The Blacklist's Megan Boone on stronger Liz Keen in season 4
Liz Keen may have been kidnapped, but she’s not going to take it lying down.
When The Blacklist returns, Liz (Megan Boone) is still in the clutches of Alexander Kirk (Ulrich Thomsen), but she’ll do everything in her power to locate her baby Agnes and Tom (Ryan Eggold). And while she may not trust Kirk, his arrival will provide a lot of information about Liz’s past — particularly when it comes to her mother (Lotte Verbeek) and her mysterious connection to Red (James Spader). Below, Boone teases what’s in store in season 4:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What’s running through Liz’s head when the show returns?
MEGAN BOONE: She’s got to find her daughter. She’s been separated from Agnes, and I think that the only thing that matters to her is reuniting her family.
Can we believe Alexander Kirk when he says he’s her father?
I don’t think she puts a lot of trust in Alexander Kirk, because he’s holding her captive. If it were a different situation, I think she might be more willing to trust him, but she has a lot of guards up now going into season 4 after all that she’s been through in Reddington’s world and all that she’s done to escape it. Most of all, she’s disappointed that this man, Alexander Kirk, has taken away the opportunity from her to be free of all of that.
What does he want from her?
It’s very complicated, and it’s something that actually gets revealed — it’s a big reveal in episode 3 of season 4. Like a lot of the people that crop up in our show, his agenda is not necessarily altruistic. He doesn’t have the best of intentions.
How worried should we be?
I wouldn’t worry too much about Liz. [Laughs.] She’s managed to survive so far. That being said, what you find going into this season is a Liz who, yes she’s held captive and yes she’s rendered a bit powerless over certain circumstances, but that doesn’t mean she’s entirely powerless. What I really work on with her is to really try to massage the trajectory of her story into something that is stronger. She takes more responsibility for her own actions, and she isn’t rendered entirely helpless. I want her to be someone who finds cunning and interesting ways out of perilous situations rather than relying 100 percent on the FBI or Reddington.
Are we going to get more info on her mother this year?
Yes, that’s another thing that will really come to light. Through the investigation of Alexander Kirk, she finds a lot of her mother’s memorabilia and private journals. A lot is revealed to her about her mother, who she’s known nothing about her whole life, and through her mother, she learns actually a lot more about Reddington.
Will we finally know who Red is to her this season?
That’s what it looks like to me. What it’s starting to look like is we are really delving into Liz’s past and exposing a lot of things that have been withheld throughout the series. So I can’t say confidently, but I think so.
Have you known this whole time or are you in the dark?
No, I don’t know. I never really felt like it was useful to me to know anything about the relationship that Liz has with Red, or about Red’s history and why he takes such an interest in Liz, because Liz doesn’t really know. I always wanted to maintain that mystery for myself. That being said, I don’t really know, maybe James Spader, Jon Bokenkamp, and John Eisendrath are really enjoying keeping it a secret from everyone.
Is Liz going to consider letting Red back into her life?
I think she’ll go to great lengths to ensure the safety of her child. That’s why, ultimately, she does rely on Red when we return. But Tom is also out there somewhere, and I think she would much rather rely on Tom for help. She doesn’t despise Red, she just wants a normal life, and she can’t have that when she’s in Red’s life. But what comes to light is that it’s not really Reddington bringing all of this upon her, it’s her own history and where she comes from. She was strapped with this from birth is something you start to realize through season 4.
How will the team feel about Liz lying to them?
Yeah, they all have various levels of feeling betrayed by Liz. I also think that they understand why she did what she did on a certain level. They’re just hurt because they had to go through the mourning process of her death. Now, of course, her being alive is great news, but it’s just really painful. The reunion is definitely fraught with some extreme and mixed feelings.
Can you tease a little what Liz’s first meeting with Tom’s supposed mother will look like?
Scottie came into the picture while Liz was still in Cuba, so Liz is still unaware of the presence of Scottie. Tom and Liz are so preoccupied with finding their child, who’s still at large, I just don’t think that it’s something that they address. It would be interesting to see that down the line, but we haven’t seen yet in the scripts that have come through this season.
There’s obviously a question of why Tom will leave Liz for Redemption. Is this a case of their quest for answers about family ultimately driving them apart?
Yeah, well Tom is… going to abandon her on some level. I just don’t really know what that’s going to look like. The writers haven’t shared that with me. But that being said, I really just feel like this show has taught me so much about thinking on my toes, going for it and really making strong choices about a certain thing, even if that thing changes like three episodes later. My hope for their relationship and the way it seems to be going is that Liz understands that Tom wants answers about his life, too. We both want answers. I don’t know if this is a permanent divorce and they’re never going to see one another again, because I think there will be some crossover with the shows, from what I understand and what I’ve learned from John Eisendrath. It’s not like I’m never going to see Tom again, but the family is just going to break up.
Do you have plans to appear on Blacklist: Redemption?
I don’t have official plans, but I did inquire with the creators about if they see Liz involved with Tom in the future and Tom coming back in the future as well. They think there will be some crossover.
What’s going to surprise us about the new season?
The big surprises will be finally the audience is going to get answers to some questions that they’ve had for a very long time, substantial concrete answers. The series will move on with the characters empowered with new knowledge of themselves. And obviously the fast-paced action and great music cues are here to stay.
The Blacklist returns Thursday at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.