam, but apparently with his family as well.

I'd previously felt that Liz was supposed to be a very isolated character, being close only really with her husband. It is one of the reason her she has such a strong drive to start a family of her own and why Tom's betrayal would wreck her. It would also explain her gravitating to Red, despite her better judgement, because she doesn't have a support system outside Tom. My only hope is that they haven't forgotten about the clues they dropped in the pilot, and that they have a plan to explain them.
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Nov 18, 2013
I think it is a bit of a combination...follow me here (and this is my warning for Wicked spoilers) that whatever reason Red disappeared in 1990 was totally out of the blue and I would suggest he might have been deep undercover and had been for awhile. Sam is either his handler or was just a fellow Naval officer. While Red was undercover, he discovers something horrible that makes him decide to work against whoever he was working for, and trusts only Sam with the information. They agree Sam should keep working for the government or whoever to keep Red's family safe (which is pretty much only Liz at this point), Red also ditches his 'family' which he was living with undercover (this would be the disappearance in 1990 -he'd been gone from Liz's life for awhile). Sam was totally debriefed and vetted because he was left with no real evidence and had adopted Liz out of foster care and maybe went on to do some heroic things. But, like the guy who went into deep undercover (who we know as Red) that isn't his birth name. His original identity was 'killed' and even the CIA records show that person is dead (and that is who the FBI believes is Liz's birth father).
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Nov 17, 2013
Your first theory sound more possible. Lets hope the writers have a good explanation.
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Nov 17, 2013
Can't make up my mind.
Really.
I like both your theories, for much the same reasons you've outlined.
Right now, I'm just leaning back and enjoying the ride. :)

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Nov 17, 2013
Hmmm...
Just thought about something - could the records regarding Lizzie's adoption be sealed?
If she was orphaned as the result of a crime, or related to someone linked to crime, could the adoption be part of a witness protection set-up, meaning that the name of her birth-parents may not be in her papers?
(Have no idea how "normal" adoptions not involving infants work in the US. :p)

If there's a layer of secrecy there, it might explain why the FBI were unaware of her background.
I would expect them (with the help of the CIA) to be able to dig it out when they became aware of the discrepancy, though.
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Nov 17, 2013
Good theory! And if it IS the case then we know Red was working with the government organization that covered-up his family tragedy and the death of the girl in the photo before he disappeared. Perhaps his disappearance was even sanctioned by them, a deep, deep cover mission to ultimately take down the Adversary! Oh man I can not wait for the two-parter! We are going to get some good clues, I can feel it! Stupid Voice, making us wait an extra week!
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Nov 17, 2013
What? Two weeks? :o
I hadn't heard - nooooooo!
But two-parter sounds awesome.
Hiatus will suck, though. :(
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Nov 17, 2013
Well, only eight days left now, but still it's going to be brutal. Oh well, more time to come up with conspiracy theories, I guess...
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Nov 16, 2013
I'm betting that a man of Red's talents and knowledge found a way to his really important connections under wraps. I mean the focus of this show is a list of criminals that Red has many of which the FBI doesn't even know about. So I can see a reality where no one knew about this connection.
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Nov 16, 2013
Maybe because they're too absorbed with the little things – on almost every episode so far I was thinking at one point "how did they see that so fast?!", e. g. realizing that one totally normal looking guy with a briefcase among a train full of people left a train station among a mass of people without his briefcase. I found that quite remarkably, just as Keen checking all the recently dialed phone numbers in that mobile some episode ago, identifying the individuals behind those numbers and checking them for a certain connection...wow! That's fast work!
But then again, it's their job...everyone's doing their bit of checking, and maybe therefore they miss the big connection...
(There are examples for that in real life, I guess....)
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Nov 16, 2013
I suppose human error would be an option in the real world, but I get the sense that that is not the case here. Raymond Reddington was number 4 on the most wanted list. Resselar was working his case for five years, he is supposed to be an expert on Red. The easiest stuff to learn about Raymond Reddington should be his background before he turned into an international criminal. There should be plenty of records about his life before. Someone had to have spoken to his wife at some point.

The wife could have lied, at the behest of someone. The wife could be dead and the agents investigating could have covered it up OR the wife interviewed was not Red's real wife, but the wife of the man whose identity he assumed.

In regard to Sam, we have to assume the FBI knows Sam raised Liz and that Sam's name isn't fake. We also have to assume the FBI have been doing everything in their power figure out why Red requested Liz. Finally we have to assume Red and Sam knew each other well before Red became a criminal. If Red IS Raymond Reddington they should have been able to find the link, whether Sam was a childhood friend, brother, brother in law, or partner.

Red not being Raymond Reddington would be another easy explaination why they couldn't find the link. Red's family was attacked, not Raymond Reddington's. Sam is connected to Red's real identity, not Raymond Reddington's.
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