The Blacklist dropped some big reveals in the Season 8 finale, as series star Megan Boone exited the series, bringing the story of Elizabeth "Liz" Keen to an end. The Blacklist season 8 threw some drastic twists in Liz's story: her mother Katarina was seemingly killed by Raymond "Red" Reddington (James Spader) after she and Liz uncovered secrets of Red's past. In retaliation, Red put Liz on the Blacklist to be hunted by her own FBI colleagues, forcing Liz to go on the run after. However, nothing turned out to be what it seemed as Liz's journey brought her back around to face Reddington, and learn the secrets of her past...
Warning: Major The Blacklist SPOILERS Follow!
The two-part finale to The Blacklist season 8 ("Nachalo" and "Konets" - or "Beginning" and "The End" in Russian) saw Boone's Liz Keen come to the end of her story - literally. Liz and Red managed to defeat and kill crimelord Neville Townsend in "Nachalo", but could not avoid the threat that the crimelord had set in motion.
After the fight with Townsend, "Konets" sees Spader (who was revealed to be a mystery man impersonating the real Red Reddington, Liz's father) propose to leave Liz with the final protection of inheriting his criminal empire before he dies. The plan is to arrange for Liz to assassinate "Red" outside his restaurant, where cameras will capture the act in all its infamy and cement Liz as a major figure in the crime world, as the heir to Reddington's criminal network. Liz wants the final set of answers about who Reddington really is, before he dies, but Red hides all that in a letter Liz will receive when he's dead.
Unfortunately (but not unexpectedly), the plan goes sideways. Liz hesitates when she ultimately has Red in her sights - but Townsend's surviving henchman Vandyke (Lukas Hassel) doesn't hesitate at all when he shoots Liz. As Townsend wanted, Red is forced to watch Liz die, while cradling her tightly.
The Blacklist has answered all of the major questions about Liz's character that longtime fans needed to know, while still leaving room for season 9 to thrill fans by retaining big secrets about Red and Katarina that still need to be revealed. There's still the power vacuum left by Neville Townsend's death, and the shifts in the criminal world will keep Red scrambling to maintain his own empire - while the FBI task force will have plenty of Blacklist targets popping up on their radar.
Megan Boone has since posted the following statement about leaving The Blacklist and leaving Liz behind:
This experience, for me, has been an entire life inside of my own life. These eight years playing Liz Keen have helped me better define the world and myself, as she set out to do the same. Liz sought incorruptible familial bonds, and collided with powerful forces to reveal the boundaries where a cruel, indifferent world ended and she began.
As her story ends I am grateful, most of all for the people I shared this time with: my fellow cast members present and past, our incredible crew who carried every single day for all involved, and those of you we entertained.
The dreams inside this little life are the memories I still have of the guest stars passing through, however briefly— of their faces, their voices, their idiosyncrasies and talents. There have been such an astounding abundance of you over my 150+ episodes that, ironically, I could not list you all here, but… What a list. What a dream. Thank you all.
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The Blacklist airs on NBC and is available to stream on Netflix.