UPDATED 4/26/17: EVIDENCE THAT RED IS NOT THE REAL RAYMOND REDDINGTON
Disclaimer: Before you write this theory off as crazy, like I myself did two years ago, please have an open mind and consider all of the following evidence before forming your opinion. And although I am a Lizzington shipper, this post is not overly or strictly Lizzington in it’s design or belief and does not intend to use this theory just to promote my ship. One final note, it is long, and contains spoilers.
This theory is not a new one, and as stated above, has actually been around for quite some time, albeit existing on the far edges of the fandom. I myself did not jump onto this bandwagon until Season 4, Episode 8, when we heard the now famous statement from Red, in which he told Alexander Kirk that indeed, ‘Elizabeth’ was Red’s daughter.
For a few days following this bombshell, like many in the Lizzington shipper boat, I was devastated and disheartened by a show that has been adamant from the very beginning that they have never lied to us, only to hear those horrific words from Red stating that he was indeed Lizzie’s father. (All shipping aside, many fans simply couldn’t accept the idea that Red lies to Lizzie as this has been one of the very few things that has remained constant throughout the show since it’s creation.)
However, here’s where things get interesting. Daniel Cerone, the writer of the now infamous S4E8 episode, released several live tweets that night during the broadcast, that painted a very contradictory scene for me and which ultimately led to this post.
So without further ado, let’s jump right into this clusterf$%k and solve this riddle….
some chill disney tunes to get you through the day
01. He’s a Tramp - Peggy Lee // 02. Beyond the Sea - Robbie Williams // 03. You’ll Be In My Heart (Movie Version) - Phil Collins and Glenn Close // 04. When Will My Life Begin? (Reprise 1) - Mandy Moore // 05. Beauty and The Beast (Instrumental) - Philharmonic Disney Orchestra // 06. One Jump Ahead Reprise - Brad Kane // 07. Price Phillip - James Newton Howard // 08. La Valse De L'amour - Patrick Doyle // 09. Sing Sweet Nightingale - Ilene Woods // 10. La La Lu - Peggy Lee // 11. Candle On The Water - Helen Reddy // 12. When You Wish Upon A Star - Cliff Edwards
You don't think Red is Liz's father? I think it's been pretty obvious since day one, but I guess not everyone interprets it the same way..
No, I don’t, and I think it’s been pretty obvious from day one that he’s NOT her dad.
I’ll start with the music.
In episode 3 “Wujing”, the song “Here with Me” is played:
Caught in the riptide I was searching for the truth There was a reason I collided into you
Calling your name in the midnight hour
Reaching for you from the endless dream
So many miles between us now
But you are always here with me
Pretty shippy stuff, there, but on we go.
In episode 5 “The Courier”, the song “Wicked Game” is played when Liz goes to Red at the Hempstead House and she says she didn’t have anywhere else to go, and Newton Phillips tells him his future has arrived.
No I don’t want to fall in love (this girl is only gonna break your heart)
Now, of all the songs they could have chosen, they chose THAT one. If they wanted us to think he was her father, then they should have stayed away from songs that have those kinds of lyrics.
In episode 20 “The Kingmaker”, the song “Sweetheart, What Have You Done To Us” is played after Liz tells Red she’s done with him.
Sweetheart, what have you done to us? I turned my back and you turned to dust
What have you done?
And oh please, just come here, don’t fight with me
And I admit, think you may have broken it, yeah I admit
And if all you wanted was songs for you
Well here goes, after all that you’ve put me through
Here’s one for you
And don’t call me lover, it’s not enough
It’s got to be tough, cynical stuff
Follow my words to the end of our love
And God, you were the one who told me not to be
Sweetheart, what have you done to our love?
More love references. Interesting.
And in Episode 21 “Berlin, Conclusion”, the song “Just Breathe” is played when Liz returns to Red just before he’s set to leave the country and Liz for good.
Stay with me You’re all I see…
Did I say that I need you?
Did I say that I want you?
Oh, if I didn’t I’m a fool you see
No one knows this more than me
Again, I’m not seeing the fatherly connotations here. *shrugs* I’m not going to go in-depth with season 2 because I haven’t had the time to go through the songs, but I think I’ve made my point.
Now on to the physical evidence.
In the original pilot script for episode 1, it has Red asking Liz if he can touch her scar. She allows him to, and he strokes it in a weirdly erotic way. (which ended up being cut) There are clear sexual undertones that were used by Spader in the actual scene that were far from fatherly.
In episode 2 “The Freelancer”, Red tells Liz she can be his girlfriend from Ann Arbor. If my dad did that, I would be weirded out big time.
In episode 3 “Wujing”, Red talks to Liz about the G-spot. He also says “he has her” in response to her saying he has no one.
In episode 6 “Gina Zanetakos“, he comforts her and tells her she can trust him.
In episode 10 “Anslo Garrick, Conclusion”, Liz outright asks Red if he’s her father. He answers no. People think his hesitation means he was lying, I think it means there’s a lot more to the story. Most likely that he killed her real father.
In episode 13 “The Cyprus Agency”, Red tells Diane Fowler that he doesn’t know what happened to his family.
In episode 17 “Ivan”, Red tells Liz he has never lied to her, which backs up his NO in Anslo Garrick.
In episode 21, “Berlin, Conclusion”, Red tells Liz that her father died in the fire. People think he means metaphorically, which I think is a load of bull (sorry not sorry).
In season 2 episode 2 “Monarch Douglas Bank”, we find out that Red’s daughter Jennifer had gone missing from witness protection 5 years previous. Red’s never mentioned having two daughters, btw. And he’s known Liz for years, so why would he look so sad when watching the video with his daughter playing with bubbles in season 1?
In season 2 episode 3 “Dr. James Covington”, Liz’s dream scene with Red asking “What do you really want?” has clear sexual overtones. Plus Bokenkamp tweeted that that scene was “A
little overly sexual #Lizzington”
In season 2 episode 9 “Luther Braxton”, the hideous fish conversation. Nuff’ said.
In season 2 episode 10 “Luther Braxton, Conclusion”, Braxton calls Liz Red’s girlfriend while talking on the phone.
I could keep going, but I think the most recent episodes have been well-covered. I.E. The tango scene, the scene where Red pretty much admits that he took care of Liz over her life because of guilt etc, etc.
One last thing. Megan Boone herself has referenced Red and Liz’s journey as a “love story”. Do with that what you will.
The producers also said on the DVD commentary that they never intended for Red to be her father, but when the audience began to question it, they just went with it and began the long tease.
Daniel Knauf himself tweeted me and said that they have answered the father question “several times. Out loud.”
I’m genuinely curious as to why you think he’s her father. Can you break it down for me like I have for you? (I’m being serious)
Eric Morgan Stuart - Jacob Forsythe | Newton Oberly
Derek Phillips - Elder Maxson | Z2-47
There are of course plenty of celebrities and well established voice actors in the game, like Courtenay Taylor herself who plays the female player character. You may remember her as Jack in Mass Effect.
I just read an EW interview in which Jon Bokencamp said the following:
Red values loyalty above all else, and Mr. Kaplan betrayed him in the most impossible way. Remember, Reddington killed Newton Phillips in season 1 by suffocating him with a plastic bag from a funeral urn. He shot an old woman (Diane Fowler) after she betrayed him. Hell, he shot Pee Wee Herman! The man is ruthless. In Red’s mind, Mr. Kaplan had to go.
Except this was nowhere near the same thing. Newton was coerced and bribed and as a result Luli died. Diane Fowler was never loyal to Red, and she had a hand in Luli’s death, so yes she had to go. Mr. Vargas attempted to kill Dembe and set up Red and Liz to either save his own life or for money.
What Kaplan did hasn’t cost any of Red’s people their lives and it was following a primary order of Red’s: Protect Elizabeth. The idea that Red would feel he had to kill his oldest friend for trying to protect the person he loved most is hard for me to believe. Red does appreciate nuance in circumstances and has shown restraint when it suits him.
He didn’t kill Madeline Pratt when she set him and Liz up for the theft of the statue. As far as we know, he hasn’t killed her for handing him over to the Kings.
He didn’t kill Dr. Orchard for forcing Liz through a dangerous memory retrieval procedure.
He didn’t kill the Major for sending Red ‘defective merchandise’ and allowing Tom to switch allegiance to Berlin.
He didn’t kill the FBI executive with dangerous knowledge of his relationship to the FBI who exposed him to the people at the Shell Island Retreat.
So yes Jon, Red is ruthless, but we’ve had reason to hope he’d come up with a fairer punishment than death.