Why was Tom Killed off on Blacklist?

Many fans were shocked when NBC’s “The Blacklist” killed off one of its main characters, Tom Keen (Ryan Eggold), in the season 5 premiere. While it’s not unusual for TV shows to kill off major characters, “The Blacklist” is a bit different because Tom has been a central character since the very beginning. So why was he killed off?

There are a few possible reasons. First, it’s worth noting that Eggold is now a series regular on another NBC show, “New Amsterdam.” It’s possible that his schedule simply became too busy to continue appearing on “The Blacklist” as well.

Second, it’s possible that the writers wanted to shake things up and make the show more unpredictable. Killing off a major character is certainly one way to do that. Finally, it’s also possible that the writers simply felt like they had taken Tom as far as they could and wanted to move on to other stories and characters.

Reasons Why Was Tom Keen Killed Off on The Blacklist

Here are some of the reasons why Tom Keen was killed off on The Blacklist:

  • To shake things up. The Blacklist is a procedural show, and it can be easy for things to get stale after a while. Killing off a major character is a way to shake things up and keep the audience engaged.
  • To create drama. Tom’s death was a major event in the show, and it had a ripple effect on many of the other characters. It created a lot of drama and suspense, and it kept the audience guessing about what would happen next.
  • To give Megan Boone a chance to leave the show. Megan Boone, who played Liz Keen, wanted to leave the show after season 3. Killing off Tom was a way to write her character out of the show in a way that made sense.
  • To change the direction of the show. The Blacklist was originally conceived as a show about a criminal and an FBI agent who form an uneasy alliance. However, as the show progressed, it became more about Liz Keen’s journey to find out who she really is. Killing off Tom was a way to change the direction of the show and focus more on Liz’s story.

1. Shifting the Spotlight:

As Elizabeth Keen matured and evolved, the narrative needed to pivot, placing her story front and center. Tom’s presence, however intertwined with hers, risked overshadowing her growth. His removal, tragic as it was, provided the necessary space for Elizabeth to navigate her own complexities and forge her path independent of the Keen-Mashakov-Ressler web.

2. A Canvas of Grief:

Loss and its enduring impact are crucial themes explored in The Blacklist. Tom’s death became a potent catalyst for Elizabeth’s emotional journey. By grappling with grief, rage, and a shattered sense of security, she delved deeper into her vulnerabilities and resilience, enriching the show’s emotional tapestry.

3. Redemption’s Final Act:

Throughout the series, Tom’s redemption arc saw him transform from a shrouded figure with questionable motives to a dedicated husband and father. His ultimate sacrifice, choosing family over self-preservation, served as a poignant culmination of this arc, painting him as a hero, flawed yet fiercely devoted.

4. Closure with Comma:

Tom and Elizabeth’s relationship was a rollercoaster of passion, deceit, and unwavering loyalty. Ending his journey offered closure to this tumultuous dynamic, allowing Elizabeth to move forward without the constant pull of their emotional tug-of-war.

5. Farewell, Ryan Eggold:

Beyond the narrative choices, actor Ryan Eggold’s desire to explore other creative avenues played a role in Tom’s exit. While fans may mourn his absence, his departure paved the way for new chapters in the show’s storytelling and Eggold’s career.

Tom Keen’s Death

Tom Keens Death

Tom Keen was killed off in the season 5 finale of The Blacklist. He was shot by Liz’s mother, Katarina Rostova, who was revealed to be a Russian spy. Tom’s death was a shock to fans, but it was also a fitting end to his character’s arc.

Tom had been a complex and morally ambiguous character throughout his time on the show. He was a former CIA agent who had turned to crime, but he was also a loving husband and father. His death was a reminder that even the most complex characters can be killed off, and it showed that the show was not afraid to take risks.

The Impact of Tom Keen’s Death

Tom Keen’s death had a significant impact on the show. It left Liz devastated, and it forced her to confront her own dark past. It also changed the dynamic between Liz and Red, as they were now both dealing with the loss of someone they loved.

Tom Keen’s death was a major turning point for The Blacklist. It showed that the show was not afraid to take risks, and it made the show more unpredictable. It also allowed the show to focus on its core relationship between Liz and Red, which is what the show is ultimately about.

The Legacy of Tom Keen

Despite his death, Tom Keen remains a popular character on The Blacklist. He was a complex and well-developed character, and he brought a lot of depth to the show. His death was a major loss, but it will be interesting to see how the show moves on without him.


Tom Keen’s death was a controversial decision, but it was one that the show’s creators felt was necessary. It shook things up, it gave Tom’s character a satisfying conclusion, and it allowed the show to focus on its core relationship. Tom Keen’s death was a major turning point for The Blacklist, and it made the show more unpredictable and engaging.

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