Warning: This post contains spoilers from the season 8 finale of The Blacklist.
Raymond Reddington changed Agent Elizabeth Keen's life when he walked into it years ago, and he did so again in the season 8 finale of The Blacklist.
In the closing moments of the episode, Liz (Megan Boone) was shot in the back by one of Neville's henchmen while meeting with Red (James Spader). The former agent fell into Red's arms as she bled out, before he walked away from her and the task force members ran to her aid. The twist confirmed reports that after eight seasons, Boone would be leaving the series.
Will Hart/NBC Megan Boone on 'The Blacklist'
Leading up to that shocker, the finale centered on one question: Would Liz take over Reddington's empire? Liz was adamant about not doing so, and instead starting over with her daughter, until she bumped into a teenager who turned out to be the child she saved in the pilot. The teen encouraged Liz to keep making the world a better place. With Red's empire and the task force, Liz could continue the work to take down criminals. While she might have come around to the idea of following in Red's footsteps, his plan included her killing him to cement her place in the criminal underworld, which Liz couldn't do.
The promise of finally getting an answer about Red's identity was also taken away from her. Reddington promised she'd get a letter from her mother explaining everything after killing him and taking his place, because she'd never go through with it if she knew the truth. The clue was all she had, and it's all viewers will have as they wait for the crime drama to return for another season.
Wednesday evening, Boone bid farewell to The Blacklist on Instagram, posting a photo of her and Spader from the show. "This experience, for me, has been an entire life inside of my own life," she wrote. "These eight years playing Liz Keen have helped me better define the world and myself, as she set out to do the same. Liz sought incorruptible familial bonds, and collided with powerful forces to reveal the boundaries where a cruel, indifferent world ended and she began."
Boone added, "As her story ends I am grateful, most of all for the people I shared this time with: my fellow cast members present and past, our incredible crew who carried every single day for all involved, and those of you we entertained."
Liz's death marked a tragic end to a story that began with a talented, fresh-faced FBI agent. Reddington showed up and turned her life around as she fought to discover why he chose her and what their connection was. Unraveling his ties to her was an unrelenting pursuit on Liz's part, and one that remained unfinished because we still don't know who Reddington actually is. Keen died without the answer to that question, and also left her daughter Agnes behind.
The Blacklist has been renewed for season 9, but the show will never be the same again.