The Blacklist: The many faces of Raymond Reddington

Raymond Reddington has always been a mysterious figure on The Blacklist, and his identity has been assumed by Liz’s father, Ilya Koslov, and N-13 over the years.

The Blacklist has always been a popular show and even after nine years on the air, many fans still tune in to watch the series to this day. The central question for most of the show has been the identity of Raymond Reddington.

From the real Raymond Reddington to the imposters and agents who have assumed the identity over the years, Raymond Reddington has had many different faces throughout the show.

Is The Blacklist still as good as it used to be?

The Blacklist premiered on NBC in September 2013. The show proved to be extremely popular with viewers, likely because of its intriguing crime thriller aspects. The first season of the series garnered over 14 million viewers.

Now, over nine years later, the show has just concluded its ninth season on 27 May 2022.

Although the total viewership for the most recent seasons of the show have decreased from these high initial numbers, more than four million viewers still tuned in to watch The Blacklist’s most recent season.

Over the years, The Blacklist has managed to keep the same sense of mystery and tension that it had in the beginning, and it still manages to introduce new twists and turns to keep audiences engaged.

This is likely why The Blacklist has already been renewed for its tenth season.

The Blacklist: The many faces of Raymond Reddington

One of the most intriguing mysteries that has been plaguing fans of the show since its first season is the true identity of Raymond Reddington.

Although James Spader has done such an amazing job portraying the FBI’s most wanted criminal, turned informant, “Red”, the show has been very scarce with details about his past and his identity.

However, in the final episode of the eighth season, avid viewers finally got some of the answers that they have been looking for regarding the many faces of Raymond Reddington.

The main people who have assumed the identity of Raymond Reddington over the years can be summarised as follows:

  • The real Raymond Reddington, who is Liz’s actual father that she shot on the night of the mysterious fire
  • Ilya Koslov, who changed his face extensively with plastic surgery in order to become a Raymond Reddington imposter
  • Finally, the man who Liz knows as Raymond “Red” Reddington reveals that he is actually N-13, an elusive spy

Thus, although the original Raymond Reddington was killed before many of the events in the show even happened, in true The Blacklist fashion, every time that a new face behind Raymond Reddington is revealed, the story only seems to get more convoluted.

The real Raymond Reddington, Liz’s real father

During a black-and-white flashback scene in season eight, where Liz is given insight into many of her questions, it is revealed that Liz’s real father is the original Raymond Reddington.

He was a United States operative that Liz’s mother, Katarina, was gathering intelligence on and struck up a relationship with.

However, when Katarina became pregnant with her, she told her then-husband that the baby was his, as the real Raymond Reddington was also married with children.

Their lives took a turn when Raymond discovered that Katarina had been spying on him while he was also spying on her, and the two got into an argument.

It was at this point that Liz happened upon them and shot him on the night of the mysterious fire. Although Liz’s mother and Ilya rescued Raymond from the fire, he later succumbed to his injuries.

Ilya Koslov, the imposter

Ilya Koslov is originally introduced as Katarina’s friend and lover, who is also a KGB agent. Katarina and Ilya decide that he should take Raymond Reddington’s identity after he is killed, so that no one will know that he died and so that Ilya can continue to protect Liz.

In order to assume Raymond’s identity, he had extensive plastic surgery that completely changed his appearance.

However, in another twist, it is later revealed that the man who Liz meets is actually just pretending to be Ilya Koslov.

Raymond Reddington, actually N-13

The man who Liz first meets as Raymond “Red” Reddington, who is portrayed by James Spader and is the central figure of the show, has been shrouded in mystery.

However, in the pivotal season eight finale, “Red” finally reveals to Liz that he is the infamous intelligence agent N-13 that she has been hunting for such a long time.

However, fans of the show are still not convinced that this is the whole truth of Red’s identity.