The new season of The Blacklist will start right where the last one left off — meaning Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone) and Raymond Reddington (James Spader) are still on the run from, well, everyone.
“What I’m discovering is that while it’s really entertaining and Red is still this very colorful character, we’re not taking this [situation] very lightly,” Boone says. “The first step is just to get out alive.”
That might be harder than it sounds: Liz is hiding from the FBI, the Cabal, and her own task force after she killed the U.S. attorney general in the finale — and Red is helping her. “The tone of the show is more urgent,” exec producer Jon Bokenkamp says. “This is a manhunt. The stakes are bigger.” And bigger stakes mean bigger changes — including Liz’s appearance.
“She looks a lot more like her mother,” Boone says of her character’s transformation, which includes a new blond ‘do. “She’s transforming into a woman that was a mystery to her before.”
Liz’s makeover will go beyond looks, too. “She had a very idealistic world with a husband and a job, and everything was great,” says exec producer John Eisendrath. “And the direction she’s been pulled is a rather dark path. She’s been drawn into Reddington’s world, and I think she’s seeing similarities in herself to him that she may not want to recognize.”
But not everybody’s out gallivanting around Red’s underworld. “While the center of the show is always going to be Red and his relationship with Liz, we are going to get an opportunity to broaden the canvas and really tell a lot of great stories for all our characters this year,” Eisendrath says. “This manhunt configuration really lends itself to everybody blossoming and getting to have their characters dramatized.”
Ressler (Diego Klattenhoff), for example, will have to take on a new leadership role in this international manhunt for his former coworker — and he’ll butt heads with Aram (Amir Arison), who’s less enthusiastic about capturing his dear friend Liz.
“What’s great about this year is that everybody has adversarial positions and yet each understands where the other is coming from, which is a very rare situation,” Eisendrath says. Boone adds, “Liz being on the run from the same task force that she worked with for two years now is a very interesting dynamic because they all love one another, but the duty of the task force is find the fugitive — and this terrorist: Elizabeth Keen.”
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The Blacklist returns for its third season Oct. 1 at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.