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The Blacklist: Why that death had to happen

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Peter Kramer/NBC

Warning: This story contains major spoiler from Thursday’s episode of The Blacklist. Read at your own risk!

Note to self: Do not cross Raymond Reddington.

Though a loyal servant for decades, Mr. Kaplan (Susan Blommaert) met a grim fate during Thursday’s episode of The Blacklist — at Red’s (James Spader) hand, no less.

Helping Liz (Megan Boone) to fake her death was the ultimate betrayal, and though Red initially kept Kaplan close in his hunt for Liz and Agnes, she only survived two episodes into the new season. She knew too much about Red, so there was no way he was going to let her live. And yet, even after being shot, Kaplan’s hand seemed to hold on for dear life. Is she truly dead? EW turned to executive producer Jon Bokenkamp for answers:

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Is Mr. Kaplan actually dead?

JON BOKENKAMP: The last time Reddington shot an old woman while a Gordon Lightfoot song was playing… she ended up pretty dead.

Why did Red have to kill Kaplan?

Red values loyalty above all else, and Mr. Kaplan betrayed him in the most impossible way. Remember, Reddington killed Newton Phillips in season 1 by suffocating him with a plastic bag from a funeral urn. He shot an old woman (Diane Fowler) after she betrayed him. Hell, he shot Pee Wee Herman! The man is ruthless. In Red’s mind, Mr. Kaplan had to go.

It almost seemed like Red was about to let Kaplan go to live on this acre. Was that ever an option or did she know too much?

She’s been a dead woman walking since episode 318, when she helped fake Liz’s death.

Kaplan mentioned that Red put baby Liz in her arms all those years ago. Will we get more information on exactly what happened to Liz as a child?

Yes. We’re on a collision course with some very big reveals about Red and Liz and Kirk and how they’re all intertwined.

With that in mind, will we ever see Mr. Kaplan again?

Two words: Gordon Lightfoot. On second thought, maybe you should tune in next week.

The Blacklist airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.

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