'The Blacklist' Season Finale Will Be A Live-Action/Animation Hybrid

The Blacklist, a show that managed to last longer than I realized, is about to air its seventh season finale – in a surprising way. The episode was only halfway done shooting when production had to shut down due to the coronavirus, and rather than wait to finish filming it, a creative solution was employed: animation. The episode will be a blend of live-action and graphic novel-style animation, giving the world the cartoon James Spader it deserves.

The Blacklist Season Finale 

I've never watched an episode of The Blacklist. All I know about it is from the commercials, which are prone to showing James Spader dressed like one of the Blues Brothers and saying vaguely ominous things. But while the show may not be on my watchlist, it clearly is for many other people. The series is ending its seventh season this week – and it's already been renewed for season 8.

What makes this season finale extra interesting is its format: a combination of animation and live-action. Here's the deal:

The season's 19th episode, titled "The Kazanjian Brothers," was midway into filming in New York when TV productions across the industry were halted due to COVID-19. Looking to do something out of the box to finish the episode and close out the season, producers came up with an idea to add graphic novel-style animation that would incorporate with the already filmed live-action scenes. Cast members recorded dialogue from their homes for the animated scenes to ensure a seamless transition between the two styles as editors and animators complete their work remotely.

That's certainly a novel solution to this problem, and while I have no real interest in this show, I salute the creators for thinking outside the box. In this season finale, "The Task Force investigates an accountant who works for lucrative criminals in order to find the violent and thuggish brothers hired for his protection. Liz must make a momentous decision. Presented in a unique hybrid of live-action and graphic novel-style animation."

The Blacklist stars James Spader, Megan Boone, Diego Klattenhoff, Amir Arison, Hisham Tawfiq, and Harry Lennix. The season finale airs on May 15 at 8:00 P.M. EST.