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When The Blacklist returned for season 9, the show was headed for uncharted waters. This would be the first season following Liz Keen’s death, as well as the first without creator Jon Bokenkamp. Still, after years on the air, the show’s devoted fan base stuck around. Hardly an episode went by without some mention of Liz. In fact, the whole plot of season 9 is still centered around her. That may have worked for season 9 but now the show has been renewed for season 10. The Blacklist can clearly continue without Liz and it looks like her story may finally come to a close.

Cooper and Park stand in a cemetery in 'The Blacklist' Season 9 Episode 22. Park holds flowers and Cooper wears sunglasses.
Harry Lennix as Harold Cooper and Laura Sohn as Alina Park in ‘The Blacklist’ Season 9 | Virginia Sherwood/NBC

Liz Keen was mentioned throughout ‘The Blacklist’ Season 9

The Blacklist Season 9 centered heavily on the after-effects of Liz Keen’s death. Red’s quest for answers and revenge dominated his every move, and it’s easy to see why. Red has touted for years that Liz is the most important person in his life, so of course, every person involved in her murder must pay. However, in Red’s all-consuming quest for revenge, he never seems to consider just how much his own actions contributed to her death.

Throughout the season, various episodes have included flashbacks explaining the after-effects of Liz’s death for each character. “Between Sleep & Awake” showed Ressler’s relapse into addiction. “The Bear Mask” dove into Aram’s guilt over his own inaction and inability to save both Liz and his past girlfriend Samar. “The Conglomerate” dove into Park’s past, revealing that Liz meant more to her than some fans might have thought.

These episodes were not compelling because of Liz Keen. The Blacklist is full of talented actors who are finally getting their moment to shine. Season 9 proved that these characters are compelling in their own right. And of course, many fans of The Blacklist more than anything just want to see James Spader do his thing.

John Eisendrath called the season 9 finale ‘the final chapter of the Liz Keen story’

Following Jon Bokenkamp’s departure, John Eisendrath took over as sole showrunner for The Blacklist Season 9. The season is coming to an end, and Red finally knows the truth about who ordered the murder of Liz Keen. Eisendrath teased the season’s final episode, which airs on May 27.

“The emotional stakes could not be higher,” Eisendrath told TV Insider. “This is the final chapter of the Liz Keen story. Will her death be avenged? Will the person responsible for her murder go free? And will the outcome result in one of our most beloved characters going to prison?”


‘The Blacklist’ Season 9 Is a Ratings Rollercoaster

Promo photos for the season 9 finale show the task force visiting Liz’s grave, perhaps spending one last moment commemorating her life. By all accounts, it sounds like The Blacklist Season 10 will move away from such a heavy reliance on Liz Keen. Of course, that begs the question, “What will the new season be about?” TV Insider hinted that season 9 will end on a cliffhanger that could lead into the next season.

Fans are skeptical about Liz’s story coming to a close

Still, it’s worth noting that some fans are skeptical that season 9 will really be the end of the Liz Keen story. “She will be mentioned multiple times next season. Bet on it,” one Reddit user wrote. “We were told 8×22 was the end of the Liz Keen chapter and we have determined that to be a lie. lol. So pardon me if I don’t believe them this time either,” another said.

Back in season 3, The Blacklist tricked fans with a fake Liz Keen death. Although it seems like she really is dead this time around, some fans think Megan Boone will make an appearance in some capacity in the future. For now, fans will have to wait and see if The Blacklist Season 9 is really laying Liz to rest.

The Blacklist Season 9 finale airs Friday, May 27th at 8 p.m. EST on NBC.