Interview with Jon Bokenkamp

Jon Bokenkamp swapped the fedora for a Santa hat this holiday season as he stopped by the podcast to share some presents with all of you, the fans. Before we opened gifts, we chatted about the first third of season 5. What worked, what didn’t and how does Jon really feel when all of us criticize an episode or arc. We also tackle the biggest question of the season, what did Jon think of Aaron’s milk carton joke. Inside our collective stocking, Jon talked about choosing Disturbed’s Song of Silence, which went to #9 on the iTunes chart’s the morning after the episode aired in the states.

We then settled in with some egg nog as we opened Jon’s first present, letting us all know who was cast as the Blacklister for the big 100th episode. The gift card attached to that present also said that Andrew McCarthy will be back behind the camera directing that episode. Present two was some details about episode 509 titled ‘Ruin’ airing January 3rd and what surprise guest star will make an appearance. But the big gift from Santa Jon for being such great fans this year was the answer, yes a definitive ANSWER to what the 2017 plan/war was all about. Executive Producer Lukas Reiter also sent a letter to Santa asking him to deliver it to all of you with the details. It reads:

The CABAL was engaged in a global conspiracy to bring about the fall of the Soviet Union. The players agreed that, once the Soviet Union was dismantled, the world would enter a 25 year period of instability, allowing the group to profit from the political and economic uncertainty that followed. Afterward, the world would return to a Cold War posture, with the two opposing super-powers restored.

As head of the Cabal, Alan Fitch intended to stick with the plan, which called for a series of events to begin in 2017 that would begin to move the world back to the intended Cold War posture. This was the “2017 Plan,” timed to be about 25 years after the fall of the Soviet Union, as agreed. The Director (Strathairn), however, was unhappy with the timeline. He believed that the world had become dangerously unstable and that we needed to accelerate the 2017 Plan and begin moving back to a Cold War posture immediately.

The Director did accelerate the 2017 Plan. At his direction, the CABAL began a series of “triggering” events intended to inflame tensions between the United States and Russia. As an example, Karakurt (the famed Russian operative) was dispatched to the United States to carry out the OREA bombing, which killed many CIA Agents. In an unexpected move, the Cabal decided to blame the attack on Liz, who they claimed was a Russian sleeper agent (the daughter of Katerina Rostova, a famed Russian spy). This made Liz a target and still fit nicely into their plan to inflame U.S./Russian relations.

With the death of the Director and the severe weakening of the Cabal, the 2017 Plan was never carried out to completion. The Cabal continues to exist (though less powerful), so its members may one day muster another attempt to return the world to the Cold War posture they feel is necessary for long-term global stability.

– Lukas Reiter

I know that was a real treat! Big thanks to Lukas and Santa Jon for sharing that nugget with all of us, the die hard fans, this holiday season. Sadly Santa Jon had to go and prepare more great presents for 2018 but he did let his elves at NBC drop a gift of their own by teasing the big January 3rd return.

Happy Holidays to the entire Blacklist fandom. Hope the season is merry and bright before it gets all dark and foreboding once again when The Blacklist returns January 3rd at 8PM Eastern and Pacific, 7PM Central on NBC.