Warning: The following post contains major spoilers for the Season 3 finale of The Blacklist. If you have yet to watch the episode, turn back now.
Confirming what many fans of The Blacklist have suspected since the pivotal April 14 episode, in which Liz Keen died from complications during childbirth, Thursday’s Season 3 finale revealed that Megan Boone’s protagonist is, in fact, alive — and Tom has been in on it the whole time.
Picking up where last week’s installment left off, the season ender found Red using every resource in his arsenal to track down and kill Alexander Kirk, the man responsible for ruining Liz and Tom’s wedding day, and subsequently ending Liz’s life.
But just as Red closed in on his longtime nemesis, Tom completely upended Red’s plan for revenge. With the help of Mr. Kaplan — who Red was devastated to learn had betrayed him — Tom and baby Agnes hopped on a plane to Cuba, where they met up with a very-much-alive Liz.
Of course, even when she’s hundreds of miles away from Red, Liz isn’t out of danger. (Is she ever?) In the episode’s final moments, Tom returned to Liz’s apartment, expecting to see his fiancée there… only to discover that she was gone, seemingly taken by force — a result of Alexander Kirk’s henchmen tailing Tom and Agnes all the way to Cuba. (D’oh!)
Meanwhile, Red and Mr. Kaplan boarded their own flight to Cuba — knowing full well that they’re working on borrowed time to rescue Tom, Liz and Agnes from Kirk’s clutches — which gave Red’s traitor an opportunity to explain the hows and whys of Liz’s faked death. But upon arriving at Liz’s home in Cuba, hoping to take down Kirk and his associates, Red and Mr. Kaplan discovered the same unfortunate scene that Tom saw earlier: broken glass everywhere, clear signs of struggle and all signs pointing to Liz’s abduction. (By that point, Tom and Agnes had also been taken by one of Kirk’s men, after he and Tom tussled in the apartment.)
The good news? Even though Red, Tom and Mr. Kaplan have no idea where Liz is, the home audience learned that (A) she’s alive, and (B) Kirk had taken her to an undisclosed location, where he dropped a major bombshell: Though he currently calls himself Alexander Kirk, his real name is Constantine Rostov — and he’s Liz’s father.
It should also be noted that, despite Liz’s mysterious whereabouts at the end of the finale, TVLine has confirmed that Boone will return as a series regular in the NBC drama’s fourth season this fall.
TVLine caught up with Ryan Eggold, the man behind Tom Keen, to unpack the eventful episodes that capped Season 3, especially the twisty season closer. Plus, Eggold dished as much as he could about the forthcoming Blacklist spinoff, Redemption — including a potential title change.
TVLINE | Walk me through what these last few episodes were like on your end. Were you told from the get-go that Liz’s death was faked, or was her death — and resurrection — something you only learned when reading the scripts? The dissemination of information was very chaotic at first. [Laughs] I heard from Megan first. She came up to me and was like, “I’m dead.” And I said, “What?” and she said, “Yeah. I’m dead on the show.” And I basically said, “What? What are you talking about? We can’t do the show without you. There’s no way we’re going to kill you.” And then we got the scripts, and everybody was like, “What?! Is this real? Is this happening?” Of course, we all thought there was some way to turn it around.
The writers really didn’t want to tell us that she was going to come back, but I had so many questions, in terms of how to play certain scenes, and what knowledge I had and didn’t have. There were certain scenes that didn’t go far enough. I was like, “Jesus, if my wife just died, I would be more upset than this. I’d be breaking something or punching somebody or drinking myself into a stupor.” And finally, [series creator] Jon [Bokenkamp] was like, “All right, look, she’s not dead, man.” [Laughs] And he told me the plan and why Tom was underreacting, because he’s orchestrating this plan. And I was like, “Huzzah!”
TVLINE | Had you suspected all along that she was going to come back, given Liz’s importance to the show? Oh, yeah. Let me preface this statement by saying I’m glad Megan’s on the show, because the show revolves around her, and that’s what’s interesting about it. But it was interesting to remove the centerpiece from the show. You create this big, black hole, this void of where Liz was, and it pulls all the other characters closer to the center and stretches them in a way they wouldn’t have otherwise. Like, didn’t Aram and Samar share a joint in the car [during the funeral]? Things like that, you wouldn’t otherwise get unless you threw the show into chaos. I do like the tilt that it put on the show, but in the long term, The Blacklist without Megan — I don’t know what that is. I’m glad that she’s back.
TVLINE | And at the same time, you got to play Tom as an even bigger part of the story, especially with the introduction of Scottie. Unrelated to Megan’s death, we were trying to introduce Famke [Janssen]’s character and start this spinoff. We wanted to create that world a little bit, and then we really explored it in last week’s episode, which was our pilot episode for the new series. That has been tremendously fun. I couldn’t be happier to work with Famke. She’s incredibly talented and wonderfully sweet and down-to-earth, and the ideas that we have for next year on the spinoff are really fun.
TVLINE | Let’s talk about the spinoff a little bit. At what point in the year did discussions for a spinoff begin, and when were you brought in as a potential star of that show? You know, this Tom Keen spinoff thing was a whisper I heard a long time ago. I want to say end of Season 1 or beginning of Season 2 — I mean, a long time ago. And then it never really happened, so I just thought it was a rumor or a desire without anything behind it. And then about halfway through Season 3, it started to get very real. They started to say, “Let’s get a script, and let’s get serious about it.” And suddenly, there were ideas happening and casting decisions. And then I got the script, and I’ve really been pleasantly surprised at every turn. Not because I didn’t have faith in the writers, because they’re fantastic, but it’s hard to do a spinoff. It’s easy for it to either be a carbon copy or stale. But they’ve really done this great job of incorporating what’s wonderful about The Blacklist and adding a lot of new elements to make it its own show.
We’re going to get into this political bent. Scottie’s hiring spies like myself to influence governments, and [there are] empires rising and falling and the behind-the-scenes of that. I think that’s really timely, with Bernie Sanders and the concentration of wealth at the top, and corporations having all the power and influence on politics. If we get into a dramatized version of that world, where we are spies operating with those 1-percenters, that’s a really fun world that people want to see right now.
TVLINE | There’s already a huge difference between The Blacklist and The Blacklist: Redemption in that we already know Tom’s relationship to Scottie, and Liz and Red’s relationship is still very much a mystery. Have the producers filled you in on other distinctions, in terms of the tone of the spinoff and how it might be executed in a different way from the original series? Yeah, they definitely have. It’s still early, and it’s still developing in that we’re discovering the tone as we go. When we saw the backdoor pilot, it was very educational for all of us to see what we had created. Once you actually see it, you can say, “Oh, here’s an idea — it should be this instead of this.”
TVLINE | In Seasons 2 and 3 of The Blacklist, we’ve learned bits and pieces about Tom’s childhood and his lack of real parents. Were you shocked to learn that Scottie was his mom, or did you anticipate that that might be their relationship? For me, I really liked that difference between The Blacklist and the new Redemption series — that on Day 1, we answer it. We say, “This is their relationship.” And now the question becomes, “What is the past?” Tom was an orphan, and he was taken in from the streets and trained to be an assassin. So why did that happen, and how did he get there? And why did this woman give up on him or abandon him? Was she forced to? Why does she not know who he is now — or does she really? Is she pretending? When is Tom going to tell her what he knows? And then, of course, is she really his mother? Is that part of some elaborate game that Red is playing? That’s a lot of questions. [Laughs]
TVLINE | Aside from the spinoff, can we expect to see you in Season 4 of The Blacklist, given how this finale ends? Yeah, Tom will definitely be in a number of the beginning episodes — or so I’m told — in Season 4. It will partly be to send us down the trajectory of this new series, and for the characters, we’ll find out what happens between Tom and Liz and what happens with this baby girl they both share. What is the future of that? We’re going to deal with that in the beginning of Season 4 and then make our way to a brand-new series.
TVLINE | Any parting thoughts? Well, I want to say one thing, but I don’t want to get yelled at. [Laughs] It’s not an exciting secret. It’s… yeah. I want to take a poll. I want to ask the audience something. But I don’t know if I should.
TVLINE | I think you should go for it. You know what? I’ll go for it. I just want to ask how people feel about the title — Redemption. Do they love it, or do they hate it? And if they hate it, give us a better one.
TVLINE | I’m definitely going to include this in our Q&A, and I have a feeling you’ll get so many responses. We will get a ton of responses. I have no doubt. Just put a note saying, “Nothing offensive, and don’t hurt anyone’s feelings.” They can hurt my feelings but not other people’s. I don’t mind. I’ve got thick skin.
That’s a wrap on Season 3, Blacklist fans. What did you think of the finale? Grade it in our poll below, then hit the comments with all of your thoughts — including spinoff title suggestions!
Tom and Liz oversleep and are awakened by their dog, Hudson, on Lizs first day as an FBI profiler. While they are getting ready for work he shows her 2 fliers and asks her to choose which one he should visit with his class for a field trip. . He also wants the car, but because Liz is late he agrees that she can have it. When the FBI arrive outside to take Liz, she gives him the car keys.
He calls Liz and goes to the adoption meeting alone.
When Liz returns home she finds Tom tied to a chair. He is tortured and stabbed by Ranko Zamani, then taken to hospital where he is placed on a ventilator.
While he is in the hospital, Liz tries to clean the carpet because Toms blood was all over the floor. She gets angry and starts to peel the carpet off. Underneath, she finds a compartment in her wood floor, and in the compartment is a box, containing multiple fake passports all with Toms picture on them. Also, she finds a gun and money, and suddenly faces a dilemma about what to do. She could confront him and see him deny it, or she could look up the gun in the system and have Tom arrested. She carpets the floor before he comes back, that way she can still make her decision.
He wakes up in hospital while Liz is at his bedside.
He returns home with Liz. That night Liz finds a touching testimony he made for the adoption agency about her. She cries after seeing the testimony, and considers her next move.
He is starting to recover though still using a wheelchair. He speaks to Elizabeth Keen and says that he wishes she could talk to him about her work. Their friend Ellie then arrives to make him some more breakfast then take him to his physiotherapy session while Liz is at work.
When Liz returns that evening he apologises for what he said that morning and that he understands her position.
When Liz is moping at her computer after the witness was killed, he notices the date on her pad and assumes that she is cheering herself up, since on the computer for that date 23 June 2012 is a series of pictures from a romantic break that they had taken that day.
When Liz comes home after being rescued, he tells her that he has booked a 3 day break for them in the same place as before.
In Lizs dream he attacks her when she confronts him about the box, but in real life he tells her that he has booked an ultrasound scan with the mother of their child.
He finds the box and spends the rest of the episode trying to contact LIz. When she returns home that night he tells he that they need to talk, with the box open on the table.
He and Elizabeth Keen argue about the box and its contents. He eventually challenges Liz to inform the FBI about the box. She then makes the call.
He is brought to the Post Office blindfolded and Liz tells him that this is where she works.
He is interrogated by Meera Malik about the gun and the reason for his presence in Boston on the day of the murder. He claims no knowledge of the gun and tells Meera that he had a job interview at the hotel.
After checking Meera presents him with a picture of the school principal, whom he fails to recognize.
Once Gina Zanetakos has admitted to being the killer he is released. As he is being escorted through the operations room he sees a picture of Newton Phillips on the board and identifies him as the man who interviewed him for the non-existent teaching position.
He and Liz discuss remodelling their house to erase the bad memories of the past few weeks.
When Liz arrives home from work, he has recreated the scene from their first night in the house as a date night.
He takes the call from Lizs aunt saying how sick Lizs father is and, because Liz is unable to leave, flies to Nebraska to see her father.
He arrives after Lizs father has passed away and is sitting outside having a coffee thinking about how to tell Liz, when Raymond Reddington joins him and tells him that Liz is stronger than he thinks, and that she will be OK. Red also mentions that Lizs father will “always be there protecting her” in what seems to be a threatening fashion. Tom, pretending not to know Red, replies “I hope you are right”.
He consoles Liz while she is going through Sams possessions prior to going to work.
He calls Liz while she is a prisoner of Anslo Garrick, but Garrick answers the call. Liz calls out to him to call the FBI, but it is unclear if he heard her since he did not make the call.
Once Liz is free and the operation has ended he tries to convince Liz to leave the unit and the FBI and move to a rural community.
Tom applies for a job in Lincoln, Nebraska without telling Liz, until he has to go to an interview.
Tom tells Liz that although he went to Nebraska, he did not attend the job interview. He reminds Liz that they are hosting a baby shower that evening.
During the baby shower he and Liz argue about the fact that Liz is not intending to take time off work in the period after the baby arrives. The argument is ended by Lucy Brooks when she introduces herself.
After Liz leaves (to raid Eric Trettels laboratory) Lucy flirts with Tom and invites him to a photography exhibition.
When Liz stands him up again, he goes to the exhibition with Lucy.
He and Liz watch a sonogram of the baby they intend to adopt, and discuss their plans and check that they have all the accessories needed.
Upon the completion of a case, Liz tells him that she cant go through with the adoption due to mixed feelings about their relationship and challenges him to say that he does not feel the same. After Liz has delivered her bombshell, he spends time with Lucy Brooks.
After he and Liz fight over the adoption, he goes to Orlando, alone, since he believes they should spend time apart. Once there, he meets Lucy Brooks.
Tom and Lucy Brooks are out together and eventually meet up in a hotel bar bathroom, where they begin to make out. Lucy starts giggling and Tom begins to question his previous and current actions. Lucy gives Tom a room key for room 618 and leaves the bathroom without Tom. He is later seen drinking at the bar, fiddling with his wedding ring. He then decides to go to Lucys room and tells her that he cannot have an affair with her because he loves his wife, Elizabeth Keen. Lucy replies with, “Wrong answer, Liz is not your wife, shes your target”, thus prompting Tom to reveal his true nature by talking about “Them”, the company he works for. Tom then reveals that he only married Liz because the “company” ordered him to.
Tom kills Lucy Brooks and the Cowboy because they have become security risks to his mission.
Before killing Lucy, he has her give Liz a cover story explaining her leaving the city.
He barely escapes, after Liz discovers his safe house. He later calls his contact at a bank to tell her to tell Milos Kirchoff that the safe house was exposed.
He and Liz renew their wedding vows.
He tells Maly that he is accountable to Milos Kirchoff.
He calls his contact at the bank for an escape route. Later, Red hires the Pavlovich brothers to raid his safehouse. They bring Tom to the Keen house. After arguing with Liz, he escapes and tells Liz that Red is using her for his own ends.
Tom figures out that he is being followed and captures the man following him. He then tells the man to call Red and tell him that he lost the lead. He takes the man to a room and kills him, after telling him about his boss, Berlin.
At the beginning of the episode, where Tom Keen appears, he provides a list of the people who work for the FBI alongside Raymond Reddington to his employer after the plane crash. Later, he takes Liz hostage and tries to use her to stop Red from killing Milos Kirchoff, however, Liz disarms him and shoots him 3 times in the stomach. While he lays on the floor, apparently dying, he whispers to Liz that her real father is still alive. When the FBI SWAT team storms the room where Tom supposedly died, the camera zooms in on the area of the floor where Toms wounded body was. It is unknown whether his corpse was removed, or he survived his injuries.
What is Liz hiding behind the door?
In the episode “Scimitar”, the secret that Liz kept for Red was her husband, an agent named Tom. Tom was considered dead in the finale of Blacklist Season 1, but his body went missing because Liz had taken possession of it.
What episode does Liz find out about Tom?
Does Liz ever find out about Tom?
Does Tom cheat on Liz in blacklist?
Who kills Tom Keen in blacklist?