The Blacklist

The Blacklist: Raymond Reddington Vs. Mr. Kaplan Was The Best War Of 2017

Fans of The Blacklist have called Season 4 one of the best they’ve ever seen on television. In the first three seasons, it was the plight of Raymond Reddington getting to know Elizabeth Keen and vice versa. However, the fourth provided insight into Reddington’s past. It was done so brilliantly that I didn’t want it to end. The climactic season of The Blacklist was spearheaded by a battle between Reddington and his former partner, Kate aka Mr. Kaplan.

Mr. Kaplan was never deemed an enemy of Reddington’s until she double-crossed him. In doing so, she easily became the most dangerous of Red’s enemies. What made Mr. Kaplan so dangerous was that she was a trusted friend for many years. Mr. Kaplan knew all Reddington’s secrets but most of all, she knew his heart. While the FBI has tried to take down Raymond Reddington for years, Kate did it in a matter of weeks.

It started when Mr. Kaplan disobeyed Red by offering safe passage to Elizabeth and her family so they could get away from Raymond. In his eyes, he was Liz’s protector, however, Mr. Kaplan knew that as long as he was around, they would forever be in danger. It wasn’t that Red was going to physically harm them, but he’s the type of guy who just attracts violence.

When Mr. Kaplan told him what she did, Red had no choice but to end her life. The only problem with that was, he didn’t kill her. Red took Mr. Kaplan out in the woods and shot her in the head. But the beauty of Mr. Kaplan was the fight she possessed. She didn’t get a certain place on the criminal totem pole because of her good looks. With Mr. Kaplan still alive, unbeknownst to Raymond Reddington, Mr. Kaplan set in motion a plan to take her former friend down.

What made this battle one of the best of 2017 was that there was very little bloodshed. See, even with Reddington shooting to kill, Mr. Kaplan was not interested in killing him, nor was he in her. In Kate’s eyes, taking everything he held dear to him would be worse than putting a bullet in his head. So, little by little, Mr. Kaplan stated to chip away at Red’s empire, and before long he had nothing left. She was able to control the one man who no one could control.

But still, Red couldn’t find it in his heart to kill her.

Besides Liz, Mr. Kaplan Was A Weak Spot for Raymond Reddington

As the war raged on and Mr. Kaplan felt the walls closing in, she had one last trick up her sleeve– the infamous suitcase. As Red finally had Mr. Kaplan cornered, he still offered her a way out. Red had an escape plan set for himself and he offered it to Mr. Kaplan with no strings attached. However, she refused and jumped off a bridge to her death.

While some will give the nod to Game of Thrones for their epic battle in 2017, what transpired in The Blacklist over the course of Season 4 was not about money or power. Raymond Reddington vs Mr. Kaplan was personal.

It was like watching your mother and father go through a nasty divorce but afraid to admit that the marriage is actually over. The love is still there but now it’s about respect. What transpired during that battle with the consequences are still being felt in Season 5. Because of Mr. Kaplan’s actions, Reddington was forced to tell Liz the truth that he’s her father. Also, due to her actions with the suitcase, Liz’s husband Tom, was murdered this season.

No matter how many “Blacklisters” Red helps the FBI catch, the one person he couldn’t stop could become the one who sets up his death even if she’s already dead. It seems that Mr. Kaplan’s plan is just getting started.


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