Here at Nerds and Scoundrels, we are big fans of The Blacklist. We love the twist and turns and the surprises. But more than anything, we love the way mysteries on the show slowly unfold across multiple seasons. One of our favorite burning mysteries is the backstory and ultimate fate of Katarina Rostova. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the Top 10 Things Every Blacklist Fan Should Know about Katarina Rostova. Be warned, there are spoilers ahead!
Spoilers Incoming! Fair Warning!
Our Top 10 Blacklist Katarina Rostova Facts
These facts aren’t necessarily in the order of importance, just the order that makes them easy to digest!
10. Katarina is Elizabeth Keen’s Mother
One fact that we have known since Season 2 is that Katarina is definitely the mother of Liz. In fact, we’ve been seeing brief flashbacks of her since the beginning of the show. However, it was not until Season 2 that we learned her name was Katarina Rostova. Some of Keen’s earliest memories involved a house fire that erupted after an argument between Rostova and her father.
9. Rostova was a KGB Agent
We also learned in season two that Rostova was a KGB agent. In fact, to some in the intelligence community, her name had come to be viewed as a Soviet Mata Hari that had grown beyond reality into epic proportions. Some believed that there was never a Katarina Rostova at all, and that instead it was just a name used by a multitude of female Russian spies over the years. Others believe her deeds were amplified to serve as Russian propaganda.
8. Keen was told her Mother was Dead
There are a lot of questions about the ultimate fate of Katarina. But one thing we do know is that Keen was told repeatedly that her mother was dead. From the very beginning of the series, both Reddington and Sam Scott led Keen to believe that her mother was dead. According to one account, Katarina was so distraught over losing Liz that she walked into the sea at Cape May, New Jersey, never to be seen again.
7. Katarina is married to Constantin Rostov
In life, Katarina was married to Constantin Rostov, another former KGB agent. Rostov was married to Katarina when Liz was born, and they named her Masha. However, we learned later that Katarina had an affair and Constantin is not Keen’s biological father. This was a problem, as Constantin has a rare blood disease that could be cured by a transfusion from a blood relative.
6. Elizabeth was Taken from Katarina
Katarina had a rough time holding on to her daughter. During the fall of the Soviet Union, Katarina was still working with the KGB when her husband Constantin left with Elizabeth and fled Russia. Eventually, Katarina caught up with them, where she got Liz back after the infamous house fire.
5. Katarina was forced to abandon Elizabeth with Mr. Kaplan
After the house fire, Katarina was still working as an operative. It was Mr. Kaplan that initially became Liz’s nanny and ultimately Katarina’s “cleaner.” When Rostova was forced to flee, she agreed to leave Liz in Kaplan’s care.
4. Red and Katarina had an Affair
We also know for certain that in the year before Keen was born, Reddington and Katarina were involved in an affair. It was heavily implied from early on that Reddington was Keen’s father. This theory was bolstered when we learned in Season five that Constantin Rostov was not her biological father. However, the identity of Keen’s father remains complicated.
3. She appeared in her first flashback in Season 3
While much of The Blacklist has centered around Katarina’s story and her ultimate fate, we didn’t get a glimpse of her until the “Cape May” episode in Season 3. In Cape May, Katarina only appears briefly in a flashback and we learn very little about her.
2. Katarina’s Status is Unknown
At the time of writing, it is unknown what exactly happened to Katarina Rostova. Many in the intelligence community believe she is dead or never existed. Reddington maintains in conversations with Liz that Katarina died years ago. There is also the story that she was so distraught over losing Liz that she walked into the sea and presumably drowned. We don’t know for sure. But if there is one good rule of thumb regarding characters in The Blacklist, it’s that if you aren’t certain a character is dead, they’re probably going to show up again sooner or later. (And in the case of Tom, sometimes they come back even when you’re sure they’re dead.)
1. Reddington had a hand in Katarina’s Fate
We don’t know Katarina’s fate yet, but we do know Reddington had a hand in whatever happened to the ex-spy. Whatever Red did, it’s bad enough that he was prepared to kill to keep it a secret. That includes smothering Sam Scott, the man that raised Keen like a daughter, to keep him from spilling the secret to Liz. In the words of Dembe, Elizabeth will never be ready to learn about what Red did to Katarina.
Nerds and Scoundrels
And that concludes our Blacklist Katarina Rostova Top 10 List. Any Questions? Did we leave out anything important? If you want to weigh in on our Blacklist Katarina Rostova Guide be sure to leave us a comment below! And don’t forget to check out the rest of our Blacklist content here at Nerds and Scoundrels.