Every Main Character’s Most Redeeming Quality


The Blacklist has been going strong for eight seasons, telling the story of Raymond “Red” Reddington, a career criminal known as the “Concierge of Crime” and one of the FBI’s Most Wanted persons. Raymond turns himself into the FBI, promising to help them solve some of the biggest cases on their most wanted list and take down criminal masterminds they didn’t even know existed, known as blacklisters.

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They reluctantly oblige, even though it means that Red often takes advantage of them and uses their resources to help build his own empire at the same time. The character development has been tremendous on the show, and while each main character has their faults, there are also really good things about them.

10 Elizabeth Keen: Extremely Loyal

Elizabeth Keen's father, Reddington and Keen

Keen, the FBI agent who Raymond mysteriously wants to protect at all costs, has changed a lot. She has become jaded over time, and much more aggressive than she was at the beginning. That said, she has never stopped being an extremely loyal person.

She has been loyal to her team, loyal to Raymond, and most recently, loyal to her long-lost mother once she came to believe that her mother was being framed.

9 Donald Ressler: Works By The Book

Ressler rarely deviates from the plan and, for the most part, wants to do things by the book. He’s as straight and narrow an FBI agent as they come, and he has been through quite a bit when looking back at the series to date.

Sure, he has his own sordid past and will sometimes make exceptions to his moral code, especially when it involves someone he cares about. But even then, it would take a lot for Ressler to break his oath and do something illegal or even shady.

8 Harold Cooper: Father Figure

Harold isn’t just a boss of the team at the FBI, he is also like a father figure to many of them, most notably Liz. She grew up with an adoptive father who died and Harold has always been there for her to console, give advice, and be a shoulder for her to cry on whenever she needs one.

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While Raymond might be like the devil on Liz’s shoulder, Harold is the angel on the other one, watching and guiding her, always hoping to steer her, and the others, in the right direction.

7 Raymond “Red” Reddington: Disgustingly Charming & Well-Read

While he’s a criminal through and through who has murdered, manipulated, and threatened his way to the top, Red has also used his charm, hence the nickname the “Concierge of Crime.” He has a wealth of knowledge about everything, from geography to history, art, music, food, wine – you name it. He isn’t just street smart, he’s also quite book smart.

He’s very well read and there’s a certain charm about Reddington that makes him a fascinating dinner date, even if he’s trying to extract information from you.

6 Dembe Zuma: Easy To Trust

Of everyone on the series, Dembe is arguably the most trustworthy. He has never gone astray and would rather walk away not saying a word than lie to someone. He refused to lie to Liz about Red and just chose to stay silent.

When his Imam was kidnapped and he was forced to choose between him and Reddington, Dembe didn’t lie to get his way. He is always true to himself.

5 Aram Mojtabai: Dependable

Aram is the most dependable agent on the team at the FBI, always there when you need him and often saving the team when they have just seconds to spare thanks to his incredible IT and computer skills.

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Even when it hurts him, he will always do what’s right for the team, whether that means going against protocol or sticking with it.

4 Glen Carter: Lifts Spirits

Sadly, the actor who played Carter, Clark Middleton, passed away. Appearing in the first seven seasons of the series, he had a pivotal role on the show. As an employee at the DMV, he was also on Red’s payroll, providing information based on his access whenever Red needed it.

Every scene he appeared in was hilarious, and the chemistry between he and Red was fantastic. Carter was always in a good mood, cracking jokes and making viewers laugh, even if Red would get increasingly frustrated with him. No matter how serious a situation, Carter would be able to lift spirits.

3 Tom Keen: Wanted To Right His Wrongs

Meghan Boone and Ryan Eggold in The Blacklist

Tom had a rough upbringing and ended up in a life of crime as a con man. He conned Liz but ended up falling for her. This was a seemingly unforgivable thing once Liz figured out the truth. But Tom was able to redeem himself wholly by proving that he really did love her.

He began a path to righting all of his wrongs that sadly got cut short when he was killed. Nonetheless, his life was moving in the right direction.

2 Mr. Kaplan: Determined In Her Ways

Mr. Kaplan, Red’s “cleaner” for many years, was very skilled at her job, able to be in and out of a crime scene quickly and efficiently, leaving no trace of what happened behind and no body to be found.

Mr. Kaplan was very determined, even going so far as to help Liz escape from Red’s clutches when that went against her loyalties. Her betrayal ultimately led to her death when she went on the warpath to bring Red down. Nonetheless, her determination and steadfastness in her beliefs were to be admired, so it comes as no surprise that she’s often deemed the most likable character to have been on the show.

1 Katarina Rostova: Strong And Independent

Rostova was seemingly the innocent party in all of the drama, allegedly framed for something she didn’t do. At least this is how she presented the story to Liz. Surviving on the run for decades, she was strong and independent.

She was resourceful and able to stay in hiding while secretly trying to figure out how to clear her name. Had she not been a criminal, she’d be a worthy figure Liz could look up to.

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Updated: December 3, 2020 — 3:00 am

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