'The Blacklist' Season 10: Aram Is Leaving And I'm Devestated

The Blacklist Aram Mojtabai Amir Arison NBC
Will Hart / NBC

“The Blacklist” - as we knew it - is officially over. While the veteran drama will return for Season 10, fans now know it will be back without one of its key original players. One season after losing Liz, “The Blacklist” is losing the magnificent Aram. Ahead of Season 10, his portrayer, Amir Arison announced that he is leaving the series for Broadway.

Amir Arison shared the heartbreaking news with fans on his Instagram account. Arison will be starring in the Broadway run of “The Kite Runner.” The play is an adaptation of the critically-acclaimed 2003 novel by Khaled Hosseini. A feature film adaptation was released in 2007. Discussing his decision to leave “The Blacklist,” Arison wrote in part on his Instagram:

“The Kite Runner is one of the most extraordinary novels I have ever read and its stage adaptation for Broadway is both breathtaking and timely. I could not pass up the opportunity to fulfill another childhood dream.

Showrunner John Eisendrath, the producers, writers, studio, and network have been incredibly supportive of my decision, and ‘Aram’ remains "alive" with the potential for a possible return at some point. Story-wise it feels so organic with the events of this past season, and I couldn't have asked for a better outcome.”

You can read Amir Arison’s full statement via the Instagram link above. I wish Arison well in his role in “The Kite Runner” and all of his future endeavors. Of course, my heart selfishly breaks as a fan of “The Blacklist.” What Arison has brought to the series is impossible to quantify, while more than possible to appreciate.

He has imbued the show with its most soulful character, who has touched us with his charm, wit, warmth, and wisdom. Aram has been the light in the darkness, and it pains me to imagine “The Blacklist” without him. When the drama killed off Liz and ended any chance for her to return in Season 9, I wondered and worried about the show’s future. Enter Aram.

Arison is Aram. I have watched countless geniuses in countless shows and Amir Arison’s Aram is as untouchable as his character’s genius on the show.

Through this turbulent period on “The Blacklist,” one of the only comforting facts I took solace in was the presence of Arison’s Aram. Heading into Season 10, almost all of the bright lights comprising the dark crimson of “The Blacklist” are out. Two of the drama’s key characters (Liz and Aram) that viewers watched for are gone, and they possessed once-in-a-lifetime personas.

Amir Arison’s Aram has provided the heartfelt laughs and innocent idealism that stirred many emotional moments. Aram’s objectivity led him to occasionally (and respectfully) disagree with his friends and their choices. For instance, he had taken issue with Liz’s decisions and her moves against Red while remaining her friend. No such conscience will exist in Season 10.

While Liz may no longer need his counsel, other characters still do. Aram is their conscience.

“The Blacklist” is set to return for Season 10, and I have no earthly idea how it will proceed. As stated previously, yours truly has some binge-watching to do if I decide to catch up. The news about Aram, a veteran fan favorite, is too much to take. There will no longer be any comic relief aside from the occasional strange story from Red.

To that point, Glen’s mom (Paula Carter, “Ozark”), a tremendous comic asset, did not appear in Season 9 of “The Blacklist.” It seems the show decided to go in a different direction. How on earth could you not want to continue utilizing such a natural and exuberant screen presence? With Aram leaving, the show will need her more than ever.

The end of an era. The beginning of what?

Between the tragic real-life death of Glen’s portrayer, Clark Middleton, and the exits of Megan Boone, Amir Arison, and “The Blacklist” creator, Jon Bokenkamp - “The Blacklist” seems lost. Why continue without the heart and soul of the series? What more is there to say? The mystery of Red’s identity is over, and the show works better not solely operating as a procedural.

The grand arcing mystery of Red’s identity is now known to many truth-seekers in the audience, albeit many remain unconvinced. The characters that have helped push that mystery forward are now gone or not fully realized. That is unless, “The Blacklist” finally buckles up and ages Agnes into her teen years in Season 10.

When the end began.

Tom’s death was the beginning of the end, and with Kaplan’s demise, another level of deterioration began. Certain television shows are not meant to go on forever or perpetually like soap operas. There comes a time and a place to call it quits. It feels like “The Blacklist” is over without ending, and it may be time to say goodbye.

  • Tom
  • Kaplan
  • Samar
  • Liz
  • Aram

If “The Blacklist” loses Harry Lennix (Cooper), Hisham Tawfiq (Dembe), or Diego Klattenhoff (Ressler), it would lose the remaining members of its original cast aside from James Spader. That would be an unconscionable loss, and simply put, this is not a “Game of Thrones” situation. That show could have gone on much longer yet rushed to an unnecessarily truncated ending.

While known for its death toll, can you imagine “Game of Thrones” without Tyrion, Jon Snow, Arya and Sansa Stark, or Daenerys? Exactly. 

“The Blacklist” is steadily losing everything that comprised its identity. Isn’t it better to end before there is nothing left of it? In this case, isn’t it preferable to go out towards the top of its creative game than end shy of it? Some reading this might say, stop watching. Problem solved. Not quite. Fans who have invested nine seasons into this story want and need a proper send-off.

I have not watched the last couple of episodes of Season 9. Maybe they are mind-blowing. Without Aram around in Season 10, it will be tougher than ever for “The Blacklist” to pull that level of quality off. It has always been a team effort. If Red has been the brains, Liz the heart, Aram has been the soulful levity. How do you move forward without him? I am not sure you can.