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The Blacklist Bosses on Braxton's Next Move and Rewinding Liz's Fiery Memories

Who will help Red find the safe?

Hanh Nguyen

Luther Braxton probably thinks he has it made, but he's not counting on the wrath of Red Reddington.

When The Blacklistdebuts in its new Thursday timeslot (9/8c, NBC), the master thief played by guest star Ron Perlman has survived the missile that supposedly hit the black site prison and now has absconded with the key to finding the Fulcrum: Liz Keen (Megan Boone). "In the middle of [the Super Bowl] episode, Red told Liz ... that was the whole reason he didn't want Liz to follow him," executive producer John Eisendrath tells, "because he knew that sooner or later, Luther Braxton would figure out that to get what he was looking for, he would need to use or find Liz Keen."

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Now that Liz is in Braxton's clutches, Red (James Spader) is on a rampage to get her back, but he has to act fast because Braxton has enlisted the help of Dr. Selma Orchard (guest star Gloria Reuben) to use her special skills on Liz. "Braxton is someone whom we learn has a military past and had some memories that she helped him overcome and forget," creator Jon Bokenkamp says. "Braxton is hoping that if she could help him forget, perhaps she could help Liz remember."

Unfortunately, this involves strapping Liz into a creepy dentist's chair and pumping her full of chemicals. But hey, it's not the worst thing that's happened to Liz since The Blacklist's debut. And maybe - just maybe - we'll finally find out whether Red is her dad? OK, probably not.

Check out the rest of our interview with the producers for more scoop:

How much will we be delving into Liz's past with this procedure?
Jon Bokenkamp:
We use recovered memory therapy. She actually goes under and back to the night of the fire, which she has very sparse memories of, fragmented memories, and is trying to access a piece of her past that remains a mystery to her.

Gloria Reuben comes in as the doctor. What can you tell us about her?
John Eisendrath:
She plays the therapist who helps Liz access these memories. She brings a very authoritative but very kind demeanor ... but there's a very personal connection she makes with Liz.

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There's a picture of Liz and the younger version of Liz (Jillian Lebling). Why did you decide to depict her trip down memory lane that way?
It's something that's a discovery both to the audience and to Liz. It's not exposition in that [traditional] way, it really is a series of discoveries that she's making. So it does seem right to place her there witnessing it for, not the first time, but for the first time to re-experience it and have those memories come to life.

Was there something you were looking for when casting young Liz besides looking like a young Megan Boone?
Someone who not just looked like Megan, but someone who could play the surprise, the shock and the fear and all of the things we were asking this young girl to play, which is not easy. It's not just one scene. She has to play a lot.

Will we further explore Luther Braxton and Red's shared past?
You'll learn more about the history between the two of them, and obviously you will learn, given that we're going more into the past, more about the history between Red and Liz.

What can you tell us about the cabal headed up by the Director (David Strathairn)? They seem a little nervous.
This cabal is incredibly powerful and somewhat cloaked in darkness. Alan Fitch, played by Alan Alda, was part of that group. The landscape of that after his death has now changed. They are feeling very anxious about what is happening with Luther Braxton and Reddington and this thing called the Fulcrum. And so with the entrance of David Strathain into the show, he represents a sort of ratcheted-up anxiety that the entire cabal feels and sort of ups the stakes between them and Reddington.

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Now that we've heard a bit about the Fulcrum, how soon will we get back to that safe in Saint Petersburg?
Bokenkamp: I was watching a scene from one of the upcoming episodes where we are on the mad hunt for that. Red goes to his friend Glen Carter who works at the DMV who can find allegedly anything. Red enlists Glen's help to try to figure out what Alan [Fitch] was talking about. The last moments with Alan Fitch, he said, "There's a safe in Saint Petersburg on the second floor of--" and that's all we know. Red is sort of working with the pieces of a puzzle, trying to assemble and figure out where the safe is, what's in it, and how it might be able to help him in some way.

How would you characterize Glen (Clark Middleton) and Red's relationship? Bokenkamp: It's contentious. They're a bit of an odd couple, but some of the people on the show who mouth off the most to Red are the people who are closest to him. It's interesting to me to see what he's willing to let them get away with, whereas with somebody else on the street that he has little respect for, it certainly would go another way. Those are fun scenes to me.
Eisendrath: Red is a very competent man and likes people around him who are talented. They will mouth off to him if they're talented enough.

So, spoiler alert: Ressler (Diego Klattenhoff) and Samar (Mozhan Marno) also survive. Will they ever get a break?
If you're asking [is there] something specifically that keeps them out of harm's way? I don't know about that. They have a very short turnaround time. They heal quickly.
Aram (Amir Arison) gets to stay safe.
Yeah, he's never leaving the office.

Missed The Blacklist's Super Bowl episode? It re-airs on Thursday at 8/7c, followed by the all-new episode at 9/8c on NBC. Check back next week for more Blacklist scoop on Liz's erstwhile husband Tom (Ryan Eggold)!

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