Throughout its nine seasons on NBC, there has been one relationship that fans of The Blacklist have always rooted for: the friendship between Raymond “Red” Reddington (played by James Spader) and his loyal bodyguard, Dembe (Hisham Tawfiq). As the chapters of the series continue to progress, fans continue to fear that great characters will leave the plot of the series, while we gradually approach the end.
No matter what questionable acts Red (James Spader) has done, Dembe has always shown up for his friend and boss, who had rescued him when he was a 14-year-old boy from a brothel. A rift forms between the two in Season 6 when Red mistakenly believes Dembe has betrayed him. Despite this difficult time, the lifelong friends finally found their way back.
Following Red’s absence for two years following Liz’s (Megan Boone) death in Season 8, Dembe joins the FBI. Upon his return and learning of Dembe’s new career, Red replaced his most trusted colleague with two new bodyguards, causing many viewers to fear for Dembe’s future on the show.
Actor Hisham Tawfiq is one of the original cast members of The Blacklist, and his character, Dembe, is unlikely to be cut from NBC’s midseason. But it’s worth noting that there have been no official announcements issued by the show’s producers one way or the other. The future of the actor still seems to be assured, but the departure of other members of the cast makes fans think that the surprise twists in the plot of the series are usually that strong.
The Blacklist suffered a major blow at the end of Season 8 when one of its main stars, Megan Boone, left the show, leading to the death of Liz Keen. Dembe is the closest person to Red other than Liz who is still in his life, making him an invaluable player on the show now.
Audience reactions to this tense Red-Dembe storyline have not been positive. Tawfiq, who often live tweets when new episodes air. Fingers crossed, things get better for these characters as Season 9 continues.