Enrique Murciano Julian Gale The Blacklist NBC

As The Blacklist prepares for its Season 5 return, the series has dropped a character with potential from the cast list, and big changes may be in store. Enrique Murciano, who joined late in Season 4 as Agent Julian Gale, has publicly announced he's not coming back to the series when it airs this fall:

The news is disappointing to fans, who appear to have grown attached to Enrique Murciano's easy-to-hate Agent Gale. When he was first cast in the role, word was that Murciano had the potential to become a season regular as the show headed into Season 5. Now, it appears Julian Gale and all of his efforts to take down Red will fade away as the show looks to move in a new direction for the upcoming season.

It's possible that Enrique Murciano's option as a series regular was declined as The Blacklist team looks to rework some of the departed cast from The Blacklist: Redemption back into the fold. With no Season 2 for their ill-fated spin-off, Ryan Eggold will likely play a larger role again in the series, and perhaps some of his storyline from the spinoff could travel into Season 5. Taking that, and the potentially game-changing element of the contents of that suitcase headed to Liz, one might understand how Jon Bokenkamp had to drop Murciano's character from the story to get deeper into the mystery that is Elizabeth Keen.

Considering The Blacklist's ratings aren't nearly as bad as we once thought they were, there's still a chance that Enrique Murciano could return as Julian Gale at some point down the road. The fact that we didn't see Red order Agent Julian Gale to be killed means that anything is possible, and really, the show could resume his manhunt for Raymond Reddington whenever they find the time. Perhaps if fans continue to show as much distaste as they have on Twitter regarding the decision, that may happen sooner than later.

The Blacklist is set to return for Season 5 on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET On NBC. Fans should be sure to take note of that time change as it's a day and and two hours earlier than last season, so people are bound to trip up when it returns. For a full look at NBC's fall lineup, click here. Those interested in the here and now can find premiere dates for new and returning shows right now on our summer premiere guide so hop to it! If streaming is more your style, our 2017 Netflix premiere scheduled can give you all the dates you need.

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