The following post contains major spoilers for The blacklistthe Season 8 finale. Proceed with caution!
Elizabeth Keen’s name was crossed out The blacklist on Wednesday night – and it seemed to be done in permanent marker.
Just over a week after news of Megan Boone’s impending departure from the show came out, the NBC drama spelled out her character by killing her via a gunshot to the chest. (Read Boone’s farewell to the series here.)
The premise of Wednesday’s Season 8 finale was simple: Red promised to give Liz a letter her mother left for her, containing all the long-awaited answers about Red’s identity and why he came into her life. But before she could get the letter, Liz had to kill Red.
With Neville Townsend recently eliminated, Red was sure that a host of other criminals would soon descend, all vying for control of Townsend’s realm. And since Townsend learned Red’s real identity before his death, his potential successors likely had that information too, which would put both Red and Liz at risk once again. The solution, as Red saw it, was for Liz to kill Red – reinforcing herself as a criminal not to mess with – and inherit The Blacklist from him, which would give her the necessary protection from approaching enemies. Additionally, Red’s mysterious illness, which has not been mentioned in quite some time, is terminal and Red seemed to welcome the idea of finally surrendering to it.
After much internal debate (and a chance meeting with a young woman whose life she saved in the pilot episode), Liz agreed to Red’s proposal and the plan was set: Liz would shoot Red in the street that night, shortly after he left a private party at Pascual’s restaurant. But when it came time to kill Red that night, Liz pointed her gun at him, but couldn’t bring herself to pull the trigger. “I don’t want to,” she said with tears in her eyes. “I understand,” Red replied. But before Liz could do anything else, she was shot in the chest by Townsend’s right-hand man, Vandyke. (Long hair. Beard. You know the man. And Red immediately shot him several times in retaliation.)
As Liz fell to the floor, she saw her life flash before her eyes — bittersweet memories of Tom, Agnes, Dembe, Aram, Cooper, and Ressler that also served as a tribute to Boone’s years on the show. And when Red returned to Liz after killing Vandyke, Liz looked at him with a curious expression as memories of both Red and her mother, Katarina Rostova, played out in her head, almost as if she understood Red’s true identity in that moment. And when Liz died, a flashback of Katarina kissing Baby Liz on the forehead when she was born was immediately interspersed with Red kissing her head in the present day on that street corner.
like it is The blacklistIn his way, it was never explicitly announced that Red is indeed Katarina. But Liz’s combined memories of Red and Katarina seemed to indicate it, along with other hints Red dropped during the finale. “Did you know her well?” Liz asked Red at one point, referring to Katarina. “Better than anyone else,” he replied. And later, when Liz asked why she couldn’t know Red’s identity until he was dead, he told her, “Because if you knew beforehand, you never agreed to kill me.” Would it even make sense at this point for Red to be someone else?
Shortly after Liz’s death, Dembe Red pulled away from the scene and they fled on foot, just before Ressler, Cooper, Aram, and Park arrived. Though they hoped to catch Red and Liz in time to intercept their assassination plan, they instead found Liz on the street, with Red’s fedora under her head.
OK, Black list fans, it’s your turn. What did you think of Boone’s last episode? And what do you think of Red’s possible identity? Cast your vote in our poll below, then leave a comment with your full responses!
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