The Blacklist will be filling in the blanks of Donald Ressler’s life when it returns in 2022.
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The Blacklist will be revisiting the past when it returns in 2022.

Season 9 of NBC's The Blacklist will resume with an episode all about Donald Ressler (Diego Klattenhoff). Titled "Between Sleep and Awake," the hour will feature a series of flashbacks to the time after Elizabeth Keen's death. EW has first-look photos of the Ressler-centric episode, below.

The Blacklist
Diego Klattenhoff as Donald Ressler on NBC's "The Blacklist."
| Credit: Will Hart/NBC

Picking up two years after Elizabeth's (Megan Boone) death, the task force has been separated when the season begins. We don't know much about Ressler's time, other than that Liz's death deeply impacted him, and he is still processing his grief when the team reunites.

"When we began season 9, the story line had moved forward two years in time, with Ressler very reluctant to go back to any semblance of his former life in the FBI," Klattenhoff says.

The two were beginning what many viewers believed to be a love story when Boone exited the series at the end of season 8.

So far, what we have seen has shown just how much the formerly strait-laced FBI agent changed during the time jump. Earlier in the season, it is revealed that Ressler is using drugs and is dealing with a new addiction. To avoid his drug use being discovered in a drug test, he ropes Agent Parks (Laura Sohn) into helping him hide it from the FBI.

"The show's return episode on January 6 spotlights his journey over those two years – flashing back in time as he processes Liz's death and struggles with addiction," Klattenhoff says about the hour. "We're used to seeing Ressler very composed, but this hour is a highly emotional one and shows the difficult road he's been on as a result of his grief."

The Blacklist
Diego Klattenhoff as Donald Ressler on NBC's "The Blacklist."
| Credit: Will Hart/NBC
The Blacklist
Diego Klattenhoff as Donald Ressler on NBC's "The Blacklist."
| Credit: Michael Greenberg/NBC

The upcoming episode is the latest in a batch of The Blacklist episodes that break the show's typical format, meaning there will not be a case-of-the-week or a Blacklister for the team to go up against. The show has done several unconventional episodes throughout its run that center on different characters, including Ressler, Keen, and Harold Cooper (Harry Lennix).

The Blacklist returns to NBC on Jan. 6.

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