32 comments on “The Blacklist: Suitcase Suppositions

  1. I got to the same conclusion. Remember when Elisabeth set up a trust fund for the daughter of the man who got killed on the boat when Tom was her prisoner, Raymond told her to be carefull as this sort of things could become an obsession. He looked like he was talking from experience. And the first time Elisabeth asked him if he was her father, he answered that he was long time dead, and that did not looked like a lie at all!
    We’ll see soon! Thanks for sharing your theory!

  2. I have had the same conclusion since the introduction of Katarina’s father, Dom. Red acted like a son would act toward his father. When Dom told him to drink the buttermilk he did so, even though you could tell he didn’t want to try it. He obeyed Dom’s directive. Plus the familiarity at the dinner table indicated an intimate knowledge of behavior even after years of being apart.

  3. I am becoming more sympathetic to the Imposter Theory since the last episode. It definitely would explain some things. “Everything about me is a lie” is a big one, if we are to interpret it as a literal statement. The one thing that I’m still trying to connect however is the whole Hobson’s Choice mystery and how this specifically connects to this theory. The whole a mother and her child “I could either save one or lose both. It was the most difficult decision I ever had to make.” I want to know how this connects to this Imposter’s history. I also want to know how this imposter’s history is related to or connects to Katarina’s suicide (or if she really didn’t commit suicide and the official narrative is wrong since they never did recover her body.)

    • As I’m thinking about it there’s one thing that may not add up. Let’s say Garvey did have a profile marked in CODIS to be set off if he did find a DNA match to the profile he highlighted in CODIS. Let’s say these bones prove the real Red is dead and now he holds this truth against our Red. Didn’t we learn from The Pilot that the FBI didn’t have our Red’s DNA, or the real Reddington if so on profile before he surrendered himself to the FBI? Therefore Reddington’s DNA profile would not be in CODIS. So if Garvey had a profile marked in CODIS to be set off through a new match and the bones confirm it, how could that marked profile have been “Raymond Reddington” if Red’s DNA was never in CODIS to begin with as the FBI didn’t have any DNA sample in CODIS to confirm he was Red from the start, and had to use fingerprints instead? UNLESS Red used an alias and Garvey somehow recognized this alias to be the same man as the real Reddington (why would he use an alias anyway)? And the fact that his profile wasn’t in CODIS to begin with as anyone in that system was involved in a crime at some point in their life is fishy in itself. Was Red able to hide evidence of a crime he committed so his DNA wouldn’t be found (maybe in the suitcase of bones assuming he killed them)? Way too much speculation on that last point.

      • In response to one of my points made above as to why Red would possibly use an alias and his profile still being in CODIS- maybe Raymond Reddington wasn’t his real name and that was just a code name he was given during the Cold War by the Navy for his work in foreign intelligence. Just more food for thought.

      • Chad,

        Enjoying your theories, and glad that my theories intrigue you as well. Yes, in Gregory Devry, Ressler says that they don’t have a DNA sample from Reddington, to determine which man was telling the truth. However, since that episode we have found a source for the DNA of Naval Intelligence Officer Raymond Reddington, the clothes that Harold matched Lizzie’s DNA with. Being an extremely efficient bureaucrat, it wouldn’t surprise me if Harold submitted those results to be entered into the CODIS library. Hence Garvey’s match.

        • Jeff,

          You are right in that it is possible that Harold submitted that DNA sample to CODIS. However, there was no actual clip of him doing so in that episode or in later episodes. Remember he gave the results right to Elizabeth. If he did submit it to CODIS you would think the writers would have made that a huge scene in the show as something significant to look back on. And we have to think that if that was a sample of Red’s DNA why wasn’t in CODIS to begin with and why was the sample kept hidden in that locker room? It seems that Harold was the only person, or one of the few persons who had access to that file. Shouldn’t legally speaking that sample have been registered into CODIS from the beginning? And why it wasn’t is a whole other question, if that sample in fact was his. There’s also no way of knowing if that sample was his actual DNA. I read somewhere that DNA can be transferred from one person to another especially in physical altercations. So it’s possible that this sample belonged to Katarina or something and her DNA got transferred to Red during a fight. I don’t know how accurate the logistics of that are but who knows.

          I’m not saying that I think that that aspect of your theory is wrong, because I have no proof it isn’t, and I still think the only thing that adds up is Red being an imposter and the bones belonging to the real Red. And I do believe a lot of your explanation and the logic behind it. But the element of Raymond Reddington’s profile being marked by Garvey, by that specific name, with no alias if that’s the case, without us seeing any past proof that that sample Harold retrieved he submitted to CODIS, or without any hard proof the sample was in fact the real Red from all those years ago and wasn’t Katarina’s DNA that got transferred over to him, makes it difficult for me to fully accept that “Raymond Reddington’s” (specific name no alias) profile was marked by Garvey. Unless Harold did submit it to CODIS and we just didn’t see it, and that’s how Garvey was able to mark his profile because of Harold’s submission- that would make sense. But they never showed Harold doing so. This is the main unexplainable loophole for me right now. But something tells me your general theory is correct.

          I’m just curious to know if Garvey knows anyone with past FBI connections (current or present) because we don’t think that US Marshals can Access CODIS right? Or are they able to since he is a US Marshal and you don’t have to be specifically an FBI agent to do so; rather just law enforcement.

  4. I believe this is the real Raymond Reddington as was seen in the Pilot of “The Blacklist” Harold Cooper asked Ressler if it’s really Reddington and Ressler replied they have done all the test yes it him.

    • Then whose bones could be in that suitcase that are so valuable to Ian Garvey and clearly he had their profile highlighted in CODIS that when the results came back they matched the same profile he had marked in the system? Clearly he had some relationship to the FBI once or else he couldn’t have accessed CODIS. I doubt it’s Katarina because Kate would have left him and been at war with him since season 1, at this point and I don’t think it is the real Masha or real Elizabeth Keen, especially if they were Red’s daughter. Why would Red so much envy for his daughter because who’s ever in that suitcase he clearly wanted their remains to be buried for eternity and “die into the sands of time as originally intended.” And he also sat on the suitcase at one point revealing just how much he disliked this person. If he is an imposter it would damage his relationship with the FBI and distance himself from Lizzie as she would know she was working with a fraud. If you can’t trust who a person says they are then what can you trust? What does “Everything about me is a lie” mean then? You see what I’m saying?

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  6. And what about Red’s wife in the Berlin episodes. Reddington disappeared on his way home at Christmas, leaving his wife and child. Was this his wife. Was Jennifer the child, Where is Jennifer? His ex-wife, knows something as she told Red to tell Liz. And what about the little girl at the house which he remembers just before blowing it up, is that Jennifer? How does he remember a daughter he didn’t have?

  7. I don’t think red is an imposter i believe the lie red is hiding is something far more exciting that were never going to guess. If you think back to me when me Kaplan was having flash backs of the beginning when katsrins told Kate to take Masha to Sam it’s someone Raymond and I both trust . That mean that Raymond is indeed “Masha “father , now when Elizabeth father Sam was dying we seen how sincere Raymond was and when he went to the hospital Sam recognized him

    • Just wanted to throw this out there, but what do you guys think of the “Third Man” theory that says that there was possibly a third man we don’t know about: possibly the man that Liz shot the night of the fire (maybe he didn’t die from that). This third man may have been the one who Katarina had said had stolen Masha because he thought he was the father (a blonde American, which would mean that there are two Americans involved in the picture including Reddington, because our Red isn’t blonde; unless he had blonde hair in the past) who Kate said wasn’t sure if he was the father and never found out, and told Kaplan she was never going to end up with him anyway. And maybe the same man who stole the Fulcrum and hid it in the bunny. This man might have been the same guy who we saw in those images of the fire wearing at red ring, which happened to have said US Army on it (I’m thinking Army intelligence) after a close up analysis from the website Criminally Sane, which actually did a very good analysis on this. I just can’t tell for sure if the blonde guy who seemed to have been shot was the same guy wearing the US Army ring because the images were separate. This is the only other serious option I can think of who those bones belong to. Honestly one of the things getting to me is how in many interactions Red has in the show with new characters they automatically recognize him as Reddington without any hesitation. That’s maybe the only thing holding me back from completely endorsing the Imposter Theory.

      I actually do believe that this Third Man theory is very likely, but I’m just not certain if those bones belong to him or the identity is somehow connected to this “Third Man” and Katarina- maybe the real Red idk.

  8. Haven’t read every reply, but I am re-watching Season One and it seems to be confirming that the man known as Red Reddington is in fact the real Katarina Rostova (and the real Red is in the suitcase). We’ll see….

    • Rhonda,
      When I first encountered your theory, I dismissed it. However it does have some merit, and it would explain the relationship between “Our Raymond,” and Dom. It would also explain why Kate apologized to Katarina at Tansi farm. However, doesn’t the Cape May episode disprove that possibility? Why did “Our Raymond,” feel he let Katarina down if he’s indeed Katarina? Why did she tell him that his job was protecting Masha, and he had succeeded in his mission?

      Now while we’re in the same church, we sit in different pews. Imagine if Dom had another child, Katarina’s brother who idolized his sister. Masha kills the real Raymond Reddington in the fire, and Katarina realizes that she’s now a marked woman. Reddington’s a valuable American asset, but the Soviets are interested in him as well. If the truth comes out, it endangers Katarina’ and Masha’s life. So the devoted brother becomes Raymond, keeping Masha safe. Katarina either drowns or she goes into hiding, that would explain why the eldery Russian saw her at the hotel.

      On a comical note, I believe Katarina was a very vain woman. She would never allow herself to become as portly as “Our Raymond” has!

      • The Cape May episode was surreal, for sure. Very difficult to follow and it has been at least a couple of years since I watched it so I will withhold comment until I get to it. If you have Netflix and can watch just the first two episodes of Season One with my theory in mind (and accepting that perhaps Katarina is bi-sexual or more probably is sexual with whomever will benefit her at the time), I would be interested to know if it still seems so far out.

        Love your last tho’t! LOL’d … But then Raymond tells Ressler that he (Raymond) is the type of person who will always does whatever he believes will benefit him the most, therefore he can be trusted. (Always making sure that he never refers to himself with a masculine pronoun by the way.). I personally think Katarina was so much more intelligent and dangerous and daring and willing to do whatever than the real Reddington would have ever been.

        It would just be the ultimate irony that for two years we were all wondering if he was really her father, when all along he was really her mother!

      • I find everything you say to have validity. And your explanation that Dom had a second son (our Raymond) would explain the father and son like relationship between our Red and Dom, and would also clarify the romantic relationship between Katarina and the “real Red” from years ago since that whole thing didn’t make any sense: how our Red who has a father and son like relationship with Dom could have possibly been Katarina’s brother if Red and Katarina had an affair (that would assume that our Red was not an imposter).

        However, there is another explanation as well that has validity as to why our Red would apologize to Katarina at Cape May if he is indeed Katarina. Maybe our Red who may in fact be Katarina was reflecting on the choice she made to “kill herself”, meaning get plastic surgery and take over the real Red’s identity in order to save Masha because her present in Masha’s life would continue to put her at risk. So she would “kill” her former self “Katarina Rostova” and become Reddington. A self reflection of her former self basically and the impossible choice she made. This is also one of the many possible explanations to the Hobson’s Choice that we are aware “our Red” had to make, but there’s many other explanations to that as well.

  9. I approve of the thought that the bones are the real Raymond Reddington for one important reason. The fulcrum. He is the one who hid it. The Raymond we see now removed her memory of that night, not knowing that the memory had the fulcrum in it, or else he would have just taken the bunny from day 1. The bones have to be Ramond’s. Who is the Raymond we see now? He HAS to be related to Dom. Most probably as many of you suggested, his son, Liz’s uncle, and afterall, I think Liz will forgive him considering everything he has done.

    • Dom tells R that as far as he is concerned R Killed his entire family not something you would say to your son that stole the identity of R to protect Mosha.

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  11. it’s all very obvious. The character we know as RR is actually Masha with serious plastic surgery. That’s why Kirk didn’t kill RR bc RR whispered true identity to him. Masha is Keen’s true mother and the Redington’s real daughter is the woman Ian Garvey protected but told her before her death that she’d lived with a lie all her life – that Redington was alive and a threat to her when in fact the suitcase of bones are those of Redington.

    • I believe you mean Katarina. If you look at all the comments, Rhonda proposed the same thing earlier this month.

  12. I believe it’s the real Raymond Reddington in the duffle bag , always have, especially when Red we know said he was a Sin -Eatet, just look up where that term came from, it’s still practiced today, can’t remember what country, but it kind of means taking on a deceased person’s sins and persona , literally and they dine with the deaceased body , while eating a meal, hence Sin Eater ,

  13. Thanks for offering us the insightful references or enlightening point of views.
    One significant thing that makes me feel really odd is, that many of you might remember, when Liz got her hair dyed blonde, Reddington looked very much impressed, not saying anything particular though.
    Liz asked Red like “Was she blonde, wasn’t she?” he did not answer.

    Meantime, through “Cape May” and “Requiem”, we all know that Katarina was a woman with red brown hair, unless she dyed her natural color of hers such tone.
    So here is something that makes no sense, why would Reddington got so impressed by seeing blonde haired Liz?
    Maybe only some mistake of the showrunners, or something more culculated?

    Do we know what kind of hair that young Reddington used to have?

    • Nancy, thanks for the kind words! While the show-runners might try to argue that Liz’s honey-blonde and Katarina’s reddish-auburn hair colors were close enough, I think it’s a mistake in continuity. The man that we saw in the back seat of the car kissing Katarina appeared to have blondish or light brown hair.

      • Thanks for the responses both Jeff and Chad, I just had a bit queer idea like if “transgendered and plastic surgery getting Katarina was much impressed by seeing blonde Liz, in being recalled of young Reddington who was also blonde”.
        But in considering certain rough parts of the show, simple mistake would be more likely.

        One more thing that I specifically have in mind is, a 30 years old movie “No Way Out” which Kevin Costner starred.
        I thought if Bokenkamp was inspired of a significant character like “Yuri” when he started creating this show?
        Dominic’s presence makes me feel like that.
        Also “Independence village” displayed in “Blacklist Redemption”.

        I just wonder what would “Yuri” in “No Way Out” be supposed to come up when he really didn’t go back to Soviet.
        Anyway the answer will be coming next week, while I was not in somewhere the show is broadcasted on time, still I can make sure on the internet:)

        • Very underrated film Nancy, great cast with Hackman and Sean Young before her career imploded. Haven’t seen it in decades, but I can remember it zigged when it appeared it would zag! At its best The Blacklist has the same capability, to lead you in one direction, only to realize that we’ve been snookered once again!

    • Nancy, excellent observation. Either just another small mystery that’s part of the bigger puzzle or could be a simple technicality.

  14. Well it turns out you were very prescient indeed. For me this was much more of a surprise twist than it was for you. There were several apparent hints, red herrings it turns out, that it might have been the bones of Katarina. I figured that Liz would at some point discover that these were her mother’s remains and figure that Red had killed her or was somehow lying to her about what really happened to her. Then she would once again believe him to be a monster. The show would retread that trope once more, the roller coaster of emotions Liz feels for Red, distrusting him, trusting him, loving him, hating him, etc. Personally I think they have Liz cycle through these various viewpoints about Red too much. She seems to completely forget how often he puts his own life on the line to save hers as she periodically brands him an untrustworthy monster who only wants to use her for this or that reason.
    From the start the man we know as Raymond Reddington, I call him ‘our Red’, told Elizabeth he wouldn’t lie to her. And he told her unequivocally that he was NOT her father. That makes sense now. Once Harold Cooper ran the DNA test which showed that Liz Keen is the daughter of Raymond Reddington, our Red had to play along with being her father in order to keep his cover.
    I wondered then and still do now, why our Red kept those bones in the first place. I suppose at some point a reason may be suggested to us about that but it isn’t apparent to me presently. Since learning of them I have felt that, given his need to keep the secret these bones hold, he should have destroyed them right away.

    Anyway, Liz is now back on her “I hate him” kick in which she can see no good in our Red whatsoever. When she was talking to hallucination Tom about how she tricked him, she spoke derisively of how she knew Red would come to ‘rescue her’, almost as though it were a character flaw. This is, to me, one of the weakest parts of the script. Liz is almost like a multiple personality case the way her view of Red switches so dramatically, the way she ignores or forgets how far he goes to save her when she is in trouble, and how sincerely and categorically he demonstrates his concern and familial love for her. Every time she discovers him keeping a secret from her she undergoes this Jeckyl and Hyde transformation with a histrionic fit of outrage and hatred for Red. “It was all an act! He traded his life for mine just so he could gain my trust! How awful and despicable!”
    So now she wants to destroy him because he isn’t the real Ray Reddington, who is dead. She doesn’t care what the facts might be, she is certain they can only confirm and validate her outrage and her mission to destroy him.

    I wonder how much longer they will whip this dead horse. At some point, in another season or two, she will learn his real identity and the reasons he went to such lengths to protect her and to hide the truth, and she will revert back to the grateful Liz, the Liz who is touched to tears at the goodness of this criminal. Once she learns he is her uncle (assuming that to be the case) will that signal the end of the series is near at hand? Don’t get me wrong, I love this show. And I hope it continues for a long time because I think it is one of the best shows on television, still. But I wonder if they are looking toward that eventual end. I get the sense that perhaps they are. Certain elements are being slowly tied up. Samar and Aram are finally engaged, after years of him vacillating about making a move on her. Off screen the actors have spoken of how difficult it is to produce the show, making me wonder if they are beginning to tire of it. And when they finally do the “big reveal” where Liz learns the identity of our Red, won’t that rob us of an essential element of the plot? The mystery of Red’s secrets has been a central element of the show from the beginning. And when we learn his real identity and the back story to it everything, that will just about spell the end I would think.

    • Top Cat, thanks for the kind words, but I’m not all that sharp. There have been fans embracing the Imposter Theory since the second season. I didn’t embrace it until the fourth season finale, due to Dembe’s incredulity that Raymond didn’t deny being Lizzie’s father. DNA DON’T LIE, so if the Raymond Reddington that wore the shirt Harold used to get the DNA sample proved that Reddington was Masha’s father, “OUR RAYMOND,” had to be a fake.

      Unfortunately I believe the sixth season will be the final one for our beloved series. The show didn’t get renewed until the day before the NBC up-fronts, Blindspot which had weaker numbers got renewed first. Couple that with it appearing in mid-season, in a less than ideal time slot, and I think they gave Bokenkamp and company one more season to wrap things up.

      We’re supposed to get 22 consecutive episodes, so I believe the reveal will take place between episodes 5-7, Liz and “OUR RAYMOND” coming to terms with the new dynamic for about the next seven episodes, and wrapping up the loose ends in the remaining episodes. I hope I’m being pessimistic, but my gut tells me otherwise. Bokenkamp stated in his interview in TV guide, that he wanted to do the reveal at the end of the first season, but wiser heads prevailed. Not certain that the show would have lasted three seasons if they took away the central mystery that quickly.

      I share my recaps/commentary on many Blacklist pages on Facebook, and I’m flummoxed by the amount of fans that don’t believe the DNA results, or Bokenkamp in his interviews. He NEVER actually denied “OUR RAYMOND’S’ an imposter, but he has definitively stated that the bones were of the Real Reddington’s and that indeed the man we’ve watched for five seasons is an imposter! They feel deluded and betrayed, and can’t bring themselves to admit they were wrong. If somebody else’s bones were in that duffle bag, the title of my season finale column would have been The Blacklist: Boy They Sure Fooled Me.

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