Major spoilers below for anyone who hasn't yet watched The Blacklist's midseason premiere, titled "Ruin."
Blacklist fans knew that the back half of Season 5 was going to be strikingly different from the show's past, with Liz facing a life without Tom after waking up from an extended coma. While I don't know that many people predicted she would immediately go on a self-exiled, cold-weather killing spree, that's exactly what happened, though the men Liz killed definitely deserved it. Regardless of how viewers reacted to Liz's continued evolution, actress Megan Boone is downright enthusiastic about these big changes.
This has been something I've been eager to see happen in the series. I think that it was important for Liz to start in one place and end up in a very different place since she is the really the character that's changed by the entire arc of the show. Red is Red from Day 1, and he'll be Red for eternity. But Liz started in one place and is now moving to a different character. So it's required that I be very patient, because all I've ever wanted was for her to take real authority over her life and exert some of the badassery that we see in this episode. [Laughs] It's been peppered throughout the series, we've seen her capacity for badassery. but now it's finally full throttle and I've been eager to play it. It's really a lot of fun.
My condolences to any diehard fans who were hoping that the largely standalone midseason premiere was more of an exception than Liz's new approach to life. The days of Liz (or Elizabeth, I guess) feeling vulnerable are over, at least when she's not around Tom's grave, and we're likely going to see the character continuing her dark descent for months to come. After all, she's got some pretty devious genetic material coursing through her veins, and being like Red may not be something Liz directly strives for, but she's getting there pretty quickly.
Even if taking down dangerous threats wasn't a major point of comparison between Liz and Red, what about how she passed Agnes on to her Tom's mother? That may have initially seemed like either a harsh move by the grieving mother, or a simple way for the show to put the young child on the sidelines, but as as Megan Boone put it to TVGuide, giving up a child to someone else is very much in line with what Red did with Liz. So she was basically just living up to her bloodline.
Even though Liz may be moving forward with her adjusted personality traits, the character isn't necessarily doing it with a clear conscience just yet. But taking control of her life and her future in this way will mentally open Liz up to start letting go of some of the self-blame she's carried for all these years. In Boone's words:
Liz has never been able to forgive herself. Liz blames herself for [things that] Red does, Liz blames herself for things that Tom does. So that's a crazy question to pose, because Liz is the ultimate taker of blame. She is. She needn't be, she's probably of all the people has the purest of intention, not anymore, but up until this point, until the point she snapped. She's a good person at heart. I think ultimately this new psychological space she inhabits is going to make it a little easier for her to forgive herself, because I don't think she has the same moral compass she once had.
The midseason finale set up the Ian Garvey arc, and Megan Boone teased that character's story will guide The Blacklist through the rest of Season 5, with some big revelations coming. But sadly, the actress still doesn't appear to know what all those bones are about. Unless, of course, Boone shares her TV character's penchant for keeping secrets. [Rubs chin thoughtfully]