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James Spader Is In Favor Of The Blacklist Ending With Season 10 (And Fans Should Be Too)

James Spader's Raymond "Red" Reddington is without a doubt one of the most memorable TV characters of the last decade. Now that NBC has announced the cancelation of "The Blacklist," fans of Red are getting ready to say goodbye. But why did NBC execs opt to end the show after Season 10?

"I think if the show went beyond this year, it would turn into a very different show," Spader told NBC Insider. "And I think that the thing that has been nice about this show was that we've never really had a really clear paradigm for the show. Tonally the show shifts a lot from episode to episode, and I think that even the show has taken strange turns, and I suspect that the show, if it went much further, would just become something that would be less recognizable to me."

There's no arguing with Spader's reasoning — as great as the show has been over the years, it would have been running the risk of jumping the shark had it carried on. But what changed, and why should fans be happy that the beloved series is coming to a close?

The show changed after the death of Elizabeth Keen

Whether it's a planned exit or an unexpected one, the loss of a major character can kill a series in its tracks. In the case of "The Blacklist," the death of FBI agent and profiler Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone) in the Season 8 finale was as unexpected as it was devastating, both for the fans and for the show's future. Raymond "Red" Reddington was always the main draw, but the character's emotional core was anchored by Keen, and things just weren't the same without her.

Red's insistence on working only with Keen was a big part of what made the show work. After all, this was the reason the Task Force came together to tackle the nefarious characters on his list. After Keen's death, it became harder and harder to accept the idea that they kept coming together in Season 9, and fans started to drift away from the show. "It was the driving force and the glue that held it together," Redditor u/Humble-Living89731 said. "Elizabeth's death ended their story, which ended 'The Blacklist' for me. What continues on is another totally different story."

Will we finally learn who Red really is?

As captivating as James Spader is in the role, the mystery surrounding the true identity of Red couldn't keep going forever. There was always going to be a point where viewers got tired of teases and red herrings, and that point is now. The truth is, we still don't really know who Red is. While a good mystery is always an excellent way to keep audiences intrigued and make them want to tune in every week, nine seasons of being strung along is enough to make anyone get a little frustrated with a show.

The series began with a good mystery surrounding who Red is and why he was so adamant that he worked only with Elizabeth Keen. And while we got little tidbits about who he is and what connection he has to Keen, it stops with simple statements alluding to his relationship with her dad. Every season, viewers kept waiting to get some solid confirmation of his identity, only to be let down. Not even the death of his emotional core was enough to spur on the revelation of a deeper Red. Hopefully, a planned last season will be enough to close out that mystery and tie up the series with a neat, satisfying bow.