Courtesy of NBC
The Blacklist - Season 2

After the game-changing finale of The Blacklist season 8, which saw the murder of series protagonist Liz Keen (Megan Boone), the NBC thriller is taking a leap — in time.

When the series returns next month for its season 9 premiere, it will pick up two years after Keen's death, the network revealed Thursday.

Viewers will quickly see just how big an impact Keen's death had on the show's characters. The FBI task force dedicated to taking down the world's worst criminals will have disbanded, with many of them now living very different lives.

THE BLACKLIST -- "Godwin Page (#141)" Episode 820
James Spader on 'The Blacklist'
| Credit: Scott Gries/NBC

With the enigmatic mastermind Raymond Reddington (James Spader) in the wind, the old team will find themselves drawn together by "a common purpose" to resume their original mission of taking "down dangerous, vicious, and eccentric Blacklisters," per a new season 9 logline. That will force the team to confront deadly foes, new conspiracies, shocking betrayals, and the testing of alliances, all "led by the most devious criminal of them all — Raymond Reddington."

Boone addressed her departure when the season 8 finale aired in June. "This experience, for me, has been an entire life inside of my own life," she wrote, sharing an early-season photo of her and Spader. "These eight years playing Liz Keen have helped me better define the world and myself, as she set out to do the same. Liz sought incorruptible familial bonds, and collided with powerful forces to reveal the boundaries where a cruel, indifferent world ended and she began."

She continued: "As her story ends I am grateful, most of all for the people I shared this time with: my fellow cast members present and past, our incredible crew who carried every single day for all involved, and those of you we entertained."

A day after the finale, Blacklist creator Jon Bokenkamp also departed the show.

"I love this show with all of my heart and it's been an incredible journey," he said in a statement posted to Twitter, "but after eight years I feel it's time for me to step out of my comfort zone, try something new, and explore a few of the other characters and stories that have been crawling around in my head."

The Blacklist season 9 premieres Oct. 21 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

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Episode Recaps

The Blacklist - Season 2
The Blacklist

James Spader is Raymond "Red" Reddington, a mastermind criminal who teams up with the FBI.

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  • 9
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