Blacklist season 5 episode 9
Red and Liz in The Blacklist season 5 NBC

The Blacklist season 5 aired its mid-season episode in November, which featured the heartbreaking death of Tom Keen. NBC has released the plot for its upcoming episode, which teases how Liz Keen is dealing with her life after her husband's death.

The winter premiere of The Blacklist season 5, titled Ruin, will air on Wednesday (3 January 2018) at 8 pm EST on NBC. The official synopsis for episode 9 teases a tough road ahead for Liz and hints at an "unexpected threat".

Here is the full description of winter premiere chapter:

In the previous episode, Tom Keen got entangled with a blacklister, Ian Garvey, who was seeking the mysterious suitcase full of bones and suffered injuries in a shoot-out that ultimately became fatal.

In the final minutes of the episode, the show jumped a year ahead. Liz woke up in a hospital bed, all disoriented. "How long?" she scribbled on a pad, showing it to Red, who was at her bedside. "Lizzy, it's been almost a year," Red revealed of her coma. Replying to Liz's next handwritten question, "Tom?" Red broke the heartbreaking news to his daughter.

Blacklist creator Jon Bokenkamp spoke to TV Line about Tom's shocking demise, and how this death will affect Liz and Red's relationship.

When asked about the decision to kill off Tom, the creator revealed, "There was a number of reasons, but most importantly, it's about the storytelling going forward and what his death means to Elizabeth Keen and how it impacts her. Can she move forward? Can she overcome this? What does it do to the task force? This presents so many interesting and complex questions. That's why it felt like it needed to happen now."

Liz and Red's relationship will be affected by Tom's passing as they will be confronted with some "harsh truths".

Bokenkamp explained, "It's going to confront both of them with some harsh truths, some of which have been ignored or side-stepped. Tom died in search of the truth of why Reddington came into Liz's life, and he ultimately found, in that paperwork, answers that not many other people on the show understand. He obviously can't move forward with those, and he can't tell Liz what he found."

"But he had unlocked something massive, and the fact that Reddington was omitting that from what he had told Liz will be something they're going to have to confront. Liz will have her own mourning process in trying to discover what she's capable of moving forward," he added of Liz and Red's complicated relationship.

Blacklist season 3 episode 12
Elizabeth Keen with Tom Keen in The Blacklist season NBC