The Blacklist is hurtling towards its Season 5 finale with a ferocious twist that will make Season 6 an absolute must. That's right, the series' creator Jon Bokenkamp is taking a "don't blink" approach to the events of its impending season closer. The dramatic thriller has yet to be renewed by NBC for a sixth season, but it is not impacting the way Bokenkamp is approaching the season finale. Despite the uncertain backdrop, Bokenkamp has assured fans that he did not conceive two different endings for the Season 5 finale, teasing:
Our cliffhanger at the end of the season is a cliffhanger. It is a big answer and it is a big question that is gonna push us forward. We have no choice but to write the story that we're telling, and I'm optimistic and hopeful that we'll come back. If not, maybe I'll go do the finale as puppet theater at a community theater somewhere. But there's no version of this where we say, 'Well, here's maybe our series finale.' We're not in that business.
Jon Bokenkamp's bold decision is guaranteed to leave fans on the edges of their seats. While season finales are always a time of high anxiety for fans, how a show chooses to wrap up the season can make that an even more nerve-wracking experience. The Blacklist creator's tease to EW is an especially high-stakes gamble, albeit one that makes sense because, as Bokenkamp makes clear, Season 5 is not supposed to be the end of the story.
Should the series not be renewed by NBC, fans may never see the aftermath of Season 5's finale come to fruition. In the end, it is a decision Blacklisters may end up being grateful for. By setting the season up to end this way, it could entice NBC towards renewing the series. Despite the down-to-the-wire wait for a renewal, Jon Bokenkamp remains hopeful that Season 5 will not be the series' last, saying:
There's too much good story to tell next season. We've already had great conversations about it. We have a really strong direction and some big ideas. That's my sheepish way to say I'm super-optimistic and feel really excited about, if nothing else, the creative direction of where we're going.
The Blacklist has never been short on exciting stories, and after five seasons, the series' creator is promising that will not change. His optimism is also a strong indication that the show's chances for renewal are in the black. It is hard to imagine NBC letting The Blacklist go. The show has a strong fan following after 100 episodes and it is still delivering at a high creative level. That is not common for a show that has run as long as it has.
Season 5 has seen no shortage of shockers. The series killed off Liz's soulmate Tom Keen (Ryan Eggold) during the fall finale and has now put fan favorite Samar (Mozhan Marnò) in jeopardy following the events of the season's penultimate episode. Given that background, it makes sense The Blacklist is heading towards the finale with a take-no-prisoners abandon. Here is hoping a season of surprises ends with the unsurprising news of the series' renewal.
Find out what the Season 5 cliffhanger is when The Blacklist finale airs May 16 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. For when you can catch television's other season-enders, check out this year's season finale schedule. As for what else is coming up on NBC and beyond over the course of the next few months, check out our guide to TV's summer premieres.