Virginia Sherwood/NBC
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November 11, 2016 at 05:10 PM EST

Raymond Reddington, you are the father! I mean, maybe. Probably, right? He definitely said, “Yes, Elizabeth is my daughter.” I heard him. But he said it in some sort of drug and/or pain trance…while trying not to get syringed to death by his arch nemesis…and immediately following the hypothetical, “What do you want me to say? Yes? Is that what you want me to say?”

Yes, that is what I want you to say! All I’ve wanted is for this show to finally confirm Raymond Reddington is Elizabeth Keen’s father, and when it finally does, I hardly feel like I can trust the information. I think I understand now, why Liz acts like such a doofus sometimes — it’s very confusing to hear the truth you’ve been longing for, and still not know if it’s really the truth. And in that way, this Blacklist midseason finale succeeds in giving us answers but doesn’t take away the questions. Damn them.

But it was only the viewers, not Liz, who got this new intel. The ongoing drama that came to a head between Kirk and Reddington tonight has always been about just that…Kirk and Reddington. Red and Kirk seem willing to die for Liz, and they’re certainly down to kill for her. But these two are living for each other.

In the end, they’re also living because of each other. Both Red and Kirk are given ample opportunity to take each other out for good tonight, and both choose a different path. Why? Well, that’s a question to which we don’t even get a semblance of answer. But my guess? It starts with a Rostova woman and ends with a Rostova woman — in the middle, it’s just a whole buncha daddy issues…


Resolute answers or no, I must admit, the night got off to a rip-roaring start and maintained the energy the whole way through. And we weren’t even trying to save Baby Agnes; in fact, we weren’t even concerned with her existence at all! The midseason finale picks right back up with Odette’s long-con extraction plan. To the tune of (cue appropriate band name) Massive Attack’s (cue hella-appropriate song name) “Voodoo in My Blood,” Cooper and Liz slowly figure out Kirk’s people have initiated the hospital’s fire protocol to trap Liz inside the wing with Kirk. Also, because the smoke coming through the vents looks super dramatic.

All those bald, jacked men with Russian accents in the EMT, doctor, and firefighter uniforms? Yeah, they’re jacked and Russian for a reason (why they’re all bald is unclear). And as we already knew, it’s because all of Odette’s men are already inside. They successfully zip Kirk and Liz away in an ambulance, and though he nearly gets choked out following them, Tom manages to hold an innocent bystander at gunpoint until the poor guy hands over his car keys. He then tosses a quick “sorry” over his shoulder and takes off after Liz’s captors.

Of course, the Head Captor in Charge is the guy who cannot stop insisting he’s just trying to protect her. Kirk tells Liz he understands why she’s angry — mostly ’cause he keeps kidnapping her and her baby, I think — but he’s certain Reddington falsified those DNA tests that proved she wasn’t his daughter. As convinced as Kirk is that he’s Liz’s father, Red is on the other side, insisting just as heartily he’s not. Both of these men, with all the memories Liz has been searching for…and they can’t seem to agree on what the truth is. Red says Liz is safe as long as Kirk thinks she’s his daughter, but as soon as his own doctors run the tests and see she truly isn’t, her warranty runs out. That’s why he has his backup plan.

Enter, Dr. Shaw: Conclusion. Red insists Dr. Shaw track down “patient zero,” and after finding out Red draws a moral line at human experimentation, she manages to find the woman they’re looking for. So now there’s just, ya know, actually finding her. Luckily, Tom is all freed up since he lost track of Liz and Kirk. Red tells him he has a more important task anyway: Ensuring Liz is safe once Kirk finds out she’s not his daughter. Which is happening right about…now. Kirk does his go-to move when yet another person tells him the DNA isn’t a match, generally screaming, “HOW MUCH DID HE PAY YOU?” But Odette finally convinces him: Liz is not his daughter.

NEXT: Maybe-dad to definitely-not-dad…

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James Spader returns as Raymond ‘Red’ Reddington, a mastermind criminal who teams up with the FBI.
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