An agent in the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit develops profiling techniques as he pursues notorious serial killers and rapists.
A "contemporary prequel" to the 1960 film Psycho, depicting the life of Norman Bates and his mother Norma prior to the events portrayed in Hitchcock's film, albeit in a different fictional town and in a modern setting. The series begins after the death of Norma's husband, when she purchases a motel located in a coastal Oregon town so she and Norman can start a new life.
Raymond "Red" Reddington, one of the FBI's most wanted fugitives, surrenders in person at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. He claims that he and the FBI have the same interests: bringing down dangerous criminals and terrorists. In the last two decades, he's made a list of criminals and terrorists that matter the most but the FBI cannot find because it does not know they exist. Reddington calls this "The Blacklist". Reddington will co-operate, but insists that he will speak only to Elizabeth Keen, a rookie FBI profiler.