The Blacklist promised a big event in its fall finale, and it certainly did not disappoint. Those who watched finally witnessed the long-teased death of Tom Keen, although it totally didn't happen in the way many expected. So how will Elizabeth cope with the death of her husband? Creator Jon Bokenkamp said Liz will be suffering some deficits both physical and emotional when Season 5 returns in 2018, and the show will focus on her recovery from her own injuries and coma:
We do lean into that. We will be telling stories around exactly that subject, like how does she heal? How does she emotionally heal? How does she want to confront Tom's death? Can she confront it? So yes, there will be fallout from what has happened to her.
As if the death of Tom wasn't bad enough, The Blacklist threw a double twist at fans when Liz awoke in a hospital bed to biological father Raymond Reddington delivering the news that she had been in a coma for ten months. Reddington and her colleagues at the FBI will surely understand her pain and sorrow, but they've all had several months to mourn Tom's death and other major life events, while its still going to be fresh pain for her. The death alone would've been hard to overcome, but the quasi-isolation in being the last to know is likely going to make rehabilitation even harder for Liz, since she can't just hop right out of bed after 10 months of lying down.
Judging from Jon Bokenkamp's statements to EW, it sounds as though there will be a heavy focus on Liz's recovery right when The Blacklist returns for the back half of Season 5. Bokenkamp has stated as much before in past interviews and has even gone so far as to state this event will change the show because of how it might affect Liz. The world has moved on for 10 months without her, and with Reddington seen prominently at her bedside when she woke up, its safe to say he hasn't been doing a lot of riding around the world and helping the FBI catch the bad guys to help rebuild his empire. Is it possible the task force may not even be a thing anymore?
It's certainly possible, but it seems unlikely that The Blacklist is suddenly going to become a show about loss and Liz's struggle to lead a normal life. For the sake of the series, Liz will presumably get back in the saddle eventually and she'll find out what was so important about that suitcase, and the bones inside them, that inevitably led to Tom's death. The bones have become the new mystery of the series, so wherever Liz's recovery takes her, it will surely lead to that reveal sooner or later.
The Blacklist will return to NBC with new episodes on Wednesday, January 3, at 8 p.m. ET. For the return dates or premieres of other shows in 2018, be sure to visit our midseason premiere guide. For a look at all things 2017, visit our fall premiere guide to see what still has yet to premiere, or hit up our cancellation guide to see what shows got dropped quicker than Tom's character after his spinoff got canceled.