Well, that took a turn.
Viewers said goodbye to Megan Boone’s Elizabeth Keen on The Blacklist Season 8 Episode 22.
A comfortable retirement in a non-extradition country just wasn’t in the cards for Liz. That wouldn’t be a very Blacklist kind of departure anyway.
Nope, with her future nearly assured, Liz instead appeared to go down the hard way.
I say appeared because even though she seemed to be bleeding out at the end, characters don’t always stay dead on The Blacklist.
Unless there’s an open-casket funeral to open The Blacklist Season 9, nothing is set in stone.
The best part about Liz’s final (for now) episode was that viewers got back the Elizabeth Keen who was likable, not the ingrate Liz who was enthralled by the fake Katarina and turned against Raymond for the past couple of seasons.
At least the Red-Liz dynamic was restored if only for an episode. And Liz got most, if not all, of her questions answered in the end.
I guess we’re to believe that in the distant past Katarina became the ersatz Raymond Reddington. Having that Reddington fortune would make all that surgery possible.
That’s what the montage at the end was to display: a mother’s love, whether it was Liz for Agnes or Katarina for Liz.
Or maybe I just read too much into it.
As he had said throughout the series, Red was ready to die to protect Liz in this episode. He just took that sentiment to an extreme.
No matter how hard she resisted, he also always told her that his empire would one day be hers. Raymond is definitely going to have to rethink that succession plan now.
There was a certain moroseness hanging over the evening. Viewers knew weeks ago that Liz leaving so it just came down to how.
The announcement about Boone’s departure gave context to the whackadoo storyline of The Blacklist Season 8, with Liz hellbent on killing her longtime benefactor.
The storyline was equally a downer. The terminally ill crime boss wanted his heir to perform a mercy killing while setting up her future at the same time.
After the events of The Blacklist Season 8 Episode 21, all Liz wanted was one more answer: Who is now Raymond Reddington?
To get the solution she sought, she was going to have to cross over to the dark side … for good.
No more dabbling at being a criminal, only to be saved by the connections of Red and/or Harold. Nope, she would have to take over Reddington’s empire.
After the close call with Townsend, Raymond was a man on a mission. He was going to secure Liz’s future even if it meant he had to die to do so.
As was made evident from the talks with Dembe, Red had been making these plans for a long time, even before his disease threatened to take him down.
The only problem with that scheme was that Liz’s months of madness had passed. Now that it had been made clear to her how much effort had gone into keeping her safe over decades, she no longer bore Raymond any ill will. Certainly not enough to murder him, even if it was basically a mercy killing.
Liz just wanted to take her ill-gotten fortune and buy a new life for herself and Agnes overseas and to put the whole Blacklist phase behind her.
Never mind that she was a fugitive and law-enforcement agencies around the globe were seeking her, not to mention criminal organizations that might want to use her as leverage against Reddington.
For someone who had recently been matching wits against both Red and Townsend, she wasn’t thinking too clearly now, was she?
It took the chance meeting with the grown-up girl who she had rescued years before to open her eyes and get her thinking about what would be the right thing to do.
She should have pieced together why Raymond wouldn’t reveal who he really was to her before he was dead. Liz had already accidentally killed her father so she definitely wouldn’t have been willing to intentionally kill her mother.
Fortunately, Liz had her former teammates to offer advice to her on this thorny issue, although Reddington attempted to keep them busy so they wouldn’t have too much input.
Harold is a big-picture guy who could get on board with sliding Liz in Red’s role as Blacklister supplier, especially if it was the best way to keep her alive.
It was great Liz was able to sneak in and visit with Ressler for one last kiss. He was a no vote, as was Aram, the ultimate Boy Scout. Park didn’t get a vote. Then again, she’s the most misfit toy on that particular island.
It was poignant that Red got his last supper before he was to be killed, complete with good friends and plenty of wine. In the end, Liz cared about him too much to pull the trigger.
Despite her extended periods of being annoying, Liz will be missed.
Now, whatever does next season look like without Liz? Is Agnes living with Grandpa Pinky in a family affair with governess Mrs. French?
To remember Elizabeth Keen, watch The Blacklist online.
Were you surprised Liz got shot?
Will you miss her?
Will you watch next season?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.
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