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The Blacklist: Is Liz's Memory Deceiving Her?

Plus: Is [spoiler] really dead?

Liz Raftery

On Thursday's episode of The Blacklist, Liz (Megan Boone) discovered that everything she thought she knew about her childhood may be wrong, and Red Reddington (James Spader) added another name to his kill list that will have significant repercussions going forward -- or did he?

Let's start with the latter. After Mr. Kaplan (Susan Blommaert) leads Red to the bounty hunter who kidnapped Agnes for Kirk, her efforts are rewarded by Red leading her out to a beautiful acre of land he owns in the middle of a deserted forest, and shooting her in the face for her earlier betrayal.

The Blacklist's Ryan Eggold: "Tom's life is going to change dramatically"

The scene leading up to this brutal moment contains knockout acting from both Blommaert and Spader, with Mr. Kaplan almost daring Red not to shoot her. She's heard his spiel countless times before, and reminds him: "I dedicated my life to you. ... What you see as a betrayal of trust was actually a fulfillment of your wishes." But if anything, this only seems to egg Red on further, and he points out that he can't ever trust her again, knowing she's capable of keeping such a big secret from him, and feels as though he's standing in front of a stranger. His consolation prize to her is that she gets such a prime piece of real estate to call home. (At first I thought he was just forcing her to live the rest of her days in exile.) But no, he means for eternity. How sweet.

James Spader, The Blacklist  ​
NBC, Virginia Sherwood/NBC

However, just before the episode cuts to credits, we see Kaplan's hand gripping at the grass. Is that a muscle twitch, or could she have somehow survived what looked like a point-blank shot to the face?

Over in Liz's corner, after a harrowing helicopter crash and rescue, Alexander Kirk (Ulrich Thomsen) brings Liz to his "cottage" in Nova Scotia, which he says he long ago nicknamed his "Summer Palace" (appropriate -- that's a pretty big "cottage," if you ask me) because his little princess love it so much when they went there for a summer several years ago.

While there, Liz witnesses Kirk getting medical treatments behind closed doors, and also walks into what is clearly a pristinely preserved little girl's bedroom, and which has a chilling effect on her. Memories come flooding back to Liz as she picks up a book and a child's drawing signed "Masha," and she remembers that this is her childhood bedroom. She also spots a photograph of herself as a young girl, sitting with Kirk on a swing outside her bedroom window.

But, you may ask, what about all those memories Liz has of the fire in her childhood home and her shooting her father? Liz wonders the same thing, but Kirk waves them off as false memories implanted in an impressionable child's mind by the stories Red had told Liz about her past. (I, for one, am gonna need a more concrete explanation than this going forward.)

Liz also has a vivid memory of herself and her mother burying a coffee can time capsule in the backyard. She goes outside to dig and, voila, there's that coffee can, still housing her homemade bracelet and Russian nesting dolls.

The bittersweet moment doesn't last long though. Just then, the FBI swoops in and engaged Kirk's goons in a shootout. While that's going on, he manages to escape and take Agnes with him. Liz is brought to a safe house, where she finally reunites with Tom (Ryan Eggold), and there's nothing on their minds more than getting their daughter back. Much like Kirk, if we believe he's telling the truth.

What do you think, Blacklist fans? Were you stunned that Red killed Mr. Kaplan? Is she really dead? And is Kirk telling the truth about Liz's childhood? Sound off in the comments!

The Blacklist airs Thursdays at 10/9c on NBC.