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10 Times Red Was a Total Badass on The Blacklist
Red is the man.
Throughout the crime drama's many nail-biting seasons, Reddington (James Spader) and the Intelligence Unit have put away dozens of bad guys. At this point, Red's become known for his iconic flair and effortless ability to demand respect in any room. The man is ferocious and intimidating (in the best way)—always the smartest in the room, never one to reveal his plan. In short: Red is badass, and every Blacklist fan knows it.
Below, relive 10 of Red's most jaw-dropping moments from The Blacklist that prove he is the criminal concierge you want on your side.
The moment Red first turned himself in
The moment that launched an obsession: When Red turned himself in to the FBI as a member of the Top 10 Most Wanted. The beauty of the moment is Red's casual stride into the FBI building, his nonchalance as he identifies himself and takes off his hat, preparing for the tornado-like arrest on its way. But little did the FBI know Red always had a plan in motion, so even at his most vulnerable, fans can bet he's calling the shots.
When Red reprimanded a stranger while undercover
Despite Red being one of the most dangerous criminals in the world, he's always looking out for those in need. While laying low from the authorities in Season 3, Liz Keen paid him a visit at a diner. Here, Red notices a man at a neighboring table abusing his girlfriend, which prompts the criminal mastermind to pause and step in.
That time Red threatened a man with a stick
One of Red's most memorable moments was in Season 2, when he found out his ex-wife Naomi's new husband was having an affair. Red reminds this guy that he's only alive because he makes Naomi happy—and he does this while threatening him with a stick. Yes, you read that correctly: He leaned down, grabbed a stick, broke it in half, and pressed it to the dude's jugular. Better yet: When the man relents and agrees to listen to him, Red tosses the stick for a dog to fetch.
Red's iconic revenge monologue
Some of Red's most badass moments occur during his iconic monologues, where he will either distract, school, or verbally smack down those around him. One of the first zingers Red ever had was in Season 1, when he talked to Milos Kirchoff, a man who claimed revenge was his "passion." But Red was keen to remind Milos he was wasting his time. "What a terrible waste. Time, blood, money. And in the end, for what revenge isn’t a passion. It’s a disease that eats at your mind and poisons your soul," Reddington said. Preach.
When Red gave Cooper a little reminder
Red will usually prioritize his squad's safety, offering them protection in ways that the FBI can't. But every so often, he has to remind his intelligence force that they should be careful. In Season 3, Red had to school Cooper (Harry Lennix) about his behavior, reminding him that he shouldn't forget Red's warnings about needing his protection. The moment is tense, but it's great because it begs the question: Where would we be without Red?
The time Red showed his foe that family comes first
In Season 5, one of the main blacklisters on Red's radar was a corrupt former U.S. Marshal, Ian Garvey, who used his position as a front while secretly working for drug cartels. After Garvey attempts and threatens to kill Keen, Red goes into full rage mode, but rather than grabbing a gun, he lets his words speak for themselves. "Might I suggest you enjoy the little time you have left? Crab cakes, scalp massages, perhaps a double feature of The 400 Blows and Jules and Jim. Whatever floats your boat," Red said.
Why? Because Red was going to kill him as soon as he got the evidence he needed. Of course, Keen is the one to kill Garvey in the end, but Red's warning will always be haunting.
Red choosing to rob a bank for his 60th birthday
Everyone should celebrate their 60th birthday in style. What better way to do so than by robbing a bank?
Season 6 kicked off on a wild note as Red visited a bank in the middle of a lackluster heist. Being the genius he is, Red convinced the bank robbers to follow his lead for half the cut.
Red grabbed a safety deposit box from the bank and led the robbers to a getaway truck. But in a surprise twist, Red then purposely hit a speed bump to dump the cash in the street and gave the robbers up to the police at the quickest opportunity. Why did Red do all this? To see if he "still had it," naturally.
When Red pulled strings in federal prison
Unrelated to the aforementioned bank robbery, Red spent a significant chunk of time behind bars in Season 6, which led to some fascinating prison-yard plot lines. Red is used to his nice suit, hat, and briefcase, but in Season 6, he proved he could still rough around with the toughest of the bunch, such as his former rival Baldomero.
Red pulled a, well, Red during a fight in the prison yard, where he shockingly orchestrated Baldomero's release, revealing he wasn't responsible for the crimes that earned him the cred in prison. It's a fun surprise for viewers and a testament to Red's reach, even in the stickiest situations.
That time Red treated torture like it was nothing
Season 8 was honored with an appearance from Laverne Cox as the insidious torture specialist Dr. Laken Perillos, who managed to get Red locked in her trap. Torturing the seasoned con proved more difficult than she imagined, however.
Red reminded her that pain and humanity are intrinsically connected, and by understanding that, he doesn't fear pain. Red managed to escape Perillos' clutches, but their time together is some of the best blacklister dialogue in the series.
The moment Red threatened Marvin
Season 9 of The Blacklist centered on Red solving the mystery of who killed Elizabeth Keen...with a shocking discovery: His lawyer and longtime friend, Marvin Gerard, was the one to arrange the hit. Every Blacklist fan knows the lengths Red is willing to go for Keen, so you can imagine her murderer was bound to receive hellfire.
Watch The Blacklist when it premieres February 26th at 10/9c on NBC. It will air Sundays at 10/9c on NBC and later stream on Peacock.