There are not enough words to describe how incredible the story was of how Raymond Reddington came to be the Red we all love so much.
It was a compelling, fascinating, and beautiful, spectacular tale. I got chills. I cried.
And I've come to love Raymond Reddington even more than I did before.
Five stars are too low of a rating to give The Blacklist Season 6 Episode 18 and The Blacklist Season 6 Episode 19, and most of the praise goes to the final hour, "Rassvet" which was, hands down, the best episode ever of the entire series.
I am not going to spend any time on the crazy podcast girl from the first hour.
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It was interesting, and I liked the twist, but after Katarina and Ilya's story? Who cares, right?
First, I was wrong, wrong, wrong about Red ever hurting Liz.
It would and will never happen. Not in a million years.
Ilya made a promise to Katarina, a woman he loved so much he was willing to change his own identity to protect her and her daughter.
He gave up his life for Katarina, and if that isn't love, I don't know what is.
Before I go any further about the greatest love story ever told, we have to talk about Dembe.
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I'm not sure what Dembe meant when he told Red he couldn't forgive him.
Even Red didn't know what he was talking about.
It makes me wonder if there's more to Ilya and Katarina's story which is why Red wanted to know every single detail about what Dom told Liz.
It took a lot for Red to forgive Dembe for keeping Liz's secret.
He understood how much Dembe has done for him, how much they have done for each other, and how much he truly loved the man who has stood by his side for so many years.
The only thing that comes to mind on why Dembe left (because I don't think Red killed Dembe) is that perhaps Red killed Katarina.
But that's something I don't want to even think about because I cannot even imagine a man like Ilya killing a woman he loved so much unless it was an unforgivable betrayal.
Of course, I might be reading too much into their final interaction.
It could be Dembe didn't forgive Red because Red stopped trusting him for a while, and it was too much for Dembe considering how much he sacrificed over the years.
And maybe Dembe was tired of all of Red's lies and murders like Smokey and Mr. Kaplan.
We haven't seen the last of Dembe.
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At least I hope we haven't. There has to be a reconciliation between them, but it's quite possible Dembe is done for good.
It was surprising that Liz told Red the truth about her betrayal.
Those few moments when she told Red what she did and why she changed her mind about pursuing his truth was the most genuine Liz I have ever seen in six years of watching The Blacklist.
And, honest to God, all of the hatred I have held towards this woman who has made me want to throw my computer at the TV completely disappeared in those moments.
After Katarina and Ilya's story was revealed, I concluded that I might love Liz as much as Ilya has all these years because how could you not?
Yet, there are some bothersome aspects to the entire story.
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Red has gone through all kinds of trouble to keep his true identity secret and for a good reason.
But I have to wonder if it was really necessary to kill Sam all those years ago.
Was the truth that Sam knew the same truth that was revealed to us tonight?
Why did Sam feel it was so necessary to tell Liz the truth before he died?
It all rewinds to the theory that perhaps Ilya did have to kill Katarina for some reason yet to be revealed.
It would be a shame if that were true because, at this point, all I want is for Ilya and Katarina to be reunited and live happily ever after with Liz and Agnes.
There is no proof that Katarina is dead, but not contacting Dom as planned after 28 years is not a good sign.
Part of me wonders if Ilya was working with Velov and the whole Reddington identity thing was a Russian ruse to get inside the United States, but that doesn't make any sense because why go through all the trouble?
But, if you think about it (and, boy, does this show make you think) what if it all connects somehow to the greater conspiracy involving Anna McMahon?
Katarina Rostova is the key to everything.
All the secrets about everything that has happened in the last six years leads back to her.
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There are so many questions that need to be answered like what was the horrible betrayal she committed to cause so much anger in the Russian sect?
Is it the same betrayal that Dom claimed she committed against him?
And the biggest mystery is whether Katarina Rostova is number one on the Blacklist and why.
Katarina is a troubled woman who was willing to not only drown herself in a tub and an ocean but also willing to jump off a building to end her life and all the chaos she created for herself and everyone around her.
But something horrible happened because if it had played out the way Ilya had envisioned it, he and the love of his life would be together.
Whether it was that she returned to her old ways or whether Velov or some other entity killed her, there is a reason she is not with Red.
And everything that he is doing now is to find her or, at the very least, find out what happened to her.
Ilya is a man to be admired for having come up with such an ingenious plan to live his life as another man (who, mind you, was the lover of his love and the father of her child) -- all to protect the woman to whom he pledged his life.
And if you were wondering why Red is so big on loyalty, well, this story gave us the answer.
It wasn't necessarily surprising that Red would be unhappy about Liz learning the truth, but he was a lot angrier than I thought he would have been.
His face was ticking like crazy, and he didn't crack even one smile.
Liz was so proud of what she discovered. Proud of what Ilya did for her and her mother, but Red wasn't having any of it.
Red had that same look on his face that he had when he confronted Smokey, and it's not good at all.
Dom may be in danger, but maybe not.
Who knows what Red's thinking because he's wavering about the people closest to him.
There's a lot more story to tell, but maybe it already has been told -- just not to us.
How much more did Dom tell Liz that Liz didn't reveal to Red?
That whole "is the duck succulent" thing was a little odd which makes me wonder if Liz knows more than she's telling.
Whatever the case, this was an outstanding two hours of television.
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Just when you thought that maybe The Blacklist lost its magic, it comes and hits you with a force never imagined.
I can't wait to see what's in store for us next!
Over to you!
What did you think of the Red reveal?
What secrets does Katarina hold?
Does Liz know more than she's saying?
Is Dembe gone for good? Is Dom in danger?
Hit the comments and share your thoughts!
If you need to relive the magic, you can watch The Blacklist online right here via TV Fanatic!
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