‘The Blacklist’ season 2 finale spoilers: On Tom’s aspirations for Liz
Part of what has made the past few episodes of “The Blacklist” so much more interesting is because we’ve had a whole lot more of Tom Keen. His character and relationship with Liz is interesting: Their marriage was a lie, but Tom bought into it more then he thought he would and found himself loving Liz in spite of his job to stay impartial. Making sure he fulfilled his duties to Reddington had to take precedence over his feelings for her, and Tom’s past allegiance with Reddington poses a huge problem if he ever wants to have something remotely normal with his ex-wife again … but does he even want that?
These two characters are going to be in the forefront of the rest of the season, and in speaking of the events leading up to the finale to TV Guide, executive producer Jon Bokenkamp provides a very interesting window into Tom’s soul:
“I think Tom Keen would like nothing more than to go on a date and have a glass of wine and have a nice, normal conversation … She recognizes how screwed up he is and unhealthy he is for her, and yet there’s something within him that perhaps she thinks is a glimmer of hope.”
While we are not saying that we are particularly confident that Tom and Liz are going to get together again by the end of the season, this is certainly not something we are completely dismissing as a possibility … but we would want to see Tom actually show some loyalty for her beyond just getting her out of prison. The poor woman needs an ally, and not just someone who is there for her professionally or who tells her they are there for her in some duplicitous manner. She doesn’t need another Reddington – one is more then enough for anyone.
April 24, 2015 @ 6:35 am
They are humans… All the people makes mistakes…Tom made terrible mistakes, murders…. But he wants really to change, become an other man… I think he must have a second chance… Liz and Tom have a great chemistry… I hope in the future they get backtogether
April 22, 2015 @ 10:35 pm
I don’t see Liz as a strong, assertive character. As an FBI agent and female lead, she should be. Instead the writers have chosen to portray her as a dumb, weepy, emotional wreck who is so needy that she would consider going back to a murdering menace who inserted himself into her life as a job. Tom deliberately faked his entire persona just to infiltrate her life and deceive her. Are we really to believe that she would want to rekindle a relationship with a man who so obviously cannot be trusted? I keep hoping the writers will come up with something better, but I’m not holding my breath.
April 21, 2015 @ 3:29 pm
1) Red hired Tom in the first place – HOWEVER, Red never said he’d ordered Tom to infiltrate Liz’s personal life
2) Tom seems to have been working for Red all along, despite his apparent loyalty to Berlin, due to the payoff and various meetings between him and Red. We’ll probably find out that the payoff wasn’t cash, whatever it actually was (future mystery to solve)
3) Tom betrayed Berlin early in season 2, ostensibly for his own freedom, but more likely due to fact # 2 – Berlin being Red’s biggest enemy to that point
4) Berlin thought Tom was working for him, going so far as to expose his own location, ultimately resulting in Liz/Red getting to him
5) Jolene was sent by Berlin to test Tom, Jolene openly doubting Tom’s loyalty, and Tom wound up killing Jolene after refusing to be seduced and also after Jolene had then approached Liz directly
6) In Seasons 1 and 2, Tom was flushed out and pursued by Liz in her role as an FBI agent on the grounds of him being Berlin’s agent, whatever her own feelings were – on a personal level, Liz thought that Tom had infiltrated her life and betrayed her because of Berlin and that it “was (just) a job”
7) Red has always treated Tom like a how a father treats his daughter’s untrusted, unapproved boyfriend, resulting in real friction between the two despite Tom ultimately being Red’s agent
8) From the previews, we know Kaplan, Red’s fixer, plays a major, somewhat menacing role in the next episode and that Red has to defend himself
9) From the previews we also know that someone, likely someone Red trusts, kills two guards who are protecting Red
10) We know that Red’s people, most likely Kaplan, disposed of the harbormaster’s body. She also, apparently miraculously, found Jolene and The Cowboy’s bodies. At the time, Tom was assumed to be Berlin’s agent, so why suspect him so quickly for killing Jolene?
11) The authorities also seem to have found the harbormaster’s body all too easily, especially if actually was Kaplan who had disposed of the body – and Red doesn’t seem to use any other fixer to clean up his and Liz’s messes
12) The fate of the harbormaster is the biggest remaining obstacle to overcome for Tom’s character to be rehabilitated, and the Tom arc seems to be genuinely rehabilitating his character.
13) Crucially – Tom wasn’t shown actually killing the harbormaster. And Tom, somewhat
inexplicably, was never arrested/incarcerated for having committed what appears
to have been a straight up, cold-blooded murder, even after he confessed.
14) Liz is such as strong, assertive figure that a love interest seems necessary to make her a more sympathetic character. Red’s real loyalty is to himself, despite his affection for Liz. Ressler, the only other plausible love interest for Liz introduced thus far, seems to have an entirely professional relationship with Liz, they have zero chemistry (neck deep in the friend zone) and dating one’s partner seems highly unprofessional and cheap for these two characters. The story also needs someone who is loyal only to Liz, and Tom has demonstrated several times now that his loyalty to Liz goes well beyond that of a typical romantic relationship. He’s also the only man in which Liz seems to have shown any romantic interest.
15) How many people risk their own freedom to help save an ex? How many people help/care for someone who lied to her and betrayed her? Something doesn’t make any sense about the Tom/Liz arc thus far, unless Liz has good reason to suspect that Tom has actually had her back all along.
16) The sign on Tom’s spy gear box appears to be the same as Liz’s burn, a fact that cannot have escaped her, given how observant her character is portrayed as being. The burn was given to Liz by her real father, who may or may not be Red.
17) Going back to season 1, it was Tom who told Liz that Red killed her adopted father, beginning Liz’s considerable mistrust for Red. This occurred after the coded “how do I tell my wife” conversation between Tom and Red, which we now know they had known each other all along. This could have been pay back for Red causing Liz to doubt Tom and the beginning of Tom trying to come clean with Liz.
My theory/ pure speculation/: Red sent Tom to protect Liz, not to become romantic with her. Tom killed the Russian defector, Jolene and The Cowboy to protect Liz; each of them was working for Red’s various enemies. Tom also was working as a double agent against Berlin, but Red doubted his loyalty suspecting that it was Berlin who had Tom infiltrate Liz’s personal life, something Red had forbidden Tom to do. We’ll find out that Tom pursued a relationship with Liz for himself, without the permission of either Red or Berlin, so he could have a “real life” and never planned for it to end. Thus the “fake” relationship was actually real all along. We’ll find out that Kaplan was a double agent working for one of Red’s enemies who has yet to reveal him/herself. Tom didn’t actually kill the harbormaster – Kaplan did and set it all up to turn Red, Liz and Tom against one another. The Harbomaster was likely working for Red, trying to track down his best agent, Tom, whom Liz was hiding from Red. Kaplan likely also found Jolene/The Cowboy’s bodies so easily because it was her who had disposed of them in the first place, Tom having used Red’s preferred fixer for the job. This was set up to get Tom running before he had a chance to explain himself to Liz and to make our three central characters mistrust one another. Tom and Red’s relationship also likely goes way back, before Red sent Tom to protect Liz – Red may have had a role in discovering/training Tom and Tom likely worked for Red many times previously. Thus Red felt genuinely betrayed when Tom made his relationship with Liz romantic.
If it goes roughly this way, the arc will be Red, Liz and Tom learning to work together and to trust each other again to fight the ultimate bad guys that the series is building up to fight. Tom and Liz will take things slow but ultimately getting back together, with Liz very likely taking the initiative (given the lies & previous betrayal, it would feel forced for Tom to pursue Liz). Likely we’ll see Tom helping Liz out, showing real loyalty to Liz alone; present crisis averted and Red in debt to Tom and Liz. Tom will be leaving to start over again with his boat in Micronesia and Liz will ask him to stay. Tom will play a major role in saving Red & helping Liz; in turn, Liz will likely play the decisive role in saving Tom from The Major.
April 22, 2015 @ 10:42 pm
The only reason Liz and Ressler don’t seem to have much chemistry is because the writers haven’t given them a chance to develop any. Characters can’t develop romantic chemistry if none of their encounters are personal.
April 21, 2015 @ 9:31 am
I think that like whether or not Red is her birth dad is left dangling over the viewers, the show will do the exact same thing with Tom & Liz’s relationship, possible throwing Ressler into the mix for a love triangle. I mostly see them doing that if Red comes clean to Liz, because this show just demands some kind of mystery you’re never quite sure about.
April 21, 2015 @ 4:35 am
Would be brilliant if Tom and Liz find a way to rescue their
love from its dark origins, and in doing so save themselves from their own terrible youths ….