The Blacklist has no shortage of heartbreaking moments, from character deaths to close relationships coming to an end and everything in between.

Over the course of the show’s 8 seasons, The Blacklist has pushed its cast to their breaking points as they struggle with secrets, betrayals, tragedy, and protecting loved ones. The series is not afraid to kill off beloved characters and to make them suffer in service of the story.

This means that the show has no shortage of heartbreaking moments, from character deaths to close relationships coming to an end. The most crushing scenes are those that have a particularly devastating impact on the characters, their relationships, and what they are fighting to protect and defend.

Elizabeth’s Funeral

The Blacklist: The 10 Most Heartbreaking Moments
The Blacklist: The 10 Most Heartbreaking MomentsThe Blacklist: The 10 Most Heartbreaking Moments

Elizabeth’s funeral in season 3 is a somber moment. While she faked her death, the Task Force and the audience don’t know it’s a lie. The most heartbreaking moment of the funeral is a tearful Aram struggling to get through his heartfelt eulogy to Elizabeth.

Even though Elizabeth isn’t really dead, it’s still difficult to watch Aram and the rest of the Task Force grieving and struggling to come to terms with the loss of their beloved friend and partner. Their profound grief is real and for better or for worse, that makes her supposed death all the more convincing to everyone else.

Reddington And Dembe Part Ways

The Blacklist: The 10 Most Heartbreaking Moments
The Blacklist: The 10 Most Heartbreaking Moments

When Dembe keeps it a secret that Elizabeth is the one responsible for landing Reddington in prison–which nearly led to Reddington receiving capital punishment–the secret drives a wedge in Reddington and Dembe’s close relationship.

While Reddington forgives Dembe for keeping this secret from him, Dembe believes it is best for him to chart his own path and for them to part ways. Their tight-knit relationship was always a staple of the show and something that seemed unbreakable. Seeming them part ways and for their bond to be threatened like that felt wrong and deeply upsetting, and is only tempered by the fact that Dembe returns later on and their relationship is restored.

Matias Solomon Kidnaps Dembe’s Granddaughter

The Blacklist: The 10 Most Heartbreaking Moments
The Blacklist: The 10 Most Heartbreaking Moments

In a captivating episode at the start of The Blacklist’s season 3, Matias Solomon kidnaps a child, although the reasons behind his actions are unclear. His horrific choice becomes even more monstrous when Dembe meets with his distraught daughter and the audience learns that the kidnapped child is Dembe’s granddaughter.

Little information had been revealed about Dembe’s personal life at that point. It was a shock to learn that he had a daughter and a grandchild, and it was even worse knowing that these innocent lives of his loved ones were being harmed as a way for the Cabal to target Reddington and those closest to him.

Mr. Kaplan Loses The Love Of Her Life

The Blacklist: The 10 Most Heartbreaking Moments
The Blacklist: The 10 Most Heartbreaking Moments

Before she became Reddington’s cleaner and close advisor, Mr. Kaplan was known as Kate. The fantastic season 4 episode “Requiem” reveals her origin story, the most devastating part of which is when she and the love of her life, Annie Kaplan, are shot.

When Kate regains consciousness, she learns that Annie died from the gunshot wounds. Especially after seeing the love Kate and Annie had for each other, it is brutal to see her experiencing this loss and for the audience to understand the deeper and tragic meaning behind Mr. Kaplan’s name.

Glen’s Mother Shares That Her Son Passed Away

The Blacklist: The 10 Most Heartbreaking Moments
The Blacklist: The 10 Most Heartbreaking Moments

After actor Clark Middleton passed away, The Blacklist dedicated an episode to honor the legacy of his fan-favorite character Glen Carter. In the season 8 episode “The Wellstone Agency,” Reddington and Dembe meet Glen’s mother, who shared that her son passed away from the West Nile virus.

This is the same disease that Clark Middleton passed away from. Between this and Reddington’s grief and shock upon hearing about the loss of Glen, the moment that Glen’s mother shares the news feels almost too real. The episode goes on to serve as a beautiful tribute to the character and the fantastic on-screen relationship between Glen and Reddington after the initial sharing of the terrible news.

Samar And Aram’s Phone Call

The Blacklist: The 10 Most Heartbreaking Moments
The Blacklist: The 10 Most Heartbreaking Moments

Aram is ready to run away with Samar and start a new life together as her memory fades and her life is threatened. When Reddington informs Aram that Samar is leaving without him, the two loves share a final phone call.

It is awful to have their relationship come to an end with Aram worrying about who will take care of Samar without him there, and neither character is sure if they will ever see each other again. Their tearful and unexpectedly final conversation is gutwrenching to listen to and is the show’s saddest moment that doesn’t have to do with a character’s death.

Reddington Nearly Kills Mr. Kaplan

The Blacklist: The 10 Most Heartbreaking Moments
The Blacklist: The 10 Most Heartbreaking Moments

After betraying his trust and making him believe Elizabeth was dead, Reddington takes Mr. Kaplan to a secluded spot in the country and shoots her in the head. His intent is to kill her, as he feels that he can never trust her again. It is only by a miracle that she actually survives.

Mr. Kaplan dedicated her life to helping Reddington and protecting his secrets. She only betrayed Reddington to protect Elizabeth, which was always Reddington’s top priority. Seeing Reddington trying to kill her is a ruthless low point for his character that Mr. Kaplan does not deserve and a mistake that Reddington comes to deeply regret.

Mr. Kaplan’s Death

The Blacklist: The 10 Most Heartbreaking Moments
The Blacklist: The 10 Most Heartbreaking Moments

Mr. Kaplan dies by suicide in the season 4 finale, as she believes her death is the only thing that can expose the truth about Reddington. After dedicating so much of her life to helping Reddington, protecting Elizabeth, and loving them fiercely, it is tragic that she feels her death is the only way forward, and the only way to do them justice by unleashing the truth about Reddington.

Even though she began as a supporting character, Mr. Kaplan grew to become one of the show’s most nuanced and likable characters. After everything she suffered through and sacrificed, it is brutal to see her story end this way.

Dying Elizabeth And Tom Rushed To The Hospital

The Blacklist: The 10 Most Heartbreaking Moments
The Blacklist: The 10 Most Heartbreaking Moments

After being brutally beaten and wounded by Ian Garvey and his men, Elizabeth and Tom are rushed to the hospital in Reddington’s car, with both of them on the brink of death. Struggling to stay conscious and clinging to their lives, they profess their love and how grateful they are for one another.

While the audience doesn’t know if either of them is going to make it, the tearjerking scene makes it pretty clear that this is the last time that the couple will ever be together. Between the haunting cover of “Sounds of Silence” and Liz waking in the next scene to learn that Tom didn’t make it, the final scene that she shares with Tom is easily one of the show’s most heartbreaking scenes.

Elizabeth’s Death

The Blacklist: The 10 Most Heartbreaking Moments
The Blacklist: The 10 Most Heartbreaking Moments

So much of The Blacklist is about Elizabeth fighting to learn about the truth of her past, as Reddington and many others did everything they could to protect her at all costs. When Elizabeth is shot in the back and killed for real in the season 8 finale, it feels like the many sacrifices and suffering in the show were all in vain. Reddington ultimately fails to protect her and Tom, Mr. Kaplan, Sam, Dom, and too many others died for nothing, as their sacrifices also failed to save Liz in the end.

Just like Elizabeth, her daughter Agnes will now have to grow up without a mother, thus continuing a cycle of violence. Beyond the impact on other characters and how it affects their actions, Elizabeth dies without confirmation of the truth about Reddington and her mother, although her final moments suggest that Reddington and her mother have been the same person all along.

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The Blacklist – Season 8 on DVD

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