'The Blacklist' Bosses and Star Sound Off on Shocking Death: 'It Won't Be the Same Around Here'
By Philiana Ng
Warning: Spoiler alert! Do not proceed if you haven’t watched Wednesday’s fall finale of The Blacklist.
The Blacklist said goodbye to a major character in dramatic fashion.
On Wednesday’s jam-packed fall finale, Tom Keen (Ryan Eggold) bit the dust after he and his wife, Liz (Megan Boone), came under attack. After being taken to the hospital for their life-threatening injuries, the episode ended with Liz waking up from a coma 10 months later with Raymond Reddington (James Spader) breaking the devastating news that Tom had died.
Tom’s demise had been teased since the season five premiere, when a flash forward seemed to show Red entering the Keen home and pulling the trigger, shooting Tom dead. And it certainly didn’t help that Tom had been investigating the mysterious suitcase of bones that Red so desperately wished to keep hidden from Liz.
Eggold, who has been a part of the main cast since the show's debut in 2013, issued a statement following the episode.
“I feel incredibly lucky to have played a role with such a uniquely dynamic evolution. I'm grateful for the time spent working with Megan, James and the entire cast. I'm thankful to the incredibly hard-working crew for consistently making the show better. Sony and NBC have both been deeply supportive, conscientious and adept in managing the show,” he said, singling out executive producers Jon Bokenkamp and John Eisendrath, as well as the writers, for “impassioning me to further explore the true nature of this character.”
“I will miss this TV family immensely and diligently look forward to the opportunity to embody new characters and tell new stories,” Eggold concluded.
Bokenkamp, the show’s creator, also addressed Eggold’s departure from the show, saying that he always envisioned Tom’s ending to be an unhappy one.
“I have such tremendous respect for Ryan and everything he brought to The Blacklist. The character of Tom Keen was a blast to write, and that's only because we knew Ryan could pull off whatever we threw at him. That said, we always knew Tom's exploits would one day get him killed -- The Blacklist won't be the same without him,” Bokenkamp said. “Looking ahead, Tom's death upends the show in a way we're very excited about, and our next episode is unlike anything we've done before. But it won't be the same around here without Mr. Keen. As for Mr. Eggold, I think he's gonna be just fine -- he's gonna have a long and rewarding career.”
“Of all the words I've written on the show, two of the hardest were when Red told Liz: 'Tom's dead.' Nooooo!” added Eisendrath. “We'll miss the intensity, range and just plain bad ass-ness Ryan brought to the part. Won't come as any surprise -- but he went down swinging!”
The Blacklist returns Wednesday, Jan. 3 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, ahead of its upcoming 100th episode, featuring guest star Nathan Lane.