The Blacklist May Have Just Revealed How One Huge Character Is Going To Die

the blacklist tom

(Image credit: Image courtesy of NBC)

Warning: major spoilers ahead for the Season 5 premiere of The Blacklist on NBC. Be sure that you've watched the episode before reading on unless you want to be spoiled on what happened.

The Blacklist got off to a surprisingly merry start in Season 5, as Red and Liz took off on an adventure that led to more shenanigans and hijinks than intense conflicts and crazy showdowns. At first, it seemed like the show was just getting us off to a gentle start before amping up the drama next week. Then, the final scene happened, and we got a huge twist that may have revealed in bloody detail the major character who is going to die at some point in Season 5: Tom Keen.

Here's what happened. Tom, who had been toting that suitcase around for the majority of the episode, reunited with Liz at their apartment at the very end to deliver his news. Before he could tell her about the suitcase, however, she dropped the bomb that Red is her father. Tom then decided not to involve her in the suitcase situation, and we got a flashforward that featured what looked an awful lot like Tom's death.

In the flashforward, we see Red and Dembe enter the apartment to find a very bloody Tom lying on the floor, clearly having taken a severe beating. Red stood over Tom, pointed his gun, and fired twice at Tom. Although we don't see the actual wounds, Tom's eyes seemed to be staring pretty blankly up at the ceiling after the gunfire. It looks like he might be biting the dust. For a guy who already lost his spinoff, death is a pretty big bummer.

At this point, we have to wonder if Tom's apparent death in the flashforward only happens because he made the decision not to tell Liz about the suitcase. It can surely be no coincidence that the bloody flashfoward came immediately after Tom made the conscious choice to keep the suitcase a secret because of Liz's reveal about Red as her dad. The Blacklist creator Jon Bokenkamp explained in a chat with TVLine what exactly Tom intended to do in the premiere before the paternity bombshell, saying this:

He was going to tell her, 'Mr. Kaplan had a big secret, she sent me to this bus locker and I found a suitcase full of bones.' That big secret that Mr. Kaplan wanted Tom to share with Liz--in the moment, he felt that the landscape had shifted under him, and even under Mr. Kaplan. They didn't know this information, that the DNA report had come out and Reddington was her father. Tom finds himself in a place where he realizes she's closer to Reddington than ever. She's probably just going to talk to Reddington about this, and he's going to find some way to twist and manipulate the situation. Tom, out of love for Liz, feels like this is something he has to solve and understand before he can put it at Liz's feet.

The decision not to involve Liz in his current predicament may be what leads to his bloody fate in the flashforward. Red has already come close to killing Tom in the past, only holding back because of Liz's feelings for him. If Red or even Liz believes that Tom betrayed her, Red might be motivated to take the ultimate revenge. There's also that suitcase lingering over the story. If Tom reveals the contents or even reveals that he has it to the wrong person, he could definitely end up on the wrong side of Red's gun. That said, Liz doesn't want to become Red. There are still a whole bunch of variables in play. Unfortunately, we'll have to wait and see what happens.

New episodes of The Blacklist air on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. Check out our fall TV premiere schedule for other viewing options as well.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).