If Liz Keen had to update her relationship status, it would be, "It's complicated."
On The Blacklist's all-new episode on Thursday (9/8c, NBC), Liz (Megan Boone) had better be on her guard, because her ex is back. Of course, this isn't just any ex. This is Tom Keen (Ryan Eggold), who wooed her, married her, planned to adopt a baby with her and ultimately revealed that it was all a massive lie. He was never truly interested in her, except as part of an assignment to get close to her. Good riddance, right?
Not so fast. The two former spouses can't seem to stay away from each other, and their interactions have become increasingly violent and dysfunctional. Hand-to-hand combat with one's ex is a pretty good sign things are over, but what does it mean when Liz shoots Tom, patches him back up, imprisons him for four months and then lets him go? We're not sure, but ever since Tom's revelation that he'd been faking their relationship, Liz has certainly been tapping into her darker side. Sure, Tom wasn't the mild-mannered school teacher he presented himself as, but by now, it's clear that Liz isn't the same sweet FBI ingenue we met in The Blacklist's series premiere either. Maybe these two have more in common than they thought, despite their sham of a marriage.
"I think it's an oversimplification to say that she's in love with him, as has been indicated by some of the other characters like Red and Ressler," Boone told reporters on a call in January. "I think she's got really strong feelings for him, but it's a very complicated dynamic. I think once a relationship goes past a line and becomes abusive or sadistic in any way, there's just no going back to pure true love. It already has violence in it. It already has mistrust, so I always felt it was an oversimplification to just say, 'Oh, she still loves him.'"
Series creator Jon Bokenkamp added, "Everything's much more complex than it appears on the show. Whether it's the suburban housewife dropping her kids off at school or it's the guy showing up to punch the clock to work at the steel factory, I don't think any of those people are quite what they appear to be on the surface. I think that you never say never, and anything can change. That doesn't mean that that is where that relationship is going, but I do think that like any breakup, like any sort of marriage that falls apart, it's messy... it's incredibly complex in that feelings and emotions sometimes fuel people to do things that are not in their best interests, and sometimes logic does not prevail. Whether it's a love story or not, it's not over."
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The Blacklist airs Thursdays at 9/8c on NBC.