‘The Blacklist’ Returns: Should This Be the Final Season? (POLL)

'The Blacklist,' James Spader as Raymond
Will Hart/NBC

After the shocking death of The Blacklist’s Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone) in the Season 8 finale, the Season 9 premiere took the show in a new direction, catching up with James Spader’s Raymond Reddington two years after the death of Liz.

Liz was on the run for most of the show’s eighth season, so viewers may have gotten used to her absence upon the show’s return. Still, her death was a shocking one, as she couldn’t go through with killing Red as he asked her (so that she could take over the Blacklist). As she struggled with shooting him, she was shot in the back by an unknown assailant. Red managed to track down and kill the culprit before holding Liz in his arms as her life flashed before her eyes. After kissing her on the forehead as she passed, he ran off into hiding, which is where viewers picked up with him in Season 9.

The season premiere certainly felt Liz’s absence, as the FBI Task Force members all go their separate ways during the two-year time jump. However, some things remain the same, as the group reunites to track down their latest threat, The Skinner, after one of their own was attacked.

After returning briefly to help identify The Skinner, Red is visited by Ressler (Diego Klattenhoff) who informs him of his plan to continue hunting down Blacklisters, encouraging the criminal mastermind to join him in honor of Liz. “The Blacklist was her calling. If we loved her, it has to be ours,” he tells Red.

Given that the season’s tagline is “Someone’s Going to Pay,” seeking revenge for Liz’s untimely death will likely be the focus of the ninth season. And if the team succeeds, it would make for a nice way to wrap up the story. It’s obvious that things are different in Boone’s absence, so solving the mystery of her character’s death would end the show on a satisfying note.

What do you think? Is the show the same without Liz? What did you think of the season premiere? Sound off in the poll below.

The Blacklist, Thursdays, 8/7c, NBC