Spoilers ahead for the Season 9 finale of The Blacklist, called “Marvin Gerard: Conclusion Part 2.”
If there’s any show on television that can be relied upon to deliver finales to leave fans hanging over hiatus, The Blacklist qualifies. The Season 9 finale had some important stories to resolve within the span of an hour – whether or not Cooper would be going to prison, whether or not Red would get to Marvin before the Task Force, even whether or not Park’s headaches would take her out of the field, to name just a few. As it turns out, the episode resolved these stories while setting up some high-stakes new ones for Season 10… and also saying goodbye to two key characters.
The good news is that the departing characters aren’t going to be missing Season 10 because they were killed off, but because the actors decided to move on, and their characters got reasonably happy endings. (At least, living endings!) Series regulars Amir Arison (who has had a heavy season both in the present and via flashbacks as Aram) and Laura Sohn (whose Park has had struggles with health and loss all season) are officially out of The Blacklist, according to Deadline. Their departures come just one season after longtime leading lady Megan Boone bowed out of the show.
Luckily, both characters received less permanent endings in the Season 9 finale than Liz did with her death at the end of Season 8. Aram decided to “take some time away” from the FBI, and he has no plans other than moving to “a cool place in Brooklyn” where he can ride his bike, enjoy New York, eat some pizza, check out Broadway, and just not deal with the stressors of the Task Force.
The mention of New York and Broadway may have actually been a nod to why the actor decided to leave The Blacklist. He landed a role in the Broadway stage adaptation of The Kite Runner, which is both an exciting development for him as an actor and not something that means he’ll absolutely be gone from The Blacklist forever. Aram is alive, so fans’ hopes for more of him can live on as well! Arison was one of the show’s longest-running remaining cast members, as he was part of the team going back to Season 1.
As for Park, she had an announcement as well. Her appointment with an FBI neurologist to determine whether or not her worsening headaches would keep her out of the field for good yielded some unexpected results: her headaches are getting worse because she’s pregnant. After she suffered a miscarriage early in Season 9 due to an attack, learning that she’s pregnant – and clearly being happy about it – is a nice way to cap off Park’s story.
It’s not clear if her headaches will be gone and she could return to the field after giving birth, but she said that she wanted to take a medical leave from the Task Force “until we know for sure,” and that “maybe life’s got other plans” for her. Laura Sohn decided to leave The Blacklist to pursue different projects. She was part of the show for three seasons, recurring in Season 7 before being bumped up to series regular status in Season 8.
So, what does that mean for Season 10? Red actually decided that he would be stepping away as well, although only for a few weeks after the whole ordeal with investigating Liz’s death and then orchestrating Marvin’s suicide. For his sake, we can only hope that he takes his break pretty far off the grid, considering that Marvin outed him as a C.I. who has helped put away a whole lot of criminals to a very deadly man, who escaped from prison and now has the goal of killing Red and a list of Blacklisters who will probably be more than happy to help him out.
And the Task Force won’t have Aram and Park on hand to help with the inevitable fallout next season! Unfortunately, fans are in for a wait to find out how the Task Force carries on after these cast departures and the bombshell reveal about Red to all the wrong people. The Blacklist doesn’t return for Season 10 until early 2023 as part of NBC’s midseason lineup.
The midseason premiere leads me to wonder if the show will deliver another time jump, or pick up exactly where it left off. For now, you can always revisit the earlier seasons of the series with a Netflix subscription, or head over to our 2022 TV premiere schedule for some viewing options between now and Season 10.
Resident of One Chicago, Bachelor Nation, and Cleveland. Has opinions about crossovers, Star Wars, and superheroes. Will not time travel.
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