With a revolving door of guest appearances and reoccurring roles, it's the essences of The Blacklist that keeps us coming back. We tune in weekly to watch a wanted fugitive, a lost FBI agent, a blue-collar suit, a nerd, a hardcore former Mossad agent, and a loyal leader. From week to week, viewers are held in suspense as to which lie or truth will expose which secret or person.
As The Blacklist heads into its final season, were still left in the dark regarding the real reason Raymond Reddington walked into the FBI lobby that fateful morning. No matter how good the writing is, we return for the characters. With that said, here are the top 10 best characters of The Blacklist, ranked.
10 Donald Ressler
As uptight and by the books as Ressler may appear to be, he's been in situations where he has had to bend the law before. There are times where you want to throw something at the screen because of his antics but we understand that The Blacklist needs him for the same reason most fans dislike him. With Red still doing criminal activities and Liz known to walk the fence, Ressler brings balance.
His lack of a love life makes his character a bit dull so it would be a great move to provide him with one as the show wraps its final season. There is gossip that Liz could be the new interest, so let's see how that works out. All in all, Ressler is solid. Let's not forget, everyone has their skeletons.
9 Katarina Rostova
Although she is not a major character, her presence or lack thereof is still a big driving force in Blacklist. She's the woman Red loved and the mother to Elizabeth Keen. There is no Blacklist without her backstory. As many secrets as Red holds, Katarina Rostova holds a country's worth of her own. She's the Russian spy who turned on her country to protect a man she loves only to vanish leaving thoughts of her demise.
Now that she has returned, her presence will play a significant role in unearthing some skeletons and questions we may have. That alone could easily make her one of the most hated or beloved characters in just one season. We grew to love the thought of her from the beginning because she was the wild card.
8 Harold Cooper
The leader of the Reddington Task Force. Cooper is a no-nonsense leader who shows power with action and words. He runs a tight ship but always has his officers best interest at heart. At first, he wanted to bring Reddington down but as they grew closer, he and Red have developed an "I'll turn my back if you don't burn me" type of relationship.
He's loyal but like most of the Task Force, he has had his hands dirty on more than one occasion. Cooper has gone to bat with the head of the FBI, criminals, judges, the law, and even the President of the United States for Reddington. Harold Cooper is not one you should take lightly when mentioning best characters on Blacklist.
7 Samar Navabi
I often wonder if many have forgotten that Samar was a fixture in the Task Force thanks to Reddington. She came in as his eyes and ears and quickly changed her tune. There were moments where she wanted to take Red down but there was never any reason behind it. Her traitor like actions left some fans confused about her motives.
Samar never came across as a person who wanted to fit in. She did things her way and was never afraid of the consequences. Her will is strong which often made her seem a bit aloof. The one issue fans had with her character was the games she and Aram would play with each other. The chemistry was there, but both were afraid to admit it. Her departure from the show was heartbreaking and we're hoping for a guest appearance in the final season.
6 Tom Keen
Tom was not one of our favorite characters when Blacklist first aired. As fans were drawn to Liz, the writers gave us the notion that Tom Keen was holding a major secret from her. Once the truth revealed itself, his secret was not to harm Liz but to protect her. Doubting Tom's love for Liz was never a problem. It was his inability to come clean.
In the end, he paid the ultimate price but he did it for his family. Despite the setbacks he faced, Tom was still an honorable man at the core. The killings, lying, and secrets were just a part of the job and the core base for almost character on the show. Why should we treat Tom any different?
5 Aram Mojtabai
At first glance, Aram is the computer nerd of the Task Force. But deep down, he's the glue that holds the team together. While others are out in the field, Aram is the eyes and ears of each mission. Each member adds a dimension to the team but it's Aram's willingness to look the other way or to see the best in people that draw the team closer.
Although he often acts out of emotion or fear, he has a good heart and will do anything to protect the ones he loves. Case in point was when he thought Reddington had betrayed him regarding the departure of Samar. Despite his fear of Reddington, Aram sought vengeance. His character is not one of violence but smarts. He's the backbone of the show.
4 Mr. Kaplan
At first, Mr.Kaplan was just seen as hired help to Reddington. The person he called upon when he needed dirty work done or cleaned up. It wasn't until season five that the truth came out. Even as Red's enemy, our love for Mr. Kaplan did not waver. Did we want Red to kill her? No. Did we want her to kill Red? No. In the end, we wanted them to work out their differences but it wasn't meant to be.
Kaplan was loyal but just to Red not to Liz. Although that loyalty cost Mr. Kaplan her life, she went out the only way she could. Mr. Kaplan is one of those characters you can't do anything but root for. She spoke soft but was forever surrounded in death. Mr. Kaplan needs her own show.
3 Dembe Zuma
The Task Force has a strong bond. Liz and Tom had a strong bond. However, what Dembe and Red share, cannot be touched. Yes, they will go through their ups and downs as we witnessed last season, but when needed, Dembe was there for his partner. Dembe understands he's loyal to a fault when it comes to Red but the history they share makes it impossible for either to completely walk away.
Dembe is silent but effective. While most men of Red's stat will be surrounds by hoards of hired guns, Red counts on and trust just one. When he needs to be scolded, it's Dembe who plays the role of his conscience.
2 Elizabeth Keen
Talk about a character that has some important decisions coming up. What Elizabeth Keen is about to go through will make her one of the strongest characters to ever grace Primetime TV. If being an FBI Agent is not enough, Liz will now come face to face with her mother who she thought was dead. If that's not proof enough, she lost her father Sam, lost her husband, had to give up her baby, found and almost lost her real father, and recently connected with her grandfather.
The only reason Liz is not No.1 on this list is that she holds no secrets to the truth. Is she as important as Raymond Reddington? Yes. But her character is the one we're helping and rooting to find the truth that these other players in the game hold. We want Liz to win because she's been through so much.
1 Raymond Reddington
The legend. If a writer ever wanted a villain to base any future characters on, Raymond Reddington would be the perfect muse. What hasn't he done or thought of that would suggest differently? He's a killer with a conscience. A manipulator with a heart, but most of all, he protects those close to him.
There are times fans get angry with Red because he seems to be hiding some secrets when he doesn't need to. Red is like the Tony Montana of The Blacklist. You know he's doing wrong, but his compassion forces you to root for him.