In the post-Tom Keen (Ryan Eggold) era of The Blacklist, the show has occasionally hinted at a will they/won't they between FBI colleagues Liz Keen (Megan Boone) and Donald Ressler (Diego Klattenhoff), and Friday's 17th episode of Season 7, "Brothers," teased that tantalizing possibility again.
In the episode, Ressler went to his hometown of Detroit to help his brother Robby (Anthony Michael Hall) deal with a new development in a revenge-fueled murder they committed when they were teenagers. The Ressler brothers ultimately decided to turn themselves in because they couldn't live with the dark secret anymore. First, though, Ressler told Liz what happened the night he shot the crooked cop who killed his father and enlisted her help in capturing a local gangster who was holding the killer's remains for ransom. However, she didn't want him to turn himself in,, and when he tried to, the body was gone, and the Resslers went free.
Ressler went to Liz's apartment and asked her why she did it, and she told him that she needs him too much to let him leave her. Her life is too insane to handle on her own, and he's her rock — the only person she can truly trust and rely on. Besides, this one bad thing he did when he was a kid rerouted his life and made him the man he is today, and the good he does as an FBI agent now outweighs the crime he committed then. It was a classic bit of Blacklist moral relativism. They embraced and went on to fight another day.
TV Guide asked Klattenhoff if he would like to see a more romantic storyline develop between Ressler and Liz, and he was diplomatic. "It's one of those things that you just never know, and you can never get your hopes up one way or the other," he said. "If it happens, it happens, terrific. If it doesn't, so be it."
He remembers people clamoring for Ressler and Liz to get together back in Season 1, and it never happened, and now 150 episodes later it's in the air again. "As an actor, and personally, I just gotta roll with it."
"I'm sure the fans would love it," he added. "So we'll see. We'll see what happens for Season 8."
The Blacklist has two episodes left in Season 7, the 150th episode next week, and the finale after that, which will serve as a send-off for the late Brian Dennehy's Dominic Wilkinson. The last episode wasn't supposed to be the finale, but the shutdown due to the coronavirus made it have to be, so The Blacklist Season 7 lost three episodes. Klattenhoff said that if they hadn't shut down, they would have wrapped filming for the season last Friday. They were halfway through filming Episode 19 when the shutdown order came, and the show's producers scrambled to finish the season with what they had.
"It's not an ideal situation, but I think they did a really great job wrapping up the season and getting it teed up for Season 8," Klattenhoff said.
The Blacklist airs Fridays at 8/7c on NBC.