In the TV Series "The Blacklist" starring James Spader as Raymond "Red" Reddington, he tells Elizabeth Keen that he is not her father when she asks him. It was made to appear as that were true, however, it seems like we forget about one detail.

The way Liz finds out that he is her father is by a DNA test that Mr Cooper had the laboratory run from some evidence with Red's blood. As it became clear, the test verified that Red is Elizabeth's father. In the series, it is never mentioned that the test was inaccurate or forged.

There is, of course, the fact that Red is this "imposter" theory going on in season 7, which perhaps because of the season not being finished, wasn't absolutely clear to me.

But people say "Red did not lie, because he is not the real Raymond and is hence not her father," but regardless of his name, the DNA test proves that Raymond (even if an imposter) is her father.

Does he say "No" as "no, Raymond is not your father [because I am, and I am not Raymond]" or something like that?

Would love to read what you think and help me figure this out.

EDIT: There is a similar unanswered question from 5 months ago on this community that I found by checking all the questions tagged with "the-blacklist," but I still believe this question is different with the facts given.
Is Raymond Reddington actually Elizabeth Keens father?

  • Welcome to Movies.SE! Personally, I don't think your question really is all that different, as they both boil down to "how can Raymond not be Elizabeth's father is the DNA test was positive". Having said that, we can't close questions as duplicates of unanswered questions, so you're safe anyway.
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Mar 11, 2020 at 23:02
  • @F1Krazy Although both seems very much same, the previous question doesn't have any answers to it, neither any comments. so IMHO we should keep this from getting closed, by edit this one to be more focused and on-topic or something. I'd really like to get an answer to both of these questions somehow
    – Vishwa
    Commented Mar 12, 2020 at 3:57
  • 2
    Just thought of a twist on the "Red is imposter" theory .... what if the Red we know IS an imposter - being the identical twin of the real Red (who is Keen's father) ? Both twins would pass the paternity test ;)
    – racraman
    Commented Mar 12, 2020 at 8:13
  • 2
    The DNA test only proves that his blood matches what is in the records... With his extensive network he could very well have changed all the real Raymond's records to match his by the time he assumed Reddington's identity.
    – Luciano
    Commented Mar 12, 2020 at 12:48
  • 1
    @Vishwa yep - I checked it was a current concern by doing searches with phrases like “identical twins paternity test” before posting.
    – racraman
    Commented Mar 13, 2020 at 6:28

3 Answers 3


I believe that Raymond is Katarina Rostova, Liz's mother. I don't want it to be true, but the following points support this theory:

  • Fact: He is not the real Raymond as seen in the show.
  • Fact: Raymond changed his identity using the surgent show in the previous seasons.
  • Fact: Katarina is still a mystery after revealing that the one in the show was not the real one.
  • Theory: It makes sense that Raymond was Katarina and she changed her identity to Raymond to leverage his power in not getting killed and to be able to protect Liz.


  • Theory: In the last season, Raymond was talking about caring for Liz's daughter and he said something like "I guess I cannot help it" referring to the care being natural in him which could be a hint that it is the care of a mother. Unfortunately, I did not take note of the episode having this clip to add it as a reference and add the actual sentence.

As far as I have seen (Just started S07), no one has bothered to do a DNA comparison between Jennifer and Elizabeth, which would be an easy way to confirm blood relation. If they aren't related (Reddington isn't the father of both) then it could be inferred that Koslov assumed Reddington's Identity and fathered Jennifer after 1990.

However, given the fact that "Reddington" has spent 30 years building an empire to protect both himself and Elizabeth while also working with the FBI for the last 7 years AND that he seems to know things that only Reddington would/could know, I believe that the real Reddington and Koslov conspired to hide Elizabeth from Katarina while the latter was in the middle of burning her identity. The lie created by Reddington and "Reddington" was sufficient enough to convince Dom that the former had died and the latter had assumed the former, but the apparent reality (thus far) is that Koslov and Reddington recognized the danger Katarina presented to everyone and went on the lamb hiding Elizabeth in the process.

The hitch to the story that Dom gave Liz is that the accounts that Reddington had set up in his name would have been watched for activity by ALL parties (CIA, FBI, KGB/FSB) given the sensitivity of the situation with Katarina & Reddington; the kinds of crimes that were alleged at the time are the kinds of things that Governments pull out all the stops for. I believe that Katarina doctored up a cutout to gain access to the money so she could disappear.

As for the bones from Mr. Kaplan, the notion that Reddington/"Reddington" couldn't gain access to the database housing that information and substitute it for w/e he or they wanted is cute if not a little naïve.

TBH, the whole plot at this point is rapidly approaching the muddled convolution so whatever answer they give at the end is going to be superbly underwhelming. Why? It's a TV show for which the plot they wrote spanned only two seasons and have been simply expanding that story instead of having actually written the subplot (Red/Katarina) when they wrote the original plot. For a good example of hamhocked plot mending, you only have to look at the last season or two of Lost.

I mean, come on, Elizabeth has literally spent the last six years watching over both shoulders and yet trusts this new neighbor, and older woman no less, with her child which she just got back after having spent two years hiding her. And no one bothers to ask Liz about who's watching Agnes, least of all Red?


I believe that red the imposter red is her father, because he was the one that saved liz from the fire, remember liz has that burn on her hand, and red has his body burned from saving her, remember..he might not be the real reddington but he is liz father.

  • And while you might believe this, can you offer any evidence to back it up?
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 4 at 15:18

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .