‘The Blacklist’ Sneak Peek: A Look at Dembe’s Life After Liz’s Death (VIDEO)

Dembe Zuma (Hisham Tawfiq) is in the spotlight in the January 20 episode of The Blacklist, and TV Insider has an exclusive sneak peek of him in a flashback to two years earlier in the aftermath of Liz Keen’s (Megan Boone, who left at the end of Season 8) death. (As you’ll recall, Season 9 kicked off with that time jump.)

What was going on at the time with Raymond “Red” Reddington’s (James Spader) criminal organization in his absence? “Seven days, seven countries, I am done looking,” Marvin Gerard (Fisher Stevens) tells Dembe, but the other man knew they wouldn’t find Red. “Well, forgive me for hoping he might not want his entire life’s work burned to the ground,” Marvin continues. However, as Dembe argues, “his life’s work was Elizabeth.”

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But Marvin is thinking about his life’s work — Red — “and right now, it is under siege.” With people moving against them, “if we don’t put them down, others will follow. And when I say we, I mean you.” He even knows where and with whom Dembe should start because, as he sees it, “Red may have picked Elizabeth, but we both know that you are his natural successor. Now that they’re gone, the organization is yours to run.” Watch the flashback above for more.

In “Boukman Baptiste,” NBC teases, “a spate of coordinated attacks on Red’s lieutenants puts Dembe in imminent danger, prompting him to relive the events that led him to join the FBI two years earlier.”

The Blacklist, Thursdays, 8/7c, NBC