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Where Did Red Run Off to After That Shocking Blacklist Episode?
We're dying to know where Red is going ahead of the nail-biting series finale of The Blacklist.
Reddington has been on the run throughout the final season of The Blacklist, and as the series finale approaches, he's ditched the low profile in favor of a bonafide police pursuit.
Season 10, Episode 20 ("Arthur Hudson") was a testament to why The Blacklist is such a beloved drama. Fans witnessed the end of an era; Congressman Hudson (Toby Leonard Moore) had the evidence he needed to obliterate the FBI Task Force, but Red isn't the type to take an attack lying down. In fact, by the episode's end, the odds tipped back in Red's favor, even if he's technically back where he started before The Blacklist premiered.
The Blacklist Season 10, Episode 20 recap ("Arthur Hudson")
The action began with Cooper (Harry Lennix) anxiously preparing for his meeting with Hudson about the Task Force's fate. Over the years, the Task Force has started to work more for Red than with Red, and Red's recent illegal exploits have become increasingly difficult to defend. Red knows this, so he's been dismantling his criminal empire via Task Force investigations to shift the blame where it should be.
Meanwhile, besides Cooper, the Task Force hasn't heard from Red, leading the agents to question their future purpose. Without Red, is there even a Task Force? Is there still a Blacklist? Great questions from incredibly qualified agents who may need to be looking for a job soon.
Red meets with his lover/bodyguard, Weecha (Diany Rodriquez), to tell her he's planning to leave the country soon. Red is "off to chase the moon across the world" and would love Weecha to come. Weecha is hesitant about the plan, but Red tells her he'll be boarding his jet later, and she should come. If Weecha joins him: amazing. But if she doesn't, Red gets the hint.
Later, Red visits a few friends before his journey, including darling Agnes Keen (Sami Bray). Red tells Agnes that it's a special day because he has a gift for her: Liz Keen's FBI badge. Red gifts it as a reminder of her mother's effort and determination, adorably encouraging the young girl to choose a safer career path. Agnes notices Red seems off and asks if he is leaving, and he tells her that he is simply traveling as usual. Red reminds her that no matter what, he'll always be close to her heart.
The dreaded meeting with Hudson and the FBI Attorney General Stromberg arrives, and Cooper instantly faces cold water. Hudson has verbal proof from Cooper himself that Red has committed treason under their roof, but Cooper instead focuses on their accomplishments. Cooper tells them he has run out of excuses; he was a night watchman for a cause that helped people for years, but he's done apologizing.
Before they can respond to Cooper's swelling soliloquy, the television screens in their office start glitching. The meeting is halted once Red's bemused face suddenly appears on the screen, having recruited the help of his go-to hacker Tadashi Ito to pull it off. Hudson is furious over the intrusion, citing Red's actions as further proof of why the Task Force should end.
Little do they know, Red already has a plan, and the Task Force ending was always a part of it. We've watched as Red disbanded numerous areas of his criminal empire throughout The Blacklist's final season, with his role as a criminal informant seemingly the last step in divesting his assets. That's a tough pill for Cooper to swallow, but Red's interruption of Hudson's intervention confirms there is no way Red will be working with the FBI after this.
Red tells Hudson and the FBI that their problem is not with the Task Force but with him. Red assumes responsibility for the recent security breach and the shady positions he's put the Task Force in throughout the past decade. Red tells them that while he may have committed treason, Cooper and the Task Force have nothing to do with it; the agents have dedicated their lives to seeing nefarious criminals go behind bars, so they should be left out of it. To hammer this even harder, Red says that the Task Force is essentially clueless about his network. Red's criminal enterprise is much more expansive than they realize, so it's ridiculous for them to take the fall.
"You wanna blame someone, blame yourself and the others who preceded you because you want your information from Raymond Reddington," Red concludes his jaw-dropping speech. "You want to solve cases, you want to save lives, you want to have an effect. But you don't want to be guilty of doing business, not in the harsh light of day."
"Well, shame on you. I am what I am," Red reminds them. "You made a devil's bargain. Did you really expect me to stop being the devil?"
The moment easily lands in Red's most badass moments but leaves Cooper gobsmacked by the forced hand. Red has essentially broken up with the FBI, which means that Red and the Task Force can't be friends anymore. Even worse, someone needs to go to prison. Cooper enters the post office with a grim expression before updating his agents.
"As of this moment, Task Force 836 has been shut down. It no longer exists." Cooper solemnly tells the beloved agents. "We always wondered when this day might come. When we would be held to account for everything we've done with Reddington. That day is today. From this moment on, I encourage all of you to be candid and forthright in your answers."
Before the agents can raise concerns, Hudson and the FBI barge into the Task Force HQ to conduct a full audit of their operations. True to his original alliance with Red, Dembe (Hisham Tawfiq) pulls a stealthy maneuver by asking to go to the bathroom to steal an FBI escort's phone. Once in the restroom, Dembe calls Red to warn him that the feds are onto him and that he needs to high-tail it immediately.
Sure enough, Dembe returns to the FBI's watchful eye to hear that they've tracked down the beacon of Red's private airstrip. Red tells his trustee pilot Edward (played by the surprise guest star Andrew McCarthy) to get the show on the road. As the FBI arrives at the airstrip, they see Red's jet take off, a little too late to catch him.
Just as the FBI notifies Hudson and the Task Force that Red has fled, the jet shockingly explodes mid-takeoff. As the fiery inferno crashes toward the ground, the feds are stunned by the shocking scene. Hudson, however, insists they confirm that Red is dead. As one of Red's most formidable foes this season, Hudson was right on the money.
Moments later, we see Red and Weecha casually chatting about the explosives that have been rigged to the beloved jet for years. Red is thankfully alive and well with his lover, who quickly picks up a parachute-wielding Edward along the way. As the post office is completely gutted, a tear-jerking end to a thrilling era, Cooper gets an update from Stromberg.
The crash site for Red's jet was located with no bodies inside, meaning Red was never on board. As Cooper does his best impression of a shocked person, Stromberg decides to reinstate Task Force 836 to arrest Red. Wanting to avoid a political circus, Stromberg is demanding the arrest is made quietly, which is right up the Task Force's alley. Stromberg reminds Cooper that at the end of the day, someone will need to go to prison for the actions of the Reddington Task Force. The options are simple: either all the agents or Red himself will be prosecuted.
So if the Task Force can arrest Red, they are off the hook, which understandably incentivizes. It's upsetting for everyone involved, most of all Cooper, who has been tenaciously attempting to keep the Task Force and Blacklister operations afloat this season.
Cooper arrives home late, dejected and defeated after an illuminating day. Red casually sits at his dining table and asks for the grim update, apologizing for getting carried away during his interruption earlier. Cooper is as confused as he is devastated; he doesn't want to have to turn on Red, but what other option is there? Red provides helpful advice, fully aware that their situation has shifted.
"Don't look so glum. It's just cops and robbers, Harold," Red tells him. "Always has been, all these years. I'm just glad you're the cop."
Red tells Cooper that he hopes Donald Ressler (Diego Klattenhoff) is put on his case, just as he was over a decade ago before Red turned himself into the FBI and became a criminal informant. Everything is different now, but Red still encourages Cooper to "have a little fun on the way out."
"What would you have me do?" a baffled Cooper asks.
"Catch me if you can," Red smiles. "Vaya con Dios, my friend."
Agnes calls out for Cooper from another room, but just as Cooper turns his head back to his longtime colleague, he is already gone.
Where is Red going after that whirlwind episode? The entire U.S. government is back in bad graces with Red, but it doesn't look like the concierge of crime is going down without a fight. Red is an impossible man to find, and with the world at his feet, he could truly be anywhere. Fans will have to wait to see during the high-stake two-hour series finale of The Blacklist.