How The Blacklist Season 8 Will Start Things Off, According To The Executive Producers

The Blacklist Elizabeth Liz Keen Megan Boone NBC
(Image credit: Virginia Sherwood / NBC)

Before its animated finale and shocking twists galore, The Blacklist received the fantastic news that it would be returning for Season 8. As fans watched the NBC drama sign off sooner than expected, they were confronted with an array of questions. Most of those inquiries revolved around how Season 8 will start in the aftermath of the previous season’s impromptu ending.

When The Blacklist left off, Liz had made her choice in the war between Katarina and Red, and she sided with her mother. The shocking decision meant Liz betraying Red for the umpteenth time and siding with a person that I believe is the true villain of the crime drama. Not only that, but there are still doubts as to whether she's even Liz’s mother. Could Season 8 see an imposter reveal?

That question and more have set up an exciting point for The Blacklist to start at in Season 8. The way in which things will begin in light of the abrupt way The Blacklist had to wrap-up came up at the show’s Comic-Con@Home 2020 panel, an event that already led to the fun reveal that Jason Statham inadvertently played a role in last season’s finale.

As attention shifted away from the animation of The Blacklist’s sendoff, talk turned to how Liz’s decision to side with her mother would impact the Task Force. Remember, they work alongside Red, not Katarina. So it makes sense for them to be more Team Red than Liz is at this point. On Liz’s choice, The Blacklist’s creator Jon Bokenkamp told Comic-Con@Home 2020:

One thing to point out is obviously, we like John [Eisendrath] said, we didn’t get to finish our last three episodes. And while that arc may seem a little accelerated because it was done in that final episode, I think it’s gonna be very clear where she’s going when we start next season. I think it blows everything up in sort of the best way possible. I think it’s an inevitable turn that is going to be really fun to watch unravel and blow things up.

Season 8 will start with the decimation that is Liz’s decision to side with Katarina Rostova -- a person who has proven ruthless and diabolical, but who The Blacklist’s behind-the-scenes brass has characterized as trustworthy. Take from all of that what you will. At this point, I'm still highly skeptical of her.

Being the terrific teaser that he is, Jon Bokenkamp mentions that it will become rapidly apparent where Liz is headed in Season 8. I'm still clinging to the microscopic hope that Liz is somehow lying and faking allegiance to her mother to gain entry into her hidden world. Otherwise, I'm not too happy with her. Picking up from Bokenkamp, The Blacklist executive producer John Eisendrath said:

You know we usually, obviously, finish off all the stories that we’re contemplating in the given year and then we start the next year thinking, ‘oh my god well we did all the big stuff at the end of last year. Where are we gonna start?’ This year, we have all the big stuff that we were unable to finish at the end of the last season that is going to start this season. So, the next season, Season 8, starts in a much more heightened and dramatic place than normal seasons do because we are gonna tell the story that we were unable to tell at the end of last season.

I am ready to see what The Blacklist originally had planned to conclude its most recent season. All of this seems to mean that fans will have to wait longer than initially expected to see all of the intrigue that James Spader had teased for the start of Season 8. However, the coronavirus pandemic has put a dent in seeing that in the initial window.

This is the life of a fan of The Blacklist, and it could be much worse. Thankfully, there is a season to pick up all of the drama. Does this mean fans will get to see everything that was originally planned for Season 7? John Eisendrath explained the situation. Asked if Season 8 will use the episodes that did not get filmed from Season 7, Eisendrath said:

Oh yeah, we write an episode we film it. We’re not throwing it out. It’s too late. We’re not going to be like, ‘Oh, you know what? Let’s just start over.’ Yeah, we’re using it.

There you have it. Season 8 will begin comprised of a lot of Season 7. There are a lot of shockers that I hope to see when The Blacklist returns. While it's significant that fans will not have to miss anything that was initially planned to air last season, it does mean possibly having to wait on certain developments. Yes, I am referring to the storyline surrounding Red’s mystery illness, and I'm ready for answers!

The Blacklist will return for its eighth season on NBC. Stay tuned to see if Season 8 pulls off being one of this fall’s premieres. In the meantime, you can check out past seasons of the crime drama on Netflix, along with lots of 2020 arrivals.

Britt Lawrence

Like a contented Hallmark movie character, Britt happily lives in the same city she grew up in. Along with movies and television, she is passionate about competitive figure skating. She has been writing about entertainment for 5 years, and as you may suspect, still finds it as entertaining to do as when she began.