The Blacklist: Why Each Cast Member Left The Show

The Blacklist Task Force Season 9 finale
(Image credit: NBC)

SPOILER WARNING: The following article gives away some of the most pivotal, game-changing, and twisted moments from The Blacklist. Unless you are caught up on the l last nine seasons, we recommend that you proceed with caution.

When a TV series goes on for long enough, it should come as no surprise that it may lose a few cast members along the way, especially in an era when shows like HBO’s medieval epic Game of Thrones and survivalist horror drama The Walking Dead are among the most popular series in recent memory. Still, in many cases, it never makes us any less curious as to what exactly was the reason for the exit and there are more than enough examples of this among the cast of The Blacklist.

Only a few actors from creator Jon Bokenkamp’s addictive NBC crime drama — such as Emmy Award winner James Spader as elusive master criminal-turned-FBI informant, Raymond “Red” Reddington — have remained a constant part of the series’ main ensemble in the ten years it has been on the air. As we approach the premiere of The Blacklist Season 10 — also its final season, which debuts on Sunday, February 26, 2023 — let’s take a look back at the actors who have had their own names crossed off the list over the years, starting with the one whose character served as the heart of the story from the very beginning.

megan boone as liz keen the blacklist season 8

(Image credit: NBC)

Megan Boone

The moment that kicks off the overarching story of The Blacklist occurs in the pilot episode from 2013, when Red Reddington turns himself into the authorities and personally asks to speak to rookie FBI profiler Elizabeth Keen, played by Megan Boone. As Deadline confirmed in 2021, the actor would choose to walk away from the character that would become, and has remained at tyhis time, the definitive role of her career, citing a desire to seek other opportunities. After Liz was shockingly killed off in the Season 8 finale, Boone would launch her own production company and later landed her first major follow-up role as part of Fox’s Accused cast on an episode directed by Marlee Matlin.

Ryan Eggold on The Blacklist

(Image credit: NBC)

Ryan Eggold

Another main character from The Blacklist who was written out of the show by way of murder was Elizabeth Keen’s husband, Tom, played Ryan Eggold, whose final curtain was on the eighth episode of Season 5, in which he was stabbed to death by drug lord Ian Garvey. The exit came not long after Eggold returned to the main cast following the early cancellation of his spin-off series, The Blacklist: Redemption — and was later revealed in an interview with EW, by then EP Jon Bokenkamp, to be a creative decision in service of further the plot. Soon after, Eggold found success as the lead of the hit NBC medical drama New Amsterdam, which would continue to find great success on Netflix following its series finale.

The Blacklist's Parminder Nagra as Meera Malik in Season 1 screenshot.

(Image credit: NBC)

Parminder Nagra

One of the earliest character write-offs on The Blacklist occurred in the 22nd and final episode of its very first season when, tragically, CIA agent Meera Malik’s throat was slit by a blacklister’s henchperson. While no official explanation for her departure was ever given (perhaps it was for creative reasons, as with Ryan Eggold’s exit), Malik actor and former ER cast member, Parminder Nagra, has since enjoyed a stellar career in many notable movies and TV shows — such as Netflix’s hit thriller, Bird Box, and the British crime drama DI Ray in the title role. According to TV Line, The Blacklist Season 10 is referencing Malik’s death by introducing the character’s daughter — an MI6 agent named Siya, played by Anya Banerjee.

Mozhan Marnò on The Blacklist

(Image credit: NBC)

Mozhan Marnò

One The Blacklist actor lucky enough to say that her character was not killed off is Mozhan Marnò, who would actually reprise the role of FBI agent Samar Navabi for an episode in Season 9 after leaving in the 14th episode of the sixth season. According to an Entertainment Weekly article detailing her return, the Iranian-American actor’s exit from the cast was her own decision, expressing that she was ready for a new chapter in her career. Marnò’s most notable roles since include some of the best TV shows on Hulu exclusively — namely Ramy, Pam and Tommy, and Flesichman Is In Trouble, most recently. 

The Blacklist Season 9 Aram

(Image credit: NBC)

Amir Arison

In addition to Season 9 being the first we saw of Mozhan Marnò as Samar Navabi in a while, it would be the last we saw of one of the longest-standing members of the main Blacklist cast: Amir Arison in the role of NSA agent-turned-FBI agent and computer designer, Aram Mojtabi. An article by Deadline from mid-2022 revealed that the actor’s choice to leave after the season's 22nd and final episode was prompted by his casting in a stage production of Khaled Hoseeini’s 2003 novel, The Kite Runner, which also marked his Broadway debut. It was later revealed in another Deadline article from January 2023 that Arison landed his next big TV role, as a DEA agent this time, in Apple TV+’s upcoming drama Sinking Ship, from creator Peter Craig and executive producer and director Ridley Scott.

laura sohn as alina park the blacklist nbc

(Image credit: NBC)

Laura Sohn 

It was also reported in the same Deadline article that detailed Amir Arison’s exit from The Blacklist cast that Laura Sohn — who was brought on as a recurring player in Season 7 before being bumped up to series regular the following year — would also be stepping away from her role as Agent Alina Park after the Season 9 finale. Previously known for guest starring spots on dramas like NCIS: New Orleans and God Friended Me, the actor reportedly left the show wanting to pursue other projects. There is no word at the moment on what Sohn’s next acting endeavor may be, but with a Netflix subscription, you can check out her appearance as a law student in the 2020 post-9/11 drama, Worth.

A subscription to Netflix will also give you access to relive all of your favorite moments that feature each of these former Blacklist cast members in their respective roles on the acclaimed, long-running TV series. Watch how it all comes to an end when the Season 10 premiere airs on NBC.

Jason Wiese
Content Writer

Jason Wiese writes feature stories for CinemaBlend. His occupation results from years dreaming of a filmmaking career, settling on a "professional film fan" career, studying journalism at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO (where he served as Culture Editor for its student-run print and online publications), and a brief stint of reviewing movies for fun. He would later continue that side-hustle of film criticism on TikTok (@wiesewisdom), where he posts videos on a semi-weekly basis. Look for his name in almost any article about Batman.