With a fictional world like that in the NCIS universe, there’s potential for crossover from other shows. Sometimes actors go on to other projects and carry pieces of former shows with them to the new production. Sometimes is it’s as simple as a name.
This is the sort of thing that happens when an NCIS: New Orleans actor crosses over to a production like The Blacklist. In fact, that’s exactly what happens when Stacy Keach’s character was killed off in the NCIS universe.
Stacy Keach acted on NCIS: New Orleans from 2015 to 2019 where he played Cassius Pride, Dwayne Pride’s absent father. Before Cassius dies on the show, he makes amends for the years of trauma he imposed on his son and ultimately takes a bullet for him.
Cassius had murdered “The Man in the Red Suit” who’s also known as “Red.” Dwayne has a suppressed memory of the event and his mother’s memory is gone, so the storyline surrounding “Red”s murder doesn’t seem like it’ll receive proper closure.
“Red” in The Blacklist is a criminal mastermind who was once a Navy officer before he reached the FBI’s Most Wanted list. After 20 years on the run, “Red” turns himself in in exchange for immunity and works with an FBI profiler to take down some serious bad guys. Partly selfish, partly because even most criminals don’t want anything to do with seriously evil people.
Now to the connection. Fans noticed the connection when Stacy Keach played Robert Vesco on Season 6 episode 13 of The Blacklist. The IMDB description for the episode reads as such:
“Red and the task force hunt for legendary fugitive Robert Vesco, one of history’s most notorious con men.”
So, in his episode of The Blacklist, Keach is being hunted down by “Red.” In the NCIS universe, the opposite happened, with a younger Cassius (played by Keach) killing “The Man in the Red Suit.” The character who is also known as “Red.”
Fans stretch to claim that both characters have a connection to “Red.”
Here’s where things get a little crazy. The episode of The Blacklist that Keach played in was based on a real-life criminal, according to Entertainment Weekly.
Executive producer Jon Bokenkamp comments on Keach’s characters connection to the real Robert Vesco, who’s said to have died in 2007, saying:
“The reports of his death are somewhat questionable. He is the kind of international criminal we felt like would be a great inspiration for Reddington, somebody who might have taught him a thing or two in his younger days. Stacy Keach and Spader as these two great criminals going out and doing this incredible heist is a lot of fun.”
Where the fan theory connecting the two shows is just that, a fan theory, it’s still fun to speculate.