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Explained: Reddington's Relationship with Agnes Keen on The Blacklist

There's a select group of people who the illusive criminal mastermind Raymond Reddington (James Spader) would go through hell and high water to protect on The Blacklist. Agnes Keen is one of them.

As the daughter of the person Reddington cared about more than anyone, Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone), it's no wonder Agnes is kept so close to his heart. Not many preteens have the honor of having the concierge of crime in the palm of their hand, but where Agnes is concerned, Reddington quickly transforms from a calculated criminal to a paternal teddy bear.

Reddington and Agnes' relationship has taken more spotlight in recent episodes, and it's been sweet watching him melt in Agnes' presence. Let's look back at their symbolic father-daughter bond, below:

Reddington meets Agnes Keen just before a tragedy occurs

Agnes Keen (currently played by Sami Bray) enters Reddington's life through her late mother and former Reddington Task Force member, Liz Keen. Before her tragic death, Reddington's relationship with Elizabeth was paramount, so as soon as she had Agnes, that love carried over. Upon meeting Reddington for the first time, Agnes immediately grows fond of his elaborate stories, referring to him as "Pinky."

Agnes' father, Tom Keen, was sadly killed in Season 5 of The Blacklist, and Agnes loses her mother after her assassination in the Season 8 finale. Agnes has a lot of support and loving people in her life to help her through these traumas.Task Force leader Harold Cooper (Harry Lennix) immediately becomes her guardian once she loses both parents. Because of Reddington's proximity to the crime world, Cooper keeps Agnes away from him, which creates a rift between the two friends.

Harold Cooper playing cards with Agnes Keen
Harold Cooper playing cards with Agnes Keen

Why does Agnes call Reddington "Pinky"?

Reddington's more lighthearted pseudonym, "Pinky," is a nickname crafted by Agnes as a young child. After meeting Reddington for the first time, Agnes began calling him "Pinky" simply because she likes the color pink more than red. But the name stuck and is now the only way Agnes or Cooper refers to the concierge of crime when speaking of him.

Red goes out of his way to see Agnes in Season 10 of The Blacklist

Season 9 of The Blacklist picks up two years later and zeroes in on Reddington's struggle to not check in on the 11-year-old Agnes, whom he still cares for deeply. Cooper reassures Reddington that Agnes is a fulfilled and happy young girl but reiterates his presence in her life would only serve as a threat. Reddington begrudgingly accepts this truth but goes out of his way to still observe Agnes from afar whenever possible. No one tells Red what to do!

Despite being a literal criminal mastermind, Reddington isn't very good at concealing his love for Agnes, nor his attempts to see her. By Season 10 of The Blacklist, Reddington has been on the run from a pissed-off lineup of former Blacklisters, so the threat is higher than ever. With his criminal empire uprooted, Reddington has become a rolling stone, and he's landed on Cooper and Agnes' doorstep quite a few times.

Raymond Reddington and Agnes Keen baking together
Raymond Reddington and Agnes Keen bake together

Now more than ever, Reddington seems to be going out of his way to show Agnes how much he cares. Always a fan of "Pinky's" stories, Agnes and Reddington have caught up over FaceTime on numerous occasions. Reddington helped Agnes bake a cake while catching her home alone and later drove all the way to Pennsylvania just to fetch her one of his favorite childhood snacks.

Agnes and Reddington have only grown closer throughout Season 10 of The Blacklist, and while it's nice to see Red finally spend quality time with the young girl, the devil is in the little details. Could one of these Blacklisters try to leverage Agnes against Red later on? No one ever wants to see Agnes in trouble, but if Reddington isn't careful, he may have a massive problem on his hands.

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