Is Alexander Kirk really the father of Liz Keen on The Blacklist?
Though DNA results now say otherwise, Kirk (Ulrich Thomsen) is reluctant to believe it, suspecting that Red (James Spader) tampered with the test so Kirk would perish — and the truth about Liz’s (Megan Boone) past would be buried with him. The question remains: Does Red actually want to kill Doctor Shaw (Linda Emond), the only woman who can seemingly save Kirk?
“Reddington has a plan, and I’m pretty sure it’s one nobody would expect,” executive producer Jon Bokenkamp says. Exec producer John Eisendrath, meanwhile, promises that in the midseason finale, Liz will finally “get answers to the questions she’s been asking since the beginning of the show.” What’s in store? Get the scoop:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What can you tease for the midseason finale?
JOHN EISENDRATH: Liz realizes that Alexander Kirk is not her father and he disbelieves the test, but he has his team in place to extract him from the hospital. The tease for the next episode is the culmination of Alexander Kirk in Liz and Red’s life and the lengths to which Reddington will go to save Liz from Alexander Kirk, whose life dream is falling apart in front of him. The biggest tease is Red is going to need a miracle from preventing Alexander Kirk from either taking his or Liz’s life, and one will be left to wonder what miracle Red has that he can pull out of his hat to save their lives, if he is able to do it.
Should the audience be questioning whether the results are real or not?
EISENDRATH: At the end of episode 7, Alexander Kirk has every reason to believe [they’re fake], so part of the audience should or would tend to think maybe it is true that Reddington would like nothing more than to get Alexander Kirk out of Liz’s life, and if that means making him believe that he is not her father, or making Liz believe that Kirk is in fact not her father, he might do that.
How is Liz dealing emotionally in the midseason finale?
EISENDRATH: Well, I think that what she’s wrestling with is the fact that the fundamental question about who she is and who her father is, which she believed had finally been answered, is once again thrown into doubt, and she is wrestling with what to believe about who her father truly is.
BOKENKAMP: She’s also still grappling with the idea that Reddington, who in all likelihood wants Alexander Kirk dead, he wants him eliminated so that Liz is safe. It is not lost on Liz that with Kirk gone, so are the answers that Kirk has. So Red has another agenda here in trying to eliminate Kirk and trying to take him out, he’s also taking out the possibility that Liz may get answers that she’s seeking and he’s keeping her in the dark in some ways, so I think that is also in the background of what’s in her mind.
What does Red want from Dr. Shaw?
BOKENKAMP: Well, that’s a good question. The task force believes Reddington was racing to murder Dr. Shaw because she’s a hematologist who could save Kirk. However, as you may have come to expect, Reddington has a plan and I’m pretty sure it’s one nobody would expect.
What can you tease about Mr. Kaplan’s future?
BOKENKAMP: That story, we kind of thought of that as its own little short film. It’s its own story that’s happening off somewhere in the woods and is sort of disconnected from Red and Liz and Kirk and everything that has been happening. So that story, again on its own, will come to a conclusion between Kaplan and this strange man played by Leon Rippy, who I think is great, that will come to a head and she’s going to be confronted with a big decision.
Anything you can tease about the cliffhanger that you’re going to leave audiences on?
BOKENKAMP: It’s different. It’s less of a cliffhanger. We’re going to get more answers in this coming episode. It’s less about a big “Who shot JR?” moment that leaves everybody with a big question and more about resolving it and pushing us forward in a new direction when we come back in January.
EISENDRATH: I think that Liz finally gets answers to the questions she’s been asking since the beginning of the show. That, to me, is what we are aiming for.
The Blacklist airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.