The goings-on in the upcoming season of NBC’s “The Blacklist” are a bigger secret than Red Reddington’s past, if James Spader’s cryptic remarks to press on Monday are any indication. The actor was tight-lipped about certain plot points coming up in the drama’s sophomore season, further adding fuel to the fire surrounding the mystery that is “The Blacklist.”
Spader stars as Reddington on the drama, and noted that when the series returns at 10 p.m. on Sept. 22, fans can expect some new twists and turns – but not the answer to the lingering question of who Elizabeth Keen’s (Megan Boone) father is. “That’s something to just let percolate for a bit,” he said while taking a break from shooting episode four of the second season. “Elizabeth Keen has spoken of a memory of being in a fire when she was a child, and somebody pulled her out of that fire. She may be assuming that it’s her father, but we’ve never said whether it’s her father or not.”
Previously, Spader has said that he believes it to be too easy for Red to be the FBI agent’s father, though working on the series has changed his take. “If the route is circuitous enough, the destination becomes less and less important,” he remarked, commenting on the difficulties of planning a network series with no determined lifespan. “You can have a larger arc, but the lifespan of a show dictates how circuitous it really has to be. And once you start taking all those backroads, the backroads become much more interesting than the destination.”
The actor was able to preview that there will definitely be more encounters with criminals from Red’s past when the show returns, and said that he has already filmed new, “cautious” scenes with Peter Stormare’s baddie, Berlin. Mary Louise Parker will also make an appearance on the drama as “someone who’s been living a very different life away from [Red],” Spader offered. “[But] the events of the day have dragged her back into his life.”
Spader also noted that it is difficult to speak to press about the show without giving away surprises and major plot points. “I can’t really tell you what the scene is or it’ll blow the episodes,” he laughed.
“The protocol for how Red operates changes dramatically,” Spader said of where we will find the high-profile criminal in the premiere, after his task force was ripped apart in the season finale. “He just has to conduct his relations with the FBI in a very different manner, considering the events of last year. He’s the same person, but the circumstances that he’s putting himself into are certainly different than what has preceded [them].”
“There’s no question that on our show we attempt to turn things on their ear when we’re able to,” he added, teasing that “The Blacklist” will feature numerous cliffhangers this season, including one at its mid-season finale, and another when the show airs following the Super Bowl before shifting to its new Thursday timeslot in February. The post-Super Bowl episode on Feb. 1 will be the first of a two-parter, with the second airing in the new slot at 9 p.m. on Feb. 5.
“You wouldn’t have to be a wizard to realize in both those circumstances we’re in a cliffhanger situation where, for very practical purposes, we’re going to leave people curious and hanging,” Spader remarked. “It’s going to be very hard to predict how this season unfolds.”