NBC's The Blacklist said goodbye to a major character during its midseason finale, and the show's executive producer says that it's a death that will deeply affect the show going forward.
During Wednesday night's episode, Tom Keene, who has been portrayed by Ryan Eggold since the pilot, met an untimely demise after being held captive by a blacklister. He and his wife Liz suffered life-threatening injuries and were rushed to the hospital, but in a 10-month time jump, it's revealed that Keene didn't make it.
While Keene's death and Eggold's departure from the show have left fans reeling, executive producer Jon Bokenkamp says that the death will act as a catalyst for change going forward, and that it's not a loss that characters will simply move on from quickly.
"Looking ahead, Tom's death upends the show in a way we're very excited about, and our next episode is unlike anything we've done before," Bokenkamp said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. "But it won't be the same around here without Mr. Keen. As for Mr. Eggold, I think he's gonna be just fine -- he's gonna have a long and rewarding career."
Following the episode, Eggold released a statement expressing his gratitude for his time spent on the show.
"I feel incredibly lucky to have played a role with such a uniquely dynamic evolution," he said. "I'm grateful for the time spent working with Megan, James and the entire cast. I'm thankful to the incredibly hard-working crew for consistently making the show better. Sony and NBC have both been deeply supportive, conscientious and adept in managing the show. Mostly I'm indebted to Jon Bokenkamp, John Eisendrath and the writers for continuing to elevate the show creatively and always impassioning me to further explore the true nature of this character. I will miss this TV family immensely and diligently look forward to the opportunity to embody new characters and tell new stories."
The Blacklist returns Wednesday, January 3, at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.