WHOA. The Blacklist promised an episode unlike any other from the series, and it delivered in its off-formula midseason return. Gone was the Blacklister of the week, and in was a whole new Liz (Megan Boone), as she went totally BAMF by offing a group of gangsters in extremely violent fashion.
The episode marks a sharp turn for the series, but one that we've seen coming. Shades of Liz's dark side have sprung up, especially in this season, as she learns that criminality may actually be genetic. And with Tom (Ryan Eggold) gone, Liz might not have anyone to hold her back.
To get an idea of what's ahead for Liz and why her leaving Agnes was the right move, TV Guide talked to star Megan Boone.
Having played this character for four and a half seasons, what was your reaction to Liz's actions?
Megan Boone: This has been something I've been eager to see happen in the series. I think that it was important for Liz to start in one place and end up in a very different place since she is the really the character that's changed by the entire arc of the show. Red is Red from Day 1, and he'll be Red for eternity. But Liz started in one place and is now moving to a different character. So it's required that I be very patient, because all I've ever wanted was for her to take real authority over her life and exert some of the badassery that we see in this episode. [Laughs] It's been peppered throughout the series, we've seen her capacity for badassery. but now it's finally full throttle and I've been eager to play it. It's really a lot of fun.
She didn't just kill people, she was really mean about it. What was your favorite way she took out those bad guys?
Boone: Whenever you light a man on fire on set, nothing can really top that — the risk of that experience. So I would say that was my favorite. Although the glass was really cool.
It seems like Liz is going to devote her life to going after Ian Garvey now. Is this going to be the arc for the second half of the season?
Boone: Yes, That's going to be the back half of the season. Liz's arc is going to be trying to find Ian Garvey, and the revelations about that character are really clever and good. I'm enjoying this storyline maybe more than any other storyline [we've done]. I feel like this season the show has gotten this nice revitalization that is really great for me. I hope the audience feels this way too, but it's exciting to get to work, it's exciting to get scripts because nothing stays the same. We're always changing it up on people, I think that's why the show has had such a long life.
Red has some interesting parting words for Liz. He said, "Will you be able to forgive yourself?" What do you think he meant by that?
Boone: Liz has never been able to forgive herself. Liz blames herself for Red does, Liz blames herself for things that Tom does. So that's a crazy question to pose, because Liz is the ultimate taker of blame. She is. She needn't be, she's probably of all the people has the purest of intention, not anymore, but up until this point, until the point she snapped. She's a good person at heart. I think ultimately this new psychological space she inhabits is going to make it a little easier for her to forgive herself, because I don't think she has the same moral compass she once had.
I think some people may have questions about one of Liz's decisions, which was to leave Agnes while she went off on her own up to Alaska. Do you think it was right for Liz to leave her daughter like that?
Boone: I think if any mother decides to go on a killing spree then she should probably decide to leave the kids at home. [Laughs] No, that was a real question for us too. It was imperative for the series that she do so, it was not going to be feasible for us to have a baby in Liz's life and to go through the storylines that we wanted to explore. So we definitely found ways to try to absolve Liz of the implications of being a mother that abandons her child. It's always very difficult, because people are very quick to blame mothers for being anything less than pristine, but this is a necessity in Liz's life. I know for a fact that Liz feels as if she's doing the best she can by her child. This is the choice she makes in order to be a good mother. I think ultimately she's going to keep an eye on Agnes for Agnes' entire life in the same way that Liz kept an eye on Liz.
One thing that the audience has to remember when they watch this — and if you print anything from this diatribe I've given you, print this — Red abandoned Liz. Red was a father, she never knew her father, he abandoned her. So if the audience wants to get all up in arms about the fact that Liz abandoned her child, and they haven't gotten up in arms about the fact that Red abandoned her, I think they need to think about the standards that they hold women and men to and reevaluate.
Can you tell us anything about that bag of bones? We're dying to know whose bones they are.
Boone: I don't know a damned thing. You're really going to have to ask somebody. Because Jon Bokenkamp might know, it's quite possible that James Spader knows. Nobody tells me anything. I'm forced to fly by the seat of my pants, and I'm happy to. I'll show up. Just let me know what I have to say.
The Blacklist airs Wednesday nights at 8/7c on NBC.