THE BLACKLIST @ C2E2 2017 – Jon Bokenkamp, Amir Arison, & Susan Blommaert on what’s next

Over the weekend, a group of press met up with THE BLACKLIST stars Amir Arison and Susan Blommaert and their show’s creator Jon Bokenkamp at Chicago’s C2E2. Over the course of our long dive into the show, they gave us some insight into what comes next after last week’s (pretty amazing) Spring return that gave us reveal after reveal after reveal (after reveal, I mean, seriously…and “you must be Mr Kaplan?” COME ON!).

Looking forward to the final Season 4 episodes, we got the following inside look!

On what’s next for Samar and Aram:

Amir tells us, “There’s stuff coming up in the next episode that we’ll see that deals with a lot of Samar and Aram’s tension and why he would go to Janet and why they keep … You know Jody Walker from EW once said, I thought this was really good. She’s like, “I don’t think Samar and Aram is will they, won’t they. I think it’s can they or can’t they?” It’s like I don’t know if they can or can’t, which is different … Also heavier and more dramatic.

And a lot of times we’re doing a scene and we’re like, how are we going to get out of this, how are we going to get along after this one. And of course two episodes later I’m like, ah.”

Teasing what comes next:

Susan Blommaert tells us, “There’s been some good stuff going on. Make sure that the, you’re locked into that roller coaster….What is that bar called that you have to do in the …”

The lap bar?

Susan: The lap bar. Get your lap bar clicked in.

Well what can you, tease, about why people should get that lap bar on?

Jon Bokenkamp: “Well, I think, we have not had on the show to date, a villain who is as formidable as Mr. Kaplan. This is somebody who knows all the secrets, knows all the trues, knows about the crimes, about the bodies being buried. Knows everything. Like one of Reddington’s closest confidants. So, that is very different and it’s very emotional and it becomes incredibly personal. I remember when we were talking about it. John Eisendrath … 

You know we have these sessions, early in the season, and occasionally throughout the season where we kind of get the room together. A room is a … We have a great staff and a big staff so we divide it up a lot. So occasionally we all get together and it’s sort of like Thanksgiving. You know? We’re like, well what about this and what’d you like there. What worked, what didn’t. 

And it was thrown out almost like a joke. What is Mr. Kaplan thinking now? You know? How does red confront her? He’s been very clear about how he deals with betrayal and loyalty, and it was almost thrown out sort of like, what about that? What about Mr. Kaplan. And we kind of giggled and then it was like, whoa, wait a minute. Wait a minute. That is really interesting. 

And again, it comes from an organic place within the story, so I do think you are going to see emotional turns, Blacklisters still, and reveals about the mythology which are, which we have not yet landed, you know, in sort of as a seismic way as we will by the end of the season.”

On what those dead bodies mean for upcoming episodes:

Bokenkamp expounds on whether we’ll get a “body of the week” each week: “You know, the unearthing of these corpses, really is the springboard forward to where we’re going. I think more so than what each body represents, and there are Easter eggs and nuggets and secrets there that we’re going to be revisiting some of those bodies specifically….

But also I think there, I think it really presents not only Reddington and Liz but the entire task force with a question that is hard to wrestle with about who they’ve become. Not only what is the relationship between Kaplan and Reddington and the promise that was made and how far is Kaplan willing to go to show him that he is becoming somebody who, is, sort of lost himself perhaps.

But the entire task force is confronted with that as well. They’ve been working with and turning you know the other cheek and walking away and turning their back on crimes that …But some of these bodies represent crimes that have happened after the existence of the task force…..

And that’s going to present a real problem. We introduce a new character, Julian Gale (Enrique Murciano), who is, comes in next week I believe. And sort of represents the problem they have on their hands. And it is significant. It holds the mirror up. It’s holds the mirror up.

Yeah he really does. And it forces everyone to re-examine the relationship here and are we going to let this guy take us down too or not. It’s a very complex dynamic and it’s a new dynamic that we haven’t had yet. What happens when this can of worms is open by Mr. Kaplan. And it’s a good one.”

Check out some moments from our interview in the video above and check back next week for more video fun and a more detailed dive into making these characters more than just one-episode-blips-on-the-radar!