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S08.E21: Nachalo

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17 hours ago, Brian Cronin said:

I assume it was some form of hypnosis. I recall they established some form of high end hypnosis earlier in the series (perhaps part of the plot where they explained how Liz's memories were re-written? I can't recall for sure). 

Hypnosis?  Seriously? Will that be explained or are we just supposed to handwave?

 

A poster mentioned no more Boone?

 Praise be.

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1 hour ago, paigow said:

Probably Reddington 1.0

Yep, Original Gangster Red, as Julian Sands told Lizzie several season finales ago.

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On 6/17/2021 at 12:20 AM, Brian Cronin said:

For one example from a Season 4 episode, Alexander Kirk (Constantine Rostov) loved Katarina and thought Liz was his kid. He was going to kill Red (after Red said Liz was Red's daughter) until Red whispered something to Kirk and then Kirk let Red go. Clearly, Bokenkamp knew then that Red was Katarina. It's the only way that that scene would make any sense. There are many examples over the years that only make sense with Red as Katarina. 

So when Red repeatedly said he wasn't Liz's father, he wasn't lying, and when he admitted under torture that he was her father, he wasn't technically lying either.  Because he always claims he has never lied to her.

Edited by ItCouldBeWorse

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I assume next week we will get a replay of Ilya being tortured.  This is from an annotated transcript posted here:   https://www.reddit.com/r/TheBlackList/comments/gli2j0/who_was_impersonating_him_ilya_a_repost_with_the/ 

Observe the bolded parts:

Lucid Ilya: She was in trouble. She needed help. Skovic: What trouble? Tell me about the trouble. You helped her, right? Lucid Ilya: She was being hunted. By the KGB. The Cabal. The Americans. Her father helped get us out of Russia. But it wasn’t enough. [ ECHOING ]

[ Flashback: ] Young Katarina: I am marked.

Ilya: She needed to disappear. Needed a plan. Skovic: Tell me about that plan. [ BEEPING INTENSIFIES ] Katarina: You’re losing him. Skovic: He’s resisting the memory. Ilya: [ GROANS ] Katarina: Ilya? The plan. Tell me what you remember about that plan. [ ECHOING ]

[ Flashback: ] Young Ilya: No one knows. ⋘⋙ Impossible. [ Typewriter slams out loudly: “R” “e” “d” ] Young Ilya: A fugitive and traitor to his country. Voice of Young Ilya: [ very softly, ECHOING ] Reddington’s dead. Reddington’s – Young Ilya: I don’t think you’re entirely grasping what I’m suggesting. Young Katarina: What are you suggesting? Young Ilya: Becoming Reddington. Purposefully stepping into into the shoes of a man–

Ilya: –into the shoes of a man destined to be condemned as a traitor. Katarina: But how?

[ Flashback: ] Young Katarina: That would be impossible. Young Ilya: What if it’s not?

Ilya: We devised a plan to steal the money used to frame Reddington and disappear. Katarina: But the plan, it didn’t work.

[ Flashback: ] [ The typewriter scrolls up, as if to correct something ]

Ilya: Not like we thought. Katarina: No. Help me to remember. The plan. Who did it involve? Ilya: [ BREATHES SHAKILY ] It was myself – Katarina – Dr. Koehler.

Then we hear blond Kat trying to get more information about the plan from Ilya while he's under. She says,

Katarina: And the person under the knife –the man who walked into the banks and impersonated Reddington – tell me what you remember about him. [ BEEPING INTENSIFIES ] Skovic: He’s guarding the memory. Even in this state, he knows there is a secret he should not reveal. Katarina: Who was impersonating him, Ilya? Skovic: Stop! I need to bring him out. Katarina: No! Not yet. Skovic: No. His blood pressure’s through the roof! I need to push Lidocaine. Katarina: Then stop! Let him rest. But we are not bringing him out.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

At the time, it certainly sounding like young Katarina and Ilya were talking about him becoming Reddington (with Katarina saying it was impossible), but now it would certainly fit the theory that Katarina became Red with the help of Dr. Koehler.

And I guess Katarina really loved Liz if she went through all that for her.  And Dom came to accept it, I guess.  I wonder what Dembe's reaction was when he found out - assuming this is all true.

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I’m clinging to the hope that Red is someone we haven’t been introduced to yet—anybody but Katerina. 

I’m not following why the Katerina imposter would agree to pretend to be a person who had a target on her back. I can just hear her now, “Sure, I’d be glad to have this assignment. Let me spend the rest of my life as a hunted animal while the real Katerina lives out a peaceful life in seclusion.”

 

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9 hours ago, Neiman said:

I’m clinging to the hope that Red is someone we haven’t been introduced to yet—anybody but Katerina. 

I like that idea. Red was some groundskeeper at that compound where people got new identities and was given a mind melt/new personality by either mistake or on purpose when the KGB were trying new memory-implant microchips. Then he was programmed to be Katarina/Red.

Hey, that's no more stupid than anything else.

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Well, here's another one.  Reddington is Bokencamp.  That way he gets to run the entire series his own way.

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. One thing to remember, Red has "burn scars" on his back. In one of the earlier seasons, Red is putting on his shirt and he had burned scars. Katerina told Liz that when she went back into the house to get her, they both got burned.  😖

. God, I hope the Red is Katerina isn't the big reveal. 

. Another thing about Katerina, remember that photo of Katerina and young Liz where we can't make out what Katerina looks like?

. Still another thing, remember that Black woman who Red had a romantic interest several episodes back? The slept together. Wouldn't she have noticed he was a she?

. Only reason I want Megan Boone to at sign on next season is we all have invested all these years with Boone, and suddenly with a cut of a knife we will get a different Liz? Nah. 

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It's getting to the point that I'm hoping that Lizzie is a figment of Reddington's imagination a la Tyler Durden. 
It's no more ridiculous than anything else on this show. :)

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On 6/17/2021 at 7:48 PM, ItCouldBeWorse said:

So when Red repeatedly said he wasn't Liz' father, he wasn't lying, and when he admitted under torture that he was her father, he wasn't technically lying either.  Because he always claims he has never lied to her.

Yeah, exactly. Red has occasionally said Liz was his daughter, but has generally avoided saying he is her father. Did he even say so definitively when she believed she was his daughter (after the DNA)? I bet he said something like, "Well, if you say so" or whatever.

10 hours ago, rr2911 said:

. Still another thing, remember that Black woman who Red had a romantic interest several episodes back? The slept together. Wouldn't she have noticed he was a she?

Trans men have sex. If she was dating a trans man, would she talk about it all the time? If we saw them in bed having sex and it didn't come up, then sure, that'd be a big problem, but all we know is that they had a lot of sex, which would be possible either way (it's not like she talked about how cool it was when Red ejaculated or whatever). 

On 6/17/2021 at 5:31 PM, CaptainE said:

Hypnosis?  Seriously? Will that be explained or are we just supposed to handwave?

It's absurd, no doubt about it, but it was established early on. It's the same thing with the magical surgery Katarina got to make herself have a completely different body type as Red.

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2 hours ago, ottoDbusdriver said:

It's getting to the point that I'm hoping that Lizzie is a figment of Reddington's imagination a la Tyler Durden. 
It's no more ridiculous than anything else on this show. :)

The Attorney General killed himself because ghost!Liz scared him... Bokenkamp can sell that one...

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On 6/16/2021 at 11:00 PM, Surrealist said:

So glad Townsend and his guys are dead.

But Vandyke wasn't with Townsend at the end, right? He said he was sending an extraction team, or something like that.

The way the episode just stopped was so weird; like oops, we're out of time!

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I believe Red is Katrina Rostova, Katrina Rostova changed her gender and became to the Reymenod.

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I now do not believe that Red is Katerina.

Who could possibly agree to have reconstructive surgery? Who seemed to love Katerina and be utterly happy that Liz was his daughter?

.....or thought he had a "real" daughter?

 

Constantine! Katerina's husband.

 

He is Raymond Reddington! 

 

After all, it was an arranged marriage. Constantine knew Dom and everyone else.

 

I'm sticking to that theory!  😁 

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But Constantine's return in Seasons 3-4 was a major plot, and he doctored DNA results to prove Liz was his kid before it was proved false. 

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I'm also thinking about the fact that, at one point, Katarina told Lizzie she's had sex with men and women.

17 hours ago, Such A Flirt said:

But Vandyke wasn't with Townsend at the end, right? He said he was sending an extraction team, or something like that.

The way the episode just stopped was so weird; like oops, we're out of time!

I don't think Vandyke was. Hmmmm.

I thought the abrupt end was weird too. 

Edited by Surrealist

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On 6/20/2021 at 1:28 AM, rr2911 said:

. One thing to remember, Red has "burn scars" on his back. In one of the earlier seasons, Red is putting on his shirt and he had burned scars. Katerina told Liz that when she went back into the house to get her, they both got burned.  😖

 

You'd think with all the surgeries to change your gender and look of your face,  they could have wiped out those burn scars.

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On 6/12/2021 at 1:43 PM, saber5055 said:

How many mysterious epicenters does Red have? We've seen several places where it appears he calls home, one is even in a shipping container in the middle of the ocean. So now there's ONE "epicenter" where all the secret controls live? Alrighty then. I guess those of us who watch will maybe but probably not find out.

Where did they find the old mimeograph machines.  Things like that haven't been used in a gazillion years.

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Now I'm reminded Red had a "real" daughter. Forgot her name. She worked at a food truck or something, or else Lizzie found her at a food truck. She was later killed I think. I don't pay all that much attention.

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9 hours ago, saber5055 said:

Now I'm reminded Red had a "real" daughter. Forgot her name. She worked at a food truck or something, or else Lizzie found her at a food truck. She was later killed I think. I don't pay all that much attention.

She's the daughter of the real Reddington and isn't dead.

Edited by ItCouldBeWorse
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All I know is if Red is her mommy I will blacklist The Blacklist on my DVR next season. Nothing against transgender people but that is just the stupidest story line in the history of television if that is the big conclusion to this mess.

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I'm watching the epi and wondering was it hologram or drug induced therapy session by Red to show Liz his side of the story or his STORY; not what happened. And super secret high tech bunker and personel didn't have physical security or basic tech like cameras and sensors that wouldv'e shown Townsend approaching sooner?

But the end. I thought Red was going James Bond villan at the end with the gas. And the specialist effects or lack there of. Dembe turns what should be an iron handle to shelter door and it was wobbling. The gas sprayers come out of the ceiling and there was a wobble there. I almost thought I was watching a spoof of a James Bond film like a Matt Helm or In Like Flynt movie.

Katerina, Red? At this point what ever they say because any mystery they tried to create with a logical solution has been long out the window years ago.

And speaking of Red being Katerina didn't Red lose his girl friend in S1 or S2 when the bunker was raided and she was killed in front of him? Werent burn scars shown on Red's back in one epi from the night of fire/murder? So who was burnt or supposedly killed in the fire? Did real Red actually survive and went rogue to get the organization getting greedy along the way. 

They tease answers, revelations etc too many times and deliver crap, the only difference this epi they didn't wait until the last scene or line.

 

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letter-d.jpg

So we had forty minutes of an infodump to get to maybe two minutes of action.

Well, that ending was cool...but that was a lot of information to take in all at once and I'm not sure I was able- or cared- to take it all in.

Full disclosure- I stopped watching The Blacklist halfway through Season Four. It got way too ridiculous by that point. I always felt it was way too "Hollywood-y" with too much dumb action fare, all the characters dumbed down so that Red (or the man I thought was Red) could sound and look smart and a convoluted "puzzle-piece" storyline where the writers just lazily added pieces without regard to whether or not they actually fit together.

Seems like three and half years later, that's still the modus operandi.

I decided to come back because I understood that this episode and the next one are Liz's final episodes, and I've felt that Liz- the character- was the albatross that held the series back. Perhaps now with her story resolved, it can focus on being what I believe it should have been all along- a dumb action show where the criminal helps the FBI arrest other criminals and settles old scores.

No need for convoluted myth arcs like Liz's story that wind up going nowhere. Since most Hollywood writers- or rather, the producers- don't have the patience or the work ethic to actually make those stories work, and I believe a good TV series is one that is kept simple.

So, here we are. "Nachalo"...Russian for "The Beginning". The beginning of what I'm not sure.

I kept thinking, watching this episode, that this would have worked far better in S1. Maybe not as the pilot but somewhere in mid-season, maybe as the fall finale.

I just think that if you establish, early on, the Liz-Red relationship and why they're in this grand battle together, it's far easier to build stories and eventually a series out of it than to drag it out and exhaust the patience of the audience who just want a simple answer to what should be a simple question.

Because what The Blacklist has lacked all these years is a purpose. A reason to get invested in the storylines.

A reason to care.

You can't just throw all these "mysterious people" coming after Liz and not explain why they're doing it. That gets tiring after a while.

Rather, if you establish- early on- why all these people are interested in Liz (and Red), it makes it easy to get invested in the struggle. At least now we understand why they're fighting and what they're fighting for- an easy "jump-in" point to entice people to follow the series.

Now, this doesn't mean that, in S1, we have to know who is going after Liz and Red. That investigation could easily be the wider point of the series and a mystery that lasts to the end.

I'm not sure it would make the show any less ridiculous, but at least there's more of a reason to care about what's going on.

Instead of what we did get, which was waiting eight years to care about why we should care about Liz in the first place.

Better late than never I guess...but I think it's way too late to mean anything.

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On 6/17/2021 at 3:34 PM, BrownBear2012 said:

NO ONE CARES WHO LIZZIE'S DAD IS!!!!

I know! I'm not sure if I have ever seen a TV show that was successful *in spite of* the fact that the supposed heart of the show was of no interest to the vast majority of viewers! There are tens of thousands of viewers who watch because of Red and the show itself and try their best to ignore and contain their eye rolls over Liz/Daddy/Red. Like you, I quit watching this show about 4 seasons in because I was so sick of the Liz/Daddy storyline. I've checked in once or twice a season, and it is the same thing - and the same frustrations on these boards. And now that Liz is gone, I look forward to tuning in again!

18 hours ago, Danielg342 said:

You can't just throw all these "mysterious people" coming after Liz and not explain why they're doing it. That gets tiring after a while.

It doesn't help that we keep rooting for those people to be successful and knock Liz off.

Edited by Ottis

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Farewell Liz...now maybe the show can move on...finally. Will not miss Megan Boone, a bad actress more suited to some show on the Hallmark channel. And best of all, the show can move on from the "who are Liz's mom and dad" arc...a more boring and monotonous arc there ever was. Maybe I'm being too optimistic about the future of the show. Probably best to manage expectations.

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