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Why Did Megan Boone Leave The Blacklist?

"The Blacklist," which airs on NBC and the first seven seasons of which can be streamed on Netflix, revolves around the interpersonal relationship between Red (James Spader), a criminal-turned-informant (like the real-life Whitey Bulger), and Elizabeth (Megan Boone), a young FBI agent. Upon the series' opening, Red turns himself into the FBI following years of evading their capture as a wanted criminal. The series' title refers to a list of fellow major criminals that Red has compiled over the course of his time working in the criminal underworld. While Elizabeth must work with Red for the sake of catching those on his so-called blacklist, he remains a mysterious figure, never fully earning her trust.

In Season 8 of "The Blacklist," the dynamic between Red and Elizabeth shifts significantly. First, Red murders Elizabeth's mom in order to prevent her from revealing details about his identity that he wants kept secret. Then Elizabeth transitions fully into a life of crime, leaving the FBI behind. As a result, Red and Elizabeth are at the top of each other's respective hit lists (Red's literal, Elizabeth's figurative).

Megan Boone was absent entirely from some of the episodes during which Elizabeth is on the run from the FBI in the midst of Season 8. As some had already suspected due to her absence, the announcement that Boone will be leaving "The Blacklist" in advance of Season 9 was made just prior to the final two episodes of the eighth season.

The decision was mutual

As detailed in a Deadline report announcing Megan Boone's departure from "The Blacklist," the decision to continue the series without her was made mutually and ahead of the series' Season 9 renewal that came in January. The "Blacklist" writers were thus able to write a definitive end for Elizabeth with the advance notice. The Season 8 finale will be Boone's final appearance on the series.

Deadline also detailed the final two episodes of "The Blacklist" Season 8, which are titled "Nachalo" and "Konets," and mean "Beginning" and "End" in Russian. The former is set to answer questions about Red and Elizabeth that have been lingering since the series' earliest days. While no details have been released about the latter episode, its title seems to refer directly to the end of Elizabeth's story arc. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, Spader will be returning for "The Blacklist" Season 9, so whatever Elizabeth's ending may be, Red's death is unlikely.

Though Boone hasn't yet given a concrete reason for her decision to leave "The Blacklist" beyond detailing when the decision was made, Deadline reported that Boone "is plotting her next move," so the future of her career may have been a contributing factor.