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WHAT in the holy name of Paul Anka just happened on The Blacklist? Did this show just… did they just kill off one of their main characters? And I don’t mean a “main character” like one of the beloved Post Office team members, or an acquaintance of Red’s (obviously not Dembe… this recap would just be one big gif of Michael Scott screaming “No!” if it was Dembe). I mean a main character — did The Blacklist just kill off Elizabeth Keen?
Or better put: Is Elizabeth Keen really dead? Well, to quote (and tease) EW’s exclusive interview with James Spader on the answer to that question: “I think it’s most prudent not only as just myself and what I know or don’t know for that, but also in terms of the character of Reddington: Elizabeth Keen is dead.” Now, whether this is a Ned Stark situation (!!!) or a Jon Snow situation (???) — or some other Game of Thrones character death reference altogether — is yet to be decided. But I generally live by the mantra, what the Spades says, goes. So, from this point forward, I proceed as though Liz is well and truly dead, even if I have my questions about certain facial expressions floating around that final crime scene. Because I think we’re at least certain of this…
Red thinks Liz is dead. And that alone changes The Blacklist in a major way. Because yes, as a core character, Liz has always been less interesting then Red; it’s literally impossible to be as interesting as Raymond Reddington, the man who hides cars under cult sanctuaries and has an escape elevator in at least one deli in every metropolitan city, and I’m pretty sure, controls every major international port while actively evading World War III. But really, those aren’t the things that make Red the Most Interesting Man on NBC — it’s Liz. His relationship to her, his love for her; what he tells her, what he doesn’t; his conflicting need to protect her, versus the constant danger he’s brought to her life since they first intersected in episode 1.
And now that’s all changed. Who is Red without Liz as the living, breathing center of his universe? I don’t know what the future holds for The Blacklist, but color me intrigued to explore life-after-Lizzie for Raymond Reddington…
MR. SOLOMON NO. 32 [CONCLUSION]
What’s crazy about this world-altering episode of The Blacklist is that it was actually kind of fun… y’know, right up until it really wasn’t. We pick right back up where we left off in “Mr. Solomon” part one, with Liz and Tom fleeing in their “Just Married” getaway car, hand-decorated by Aram, and for two people who are running from a notorious assassin and his merry gang of armored mercenaries, they almost seem… giddy? They’re crying, then they’re laughing, then they’re palling around about how whoever is hunting for Masha Rastova “only stopped a wedding, they can’t stop what we have.” Yeah, we get it guys; nothing — not logic, not half a decade of lies, and no amount of weird paternal figures — can stop that Liz-and-Tom kind of love.
But Mr. Solomon is working pretty hard at it. We still don’t know who’s sent him on this Lizzie-catchin’ mission, but it’s revealed throughout the episode just how slick an organization it is. We only see Mr. Solomon in direct communication with one person, but he’s just as threatening a figure, though we only see the lower half of his face — we shall call him Mr. Mustache. He immediately has eyes on Tom and Liz, who he calls Tango, before Solomon even knows she’s made it out of the church. And just as Nick’s Pizza calls to tell Liz she has to get off the road — BOOM! — T-boned by Solomon’s armored car. Things get particularly silly here as Tom takes off again and Liz pokes her preggers self out of the passenger window to do a little target practice, saying, “Don’t worry, they’re not going to shoot me.” They’re not and they don’t. But it’s that false sense of confidence that makes Lizzie’s final flatline all the more painful. It might not have been Solomon, or whomever Solomon is working for that did Liz in, but there’s no stopping fate.
NEXT: She’s having his baby…