The Blacklist season 6 theory: Is real Raymond Reddington actually alive?

Blacklist season 5 teaserSince the events of this past episode of The Blacklist entitled “Rassvet,” all sorts of assorted theories have come out of the woodwork. Is Raymond Redding really Ilya Koslov, or is there something more, something larger brewing underneath the surface?

We’ve already gone through a lot of this, but one of the prevailing reasons why so many theories are starting to spike in popular is because the idea of Koslov is, fundamentally, unappealing to some. He’s not a well-known character in this world, regardless of him only appearing in “Rassvet” and “Rassvet” alone. Much of the actual evidence as presented within Dom’s story makes a certain degree of sense, including why the Reddington persona was formed and even some of the physical similarities between Gabriel Mann and a young James Spader. He barely even needed Dr. Hans Koehler to do a makeover!

However, there are some things to remember here, starting with the #1 fact that we’ve still got at least more than another season of this story — given that Reddington’s relation to Liz has been a part of this tale from the very beginning, why give away the game now? Also, who’s to say that Dom’s information is fully accurate? He may believe it to be, but he was not physically present in all of the story. We believe what he told Liz to be canon, but there may omissions or false presumptions mixed in.

Take, for example, the idea that the real Raymond Reddington died in that fire that Katarina and Ilya dragged him out of. It was made clear in “Rassvet” that he died shortly after that, but is it possible that he somehow made it? Could he have been in a coma somewhere? One of the new theories that is out there is one suggesting that Reddington actually is the real Raymond Reddington and has been since the start of the series, and that they took over the reigns of the character and killed Ilya after learning what he’d done to his overall legacy. Me may have, in turn, also done something to Katarina, which would explain whatever dark secret Reddington seems to hold about her final destiny within this world.

For some more discussion on this The Blacklist theory, be sure to check out what we’ve got below! Meanwhile, remember to subscribe to CarterMatt on YouTube if you want some other information, and also take a list at our official show playlist.

It’s a fascinating idea to think about, and it’s certainly one that you can try to connect to some other clues. It makes the interpretation of “Cape May” as an episode far more literal, and it also does add another layer of honesty to Reddington’s “I am who I am” claims. Yet, what about the bones in the duffel bag? We know that the DNA there was linked to a paternal match of Jennifer Reddington, so you would have to then claim that Jennifer is the daughter of Ilya Koslov and that with that, it is Ilya’s bones in the duffel bag as opposed to anyone else’s. That may be a stretch to piece together, especially since Jennifer was born seemingly prior to Ilya’s transition.

Beyond that, there is another important thing to think about: Much of the exit press at the end of season 5 seemed to commit to the idea that the bones belonged to the real Reddington, and while we don’t necessarily take interviews as canon, it did feel like something to be believed and not just the producers giving us intentional deception. There’s a long way that the creative team would have to go in order for this twist to make sense, especially since, for the sake of filling in cracks, Ilya being Reddington does make a good bit of sense. You could say the same thing about Katarina, though, and we discuss that further over here.

Do you think that it’s possible that Raymond Reddington may actually still be alive? Be sure to share in the comments, and come back soon for some other news. (Photo: NBC.)

This article was written by Jessica Carter and you can follow her on Twitter here.

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