His name is Raymond "Red" Reddington, and he's the Concierge of Crime.
On NBC's new drama The Blacklist, which premieres Monday at 10/9c after The Voice, Emmy winner James Spader plays one of the FBI's most wanted fugitives, who has suddenly and inexplicably turned himself in. He offers his services to capture those on "the blacklist," a list of other highly dangerous criminals and terrorists, under one condition: He only wants to speak to freshly minted FBI profiler Elizabeth "Liz" Keen (Megan Boone), a woman who seemingly has no connection with him.
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6. Red has the brains - When the fugitive turns himself in, the massive amounts of intel he taps into for the FBI is solely contained in his head. "He says in an early episode that he doesn't have a cell phone, he doesn't really have e-mail," Eisendrath says. "He conducts his business face to face. He was in the naval academy, he was on the fast track, groomed for admiral, a very accomplished young man, so he definitely had military training, a high level of accomplished education training before he went AWOL." And during that time, Red lived abroad and thrived. "On the show so far, he has spoken French, a pinch of Mandarin and he spoke Ukrainian. So we've heard him speak three foreign languages in addition to English."
7. Red is focused - "He's a little like Sherlock Holmes. In 'A Study in Scarlet,' Watson is talking about the Earth going around the sun, and Holmes is unaware of the fact that the Earth goes around the sun," Eisendrath explains. "Watson is like, 'You're the smartest person in the world. How is it possible that you don't know something as basic as that?' And Holmes says, 'I am not interested in the things I am not interested in.' That is a little bit like Red. He's not interested in the things he is not interested in. When we meet him, he's not interested in anything other than Elizabeth Keen."
8. Red has morals - "Red does not think of himself as an evil man," Eisendrath says. "He's a very complicated man who has come by being the Concierge of Crime in a way that he can justify, based on things that happened in his life. I think he does have a moral compass that you and I might not share, but he's not Hannibal Lecter. He's not a psychopath by any means."
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