Agnes Calls Red "Pinky" in 'The Blacklist' — How Did the Nickname Come About?

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Nov. 11 2021, Published 2:58 p.m. ET

The daughter of the one and only Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone), Agnes had a slightly more unconventional childhood than most kids. Kidnapped at an extraordinarily young age, she was later living with a relative, Susan Hargrave (Famke Janssen), and then, a Russian spy, Katarina Rostova (Laila Robins).

A quirky kid, Agnes refers to Raymond "Red" Reddington (James Spader) as "Pinky," which has long fascinated The Blacklist fans. So, how did the unusual nickname come about? Here's what you should know.

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Why does Agnes call Red "Pinky" in 'The Blacklist'?

Agnes briefly became a bargaining chip in the latest round of negotiations unfolding between Red — who has been busy hiding out at a Havana retreat since the bloody Season 8 finale of The Blacklist — and Harold Cooper (Harry Lennix), who switched to full-on guardian mode since leaving the FBI. Season 9, Episode 3 of The Blacklist captures Agnes's much-awaited reunion with Red, where she calls him Pinky again.

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According to one theory, Agnes likes to call Red "Pinky" because she prefers the color pink over red — end of story. But like most things in The Blacklist universe, Agnes's name of choice could be laden with secret meanings.

"Raymond told Agnes his name was Red. She said she liked pink so called him Pinky [instead], so cute," tweeted @immy_1960.

"Agnes calling Red Pinky is so precious. It’s such a shame Pinky is the reason she is an orphan," tweeted @lizkeenclown.

What's more, Agnes is able to recall details about the last time she saw "Pinky." Shortly before Liz's death, they headed out to New York's Central Park to grab some fruitpops and sail boats.

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Raymond Reddington was revealed to be Liz's father in a previous episode of The Blacklist, but there is a slight caveat. Liz killed Reddington as a child. In other words, the Red viewers have grown accustomed to over the years isn't necessarily the same person as Agnes's grandfather. To make matters even more complicated, a Season 5 episode of The Blacklist revealed that Liz has a sister, Jennifer Reddington, aka Lillian May Roth (Fiona Dourif).

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Tracing Agnes's real lineage would pose a problem even for die-hard archivists. For what it's worth, she had no trouble recognizing "Pinky" even after going for two years without seeing him.

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Other The Blacklist fans are more concerned about the real story behind Agnes's name. Some claim she might be named after one of Liz's relatives from her adoptive father's side.

A Redditor named chanaleh believes Agnes was chosen because the Greek origin of the name means "chaste." The Latin version, on the other hand, translates to "lamb".

And some others have different qualms.

"The Blacklist's writers are crazy. How do you look at a newborn baby and name her Agnes? How please?" tweeted @myownfave.

"Agnes Keen? Ya tell me Tom couldn't find a better name #blacklist," tweeted @ta_s_h.

Catch new episodes of The Blacklist every Thursday at 8 p.m. EST on NBC.

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