'The Blacklist' Fall Finale Sneak Peek: Red Turns to a Former Foe to Take Down Katarina for Good (Exclusive)

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The past is coming back into play.

As The Blacklist gets ready to sign off for 2019, the Task Force races against the clock to get a leg up on Katarina Rostova, and only ET has the exclusive first look from Friday's fall finale.

In the episode, Raymond "Red" Reddington (James Spader) and team are still unclear on Katarina's motives. Now, she's taken Red's childhood friend, Ilya Koslov (Brett Cullen), hostage as she seeks more answers. As Red tells the group, desperate people go to great lengths to get what they want -- and Katarina, whom Liz just discovered is her mother, is at the top of that list.

"People are after her and she wants to know how to stop them," Red says rather matter-of-factly as he rustles through piles of paperwork, still of the belief that Ilya is alive. But when FBI Agent Donald Ressler (Diego Klattenhoff) brings up the fact that Katarina once tried to kill Red, the genius conman makes a clarifying point.

The Blacklist
Will Hart/NBC

"Killing me wasn't her plan," he says. "She wants answers so she tried to con me first. When that didn't work, she tried advanced interrogation. That didn't work, either. So yes, I think my friend is still alive. But I think she'll employ any means necessary to get what she wants, to get inside his head, to..."

Red begins to trail off when things start clicking in his head. The key to saving his friend from the throes of danger may actually lie in the hands of a former blacklister Red helped put away, Dr. Bogdan Krilov (Rade Serbedzija), the same culprit who "scrambled" Ressler's brain "like an egg" back in season four. Yup, the same guy. 

So why exactly is Red turning to an ex-baddie for answers? Watch ET's exclusive sneak peek above to find out what happens next.

The Blacklist airs its fall finale on Friday, Dec. 13 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.

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