The Kingmaker” is the twentieth episode of Season 1 of The Blacklist and the twentieth episode overall. It first aired on April 28, 2014 on NBC.


A politician in an East European country enters a limo and is surprised that the driver is English/British. The driver renders him unconscious and removes his sunglasses. The politician wakes to find himself in a hotel room next to the dead body of a male escort.

Raymond Reddington suspects it's the work of the Kingmaker a strategist behind the rise of some of the world's most powerful politicians. Red is seen meeting with Niko Demakis about the Prague matter, and the man tells him that the recent news of a siege on Red's interests is causing several key people to start distancing themselves. Elizabeth Keen views the photos that Tom Keen had led her to, which show Red at the hospital where her adoptive father Sam had died. She confronts Red about it, but he steers her toward the more urgent matter of The Kingmaker being in the U.S. Elizabeth and the team are able to uncover a plot by The Kingmaker to run the car of a New York Congressman off a bridge, attempting to make him look like a hero by saving his family. This puts him in the best position to win a special election for a Senate seat, which The Kingmaker intends to vacate by killing the Senator. Alarms go off in the home where the murder is committed, with Ressler and Liz entering the home. The Kingmaker attacks Elizabeth and applies a choke hold, before being fatally shot by Ressler. Red meets with Fitch, telling him his businesses are under attack and suggesting it's a mutual problem. Fitch meets with members of his global alliance, then tells Red they have chosen to pull out of any association with him, despite Red's threats to expose them. Elizabeth phones Red to inform him about The Kingmaker. Red says he wants 10 minutes with the man to find out who ordered the Prague incident, but Liz has to tell him that The Kingmaker is dead. Elizabeth then visits Red about her adoptive father, with Red finally admitting he hastened Sam's death. Elizabeth calls Red a “monster”, and says the 2 of them are finished.

Press ReleaseEdit

THE NEXT TARGET ON THE BLACKLIST CAUSES RED CONCERN – After a Politician in Prague is framed for a murder, Red suspects it’s the work of the Kingmaker – a strategist behind the rise of some of the world’s most powerful politicians. While Red helps Liz and the FBI catch him, Liz uncovers a secret that Red’s been keeping from her.

Number on The BlacklistEdit

  • 42

Unanswered QuestionsEdit

  1. How long can Elizabeth Keen stay angry at Raymond Reddington?
    1. Harold Cooper will demand she work with Red.
    2. Liz cannot completely trust Cooper after the incident in “The Judge”.
    3. Liz needs Red’s aid to survive the increasingly unstable situation. Her marriage is destroyed, her FBI career is on shaky ground, Red is taking control of the task force, and Liz needs helps in dealing with Milos Kirchoff.
    4. Liz overcame the anger after “Gina Zanetakos” in “Frederick Barnes”.
    5. Liz realized that Red was using the FBI to destroy an enemy that was threatening Red's syndicate. Her anger was based on personal reasons.
    6. Liz refused to believe the photo in Tom Keen's safety deposit box, as she considered the option of a forgery. She verified Red was there with Donald Ressler's and Aram Mojtabai's help.
    7. Red has the advantages of time and his skill in manipulation techniques.
    8. Red only remained missing in “The Good Samaritan”. He returned in “The Alchemist”.
    9. Sustained anger will not be beneficial for the storyline.
  2. Raymond Reddington and Alan Fitch
    1. Is Milos Kirchoff using Red to attack Fitch? Milos Kirchoff likely knows about Red's fail-deadly/fail-safe evidence release.
      1. A: No, Milos Kirchoff has a personal grudge with Red and somehow retaliated against him both back in 1990 and this year.
    2. What evidence does Red have against the Cabal?
    3. What objective is the Cabal working for? It has a Chinese representative who is likely a high ranking government official.
      1. A: Themselves. To me they seem like a conspiracy theorist's version of the Bilderberg Conference.
    4. Was Red bluffing Alan Fitch? It would be consistent with the situation. He showed a controlled desperation for help.
      1. A: Red made it clear that if his adversary, Milos Kirchoff, kills him; then the evidence he has against Fitch will be made public.
    5. How much control does Fitch have over the Cabal? His position as the chairman is shown to be mostly symbolic.
  3. Why does Milos Kirchoff have a vendetta against Red? The actions taken so far seem to be a combination of Anslo Garrick and “The Count of Monte Cristo”.
    1. A: It has something to do with the death of Milos Kirchoff's daughter whose photo was seen in Stanley R. Kornish's personal book of the people he has killed and on the photo of her seen on his watch in “Berlin: Conclusion”. She was murdered by Kornish in his own secret experiments, but Milos Kirchoff believes Red was involved and attacked his family in 1990.
    2. A: Kornish did not kill anyone, he disposed of bodies for his clients. It is possible that Milos Kirchoff believes that Red killed her (or had her killed) and hired Kornish to dispose of the body.
  4. Why was Raymond Reddington so shaken/distraught when Elizabeth Keen told him that the Kingmaker was dead. He should have considered this outcome considering that other Blacklisters have been killed. He could have told Keen that taking the Kingmaker alive would have allowed the FBI to expose all of his clients. He showed dismay despite never giving Keen an incentive to take the Kingmaker alive.
    1. A: Red was hoping they kept the Kingmaker alive because he wanted answers regarding Milos Kirchoff.
    2. Q: Red never told Keen that the Kingmaker needed to be taken alive.
  5. Kingmaker
    1. Red and the Kingmaker seemed to have similiar personalities in terms of upper class culture and behavior. Are their backgrounds similiar?
      1. A: Red was being trained for flag rank, it is possible that the Kingmaker underwent similar training
    2. Why was the Kingmaker constantly sniffing?
      1. A: Based on his obsession with cleaning it is likely he suffers from multiple allergies.
    3. Why did the Kingmaker remove his sunglasses after Emil Dusek fell asleep in the car? The body language indicated that it was to show menace to the audience. The camera focused on the action of the removal.
      1. A: Ignoring the “breaking the fourth wall” angle, it is likely that he removed them to make himself more forgettable to any possible witness.
      2. Q: Then why wear them in the first place? You do not want the victim remembering you.
      3. A: Because Emil Dusek was not a trained observer, he would  primarily notice the sunglasses and in any description he gave they would figure prominently. Since any witnesses who saw him after Emil Dusek was unconscious would state that he was not wearing sunglasses, this would cast doubt on Emil Dusek's version of events.
    4. Why did the Kingmaker smoke tobacco? He had his hotel room cleaned for bacteria. Was the cleaning crew hotel staff or his own special team?
    5. Why did the Kingmaker leave the schematics in his hotel room? Was he that confident that he would remain unknown even after Patrick Chandler informed him of the FBI visit?
    6. Why did the Kingmaker not fatally shoot Albert Mitchell? Also, he used a slow method of strangling Elizabeth Keen.
    7. What will happen the rest of the the Kingmaker's clients? Some can escape, but others are likely relying on the Kingmaker for sustaining their careers.
    8. What will happen to Emil Dusek? Without the Kingmaker, his conviction is not certain.
    9. Did Milos Kirchoff order the framing of Emil Dusek because Raymond Reddington had rigged his election?
  6. Why did the speakeasy need Le Claire's Pawn Shop as a front?
    1. A: Isn't indoor smoking banned?
    2. Q: Many smokeasy's will defy the smoking ban or use loopholes.
    3. A: Law enforcement commonly uses perp walks and high profile people are concerned about their public image.
    4. Q: Smoking bans vary by region, many states will give an exception to cigar bars.
    5. A: Not if the cigars are Cuban.
    6. Q: The owners can pay the oversees supplier to re-label the cigars.
    7. A: DNA testing exists for plants.
  7. What will Liz do about Tom? Without Red she has no way of tracking him.
    1. A: She could come clean to the FBI, and they will track him.
    2. Q: That will destroy her career, Harold Cooper will see Liz's actions as evidence that she has allied with Red.
    3. A: She was between a rock and a hard place. The task force had already cleared Tom, she could argue that she needed concrete evidence, not just a discarded Uncle Flippo.
    4. Q: The FBI cleared Tom twice, first when Liz entered the FBI and in “Gina Zanetakos”. That does not give them credibility in tracking Tom now that he is actively hiding.
    5. A: The task force has the resources to go beyond the standard procedures, as proved by their detection of the copied DNA in “The Alchemist”.
  8. Why did Albert Mitchell not wait for the police? As a senator, he should know the dangers of his position and the deaths from break-ins.

Slanders on the FBIEdit

  1. Why did Liz and Ressler not use flashlight/torch at the senator's house? It would lessen the risk of an ambush and friendly fire.
  2. Why was a SWAT team not used for the hotel raids and at the senator's house?
  3. Why were Elizabeth Keen and Donald Ressler first on scene at the Senator's house, where were the local police and the Secret Service? Also, Harold Cooper told Meera Malik to call the company's security office.
    1. A: The United States Secret Service does not protect senators.
    2. Q: The Secret Service protects anyone the President tells them to protect.
    3. A: There was no mention of the President.


Main starEdit

Guest starEdit


  • Kyle Anderson as Young Guy
  • Antwayn Hopper as Clerk
  • Richaud Valls as Charles
  • Logan Crawford as Newscaster #1
  • Jeanine Ramirez as Newscaster #2
  • Tara Gadomski as BBC Reporter
  • Jane Fergus as Newscaster #3
  • Cullen Wheeler as Unknown Man
  • Ezra Barnes as Businessman



External LinksEdit

Season 1 Episodes
 · Pilot  · The Freelancer  · Wujing  · The Stewmaker  · The Courier  · Gina Zanetakos  · Frederick Barnes  · General Ludd  · Anslo Garrick  · Anslo Garrick: Conclusion  · The Good Samaritan  · The Alchemist  · The Cyprus Agency  · Madeline Pratt  · The Judge  · Mako Tanida  · Ivan  · Milton Bobbit  · The Pavlovich Brothers  · The Kingmaker  · Berlin  · Berlin: Conclusion  ·
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