The Season 7 finale of The Blacklist will be getting a little animated. Quite literally, in fact, as evidenced by the full trailer for the upcoming episode, which showed how the show would incorporate animated sequences with its usual live-action format.
The finale, titled "The Kazanijan Brothers," was only partly filmed before the film and TV industries went on lockdown to help slow the spread of coronavirus. Hence the animated sequences, which were made to fill in the story's gaps — and inspired by The Blacklist comic book that came out during the show's first season. Executive producer John Eisendrath told Entertainment Weekly that the comic book feel matches the series' themes and tone. "Brutal antihero. Outsized villains. And the animated scenes take full advantage of that," he explained.
The Blacklist Season 7 also saw the return of Katarina Rostova (Laila Robins), a Russian super-spy who showed up to wage war on Raymond "Red" Reddington (James Spader). Her daughter, Liz (Megan Boone), has sided with Katarina to keep her alive and get the truth about Red. Meanwhile, Katarina has started going after those close to Red and endangering those close to Liz.
Red, incidentally, has been hiding a mysterious medical condition and also offered Liz his criminal empire, meaning a tough choice likely lies in store for her. It'll also feature an appearance from actor Brian Dennehy, who passed away in April at the age of 81.
"Throughout the series, Liz has wondered aloud about whether there is a darkness inside her. In the season finale, she gets the answer — and it's not the one she was looking for," Eisendrath teased. Executive producer Jon Bokenkamp also told the outlet that "I think it's fair to say that our weird little dysfunctional family is reaching a breaking point."
This animated episode is another way that the entertainment industry has tried to adapt to a world mainly under quarantine. Both late-night shows and newscasts have reverted to filming out of the homes of anchors and hosts. Others like American Idol have shifted to a more remote-oriented broadcast, as did the Parks & Recreation special episode. Still others, like Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? have carried on without an audience, and taking advantage of its socially-distant set arrangement.
With only a handful of new shows on the slate for the upcoming fall season, networks will be getting increasingly creative to fill their schedules. To see the latest experiment, the Season 7 finale of The Blacklist will air May 15 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.