"The glasses are coming off."
And watch out when they do because people tend to die. That was the lesson Jolene (Rachel Brosnahan), and the viewers, learned in last week's episode of The Blacklist, where Tom Keen (Ryan Eggold), seemingly perfect husband in the first half of the season, trained assassin on a mission in the second, fully revealed his dark side. Cue the collective roar of fans screaming, "Finally!"
The reveal has been a slow-burn on the NBC hit drama, but like the viewers, Eggold was happy to finally see Tom's true identity come to light. "I've been looking forward to it for a while," the actor admits to E! News.
When we spoke with Eggold back in November, he spilled that the writers pushed back the big Tom reveal after they "realized it was too soon." So did Tom's secret mission stay the same or did the plan change since then?
"The plan is always evolving, but there are some sort of master plans at work. They always wanted to go down this type of road with Tom and exactly how it takes shape is still forming," Eggold says. "There have been moments where I've known a lot and moments where I've been in the dark, but I remember when I read the episode, I called Jon [Bokenkamp] and was like, ‘Dude, this is going to be awesome.'"
Definitely awesome? The intense showdown between Tom and Jolene, which resulted in her death and Tom's first big kill on the show. No more Mr. Nice Teacher. Though the brutal and extremely physical fight scene startled some viewers, Eggold reveals to us that we were shown was the tamer version.
"Can I tell you it was more brutal in that there were things that were cut out," he says. "Not a whole lot, not like another sequence, but one or two moments, one in particular that was particularly violent that was toned down a bit." (And yes, "there will be some more" fight scenes, Eggold promises.)
While it seems like Tom is being set up to possibly be the series' big bad at this point, Eggold previews that it's a little more complicated than that, due to his possible feelings for Liz (Megan Boone), his wife/target.
I still think there's a great deal of ambiguity to Tom because the question is does he love her? That's a question I don't think we've tackled yet that we start get into in the final episodes of season," he says.
And in tonight's episode, which he calls "a good one," Eggold teases, "Liz is extraordinarily hot on [his] trail and at this point, both these characters keep inching closer to each other, who they truly are, and it's reaching the breaking point."
Fans can also expect to see Tom and Red (James Spader), who've only shared one scene together so far, interact again. "I don't know when it will be," Eggold says cautiously. "But we're excited for that because that's going to start to get into the other networks at play…it's just a question of when."
And while he wouldn't divulge too much, Eggold says, "Tom may know something about Red, so there may be new light shed on Red."
But when will a light be shed on the mysterious organization, which apparently is in Berlin, Tom is working for? "I don't know how much of that you're going to learn now and how much of it is going to come out later," Eggold admits. "I think you're going to meet some folks that you haven't met before…I know that there is new information coming."
But, Eggold stresses, "on this show, never get too comfortable because there's always some other piece of the puzzle they throw at you."
So maybe Tom really does need to wear glasses?
The Blacklist airs tonight at 10 p.m. on NBC.
(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)