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Blacklist: What Character Does Laila Robins Play & What Happens To Her?

"The Blacklist" is full of talented actors, in roles both big and small. A perfect example of the show's dedication to quality casting is Laila Robins, who has worked in the industry since the late 1980s, and whom you might know as Pamela Milton in "The Walking Dead" and Grace Mallory in "The Boys." Robins plays a recurring role in "The Blacklist" seasons 6, 7, and 8, and her character is one of the biggest threats in the whole show.

Robins' character is introduced as the older version of former KGB agent Katarina Rostova (Lotte Verbeek), who's a prominent character in the flashbacks sequences — as well as Elizabeth Keen's (Megan Boone) real mother. She's also affiliated with the shadowy Cabal and her name is on Raymond "Red" Reddington's (James Spader) list, so it's not all that shocking when the modern-day Katarina turns out to be an antagonist. She's capable enough to capture Red, give everyone a heap of trouble, and even attempt to manipulate Liz. In the end, however, things don't go too well for her. Like so many other villains in the series, Tatiana ultimately dies by Red's hand. 

As it turns out, Robins' character isn't Katarina at all. Her real name is Tatiana Petrova, and she's been posing as Katarina for years. Nevertheless, she's a crucial part of the show's most fascinating mystery: The real fate of the woman she impersonated, and how it might tie into Red's true identity.

Robins' character ties into the Redarina theory

Katarina Rostova is arguably the single most important figure in the show's flashbacks. This very much includes Red, if you buy into the popular, long-running theory of Raymond Reddington's real identity in "The Blacklist." Many viewers believe that Katarina didn't actually die until the very last episode of the show ... because she and Red Reddington are the same person. The real Red, after all, died many years ago, and the one we follow in the show has been an imposter all along. 

Per this "Redarina" theory, Katarina never died or disappeared, but started a new life as the fake Raymond Reddington. The show never explicitly confirms Redarina, but various plot points can be read to support the theory ... and fans have certainly done so. The possibility of Katarina and the Red we know being the same person makes the Tatiana Petrova storyline even more fascinating. While the fake Katarina is already a formidable antagonist in her own right, looking at her arc through the Redarina lens would mean that Laila Robins is a fake Katarina who interacts with the real Katarina who has become the fake Red. "The Blacklist" — it has a few twists and turns, doesn't it?