The hunt is on for Dembe (Hisham Tawfiq) when The Blacklist returns on Thursday - and it doesn't take that long for Red Reddington's (James Spader) right-hand man to come out of hiding, in a major way.

Needless to say, Dembe's got some explaining to do, after he handed Red a glass of scotch laced with poison in the winter finale. But he's not ready to have a heart-to-heart with his boss just yet. In the meantime, Dembe's got another mission on his mind.

Dembe's allegiance is questioned," creator Jon Bokenkamp tells TVGuide.com. "Red has seen a lot of the closest people to him - whether it's Dembe, Kaplan - sort of fall off, and he's standing alone and in a very desperate place. Through this episode with Dembe are discoveries that pivot the rest of the season in a really seismic way."

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The audience will be making some discoveries of its own. In the second hour of the two-parter, new information about Mr. Kaplan (Susan Blommaert), Liz's mother Katarina and her stepfather Sam come to light, with the pieces of the puzzle coming together to point to what Bokenkamp describes as the show's "best big bad yet."

So who is it? Let's just say the buck doesn't stop with Dembe.

The Blacklist returns with a two-hour midseason premiere Thursday at 9/8c on NBC.

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