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WARNING: Major spoilers ahead for the fall finale of The Blacklist. Feel free to stop reading if you haven't watched yet!
Well, never one to disappoint, The Blacklist ended its fall run tonight with two major shocks: not only has Tom Keen finally left the deceptive, espionage-filled building, but when the show picks back up in January, time will have jumped ahead by 10 months. And, while Tom's Season 5 death, at least, was teased in the season opener, now we know why it had to happen now, as well as why those behind the show felt the need to jump ahead by almost a year. Here's what executive producers John Eisendrath and Jon Bokenkamp had to say about why Tom's death needed to happen tonight:
So, according to what Eisendrath and Bokenkamp told Variety, it sounds a lot like they felt they had exhausted the avenues they could take Tom, especially with respect to his relationship with Liz. Seeing as how he originally got involved with Liz simply because he was keeping an eye on her for Red, it's kind of amazing that the show was able to redeem the character and bring him around to a place where Liz and Red (basically) were able to trust him again. Now, it would seem that the most important part of his death is going to be how it changes Liz going forward.
That, of course, brings us to the even more shocking time jump that was revealed in the final moments of the episode. So, why not pick up a few days or even weeks after Tom's death? It looks like it's mostly about getting to the heart of the changed Liz we'll see when the show picks up again:
It makes a lot of sense that when Liz wakes up from her coma and hears that Tom has been dead for 10 months, she'll jump into high gear to get revenge as soon as possible, and that will drive the rest of the season, and, possibly, seasons to come.
We can all see how Liz responds to Tom's death when The Blacklist returns to NBC on January 3. To see when all your favorites will return from hiatus and when new mid-season shows will start, be sure to check out our mid-season premiere schedule.