The Blacklist series finale ending explained: What happened to Red?

THE BLACKLIST -- "Raymond Reddington #00: PT. 1" Episode 1021 -- Pictured: James Spader as Raymond "Red" Reddington, Jonathan Holtzman as Chuck -- (Photo by: Will Hart/NBC)
THE BLACKLIST -- "Raymond Reddington #00: PT. 1" Episode 1021 -- Pictured: James Spader as Raymond "Red" Reddington, Jonathan Holtzman as Chuck -- (Photo by: Will Hart/NBC) /

The Blacklist series finale brought us twists and turns all the way to the end. What happened to Raymond “Red” Reddington by the end of the episode?

Caution: This post contains major spoilers from The Blacklist series finale.

The first hour of The Blacklist series finale ended with a major twist in the search for Red. After finding out that Dembe was the one to warn Red at the airfield, Hudson had him arrested. During the transportation to see him locked away, Red crashed into the vehicle.

It led to a standoff. Hudson was the one to pull the trigger first, shooting Dembe in the neck. Red shot Hudson in the head and then shot Ressler in the chest three times. All Red wanted was to get Dembe to a hospital, which is where he arranged for a blood transfusion with his own blood.

Did Red get caught in The Blacklist series finale?

The big question was how things would end for Red, though. Once he realized that Dembe was stable, he left the hospital. He was struggling with a shortness of breath, though. It was clear that this was serious when he started coughing up blood.

The Task Force eventually figured out where Red had to be heading. He was taking the bullhead back to where he believed it should be in Spain. Ressler got to the house Red was staying at, but Red wasn’t there at the time.

Ressler continued his search for Red, while Red went off to take a walk. Red had a chance to take stock of the life around him as we found out that Dembe wasn’t going to be arrested but he was fired from the FBI. Dembe made it clear to Cooper that he wasn’t angry about that. It was time to get away from being in front or behind guns.

Dembe suggests to Ressler to check out the local market as that’s where Red likes to go when he’s staying somewhere for a few days. As he does that, he comes across the watermelon stall Red had visited earlier, he finds out where Red had the watermelons delivered. It turned out that while Ressler checked the main house, Red was actually staying in a property behind the main house.

Ressler raced back up there to find out where Red was. The bullhead was there with folded clothes and his gun on the nightstand. Where did Red walk to? Wherever it was, he came across a large bull covered in flies. As the bull charged to Red, we cut to Ressler now in a helicopter to search the area thanks to his contact at the local police department.

Sure enough, he found a collapsed Red in a field. He’d been killed by the bull. Arguably, the only way to end The Blacklist was with Red’s death. And this time, Ressler has eyes on him and he’s definitely dead. It saves Agent Nixon going out and executing the man.

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It was certainly a bittersweet ending to the series with so little action to bring Red in. But for Red’s story as a whole, it strangely worked.

The Blacklist is available to stream on Peacock.