I anticipate the tone of this “Konets” season 8 Blacklist Finale episode to mirror their bookend titles to the “Nachalo” installment. More flashes, more memories of the black and white, more unraveling of the enigmatic mythology of the Blacklist, and maybe even Liz die a little death in Latvia after her wounded gunshot. However, I was not looking forward to a fast recovery, followed by sun-draped walks around Central Park, stupid helium voices, a series of lovely calls to friends and family, and a straightforward strategy for how to get on with this whole season.
Finally, season 8 finals were a retrospective of life – well, perhaps they do not live well, but they certainly live full. And we knew throughout, with his determination, that Reddington’s whole existence was about to come to an end. But when Liz first began to call everyone on her speed dial and tell them how much she loved it, we probably realized that who was living and who was dying did not matter.
Right now, I’m going to tell you. I did not want that finish; this connects I did not wish to. I realize that the very understandable wish of Megan Boone for Season 8 as her final on the Blacklist meant that Elizabeth Keen would have to stop our adventure. But she couldn’t have received some explanations on her way out? Couldn’t she know the truth about Reddington’s Raymond? And I don’t see what you saw in her life’s last seconds flashing in front of her eyes. Perhaps she did. We certainly did not, though. Not-letter Chekhov’s that explained very much who Raymond Reddington was with Elizabeth Keen was like we knew when the opening act was – after eight-season shows, you learn something or two.
Nonetheless, there is a question for an eight-season audience: if it’s not Liz who tells the truth about Raymond Reddington, then who or what will? What seems like the enigma of the Blacklist? A new beginning will arrive after each conclusion – at least when the story is having its ninth season.
I love the opening shot of this episode, where it appears that most of the last attack took place in black and white remembrance limbo. But it is just the ash that blows up a whole Cold War period bunker from Reddington. Red, Dembe & Liz come from the bunker that shielded them from the explosion and confirms that Townsend is dead, while Liz informs Red that they don’t feel well enough to move.
Everybody’s, in fact, on a plane again to DC, including a physician who gives Liz a clean health check, the next time we see them. Agnes surprised Liz with Reddington (who called him “Pinky” instead of Red, which was adorable) when they returned. As will all seasons, he takes Cooper to the post office and informs him of Raymond Reddington’s death. If Red tells Liz the same news, though, there are a lot more reservations. First, a letter tells her why he promised to watch over her for days – who he is and what his mission is – and he looks very uncomfortable while he says that. A letter from the mother of Liz “for when it is time to know the truth.” Liz exclaims that it’s certainly time to go there, but Red says she has one thing to do before she’s able to read the letter: “Take my life, literally and figuratively.”
All right, HEAR HIM OUT now!
Reddington adds that Liz knows he’s unwell for a while, and the only thing that will protect her is murdering him and taking over his Empire. Townsend found out that he had certainly not kept up with Reddington and that now Liz and Agnes would be more at risk than ever. When Liz murders Reddington and takes over his business, it will show to any murder party it is a force to count on: ‘It is what nobody else did… you discovered Raymond Reddington and killed him.’
Liz reacts immediately, of course – not only does she not want to take over the Empire of Red, but she truly no longer wants to murder him. However, when she comes to Cooper, he informs her that his biggest goal is for her to remain safe, noting that take over the Blacklist for Red implies that he may perhaps take over his immunity agreement. “You might feel wonderful for a reason,” he assures her. And this sense is strengthened when Liz meets a teenager that knows Liz as “Agent Keen.” Her name is Beth Ryker, and in the premiere episode of The Blacklist, she is the grown-up little girl Liz rescued from a bomb. Elizabeth tells Liz that she always thinks of her and thanks her for saving her all those years ago. But Liz looks unhappy when she informs Beth that she’s not an agent anymore: “Many people live their lives, but you’ve created a better place in the world… Well, I really hope you can continue doing whatever you chose to do now.” Yeesh child, no pressure! No pressure!
Nevertheless, Beth sparks something in Liz, and she visits Reddington in Central Park and asks him what his life would look like, physically and figuratively.
He told her he was finally launching his buddy Pascual’s restaurant the following evening, and there was a celebration for family and friends. Red will remain late till he gets out of his house after his children and families leave. Dembe’s still going inside to say goodbye as Red goes out of the restaurant where Liz is standing, preparing to shoot him. The restaurant entrance is at the corner, so when Pascual requests for the police’s CCTV video, they find Elizabeth Keen standing over the corpses of Raymond Reddington – a picture that’s going to splatter across the globe by the following morning.
So that’s what if Liz murdered Red and seized his kingdom, it would look like. But Liz admits she doesn’t believe she can pull the trigger, regardless of just how much she desired it previously. So right now, Red urges her not to worry: “Let’s just be.”
And they’re on a lovely evening for a few minutes. Red, Liz, Agnes, Dembe, and Française go through Central Park; they are petrified, looking at the sculptures of Alice in the Wonderland and sailing boats in the pond of the Water Conservatory. And they do it all to Keane’s “Somewhere Only We Know” in a beautiful and a little bit sad song. And while Aram and Ressler advise Liz not, somewhere in this day, to go through the assassination of Reddington to take over his criminal Empire, she chooses – in return for a response. Liz wants to see why, until after Reddington is dead, she couldn’t read her mother’s letter. “For you would never consent to murder me if you knew who I was before.”
There is one thing to do with it, then: murder Raymond Reddington.
Red and Dembe have several poignant, reflective moments in this episode, including Red Talking to Dembe about how he could not describe what they have built: “But it became clear to me at some time that I really didn’t have control over any of them… no matter how much I’m trying, it doesn’t matter how much I control them. And it’s compelling.”
I am sad. You do not know with fatalities on The Blacklist. Does anyone else believe that those lingering images of teacups and wine glasses indicated that Reddington poisoned himself and forced Liz to murder him, whether she wanted him? Only I? Is the Blacklist too lengthy for eight seasons? It saddens me that Ressler and Liz fell in love with her a few minutes before her death. Therefore, I cannot speak about it truly. Thank you as usual for reading here with me – and with and with me. I am going to miss you as I miss “Lizzie” Keen, Elizabeth.