Spoilers ahead for the 200th episode of The Blacklist, called “The Hyena.”
The Blacklist may be ending with the current tenth season, but not before hitting a major milestone with its diabolical 200th episode on March 19. In “The Hyena,” Red (James Spader) quickly revealed his immediate motive behind breaking Vesco (Stacy Keach) out of prison: a treasure hunt that required both of their expertise to be first to the prize. They had to try and beat the quite literally killer competition, with the FBI task force in the mix. It was a fun way to celebrate hitting 200 episodes (even though that cliffhanger may not be fun for Red in the long run), but it didn’t answer a major leftover question. Speaking with CinemaBlend, Stacy Keach shed some light.
Over the course of Stacy Keach’s other appearances on The Blacklist, the show established that Vesco had stolen a lot of money from Reddington, and that had not been resolved by the end of his appearance in Season 9. Vesco was too busy being poisoned and then broken out of custody for the issue to come up in the 199th episode, and Red didn’t bring it up during their adventure in #200. In fact, the episode ended with Red telling Cooper (Harry Lennix) that betrayals were a thing of the past for him and his former mentor. But is that truly the case?
When I spoke with Stacy Keach about his return in Season 10, he opened up about about the question of Vesco and Red’s status quo regarding that stolen money after where they left off in Season 9:
Well, I don't know! I really don't know. For me, I'm anxious to know the answer to that question myself. Because originally, when I first was to pursue the second installment of Vesco's character, he actually stole quite a bit of money from Reddington, and I thought that when they wanted me to come back, that the reason they wanted me to come back was to break me out of jail and go find the money that I'd taken from him. But that didn't happen to be the case. I asked James, I said, 'What happened to the money that I stole from you?' [He said], ‘I don't know. It wasn't important.' And he just sort of tossed it off. [laughs] So I guess part of the story was never really dealt with.
The end of the 200th episode left the door very open for Vesco to return, so The Blacklist technically isn’t out of chances to address the question of what happened to the money that he stole from Red, and what Red would do about it. That said, I’d argue that Stacy Keach saying that element of the plot “was never really dealt with” is a sign that The Blacklist won’t be revisiting that particular storyline before the end later this year.
Of course, it makes sense that Red might have more pressing matters on his mind in Season 10, and he seems to be doing just fine without all the money that Vesco stole. In this final batch of episodes, former Blacklisters are uniting against James Spader’s character to try and take him down, which could mean more challenges than ever for the Task Force. The group does have a bit of extra help in Season 10 with the arrival of Siya Malik (Anya Banerjee) in the wake of the departures of Aram and Park at the end of Season 9.
The Task Force is pretty intact now despite last season’s departures. They were somewhat unwillingly pulled into Red's scheme in “The Hyena” since they had to chase his and Vesco’s murderous competition as a higher priority than Red and Vesco, who – ask Keach has said – share a “certain brand of morality.” It just remains to be seen how much time the two have left together on screen, depending on if Stacy Keach returns in Season 10.
On the whole, the 200th episode was a fun hour of television that still ended on a foreboding note about Red’s enemies. It somewhat reminded me of The Blacklist going for a heist in the milestone 100th episode back in 2018, as opposed to the 150th that focused a bit more on backstory with Katarina in 2020. For now, you can look forward to new episodes on Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on NBC, and revisit earlier episodes of Season 10 streaming with a Peacock Premium subscription.