The Blacklist: NBC announce return with gripping teaser

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The Blacklist is no stranger to betrayal, double-crosses, and backward dealings. The NBC show originally kicked off with Raymond Reddington (played by James Spader) surrendering himself over to the FBI, offering to help them catch notable criminals like himself. However, season nine could see Reddington betrayed after a revealing interview with Dembe Zuma star Hisham Tawfiq.

The Blacklist season nine is very different as it picks up two years after the events of season eight.

The FBI taskforce has disbanded following the death of Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone), with each member of the group now dealing with their own personal problems.

Elizabeth’s death has sent shockwaves through the entire group, with Dembe still struggling with his grief in season nine.

The pair were close friends, and Dembe’s loyalty towards her and Reddington was always his strongest quality.

Speaking on NBC’s New York Live, Tawfiq revealed some of Dembe’s arc in season nine, admitting his loyalty will be called into question this time around.

Tawfiq explained: “It’s been two years, all of the characters are, I guess over the two-year period, we have been dealing with grief.

“We are trying to figure out what our purpose in life is and I guess with Dembe that is the same thing.

“But with Dembe, I can’t say where you’ll find him but I will say that he is in a place that we have never seen in the previous eight seasons.”

However, when asked about Dembe’s relationship with Reddington and how the pair will reconnect, Tawfiq admitted it wouldn’t simply be just like old times.

The star added: “I think with [season nine]… I think a lot of people might question [Dembe’s] loyalty this season.

“But I will say that Dembe is extremely loyal, operates from a place of love, will always be at Raymond’s side, whether he believes it or not.”

Tawfiq’s last point suggests Dembe and Reddington will come into conflict this season, with Reddington doubting Dembe’s loyalty.

This could simply come from a misunderstanding, or Dembe is now actively working against Reddington’s motives.

However, Tawfiq did stress Dembe will always “be at Raymond’s side,” suggesting the two will ultimately come back together.

This is in line with the synopsis of season nine, as it reveals the old group will have to reunite in order to stop a new criminal.

The opening episode of season nine introduced viewers to where the characters have been over the past two years, and where they are now.

If Dembe does betray Reddington, it will almost certainly be in relation to the death of Elizabeth.

Reddington initially agreed to work with the FBI, only on the grounds he would work with Elizabeth exclusively.

Now that she is gone, all bets are off on who is loyal to who, as Reddington’s motives are once again called into question.

The group, and viewers, still have a lot to learn about Reddington’s past, with any potential reveal throwing the team into doubt.

The Blacklist season 9 airs Thursdays at 9pm EST on NBC in the USA. A UK release date is yet to be confirmed.

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