‘The Blacklist’: Could This Be Where Season 9 Picks Up?

With less than two months until The Blacklist Season 9 premieres, there’s still time to speculate which direction the series might go. Other than a premiere date and general casting, little is known about what’s to come. That said, here’s what writers might do.

Where ‘The Blacklist’ Season 9 could begin

James Spader as Raymond 'Red' Reddington  looks concerned while holding a phone to his ear. He's wearing a fedora and sunglasses.
James Spader as Raymond ‘Red’ Reddington | Will Hart/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

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Though nothing has been confirmed, sources recently gave TV Line some hints about timelines — possibly referring to The Blacklist. In an Aug. 24 “blind item” update, the site reported that producers of an unnamed series “plan to kick off the drama’s new — and possibly final — season with a two-year leap forward.”

The article also added that the unnamed series is not “superhero-themed” or “linked to any show on The CW.” There are plenty of shows the news could be referring to. But, the site added it’s a “very well-established hour-long drama series on one of the five broadcast networks is about to hit the big time jump button.”

The big five include ABC, CBS, The CW, Fox, and NBC. Since The CW has been ruled out, NBC is still in the running. Several hour-long dramas could utilize a time-jump, but we can’t eliminate the possibility that the news might be about The Blacklist.

Why this jump could work

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There are a few scenarios where a time jump could work. Season 8 ended with the shocking (supposed) death of former FBI profiler Liz Keen (Megan Boone). We now know Boone exited the series to pursue other endeavors. This leaves writers to take the story in a new direction.

A time jump could work if season 9 begins a few months later. For example, after the task force team and Raymond “Red” Reddington (James Spader) move past grieving the loss of Liz. Reacting to the loss for too long could lose the momentum of the central story — like Reddington’s true identity.

Using time as a plot device would also work with the two-year jump if the story begins in the middle of the action. After eight seasons, fans have been patient for answers. However, that patience will run out if season 9 fails to deliver.

A two-year time jump won’t work in this instance

Considering where the story ended, a two-year jump won’t make sense regarding Reddington’s mysterious illness. For a few seasons now, we’ve seen the criminal informant takes various medications after passing out. He’s also been hospitalized, which led to his dire need to know his empire would be in good hands when he died.

This could be the reason for the throwaway lines in the season 8 finale. Fans might remember when Dembe briefly mentioned that Reddington appeared to be on the mend. If that’s true, the jump works. Still, it’s a leap for fans to abandon everything we’ve already been told.

They’ve used a time jump in previous seasons of ‘The Blacklist’

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In 2017, The Blacklist used the time jump to show how Liz coped with the loss of her husband, Tom Keen (Ryan Eggold). The two were brutally beaten by Ian Garvey (Jonny Coyne) and his mercenaries. The seemingly abandoned storyline about a bag of bones may or may not belong to the real Raymond Reddington.

The jump worked in this scenario because they utilized the fall finale as the cliffhanger, then picked up the second half in Liz’s near-distant future 10 months later. Showrunner John Eisendrath told Entertainment Weekly at the time that the jump allowed writers to “unpack, over the course of the back half of the season, facts about what happened when we weren’t watching them all.”

We don’t know how season 9 will begin or how far in the future it might be. Regardless, we can’t wait to see what they do with it.

The Blacklist returns on Thursday, Oct. 21, to NBC.