[WARNING: The following story contains spoilers about Thursday's episode of The Blacklist. Read at your own risk.]
During the final act of the episode, after trying to escape Mr. Solomon (Edi Gathegi) and getting in a car accident, Liz is shown in an ambulance, being worked on by her doctor as bullets rattle all around her. Her heart has stopped and the medical team is having trouble reviving her... then we cut to black. After a commercial break, Liz's FBI co-workers roll in just in time to take out the opposing force, but it's too late for it to matter as Liz was pronounced dead at the scene.
There remains a lot of unanswered questions, including as to why Elizabeth's death happened off-screen. But, perhaps more interesting is that, according to a report in TVLine, NBC isn't commenting on the news. Instead, the report speculates Liz's "death" is actually a way to conveniently write Boone out of the series while she's on maternity leave.
Regardless of whether Liz is truly dead, Ryan Eggold, who may soon be moving to a spin-off series, released a statement to TVLine: "I was as shocked as I think the fans are! I have loved working with Megan, especially as we explored the complicated dynamic in Liz and Tom's relationship. I'm incredibly curious to see how this deep cut affects Tom's understanding of the world and what this means for the future of their daughter."
Adding more speculation is the answer James Spader gave to Entertainment Weekly when asked point blank if Liz was dead: "I think it's most prudent not only as just myself and what I know or don't know for that, but also in terms of the character of Reddington: Elizabeth Keen is dead."
That's a very wordy answer for such a simple question. With the "death" of Liz comes reason for a lot of announced things to happen, such as the Tom character moving to his own series co-starring the man responsible for Liz's demise in the episode. Perhaps he's going to be seeking revenge on the new series?
Nothing about the end of the episode felt definitive, and the "death" did happen during a commercial break, so there is reason yet to remain hopeful.