On ‘The Blacklist: Redemption,’ Tom Keen Joins Forces With Red’s Most Infamous Criminals

The Blacklist: Redemption Virginia Sherwood/NBC
Ryan Eggold as Tom Keene and Famke Janssen as Susan "Scottie" Hargrave.

NBC isn’t fixing what’s not broken. The network has found success in spinning off new incarnations of popular dramas (the Law & Order and Chicago franchises, anyone?) and applies that formula to The Blacklist with its higher-energy sibling, The Blacklist: Redemption.

In the new series, Blacklist favorite Tom Keen (Ryan Eggold) and several baddies from Red’s infamous list join a covert mercenary team to take on operations that are too questionable for legitimate government agencies to handle. The team was introduced in a spring 2016 episode of The Blacklist and is headed by Susan “Scottie” Hargrave (Famke Janssen), who is joined by skilled assassin and Tom’s nemesis Matias Solomon (Edi Gathegi), weapons expert Nez Rowan (Tawny Cypress) and hacker Dumont (Adrian Martinez). Carrying on the franchise’s “parental issues,” Hargrave has been revealed to be Tom’s mother, and while Tom is aware of this fact, she doesn’t know. “It’s a very tricky relationship,” laughs Eggold.

When we chatted with Eggold, he demurred when pressed for plot details regarding his character’s departure from The Blacklist, but he did assure fans, “It’s not going to be the simple case where Tom and Liz break up or something and he goes off to start his new adventure. That relationship will remain intact, which will allow for some interesting crossover between the two shows and let that relationship further evolve.”

Although our heads are already swimming with thoughts of crossover ideas, don’t get your hopes up for a visit by Red, at least not yet. “But I think at some point, yes. Definitely,” Eggold teases.

The drama boasts fast-paced and thrilling, heist-like action, but with a twist of humor — reminiscent of pulse-pounding films like Ocean’s Eleven or Mission: Impossible. “If you like spy shows or films, if you like action, if you like fast-paced, if you’re into that stuff, then I know you’re going to like the show,” says Eggold. “Doing an action sequence is fun, but we’re also gonna deal with the humanity of it, too. We want to explore what happens when that guy goes home at the end of the day and is trying to figure out his life.”

The Blacklist: Redemption > NBC > Thursdays beginning Feb. 23