Of all the interesting characters on The Blacklist, and there have been many, one of our favorites is Kathryn Nemec. Also known as Mr Kaplan or simply Kate, Nemec spent the better part of three decades as Reddington’s fixer. She is literally the woman that knows where the bodies are buried. But her relationship with Red (and Liz!) is long and complicated, which is why we here at Nerds and Scoundrels decided to put together our 10 favorite Mr Kaplan Blacklist facts. Be warned, there are spoilers ahead!
The Top 10 Mr Kaplan Facts Every Blacklist Fan Should Know
10. Mr Kaplan’s Real Name is Kathryn Nemec
While she was known primarily as Mr. Kaplan throughout the early parts of the series, her real name is Kathryn Nemec. During her younger years, she often went by the name of Kate. She also went by a large number of aliases including The Cleaner, Number 4, Katya, Sheila Barker, and many others.
9. Why is Kate called Mr Kaplan?
This was a question that Blacklist fans were stumped by for years. There were many theories:
- That it was a character in a Cary Grant movie;
- It was a title of respect;
- That it was simply to disguise her more easily; or
- The role was originally intended for a man before the producer insisted on Susan Blommaert for the role.
However, we learned in the Season 4 Episode “Mato” that the real answer was something else entirely.
During an earlier part of her life, Nemec fell in love with a woman named Annie Kaplan. Annie was joining the family’s bail bond company in Texas, and Nemec followed her there to pursue a relationship. Unfortunately, while at the bond office with Annie, and angry ex-con burst in and pulled a gun on the two women. He was seeking revenge from Annie’s uncle, and decided to take it out on the two of them. When Annie identified herself as Annie Kaplan, the con turned to Kate and said “I guess that makes you Mr. Kaplan,” before shooting them both. Annie died, but Kate survived. She carried Annie’s last name as her own going forward.
8. Mr. Kaplan is played by Susan Blommaert
Who plays Mr Kaplan on Blackist? Susan Blommaert! Susan Blommaert is an American actress born in 1947. She is currently a resident of New York, and has been active as an actress since 1987. She has been in dozens of films including Pet Sematary, Edward Scissorhands, United 93, and The Jerky Boys.
When it comes to television roles, Blommaert’s first role was on Tales from the Crypt. She also had extended guest runs as a judge on both Law and Order as well as The Practice. But for most fans, she is best known for her role on The Blacklist.
7. Kate’s Weapon of Choice is a Smith and Wesson 686 Plus
Nemec is well known to be an expert shot with small revolvers and more than capable of defending herself. Her weapon of choice is the .357 Magnum revolver known as the Smith and Wesson 686 Plus. The choice isn’t surprising for her, as it was widely considered an excellent, versatile weapon. While small in size, the revolver is known for its balance and has serious stopping power.
6. Kathryn Nemec worked as Red’s Cleaner
From her first appearance on The Blacklist Mr Kaplan was a “cleaner” for Reddington. Her specialty was to make bodies disappear. In fact, our first introduction to her was during the Episode Anslo Garrick Conclusion in Season 1 when she was tasked with helping clean up after Liz killed one of the men spying on her and Tom.
5. She Worked for Red for Over 20 Years
Another long-running question that was eventually answered was just how far back the relationship between Kate and Red. It was learned that she had served as Reddington’s cleaner for more than 20 years by the time the hostilities between she and Red began.
4. Mr. Kaplan Knew Liz Longer Than Red
Despite her lengthy relationship with Red, Kaplan actually knew Elizabeth Keen and her mother Katarina Rostova much longer. Kate was hired as a nanny for Liz – then known as Masha – by her mother Katarina. Kate quickly learned Katarina was a Russian asset and even helped her kill another operative that was attempting to murder Katarina. Mr Kaplan volunteered to clean up the crime scene and dispose of the body, and her skills impressed Katarina so much that she employed her to continue that work for her when needed.
When things got too hot for Katarina, Kaplan was responsible for taking a young Liz to Sam Scott to care for her.
3. Kate Survived Being Shot in the Head – Twice
This is one tough lady that we’re talking about. Kathryn Nemec didn’t just get shot in the face and survive, she survived two different headshots!
The first was years ago, when she was shot in the head on the night Annie Kaplan was murdered. Despite spending three weeks in a coma after that shooting, she survived. She did, however, end up with a metal plate in her head as a result.
In an interesting twist, it may have been the metal plate from the first shooting that save her in the second. After Kate betrayed Reddington, he attempted to off her by shooting her in the head. However, Nemec survived, possibly due to the metal plate in her head from the first shooting.
2. Mr. Kaplan Helped Liz and Tom Fake Their Deaths
When Mr. Kaplan first agreed to work for Reddington, she did so with the goal of watching over Liz from afar. Red even agreed that at some point in the future, if Kate ever had to choose between Red and Liz she would choose Liz. That day came at the end of Season 3 when we learned Liz and Tom faked their death with the help of Kathryn Nemec.
The plan went up in flames, of course, when Alexander Kirk found them where they were hiding and kidnapped the couple and their small child. Reddington blamed the kidnapping on Nemec, and this led to the final split between Kate and Red.
1. Is Mr Kaplan Dead?
Yes. And this time, it seems to be for real! So what happened to Mr Kaplan? While we were left thinking Kate might be dead after Red shot her, we learned at the start of Season 4 that a local hunter found her while she was still alive and nursed her back to health. A reinvigorated Mr Kaplan came back with a vengeance, seeking to upend Reddington’s criminal enterprise and tell Liz the truth about her father.
In the end, Kate managed to cause havoc in Reddington’s organization before she was ultimately cornered by her former boss. At this point, she had already put a plan into motion to let Elizabeth Keen know that Reddington was an imposter. With one of her goals met, Kate jumped from a bridge to commit suicide as Red looked on.
Nerds and Scoundrels
And that concludes our Mr Kaplan Blacklist Top 10 List. Did we leave out anything important? If so, let us know in the comment section below. And don’t forget to check out the rest of our Blacklist content here at Nerds and Scoundrels!