Warning: Spoiler alert! Do not proceed if you haven't watched Wednesday's winter premiere of The Blacklist. If you have, you may proceed...
Elizabeth Keen is on a mission.
On Wednesday's winter premiere of The Blacklist, titled "Ruin," the aftermath of Tom's death reverberated throughout Liz's (Megan Boone) life, prompting her to completely change every facet of her life (see: gives her daughter Agnes away to Tom's mom, requests Red not to follow her). After an indeterminate amount of time passed since Liz woke up from her coma 10 months after her husband's tragic death, Liz has cut herself off from the rest of the world, holing herself up in a cabin in the woods and living a simple, unexciting life under the fake name Grace.
It's only after a group of seemingly decent men (spoiler alert: they turned out to be killers) stumble across her cabin, seeking help for their injured friend (spoiler alert: he wasn't their friend at all), that the drama begins to kick up a notch -- forcing Liz, outnumbered in every sense of the word, to smartly navigate and overpower the men. Mission: accomplished.
Soon after, Liz reunites with Red, thanking him for honoring her request and not following her, and telling him she's "back" for good now, though she can't keep up her end of the bargain. She's coming for Tom's killers and there's nothing anyone, including him, can say about it. Though Red tells Liz he forgives her, he asks one looming question that sets the table for the rest of the season: "Will you be able to forgive yourself?"
Following the episode, Boone spoke with ET about the biggest moments from the winter return, what didn't make the cut from the emotional cemetery scene and why happy endings aren't in the cards for Liz Keen.
ET: One scene from the winter premiere really struck a chord. It's the one where Liz visits Tom's grave, where she breaks down and she's not doing so well -- and even says that at one point. It was a rare moment to see a woman trying to grieve, but also attempting to put one foot forward without her husband. What do you remember most about filming that scene?
Megan Boone: For that scene, I remember really feeling the weight of having my own family and how much more that you have to lose. I honestly couldn’t imagine losing my partner in life and still looking at our child every day and being reminded of that person who was so essential and such an integral part of my support system and my emotional life. I remember walking up to Tom’s grave and seeing it for the first time – every time we shot a take, I was seeing it for the first time – I remember it occurring to me that that’s what made it real for the first time: seeing the headstone. That really propelled me into the work of the scene -- that Liz was taken by surprise by how definite it was now that there was this tangible evidence that Tom was in the ground. And one thing that didn’t actually make it into the cut was that I think at a certain point where I was down on the grass; I think there was a part of me that wanted to get down there with him. I wanted to reach him.
By the end of the episode, it appears as though Liz is dead-set on seeking revenge to right Tom's death.
There’s a real question in the back half of season five that we’ll explore, as to whether Liz is going to approach the next phase of her life with a sense of dignity or if she's really going to lean on this genetically inherited darker impulse she has, and behave more like Ray. I don't really think that the series is going to be the standard American happy ending.
You don't see a happy ending for Liz?
I don't see everything coming up roses anytime soon. But the tone of this episode, which is very standalone, filmic and reflective, that's going to be very... It's definitely designated to this winter premiere, and we do return with the more lighthearted sort of caper feel that The Blacklist has. So it's not all doom and gloom, but I just think as far as the path Liz chooses to go down, it's not going to be cut and dry and there's nothing clean about it.
One line really stood out to me, when Liz is up in the cabin with the group of men who she discovers aren't good people: "What I've learned being up here alone, men just get in my way." That really seemed to sum up Liz's mindset. Do you agree that she's a woman with nothing to lose?
Yeah. I think because she's become much more nihilistic about things, she has definitely taken an authority over her own life that she never really was willing to step into before and it's something that is really great to get to this point in her arc as a character. Liz is a character that is on a journey in this show, that changes throughout the course of the series, much more dramatically I think than anyone else. So it's been a waiting game to see her come into her own. And coming into her own doesn't necessarily mean that she's become a character who is admirable, it just means that she's become a character that is willing to make her own choices, rather than have choices made for her.
Is there a chance we will see Tom again in flashbacks? Have the producers discussed that possibility with you?
As far as I'm aware, we're not going to revisit Tom, but I'm not the best source for that. As far as I know, he's not coming back.
The Blacklist airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.
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