Credit: NBC Universal

Few TV characters are as complex as The Blacklist’s Raymond “Red” Reddington, portrayed by the always-brilliant James Spader. While some may have already fallen in love with the murdery, drug tradey, super sketchy Red, we’re a little behind in that process. Though he isn’t the cuddly uncle we’ve always wanted to kill bad guys with, we do think there’s plenty to learn from him. Here’s what we’ve got:

1. Never Trust Anyone
We’re not saying don’t trust Red, it’s just that you should probably listen to Red when he says… uh, not to trust him. Sort of. When Agent Keen gets pissed that he’s only giving little factoids to her and her FBI team, and only when it suits him, he has to explain the game a little bit so that they’ll catch up. “Let me put your mind at ease,” he tells Liz. “I’m never telling you everything.”

2. Enjoy the Finer Things
Red may be a lot of things, but an ascetic isn’t one of them. Sure, he’s among the most wanted people in the world, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t want his own share from some list or another. The first thing Red did after making an agreement with the FBI? Getting a sweet pad, of course. Along with a private plane available for his use whenever he wants it, Red eats well, dresses well, and always has plenty to share.

3. Look Out for #1
Will Red help take down criminals? Duh, that’s the point of the show. But just because he’s there to help Lizzie and the FBI doesn’t mean it’s an act of altruism. First of all, he knew he was on the wanted list, so agreeing to work with them was his get out of jail free card (literally). Second, when the chips are on the table, it’s likely he’ll scoop some of them up and tuck them away in his pocket, as he did with that mysterious chip in Season 1, Episode 8, “General Ludd.”

4. The Truth Is Out There — But You’ve Gotta Want to Believe It
Truth is such a fun theme on The Blacklist, and Red doesn’t really give a flying eff if anyone believes him or not. In fact, he says as much, “I can only lead you to the truth. I can't make you believe it,” he says in Season 1, Episode 6. He knows more than you do, more than the other characters do, and more than anyone will ever know. But that doesn’t mean he’s gonna force it down our throats — it’s not his style. But if you don’t believe him, well, good luck to you.

5. Take Your Time Getting to Your Destination
It’s called The Blacklist because there’s a whole lot of names to check off of it. While the FBI and Lizzie may be in a hurry to knock em down and get to the end of it, Red has no such aspirations. In fact, we get the sense he gets a kick out of watching people run around him while he just strolls at a comfortable pace. The key is that he has all the knowledge, and he says it best when he explains, “I’m here because you want answers to questions you haven’t even thought of yet.”

In a way, it’s kind of sweet that Red is letting things play out at their speed instead of his — although not so sweet that we want to invite him to our Christmas dinner…

NBC’s The Blacklist returns for Season 1, Episode 11, “The Good Samaritan Killer” on Monday, January 13, 2014 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

Are you watching The Blacklist? Dying to see what happens next? Is Red your favorite character? Tell us all your thoughts below!

Julia Wayne is an Editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!