Did Tom Keen die on The Blacklist season 5 episode 8?

The Blacklist logo any seasonLast time on The Blacklist we learned a lot more about Dembe’s relationship with Reddington and just how much these two not only mean to each other, but also what they do for each other. We always knew that Dembe was more then just a hired gun to Reddington, but learning what Dembe sees in Reddington and why he devoted his life to him was a nice reveal that we didn’t see coming.

Tonight’s episode of The Blacklist is the last episode of the fall before the hiatus and therefore we have a lot riding on the line. We know that Tom is ready to give up Reddington in order to save his own life, but with the flash forward we saw at the beginning of the season we wonder if this episode is going to be the end of Tom’s life.

Tom, a suitcase and a whole lot of trouble

Tom has managed to escape his situation with the people holding him captive and he’s got the suitcase. As he’s running from his captors he runs into the only other person he didn’t want to see – Reddington. He’s able to save Tom, and now he’s got Tom and the suitcase in his possession and Liz is having doubts about how honest Tom has been with her.

Although we had a crazy caper with Reddington, Tom and Dembe (including a very cool slow-motion James Spader shooting action sequence), the moment that made this whole episode for us was the Tom and Reddington conversation where they actually found some understanding with each other. Reddington has had a million different opportunities to kill Tom over the years and hasn’t done it and he has now expressed why – because he was at Tom and Liz’s first wedding and he saw how happy she was with him and as much as he dislikes Tom, he knows that Tom’s main purpose in life is to protect her. What was a main sticking point at the end of this conversation was after Tom left the car where Dembe called Reddington out for lying to Liz and while he’s always maintained that he doesn’t ever lie to Liz, we aren’t sure why Dembe is going to say something like that if it’s not true? Later, Dembe tries to bring this up again asking why Reddington doesn’t tell Liz the truth to which Reddington says “I don’t know” – so he’s pretty much admitted that he lied. This is not something we ever saw coming with this character and this lie must be major if he’s willing to lie to Liz!

So how did this all end for Tom and the suitcase? After their “father and son-in law” heart to heart Tom leaves Reddington with the suitcase, but it’s full of guns – Tom has the bones stashed else where – as well as the DNA results which he reads. We don’t know the results yet, but he calls Liz as soon as he sees them and arranges for them to meet up. (Did anyone else smile when they saw Tom pull out his old glasses and drop them on the floor with a smile?).

When they meet at the house, men are waiting for them where they stab Tom multiple times, take the bones and prepare to kill them both. Luckily Reddington and Dembe come in and save the day, but they are both banged up pretty badly. The Flash forward we saw at the premiere of season 5 is explained and it’s not Reddington killing Tom as many feared but instead Reddington saving Tom from a near death experience.

After Liz and Tom both got to the hospital we learned that Liz made it out of this situation alive and had been in a coma for ten months. After she comes to, she learns that Tom is dead and we see a sequence of him in a morgue, with a toe tag.

When Tom met Liz

We saw a bit of how Tom met Liz during some flashbacks tonight when Tom was initially given his assignment. Tom was told that he was supposed to be a friend of a friend to her and not to get involved romantically, but his first words when he sees her picture is “she’s cute”. Later we learn that he couldn’t help but to get involved with her when he fell in love and although he was told to get out of the relationship he ignored the orders.

CarterMatt’s overall thoughts

There was a lot to unpack in this episode! First off, how often do we get to see Reddington and Tom out on a caper together? These are two men that both love Liz and want the best for her, but over the years it’s been clear that they have very different ideas as to what that should be, so seeing them work together tonight to get Tom and the suitcase safe was a lot of fun to watch. As we mentioned, we loved the heart to heart with Reddington and Tom but those last ten minutes of the episode where we watch Tom and Liz so close to death, Dembe holding Reddington’s hand, and Liz waking up ten months later to be told that Tom is dead was such a kick to the heart. This is easily the best episode of the season.

(Photo: NBC)

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