Conspiracy Corner: Fan Reaction to The Blacklist “Cape May”

The Blacklist fan conspiracy corner

Conspiracy Corner: Fan Reaction to The Blacklist “Cape May”


Darn it, that pesky Blacklist! They reveal very little and hold on to a lot! This is the nature of The Blacklist. It’s nerve racking to say the least but it’s also the reason it is so much fun. Here’s what fans across Blacklist Fandom had to say about The Blacklist Season 3, Episode 19, “Cape May”.


Fans React from Across The Blacklist Facebook Groups


“The Cape May episode is a Cubist’s dream. Cubist artists seek to “incorporate multiple perspectives within a single plane of view.” This is what we saw in the Cape May episode. As we seek to understand Reddington’s mind and point of view, it is not clear when he is speaking of Elizabeth, when he is speaking of Katerina, or even when he is speaking of Agnes. They are all representing multiple perspectives of what is ultimately Reddington himself. Time is not linear, in the episode, it’s fluid. We see this in songwriting as well as art. Describing songs like Tangled Up in Blue, Bob Dylan described this type of writing like this, “What’s different about it is that there’s a code in the lyrics, and there’s also no sense of time. There’s no respect for it. You’ve got yesterday, today and tomorrow all in the same room, and there’s very little you can’t imagine not happening.” The “code” is the thing that Daniel Knauf left us with in the Cape May episode. How do we break that code? The first step is to not think linearly (or even always literally – there are so many “representations” of Reddington’s mind that goes outside the dialogue) but engage as robustly as we can from with the multiple perspectives and all at the same time. Brilliant writing and performance! Here’s a song to demonstrate the concept and inspire our code breaking – the song itself continues to evolve, with the lyrics changing as well as the pronouns even in recent years – this one is from the Rolling Thunder Tour in 1975:


Mary Ailes, The Blacklist Exposed


“How many of you noticed the flag was upside down at Cape May? Flying the American flag upside down is an officially recognized signal of distress or WAR!”

Susanne Patterson, Clearing The Red Tape


“Disclaimer: This is just an idea I was thinking over while I was on my daily walk. I don’t know if I believe it or if I believe any of the theories I’ve read so far. It’s *just an idea*. I do know that I am not in any real hurry to find out all the answers. I am actually content with the pace of the show. So… I think Red already had a family, whom he betrayed by having a brief yet passionate affair with Liz’s mother; a woman he met by chance in a diner or someplace similar. A woman who was an agent of some sort, maybe in deep undercover who was already on the lam for one reason or another. A woman who already had a child and decided that for this child’s protection she needed to end her own life. Then she meets Red, or he comes to her rescue like in that brief diner scene we glimpsed in Cape May; and they have an affair. He becomes more involved with her than he ever intended to and ends up with the care of little Lizzie. He takes her home and attempts to hide her with his own family, but the bad guys discover her whereabouts, kill Red’s family and burn his house down… just as he is arriving home to celebrate Christmas with all of them… He rescues Liz, gives her to Sam to raise and begins his life as Raymond Reddington, master criminal. Liz could be an unwanted heir, pursued by the family of moneyed folk… Red might not have had an affair with Liz’s mother… maybe he was just in the wrong place at the right time… He has often said he was a different person then… that he was “arrogant.” Hell, if he did take lil Lizzie home to his wife and family he would have had to have told his wife *something.* And we all know how charming he can be…”

C.B. Tish, The Blacklist Fan Group


“I think this is a wonderful show . Season 1 and 2 were awesome. Season 3 was to me great, but it was also like a roller coaster ride. It went through Red and Lizzy on the run which was so good. Then it had to write her pregnancy in. which I think the writers done a wonderful job, even with her being a little winey at times. Then they had to write the fact in that she wanted a maternity leave. Now the rest of the season is some of the best. I think it will give Red time to explain some of his past. Then next season. Lizzy will be back to her old self and will be working with Red, like season 1 and 2. So I think the writers done great with all the changes, even tho they lost some viewers. If they would have just hung on. The Blacklist, to me is still one of the best on TV. Can’t wait for next week. I have watched them all so much, you start to figure it out. It is like a good mystery. I suggest anyone that is going to start watching it, get season 1 and 2 and watch it all. James Spader really deserves an award. Great actor.”

Barbara Turner, Clearing The Red Tape


“Yesterday the was an exchange where I posed my position that Red was talking about Lizzy when he talked about the “woman he loved”. Others disagreed and thought he was talking about Katarina. I rewatched the scene last night and I am 100% convinced he is talking about Lizzy. Here is the exchange:

Red is answering the question posed by Katarina “Have you ever spared someone who deserved to die”,
Red’s answer: “There was a woman I loved. She was my life. My heart. And she died. (quick shot of Lizzy in hospital bed or ambulance) She left a beautiful little girl.” (Scene of Lizzy’s baby appears) “One last precious piece of herself. I would give anything to be a part of that child’s life. (Scene of Tom telling Red he cannot ever see Agnes appears) “But a man made it clear I would never see her. Hold Her. Watch her grow. I knew at that moment I would never be a part of the little girls life because he was her father.” At this point Katarina repeats “her father” and Red then says “and to harm him would be to harm her. A mortal sin.” The point of this scene, other than to make it clear (in my view) that Red loved Lizzy is that Red wanted to kill Tom because he will not allow him to be in Agnes’s life, but spared Tom because he would never remove her father (Tom) from Agnes’s life.”

Judi Miller, The Blacklist Exposed


“For some reason I have always looked at “The Blacklist” as a tornado. It appears, disappears, reappears and wherever it goes it touches one house and destroys it and hops over the next. It is a force of nature and I ‘believe’ Jon and the closest circle of those who know ‘the truth’ and how things really are which Spader said in very early interviews he needed to know in order to play Red just right. I’ve posted before who I think this inner circle is, and I believe all other to be meteorologists. Licking their fingers, holding it to the wind and writing as best they can what they think the weather will be.

The writers are given just enough to write the episodes in the direction they need to go, some knowing more than others, some figuring out more than others. And we the viewers, the true fans are still the people holding their fingers up, feeling at the wind, looking for the green in the sky, listening to the silence of the birds and the absence of crickets and other insects flitting about.

We are made ready, we are ‘keen’ly aware, something is in the wind and change is coming, something turbulent.

I’ve never really wanted to predict events nor do I mull over the past episodes too much anymore. When it first started it was very mathematical and was easy for me to read aloud what I saw in the numbers for those challenged by just what happened or what something meant. But a fog has moved into the show, a fog of war shall we say. A war bigger than Berlin and the Cabal….this war is a personal one.

My own Mother keeps asking about Jennifer and I keep telling her Jennifer and Red are akin to Berlin and his own daughter. They are not meant to be together and I doubt we will see her anytime soon if ever. Red knows now if he didn’t before to be anywhere near her life would be to put her in danger. So WHY, did he insert himself into Lizzie’s life? This question has been answered by Red himself. Once she went into the FBI, she was thrown in to his world automatically. They would brush shoulders, even if only the task force were to target some far removed associate of his, and that was something he could not risk. She means too much.

Do I believe her to be his daughter? Yes. I am one of them. I believe her to be a love child between him and Katarina. He said he would never lie to her, but the pause when she first posed the question in Season One I think said it all. He had a choice to make in that moment on the phone and I think he knew to tell her the truth would only make things far worse. It would easier for her to lose him to circumstance or in death if he were to remain an informant only, no matter how good he was to her, as long as he never confirmed being her father she would never have to feel the pain of losing someone else. She had lost enough already, a childhood, a memory, trauma so deep… much more could he do to her.

Tom tells the truth whenever he tells Red it is RED who is the danger in her life but Red will not listen. Never, and definitely not to the likes of Tom. And yet going back to the diamond heist he has been saving Tom’s life. Why? Because he means something to Liz and Red will do anything to save her pain even if it means the danger of Tom remaining in her life.

But this is more a overhaul of the show, let us not get into the specifics.

The show is now coming out of the fog. Red has been fooled into believing Liz dead. She is safe. Tom has drawn the line between him and baby. DONE. And so, time rewinds upon itself and begins again for Red but this time he has 20 years of mistakes made to use and this time he will get it right even if it costs him his own life.

What I do know? Solomon will be Tom’s last kill. Red will give him that honor I believe if they have the choice. Where will the show go from there? Only Jon and his Cabal know. Possibly back to math, possibly onward to deeper fog. All I know is no matter what happens from episode to episode, the highs, the lows, I am forever a fan and not a blind one, in love with Spader that I will tolerate trash. No sir/maam, I am a true fan because I love the webs they weave and never being really sure what is around the corner and don’t we just love that moment in movies and the like, the creak of a door, the twist of a doorknob, the thing around the bend awaiting us? Edge of your seat viewing is what brings us back time and again.
Cheers to NBC, the writers and the creator of Bokenkampland….no matter what happens you have me and many of us hypnotized and we are putty in your hands. Do with us what thou whilst.”

Joey Schoenberger, Blacklisters Only


“Yes. The Fixer. The Clean Up. Mr. Kaplan. Kate Kaplan. Katarina. Mashas Mom. Reds True Love. Spy. Ruthless.
The reason this whole mess began……….
Both people, one and the same. Then, and Now.
Katarina/Kate/Kaplan = the same person.

Anne Sheely, The Blacklist Fan Group


Make sure to stay active in your Blacklist FB Group, and your comment could be featured in our next Conspiracy Corner: Fan Reaction Edition. The next episode of The Blacklist airs on Thursday, April 28th at 9 p.m. on NBC.


  1. Wow, I totally missed the flag being upside down at Cape May. Great catch. The episode itself was a huge deal for me. I’ve been reading theories related to it and wanted to cover a few different aspects, share my opinion as to what I saw and felt. While it is possible, I don’t believe Red was suicidal. I believe he suspended all funds and paid off all debts before leaving for Cape May because he wasn’t sure how long he’d be gone, and he didn’t want anyone waiting to get paid. He’s a criminal, so he more than likely owes money to other criminals. Criminals who may not like waiting to get paid.
    I believe him saving Katarina in her first suicide attempt scene was Red recreating the events, changing them in his mind to avoid the reality of what really happened. I believe her second attempt at the end was the reality. He was upstairs, he caught sight of her walking into the water, and he was too late in saving her. Yes, I believe Red was there when Katarina committed suicide, that this really happened right in front of him. I think that’s why he knew she was in Cape May to begin with. How he knew her clothes were left on the beach. What she was feeling in her last moments. Why he was quite sure she’d died. He mentioned to Katarina’s ghost that he was there once before. Once. A long time ago. He was a different person then. This would have happened two months after the fire, when he was grooming for admiral. When he was a highly respected officer in the Navy.

    I believe the Hobson’s choice was regarding Katarina and Liz the night of the fire. I believe he was talking about Liz in the second conversation, but I don’t believe it was romantic love he was speaking of. Liz was his life. He spent the past 20+ years trying to protect her, trying to give her the life she deserved. I believe Red is her father, whether biological or stepfather. I believe Red had an affair with Katarina, either resulting in her pregnancy with Liz, or he decided to love and care for her as he would his own. I think that’s why Carla/Naomi has such ill feelings toward Red. What I gather from Red’s dialogue, he was around during Katarina’s entire pregnancy. He knew how she felt during and after. I also believe he remained in her life at least until Liz was four. I believe Red is the one who took the photograph of Liz sitting on her mother’s lap. I don’t believe Red and Katarina were partners in any work related capacity. Red was grooming for admiral of the U.S. Navy and Katarina was a Russian spy. I believe the Cabal forced Katarina to go against Red. Made her spy on him, and the Cabal threatened Masha’s life if she didn’t follow through with their orders. They wanted the fulcrum, and she took them to the house that night to get it. When they couldn’t find it, the Cabal left all three of them in the house to burn- Katarina, Red, and Liz. Red chose to save Liz, gave her to Sam, then set off to find Katarina. He wanted to reunite his family, but when he caught up to Katarina in Cape May, she chose suicide. Red then chose vengeance, as he spoke to Ressler about in the Mako Tanida episode, so he had Sam adopt Liz to keep her safe from the choice he made.

    As for Red saying he wasn’t Liz’s father, he wasn’t lying. Liz didn’t ask him, “Are you my biological father?” She simply asked him, “Are you my father?”
    When Liz was given to Sam for adoption, those parental rights were given to Sam, so Red hasn’t been her father since she was four. Not technically, so he didn’t lie to her.

    I believe Cooper will hire Tom to lure out Solomon, but something will happen that will send Tom and Solomon to the spin-off together.

    • I really like your theory as to the past and timeline of events. It makes a lot of sense and think it’s very plausible. I don’t know if I really believe Red is her father, but I think in the end that biological connection is a moot point. It only matters how much he loved and cared for her. Great commentary though, thanks John!

  2. For my theory about Cape May, please visit my WordPress post:

    This is different.

    • Paul,
      Just finished reading your theory, and I liked it a lot, thanks for sharing it with us! I definitely felt that Raymond was haunted for that entire episode, and wondered if he was seeing Katarina’s ghost, instead of her just being a figment of his imagination. It never occurred to be about the possibility of a recurring haunt though. There was a moment in particular that I watched over and over that really made me think more haunting than active memory… when Raymond got jumped in the bathroom, there was very clearly a woman’s voice that said, ‘found you’, but there was no woman in the bathroom.

      Anyway, great theory and please feel free to share yours with us anytime!


      • J., glad you liked it. Yes, that scene with the woman’s voice in the bathroom– it was either the “mysterious woman’s” voice issuing a telepathic warning before she got in there (she ran in afterwards), or it was another woman’s voice. The ghost of Liz? Whoever it was, she actually said “…behind you.” The woman ran in 5 or 6 sec later. So it was definitely a warning about the guy sneaking up on Red.

        The author of this ep has written/produced paranormal stories before, so he knew where he was going with this. As an author/investigator myself, it takes one to know one

        • Yes, Daniel Knauf is a great writer. He actually penned one of my favorite series, Carnivale, that used to air on HBO. I am a big follower of the paranormal not only in pop culture like movies and TV, but in fiction and life. I’m an amateur investigator with a little training, so I love when episodes like this cross my path. I tend to pay closer attention when the possibility of spirits are in play.

  3. Pingback: Seeing Ghosts | Light in the Dark Paranormal

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