The new Season (7) premiere ends without Raymond Reddington escaping from Katarina Rostova, as many fans of the show had anticipated.
Katarina Rostova lives up to the title given her by series creator, Jon Bokenkamp before this season’s premiere “the most formidable Big Bad that we’ve introduced,”
Katarina has been ruthless even to her ‘lover’ Reddington. Apparently there’s information she desperately needs from him and is willing to extract it by all means possible.
Raymond wakes up disoriented in a hospital bed, (after being drugged and abducted by Katarina in Iast seasons finale). With a medical team that try to trick him into believing he is in Paris. He is held down on the bed by a series of large, foam blocks, a doctor informs Raymond that the men who pulled him into an SUV also shattered his spine while kidnapping him. The hospital staff performed emergency surgery to remove the injured bone and re-fused his spine but that he’ll remain immobile. The doctor asks Raymond of he remembers what transpired the previous night, Raymond remembers but lies about not remembering.
The illusionist(Rene) poses as an inspector for the French intelligence agency DGSI. He confesses that he’s been hunting Raymond and Katarina for years. Rene mentions something about the Townsend directive (a standing order to kill Katarina that is “very much in play”) but since Katarina has intel that Rene wants, he needs to keep her alive.
After Rene leaves Raymond’s room for the second time, it becomes obvious that isn’t really in a hospital; Red’s held in one section of a soundstage, where a hospital set has been constructed. Rene isn’t French but American. And none of this is even happening in France. Raymond had been relocated to Annapolis, Maryland and all of these nurses and doctors drop their French accents as soon as they leave his room.
Raymond figures out he isn’t in an hospital when he swipes a cell phone stolen from the pocket of a male nurse, only to find that the lock screen is a photo of the nurse and his son, both wearing Washington Nationals jerseys.
When a female nurse comes in to administer his next epidural, he wrestles the syringe out of her hand and threatens to stick it in her arm if she doesn’t tell him what’s happening and why. She reveals that the drugs have been keeping him immobile; if he doesn’t get a dose, he’ll regain the feeling in his legs and can walk again. She then hurries over to a nearby safe and grabs a gun that was stashed away, but after a squabble Raymond gets the gun from her. He use her to get the fake Rene ‘the illusionist’ back into the room, at which point Rene receives the epidural, buying Red enough time to jump out of the window and try to escape.
His escape is short-lived. After breaking out of the building where the hospital set was housed, he gets cornered by a slew of SUVs. Katarina shows up to watch her men take him away once again. This time, the punishment is much worse: In another shady-looking warehouse, he gets chained to a section of chain-link fence, and the nurse he held at gunpoint earlier shows up again, this time to stick an IV in his as his blood begins to fill up an attached bag.
“I don’t like this, Raymond,” Katarina tells Red as he becomes weaker. “But I can assure you that before we’re finished, you’re going to tell me everything I want to know.”
This season promises to be quite interesting and suspense filled, judging from this first episode. Will Raymond Reddington escape from the dangerous Katarina Restova without giving her the informations she needs? Or is this the season that we finally get to see that Raymond isn’t immortal after all?
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