In "The Cryptobanker," The Blacklist pulled the darkest twist yet in the story of Raymond Reddington's (James Spader) imprisonment and trial — Red's been sentenced to death. We thought he was in a vulnerable position when he got caught, but we had no idea how perilous Red's situation was going to get.
The episode started with Red telling Liz Keen (Megan Boone) that he's uncovered a conspiracy targeting some powerful people, and he needs her to find the titular Blacklister and follow the money from him. Once they have enough evidence, he'll pass the what he knows along to the feds in exchange for an immunity agreement. But that plan sort of went out the window when Sima (Ken Leung) went off-script during Red's murder trial and told the jury about Red's deal with the FBI. If the other prisoners found out he was an informant, he'd be killed, and so Red devised a plan to plead guilty to the charges in exchange for Sima recanting that statement, and then escape from prison. He even requested the death penalty for himself, telling the judge and jury that he'd rather be dead than lead a hopeless existence in prison. And his wish was granted. But then his escape attempt failed when he couldn't get to Dembe's (Hisham Tawfiq) helicopter in time. So his plan backfired, and then the judge (Becky Ann Baker) sentenced him to death.
The Blacklist creator Jon Bokenkamp told TV Guide that next week we'll see Red at his absolute most vulnerable as he grapples with the very direct threat of death he's facing. "Reddington sort of lives with this knowledge that he may die at any moment and he's sort of comfortable with that," Bokenkamp said. "But, this is a very real, tangible manifestation of that in a way that we haven't portrayed before. And next week's episode has some of my favorite performances, just because it's so stripped away and so raw in what he's willing to reveal in what are essentially his last minutes."
Reddington's impending doom means Liz has to lay her cards on the table if she's ever going to get to the bottom of who this man really is. Her investigation into finding out the identity and motives of this impostor who isn't actually her real father but is her father figure may have to come to a close with a direct question. "I think Elizabeth Keen knows that she's presented with what will be the last opportunity to have an honest conversation with Raymond Reddington about who he is and why he came into her life," Bokenkamp said. "And so, that is something that we're going to confront, that she's going to peel off that Band-Aid and dive into that wound."
Reddington's last hope is for Liz to get the captured Cryptobanker to tell her where to find "the man in Cairo" who's behind the conspiracy. Bokenkamp hinted that the thwarted bombing at the UN that started the season is an unfinished story and "is something that I think is going to be incumbent upon our task force to not give up on." Next week's episode is called "Bastien Moreau," the assassin played by Christopher Lambert who went to the same surgeon as Reddington. So if you want to try to unravel the clues about the conspiracy before next week, maybe go back and watch the Season 6 premiere.
So how will Raymond Reddington get out of this one? Tune into The Blacklist Friday at 9/8c on NBC to find out!