Killing off the deuteragonist of a police procedural in its eighth season is definitely a bold move, and not one that many writers are likely to try after such a long time on the air. However, this is exactly what “The Blacklist” does in the last few minutes of its Season 8 finale. Liz appears outside the restaurant to kill Red, just as he requested.
However, after raising her weapon, she hesitates and tells him “I can’t do it. I don’t want to.” Red responds “That’s alright. I understand.” Without directly saying it, both appear to share knowing glance. Perhaps Liz has finally put all the pieces together and knows Red’s identity? However, before Liz can voice a question, she is gunned down from behind by Elias VanDyke (Lukas Hassel), no doubt in retaliation for the killing of his boss, Neville Townsend (Reg Rogers), in the prior episode.
As Red holds Liz and she slowly dies of her wounds, a flashback of Liz’s life plays on the screen. Among the flashbacks, there is a noteworthy interweaving of scenes portraying Liz with her mother as a little girl and scenes shared between Liz and Red in the prior eight years. In addition to serving as a hint about Red’s origins, the flashbacks serve as a goodbye to actress Megan Boone, who chose to leave the series.
NBC began airing Season 9 of “The Blacklist” (without Megan Boone) on October 21 (via IMDb).