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‘The Blacklist’ S4 premiere: New Villain; Red is on the hunt, while Tom buries a body

“The Blacklist returns for Season 4 in just a few short weeks, which means NBC has started trotting out teasery goodies for fans.

On Friday’s (Sept. 9) “Tonight Show,” star James Spader showed a clip of the premiere, titled “Esteban #79,” in which Raymond Reddington meets with a couple nefarious dudes in a restaurant.

The cheeky bad guy refers to Red as “the Concierge of Crime. Man in the Hat. Spy Who Stayed Out in the Cold,” which all rather awesome. What is even more awesome is that Red quickly disposes of cheeky guy’s partner. That’ll teach you to get sassy with Reddington.

It’s a fun scene, but the big takeaway is Red referring to “that sample.” Sample of what? The Blacklist er in the episode title is none other than this guy, played by Paul Calderon. Could these be his lackeys? And what does Raymond want from Esteban?

From the looks of the other premiere photos, the gang is all still in Cuba trying to find Liz (Megan Boone), who has been abducted by Alexander Kirk (Ulrich Thomsen), a man claiming to be her father. Is the aforementioned sample something that will help Red find Liz?

Also, Tom (Ryan Eggold) looks like he’s burying the body of his attacker from the Season 3 finale, so that’s fun. Hopefully he can reunite with the rest of the team to search for Liz and Kirk.

And finally, it’s nice to see Red and Mr. Kaplan (Susan Blommaert) are speaking to each other, though we know it’s not going to be easy to repair their relationship.

“How [Red] handles [Mr. Kaplan’s] betrayal is a big story for us to tell and we’re going to dive right into that. That’s something that comes up very early in the season. That incredibly deep betrayal to Reddington is going to chew up quite a bit of scenery.”

“The Blacklist ” returns Thursday, Sept. 22 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.

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