Katarina Rostova's return will have implications long after Reddington is rescued.

By Alamin Yohannes
October 02, 2019 at 09:30 AM EDT
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Katarina Rostova is in the house and she isn’t going anywhere.

Last season of The Blacklist ended with a shock: Katarina and Raymond Reddington’s long-awaited reunion turned into an abduction when she snatched him off a Parisian street. “We start season 7 in a place where the audience is sort of in Reddington’s shoes, with a whole bag of questions about what’s next, what Katarina’s agenda is, and how Reddington might try to find his way out of this situation,” executive producer Jon Bokenkamp tells EW.

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Finding his way out of this surprising situation will be difficult for Red, Dembe, and the task force. Viewers will learn that Dembe went with Reddington to Paris, even though Red went solo to meet Katarina. While Dembe will make a beeline for the task force to get help, he has no idea what actually happened. Making matters worse, the FBI does not have jurisdiction internationally and cannot ask for help finding their friend because he’s a notorious, international criminal mastermind. “There are international obstacles, logistical obstacles, and extradition obstacles. Everything is in their way between them and finding Red,” executive producer John Eisendrath adds.

Odds are Reddington will be rescued, but the problems related to Katarina – who Eisendrath calls “the most significant Blacklister we’ve ever had” – won’t end there. What makes Liz’s mother formidable is the power she wields and her ability to affect both Red and Liz in substantial ways, and we will see her use that power during the season. “She will find a way to impact not just Red’s life like we’ve seen when she took him at the end of the last season,” Eisendrath explains, “but she will have a deep impact on Liz and on everything that Liz believes in season 7.”

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Liz’s dangerous mother won’t be the only new face on The Blacklist this season. In addition to the new crop of Blacklisters who Bokenkamp says brings “unique, fresh, distinct voices” to the show, the task force will get some new blood after last season’s exit of Mozhan Marnò’s Samar Navabi. Eisendrath believes the audience will be interested in how these new faces will be introduced: “There’s always a seemingly really clear line between Red’s people and the task force and I think we have a good way of sort of blending the two this year in a way that we really haven’t done before.”

During the new season, viewers will also learn more about the characters they know and love, specifically Harold Cooper. The show has set up that Cooper and Reddington share some dark secrets and season 7 will explore their past. “We’re going to learn truths about Cooper and who he was and what he did that will I think give the audience new insights into Cooper, deepen his character, and make us realize that he’s much more complicated than we’ve ever imagined,” Eisendrath teases.

Virginia Sherwood/NBC

Secrets and new faces aside, season 7 will build on the story told over the last six years. “Continuing to push deeper into the mythology in a way that will bring audiences deeper into the heart of Reddington is and why he came into Liz’s life,” says Bokenkamp. “The sort of triangle of Katarina, Liz, and Red will shine new light on the mythology of the show.”

The Blacklist returns Oct. 4 at 8 p.m. on NBC.

Related content:

Episode Recaps

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