While N-13 has been a concept since the beginning of Season 7 on The Blacklist, it has only been mentioned by name in the current season, Season 8 — and it's become an important storyline for the series. N-13 is not a what but a who. In Episode 2, fans learn that the N stands for the word neopoznanny, which is the Russian word for unidentified. The 13 signifies the 13 packets of intel that the operative stole from Lubyanka Square in 1990.
The operative, when mentioned, was said to be a male turncoat who “has never proven to exist.” After 30 years of hunting for this person, no one still knows exactly who N-13 is. Also in Episode 2 of The Blacklist viewers find out that Katarina Rostova believes that the KGB mole referred to as N-13 is Raymond Reddington (James Spader).
Unfortunately, she wasn't able to make any moves with her unconfirmed information, because after Dominic Wilkinson, aka Dom (Ron Raines), decided to spill some secrets on her, the conflict between her and Red came to a head. Red ended up killing Katarina right in front of Liz.
So, who is N-13? Could Red be N-13? Keep reading to find out what we know about N-13 and who it could possibly be.
Could Red Reddington be the real N-13 on 'The Blacklist'?
In Katarina's final moments before her demise, Red tells her that after Belgrave, he was still leading people to believe that she was N-13, even though it was him all along. He told her, "I could have helped you, the way I always have, kept you one step ahead. But staying safe wasn't enough, you needed answers — now you have them, and they've destroyed you.
As Season 8 of The Blacklist is coming to a close and inches closer to the finale, viewers learn a bit more about the Russian spy N-13 and whether or not he and Red are the same person.
What fans learn is that whomever N-13 is, he can stop someone on the inside from talking at the drop of a hat. As Liz attempts to work on the case with the Task Force, it's evident that the investigation into who Red is and if he's the real N-13 is a tad complicated because she's no longer an FBI agent and is now a fugitive. When Liz gives the task force team the intel they need, they don't actually keep her in the loop about things, and that makes fans wonder, are they really on her side?
Red seems to be always 20 steps ahead of Liz and her team and is very convincing in making Liz look like the real enemy and not him. Liz believes that Red is N-13 and will go to great lengths to prove this and avenge her mother's death. In an interview with TheWrap, creator of The Blacklist, Jon Bokenkamp, was asked about who N-13 is and if Red is the real N-13.
Not wanting to give anything away, Jon says, "The real meat and potatoes lie with N-13. Is Katarina right? Is Red N-13 this notorious Russian spy? If so, what is his endgame? Is he using our task force for some other agenda? Will they find out about it?"
It will be interesting to see how the rest of Season 8 unfolds and whether or not fans will learn who N-13 is by the end of the Season 8 finale.
The Blacklist airs on Fridays at 8 p.m. EST on NBC.