Berlin is coming for Red.
On Monday, The Blacklist (10/9c, NBC) kicks off the first of a two-part epic season finale. "The midseason finale 'Anslo Garrick' is sort of the inspiration for the template of this episode, in the sense that we've got a really great Blacklister and a case that is worthy of a two-parter," creator Jon Bokenkamp tells TVGuide.com. "The finale is big and muscular. It's so big that it's not one that we can really squeeze into one episode with all the other serialized mythology and storytelling we want to do. "
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The magnitude of that scope is necessary because for the first time this season, the Blacklister featured — the mysterious Berlin — is in fact part of that ongoing mythology and not just any ordinary villain of the week. As revealed in the show's latest promo, Berlin is behind some of the major Blacklisters that have been plaguing the FBI and Red Reddington (James Spader) this season.
"You will see some larger reasoning behind the cases that we want to reveal," Bokenkamp says. "Ultimately we will be delivering some pretty compelling and satisfying answers. Again, those answers may raise more questions, but we're certainly not afraid of the truths behind the mythology of the show."
He adds, "Everyone in our show is going to find themselves in a rather precarious situation by the end of the season. I would hope every episode you're bracing yourself to mourn for somebody you know."
Check out the rest of the interview as Bokenkamp answers our burning questions:
The revelation of Tom Keen (Ryan Eggold) and his other side has been entertaining. I enjoyed watching him punch Liz (Megan Boone) in the head.
Jon Bokenkamp: [Laughs] He is a brutal man. What a prick, punching his wife in the head! He also killed Jolene (Rachel Brosnahan), so he doesn't get along with women.
And he killed Cowboy (Lance Reddick). That was shocking since he's such a great talent. I thought he would last longer than an episode.
Bokenkamp: You know what? I was really surprised about that too. That was one of those choices; we had a story line set up and we cast Lance. Once we saw him on screen and in the part, it was like, "Oh, I wish we hadn't killed him off. It would've been fun to keep him in Red's Rolodex."
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Did you know from the start Tom's trajectory, that he was a plant and was working for the man who was targeting Red?
Bokenkamp: There's a lot that we make up as we go along, but the Tom-Liz arc is something that fairly early on in the season we mapped out where we wanted that to go. It was something that was personal enough and heavy enough that we couldn't just ignore. We've teased it out as long as we could. We will see a glimpse behind the curtain into Tom's world, who he reports to and what his mission and purpose really is.
In the vow renewal episode, Tom's fake brother Craig implied that Tom has real feelings for Liz. Will that be addressed? He's been with her for two years after all.
Bokenkamp: I think it's something that we are not ignoring. You can't live with somebody for as long as they lived together and have a life together, whether it's pretend or not, and not in some way have some truth to it, some truth to the relationship. Now that the cat's out of the bag, I'm not sure what Liz would feel about Tom. I think that it muddies it up a little bit and makes it more complex. Where that goes, who knows? But it's something that we're aware of.
Although Liz is an agent, she doesn't seem the best at controlling or hiding her emotions. She let her interrogation of Tom get personal, and when she found out the truth about her dad's death, she's now washed her hands of Red.
Bokenkamp: I think she is someone who — as hinted at in the pilot when she stuck a pen into Reddington's neck — can be volatile. She can not be good at hiding her emotions at times. Sometimes she lets that get in the way of being an agent. She's not just an FBI agent. She's a woman and wife and she's been betrayed. That's really difficult to bottle up and see it through the lens of the prism of an FBI agent. This was a man who she built her life with.
We heard Red hum for Liz the song "The Anniversary Waltz" to her, which is something from her childhood. Is there any significance to the choice of that song?
Bokenkamp: Frankly, it was just something that would have been in a music box in that period and it was also sort of haunting. I wish there was some great, deep meaning behind that song choice, but to my knowledge there was not.
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We've now seen more about Red regarding the Swan Lake recital he attended in 1987. How much more information will we get about the girl we've seen in the picture by the end of the season?
Bokenkamp: I'm not sure where that's going to land. We're still exploring how much of that to reveal.
Ressler (Diego Klattenoff) and Red's relationship has evolved. Some even speculate that they're related because they share a blood type. Will we see more of that?
Bokenkamp: It's funny. He does have Red's blood pumping through his veins. That is an evolving relationship absolutely. They are two men who don't necessarily respect each other and they certainly don't like each other, but are somewhat finding common ground in very odd ways. The dynamic between those two is a frustrating one, but is emerging.
Will we get more on the gender-bender named Mr. Kaplan (Susan Blommaert) this season?
Bokenkamp: I don't know about Mr. Kaplan. Mr. Kaplan is somebody who -- I don't have a good tease to throw out there about her yet.
We still don't know if Red is Liz's father. Is that the question you get from fans the most?
Bokenkamp: Yes, he's a very experienced older man and she is a young, sort of rather inexperienced person in her life. So there's a natural paternal thing going on there. That is a question that I think people like to speculate about. I think it's a good one. She asked him that question point-blank and he answered, "No." But like Red said in the pilot, "I'm a criminal. Everything about me is a lie." Who can really trust anything the guy says?
Do you think Red is Liz's father and that it will be answered in the finale? Who is Berlin and why is he after Red? Check out a video of Boone discussing Red and Liz's relationship here:
The Blacklist airs Monday at 10/9c on NBC.
The Blacklist Boss Teases Berlin and Answers Burning Questions
Berlin is coming for Red.