Warning: spoilers ahead for Episode 4 of The Blacklist Season 5, called "The Endling."
The Blacklist has been tackling some new stories in Season 5 now that Liz is operating under the knowledge that Red is her father. We're seeing a whole new side of Liz, even as Red struggles with more limited resources than he's used to. All of that said, the biggest sources of suspense in Season 5 so far have come courtesy of Tom Keen and the mysterious suitcase full of bones. Tom has been trying to figure out the suitcase all season while working to keep the entire thing a secret from Liz, and he enlisted the help of a couple others. Unfortunately, one of those helpers ended up dead in exchange for his assistance. R.I.P. Nik.
Nik had been talked into lending his medical expertise in Tom's mission to uncover the secrets of the suitcase. Nik was attempting to figure out who exactly the bones in the suitcase belonged to, but he ran into a few hurdles. While Tom did what he could on his end to give Nik the access he needed to solve the mystery, Nik was sidetracked when Red and Liz forced him to operate on a young boy. Nik was furious enough that he declared he was done with Liz after what she did, and he went home... where he ran into some trouble. An unidentified attacker entered and choked Nik to death from behind. The assailant left Nik's body behind and took the suitcase.
The murder of Nik and theft of the suitcase is only the latest twist in the crazy saga that has been unfolding around those bones. Fans have been wondering what the show is going to do with the suitcase since way back in Season 4, and the stakes have been painfully high ever since the Season 5 premiere. That episode ended on a flash-forward that seemed to show Red shooting Tom in the head before taking the suitcase and walking out.
It's still not clear whether or not Tom really will be killed when the action in the present catches up with the flash-forward, but the flash-forward does prove that the suitcase will probably change hands yet again. It's looking like Tom will get the case back in his possession, although it's impossible to say how long he'll be able to keep it. This is a suitcase that people are willing to kill for, and Nik's death can't exactly be swept under the rug. He has powerful friends, and Liz will likely take a particular interest in solving his death, given her guilt after driving him away in "The Endling." It should be interesting to discover if Red's allies are responsible or if a third party has suddenly entered the game.
We'll have to wait and see how Nik's death is received. New episodes of The Blacklist air on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. Be sure to tune in to see what happens next with the mysterious suitcase full of bones.