Tonight on NBC their hit drama The Blacklist starring James Spader airs with an all-new Friday, June 16, 2021, episode and we have your The Blacklist recap below. On tonight’s The Blacklist Season 8, Episode 21 called, “Nachalo”, as per the NBC synopsis, “When Reddington takes Liz to the mysterious epicenter of his empire, their shared past reveals itself and long-buried secrets are divulged.”
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In tonight’s The Blacklist episode, the episode begins with Reddington, he has Elizabeth and he is with Dembe, they are entering an office, it is where intelligence from seventeen outlets around the world is sorted and analyzed. Secrets from government, positions, and people in power. The system is a living and breathing apparatus that help form the decisions that Red makes. Liz asks him why he is there, he says despite what she and Harold have been led to believe, he is not a Russian asset.
He is a criminal and Ivan Stepanov is not his Russian handler, he is just an old friend. He is Raymond Reddington, this is Raymond Reddington and she wants her to understand that. She says she only cared about her mother, and she saw him shoot her. He says that she doesn’t know what she saw. He says the story that she needs to hear, it’s all connected, N13, him, her, her mother.
To understand why he came into her life, she needs to hear his story. Liz then sees a young Katarina Rostova who says she was the son her father never had, and he molded her to be the spy she was. She helped oved intelligence, monitor dissidence, identify those the state thought to be subversive; it was in her DNA. Her handler, chosen by her father, understood her in a way that nobody else did. In fact, he became one of the most important people in her life, Ivan Stepanov. The assignments that Ivan gave her were all based on what her father wanted and needed. Friends, relationships, her father even picked her husband.
Her father could care less that she was in a loveless marriage, he even chose the man that she was unfaithful with to her husband. Liz then sees her father, she remembers his face. He tells her that her mother was good, but she was in a bad marriage. Her father already had a family, they had a baby girl, Jennifer. His relationship with Katarina was a mistake, and that is when Liz happened. We see Katarina tells Ivan that she was pregnant, he tells her to tell her husband the child was his, it would make him happy. So, she did. Katarina took Liz from her father, let her believe another man was her father.
Katarina says she spent her whole life lying and pretending, Liz was the first real thing in her life and she did whatever she had to do to protect her. The next two years were a blur of lies, she was married to a man she didn’t love, she had a child with a man she was targeting as a spy. Her husband believed that the baby was his, her lover had no idea that he was the mark. She was living a lie, everything was pretended. It was becoming unbearable, there was a huge demand for more intel.
Her father knew that Katarina was lying, she was a plant and he needed to go to his superior. He confirmed that she was far worse than a KGB spy. At first, he didn’t understand, but then he realized that Katarina was connected to something far larger, a global network. He watched her, let him steal from him so he could steal from her. He was able to prove the very existence of a secret global existence.
We then see the day that Katarina and Raymond’s relationship became explosive when he stole information from her and she called him on it. They began to get physical, Raymond drops his gun, Masha picks it up when she sees them physically fighting, she shoots Raymond. Katarina got Raymond to the car, she thought she could save him. A fire spread from two candles that were lit, Masha is in the car, but she went back inside to look for her stuffed animal, a bunny. Katarina went back in for her, the flames spread fast, the smoke. They were both burned. The death of her father, she was desperate to erase that night from Masha’s memory. She couldn’t save her father, she couldn’t lose her too.
The only way to keep her safe was to give her up. Liz tells her that she abandoned her, forget the rest, the lies she told her father, her husband, her country, she abandoned her. Katarina says she followed Raymond to America, but the KGB started asking questions that she couldn’t answer and that it was only a matter of time before they knew the truth, she was a double agent working for a secret organization. The Cabal knew Reddington stole evidence of their existence, the fulcrum and they expected her to steal it back before the intel could be exposed, but she couldn’t find the fulcrum. She had two of the world’s most ruthless organizations that wanted her dead.
The irony is that part of her didn’t want to survive. Knowing that Liz was with someone who was a stranger to her and killed her father would always be a part of who she was and that the people hunting her wouldn’t hesitate to hunt her, she wanted to take her own life. But, she changed her mind, she made a promise the day Masha was born, to protect her. She came up with a plan to disappear, she went to one of the only people she knew she could trust, Ilya Koslov.
Ilya and Katarina grew up together and decided to betray their country together. Liz says it is not true, Dom made it sound very convincing, but it’s not the truth. Katarina tells Liz that Dom lied to her about who became Reddington, but most of what he told her about Ilya was true; including the part of framing Reddington as a traitor. No one knew he was dead, to the rest of the world it seemed like he just disappeared. The fact that they decided to use it to their advantage. Ilya had an idea, one that would allow them to access the money that was used to frame Reddington, it was a lot, forty million. But Raymond would have to show up to access that money, and since he died in Katarina’s arms, he wouldn’t be able to. Ilya wanted to become Reddington. Liz says Ilya isn’t the one who walked into those banks, he is not the one who pretended to be Reddington.
Ilya says it was him, he did it for a few days and Katarina says that it made her realize how valuable a new Reddington could be. Ilya tells her Dom was lying, he made her believe that he became Reddington. He did that because he couldn’t accept the truth. Liz says her mother feared Reddington, she didn’t create him. If she had, she would have known Reddington’s true identity. Then we see an older Katarina, who says she didn’t know because she is not her mother. Katarina says she was an operative, she never chose to be her, the choice was made for her, she was just an asset, it was a job until it became her death sentence. Dom destroyed her life and his grandchild. Dom asked Ilya to kill his plant, Katarina, aka Tatiana Petrova.
To the outside world, Katarina was a phantom, hardly anyone knew what she looked like. Ilya called Katarina to Belgrave, deliver a package. But she didn’t die, her husband did when a bomb that was planted in her car went off when he opened the car door. They didn’t know he would be there, the world thought she was Katarina Rostova, her real name, became an alias. Liz says the real Katarina Rostova stayed hidden. When years later Reddington found out what Dom had done to Tatiana, he was horrified. Reddington was Tatiana’s night in shining armor, he tracked her down, financed her hiding, and protected her.
Until she found out that he was also hiding her mother, so she came for him. She had to hire because the world thought that she was her mother, but if she could find her, prove that she wasn’t Katarina she could have her life back. Reddington was the only one who could give her that. But it was Liz who brought her back to life, make her want to stop running. If Reddington knew where Katarina was she needed to get close, so she used Liz, used her love for her mother to discover where she was. Reddington killed Tatiana because Dom told her where to find Katarina. Liz asks her mother where she is, she doesn’t have to hide from her. Her mother says she made so many mistakes, but abandoning her was not one of them. Katarina says she created someone who could be with her when she knew she couldn’t be, Raymond Reddington.
Katarina knows Raymond’s real identity, Liz wants to know, she says she has waited long enough. Katarina says that she couldn’t protect her when she was hiding. Katarina constructed Reddington, someone powerful and feared, someone who traded the very secrets that could help him monitor the danger around Liz. An intelligence network was built to keep Liz safe. Her safety came at the expense of the people she loved. For nearly thirty years, Reddington funded her hiding and she was grateful until Liz asked questions. Tatiana tortured Dom, got him to tell her where Katarina had gone, where she was living, her new identity.
Reddington killed Tatiana so she couldn’t tell Townsend the truth. If Townsend found out he would be a threat to Liz and her daughter. This is all about protecting Masha and her daughter. Liz says now they have the why, now she wants the who, who became Reddington. She also wants to know where Katarina is. Then she hears Red’s voice, he tells her they have to go, Townsend is there. All of a sudden, guns go off and Liz is shot. Red has Liz, Dembe is there, but it is too late, Townsend is there and he tells Red that Liz doesn’t need a doctor, she needs a mortician, he has a gun pointing at her.
Townsend tells Red that in the end he spent his life protecting Liz and she betrayed him. She made it possible for him to find them. He tells Red that she made a deal with him, he was supposed to spare her life for Red, but deals are made to be changed. Townsend tells Red that tonight he is going to sleep like a baby, all he wants is for Red to see Liz die. All of a sudden, Liz grabs a gun and shoots Townsend in the leg a few times.
It gives Red, Dembe, and Liz time to escape through a hatch in the floor. Red has a mic, he speaks on the intercom and tells Townsend that what happened to his family was a horror that should never have happened. He was careless with information that put him and his family in harm’s way, he didn’t kill them, but he was hugely responsible for that. Townsend tells him that this is going to be his confessional on his death bed when his people get to him. Red tells him that it is not a flimsy hatch in the floor, it is a safe place and he is about to propel Townsend. Smoke starts to come into the room above from a chemical blast that is flammable. Then, Red hits a red button, and poof, the upstairs is gone and so is Townsend.